"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Scottsboro City Council - Parks and Recreation Board - Mayor's Salary to Increase

Scottsboro Police Department- the old City Hall
Last night was a regular meeting of the Scottsboro City Council. Agenda below, click on image for an expanded view.
Added to the agenda, #9 (Brooks Hall was deleted from the agenda), was discussion of an Ethics Complaint involving the City of Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board per Mr. Smith.

1) Dr. Judy Berry, Scottsboro Schools Superintendent and Mr. Robbie Copenhaver, School Board President, discussed and requested refinancing and financing of a School Bond Issue. The rules were set aside and the request to refinance and finance was approved. Dr. Berry stated there were capital asset funds available for this project. A look at the City Debt becomes necessary as described below.
Dr Judy Berry, Scottsboro City Schools Superintendent - Dr. Berry stated, "it has been approximately 40 years since there has been any improvemnet on Trammel Stadium. Many incoming corporations and families are interested in our athletic programs."

Mr. Robbie Copenhaver, President Scottsboro Board of Education. "We need improvements made to Trammel Stadium. Visitors must use 'Porta-Johns' as there are no restrooms on the visitors side. "

As of the audit dated July 2011, Fiscal Year of 2010, City financial info including debt may be found at audit link: CITY OF SCOTTSBORO, ALABAMA  Page 32 of the audit lists total long term liabilities of warrants and notes payable as $38,430,000; total obligation school warrants are listed as $20,435,000. The bond situation is further disclosed on pages 33-35.  Page 8 of the audit reference debt states: "The debt service fund has a total fund balance of $9,128,887, all of which is to be used for the payment of debt service. The net decrease in fund balance during the current year in the debt service fund was $97,088. Interest expenditures were $1,463,770 and principal retirements during the year were $2,070,000."

Page 9 of the Audit lists the following concerning long term debt: "Long-term debt- At the end of the current fiscal year, the City had total long-term liabilities outstanding of $39,959,118, which is comprised entirely of debt backed by the full faith and credit of the City."

There have been 2 new Bond Debt issues which have increased the total debt since FY 2010 for the City of Scottsboro. Per City Financial Director Rick Wheeler: Recreation Facilities, soccer fields/splash park and service road issue. Current principal and interest is $62,347,641. Amount includes  Board of Education and Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board debt. Principal is $43,675,000 interest is $18,672,641. The School Boards slice of the $62 million total is $28,085,000 including principle and interest. Total assets of city including school, parks and library is approximately $104 million.

The City of Scottsboro serves as bond guarantors of  The Board of Education (Scottsboro School system) and The Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board (Goose Pond Colony and Plantation Pointe). The current proposed issue involving the refinancing and additional funding in regards to school bonds will increase debt. According to Dr. Berry, Scottsboro School Board Superintendent,  and Mr. President of the Board of Education, there is a need to improve the facilities at Trammel Stadium which will include restrooms, locker facilities and concession area.

2) Mayor appointed John Childress as a member of the Housing Authority Board. 3) Tree Commission members appointed.reappointed: Jim Reed, Ronnie Dolbery, Arlene Geede. 4) Appointed to the personnel board were Kelly Goodowens and Nora Sebring. There were 3 applications for 2 positions. 5) Charles Yarborough was selected to the Water Sewer and Gas Board. 6) Judge Ralph Grider was appointed to fill the vacancy of the Municipal Judge until Sep. 2012. Judge Word has been appointed as the District Court Judge.
Mayor Potter

7) Salary Ordinance was passed for an increase in the Mayor's Salary, rules were set aside, as follows per annum: 2012-0; 2013-$1000; 2014-$1000; 2015-0. More on the salary increase, which includes the city council, from the Daily Sentinel: http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_0a391f26-6322-11e1-a010-001871e3ce6c.html  8) Jason Phillipe resigned from the Scottsboro Industrial Development Board due to a move out of the area. Interested parties to fill position should contact City Clerk by application no later than March 15, 2012, 4:30PM, contact phone #256-574-3100. 9) Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board Ethics concerns expressed by Council Member Keith Smith.
Council Member Keith Smith

Mr. Smith stated, "I have been informed by our city attorney that a complaint must be made by an individual, it is not a matter for the city council."

