By Miriam Raftery
September 2, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Just a few months ago, the future of Lake Jennings, in Lakeside appeared dire, with someHelix Water District board members ready to close it permanently or eliminate campgrounds. But a special committee was established to come up with solutions to save this resource for the public enjoyment--and the results are promising, based on a dramatic drop in losses and increasing use by the public.
The future of the lake is on the agenda this Wednesday at 6 p.m. at a special meeting of Helix Water District’s Board at 7811 University Avenue in La Mesa. (View full agenda: http://www.hwd.com/board/package090314.pdf)
On August 13, at the Lake Jennings Recreation and Campground Meeting, key performance indicators were reviewed that found strong improvements form fiscal year 2013 to fiscal year 2014. Recreational losses dropped from $101,704 to just $12,836 – an 88% decrease. Sales of fishing permits and day use permits increased 30% and 31% respectively, with boat rentals also up 13%. Revenues rose 21%, while expenses dropped 10%.
Campground revenues rose 20%, though camping continues operating at a loss. The campground loss dropped by 30% from $122,888 to $87,589.
Overall, combined recreational and campground losses fell by 56% from $224, 592 to $100,425.
“We have made great progress and continue to get the word out on the lake and campground and closing the gap to make Lake Jennings profitable,” board member Kathleen Hedburg states in an e-mail to community members. “With the energy of new staff and management and with the Committee Board enthusiasm we are definitely on the right path.”
The public is urged to attend Wednesday’s meeting and share your views on the future of Lake Jennings.