County to terminate lease on lake-front site

Published 5:12 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Chilton County will give up its rights to a popular lake-front site.

The Chilton County Commission voted at a regular meeting Monday to terminate the county’s lease on 18 acres bordering Lay Lake known as the “flatlands,” at the recommendation of Gerald Arrington, county director of parks and recreation.

Arrington said the lease costs the county more than $3,000 a year and calls for the site to be developed for recreational purposes.

“It would take a lot of excavation to do it,” Arrington said. “I just think it would be a very costly venture, and it’s not feasible at this time to do it.”

The tallest hurdle in the development of the site as a campground would be providing water and sewer service.

So, it’s unlikely the site could be used for RV camping. Primitive camping could be a possibility, but revenue would not support the expense.

The county has leased the property from Alabama Power since 2001, Arrington said.

The property includes about 13 acres on one side of a public boat launch, which is also owned by Alabama Power but leased by the state, and 5 acres on the other side of the boat launch along a point.

The site is accessed by Highway 145 to County Road 55, then County Road 607.

Arrington said a grant could have been possible to help develop the site, but most grants would require a 50-percent match by the county and the expense likely still would have been unjustifiable.

Most of the property is wooded, though there is a paved parking lot.

Arrington said piers at the site are popular for fishermen.

“I go down there quite often since we had a lease on it, and there is usually somebody fishing at one of the piers,” he said. “It’s a beautiful view from that point.”

Arrington described the point as “somewhat of a hangout,” and said regular clean-up of trash is required.

The boat launch is also widely used, even serving as the site of fishing tournaments.

Officials are unsure what Alabama Power will do with the property.

Arrington told Commissioners that based on conversations with Alabama Power representatives, there would be no problem with terminating the lease.