Relief could be on the way for Lake Chesdin. Delegate Kirk Cox has a plan for making sure there's more water in the reservoir and fewer restrictions.
Cox says an amendment in the House budget includes $5 million in state funding for a project to increase drinking water by increasing the lake's storage capacity. It would help pay to make the dam 18 inches higher, and hold 20 percent more water.
"We felt this particular proposal would actually solve a lot of the short-term problems," said Cox. "Hopefully end some of the mandatory water restrictions which I think have been put on the last six or seven years."
Right now, the proposal is written as a matching grant. The water authority or the localities that use the water from Lake Chesdin would have to pick up the rest of the tab, about $5 million to $7 million more.
Delegate Cox points out that eventually this area will need another reservoir. That's a $200 million project. But he hopes by expanding the capacity of Lake Chesdin, they could put that off in about 10-12 years.
Funding would still need to be approved in the final budget report and then be approved by both chambers.
More than 350,000 people currently use water from Lake Chesdin.
"We feel like the state money would be the impetus to really get the project going," said Cox.
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