Lyon County wants to do away with beach fee

Lyon County is moving forward with a proposal to build a jetty to draw more people to a Kuttawa beach.

As they work on projects like this, county leaders want to get rid of a fee they say keeps visitors away, but the Kuttawa mayor says this fee serves a purpose.

Fees visitors must pay to use this Kuttawa beach may just be a few dollars, but Lyon County Judge Executive Wade White says they make an impact.

"A lot of people, they drive up, they see they got to pay, they go to another place," White said. 

Picnic tables are scattered across the recreation area, but White says they’re just not filling up.

"They’re not as full as they used to be. Now, I don’t know if that’s from the fee," White said.

The county just decided to apply for a grant that would pay for a jetty visitors could use to walk out over the lake. The city of Kuttawa also just finished construction on an amphitheater. All of this is in the fee area. 

"I don’t want it interfering with people’s time that they spend down there, whether it’s at the amphitheater or one day they’re going down to this jetty," White said.
White says the fee is imposed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and the money goes straight to Washington, D.C. 

"I’d like to see it go away, but there’s only so much one person can do," he said.

White says he’d need support from Kuttawa city leaders, but Mayor Lee McCollum says he doesn’t see a problem with the fee.

"It does hold down crime here in Kuttawa, and that is something to be taken into consideration," McCollum said.

McCollum says the city is working on its own projects to benefit the area, and right now a movement to end the fee isn’t in his plans.

"It has it’s purpose," McCollum said.

White says he’s made his case to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers about the fee. He says this is all he can do until he gets more support. White is also looking for the city’s support getting the grant for the jetty. The city will decide whether to give it’s support at a city council meeting on Monday.

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