The majority of the Parks and Recreation Board were present including their attorney to address the issue if any complaint or allegation was brought forth. Mr. Smith had no public comment other than the previous statement. Several members and the attorney for the Parks and Recreation Board had signed up to speak, since Mr. Smith had no charge to make the Park Board members nor their attorney had no comment.

Citizen presentation by Judge (retired) Arthur Davis: Reference the Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board-"Anything I have presented to this council concerning actions about the Goose Pond Colony Board derives from presentations before the city council or the [GPC] board meeting involving loans payments, interest." Mr. Davis further commented, "I do not think the  [GPC] Board is an arm of the City of Scottsboro. In my opinion, it is not a public course." Mr. Davis has expressed disappointment in that: "my family has been mislead by Chamber of Commerce advertising. 2 golf courses was the reason we moved to Scottsboro" Mr Davis stated last night, "the false advertising continues." After the council meeting Mr. Davis stated to me he thought the people of Scottsboro were very friendly and cordial to him. His problem, he said, "we have been mislead as to the availability of playing golf at the 2 courses." He was refering to the Goose Pond course and the Plantation Course. The Plantation course hours have been reduced to save money according the Parks and Recreation Board.

Jackson County Commission Meeting - Nuisance Aquatic Species Control - Roseberry Rescue Group

Jackson County Commission Working on Own Plans for Aquatic Nuisance Species Control.
After yesterdays meeting there were questions asked about whether the county commission was going to fund the Roseberry Rescue Groups activities involving eradication of aquatic weeds in Roseberry Creek. "The commission has received numerous calls from citizens wanting their lakeside area treated," said Ms. Sadie Bias Commission Chairperson.
Mr Phillip Widner, County Engineer has been directed to investigate costs and other vendors in a county wide project, then develop a plan and cost estimate listing and submit to the commission.

The Jackson County Park is in the Roseberry Creek area. Currently the Roseberry Creek control of aquatic nuisance species, which began 3 years prior, involved broad area aquatic species eradication eliminating all aquatic cover for the fishery (As witnessed by TVA property managers, fisherman and concerned environmental groups.). This violates law, the property is not that of the homeowners to eliminate all aquatic species in a large embayment.

Dry Creek and Roseberry Creek, and all flora and fauna there of are property of the state and federal government. Common Law of Riparian Water Rights does not extend to land owners to destroy and poison that which is not theirs to destroy and poison; nor does it extend to any non-profit organization formed in a scheme to acquire government financing of destruction of aquatic species beyond their immediate control of their personal property, such as a boat dock. The Roseberry Rescue Group has been requested to compromise in the situation, they refuse.

The wealthy lakeside homeowners have ignored the rights of fisherman and concerned citizens. 4 members of the city council and 2 members of the legislative delegation have catered to a special interest group which has money, ignoring law and rights of all citizens. Also obvious, is the pandering to the influential homeowners who have been heard on previous occasions stating they will offer  support during an election if you finance the spraying of the "water weeds."  This is an election year for 2 members of the City Council. Scottsboro's Mayor Potter has indicated an interest in working out some sort of agreement and a definitive plan relating to this issue.

The County Commission has taken the high road on this issue. They have chose to investigate the issue and decide on a correct course of action which will be beneficial to all citizens, not just a few of a "special interest group," before making a decision.

County Commission Agenda with notes. (Click on image for an expanded view.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board Meeting - Goose Pond Colony Board Meeting

Tuesday evening was the monthly meeting of the Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board or as it is commonly known as the Goose Pond Colony GPC) Board. GPC web site: http://goosepond.org/

The big story for GPC are the numerous renovation projects. The major project being the recently 3 renovated cabins. Story in Scottsboro's Daily Sentinel about the renovation project:  http://thedailysentinel.com/news/business/article_a7187808-59c9-11e1-9dad-001871e3ce6c.html More cabin and lodge improvements involve the outside electrical outlet installations for those who need to recharge their boat batteries.

The cabins are not the only renovation occuring at Scottsboro's crown jewel, Goose Pond Colony-Plantation Point. There are several other renovations ongoing at GPC which have been needed for some period of time.
Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board

Campgrounds- The campground is undergoing renovation including the installation of WiFi for the campers. It was estimated the WiFi project should be complete in 4-6 weeks. The campground has been undergoing renovation for about 1 year now. Clearing, improving and adding spots, refurbishing the bath house and other projects. Lighting will soon be installed on the campground docks. The board approved the $1500.00 project last night. Of note was the $3500.00 savings which will be reflected by performing the task in house.

