Regional group proposed to manage Mounds Lake in Anderson IN

No property acquired so far

By Rick Yencer

ANDERSON, INDIANA (NEWS) -  Management and funding for the proposed Mounds Lake moves forward as community leaders plan a series of meetings next week to talk about the $450 million project.

 In the past week, details of dam locations, pool depths and proposed  management have been offered by the Corporation for Economic Development of Anderson/Madison County found in ongoing feasibility studies.

Rob Sparks, CED executive director, also made it clear that no land acquisition has begun given management of the proposed water resource has not even decided.

"Any rumors regarding early property acquisition for the project are false," said Sparks. 

A 36 month permitting process by local, state and federal government must be completed before land is acquired, Sparks said. And a complete timeline will be available August 19-23 when the CED holds a series of meetings in Anderson, Chesterfield, Daleville and Yorktown to discuss plans.

The main exhibit will be in Mounds Mall next week with the Daleville meeting in town on Aug. 20, and the Yorktown meeting in its town hall Aug. 21. The times are 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sparks also said local tax dollars would not be a source for funding the project. The development group is looking for state and federal grants, private foundation money and water utility revenue.

There's been much talk that the new lake would be a water utility for Indianapolis that now depends on three other reservoirs for that utility.

Sparks said multiple sources of revenue would be necessary given the cost and size of the project.

Management of the lake could be vested in a in commission representing the city, towns and counties impacted by the water resource.

"Our financing component will the commission building a water utility that will sell water generated at the dam as a way fund construction and long term maintenance of the public areas besides the lake and its infrastructure.

And that commission would have the power to decide uses around the lake for housing, business and recreation. 

"In order to put power in the hands of the community, the creation of the Mounds Lake Commission is a crucial next step in the process," said Sparks.

Initial engineering studies recently showed two locations for dams near C Street and another west at Columbus Avenue. Those structures would create a 2,100 acre lake with pool heights of 876 feet above sea level, making the dam about 50 feet deep at the dam and nine feet deep north of Daleville.

Based on modeling for droughts in 1940-41, the proposed lake could continually produce 60 million gallons a day of water flow above the minimum amount of flow required for flow into White River. 

And the flow of the river would be maintained during construction to avoid any disruption downstream to Indianapolis or upstream to Muncie and Yorktown.

Lake construction would impact utilities, roads, bridges and even the airport runway, according to initial engineering studies. 

While Mounds Road besides Scatterfield, Lindberg, Interstate 69 and County Road 300 South would remain much like they are today, they would be higher with the dam creating the lake.

More information about the project can be found at www.moundslake.com

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