Necessary permits in hand for proposed eight-acre lake

Hannibal's Lakeside Technology Park, located off of Highway MM in the western part of the city, will remain without a lake for the foreseeable future.

During Tuesday's meeting of the Hannibal Board of Public Works (HBPW), Heath Hall, the HBPW's general manager, offered an argument for not making a priority the creation of an eight-acre lake in the 110-acre business property.

"Recent updated pricing estimates on the construction of the dam and lake have increased to around $2 million, not including the mitigation and relocating the sanitary sewer or any extras like walking trails around the proposed lake," he said.

Included in this year's HBPW budget is $150,000 earmarked for three mitigation projects the HBPW had to commit to in order to receive the necessary permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. However, the estimated price of materials necessary to complete the mitigation projects is $215,000. That cost does not include labor.

"I am not comfortable overspending our budget on this item at this time," Hall said.

The cost to relocate a sanitary sewer line that is currently where the lake will go is $250,000. That expense is tentatively scheduled to appear in the HBPW's 2019-20 budget.

"I am recommending to the board, for the time being, that we suspend activities and expenditures related to the stormwater retention/lake at the business park," Hall said. "We currently have several more pressing priorities to work on. And funding the project is getting more than we can handle, especially in the water and sewer departments."

Hall left open the possibility that the lake could still be built. "It is something develops between now and the construction permits end date (December 2026), then the stormwater retention/lake activity and mitigation can start again if it benefits us to do so and it is affordable," he said.

Creation of a lake at the site was initially proposed several years ago by Klingner and Associates in a portion of the property deemed difficult to develop. Listed as potential benefits of the lake's creation were that the lake would enhance the appearance of the industrial park's lots, provide a retention area for stormwater runoff from the lots and give the city in urban lake, which was intended to be developed as a conservation area with docks, parking lots and restrooms. The lake could also provide necessary "clean fill" that will be needed when the city's riverfront project begins. "Clean fill" is dirt that does not have much debris mixed in like chunks

of concrete or asphalt.

The project has been beset by an assortment of obstacles. One of the most formidable arose in 2015 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advised the HBPW that because the lake project would mean a loss of approximately 1,000 feet of streambank that winds its way through the northeast corner of the property, some form of mitigation would be required.

The HBPW had two options, pay around $350,000 or construct and maintain stream environments similar to what was to be removed.

A mitigation plan was submitted in November 2016 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which was ultimately approved. The plan was based on planned city improvements to three separate drainage basins. In each case, the HBPW would remove portions of existing stormwater conduits and return the drainage to a natural open stream.