Lake Manassas Update

lakemanassasTonight (November 12), the City of Manassas Finance Committee considered a proposal to study the risks involved in opening Lake Manassas to public use.  The vote was 2-1 to reject funding a $45,000 study, but the entire City Council will consider it on November 24.

The lake remains closed to public use, with $80,000 or so spent annually for the city police to patrol the lake and issue trespass citations.  Even adjacent property owners are banned from putting a canoe on the lake.

Members of City Council have expressed fear, uncertainty and doubt about the safety of the water supply if public use was allowed.  Fairfax Water long ago decided that public use was OK;  it permits boats and fishing on Occoquan Reservoir.   Even motorboats zip across Lake Jackson, located between Lake Manassas and Occoquan Reservoir (and part of the water supply for Fairfax/eastern Prince William).

A scientific study could answer the questions regarding the risk of public use, and put those risks into context.  The City Council should also consider the benefits of advertising Manassas through the lake.

In 2011, the city spent over $625,000 to support the 150th anniversary of the Battle of First Manassas.  Manassas collected less than $50,000 in increased taxes from that event – less than 10% of its investment – but also calculated $240,800 in “publicity value” from the broadcast coverage (and additional value from print, radio and internet reports).

The city claimed the subsidy was a smart investment because “the Sesquicentennial had the potential to garner significant media coverage for the City of Manassas.”

Anglers and boaters spend money too – and regular media coverage associating Manassas with outdoor recreation might have a similar impact…

lakes

 

Advertisements

1 comment so far


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: