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Joined: Apr 2002
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Editor, Pond Boss Magazine
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Lunker
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To everyone reading this thread...this is one of the best examples of due diligence I have seen. Well thought out, prudent decisions based on solid facts.
Well done.
I wish more people would do it this way.


Teach a man to grow fish...
He can teach to catch fish...
Joined: May 2004
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PaulR Offline OP
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Thanks Bob.

It was very difficult to walk away from this property, but know it was the best decision for me in the long run. It's going to give someone a very nice fishing spot, just not me.

The search continues...

Joined: Oct 2004
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K
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Paul R., I know you seem to have made your desision some time ago, but I thought I would add some information that could help others in a similar situation. I have lived on a 27 acre lake for about 23 years. The lake is about 35 years old and there is a homeowners association there. I have served on the board of directors on and off over 2 decades.

We find that the state inspectors tend to go overboard and overstate what needs to be done on our dam. We do keep the trees off of the dam, and watch erosion, but we don't go overboard in responding to their demands. Every few years a new state person comes on board and "recommends" we spend alot of money to bring our dam up to current standards. They recommend we hire an engineering firm to formally design their proposed changes. Some officers have naively gone to engineering firms and have paid dearly for opinions that only restated what the state person said. (what else would you expect? a licensed engineering firm is NEVER!!! going to recommend less than what the state person said!)

Coincidentally, I work for the federal government and work with state and federal regulators from many agencies. It is my experience that most bureaucrats who regulate public activities tend to "cover their b--ts" by overstating what we/you "should do" to meet their interpretation of what is required by the law. You have to understand that there is no downside for a bureaucrat to recommend more than is required by the law. If you follow their recommendations freely, they get "credit" for "improving the states waters", for "protecting the public", and generally for "doing their jobs wonderfully" by getting you/we to make repairs without making them follow the letter of the law! The downside for them is to recommend too little and then in the extremely rare case that a damn fails, they can say "well we recommended such and such, but they failed to follow our recommendations."

First I recommend getting copies of the statutes and carefully read them yourself. Second, read the regulations put out by the state regarding what you "are and are not" required to do and carefully read how the state is supposed to notify you of what you MUST do. We find the state inspectors are quick to verbally tell us what we should do and are also quick to make written recommendations, but, they have never sent the required certified demands for us to do anything other than monitor the conditions they say are unacceptable.

I'm not advocating anyone ignore the law or get into a feud with a state regulator. I'm saying simply that everyone should know what the law is and is not. At our lake, we try to stay calm and courteous to the state, and make the repairs and changes that WE believe are warranted and make sense. We do most of the work ourselves rather than paying an engineering firm, and so far it has worked.

Please don't let an overzealous bureaucrat scare you away from something as wonderful as a great pond with great fish in a great place! Regards!


Kansas Ed
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Oh yes, you are so right about government agencies that interface with the public. I
dealt indirectly with government inspectors and
auditors for many years, and I can unequivocally
state that the over zealous mindset you describe
transcends all areas of government dealings with
not only private contractors but the general public as well.

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PaulR Offline OP
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Kansas Ed,

Thanks for the information, and I agree that what I was told was a "worst-case" scenario. But with a property such as this, I only wanted to go forward if I was prepared for the worst case. If something were to happen to the dam, the property would be essentially worthless and you'd have to spend quite a bit to rebuild the dam and get the fishery back to where it was. That's not even taking into consideration any potential liability.

But as an update, my friend who had been looking at property with me decided to go ahead and purchase this piece. He's not as concerned with location as I am, and as the property had been sitting for two months with little interest, he was able to get it for about 8% less than my contract was written for. The appraisal should be done shortly and he'll progress from there.

Which is good for me. I plan on helping out with some of the costs and work, while I continue to take my time and try and find a property I'll be happy with in the long run more towards the NW of Houston.

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