Lake Delhi dam to be under public control - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lake Delhi dam to be under public control


Many people who live and own land along Lake Delhi in Delaware County voted Sunday to transfer ownership of the dam.

They say the future of the lake depends on who owns the dam.

In July 2010, heavy rains caused the dam to fail, sending water surging down the Maquoketa River.

It drained the lake and left a trail of damage to boats, docks, lifts, and other lakefront equipment.

Residents must approve two measures if they hope to rebuild the failed dam and restore the lake.

Lake property owners met in Delhi and voted yes to transfer the dam's ownership from its current private non-profit organization to a public entity, the lake taxing district.

State legislators and county officials have made it clear the dam needs to be public for any funding assistance in its rebuild.

Immediately following the vote was the final informational meeting for lake property owners regarding a vote Tuesday.

Property owners in the lake's taxing district of more than 800 properties, can vote to authorize their board of trustees to bond up to about $6 million for the restoration of the dam and lake.

That would mean paying more money on assessed property value but leaders say it's crucial in securing funding.

"If we don't have authorization on $6 million, there's major potential that the whole dam will not get rebuilt with the money we have available to us," said Maggie Burger of the Lake Delhi Recreation Association.

60% of voters need to approve the bond issue Tuesday in order for it to pass.

People attending Sunday's meeting say they haven't seen any organized opposition to this bond issue.

Initial estimates put the cost of rebuilding the dam at about $10 million.

The bid process for contractors is expected to happen this winter.

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