The Sundown Lake Rural Improvement Zone awarded Macgruder dredging services a bid to start a hydraulic dredging project at Sundown Lake. Iowa Rural Improvement Zone law 357h allow specific areas surrounding lakes to use tax increment dollars to finance dredging and erosion measures to improve areas that need it.
What does all this mean?? In 2012, the Sundown Lake residents began seeing an obvious need for improvements in the lake. Through the work of individuals and committees they found the best solution was to work with the County. The residents properly petitioned the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors to establish a Rural Improvement Zone. In 2014, the zone was approved and funding started to flow in with Tax increment Financed dollars being utilized to start working on needed improvements at the lake. Many different engineered ideas were floated around and a Capital Improvement Plan (master plan) was established. The West and the South bays of the lake were recognized to have heavy silt burdens and it was quite obvious that dredging was needed.
Over the next several years easements and properties were acquired by the Sundown Lake RIZ board to start building a containment basin to put the silt into. Along the way a few smaller projects were cost-shared with owners to mechanically dredge bays and build erosion controlled dams.
Fast forward to 2019 and for the first time since Sundown Lake was built in the early 1970’s we are able to get some of the material out of the lake to help with water depth and clarity issues. This should be a big shot in the arm for owners that had seen some of their water depths disappear over the past 15 years. 125,000 cubic yards of material will be taken out of the west end of the lake in the fall of 2019 and nearly 50,000 cubic yards will be removed from the South arm of the lake.
The future goals of the Sundown Lake RIZ is to continue a maintenance dredging program and work on control measures that will slow the water and silt from entering the lake. This is an on-going never ending process but with the support of the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors combined with a healthy HOA and Rural Improvement Zone board Sundown Lake has a very bright future.