Lake Loretta needs help to stay afloat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lake Loretta needs help to stay afloat

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June 14, 2007

Albany - - A private lake in Albany that many of you use for recreation is having some budget problems. Owners worry if it isn't resolved, the public may no longer be able to use the lake. 

The lake has existed for more than 50 years. It's privately owned and operated by the Lake Park community but now there's a huge financial problem and since the city doesn't provide any funding, they say they need the community to help bail them out. 

People get exercise here. Families come for quality time. Dave Wright visits for recreation.

"I like to fish, a peace of mind."

Though Lake Loretta is privately owned by the Lake Park Recreation Club, it allows the public to jog or relax here for free. But people who use boats or fish have to pay; $50 if you live in the neighborhood, $100 if you don't.

"The $100 to pay out here don't mean that much to me. I thank God that we can be here to do what I'm doing," Wright says.

For years, that money was enough to help owners with upkeep.

"To keep the grounds up, we've had new signage, some weeping willows, stocking the lake with fish," says Day McGee.

But about a month ago, the pump that keeps water flowing in the lake went out. The community hired a company to re-build it, but that's just a temporary fix.

"We have enough money to run it for about two more weeks," McGee says.

They need 7 to 8 thousand dollars for a brand new pump. Already the water in the lake is 12 inches low.

"It's frightening. We'd have to move out if we had a fish kill," she says.

So they're asking for the community to donate. Especially those the owners usually let take a stroll here for free.

"Or even just the people who don't want to fish who just come here everyday and walk, if they would just help out a little bit."

Wright is hopeful.

"I don't think that would happen...I think the people will keep it going," he says.

But it may take you to make it happen.

The Lake Park Recreation Center is sending out about 400 letters to people in that neighborhood.  Not everyone who lives along the lake pays that $50 to help keep it running. So owners are first asking everyone in the community to do their part. But of course, they're also hoping everyone else will pitch in too.

You can reach McGee at (229) 446-4330.

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