The Chariton City Council and Chariton Water Board held a special meeting about Lake Ellis and Lake Morris at Chariton City Hall Thursday, July 9. Sixteen people were at the meeting, which lasted one hour and 23 minutes.

Chariton Mayor Denny Bisgard opened by saying that the meeting was a continuation of the conversation from when both the city council and water board first discussed the lakes at the monthly Chariton Water Board meeting June 8.

There was no action taken on anything at the July 9 meeting as it was mainly for further discussion purposes.

At the first meeting in June, the city council and water board discussed how to manage the lakes and to better maintain them. No action was taken following the June meeting discussion except to get a couple of other boards involved in what should be done about the lakes including the Lucas County Board of Supervisors and the Lucas County Conservation Board.

At the July 9 meeting the boards discussed different options on what could be done with the lakes and who could possibly take over the management of them. There was also talk about things that need to be done out at the lakes to keep them a strong tourism destination in southern Iowa.

Chariton City Manager Laura Liegois said that she and Water Superintendent Brad Robbins have been doing some research work on the lakes since the June meeting.

“Brad and I have had conversations together with Larry Davis of the Lucas County Board of Supervisors, past DNR officer Lyle Asell, and Lowell Wiele of the Lucas County Conservation Board. As a past DNR officer, Lyle has a lot of experience working on projects like this,” Liegois said.

Liegois said she has come up with three options on what could be done in regards to managing the lakes.

The first option would be to have a joint collaboration to manage the lakes consisting of the City of Chariton, the county board of supervisors, the water department and the county conservation board.

The second option would be for the Lucas County Conservation Board to take over the lakes and do the work involved in taking care of them.

In the third option, the Iowa DNR or some other natural resource group could take over and maintain the lakes. Another group that was mentioned that could possibly take over the lakes is the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF). The INHF is a statewide, nonprofit conservation organization that protects and restores Iowa’s land, water and wildlife.

“Those are some options we’ve come up with for the lakes in the meetings we’ve had. If it was a joint collaborative effort like in the first option, then all entities involved would all work on maintaining the lakes together,” Liegois said.

Read the July 21, 2020 edition of the Chariton Leader/Herald-Patriot for the rest of the story.

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