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Aldermen Reject Hunter Lake Ordinance

Aldermen Reject Hunter Lake Ordinance

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

It’ll be hurry up and wait a little longer for an official stance on whether the Springfield City Council wants to proceed with Hunter Lake as a second water source.

Aldermen last month expressed frustration that the more than 50 year saga is continuing. They crafted a resolution to tell the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers that the city council wants the lake to move forward. But Ward 5’s Sam Cahnman says that was already done 25 years ago.

“It doesn’t matter whether we pass this resolution or not,” said Cahnman. “The federal environmental laws are not going to change if we pass a resolution that we already passed in 1988.”

It failed 4 to 5, with one voting present. City Water Light and Power’s Chief Utilities Engineer, Eric Hobbie, said the resolution would have mattered.

“The last thing we want to do is spend a lot of our resources and time pursuing a permit that, ultimately, will not be approved by this body,” he said.

CWLP will continue ongoing studies required for an EPA/Army Corps of Engineers decision on whether Hunter Lake is the best option. They include a study on future water usage, how much it will cost to build the lake, and whether it’s viable to get enough water (about 10 million gallons a day during a so-called 100 year drought) from the Illinois River and Havana Lowlands.

The results of those studies should be available in three to four months, but Ward 1 Alderman Frank Edwards says they won’t matter.

“I guarantee you those that voted no, they’re going to get every study handed to them and they’re still going to vote no,” he said. “The taxpayers are the ones that are paying for this.”

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