Bono Lake Project All Dried Up

AUGUST 28, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:00 P.M. CDT

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR -- The Bono Lake Project is dead in the water. The dream was to make the 280 acres just east of Bono a recreation hot-spot, but the Arkansas Game and Fish commission has put the land up for sale. It's a project that's been in the making for 6 years and after the recent announcement that the game and fish commission decided to sell the land for the proposed bono lake project, several concerned county residents were asking questions.

"It's money to the Game and Fish Commission. It's an asset taken away from us and we have already invested money in this property," says Dan Melton, a Craighead County resident who addressed the Quorum Court.

Craighead County voters approved 1/8 of a cent sales tax to be given to the Game and Fish Commission; Money that voters have already been paying on for this project.

"I think it's our area, our county. I believe we should support it and make this a county which has a lot of different advantages, like a public lake for fishing and recreation," says Melton.

But the Game and Fish Commission says the problem is a lack of funding from the Corp of Engineers; Funding the Game and Fish said was essential to the project.

"They say well we don't have funding through only one source and that's the Corp of Engineers. There are lots of other sources of funding, federal and state money, that could be looked at, if the people would do so and I think we ought to be looking at doing it," says Melton.

Monday night, the court proposed a resolution requesting the Game and Fish Commission halt the sale of the land for no less than 10 years, in order to allow time to search for other funding options, all in hopes that this project isn't complete out of the picture.

"It's time to speak up and let it be known. Call the Game and Fish Commission," says Melton.

Since the resolution passed unanimously Monday night, the decision is now in the hands of the Game and Fish Commission to halt the sale of the property.