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State assures dredging activity ongoing at Indian Lake

“There is more to the dredging program than meets the eye,” said Deputy Chief ODNR Division of Parks Bob Cumbow, contrary to the beliefs of some Indian Lake area residents and concerned entities.


State officials contend dredge work is progressing and will continue throughout the summer. The dredge is seen here off the shores of Pew Island. (EXAMINER PHOTO | RICK PITTS)

An article based on a state-issued press release ran on the front page of the May 30 Bellefontaine Examiner touting the return of a 49-year-old dredge to service, prompting telephone calls and letters to the Examiner refuting the state’s announcement that any work was being done or had been in at least three years.

In a telephone interview Wednesday, Mr. Cumbow confirmed that the dredge was not operating “right now,” but once some pipeline fixes were complete, the dredge would be back in operation later in the day.

During its sedentary years, state officials contemplated what to do with the vintage dredge unit and determined that it made more financial sense to refurbish and restore the unit at a cost of around $100,000 rather than to replace it with a new $800,000+ model. And for what the local lake actually needs — a dredge capable of working both rougher open lake areas and small channels — the cost would exceed $1 million, he noted.

To imply that nothing has been done at Indian Lake “is absolutely false,” Mr. Cumbow said.

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