A feasibility study is underway to help the city of Galesburg decide whether it should expand Lake Storey. Phase one looked at the possible cost and phase two, if the city council approves, would ask local residents for comments and suggestions.
Director of Parks and Recreation, Tony Oligney-Estill, says the park now covers about 260 acres, including 144 acres of water. The possible expansion would bring it to about 900 total acres, with the lake growing to 572 acres.
"Right now we have a no motorized lake, trolling motors only, but with the expansion of Lake Storey we'd be allowed to have motorized vehicles - jet skis and power boats - and people can tube."
He says Galesburg would not raise property taxes to pay for the project, but would partner with a private developer who would build new homes and businesses around the expanded lake.
"This would be a way to grow the city of Galesburg and all the benefits that would entail - all the sales taxes and people shopping and vacationing here in Galesburg."
The estimated cost is $16 million, with at least several million more depending on which amenities are added, such as picnic areas, playgrounds, and trails. Oligney-Estill says the second phase of the expansion study should take about nine months.