ANGOLA – Financial support for the Lake George Dam was approved by the Steuben County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.
The 3-0 commissioners have agreed to petition the Steuben County Council for a loan of up to $ 1 million to the Lake George Conservation Area to work on the dam that regulates the lake’s level.
“We have already made this type of loan,” said Commissioner Lynn Lichti.
Commissioners have indicated that the money will come from his Major Crossing Transportation Fund, which has been used in the past for loans to organizations such as RES Polyflow (now Brightmark), Indiana Northeastern Railroad and the Helmer Voluntary Fire Department.
Representatives from the Conservancy and the Lake George Summer Residents Association have requested a 50-50 split with the county for a project or perhaps a loan of $ 100,000.
Dave Sorg, president of the association, said the county has a stake in the project because it owns the road that runs through the dam, and if it fails, the county could lose about $ 133 million in taxes.
It was estimated that the project would cost about $ 900,000, including engineering work, embankment slope reduction at the dam, and extension of the spillway walls.
“We have ways that we hope will cut this $ 900,000,” Sorg said.
The groups are seeking a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and possibly funding from Branch County, Michigan. About 40% of the lake is in Michigan and the rest is in Indiana.
Commission President Wil Howard said that although the cost of the project is unknown due to the availability of grants and other potential government funds, he would support the presentation of a loan option to the board.
“I would be in favor of giving it to the council for the full amount,” said Commissioner Ken Shelton.
Lichti presented the idea of a loan not exceeding $ 1 million.
The protected area was created in 2018 to work with the dam, through which the ring road passes since 1946.
“We appreciate your support over the years,” said Rick Weaver, Conservation Special Projects Coordinator and Association.