By Nancy Clement, La Mesa writer and Lake Murray Aficionado
April 1, 2011 (La Mesa) - Barbara (Cleves) Anderson, the honorary Mayor of Lake Murray, just announced that she met with the San Diego City Council--and big changes will be happening at Lake Murray beginning June 1st. Water skiing will be allowed at the west side of the lake near the ball fields and second, there will a fee charged for being at the lake.
These recommendations were based on a feasibility study conducted by SCAMDAG.
For this study, 5,500 residents of the La Mesa and San Carlos area who live nearest the lake were contacted by phone and asked for suggestions to help the city of San Diego balance the 2011 - 2012 budget. Every citizen contacted stated a belief that money was being lost by allowing people to play at Lake Murray and not paying for that privilege. The cost of the study was only $27,595 and this will easily be offset by the increased revenues that will be generated by charging fees.
Although it is always difficult to estimate exactly how much money will be raised by these new changes, a conservative estimate is around $112,000 per month. These fees will annually add around $1,352,567 to the city revenues and will offset some of the anticipated 2011 - 2012 budget shortfalls.
In order to collect the fees, all of the fences around the lake will be strengthened and if you want to play at Lake Murray you will need to pay; this will lessen the budget crisis as thousands of people each day visit the lake.
The fees will be as follows: car entrance fees $3.00 (this will allow you to drive in and stay for the entire day). If you choose to walk, bike, skate or skateboard into the park, fees will be $2.00 a person. There will be an additional fee to rent a picnic table, use a bar-b-que, or drink from the water fountain. It will cost 50 cents to use the bathroom so of course, pay toilets will be added.
Fly fishing will no longer be allowed at the lake, as it is too disruptive to the abundant wildlife. Mayor Anderson spoke with Lucky Ketcham, a fly fisherman, and he said the club was very disappointed at the city council’s decision but did understand and would abide by the new rules of no fly-fishing after May 31, 2011. So if you desire to experience fly fishing at Lake Murray, make sure to participate in the next several weeks.
The most exciting new feature will be water skiing off the Golfcrest entrance near the ball fields. Allowing people to water ski is expected to generate many new visitors to the lake, since you will no longer need to fight traffic at the beach to enjoy this fun sport. Learning that Santee Lakes' plan for a cable ski park was cancelled last week due to the developer's lack of funds, Anderson observed, "Santee's loss is our gain. East County residents who want water sports will be welcomed here at Lake Murray."
Water skiing activity will be allowed every Thursday – Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:30. The bleachers at the ball field will moved so viewers can watch the water skiers at the Lake. Both the water skiers and audience will charged an entertainment fee.
A special citizen’s advisory board, “The Pay-to-Play Advisors,” has been created and members have recruited volunteers to make the implemented changes to the lake. They will not charge for their labor, however, they will charge for actual expenses incurred.
Enjoy Lake Murray, now, while it is still free!
HAPPY APRIL FOOLS’ DAY!
To read more April Fool’s Day “news” from East County Magazine’s special April 1st, 2011 edition, please visit: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/taxonomy/term/7443
Author’s note: I hope reading this did not elevate your blood pressure too much, for it was written as a spoof. Thanks to Barbara Anderson and Lucky Ketcham for their participation. A very special thanks to Barbara for all her dedication and years of serving as the honorary mayor of Lake Murray, a role that she has served since the early 1980’s.