OUR VIEW: Council needs to be bold, act on the lake
It's time. It's finally time to see what's next for Lake Mitchell.
After years of serious research and discussion, meetings held and ideas presented, reports delivered — we're mere months away from action.
At least, we should be.
The Mitchell City Council needs to make a bold move. Within the next two months, council members will gather during work sessions and budget hearings — and a serious consideration for our city must be lake improvement.
On July 2, a new Mitchell mayor, Bob Everson, and new councilman, Dan Sabers, will take their spots as elected city officials. Seven other council members have a wealth of knowledge of Lake Mitchell's algae woes. And certainly Everson and Sabers are well aware of the lake's condition.
Following Monday night's report from Omaha-based Fyra Engineering, enough information is on the table for the council to take action.
The new mayor and the Mitchell City Council need to change the course of the lake. This is the group that needs to do it.
We appreciate all the work by the individuals who have put so much time and effort in to this. As we've stated before, this problem isn't a quick fix. The solutions have not been easy — or cheap — to find. The scientific answers the city received earlier this week from Fyra cost $80,000 alone. Wasting that report and information would be irresponsible, which means dredging the lake is the only option. The council now knows the dredging costs will be more than $10 million.
As budget discussions are held in the coming weeks, council members should also be meeting with their constituents to talk about what's on the table for the lake. Who needs to pay for this project? Should it go to a public vote? How quickly should work start?
These are all fair, unanswered questions at this point — but council members need to be searching for answers by pushing for them from residents and lake users.
We need the council to step forward and determine the next step. Kicking this problem down the road is no longer an option.
Fixing the lake is now up to the Mitchell City Council — Steve Rice, Jeff Smith, Susan Tjarks, Dan Sabers, John Doescher, Marty Barington, Kevin McCardle and Dan Allen. It's the council's job to move forward, or to come up with a proposal and send it to a public vote.
The time for action is now.