County leaders, AGFC continue talks for Bono Lake

County leaders, AGFC continue talks for Bono Lake

BONO, AR (KAIT) - Monday night, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission told Craighead County Quorum Court members that they will turn the lake over to the county if the lake holds water.

However, it will be awhile before the county makes a decision on that proposal.

As planned, the Craighead County Quorum Court did not discuss on the latest agreement proposal from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for who maintains what at Bono Lake.

It's been seven years since Craighead County residents voted to create the lake but in that time, no written agreement was ever made between the two entities.

Some of the original players, including county and state employees, are no longer involved and as there are five new Justices of the Peace on the quorum court, Craighead County Judge Ed Hill wants everyone up to speed before an agreement is made.

"Give them a chance to kind of delve into it and see where we're at and then next meeting, we'll give them some information on it. It's only fair to them, fair to the county because they may have some different ideas, they may have some good ideas and we'll see what they pursue."

The proposal, passed out to quorum court members Monday night, has some key differences from the last proposed agreement from AGFC.

Judge Hill says instead of AGFC leasing the property, they'd transfer ownership to the county.

"There's lots and lots of reading and studying and decisions to be made before anything will be signed," Judge Hill said.

But according to the proposal, before any transfer of ownership is made, AGFC wants to make sure the lake holds water and remains suitable for fishing.

"It's filling up slow in the meantime so it's kind of working out kind of like we wanted to."

Though the proposed agreement would transfer lake ownership, AGFC would still be responsible for stocking the lake and paving the road to the lake.

"It's several months down the road before a signed agreement is in place on either side, I'm sure," Judge Hill said.

Judge Hill explained that if quorum court members agreed to the latest proposal, they would still have to let their lawyers look at the agreement before anything was signed.

The quorum court will discuss the agreement at their next meeting.

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