1. What was the thought process behind this project? (brief history of concept)
The project was first envisioned during a Madison County Leadership Academy class in 2010 as a development project for Anderson, and quickly grew into a 2100 acre regional water resource we call Mounds Lake. The topography of the White River basin in eastern Madison County enables the project feasibility.
2. Why is this project needed? (water source, utility savings, water availability, community self-reliance, etc.)
Regional Indianapolis was identifying their long term water in 2010 for drought protection and long term economic growth in the central Indiana region. Mounds Lake addresses many of those needs at a much more cost effective approach.
3. How was the location of the reservoir selected? (Why the Mounds Mall area? Why not another area in the county?)
The location is a result of the river basin being carved out deep in the Anderson area. Its size and the strength of White River coupled with the local topography are the reason for the location. There are no other known areas in central Indiana that could match the size and scope of this site.
4. If the city/county has been looking at this for some time, why are we (the public) just now hearing about it?
CED has been working on the project scope for three years and has a Phase I study completed. Like any economic development project we work, the project is not publicly revealed until we know if it is a real project. In this case we still have a Phase II feasibility study to be completed that will answer many more remaining questions. It will then be three years more before we will know if the project can be permitted.
5. What is the time frame of the project? How long will it take to complete?
- Phase II Feasibility – 6 months
- Phase III Permitting and Preliminary Design – 30 months
- Phase IV Design and Construction – 48 months
6. What is the process of completion from beginning to end?
- Current Public Discussions -TBD
- Form Mounds Lake Commission – TBD
- Fund and Begin Phase II Feasibility Study – 6 months
- Negotiate with Funder agreement for project – TBD
- Preliminary Design and Permitting – 30 months
- Land Acquisition, Design and Construction – 48 months
7. I am a private citizen homeowner in the affected area. How will this affect me?
Approximately three years of discovery and permitting in Phase III needs to take place before conversations of buying land will take place. At that point land acquisitions would begin.
8. I rent my home in the affected area. How will this affect me?
Short term not at all. If you remain there for three years we would need to look at a relocation plan should the project proceed. Toward the end of Phase III is the starting point for land acquisitions.
9. I am a business and/or commercial property owner in the affected area. How will this affect me?
Approximately three years of discovery and permitting in Phase III needs to take place before conversations of buying land will take place. At that point we would begin the process of land acquisitions while working with businesses on an individual basis for relocation.
10. I own a business in the affected area, but rent the space. How will this affect me?
Short term not at all. If you remain there for three years we would need to look at a relocation plan should the project proceed. Toward the end of Phase III is the starting point for land acquisition. At that point, we would work with you to find the relocation option that works best for your business.
11. What is the estimated cost of the project?
$350 to $400 million dollars
12. Will this project mean higher taxes for me?
No, not directly. It could very well result in a reduction of tax rate, though your assessment could increase if property values climb.
13. Where will I live if you’re going to take my property? Will you help me find another place to live?
Anderson Housing Authority will provide a Housing Counselor to the project once we enter into Phase III for those wishing to have assistance during this process. There will be many solutions depending on individual needs. Many units could be relocated into another Park setting. Some homes could be relocated and others may be able to be raised on their current site.
14. What will the lake look like? What areas will be under water?
It is about seven miles long and 3/4 of a mile wide at the largest point. It begins near East Lynn and 18th St in Anderson and moves east over the Mounds Mall site toward Mounds Park and into Delaware County.
15. My house is not immediately affected but is located nearby. How will this affect my property value and property taxes?
Rates should drop, but your assessment could raise if your home value increases resulting in a higher tax bill.
16. What will the impact be on the environment? Will it negatively affect the White River, wetlands, wooded areas, etc.?
Mitigation will be required to minimize the negative impact. Planting of trees and creation of new wetlands are just a couple of required actions. On the positive side we believe water quality will be improved.
17. Will the project affect Mounds Park in any way? (Positively or negatively?)
Mounds Park lower lands by the White River will be impacted. Shoreline protection will be designed to assure that erosion is prevented. Tourism to the Park could increase as well as revenues for services the Park could provide such as a boat launch.
18. How will the project be funded? Additional local taxes, state grants, federal funding, or a combination?
The “owner” who will fund the project will do so as a central Indiana water resource. Current and future customers that will depend on that asset will provide the funding stream. We would expect to work toward State and Federal as well as private foundations for funding options.
19. What’s the benefit for me (the citizen) other than the previously mentioned water availability benefit?
Locally stabilized and/or increasing property values, recreational activities such as trails, enhanced fishing opportunities, boating, re-development of current and new retail. If planned well Mounds Lake will provide new growth for the region for many years to come.
20. Where can I find further information on the project? Online? Facebook?
We are working on additional social media venues to open dialog so check the website or Facebook often.