Infrastructure design and construction companies are no doubt encouraged after the recent election of Donald Trump who has trumpeted the need for more infrastructure spending as a way to stimulate economic growth. The Madison County Corporation for Economic Development is likely also excited and hoping that the Trump-Pence team would be its ticket to a pot of Federal gold for dam construction. Perhaps so, considering that in 2014 then-Governor Pence authorized $650,000 in discretionary funds for a wasteful phase 2 feasibility study which was largely a money-grab by the engineering firm which conducted the “study” Despite the CED’s misleading claim that the resulting study identified “no fatal flaws”, the dam plan was deemed unacceptable with the vote-downs by two of the municipalities and by Delaware County which did not agree that a sufficient case had been made, especially regarding the impacts on their property and residents. Will a resuscitated CED plan be able to overcome the objections and limitations of the rebuffed reservoir? Time will tell. Will the CED go to the public teat again? Of course it will.
Will the Trump administration, often quoted as seeking to “drain then swamp” of special interests, be able to see through the heavy pro-dam propaganda and lobbying, if indeed a revised reservoir plan is concocted? We’ll see.