Coats: Planned reservoir can't rely on fed money

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U.S. Sen. Dan Coats said planners of a proposed central Indiana reservoir shouldn't look to the federal government for help in financing the $450 million project.

The Indiana Republican said during a Thursday visit to Anderson that the Mounds Lake Reservoir's proponents should "plan as if there weren't federal funds available" for their proposal to dam the White River.

Reservoir proponent Rob Sparks of the Corporation for Economic Development told The Herald Bulletin that construction of the reservoir will likely have to paid for with revenue generated by the project. But, he said, local officials will still seek federal grants and money to offset costs for the 2,100-acre reservoir between Anderson and Muncie.

But Coats said projections indicate 93 percent of future federal revenue will go toward entitlement programs, leaving 7 percent for defense, health and education.

Plans for the reservoir project have been controversial. Environmental groups are proposing a system of trails to promote use of the White River in central Indiana rather than damming it a reservoir.



  • Really?
    A previous poster wrote "This project will create thousands of jobs". Really? Has that been the case with other reservoirs built around the state? Roush? Salamonie? Mississinewa? I agree that Anderson needs help, but this project has the hallmarks of something designed to enrich a few well-connected folks, and I fear it will do little (at great expense) to help most of the folks who live there. Here's a thought that will likely anger some: Maybe Anderson in its current state has outlived its usefulness and should downsize. Take the money and spend it buying up and demolishing dilapidated housing stock, and encourage folks to move somewhere with a future, instead of clinging to a past that's long gone.
  • Too many negative people
    To Mr. Conniff, and any other negative and/or bitter people who have chimed in their obvious bitterness on the subject. Let me first say that I have looked into the reservoir project and have, as well, noticed some plans that need to be changed before this project can ever be built. Namely, the intrusion on Mounds State Park. However, I have looked into it from an open-minded perspective. Not the obvious negative, unwilling to see all sides point of view that you have thrown out here. First, any business person of any ilk will make sure to investigate the financing involved and the feasibility of any project before going into any other aspect of a project. It would be irresponsible not to. You don't spend money to do an environmental study if you haven't first made sure you have the funds to do so. Let's get real here. Your beef with this stems from either a personal or political ill-will to those involved in the project. This has clouded your ability to openly see any of the many positives this project could potentially have. I do believe there needs to be oversight to keep tabs on any bad deals that could come from this. I also feel, though, that people will make money from this. This is a capitalist society if I remember correctly. Businessmen are smart, they have money, and they have the right to acquire and purchase anything that is morally or legally able to be purchased. That is what this country is all about. I say lets all keep an open mind and then if shady business practices stemming from this reservoir are discovered I believe those people responsible should be exposed. Thank You.
  • A Truth
    There are currently no long term plans for water acquisition in Central Indiana thus making this reservoir project viable. It is reasonable to believe that the future of water ownership and distribution here is already being played out in Texas, Arizona, and other Southwestern states. But, to "Observer"'s point, place an overlay of the reservoir project land on top of the "800 acres of prime farmland in Delaware and Madison Counties" recently purchased by John Paugh, CEO of Carter Express. Then begin creating a list of who is planning for the future and who will benefit from the plan.
  • Response to 'Jealous'
    The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.
  • Jealous?
    I just get the feeling that people in the suburbs are jealous of this project. A lot of anger coming that way.
    • And the Easter Bunny lays colored eggs
      This project is being promulgated based on a 'need' by Indy for more water. What the developers have not stated in their frequent but misleading press releases is that the project will have to be evaluated by the Army Corps. of Engineers and then the DNR. That's a 10+ year undertaking but the CED up in Madison County is talking operation by 2021. This whole thing is a political ploy to make Anderson's current and inept political administration look like there are 'happy days' ahead in the near future. This will never come to pass as the polluted ground from years of GM, Delphi and Guide operations will never pass environmental muster. That's why this intrinsically environmental project has the 'environmental phase' coming second to the 'financial feasibility phase'. Absurd to those who understand business. Titillating to those who don't.
      • Sen. K-Street is incorrect...
        I love how our fine corporate interest lobbyist, I mean senator loves to cite budget projections that 40 years from now. This project will create thousands of jobs and be an economic stimulus to a hurting democratically voting district. If federal grant money is available now, it should be utilized as it will provide a net benefit for taxpayers.
      • Question
        Before this project gets approved, someone should research and publish the names of the individuals/companies who have either bought or optioned the land that will be the future waterfront lots along this reservoir's shoreline......

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      1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

      2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

      3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

      4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

      5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.