Renns Lake residents want lake fixed

Members of the Renns Lake community say they've been trying to get Cole County to fix the dam at Renns lake for two years. Resident Erik Thomas said, "We'd like for them to do anything, but to just let it sit and be the swamp you see now." In 2009, Renns Lake started to overflow. Cole County took control of the lake and poked a hole in the dam to save property on the other side. Now, Renns Lake homeowners say the county isn't communicating with them over its future. Erik Thomas said, It seems like Mr. Wrigley the commissioner for this area has the other two commissioners bullied into what he wants to do and I think ultimately he realizes he handled the situation incorrectly and is trying to back it up. Jon Coulson also lives at Renns Lake. He said, I think we're at a complete standstill, the county obviously doesn't want to spend the money to do anything, they took over the lake therefore it's their responsibility. Renns Lake has been virtually untouched for almost two years, you can see the weeds just growing out of control, residents say it's not just a weed problem, it's now becoming a health hazard and they want something done. Thomas said, There is trash in the middle of it there are mosquitoes, god they are huge and vast in numbers, it's unsightly, it's lowered everyone's property values around here. So why the hold up? County officials say they're still trying to figure out what to do. Repairing the dam to make it a lake again could cost between $40,000 and $140,000. But residents say the issue keeps getting pushed back. County Commissioner Jeff Hoelscher said, We had it on the agenda a while back and we discussed it, and said 'keep the weeds knocked down' until we know what is going on with the residents in that area, its probably something we just need to revisit. I talked to one of the residents this morning to see where they were at, and it seems like we just need to get it on the agenda again. Hoelscher says he's only heard from one person and more people need to let him know what they want done. Until then the county will keep doing what its been doing. One option Commissioner Jeff Hoelscher says he likes is to rebuild the dam, and give it to the homeowners for what it costs, that way the county doesn't have to maintain it as a public lake.