The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Opinion

June 8, 2014

Viewpoint: Mounds Lake essential for ecology, economy

As a business owner involved in economic development in Anderson and a 20-year resident, I see Mounds Lake as an essential step forward for our community. Here’s why:

Ecology

There’s been a lot said about how “damming the river will ruin what nature intended for the White River.” I would question that for a few reasons:

• The proposed “bowl” the lake would fill predates anything nature has done in the past 10,000 years. Indeed, the glaciers covered watersheds first, filling them with gravel, then later carved the bowl out as glaciers melted, down to ancient river bedrock.

Because of this, that whole area floods regularly today. That is fact, borne out in the rock of the earth itself. Putting in the lake would lessen the flooding miles downstream, managing the river flow.

• Landfills and any potential seepage of pollution from old dumps would be mitigated. Anything from these old sites would be properly disposed of. There would be nothing left to seep into the water.

• Additionally, there would be a new, legal cause to halt the development of the proposed Mallard Lake landfill, which, contrary to popular opinion, is far from dead.

The Killbuck Concerned Citizens Association, despite heroic efforts to delay the project, has lost the major fights with IDEM on the basis of the “grandfathering” aspects of the landfill. Complacency has allowed ownership to be transferred to a landfill company, temporarily using the guise of “farming” that property.

By next February, the Mallard Lake landfill will become a reality, polluting Killbuck Creek, ultimately two-thirds of the city’s wells and the White River for generations to come – unless radical action is taken.

The lake is the one funded project that will actually justify stopping the pollution of our water.

Economy

• The lake would bring a new landmark to the region, visible from space. Anderson could become a resort community. The lake will create new options for dining and retail, giving our people and tourists new things to do in Anderson.

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