Maquoketa Valley could feel effects of Lake Delhi - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Maquoketa Valley could feel effects of Lake Delhi

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DELAWARE COUNTY (KWWL) -- Wednesday FEMA announced it will not be paying to rebuild the Lake Delhi Dam.  The Delhi Recreation Association says it will appeal the decision, but if it stands it could effect funding at the Maquoketa Valley School District. Property tax dollars from Lake Delhi properties contribute a fair amount of money to the school district.

Currently, the Maquoketa Valley School District receives 31 percent of its funding from Lake Delhi property tax dollars. However, since the district evaluates the budget a year ahead of time, officials aren't sure how or when they'll see the effects.

This fall more than 700 students fill the halls of Maquoketa Valley schools.

"Budgeting is primarily based on the number of students that you have," Superintendent Doug Tuetken said.

The district already has a budget in place for the 2010-2011 school year, with 31 percent of the money coming from the Lake District.

"I know there's been some concern exactly what will happen it terms with our levy rates with the damage that has occurred with the flooding," Tuetken said.

Tuetken says FEMA's denial of funds to the Lake Delhi Recreation Association will have an effect on the district, just not immediately.

"There will be a reassessment done yet this year and obviously that will change valuations for 2011," Tuetken said.

And since that valuation is a year behind, it won't have an impact on tax rates until 2012.

"The restoration of Lake Delhi is very important to the economic impact and the property values and so many different areas of Lake Delhi for the whole county, for the whole region, if you will," Recreation Association President Jim Willey said.

The association says they'll appeal the decision emphasizing to FEMA the importance of their property tax dollars in the community.

"We'll do everything we can to bring everything back," Willey said.

In the meantime, students, faculty and staff at Maquoketa Valley won't notice any changes at school.

Tuetken says all they can do is hurry up and wait. They have consulted with the Cedar Rapids and Waverly School Districts about their experiences in 2008. Both districts say they did not see an increase in the tax rate.

The school district isn't the only group that could feel the effects of no lake. Delaware County receives nearly 10 percent of its funding from Lake Delhi property taxes.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires

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