The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

October 12, 2013

Phase II study will answer many reservoir questions

CED Director Sparks hopes to announce funding soon


Mounds Lake Reservoir would begin at a dam in White River just east of East Lynn and 18th streets in Anderson, backing water up seven miles into Delaware County to around County Road 300 South and South High Banks Road. The 2,100-acre pool would capture about 13 billion gallons of water in central Indiana that could help minimize the impact of future droughts and floods here, while providing drinking water to meet the future needs of metropolitan Indianapolis. Preliminary estimates are that the reservoir will cost between $350 million and $400 million to build.

A community planning component was added to issues to be addressed in the second study following information meetings in Madison and Delaware counties. Sparks expects public meetings will be held primarily in Anderson, Chesterfield and Daleville, and cover community impact along the river corridor, the creation of public spaces, land use and recreation possibilities.

An engineering component will cover cost, impact on transportation and infrastructure and the complex technical details of construction. The environmental part will address brownfield issues in the river corridor as well as the impact on fish and wildlife habitat.

While officials prepare to undertake this work, deep skepticism about the project exists.

The Heart of the River Coalition, a group made up of local and statewide organizations, remains highly critical of the reservoir because of the impact it would have on one of the White River's most scenic stretches of water, as well as the impact on wetlands, wildlife habitat and old growth forests that would be destroyed.

While the organization has not taken an official stand on Mounds Lake, "I think it's fair to say we're skeptical and have a lot of questions," said Clarke Kahlo, an activist who helped organize the coalition.

Answering these critical questions is the point of moving forward with the second phase of study, according to Sparks.

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