Marina- It was reported the repairs to the docks have been delayed due to the contractor having to order and back order parts. The lighting projects are underway. Dock 4 is complete and it was reported that docks 1-3 will begin soon. The forklift at the boat Dry Storage Facility will need to be renovated. Leaking seals, bakes and lift hydraulics was reported to be the problem. It was also reported the lift needs an overhaul; to repair the lift and overhaul could cost up to $89,000. A new forklift would cost approximately $270,000 according to the marina manager. A full report and exact estimate will be presented at March's board meeting. A modern outside lighting system has been installed at the marina dry storage facility which has already realized a significant savings but will also save money monthly in electrical costs.

Golf- It was reported that much has been accomplished to improve the golf courses during the winter months. A combined Club House and Pro Shop at Plantation Pointe. The double wide mobile home which was used as the Pro-Shop may be sold or used otherwise. Options are to be presented at the next board meeting. Renovation of the Cart Storage Facility is underway. Low bids have been received for materials and the construction will begin shortly. Fencing bid- $4250.00; Roof bid- $4267.00.  7 major Golf Tournaments are Scheduled. The Spring Fling will begin on  March 9 with practice. During this time Plantation Pointe will be open for the 9 days of the Spring Fling Tournament. Plantation Point is scheduled to open on March the 2nd weekend. The Goose Pond Colony Golf Course Snack Bar is open and running. "Stevarinos" leased the property. Current hours are from 9AM till 2PM. Once the weather warms and business increases it was reported the hours will be expanded.

Fishing- The Bait and Tackle shop is under new management which was effective Feb 1, 2012. There are many tournament events planned. (see schedule below) It was reported the food is great at the shop.

The Docks- Excellent food, a view and atmosphere which can only be found at this restaurant.
A Lavender Sunset, looking south down the mighty Tennessee River from GPC, Scottsboro, Alabama. (Photo by G. Morgan)

Other improvements includes a new radio system due to new federal requirements. The 12 new radios reportedly will cost $7900.00 per the bid. However, this will eliminate the annual tower cost of $3000.00. Signage will be added around the park directing people to the appropriate facility. It was reported this will cost approximately $400.00



FINANCIAL REPORT:  Per report- "In spite of revenues being down $19,000, 2.5%, after adjusting for facility improvement expenses the loss is down $55,000, 37%." Current year actual revenue is reported at $732,068; current year to date variable expenses are $708,846. Salaries, electricity, health insurance,  maintenance, fuel costs- marina fuel and park maintenance fuel,  and special projects improvements are the big variable expense items; current year to date fixed expenses (which includes the Plantation Pointe Bond Expense) are $233,735 - of that fixed expense total the Plantation Bond Expense, interest plus principle, is the big payout equaling $127,440.00, 54.5% of total fixed expenses. Other major fixed expenses include Marina Principle-$36,000; Cart Lease-$24,965; Complex Insurance-$15,835.00. Bottom Line- loss of $210,513, less special project improvements of approximately $118K equals loss of $92K as compared to last years adjusted loss of $147K.

Special Comment: In light of the recent Attorney Generals Opinion which was submitted as a result of a group of influential disgruntled golfers complaining about the reduced hours of operation of Plantation Point ( The hours were reduced to save money due to financial facts demonstrating that the Plantation Course was loosing money "head over heals." The home properties at the Points cost the Parks and recreation board $1 million dollars in sewer improvements.) the Attorney General suggested on 4 different occasions in the findings that parties cooperate with each other.
Trails End, on the Tennessee River, Goose Pond Colony (photo by G. Johnston for Garry Morgan)

It is this writers opinion the current problems originating for Goose Pond Colony are those problems created solely by selfish golfers, including one on the city council, and the unwise decision by a  previous city council to purchase the Plantation Pointe golf course several years previous. It also becomes apparent that the disgruntled golfers, including the one city council member, attempts a self centered power play in the attempts to take control of the complex. If a spirit of cooperation cannot be found the complex could suffer more damage due to negative publicity. I have been following the problems and successes of our park at Goose Pond and the Pointe for many years. The complex was on the edge of bankruptcy due to a severe financial loss as a result of mismanagement and misappropriation. Misappropriation which was never investigated due to the influential citizens involved. The current board should be commended on the most difficult task of pulling the complex out of a deep financial hole. To the current Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board, thank you for a job well done.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Scottsboro City Council Work Session

