State fees may force the Hannibal Board of Public Works (BPW) to pull the plug on its plans to create a lake in the city-owned industrial park in western Hannibal.

State fees may force the Hannibal Board of Public Works (BPW) to pull the plug on its plans to create a lake in the city-owned industrial park in western Hannibal.

Earlier this year the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) informed the BPW that creation of the lake at the 116-acre Lakeside Technology Park would mean the loss of approximately 1,000 feet of stream bank that currently winds its way through the northeast corner of the industrial park, located between U.S. 36 and Highway MM, and just east of Shinn Lane.

The USACE advised the BPW that the lost stream bank would have to be “mitigated” or replaced with “something else, somewhere else.”

The situation could reportedly be remedied by the writing of a check. However, the BPW balked at making a donation in the neighborhood of $315,000 to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ (MoDNR) stream bank mitigation fund.

Instead, in April the BPW Board approved a contract amendment of $11,500 with Klingner and Associates to identify potential solutions.

In September, Bob Stevenson, general manager of the BPW, advised that negotiations with the MoDNR regarding Klingner’s “five or six” mitigation ideas had not proven fruitful to that point.

“We have not gotten them to budge much and our estimate today is about $250,000, which takes our whole park improvement budget for this fiscal year,” he wrote in a memo to the BPW Board last month.

As recently as Oct. 12, Stevenson advised that no additional headway had been made in talks with the MoDNR.

“All they want is money and we have been unsuccessful in reducing the estimate,” he wrote in an e-mail to the Courier-Post.

On Oct. 20, Stevenson reported that while he had yet to see anything in writing from the MoDNR regarding its mitigation expectations, he was told by a representative of Klingner that the mitigation cost is now in the neighborhood of $350,000 to $400,000.

“That (fee expense) just gets us started; we’d still have construction costs. I’m ready to pull the plug on the (lake) development,” he said.

During Wednesday’s Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council (NEMEDC), Stevenson estimated the lake’s construction cost at $1 million, which includes the relocation of a sanitary sewer line that is in the middle of the proposed lake.

“I don’t know how we can justify that (cost),” said Stevenson.

City Manager Jeff LaGarce told the NEMEDC that he could not see the benefit of installing 16 trunk lines to the various Lakeside lots for drainage, as opposed to allowing runoff to flow into a single lake.

George Walley, executive director of the NEMEDC, told the BPW Board that if the lake plan is scrapped, it would not impact the park’s designation as a Missouri certified development site. The long-sought certification by the Missouri Department of Economic Development was announced in late January of this year.

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