The City of Springfield and City Utilities hope to have a consultant selected to create a master plan for Lake Springfield by the time this edition of SGF Neighborhood News is printed.
Following the decommissioning of the coal power plant in the spring, Lake Springfield was identified as an opportunity area for redevelopment during the City’s Forward SGF comprehensive planning process.
An $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), and $200,000 from the Hatch Foundation, City Utilities of Springfield and the City of Springfield’s Environmental Services Department will fund the development of a master plan for the area including and surrounding the former coal-powered plant (James River Power Station). Redevelopment will complement Lake Springfield Park and Boathouse, which are jointly operated by CU and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.
“With projects such as the redevelopment of the Lake Springfield area and other iconic projects, we are working on to both improve quality of life and stimulate the economy, Springfield is on an upward trajectory. We are very grateful for this grant,” said Mayor Ken McClure.
The plan will be a catalyst for innovative economic and recreational opportunities, new infrastructure, sustainable water quality and green infrastructure, compatible development which increases the tax base, creates jobs, improves the quality of life of the workforce and their families.
Plan elements will include:
- recreational expansion opportunities
- economic development and workforce development opportunities
- transportation, access and wayfinding
- land use.
Lake Springfield was created in 1957 by the damming of the James River in southeast Springfield to serve the cooling needs of the James River Power Station. Over its 65-year life, the power plant and approximately 1,000 acres around it have served the public well. With the plant decommissioning, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity exists for the community to reimagine Lake Springfield’s future.
A community visioning process for the future of Lake Springfield is planned and will include public engagement events, a presentation tour and a city-wide survey.
The community engagement process will outline what the community sees for this area of Lake Springfield. Residents, neighbors, business owners, developers, schools, parks, non-profit agencies and more will collectively take part in identifying the areas of opportunity and concern in the area. This process will help the team zero in on a list of specific goals for the project.
Qualified teams will have subject matter experts in areas including, but not limited to, hydrology, dam safety, water resource management, local transportation, brownfields redevelopment, economic vitality, community planning and community recreation. Teams shall demonstrate a track record of planning for innovation, environmental and financial sustainability/resiliency, social equity, and community support. The selected team will be led by a professional with exceptional project management and technical experience in undertaking and delivering studies and plans according to federal agency regulations, timeframes, and funding agreements.
The deadline for statements of qualifications (SOQs) was June 3. It is anticipated that consultant selection and a request for proposal will occur within 30 days following the deadline. The consultant selection team consists of City of Springfield and City Utilities of Springfield staff.