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posted: 3/16/2014 5:01 AM

Region needs waterway agency

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Recent reports suggest that state Sens. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat, and Julie Morrison, a Deerfield Democrat, have again resurrected a Senate bill to abolish the Fox Waterway Agency.

This bill is nothing more than a feeble attempt by Illinois politicians to appear determined to trim government spending. I agree that it is certainly time for spending cuts in Illinois, but FWA is not the place to start.

The northern Fox River and Chain of Lakes area provides nearby residents and nonresident vacationers alike with an escape to a world of water sports, shopping and dining, and the beauty of nature. Closer to home for a politicians, I wonder if Link and Morrison have any idea of the amount of revenue that is brought into communities like Antioch and Fox Lake, the county and the state each year due to the popularity of the Fox waterways.

Consider the taxes imposed on the merchants, restaurants and bars, and recreational facilities whose businesses flourish during the summer season. Add in the annual state registration fee (basically a license plate for boats) that every one of the approximately 25,000 boaters on the Fox waterways must pay each year, and the figures become astronomical.

It is primarily FWA that sees to the environmental well-being of this popular recreational area and to the general safety of its users. Neglecting the waterways would be a great disservice to those who rely on them for summer recreation. And consider what would happen to those aforementioned sources of revenue if the waterways were neglected.

As a citizen of Lake County who has enjoyed the Fox waterway since childhood, I have seen the necessity for an organization such as FWA. The idea of abolishing it seems ridiculous and dangerous to me.

Wade Jarrell

Green Oaks