Comments still to be accepted by state on Charles Mill horsepower request

November 8, 2010

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Watercraft will accept comments for at least another month concerning a public petition request to increase the horsepower limit on Charles Mill Lake.

Comments can be directed by e-mail to watercraft@dnr.state.oh.us, or sent by regular mail to: Chief, ODNR Division of Watercraft, 2045 Morse Rd., Building A, Columbus, OH 43229.

The Division of Watercraft hosted a public forum on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010, to discuss the request. An estimated 90 people attended the session held in the activity center at Pleasant Hill Lake Park.

Charles Mill Lake is a Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) reservoir managed in cooperation with the Division of Watercraft for recreational uses. (The lake also is part of the system of flood risk management reservoirs and dams in the Muskingum River Watershed). The Division of Watercraft has the legal jurisdiction over horsepower limits on the state's waterways, including Charles Mill Lake and all of the MWCD lakes.

Earlier this year, a public petition requesting an increase in the horsepower limit from 10 hp to 30 hp for boat motors operating on Charles Mill Lake was submitted to the Division of Watercraft and the MWCD.

Staff members from the Division of Watercraft said they will review the petitions, input from the public meeting and comments presented to the Division of Watercraft, and then draft proposals for a potential solution. The process should take until February 2011 and a public hearing may be scheduled later if needed.

(A demonstration video produced in 2009 and attached at the top of this report shows boats of varying horsepower ratings operated on an MWCD lake.)

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