The Hannibal Board of Public Works (HBPW), which has been striving for years to create a lake in the 116-acre industrial park it is responsible for in western Hannibal, is gaining a new partner in the undertaking — the City Council. During the June 20 meeting of the Council it expressed support for a handful of ordinances that must be approved for the lake project to “hold water.”

The Hannibal Board of Public Works (HBPW), which has been striving for years to create a lake in the 116-acre industrial park it is responsible for in western Hannibal, is gaining a new partner in the undertaking — the City Council. During the June 20 meeting of the Council it expressed support for a handful of ordinances that must be approved for the lake project to “hold water.”

Each of the ordinances, which will be officially brought forward for passage at a future date, is required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR) in order to gain the necessary lake-building permits.

The stream mitigation projects, which will include the “daylighting” of some streams which are currently underground, are necessary because the lake project will result in the loss of approximately 1,000 feet of stream bank that now winds its way through the northeast corner of the property. The HBPW found undertaking the projects preferable to making a $384,000 donation to the MoDNR’s stream bank mitigation fund.

Under the ordinances the following would occur:

• Placing a small stone dam discovered on the business park property under permanent protection from demolition or alteration.

“The Army Corps believes the structure may possibly be of historical significance,” said City Manager Jeff LaGarce in a memo.

• Permanently close Lemon Street, south of Colfax, and a portion of Wardlaw at its east end.

“These streets are already barricaded and closed, but we’ve not officially closed or abandoned these streets,” said LaGarce. “Households and business would not be affected by this.”

• Permanently close the section of Sycamore Street between Adams and Fulton.

“This area serves no homes or businesses and will lie adjacent to useful sports facility space,” said LaGarce.

• Placing each of the mitigation sites under permanent protection against new construction or damage.

The mitigation work at the sites will be performed in-house by Street Department and HBPW personnel, thus costing a “fraction of the $384,000 expense,” said LaGarce.

One of the major benefits to the approximately 8-acre lake’s creation is that it will provide a retention area for stormwater runoff from the Lakeside Technology Park’s lots.

“There is a concept known as regional stormwater detention,” explained LaGarce. “If a common area within a development can be identified — preferably before the area is developed — it can be set aside and built to centrally-detain stormwater for all properties within that development. If this is done, lot-by-lot detention is not required within the development, and property is better used for the reasons it was intended – industry and job creation. With central/regional stormwater detention, developers of sites can simply pipe their stormwater to the regional detention basin, and not require additional acreage and development expense attendant to on-site detention.”

Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Knickerbocker applauded the mitigation plan.

“It makes sense,” he said. “It will solve a lot of problems.”

Councilman Jeff Veach questioned the inclusion of the section of Sycamore Street, suggesting it would be better suited as a parking area for the planned recreation area.

LaGarce said that taking out Sycamore Street out of the plan would leave the city short of the required mitigation area. Andy Dorian, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, added that more space could not be included to create a full-sized parking lot because of flood-buyout stipulations against creating hard paved surfaces.

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com