JULY 21, 2006 - Posted at 8:09 a.m. CDT
RUSSELLVILLE, AR - The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism decided yesterday to give $8,000 to a group that wants to hold powerboat races on Greers Ferry Lake. Opponents to the races applauded the decision, because the appropriation is a third of the group's initial funding request.
The Clinton, Fairfield Bay and Greers Ferry chambers of commerce had requested $25,000 for the races.
But Gene Eddleman, president of the Greers Ferry Chamber of Commerce, says that supporters are confident they'll raise enough money to hold the races.
Eddleman says the races are expected to draw 15,000 to 20,000 spectators.
The Committee for the Preservation of Greers Ferry Lake has gathered more than 1,300 signatures on a petition opposing ocean powerboat races. The group says the boats reach speeds of nearly 200 miles an hour, are loud and dangerous.