Town May Sell Mottley Lake

Published 12:07 pm Thursday, April 9, 2015

FARMVILLE — Town council will consider selling Mottley Lake and is discussing the possibility of leasing the Farmville Municipal Golf Course.

If the Town were to sell the lake it would retain rights to the water. The lake was purchased seven years ago as a back-up water supply in times of dire drought, water released from the lake into the Appomattox River upstream from the Town’s water plant.

Leasing the golf course—if that option were chosen—would see it run on a daily basis by a company or individual for a profit to offset the facility’s current operating deficit, which the Town budget now absorbs.

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These suggestions were made by town council’s finance committee. Committee chair, Jamie Davis, told town council during its regular April meeting Wednesday night that the main objective to buying Mottley Lake was “to have that water source.”

Selling the lake, located several miles west of town near the Luck Stone site, would not affect the ability to use that water, if retention of those water rights were part of the sales agreement.

Town council accepted the finance committee’s recommendation to authorize the Town Manager and Town Attorney to prepare as needed the information that council would need in order to determine the best way to advertise to sell the property.

“We feel like we can actually sell this property and still maintain the rights to the water,” Davis said, “which is very important.”

He believes that goal can be achieved.

“We feel like there’s quite a few people who would understand the importance of that, that the Town needs to retain the authority and ability to release that water into the Appomattox River in a drought scenario,” he said.

Selling it would “recoup” the expense of buying the lake while still retaining the water rights.

As for the golf course, Davis said the Town Manager is being asked to pursue options that would include leasing the property or bringing in a golf course consultant, if the Town does not lease it, to determine if the course is being operated as efficiently as possible.

“To see if there are areas we can improve upon,” Davis said regarding a consultant.

Town Manager Gerald Spates will bring the golf course information back to the finance committee for its consideration next month.