Lawsuit seeks to stop new Kentucky marina

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A group of marina owners in Kentucky who fear that a new proposed marina site on Lake Cumberland could further hurt their business are asking a federal judge to block the proposal.

The group says the south-central Kentucky lake does not need another marina because existing ones are hurting or even shutting down, according to the Associated Press.

Tourism on the traditionally popular recreational lake has been hampered by the lowering of water levels in 2007 to ease pressure on Wolf Creek Dam while it undergoes massive repairs and reinforcing.

The Lake Cumberland Association sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday and asked a judge to keep the agency from allowing a new marina site to be leased in Russell County.

Bill Jasper, who owns two marinas on the lake, said the proposal should be delayed until the lake levels are restored and businesses have a chance to recover.

"It just seems counterintuitive that this would be the appropriate time to add a marina on the lake," Jasper, who is a member of the association that filed the suit, told the AP.

The Corps of Engineers declined to comment because the litigation is pending, Nashville District spokesman Lee Roberts said.

The lake's water level has remained about 40 feet below normal since 2007.

The suit says allowing the new site, called Rowena Landing South, to be leased "poses significant risks of immediate and irreparable harm to the other marina owners." The Corps of Engineers has said the water level likely will remain low until 2014. The new marina could open in April 2013, according to the lawsuit.

The 15-page lawsuit details businesses' struggles on the lake since the level was lowered. Five marinas on the lake have failed since 2010 and there are about 1,000 vacant boat slips, the lawsuit said.

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