“We have reviewed the impact of the proposed change to the White River channel that would inundate the Mounds Fen Nature Preserve,” she said. “That’s our main concern right now.”
She said the proposed reservoir would destroy a unique biodiversity area of the Fen.
The Fen, designated in 1980, is remarkable not only for its “clean water” but the profusion of wild flowers, indicating a high-quality woods with minimal disturbance, McKillip said. She said the park also contains numerous critically important animal and plant species native to Indiana.
The local Audubon Society noted that 360,000 people visited Mounds State Park last year.
“We are going to look at the environmental impact of the proposed reservoir,” McKillip said, “and the potential impact of the reservoir along the entire White River watershed.”
Currently a Phase II study of the proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir is being undertaken with a $600,000 grant from the state.
Community meetings on the results of the study are expected to begin in April or May. The study includes soil borings, soil type, looking for contaminates site and pre-existing land uses. It will include water quality along with a financial model and community impact.
Proponents of the reservoir project have conceded that parts of Mounds State Park would be affected by the heightened water levels in the area, but would not pose a threat to the famed mounds.
Mounds Lake Reservoir, which would cost an estimated $350 million to $450 million to create, would stretch approximately from East Lynn Street in Anderson east by northeast around Chesterfield and Daleville into Delaware County, ending just north of Delaware County Road 300 South.
The reservoir would flood an area around Anderson’s Scatterfield Road that includes the Mounds Mall property and other businesses.
The resulting pool of water would affect 1 million square feet of commercial property and an estimated 400 homes.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.