Commissioners in one of two central Indiana counties where the proposed Mounds Lake Reservoir would be created voted Monday to oppose the approximately $450 million project.
The Delaware County Commissioners voted unanimously to pass a resolution not to support the formation of the Mounds Lake Commission that would move the project forward. The Delaware County Council approved the resolution last week.
County attorney Steve Murphy told The Herald Bulletin the resolution reflects the input from county residents and concerns about drainage issues. The reservoir about 35 miles northeast of Indianapolis would be created by damming the White River in Anderson and creating a lake in Madison and Delaware counties.
Reservoir proponents are hopeful that the communities of Anderson, Chesterfield, Daleville and Yorktown will approve forming the commission so a third-phase feasibility study expected to cost $28 million can move forward. The Anderson City Council last week approved an ordinance to join the commission. The ordinance needs approval on two additional votes by the council, including the next one scheduled for June 11.
Barry Banks of the Red Tail Land Conservancy, which opposes the reservoir, said the ordinance to form the commission has removed Delaware and Madison County officials from having input.
"The decision to remove Delaware and Madison counties from having standing needs to be looked at closely. This will impact land in Delaware County, not Yorktown and Daleville," Banks said. Yorktown and Daleville are located in Delaware County.
Murphy said the only action the commissioners could take was to not support the formation of the commission and the reservoir project.
"Delaware County has been disinvited to the party, we don't know why," he said.
Mike Jones, a member of the Delaware County Council, said the ordinance creating the commission can still move forward.
"This sends a clear message to the Yorktown and Daleville town councils on how Delaware County feels about the project," he said. "There are a lot of organizations in opposition."
Supporters say the reservoir would be a boon to Anderson, raising real estate values, drawing tourists and spurring economic development while providing another supply of water for central Indiana. Opponents say the reservoir isn't needed for water supplies and warn that the project would waste millions of dollars, flood a stretch of the river, destroy wildlife habitat and threaten historic sites.