Friday, September 30, 2016
Billy Long: Halting Table Rock Shore Management Plan
On September 28, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.5303, “Water Resources Development Act of 2016.” This bill was a major piece of legislation focused on harbors, locks, dams, flood protection and other water resources focusing on infrastructure. The bill passed with my support by a vote of 399-25.
Within this piece of legislation is an amendment I proposed that passed the full House regarding the Table Rock Lake Shoreline Management Plan. The Army Corps of Engineers is currently undertaking a revision of the lake’s Shoreline Management Plan and has in place a moratorium on dock permits to halt development along the lake.
Because of the current moratorium on dock permits, if you own land around Table Rock Lake and want to build a dock, you aren’t able to. If you already have a dock, but the dock is damaged or needs to be updated, you cannot even get a permit to repair it. Individuals around Table Rock Lake have not been able to update their docks for almost two years.
I have met with the community and the Army Corps of Engineers numerous times throughout this process, and the overwhelming consensus from my constituents is that their input is not being taken seriously on an issue that will have far reaching effects on the local economy and for those living on the lake.
Table Rock Lake is one of southwest Missouri’s premier destination spots as well as the home to lots of folks. Not having their voices heard became very frustrating for them and that’s when I knew I owed it to my constituents to lend a hand.
My amendment will accomplish four things: delay the Shoreline Management Plan update by 5 years, lift the moratorium on issuing permits for new or existing docks, extend the public comment period and require a study on the permit fee structure.
My amendment that is in the bill will allow time for those in southwest Missouri to not only have their voices heard and offer recommendations, but give them time to fully understand what the plan does, how it will affect them and what steps need to be taken in order to be fully prepared for the implementation of the updated Shoreline Management Plan.