Forsyth, Hall to help rid Lake Lanier of derelict boats

Forsyth County is joining Hall County and the Lake Lanier Association to get abandoned boats and docks out of the lake.

Forsyth commissioners promised at a work session this week to chip in $5,000 toward the derelict-removal campaign. Their counterparts in Hall recently pledged up to $15,000, and the state Department of Natural Resources has awarded a $25,000 grant.

The $5,000 will be voted on at Forsyth’s regular board meeting July 7. Each county’s contribution would go toward work on its side of the lake.

Joanna Cloud, executive director of the lake association, said 25 derelicts – evenly divided between boats and docks – are littering the lake and its shoreline.

Removing a boat is expensive, especially if it’s sunk; it costs an estimated $8,000 to $10,000 to pump out, float, tow and trailer a vessel to a scrap yard.

“Some property owners don’t have the wherewithal to go get these vessels, especially after they start sinking,” Cloud said. One derelict, for example, is a sunken houseboat whose owner died and left no heirs or estate.