The Herald Bulletin

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Editorials

May 18, 2014

Editorial: Hold off on reservoir judgments

It wouldn’t be a tough task to start pitting the sides against one another as pro, con or otherwise when discussing the proposed Mounds Lake reservoir.

The reservoir would stretch across seven miles from west of Scatterfield Road in Anderson eastward into Delaware County. The project would include a 50-foot-high dam on the White River and flood portions of Anderson, Chesterfield and Daleville. During Phase I of the project, five government units, including the city of Anderson, agreed that a study should be done. Now, the second phase is looking at the potential ramifications of the project, including a financial analysis, an ecological review and reports on engineering and community impact.

But let’s all refrain from judging all that for the moment. Let’s accept the proposition that a number of parties have individual interests in the project.

There’s a group led by the Heart of the River coalition that wants to protect the environment of White River, along which the 2,100-acre reservoir could be built. The group plans “protest paddles” on the river on May 31 and June 21.

There’s also the Anderson/Madison County Corporation for Economic Development leading the study into the feasibility of the reservoir. A $600,000 study is underway, funded through a state grant.

There are all kinds of folks watching the project unfold, from business owners who might see opportunities for water-related restaurants or marinas to Indianapolis consumers looking for another source of water to Anderson residents who could be displaced because they live in lowland along the river.

And a week ago, supporters of the reservoir proposed using the dam to generate electricity in addition to supplying water to Indianapolis.

A few days later, the Heart of the River coalition held a well-attended meeting to discuss anticipated threats to the environment, including damage to groundwater.

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