The proposed budget from the Iowa Governor’s office has a major reduction in the amount of money for lake restoration at state parks. But the cuts are not expected to affect the Lake Darling project that is in progress. A budget request from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources includes asking for six million dollars for continued lake dredging and other restorations. Governor Terry Branstad’s draft budget only includes one million.
Fisheries Technician Vance Polton says the work set to be done is already under contract with two construction companies and is paid for with this current fiscal year’s money. Even if Branstad’s cut stays intact, it would affect other proposed project elsewhere in the state.
The work Lake Darling is to remove about one-hundred cubic yards of silt from the lake bottom, and it’s been awaiting a permit approval from the Environmental Protection Agency. A contractor will also be putting down rock on some eroded shoreline. After that project, there is another project to do other shoreline rehab on the south side of the lake.