Work Session Agenda, February 20, 2012

Tonight was a work session for the city council. The Big issue, #1 on the agenda, was the public disclosure of the Attorney General (AG) Opinion, link}#2012-035, relating to the Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board better known as the Goosepond Colony Park Board. This weekend the Daily Sentinel ran an article about the issue: http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_cd3b1760-59ca-11e1-9cf6-001871e3ce6c.html
Mr. Steve Kennamer, City Attorney reads highlights of the AG opinion. (photo by G. Morgan)

Important points of Opinion #2012-035 : (a)The Parks & Recreation Board is a seperate corporate entity from the City of Scottsboro; (b) members of the board may only be removed by impeachment; (c) the park board officials are not municipal officers and may not be removed by the city council;(d) the park board may not sell mortgaged property in which it does not hold a free and clear title; (e) the City of Scottsboro may not determine the hours of operation. The AG did suggest the city and park board work together for a mutual compromise in the matter. (f) The AG stated: "Although the council may have the authority to reassign property that it owns, the board is in control of the management aspect of the property." Possibly a misunderstanding by the AG or by me? As I understand the terms of the Plantation Pointe Mortgage, the Scottsboro Parks and Recreation Board owns the property but the City of Scottsboro cosigned as a guarantor on the mortgage when the "pointe" property was purchased. Therefore, the City of Scottsboro must release the mortgaged property if there is to be a sale of the property.
Council Member Keith Smith (above-photo by G. Morgan) made inquiry concerning the Jackson County District Attorney's opinion on this matter. Mr. Kennamer replied, "I'm not aware of any opinion from the District Attorney;" Ms. O'Shields replied that she had spoke to the DA's office but there was no evidence to pursue the matter further. Ms. O'Shields further remarked the DA's office will not reply in writing concerning this issue.

Mr. Smith inquired about an Ethics Commission referral for violations by members of the Park Board. Mr. Kennamer replied, any citizen could file a personal complaint with the Ethics Commission if they had knowledge of an unethical act. Apparently Mr. Smith is concerned about an Ethics Conflict of Interest Violation reference to loans made to the park board while the President of the Park Board, Mr. Mike Bagget, also a loan officer of the 1st National Bank who issued a loan to the Park Board.

I inquired of Mr. Smith after the council meeting if he intended on filling an Ethics Commission complaint, his reply: "Yes I intend on filing a complaint with the Ethics Commission."
Update: Daily Sentinel article about the issue http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_d02d5304-5f2c-11e1-8ee9-001871e3ce6c.html

The Code of Alabama reference Ethics Definitions has this to say about conflicts of Interest: "Section 36-25-1, (8) A conflict on the part of a public official or public employee between his or her private interests and the official responsibilities inherent in an office of public trust. A conflict of interest involves any action, inaction, or decision by a public official or public employee in the discharge of his or her official duties which would materially affect his or her financial interest or those of his or her family members or any business with which the person is associated in a manner different from the manner it affects the other members of the class to which he or she belongs. A conflict of interest SHALL NOT include any of the following:  a. A loan or financial transaction made or conducted in the ordinary course of business."

In other matters: 2) The city council next Monday will select 2 of 3 applicants for the Scottsboro Personnel Board. 3) Will select 2 applicants for the Tree Commission. 4) Discuss city ordinance relating to salary increase for upcoming year relating to elected and public officials.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

TVA Board Meeting - Listening Session - Environmental Groups' Press Conference

Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors Meeting February 16, 2012 in Chattanooga, Tn. (photo by G. Morgan)

TVA Agenda shown above. On demand video link to the Board Meeting: On-demand video (Windows Media) 
TVA Board Chairman Bill Sansom (above) and TVA CEO/President Tom Kilgore (below) (photos by G. Morgan).
TVA slide presentations link: TVA Presentations 
TVA Chief Financial Officer John M. Thomas, III (above) presents the Financial Report (below) (photos by G. Morgan).

