Forsyth County commissioners agreed Tuesday to contribute $20,000 to the Lake Lanier Association for the group’s plans for a new safety initiative and to continue its prior work.
Commissioner Brian Tam said Forsyth “has a history of financial support” for the organization.
The commission last gave $10,000 in May 2011 for efforts to raise the lake's full pool level by 2 feet.
An increase from 1,071 to 1,073 feet above sea level would provide thousands more gallons of water, supporters have said.
Tam said the request for $20,000 comes with an added mission of promoting safety and education.
Val Perry, executive vice president of the association, spoke to the commission on the need for lake safety initiatives, especially in relation to boating.
The organization saw the need for safety education in the wake of several boating accidents that occurred this summer, including two fatal collisions.
The Lake Lanier Water Safety Alliance plans to work on education measures that will impact safety on the lake immediately, as opposed to working on legislation that the state would have to approve, Perry said.
“Safety is something that very few people focus on unless there’s somebody talking to you about it,” he said. “I had one fellow tell me that in order to drive a JetSki, all you need is a credit card.”
The association hopes to use the funds for purposes such as promoting safety classes, distributing stickers for boats with the rules of driving and buying buoys that would be visible at night.
Perry said aside from Forsyth, the association is seeking funding from other counties.
The commission approved the measure 3-0. Commissioners Patrick Bell, who arrived later in the meeting, and Jim Boff were absent for this vote.
Commissioner Pete Amos called it a “good cause,” while Commissioner Todd Levent noted the lake is “a precious resource.”
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