More than 300 people interested in the future of Lake Springfield attended the second public engagement meeting at the Lake Springfield Boathouse May 4. About 100 people took advantage of the power plant tours hosted by City Utilities prior to the meeting. Additional tours are planned for the fall. Those interested can sign up on the Get Involved page.
Mayor Ken McClure kicked off the meeting by encouraging those in attendance to learn more by visiting information stations about the project’s economic development goals; site concepts and uses/recreation; hydraulics, potential dam alternatives and water quality; and transportation and mobility. Participants were then invited to take a second public input survey.
The May 4 event was the latest in a series of community engagement opportunities to outline the community’s vision for the Lake Springfield area, which was identified as a redevelopment opportunity area during the City’s Forward SGF comprehensive planning process.
Residents, neighbors, business owners, developers, schools, parks, non-profit agencies and more will collectively take part in identifying the areas of opportunity and challenges in the area. A third round of public engagement is planned for October.
The plan, projected to be complete by 2024, will be a catalyst for new economic development and recreational opportunities. Components will include:
- recreational expansion opportunities
- adaptive reuse planning for the decommissioned power station
- hydrological studies
- water quality and ecological preservation planning
- economic development and workforce development opportunities
- transportation, access and wayfinding
- land use recommendations.
- Nearly 100 people turned out for the first Lake SGF Plan meeting Nov. 17, 2022 at the Springfield Art Museum. The meeting included an online survey, which was available for two weeks after the event for those who couldn’t attend. Nearly 150 surveys were completed.
- The Lake SGF Plan Community Advisory Team held its first meeting with 32 attendees Nov. 15, 2022. The CAT represents various stakeholders and provides input on materials and concepts prior to the public community engagement events. A follow-up meeting was held March 21, 2023.
- A meeting held exclusively for Lake Springfield-area residents was held Oct. 12, 2022 to fill them in about the project and solicit initial feedback. More than 100 neighbors turned out for that event, which was held at the boathouse.
Additional engagements included a presence at the Chadwick Flyer Trail Showcase and engagements with Springfield-Greene County Parks, the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Springfield Sports Commission, the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, Empower: Abilities and Encompass Academy, Greene County, the River Access Coalition and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Through 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 is funding 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.