Leaders in South Dakota city unveil options to restore lake

December 17, 2017

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) — Officials in Mitchell have unveiled three proposals to restore a lake in the South Dakota community, where water quality has been a concern for decades.

The three Lake Mitchell restoration projects range in cost from $6 million to $87 million, the Mitchell Daily Republic reported . Some Mitchell City Council members want to put the future of Lake Mitchell to a public vote.

The proposals call for a $6 million aluminum sulfate application, a $31 million system to divert away water from the lake or an $87 million watershed redevelopment plan.

Water quality specialists Fyra Engineering put the plans together as part of a nearly $74,000 report approved by the council.

Council member Dan Allen voted against the report and said he doesn’t think the proposals are feasible. Allen said he would like to see the plan put to a public vote after the public has had time to digest the 54-page report. He suggested putting the options to a vote during the November general election.

Some officials said the city would finance 40 percent of the cost and the rest would be funded through grants or other sources. Allen and council member Mel Olson voiced skepticism that the city would be able to obtain the large amount of grant funding needed to support the project.

Olson said the most affordable option, the aluminum sulfate treatment, has already been attempted in Lake Mitchell. “My metaphor would be, if five aspirin didn’t cure it before, why is a quarter aspirin going to cure it now?” Olson said.

Council member Jeff Smith said there’s value in having the council vote first before putting the issue to a public vote.

“We can vote on it, and that way the public knows where we’re sitting, which is probably not a bad thing, and then from there they can go ahead and refer it,” Smith said.


Information from: The Daily Republic, http://www.mitchellrepublic.com

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