- Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2014

MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved a building permit for work to restore Lake Delhi in northeast Iowa.

The permit was issued Wednesday, and construction on the first phase of the $16 million to $17 million project could begin this spring, according to the Dubuque Telegraph Herald (https://bit.ly/1dQvBr7 ).

“This is a huge step,” said Steve Leonard, president of the Lake Delhi Combined Recreational Facility and Water Quality District board of trustees. “There’s been a significant amount of time and energy from our community, as well as governmental regulatory agencies getting to this point.”

The 9-mile-long lake on the Maquoketa River was drained when the dam collapsed during flooding in 2010. The lake bed has been dry since then, leaving houses lining a giant patch of dirt rather than a lake.

Residents formed a taxing district and have approved a bond measure and community fund. The state Legislature also approved $5 million in spending for the project, and Delaware County supervisors agreed to pay $2.9 million to help restore the dam’s spillway.

“It’s all just come together,” Leonard said. “It’s time to get the shovels ready.”

The first phase of construction would begin in April. It will involve building the concrete portion of the dam. The spillway will be built in the second phase.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources still must approve the second phase of construction, but Leonard said that OK should come soon.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com

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