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Lake Leota's future on docket for city

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Stacy Vogel
February 9, 2008
— The engineering firm has done its part.

Now, the city of Evansville needs residents to speak up and let it know what to do next in the ongoing saga of Lake Leota, said Mason Braunschweig, city council president.


Residents will get that chance Tuesday at a formal presentation by Vierbicher Associates of a plan to restore the lake, drained in 2006, to a recreational destination.


Friday, Vierbicher and the city released a summary of the restoration plan, which could cost between $1.7 million and $2.6 million.


The cost hinges on where the city deposits about 200,000 cubic yards of lakebed material. If local landowners allow the material to be deposited on their property, the cost will be much lower than if the city has to transport the material to distant quarries, the plan states.


The restoration plan would create a lake with a 15-foot fishing area and an 8-foot recreational area surrounded on three sides by wetlands.


Gently sloping side walls and an upstream forebay would protect the lake from erosion for up to 50 years, the plan says.


The project could be completed in the winter of 2008-09, but two things are needed first: permits and funding. The most likely source of funding would be city taxes, but the city also could solicit private donations and grants, the plan says.


Thats where residents come in, Braunschweig said. The city council wants residents to tell it if they want to spend that much money to restore the lake.


Its not the same as redoing Main Street to fix water mains, he said. Its kind of a recreational thing.


The city probably will put the matter to a referendum vote in fall, Braunschweig said.


But he hopes residents start getting involved in the early planning stages, too.


I sincerely hope that as many people as possible come out and see the presentation by Vierbicher, ask some questions and get involved, he said.


We need the input.


IF YOU GO


What: Evansville City Council meeting. The meeting will include a presentation about the Lake Leota restoration project.


When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday,


Where: Evansville City Hall, 31 S. Madison St.



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