Tom Bannon of Anderson-Madison County Visitor’s Bureau agreed with Sparks, and said the project could positively affect the entire county, not just Anderson.
”It’s another component we can add close to Mounds State Park. It can add businesses, adds to quality of life. It adds more to do,” Bannon said.
The project is still in Phase I, according to Sparks. In a recent interview with The Herald Bulletin, he said he hopes to soon have about $600,000 shored up to perform a feasibility study for the reservoir. He’s hoping to secure the funds through a combination of grants and private donors. Once the study is done, Sparks said, he hopes the project will move to the next phase.
One of the other major issues Sparks addressed was the possible pollution concerns that could come from the project. He said many of those concerns will be identified by the feasibility study, but admitted there could be significant investigation and excavation of possible problem spots to eliminate potential problems.
“I don’t want to scare anyone, but I want to be realistic,” Sparks said.
The panel also indicated that while the reservoir will be compared to peer projects like Geist and Morse reservoirs, they also want to use the shortcomings of those projects as a benchmark for what not to do. Kyle Morey of Madison County Chamber of Commerce, said one shortfall of Geist Reservoir, in particular, is that the shoreline is almost entirely privately owned. Sparks said the Mounds Reservoir Commission will work to maintain plenty of public access points for the reservoir to eliminate a feel of exclusivity.
Like Jack Molitor on Facebook and follow him @aggiejack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.