DNR rejects Lake Delhi restoration plans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

DNR rejects Lake Delhi restoration plans


Plans to rebuild the once popular Lake Delhi in Eastern Iowa have gone back to the drawing board.

The dam broke in July of 2010. Since then, a community-wide fundraising effort has raised almost 2-million dollars to rebuild and restore the once popular attraction.

But the Department of Natural Resources has ruled the plans as "not adequate" when it comes to public access and water quality.

The DNR said septic systems and wells should be inspected and upgraded if necessary to enhance the water quality. It said access to Lake Delhi through county parks would not be considered as sufficient "public access."

For people who live in Lake Delhi, the DNR's feedback is yet another setback toward revitalizing the area.

"It's sad to look out and see all the weeds instead of water," said Pam Hardgrafin of Lake Delhi. "I'm wondering if it's ever going to come back in my lifetime."

Hardgrafin said many of her neighbors have abandoned their homes on the lake because they can't stand to look at the devastation from the 2010 flood.

"I've cried a lot about it, but it doesn't do any good," she said.

"We have the governor's support. We have the House and Senate support, community support...and the DNR seems to be the one organization that's impeding, slowing down the progress on this project," said Todd Gifford of Lake Delhi.

Steve Leonard, president of the Combined Lake Delhi Recreation and Water Quality District, said plans to rebuild the dam and restore what was once a popular attraction will continue. He said his main priority will be figuring out how to meet the DNR's requirements so permits can be pulled and work can begin.

Leonard said he anticipates construction to begin in 2013.

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