Sheriff: Department needs boat for emergencies, investigations on county waterways10:00 am | November 5, 2013
During the Monday night Carter County Law Enforcement Committee meeting Carter County Commissioner Ken Arney raised concern about a Carter County Sheriff’s Department advertisement he saw approximately a month ago regarding a bid for a crossover boat.
“I know we can’t tell the officeholders how to spend their money, but I couldn’t believe what I saw,” Arney said. “There are no highways on Watauga Lake or Watauga River or the Elk River.
“It struck me as odd,” he said
Arney said the waters are the jurisdiction of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, but Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said the TWRA is not always available to respond to emergencies on the water.
Mathes also cited concern about accounts of drug activity near the lake.
“We have no access to so many places on the lake,” Mathes said. “I need a way to get there. This last drowning just documented in the report where I had used my personal watercraft to get out there.”
A price of about $60,000 was quoted to Arney when he researched the cost of the equipment, he said. He also pointed out that the expense is too high for the equipment to be used on a seasonal basis.