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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