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Aldermen Call For Movement On Hunter Lake

Several Springfield aldermen want to ramp up efforts for building Hunter Lake.  

The proposed second water source for the city has been on the drawing board for decades, but the state EPA and Army Corps of Engineers must sign off on the project.  

So far they have refused and want more study of the environmental impact.
Ward One alderman Frank Edwards Tuesday asked city attorneys to begin drafting an ordinance for the lake.  

“The corps can stand up and take notice, and so can the EPA, that says ‘This community is going to build Hunter Lake.’  And we will go on from there," Edwards said.  "You guys have not got much support in this and I’ve been one of the guys saying lets look for an alternative water source.”

But there remains plenty of opposition to Hunter Lake, which would involve building a dam along a Sangamon River tributary.   

The City has been acquiring land for a second lake.   Recent droughts have renewed calls for another source of water.  
The city may also look at other options, including tapping into gravel pits that hold water or drilling wells.  

CWLP Director Eric Hobbie says the city should aggressively pursue an alternative water supply.
“Ultimately the corps and the EPA have final authority in which one it is.  But, we need to have commitment that we even want to pursue one," Hobbie said. "Now, part of that process might be providing that cost and everything, getting everyone to understand what the impact is on the community as a whole.  Because it will not come for free, it will come at a cost.”
That would likely mean higher water rates, although no decision has been made.

Lee Strubinger completed the University of Illinois Springfield's Public Affairs Reporting graduate program and is currently in Colorado.
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