House Speaker Christopher Rants hopes to set up a system that would ensure lawmakers aren’t the ones choosing which Iowa lake gets dredged by the state first.
Several lakes which are tourist destinations have been making an appeal for state resources, but Rants says he wants experts in the Department of Natural Resources deciding which gets the valuable and thorough cleaning first. Rants says he wants lawmakers to take a more “broadbased approach” to lake dredging decisions. Rants says a case can be made that both Clear Lake and Storm Lake have invested a lot of local money and ensured the lakes wouldn’t silt back up again if the state pays for dredging the lakes.
“That being said, I’m not sure that we really should be in the business of earmarking out which lake it’s going to be,” Rants says. “When you do that, it then comes into, you know, whoever has the most political clout on that particular day gets their lake dredged. I think the issue is a little bit more important than that.”
Rants wants lawmakers to come up with a list of requirements lake managers must meet in order to qualify for state-paid dredging, but he wants the DNR to make the final decision on which lakes go first. That’s at odds with what Rants said recently about gambling. Rants said lawmakers should have decided where the newest gambling casino licenses were granted rather than leaving that decision to the state Racing and Gaming Commission.