Dredging likely in future of Hobart's Lake George

2013-09-07T18:15:00Z 2013-10-10T12:59:07Z Dredging likely in future of Hobart's Lake GeorgeDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | Plans to make Lake George the sparkling jewel of Hobart's downtown also involve maintaining that shine, Mayor Brian Snedecor said.

City officials recently hired a company to treat noxious weeds on the lake and anticipate Lake George will have to be dredged again.

"We've already started to talk about it. The lake is filled in by 1 1/2 to 2 feet, and we will have to dredge and get it on maintenance," Snedecor said.

The last time the lake was dredged was in 2000 under former Mayor Linda Buzinec.

The dredging project in 2000 took six months to complete and cost nearly $2.5 million.

The money for the dredging project came from a combination of state grant money and park bond funds.

For any future dredging project, the city will have to go through a permitting process and also seek grants to fund it, Snedecor said.

He's uncertain what the costs would be.

"We understand it's in the near future," Snedecor said.

Crews from Clarke, an Illinois-based mosquito control and aquatics company, began treatment of Lake George for noxious weeds last month.

"We are already seeing some positive results from that," Snedecor said.

Clarke will do another water survey at the lake in coming weeks, said George Balis, Midwest regional manager for Clarke.

"We're working on developing the next step, which we haven't finalized," Balis said.

Weather will play a factor in what that next step will entail, Balis said.

Hobart's new name for the downtown, the Lakefront District, has been used to rebrand the area and tie in the recreational uses of Lake George and Festival Park, city officials said.

Officials continue to tout the Lakefront District to encourage visitors and development in the downtown.

Last week officials unveiled a new blue-hued logo and major redevelopment plan to turn downtown Hobart into a destination for visitors.

The new logo emphasizes the clock tower and suggests the waters of Lake George.

Special events, including the motorized boat races being held on Lake George through 5 p.m. Sunday, have also brought hundreds of visitors to the downtown, Snedecor said.

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