Jones added later in the meeting that “there’s nothing in this world that Somerset would love better than to be on Lake Cumberland, and the way they get there is by taking Burnside over, and they can do that because we’re a fifth-class city.”
The public uproar worked, however; the council took a vote upon the second reading of Ordinance 110.7 Monday and unanimously voted against the annexation, drawing hearty applause from the crowd.
Councilor Dwayne Sellers said that he actually felt that the annexation was for the best and that the area should be part of Burnside. The lack of public support, however, is what caused him to vote against it.
“A hostile annexation, I don’t feel, would be best for Burnside,” said Sellers.
The other complaint came from houseboat owners who had heard that the city was considering imposing a tax on the lake-populating vessels that are kept here. J.D. Hamilton, owner of Lee’s Ford Marina, which is within Burnside, spoke before the council against the idea of voting in such a tax.
Carrying a petition with 67 names on it, Hamilton mentioned that the Pulaski County School Board and the county’s library board had already put in place houseboat taxes that are “having a detrimental impact on our economy” — he said that the petitioners would lobby those entities to reconsider their taxes as well — and that nearby lakes had seen their traffic rise while Lake Cumberland’s has dropped thanks to factors including the lowering of Lake Cumberland to ease pressure on ailing Wolf Creek Dam. The lowered lake over the last few years has resulted in an “economic disaster” situation for the Lake Cumberland economy, Hamilton noted, and the city should encourage visitors and boaters rather than place additional financial burdens on them.