Controversy At Marina On Lake Cumberland

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While many marinas at Lake Cumberland have dealt with a slip in business because of the lowered water levels in the lake, there is one dock that is dealing with a mass exodus of customers. But those customers say it has nothing to do with the low water issue.

Dave Dyson says it wasn't his choice to leave.

"We'd prefer to stay at Grider Hill Dock, but our lease was not renewed," he said.

For the Dysons, New Year's Eve was moving day. They had four boats at Grider Hill and had been customers for nearly 14 years until they were asked to leave after Dave says he exercised his right to free speech on-line.

"I'm active on lake, a discussion forum. I basically tried to be a moderator and tried to get communication going. I believe that's why I was kicked out," he said.

Boater Dean Schwartsenberg, who was a Grider Hill customer since 1990, says he was kicked out because he says he asked management to fix an electric problem at the dock.

"Management just ignored us. I finally got the owner involved and he made me agree it if I quit complaining about his manager on-line he'd fix my problems," said Schwartsenberg

But as of today, the issue still isn't fixed. The new management at Grider Hill has been in place for nearly a year now.

General manager Diann Boone told 27 NEWSFIRST these are just a few disgruntled customers and their leaving isn't a big deal. But with these two being asked to leave, several others are following.

GT Smith is one of them.

"I don't want to leave Grider Hill, but I am because of the changes with the new management," he said.

Smith says there are a bunch of people packing and heading up stream for the same reason as him.

"I know of 38 individuals who are or have already left. As for slips, there may be more than that because some have multiple boats."

The bigger issue here, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, is Grider Hill, like all other marinas, pays annual fees to the state. It's based on annual revenue.

Grider Hill paid more than 74 thousand dollars last year. The corps says 75% of that money is given back to the county. But with several slips now empty, it means less revenue next year and the county will be the one hurting in the long run.

Grider Hill has been under new management for about a year now. They told us there's nothing to worry about. They have 750 slips and they're confident any left empty after this will fill up quickly once boating season arrives.

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