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Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Group to look into stimulus money for lake

By Nancy Allen
Members of the private Lake Development Corporation (LDC) on Monday agreed to have a local consultant investigate the possibility of securing stimulus money to help improve water quality in Grand Lake.
Member Don Davis said a Web site at www.recovery.ohio.gov shows organizations how to go after stimulus money and explains the parameters.
"I think this group along with the LIA (Lake Improvement Association) could qualify for some stimulus money to clean up this lake," he said.
LDC member Kent Hinton agreed, saying the LDC may want to consider requesting stimulus money to purchase land around the lake to use as Dredge Material Relocation Areas (DMRAs), which local state park officials are in desperate need of to complete lake dredging projects. The No. 1 deterrent to lake dredging is not having a place to put the lake muck. The local state park makes agreements with landowners to build DMRAs on private land and then knocks them down a few years later after the sites dewater.
"We should be looking at buying something that's long term and permanent because they're (state park) running out of sites," Hinton said, adding that groups seeking grant money score more points on applications by having joint venture projects that involve more than one county.
LDC Treasurer Milt Miller said he thought it was a good idea, but to keep in mind the LDC's "coffers" were limited.
"It might cost us some money, but it could be worth it," Miller said.
Under other business, LDC members learned:
• The date of the LDC's annual Legislative Day on the Lake was changed to June 12 at East Bank shelter house No. 1 because ODNR Director Sean Logan and Division of Parks and Recreation Chief Dan West could not attend the originally scheduled June 19 date.
• A grand opening for the new Celina Rotary Dog Park on West Bank Road will be held at 10:30 a.m. May 13. Go to www.grandlakedogpark.com for more information. The dog park is located at West Bank State Park on park-owned land.
• A DMRA being built on county-owned land near Montezuma to accept dredge material from Beaver Creek is close to being finished and construction of the Anderson DMRA near the Mercer County Sportsmen Club is progressing. That DMRA will enable the dredging of several nearby channels.
• The nonprofit Lake Improvement Association's special kids fishing derby for individuals with physical and mental disabilities will be held May 13. The event is a free day of fishing and food for developmentally handicapped children and adults. The LIA started the event and now partners with the state park to put it on, with more than 200 kids attending last year.
• Free signs are available from the LIA to landowners who install filter strips on their land in the Grand Lake Watershed.
• Lakeshore residents have reported large amounts of dead fish in channels on the lake, creating nuisance odor. Most of the dead fish are shad, a common occurrence after winter ice and show melts off the lake.
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Additional online story on this date
Vehicle break-ins have tripled in the last year and home burglaries are up slightly as the local area feels the effects of a plagued economy.
"I think it's a two-fold issue. Crime has gone up and criminals are getting braver," said Chief Deputy Gery Thobe of the Mercer County Sheriff's Office. [More]
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