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Stiff fines for unchecked boats

Staff writer

Continuing to take an aggressive approach to the threat of zebra mussels at Marion County Lake, Marion County Commission approved a resolution Monday that requires water vessels to check in before being launched into the county lake.

Marion Reservoir and neighboring lakes have been infested with zebra mussels and the commission would like to stave off an invasion of the mollusks as long as possible.

Boat and jet ski owners also will be required to power wash their vessels prior to putting in the county lake, and the commission advised lake superintendent Steve Hudson to seek additional bids for a portable unit.

Hudson said a stationary unit would not be as useful as a portable unit, although a portable unit was about $1,000 more. If the county owned a mobile power washer, employees could use the equipment to clean outhouses, wash off buildings, and if zebra mussels do infiltrate the water, wash off docks.

The location of the power wash during summer months could be at the newly-acquired maintenance building, formerly owned by Marion County Improvement District #2.

Commissioner Randy Dallke asked how that would work if there was only one employee who would have to work at the office and monitor the power wash area. Hudson said he would prefer boat owners wash their own boats but understands Dallke’s concerns. More thought will be given to the process, Hudson said.

The resolution allows Hudson to write citations to those who do not follow the requirements with the possibility of $1,000 fines.

Last modified Aug. 27, 2008

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