ANDERSON — People still have more questions than answers about the Mounds Lake Reservoir project, and Rob Sparks thinks many of them will be answered with a second in-depth study.
Sparks, executive director of the Anderson-Madison Corporation for Economic Development and chief sponsor of the proposal, has spent a long summer working to secure financing for that study, which will determine if the project is feasible or not.
"I'm hoping within a few weeks we will have the funding in place to advance the field work that needs to be done," Sparks said in an interview late last week. He declined to identify what organization would provide funding, but sources familiar with the project said it will be a combination of grants and private donors.
"I wish it was already in place," he said of the $600,000 needed for the study. "We need to bring this first phase into focus. A lot of people are hanging in limbo."
Anderson City Councilwoman Donna Davis, D-District 2, couldn't agree more.
The Irondale neighborhood, two mobile home parks and dozens of businesses that would be flooded if the reservoir is built all lie in the heart of her council district. Like them, she's anxious for answers and wants to provide her constituents with accurate information.
"I've had a lot of people email me asking what's going on," said Davis. "Right now, I don't know if it's feasible or not. We don't have a study. Their life is on hold until the study is done. They want to know if they're going to have to move, if they're going to get full value for their homes."
The second study — which will take about six months to complete — will cover engineering, environmental and community impact, all of which have been major questions raised by public officials and critics alike since plans to build the reservoir became public early this spring.