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Florala to conduct lake study

Fishermen have been complaining for years about fishing conditions at Florala’s Lake Jackson, specifically how hydrilla is clogging the lake bottom.

Monday, the Florala City Council agreed to hire a company that will perform a study of all lake plants and hopefully give an answer on how to get rid of the pesky plant.

“They’re going to tell us what’s in there; what’s good; what’s bad and what we need to do about it,” Mayor Robert Williamson said. “We’ve had several individuals that have come to us about the fact that hydrilla is taking over portions of the lake. This company came recommended by the Alabama Fisheries Commission.”

Hydrilla is a slim, small, submerged plant that forms dense mats along the lake bottom. It is not native to the area and is transferred from one body of water to another by boaters.

“We think we need to do something to find out what’s in the lake and if there is a problem, take care of it early,” he said.

Florala resident Larry Miller said he would also like to know why other grass varieties such as peppergrass are absent from the lake.

“This lake is vital to our community, and everyone would love to see it become the fishery it once was in the 60s, 70s and 80s,” Miller said. “If you bring the lake back, you bring the fishermen back and bring the revenue back.”

Cost of the study is estimated at $900.

In other business, the council:

approved a resolution that would allow the remaining $21,243 in Community Block Development Grant stimulus funds to be used to improve portions of Martin Luther King Street. The project will benefit 19 residents.

In other business, the council:

reappointed John Bryant and Debbie Robbins to the Planning and Zoning Board for a six-year term.

appointed Al Robbins to the Cemetery Board for a four-year term.

appropriated $100 to the Covington County Incident Response Team.

declared a fire truck as surplus.

appropriated up to $2,000 to install a drain box and piping on Pecan Street.

voted to repair sections of sidewalk near Florala City Middle School.