Merrillville to assist Bon Aire Lake residents
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent December 4, 2012 11:02PM
Updated: December 5, 2012 9:27AM
MERRILLVILLE — The executive director of the town’s Stormwater Utility said Tuesday he plans to work with residents living on Bon Aire Lake to devise rules, regulations and goals for the 22-acre body of water, including hopefully adding a public park on its eastern shore.
Matthew Lake said he will be sending a letter to adjoining landowners in the subdivision on the north side of town asking their input in future management decisions.
“I want to get together and establish a wish list. It’s something that has never been done before,” Lake said during the monthly Stormwater Management Board meeting.
But first, he said, he wants to further explore the history of the lake and determine the boundaries, who owns what areas.
The town took ownership of the lake from Lake County. Lake said the town owns the lake itself, two parcels adjacent to it and some of the shoreline.
“But it’s not consistent,” he said.
He said the town has been treating the water for duckweed and algae at its own cost.
“The public helps pay for treating the water, it should be able to utilize the lake,” Lake said.
He also wants to find out what the depth of the lake is to determine what type of activities can be done there.
Board member and zoning director Dorinda Gregor said there is no property owners association in the subdivision and they might want to talk about starting one up again.
Residents living around the lake last year complained of algae in the lake, flooding and erosion of their property. They all agreed the lake needed to be dredged, an expensive solution Lake has said the town cannot afford.
In other matters, Jon Derwinski, of Robinson Engineering, told the board the firm finished two-thirds of the project to remap stormwater infrastructure and parking lots throughout town, but there are still some areas, including the panhandle section south of U.S. 30, that need to be done.
“Timing is critical. We can be more productive in the winter,” Derwinski said.
About 2,000 to 2,500 additional structures need to be mapped, 60 percent of which are open space, 30 percent subdivisions and 10 percent high-volume roadways.
Lake said the project will show any illicit drawings from stormwater.
He said no such drawings have been found so far.