Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/times-change-reservoirs-must-adapt/878700

Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 30, 2016

Times change; reservoirs must adapt

To the Editor,

Ah, Summer Thursdays ... a chance to lie in the hammock at the end of the day, catch up on the Zany going’s on in Staci’s life, read the Letters to the Editor, and last but not least, read the Pickles comic strip. (That one where Earl was lying asleep on the couch and Opal was using him to plan her wardrobe had me chuckling for days). But, I digress!

I write primarily in regards to Mr Thompson’s points regarding the use of Lake Bonnifield for swimming. [“Council’s decision to open beach rushed,” July 26]

When the City sunk the second Jordan Well, in 2002, the 3 reservoirs were de-commissioned as they were no longer needed as back-up water supply.

The City then considered allowing those valuable assets to be used for other purposes. Lake Bonnifield and Pleasant Lake, the former Reservoirs 1 and 2, joined Walton Lake as destination points, with swimming at Bonnifield.

It’s true that the initial intention of those bodies of water were strictly as reservoirs. Times change. Needs change. From a standpoint of economic development and tourism, cities and businesses have to continuously adapt and re-invent themselves to assure progress.

A City official contacted DNR after the tragic drowning to find out what other municipalities have done in such circumstances. They were told that if the state were to close every body of water where a drowning has occurred, there would be no public swimming to be found in the entire state!

Certainly safety trumps all. More attention can and should be focused on improving safety at Lake Bonnifield. Still, signs are posted about swimming at your own risk and the fact there are no lifeguards on duty, as it is done throughout the state. People have a choice in the matter.

 

— Ron Blair, Fairfield