Voters to decide today on fate of Lake Berkeley

Photo by Jason Braverman

Photo by Jason Braverman

BERKELEY LAKE -- The fate of a local town's namesake body of water is in the hands of voters today.

A general obligation bond referendum is sending residents of Berkeley Lake to polls at City Hall from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Early voting turnout, Mayor Lois Salter said, has been high, and the issue has become the talk of the small town, which was founded as a fishing retreat.

Today's question is central to the bedroom community centered around Lake Berkeley because, without the $2.8 million in bond funding to repair the broken dam, the lake would likely be drained.

The City Council levied an additional 1.3 mills in property taxes for the dam last year, which amounts to a little more than $100 for a $200,000 home, according to an explanation in the mayor's address on the city website. Officials are still hoping to receive assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the repairs.

"We've had unusually high turnout," in early voting, Salter said, adding that the issue is the talk of the town. "No doubt about that."