"The financial report shows TVA revenues so far this year are down because of milder weather, and a mild second quarter also is expected."
"Milder temperatures and lower prices for purchased power meant TVA used less generation from coal in the first quarter. Coal accounted for 31 percent of generation, with nuclear at 32 percent. Natural gas, hydro, purchased power, renewables and energy efficiency were the balance. TVA announced earlier this month it is idling four coal units at Johnsonville Fossil Plant ahead of schedule."
"Mike Skaggs, TVA senior vice president for Nuclear Construction (pictured above, G. Morgan photo), said two new senior level managers hired at Watts Bar 2 and TVA’s Bellefonte Nuclear Plant Unit 1 “will increase experience levels and improve the span of control. These actions create a more direct line-of-sight to top management.”"

"Skaggs also provided the board with an update on Watts Bar 2, stating that when the review is completed, the result will be a high-confidence cost estimate and milestone schedule."
Watts Bar Issues (analysis = reason for failures)

 "“This review is a rigorous process that will help provide efficiency, productivity and high-quality work as we move toward completion of Watts Bar,” Skaggs said. “We are also developing independent assessments to improve our level of confidence.”"  Full TVA Press Release concerning Board Meeting: http://www.tva.com/news/releases/janmar12/feb_16_board.html


Prior to each board meeting the TVA provides an opportunity for citizens to express concerns. Several Environmental Groups' concerns were represented. 9 environmental groups presented a letter to the TVA Board and the CEO. This letter was covered in area press releases. Report in Scottsboro's Daily Sentinel: http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_49a58c0e-59cb-11e1-95bf-001871e3ce6c.html

Other issues included: Browns Ferry GE Mark 1 defective reactor and cooling pool design; dangers of Plutonium MOX fuel proposed to be used in the defective Browns Ferry Reactors; biomass inceneration hazards.

County Leaders Voice Frustration With TVA: http://www.newschannel9.com/news/county-1009087-tva-recreation.html

Previous blog listings on the coal ash spills listing dangers, deceit, TVA's negligence etc: http://arklite.blogspot.com/search/label/TVA%20Coal%20Ash%20Spill

Request for the TVA to fulfill its responsibilities under the Federal Sunshine Act.

PRESS CONFERENCE -After the TVA Board Meeting we had a joint Environmental Group Press Conference in front of TVA in Chattanooga, Tn. on Market Street.  Representing, 15,000 members of the endorsing organizations: Tennessee Environmental Council, the Tennessee and Cumberland (Kentucky) Chapters of the Sierra Club, Tennessee Clean Water Network, Tennessee Alliance for Progress, Appalachian Voices, BEST/MATRR, Urban Century Institute, Solar Valley Coalition and the many Valley citizens who wish to see TVA generate more renewable energy.

 Sierra Club Attorney Ms. Mary Mastin (above photo by G. Morgan) delivers group introduction and outline of our request to the TVA Board. "We are concerned about TVA‟s recent changes in its renewable energy incentive programs and with TVA‟s continued failure to fully recognize renewable energy, and particularly solar power, as a viable and substantial part of its energy portfolio. We believe that if TVA committed to developing and achieving greater levels of renewable energy and efficiency, no other new sources of energy generation would be necessary and TVA could further reduce its reliance on dirty and inefficient coal plants," said Ms. Mastin.

Dr. John McFadden, (above photo by G. Morgan)Tennessee Environmental Council Director discusses the advantages of Solar Power and bringing manufactoring jobs to the Tennessee River Valley. Dr McFadden Commented: "The new energy economy is the single best economic engine we have to create jobs and drive ourselves out of the current recession. Solar is a key component of the new energy economy with over 6,000 solar jobs already in Tenn. and more on the way with Sharp, Hemlock and Wacker investing in solar manufacturing jobs."
Bellefonte Efficiency Sustainability Team/Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation ( http://www.matrr.org ) spokesperson Garry Morgan. (above photo by J. McFadden for Garry Morgan) "“We ask the TVA to implement sustainable-renewable energy technology,” Garry Morgan a member of BEST said. “In our letter we list seven advantages of renewable energy over nuclear and coal power generation options.”

Seven Advantages:
• Unlike nuclear or fossil fuels, wind and solar have no fuel costs. Citizens invest in the purchase and installation of photovoltaic panels for their homes or businesses with their own money. Minimal incentives from TVA and/or the government increases TVA‟s power generation capacity without the huge cost and need for financing of new nuclear power plant construction.

