After months of waiting, South Middleton Township officials learned late Thursday afternoon that Gov. Tom Wolf’s office has released $2.4 million in promised funding for repairs to Children’s Lake.
“... We received notice from the state Fish and Boat Commission that the governor’s office has made funds available for Children’s Lake,” solicitor Bryan Salzmann announced to applause at Thursday night’s township supervisors meeting.
“You really stuck with this,” Supervisor Tom Faley told Salzmann. Township supervisors also credited Wolf’s office, state Sen. Mike Regan, and the community in general for seeing the job through.
“The effort to ‘Save the Lake’ has been a prime example of what the public and private sector can do together when they work in unison,” Regan said in a news release Friday.
In November 2017, Wolf signed a deficit patch measure for the state’s $3.2 billion budget that included a $2.4 million appropriation to the state Fish and Boat Commission for repairs to Children’s Lake. At the time, township officials remained uncertain when Wolf’s office would release the money.
Last year, South Middleton procured the $400,000 needed to begin the project’s design phase, including $150,000 from the township’s local design funds, $25,000 from F&M Trust and $12,500 each from Allen Distribution and R.S. Mowery & Sons. This, along with $200,000 pledged by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, was considered enough to cover engineering costs for repairs to the lake.
A Save The Lake organization was founded in 2017 with the backing of the Bubbler Foundation to accept charitable, tax-deductible donations from the community and corporate sponsors. Since its inception, Save The Lake raised more than $10,000 through the sale of merchandise and donations.
Save The Lake co-chairs Liz Knouse and Jorie Hanson said they were “beyond excited” about Thursday’s news. Knouse said she wants to add a “d” to the clusters of Save The Lake signs set throughout Boiling Spring so that they will read, “Saved The Lake.”
“We want to make sure people will know. We not only saved the lake, but it’s going to be better than before,” Knouse said.
Salzmann said the project as approved by the state will involve a lot more than just repairing a leaky dam. Project components will include:
- Repair/replace the principal spillway structural deficiencies;
- Address the structural/drainage issues on the right abutment;
- Determine the dam’s spillway design flood discharge and upgrade the spillway capacity accordingly. Provide property surveying services if flowage easements are necessary;
- Include provisions for ADA-compliant sidewalk with railing on the dam’s crest;
- Restore the roadway surface, paving markings, guardrail, etc., or abandon the roadway and construct a streetscape feature;
- Sediment removal, or dredging the reservoir;
- Ecological assessment of the impacts associated with storm water facilities entering the reservoir;
- Storm treatment facilities for outlets into reservoir to mitigate sediment transport and improve water quality;
- Stream bank improvements for the inlet channel from the spring at the head end to the mouth of the reservoir;
- Aquatic habitat improvements for the inlet and/or reservoir;
- Boating amenities that may include: ADA boarding docks and kayak launches, boat launch ramp improvement and ADA-compliant sidewalks.
Salzmann said officials hope to see project engineering completed by the end of 2018 and construction begin in 2019. Mostly likely, work would begin in the fall or winter when the lake is at its lowest level and take around a year to complete.
“We have the money. Now we have to design and build it. We’re jumping ahead by years with the way we got this funded,” Salzmann said.