The Multiple County Infrastructure Authority has been proposed to oversee the development of the Mounds Lake Reservoir project.

The authority, to be known as the Mounds Lake Commission, would include the Madison and Delaware county councils, the Madison and Delaware county commissioners, and the municipalities of Anderson, Chesterfield, Daleville and Yorktown.

The proposed commission would comprise 12 elected officials, all residing in the areas they represent.

Last week, the Madison County Council was the first entity to consider joining the Mounds Lake Commission. But the council, taking its cue from Rob Sparks, director of the local Corporation for Economic Development, tabled the proposal.

Sparks, the driving force behind the reservoir concept, wants to finalize Phase II of the Mounds Lake study before the local government entities join the commission. He thinks completion of the Phase II report is a month or two away.

Delaying formation of the Mounds Lake Commission makes sense. 

In complex, sweeping projects like this, various studies and conversations should be taking place simultaneously. Still, there is a connect-the-dots, linear quality to some of the work, as well. B can’t be accomplished until A is addressed.

While needless delays or lack of action would frustrate the public, a thorough approach to all aspects of the Mounds Lake proposal is of utmost importance. After all, we’re talking about a project that would likely drain half a billion dollars and would greatly alter the local landscape by damming the White River and creating a lake that would stretch seven miles from Anderson into Delaware County.

Opponents of the Mounds Lake project are lining up. Some oppose it because they say it would damage the river’s ecology and charm. Others oppose it because it would put some local homes and businesses under water. Still others think it a boondoggle.

For proponents, the best way to combat opposition is through thorough research and analysis that not only demonstrate the benefits of the project but deal in a realistic, honest fashion with the many valid concerns.

Much of the community is still undecided. Folks are waiting to hear the full story, waiting for all of the facts to come out.

Phase II will bring many aspects of the project to light. It makes sense to table formation of the Mounds Lake Commission until after that portion of the study is finalized.

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