Debate over Round Lake

Jackson county commissioners voted to keep Round Lake open to members of the public, but owner wants it closed.

The Jackson County Commission's decision to keep Round Lake open to the public was like sweet music to the ears of those who have used the lake for decades.

"I was very happy with the decision because this land was platted back in the 1900's and it belongs to the public," said Deborah Connelly, supports keeping the lake open.

Another supporter, Matthew Maloy says "I am very happy. I did this for my kids... Round Lake is all they got, they've got nothing else to do,"

But for the lakes owner, Joe Shores, keeping it open, he says, would open him up to a slieu of potential lawsuits.

Shores claims that the lake has become a place that some go to drink, dump trash, and engage in other illegal activities.

With so many people, including children, using the lake for fun and recreation, Shores says he's afraid that those who come to cause trouble may cause others to get hurt, on his property.

"I've never really wanted to close the lake, I jut want to know who would be held liable. If it's me then I'm going to take the necessary steps to protect myself and my family," said Shores.

So if someone were to get hurt while using the lake, would it be the county or Shores who would be held responsible?

No answer has been given, and that is something that could cause some serious legal troubles for Shores in the future.

Shore's attorney John Bischof says he will continue to do whatever is necessary to protect his clients financial interests even if it means pursuing possible plans to have the lake closed to the public.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Debbie Location: Gainesville on Aug 29, 2007 at 05:35 PM
    How can someone own something that is a natural resource. This lake is a natural lake not man made. The lake is beautiful and it should stay open for the public to use and the families on the lake and their children and heirs. If he is the owner and he feels that he is going to be liable for lawsuits then he can have signs posted swim at your own risk. But my question is how can anyone own something that is natural?.. If there is people out there that is doing something wrong call police they are there riding around all the time...To me if you swim in the ocean and a shark bites you can you sue the state cause it is a natural resource and if someone owns property on the ocean and someone gets hurt can they get sued?...If you own property on a river and if the river decides to go to your property and made another river does that mean that you own the river cause it changed directions and went across your property?..
  • by george Location: coffee springs on Aug 29, 2007 at 01:46 PM
    while i disagree with closeing the lake to the public i understand the concerns of the owner. i believe the county should give him the answers he seeks or allow the man who owns the lake decide if HE wants to close it or not
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