Organizers from 40 neighborhoods around Geist Reservoir have submitted a petition in Hamilton County Superior Court that would establish the Geist Conservancy District.
Brian Hall, with the Geist Lake Coalition, says the establishment of a conservancy district gives area neighborhoods and businesses a voice, funding, and resources to restore the 75-year-old reservoir, which has faced problems like shore erosion to invasive plants.
“We had the invasion zebra mussels come in from transient boaters bringing it in from other infected reservoirs, as well as eurasion milfoil which is also an invasive species of aquatic weed that is rapidly growing," Hall says.
“Once formed, the Geist Conservancy District will be able to hire a full-time reservoir manager that will be supervised by elected representatives from within the district,” Hall says. "A conservancy district gives us a fair, equitable and sustainable revenue model to tackle the issues we face today and in the future.”
Hall says funding would come from a special benefits assessment on properties in the district and daily and annual passes for those boating on the reservoir.
Residents and other reservoir stakeholders will have an opportunity to ask their questions and voice their concerns over the coming months in public hearings conducted by the Natural Resources Commission.
Hall says the overall process to create the district could take up to 24 months.