MITCHELL | A South Dakota lake advisory committee is exploring philanthropic measures to help fund upgrades to a maligned lake, including forming a nonprofit group.
The Lake Mitchell Advisory Committee earlier this year recommended a $19 million plan to clean up Lake Mitchell, which has had water quality issues for decades, The Daily Republic reported. The plan has three phases: in-lake, near-lake and watershed improvements.
City officials have begun working with members of District III Planning and Development, Ducks Unlimited and the James River Water Development District on securing potential watershed funding for next year.
A nonprofit group could help raise funds for the project and apply for grants to improve the lake, the committee said.
"I like that idea. I don't know if it feels like we're maybe twiddling our thumbs a little, but maybe we could be creating some positive momentum," committee member Mark Puetz said. "You never know until we try."
Chairman Joe Kippes said he believes the committee owes it to the community to explore as many funding sources as possible. Local foundations, nonprofit groups, and corporate organizations may also be interested in helping restore the lake, he said.
"The one thing about our lake that has become true is that it's become a much bigger topic than it was a year ago, both statewide and nationwide," Kippes said.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources' 2018 South Dakota Integrated Report for Surface Water Quality Assessment marked the lake as Category 5, the worst designation.