ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A popular pond many Albany residents enjoy could be in trouble.
Because of last year's Tropical Storm Irma damage and the recent drought, Lake Park homeowners said Lake Loretta is getting too expensive.
And Lake Loretta Recreational Club members are asking for the public's help to raise money to maintain it.
If you've visited Lake Loretta recently, you've likely noticed the water is very low. That's because we've been in a four-month drought, and to put in more water is getting far too expensive for homeowners to foot the bill.
"We've got people that walk around from all over and so it's in everybody's best interest. What happens if the water levels get too low?" asked Lake Park resident Roger Marietta.
Over the years, Lake Loretta has turned into the perfect workout zone.
And although the lake is on private property, dozens jog along its path daily.
But they don't pay for the maintenance.
"We have people from all over Southwest Georgia who just walk around the lake, and they don't necessarily fish or anything and most of them don't pay the $50 permit," said Marietta.
But Lake Park homeowners and members of Lake Park Recreation Club are the ones footing the bill when it gets damaged.
"With the storms and everything, we had some damage to the dam and that costs another $1,000 dollars," explained Marietta.
Not to mention the recent drought has been making it more expensive to pump water into the lake.
It's $60 without running the pump.
Last month the bill was $300 to run the pump for just 4 four days.
"The storms of January 2017, that was the last time the water was high enough to run over the spillway," said Marietta.
Mike Joiner with Lake Park Recreational Club said, "The lake is in trouble and if you want to keep enjoying it, please send whatever amount you can spare."
"If everybody wants to see the flag fly, the water levels high and plenty of fish in the lake, we need to contribute to the fund," explained Marietta.
One resident paid nearly $1,500 dollars so the water pump could run in January.
Those who want to make donations to help pump more water into Lake Loretta can send payments to Lake Park Recreational Club for Lake Loretta, P.O. Box 70924, Albany, Ga. 31708 or by making a donation when you pay your Albany Utilities bill. Be sure to make the check out to Lake Loretta Water Pump.