A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

A plan to keep Waverly Lake clear

Written November 25th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

An angler gets ready to try his luck Friday at Waverly Lake in Albany.

Albany’s Waverly Lake may stay clear of algae next summer if the city council grants a request from the city parks department for funds to bring that about.

This summer and fall, a growing mat of algae or some kind of weed covered the lake between Salem Avenue and Pacific Boulevard. It looked bad and hampered use of the paddle boats available for rent.

Revenue from Albany’s 9 percent tax on “transient lodging” — the tax charged on the price of hotel rooms — has come in higher than expected, the council has been told in a staff memo for its scheduled work session Monday (Nov. 28).

(How much higher? You’d think that’s the first thing the council wants to know, but the memo doesn’t say.)

In any case, the city parks department has asked for $95,000 of the room tax money, including $20,000 for Waverly Lake.

“We have been slammed this year on the condition and look of the water,” the department said in its written request. “It is the entryway to our city and is currently an eyesore. It does not give visitors the best impression of our wonderful town.”

The city knows of a company that will clean the lake, without chemicals, and then install a fountain and two aerators, at an estimated cost of $20,000.

“This will create a clean and attractive looking lake, which will be welcoming and inviting to visitors,” the department said.

Th other $75,000 of the parks department’s request is to set up a concert stage at Timber Linn Park next summer for the city’s River Rhythms and Monday concerts. Monteith Park, where the concerts are usually held, won’t be available because of the city’s Riverfront Project.

The Albany Downtown Association, the Albany Visitors Association, the historic Monteith House, and the city’s room tax advisory committee also are asking for more money than what had been budgeted.

The requests are all connected to tourism in one form or another, including making the town more attractive to visitors. It is visitors, after all, who pay the lodging tax. (hh)

Waiting for who knows what, a great blue heron hunkers down on the float in the middle of Waverly Lake.

5 responses to “A plan to keep Waverly Lake clear”

  1. MarK says:

    What about the other eyesores (Three Lakes and Thurston Lake)? Cold weather and rain aren’t going to fix those.

  2. Shawn Maestas says:

    Great idea, great beginning.

  3. RS says:

    While I fully support the “transient housing” initiative, I’m actually glad there might be a plan to clean up Waverly Lake. I pass it nearly every day, and the algae mass has gotten worse and worse over the past few years. Thanks for bringing this story forward.

    Is there a way to express this opinion to city officials?

  4. Jan Garver says:

    Most would like to know what the plan is to keep the lake clear…. Aeration? Seems it shouldn’t be an ongoing fix if done correctly….. Charging patrons at the start seems harsh. How about a fund raiser?

  5. TLH-ALB1 says:

    Make Albany more attractive???…start by fixing the streets and not by the same means as ya did on Madison.


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