Pledges reach $677,000 for lake dredging, DNR leader announces $400,000 more for SL
It took a couple of tense hours of delay and a call for a the brute force of a third Caterpillar bulldozer to muscle Storm Lake's dredge into the water, but with a splash and a cheer from patient onlookers, the local lake dredging era in Storm Lake began at 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
By 4, a large crowd had gathered around the newly-floated behemoth near Casino Beach Marina, for a ceremony that included a ribbon-cutting, with Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Jeff Vonk and veteran Storm Lake City Council member Wally Burns manning the oversize scissors.
That same evening, the reasons for applause and celebration kept coming. At the annual Lake Preservation Association meeting Vonk announced that another $400,000 in future funds from the state's lake program has been earmarked to assist in Storm Lake's dredging and watershed improvement - enough to reach the goal for next year's dredging budget. According to LPA officials, the effort has also reached $677,000 in private pledges from Storm Lake area families, organizations and businesses.
"It's a really proud time to be a Storm Laker," said President of the Lake Commission, Gary Lalone. "This is really special."
The DNR leader agrees. "I tell your story everywhere I go," he said. "What you're doing is the model that needs to be emulated all across the state."
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