The following is a press release and study done by Kennesaw State College:
 

Kennesaw State College
Office of College Relations
1000 Chastaln Rd.
Kennesaw, GA  30144-5591

                                                                            NEWS

January 29, 1996                                                                                                Contact: Betsy R. Jordan
                                                                                                                            (770) 423-6711

                                Weiss Lake generates $201 million for local economy

    Users of northeast Alabama's Weiss Lake spent $147 million on lake related goods and services in 1994, according to a
new study by researchers at Kennesaw State College and Florida State University.

    Researchers estimate Weiss lake's economic impact at $291 million for surrounding Cherokee County.  To reach that figure,
researchers factor in the number of times Weiss Lake users' dollars turn over between various merchants and the public.

    The study represents the first time that economists have conducted a comprehensive assessment of Weiss Lake, which sports
447 miles of shoreline near the Alabama/Georgia border, according to co-author Harry McGinnis, director of the A.L. Burruss
Institute of Public Service at Kennesaw State. the same study also reported on public perceptions of the lake's water quality.

    "Weiss Lake generates more than $36 million in wages and 4,132 jobs in the region," McGinnis said. "In general, perceptions
of existing water quality are favorable, despite biological and chemical evidence that might put the lake at a lower level of water quality."

    Researchers surveyed 1,001 residents in the 78 Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee counties closest to the lake, as well as more
than 1,200 tourists.  Among the findings:

    - About 450,000 people visit Weiss Lake annually.
    - About 64 percent of the lake's users are Cherokee County residents.  Those local users spent $1.25 million on lake related
       goods and services last year, or about $57.55 per party.
    - Tourists -- those who visit the lake from outside Cherokee County -- spent $102.56 per party on lake related goods and
       services, or $145.8 million, in 1994.
    - Most users -- about 77 percent of those surveyed -- felt that Weiss Lake's water quality ranges between "swimmable" and "drinkable."
    - Users said they'd be willing to pay for water-quality improvements. Most users surveyed indicated they'd buy an annual pass
       to use the lake, with the revenue going toward maintenance of the lake and its facilities.
    - The main reasons non-users gave for not visiting the lake were unfamiliarity with the lake and lack of time.
    - About 7.2 percent of people who fish at Weiss Lake depend on the lake for their regular food supply, the data showed.
    - The economic impact study was funded by a $25,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

                                Executive Summary


                    Water Quality Rating                          Rung of Ladder                    Use of Water
                        9-10                                                        5                                Drinkable
                        7-8                                                          4                                Swimmable
                        4-6                                                          3                                Fishable
                        3-4                                                          2                                Boatable
                        0-2                                                          1                                Not Usable