Officials: Funding dry, future uncertain for Carroll Lake
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CARROLL COUNTY, Tenn. — The future of Carroll Lake is looking a bit brighter. Seven months after severe weather left it destroyed, community members are making it known they want it restored. Both Monday and Tuesday, hundreds of Carroll County residents came out to hear what the Tennessee Wildlife and Resources Agency is proposing to do with Carroll Lake. But with funding as dry as the lake itself, its future is still in limbo. “Right now, it’s just really shallow,” resident Hunter Smith said. “It’s just ugly.” Back in June, surging flood waters destroyed two gates in the lake’s dam, letting the water drain out and leaving the TWRA with a big mess. “FEMA didn’t even know both gates were destroyed by the same event,” Dave Rizzulo, director of fisheries with the TWRA, said. “So FEMA has only given us enough to fix one of the gates.” Left scrambling to find the rest of the $140,000 to revive the lake, the TWRA is proposing five different options — everything from turning half of its 100 acres into a wildlife sanctuary to only filling it up half way. “In doing that, it wouldn’t be a complete fishing lake anymore,” Rizzulo said. “It would only be half and half.” But residents said the only option they want is to bring it back to its former glory. “I just enjoyed it,” Smith said. “There’s nothing else around here to do but fish.” Officials said with barely any funding they’re still unsure of the future. “There’s got to be some kind of coalitions developed,” Rizzulo said. “Maybe get some donations or get some grant money.” Officials said if they chose to fully rebuild the lake, it would take almost five years for it to be ready for fishing. The TWRA said they are expected to choose an option by spring.