The Mounds Lake reservoir project has been running for three years at this point and has completed a Phase I feasibility study.  We anticipate the Phase II feasibility study will take 6 months and cost $300,000.  Next, the preliminary design and permitting should take two to three years at a projected cost of $10 Million.  Lastly, construction should take three to four years at a projected cost of $350 – $400 Million.

The next step in this process will be to form the Mounds Lake Commission with the five taxing units:  Anderson, Chesterfield, Daleville, Madison County, and Delaware County.  Once the Commission is formed, funding for Phase II, including the Engineering study, will begin.  We will be seeking a regional, national, or international funder interested in a water resource in Central Indiana.

 July 5, 2013

So the last six weeks have been quiet on the local press front, but we have been moving forward with foundational issues. We have secured approvals from all seven elected bodies within the impacted area of the proposed lake to advance into Phase II work. This should not be read as overall approval of the project, though there are many elected officials that feel that way. Rather, the votes reflect an agreement to explore the feasibility of the project with the development of the Phase II work.

On the funding front to pay for the Phase II work, we are looking at a variety of models. In the next few weeks we will focus on a process on how to proceed and attract the needed funding. However, like the project itself, it tends to run at its own speed so at this point we can’t make a prediction on timing.

The scope of service for Phase II will include engineering, environmental as well as planning. The planning component will include public participation in the communities of Anderson, Chesterfield and Daleville. The county residents will participate at whichever town is nearest them. Though this in no way will be detailed enough for the completed project, it will be detailed enough to review community impact along the river corridor. Bridges, roads, public spaces, land use, as well as the recreational uses will be a few of the major topics covered. More details will be announced once Phase II funding is in place.

-Rob Sparks

July, 2013

Formation of Mounds Lake Advisory Board (See Mounds Lake Commission page)


November 13, 2013  Funding for Phase II in Place

Proposed Mounds Lake, feasibility study moving forward with grant from State of Indiana.

ANDERSON, Ind. – On October 30, the State of Indiana awarded, through its State Revolving Fund loan program, a $600,000 grant to the Corporation for Economic Development of Anderson/Madison County (CED). The grant will be used to complete a Phase II feasibility study of the proposed Mounds Lake project.
“We are very pleased the State has chosen to support our community effort for this next phase,” said Rob Sparks, Executive Director for CED.
The grant will fund a scope of work including: environmental review, engineering, community impact, and community visioning. A financial report will be completed as well.
Sparks went on to say, “Our goal is by spring to have a very good idea of the feasibility, costs, and community benefits of the proposed Mounds Lake project. This grant, in conjunction with our local funding efforts, will enable our ability to gather the best information possible.”
The proposed lake began to garner community and statewide interest after the initial Phase I study (completed in November 2011 by DLZ Engineering) was released this past March. In early fall 2013 CED presented the project and the scope of Phase II to the State for a possible grant opportunity. The project has also caught the attention of Indiana Governor, Mike Pence.
“The proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir would transform the Madison/Delaware County economy and help ensure ample water supply for central Indiana in the future,” said Gov. Mike Pence. “The Phase II evaluation will help us understand the possible impacts of this potential project, and I look forward to receiving the results of the study next spring.”
The proposed project would create a reservoir stretching over 2100 acres by building a 50-foot high earthen dam on the White River, just east of East Lynn Street and 18th Street in Anderson, backing water up in Delaware County to around 300 South and South High Banks Road. It involves areas of Anderson, Chesterfield, and Daleville, as well as parts of Madison and Delaware Counties.
Quinn Ricker of Ricker’s first conceived the Project in 2010 at a Madison County Leadership Academy (MCLA) visioning session. Sparks, also a member of that MCLA class, continued to work with Ricker’s vision and develop the current project scope.
The lake, in addition to being a regional development project, has the ability to provide a significant amount of additional water reserves for central Indiana.
During the Phase I study the water yields would suggest meeting the current and future needs of the central Indiana region for several decades. The project could also accelerate the ongoing economic growth of the Madison and Delaware County region. To date, CED has raised over $400,000 of direct or in-kind contributions to advance the project.
The Corporation for Economic Development Anderson / Madison County is a 501c3 non-profit that was incorporated in 1983. The mission of the Corporation for Economic Development is to plan and undertake activities leading to steady job growth, increasing economic diversity, and a strengthened employer base, which enhances the quality of life of Madison County, Indiana.

For more information about Mounds Lake or CED, visit, or contact Rob Sparks at