Coats: Planned reservoir can’t rely on fed money

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.

 

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