• Savings in transmission lines - Solar power from our own rooftops supplements electricity from big power plants, which has to be transported across long distances with line losses and therefore is more expensive when it comes out of the socket. Traditional fossil fuel sources of energy also require spending massive amounts for grid repair and expansion.

• The record is clear that solar energy equipment production and installation have produced many new green jobs in Tennessee over the past few years.

• The sun and wind are infinite sustainable energy sources compared to the finite availability of coal or uranium for nuclear production.

• Storage of radioactive waste from nuclear generation for up to a million years, or for coal ash from coal-fired power plants, is very costly ($1 million each for dry casks to hold spent fuel) and poses huge environmental risks. In the event of a serious incident, as we have seen with Kingston - or Fukushima- the damage can escalate to catastrophic proportions.

• Renewables don't require us to use destructive extraction methods such as mountaintop removal coal mining. Surface mining in Central Appalachia has been linked with job loss, poverty, sickness, and early death in mountain communities.

• Both solar and wind are much cleaner energy sources in terms of both air emissions and water discharges. The lack of need for cooling water is also a huge advantage. As TVA must recognize, clean water is becoming a more and more important and rare resource.

“Energy efficiency and sustainable-renewable energy technology saves money for citizens and business while energy efficiency generates local jobs for citizens and serves to expand business by saving money and by creating new job growth,” Morgan said.
J.W. Randolph Director of Appalachian Voices (pictured above, photo by G. Morgan). “Mountaintop removal means fewer jobs, higher healthcare costs, damaged property values, and the destruction of Tennessee and Appalachia's proud mountains forever. TVA produces less than 2% of their electricity from mountaintop removal coal. On behalf of Appalachian citizens' health and economic well-being TVA should become the first major utility in the country to step away from the use of mountaintop removal coal."

Area Press coverage of TVA event and Press Conference links: Chattanooga Times Free Press-  http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/feb/17/work-watts-bar-nuclear-plants-second-reactor-behin/  Scottsboro's The Daily Sentinel-  http://thedailysentinel.com/news/article_49a58c0e-59cb-11e1-95bf-001871e3ce6c.html  The Chattanoogan.com- http://www.chattanoogan.com/2012/2/16/219646/Environmental-Organizations-Seek-25.aspx

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Scottsboro City Council Meeting - Aquatic Nuisance Species Issue - Roseberry Rescue Group

At last nights City of Scottsboro's City Council Meeting there were 46 citizens in attendance. Six citizens spoke concerning the elimination of nuisance weeds in Roseberry Creek. The agenda is listed:
The City of Scottsboro's City Council approved item 12 on the agenda by a majority vote.
SCOTTSBORO CITY COUNCIL APPROVES $50K DISBURSAL TO ROSEBERRY RESCUE GROUP SPRAYING. FAILS TO REQUIRE LONG TERM CONTROL PLAN OR TVA/ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION BIOLOGIST INPUT. Provided either the County Commission or the Legislative Delegation contributes another $50K. 3 out of 4 was the requirement approved by the majority of the council. The 4 possible contributing groups are the Roseberry Rescue Group, the State Legislative Delegation, the Jackson County Commission and the City of Scottsboro. 
 Roseberry and Dry Creek area from the City Park.

Council Member Carol McCrary voted no on the issue. Ms. McCrary stated, "we need TVA's input on this matter...I cannot in good conscience vote for the approval of this issue."

It was very disturbing to see the Scottsboro City Council not recognize the necessity of acquiring the professional input of a biologist or fisheries expert to examine the Roseberry/Dry Creek nuisance species problem. The City Council did not establish a requirement to develop a long term control plan involving the input of an Alabama Department of Conservation or TVA Biologist for this project.

By all appearances, the Scottsboro City Council is catering to the request of influential special interest groups while ignoring good sense, legal requirements and explicit responsibilities of other government agencies.

The council ignored what the fisherman present were telling them was occuring to the fishery. They also ignored the request to develop a long term plan and acquiring the advice of a professional biologist in addressing this problem.

There is a TVA meeting in Chattanooga Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. A public listening session by the TVA Board will begin at 9AM Eastern time, 8AM our time.

Our regional environmental group supports responsible aquatic nuisance species control, not decimation of the fishery via improper application of herbicide treatment to sensitive riparian areas of Dry Creek and Roseberry Creek area.

