Plans to help rebuild a dam and restore a lost lake in eastern Iowa received a boost Monday. The Delaware County Board of Supervisors voted 3-0 to move ahead with the process of issuing up to a $3-million bond for Lake Delhi. The lake disappeared when a dam collapsed in July 2010. Supervisor Shirley Helmrichs called Monday’s vote an 18-month decision.
“The first six weeks after the breach was such a flurry of meetings and activities…it was an 18-month decision with lots of reading, studying and meeting with people to get information,” Helmrichs said. “And it was not an easy decision.” Nearly 600 people turned out last week for a public hearing on the matter – with most people speaking in favor of the “emergency” bond. Supervisor Jeff Madlom said he may lose some friends over the decision.
“We do not always make everyone happy, but please understand that we do what we think is best and we do it with our heart, with research and we hope that people will respect us,” Madlom said. “I just hope we can put some of the ill feelings to rest, be able to unite again and move this county forward.”
Steve Leonard, with the Lake Delhi Trustees, is hoping the board’s decision will convince state officials to jump on board as well. The cost of the entire rebuilding project is estimated at $12 million. “We’re very optimistic now that (the supervisors’) actions will pull the strings that we need at the state level to really get this started,” Leonard said.
“We’re looking forward to getting started…to get this reconstruction process going, get everyone’s lives back to normal and get this economic engine back where it needs to be and really grow the economy here in Delaware County.” The bond is not a done deal yet – a public hearing on the board’s decision to proceed with the bond is set for March 19.
The bond could mean up to a $21 per year increase in property taxes on a $100,000 home.
By Janelle Tucker, KMCH, Manchester