Of particular concern to many members is the notice from the Corps of Engineers announcing a huge fee increase for licensed facilities.  The new fees for anything licensed is $835 for 5 years, regardless of how many facilities you may have.  So, the increase is anywhere from 250 to 550 percent.  It is not just a Lake Hartwell or Savannah River issue as it covers everything from the Virginia border to Mobile, AL.


            The Draft Shoreline Management Plan has been “revised slightly” in the Hartwell office and forwarded to the Savannah office for final approval.  Our irrigation issue is under the Savannah River jurisdiction. 


            Your HCPOA has contacted the offices of Congressman Doug Collins and Senators David Perdue and Johnny Isakson.  Be assured that many Congressmen and Senators are aware of the problem and action has started.  Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) submitted an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill that would have banned the rate increase.  The Democrats in the House Committee of Rules refused to consider the amendment.  A letter has been sent to the Corps requesting a lot of background information regarding the proposed rate increase.  Five members of Congress signed the letter including Doug Collins.  There is a good possibility that the issue will be escalated to a much broader area than Lake Hartwell and our efforts will be overshadowed.


            I have spoken at length with Bill Kokaly, one of Collins field representatives.  He suggested a meeting in August as Congress will not be in session.  A very tentative date is August 19.  We do not plan to have a meeting in July, however if something important breaks on the water issue we will call a meeting.  Otherwise figure on an August meeting.  Rest assured that your association will aggressively follow the issue and keep you informed by Constant Contact, newspaper ads and our web page at  www.hcpoa.info 


            The guest speaker was John Shearouse, a Certified Arborist.  He pointed out the importance of planning before planting landscape and trees.  The steps are 1) Define your objective, 2) Select the location before planting, 3) Assess adjoining or surrounding plants, 4) Plant selection, the right plant for the right location, 5) Install plants correctly, 6) Maintenance.  He provided a listing of shrubs, trees and groundcovers that have proven to be reliable in our environment and are long lived.  A number of slides were shown of successful and unsuccessful landscapes along with a number of healthy mature trees and shrubs.  A large number of questions from the audience were fielded.


            HOPE TO SEE ALL OF OUR MEMBERS AT THE AUGUST MEETING.  Stay tuned for the latest information.  Have a great and safe summer.