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RST's ORPR Gets Contract To Study Lake Need

The Office of Recreation and Park Resources (ORPR), a unit within the College of Applied Health Sciences’ Recreation, Sport and Tourism Department, was awarded a $90,000 contract by the Springfield City Council to study whether there is a need for a second lake in the city.

ORPR director K. David McCann said his office will “try to determine whether there’s an unmet acquatic outdoor recreation need for fishing, water skiing, swimming.”

The study was requested by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which last year said information provided by Springfield’s City Water Light & Power showing recreational demand for a second lake was insufficient.

McCann said ORPR won’t ultimately make a recommendation as to whether the second lake is needed. “We will provide information based on community surveys and analysis of existing outdoor acquatic opportunities to the US Army Corps of Engineers, for them to include in the Supplemental Environmental Impact Study that will be used to determine whether there is a need for this reservoir.”

The lake is part of a larger plan, McCann said, involving a backup water source. A recreational use of water was considered an ancillary benefit.  “In order to create a reservoir there will need to be a dam constructed and that requires a permit from the US Army Corp of Engineers.”

The survey development and implementation will be conducted by professors from the University of Illinois – Springfield Institute for Illinois Public Finance, Dr. Kenneth Kriz, and Dr. Travis Bland.

The study is expected to be completed by August. The lake would cost about $125 million to construct, according to the utility’s latest estimates, and would take about one year to design the lake and about two years to construct.

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