A local woman has started a petition to encourage Martinsville officials to keep the Beaver Creek Reservoir open to the public.

“I would hate to see it close down,” said Marcy Talbot. She estimated that she goes to the reservoir five or six times each spring and summer to relax and observe the ducks, water and scenery.

The reservoir off College Drive in Henry County is Martinsville’s source of drinking water. Many localities prohibit their reservoirs from being used by recreational enthusiasts, but Martinsville traditionally has allowed boaters, fishermen, picnickers and others to use the man-made lake and the land surrounding it.“It’s pretty peaceful, very serene” out there, she said. Martinsville City Council is considering closing the reservoir to save an estimated $25,000 per year — mostly the salary of the warden.

The council recently decided to keep the reservoir open for the rest of this year. Boat licenses still are being sold and will be good through the end of 2007, said city Communications Manager Matt Hankins. Hankins said, however, that the option of eventually closing the reservoir remains on the table.

Council members will reconsider it as they examine a proposed budget for fiscal 2008 this spring, he said. “The public will have plenty of opportunity to voice their opinions on the idea of closing the reservoir during the budgeting process", Hankins said. Talbot, a massage therapist who has lived in the area all of her life, said the reservoir is something that many generations of Martinsville-Henry County residents have treasured, and families go there to spend quality time.

Explaining why she started the petition, she said that  “somebody needed to step in and take the initiative. Why close down something so beautiful?”  Recently, more than 60 people had signed the petition, Talbot said. Anyone interested in signing the petition can stop by her office at 51 E. Church St., No. 114, or Shelby’s Nail Salon, Midget Market, Arts Etc. or Nationwide Homes.

The petition also is online at www.gopetition.com/online/11160.html

Source: http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=8406