Saturday, November 26, 2005

What If They’d Built that Lake?

“In the late 1980s we tried to build a 3,000 acre lake. We couldn’t put it together because we had a few people who wouldn’t sell their land. The whole idea just died.” Bill McCartney, head of ED for Pike County, IL told me during my recent visit.

After my talk in Pittsfield, I spoke with several local people about what the county might look like today if they had been able to build that lake. After seeing what has happened in similar areas with the impact of a lake, I’m convinced that Pittsfield and Pike County would be much more economically vibrant. There would be numerous second homes, more stores, and more employment. It’s too bad that they weren’t able to do that lake when brush land prices were only a couple of hundred dollars per acre. Today that same land would cost them thousands of dollars per acre.

I urged them to dig up the old plans for the lake and to try to resurrect it. Their kids and grandkids will thank them, if they do.

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