Houseboat Ban Proposal

About 125 people filled a conference room at the Pell City Civic Center Thursday night in a rally against legislation to ban houseboats and some high-powered vessels from Logan Martin and other Alabama lakes.

About a dozen people spoke at the meeting, hosted by the Logan Martin Lake Protection Association. All but two opposed the bill, which is pending in both houses of the state legislature.

The bill would affect 11 lakes controlled by Alabama Power Company, Logan Martin, Jordan, Lay, Martin, Neely Henry, Mitchell, Smith, Thurlow, Weiss, Yates and Wedowee, which also is known as Lake Harris. It would ban boats longer than 30 feet six inches and boats with engines of 500 or more horsepower.

Randy Smith, who lives on an 80-foot Sumerset houseboat on Logan Martin, says his boat would decrease in value and he would lose much of his investment.

Supporters say the bill would stop houseboats and other large boats from crowding the lake and put a stop to dumping raw sewage into lakes.

Also, supporters of the measure say houseboats and high-powered pleasure boats cause large waves that erode shorelines and add to runoff pollution.

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