Nighttime view of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia

Virginia Senate Votes to Allow Alternate Names for Buggs Island Lake

The Virginia Senate voted yesterday, January 21, 2015 to approve Senate Bill 972, which would allow state and local agencies to refer to Buggs Island Lake as “Kerr Lake” or the “John H. Kerr Reservoir.” Previous legislation required state and local agencies to refer to the reservoir only as “Buggs Island Lake.” Senate Bill 972 now goes to the Virginia House of Delegates, which must also vote to approve the bill.

Interestingly, the final vote in the Senate was 38–1, with Senator William M. Stanley, Jr. voting against the bill. Senator Stanley represents Virginia’s 20th District, which includes the western half of Halifax County and extends westward along the state line with North Carolina into Southwest Virginia. A portion of Buggs Island Lake extends into eastern Halifax County but is not included in Senator Stanley’s district. The part of Buggs Island Lake in Virginia is located entirely in the 15th District, which is represented by Senator Frank Ruff. Senator Ruff is the sponsor of Senate Bill 972. Part of Buggs Island Lake lies in North Carolina, where it is known as “Kerr Lake.”

For more coverage, please read my earlier post examining Senate Bill 972 and the controversial history of the name of Buggs Island Lake. Stay tuned for more updates as the bill continues wending its way through the Virginia General Assembly.

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Derrick P. Fellows

Derrick P. Fellows is an attorney with Hawthorne & Hawthorne, P.C. in Victoria, Virginia. Follow him on Twitter at @dpfellows.

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