8/10/2004
AEP pursues waterfront land donation
to Smith Mountain Lake Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department

Roanoke, Va., August 10, 2004 – Waterfront property at Smith Mountain Lake is at a premium, but that isn’t stopping American Electric Power’s effort to donate some for a worthwhile cause. AEP is in the early stages of obtaining approval to donate six acres of waterfront property to the Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department for a new home.
 
                The property provides the Fire and Rescue Department with 1,633 linear feet of lake frontage in a central location on the lake near Hales Ford Bridge on which it plans to keep hazardous material response supplies, rescue supplies and construct a training facility. Currently, rescue and hazardous materials supplies are stored at various marinas around the lake and the department does not have a training facility.
 
            “The donation gives the Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department a permanent location and should improve response time to lake emergencies, and we think that’s important,” says Frank Simms, AEP hydro support manager. “Many local governments pointed out the need for such a facility at recent public forums.”
 
            “We are glad to work with AEP to make this possible,” says Tom Lovegrove, member of the board of directors and chairman of the building committee for the Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department.  "The need to protect people and property investments on the lake continues to increase each year. This donation is another example of how AEP cares for its shoreline neighbors and the people who enjoy the lake.”
 
            The donation is contingent on approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the American Electric Power Board of Directors and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) which currently leases the undeveloped property from AEP 
at no cost. AEP plans to lease to the VDGIF, under the same terms, 9.671 acres adjoining the property donated to the Fire and Rescue Company. AEP hopes to complete this process by the end of the year.
 
            The Fire and Rescue Department must raise funds to build the associated docks and training facilities to make the base viable. The Smith Mountain Lake Marine Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department is the largest and only all-marine volunteer ISO (Insurance Services Organization) certified fire and rescue company in the United States. In 2003 the company’s 60 firefighters, EMTs, divers and paramedics responded to 284 calls on the lake.
 
            Since constructing the lake in the mid-1960s, AEP has donated or leased for public use more than  5,300 acres of land at Smith Mountain and Leesville lakes. Some of the donations include:
·         leasing 5,000 acres on Smith Mountain to the to the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for public hunting and wildlife management at no cost;
·         making land available to the VDGIF at no cost for eight public boat launching facilities and public fishing access near Leesville Dam;
·         donating 165 acres to the Commonwealth of Virginia for the Smith Mountain Lake State Park (Approximately 37 acres of this property is being developed for a public park in Franklin County);
·         leasing at no cost to the Commonwealth of Virginia land used for the public beach at Smith Mountain Lake State Park, and;
·         donating approximately 121 acres to the Franklin County 4-H Center.
                                                         
Construction began on the Smith Mountain Pumped Storage Project in 1959 and the first electricity was generated by the facility in 1965. AEP uses a maximum of two feet of water from Smith Mountain Lake to generate electricity. This water is captured in Leesville Lake and is pumped back to Smith Mountain for future generation.
 
Additional information about the Smith Mountain Lake Pumped Storage Project can be found on the Internet at www.smithmtn.com. 
_________________________________________________________________
 
  American Electric Power owns more than 36,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and is the nation´s largest electricity generator.  AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with more than 5 million customers linked to AEP’s 11-state electricity transmission and distribution grid.  The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.

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