Our group request was plainly stated to the City Council, the Roseberry Rescue Group, the City's Attorney and the Mayor. The press also received a copy of our environmental groups request and suggestions for the proper management of this problem.

It was plainly stated by the Roseberry Rescue Group their only concern was for themselves and not for the preservation of the fishery or the environment. The group spokesperson stated, paraphrased: "Go somewhere else to fish, you have 98% of Guntersville Reservoir to fish."

If the project is to be accomplished, it must be done in accordance with sound practices of environmental-watershed management and the law for the benefit of the fishery, the wildlife, while allowing proper usage and navigation to and from the area for the public. 

Since the application of the aquatic herbicide begining 3 years ago algae has become a problem. This problem was demonstrated to the City Council last night but had no effect on the city council. 
Profuse Algae growth may be seen in shallow and up to 6 foot depths in the area. 
A sample of the algae was collected and taken to the city council meeting. when a body of water has excessive phosphate, nitrates or other effluent or runoff problems algae will become excessive. There are 2 sewage treatment plants in this area.  Plus considerable farm land drainage. The large area removal and destruction of aquatic species by the methodology applied results in a high risk environmental scenario of which the Roseberry Rescue Group nor the City of Scottsboro seem to grasp.

More information on the TVA meeting Thursday, Feb 16, 2012 at 8AM Central time in Chattanooga, Tn.: http://www.tva.com/abouttva/board/index.htm Sign up page to address the TVA Board: http://www.tva.com/abouttva/board/speak.htm

It is TVA's explicit responsibility as stated in the TVA's policy to manage this problem. TVA policy link: http://www.tva.gov/rrsc/readingroom/aquaplantrec.htm

A biologists perspective: http://www.chattanoogan.com/2011/2/4/193833/TWRA-Expert-Weighs-in-on-Milfoil.aspx

Previous articles on my blog about this issue: http://arklite.blogspot.com/search/label/Roseberry%20Rescue%20Group

Toxicity studies of Fluridone: U.S Bureau of Land Management, Fluridone Ecological Risk Assessment, November 2005, Bureau of Land Management Contract No. NAD010156ENSR Document Number 09090-020-650;  Section "...fluridone is considered to be moderately toxic to fish species. Most studies reviewed, and all studies selected, for TRV derivation for fish were based on products containing at least 97% fluridone." "The toxicity of fluridone was evaluated with several freshwater aquatic invertebrates, including water fleas (e.g., Daphnia magna), scuds (Hyallela spp.), crayfish (e.g. Astacidae), and chironomids. Acute toxicity was observed in aquatic invertebrates exposure to fluridone..." Fluridone Ecological Risk Assessment, Final Report The report goes on to state that larger animals and wildlife, including birds, are not effected if the application of the herbicide is performed properly. However, there is a risk to native aquatic species in the treatment area.

Conclusion: there is a moderate to high risk to the fishery and the the fishery food chain. This may account for the poor fishing within the area of Roseberry and Dry Creek area as reported by members of the Bass Anglers Clubs and fisherman speaking at last nights city council meeting.

We do not want what the picture to the left demonstrates. What probably will be acheived in the Dry and Roseberry Creek area will be what the Bass Club members described in last nights Scottsboro City Council meeting," no cover, no fish, the fish left the area." And so have the fisherman and their money.

Jackson County Commission Meeting

Yesterday was a regular meeting of the Jackson County Commission. The agenda is posted below.

Significant Issues: 1) Dustin Mount selected for a Building and Grounds Custodian position 2) Personnel Board member Mr. David Kennamer resigned to be replaced by Mr. Bob Matthews. 3) County Rd 693 to be vacated, Mr Porter says public hearing is to be held concerning the issue. 4) Demolition of the County Annex building discussed concerning disposal of building materials. It was stated in accordance with the agreement with the City of Scottsboro that all construction waste must be disposed of at Scottsboro's landfill. A discussion ensued stating the construction waste could be used as fill at sites around the county. It is illegal in the State of Alabama to utilize construction debris as "fill" for building projects. Commissioner Stone stated to me that the project contractor would determine if their were any hazardous materials present such as asbestos.

Approved 2012 Millage Rates for Jackson County pictured below. Many thanks to Chairperson Bias for providing the 2012 Millage Rate schedule.