Closings & Delays

Community raising money to fix leaky dam at Children’s Lake in Cumberland Co.

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SOUTH MIDDLETON TWP., Cumberland County, Pa. -- A leaky dam has sunken spirits, but now people are rising to take action in Boiling Spring to save the Children's Lake.

To repair the dam, which is seeping water, will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"It's a crown jewel of our community," Liz Knouse, who lives in the village, said.

A sinkhole on Bucher Hill Road developed because of the seeping water but was filled in.

During a meeting in mid-April, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission officials said they did not have the money to fix the dam.

Tom Faley has been the township supervisor for more than 20 years.

"And only twice have I seen a crowd of that size," Faley said. "So everybody realized people really care about this lake, and as a result it was a catalyst for us to work closely work together."

Three companies donated $50,000 total, the municipality pulled together $150,000, and the Fish and Boat Commission plan to give $200,000.

The $400,000 raised will go toward the engineering and design phase.

"This is a wonderful example of a state government and a municipal government working so very close together to solve a major problem," Faley said.

Two women who live in the community, Liz Knouse and Jorie Hanson, also decided to take action, creating the "Save the Lake" campaign to raise money.

Hanson said if another negative thing happens to the lake it could be drained.

She said, "I think another part of that call to action was like wow we've got to do something, and we've got to do it soon. And we have the momentum, so that's our biggest goal is to keep that going because there's no way that the dam is going to fix itself."

Knouse said, "We're not a community that rests on its laurels and waits for people to do things for us, and I think that was evident by the speed with which this actually took place."

More money is needed to go on to the construction phase. The municipality may get additional funds for construction from a proposed bill by State Senator Mike Regan in the next budget. Faley said while the lake is under construction, it will have to be drained temporarily.

"It's a price you have to pay to save the lake for their future years and for future generations," Faley said.

Save the Lake campaign is holding their first meeting to anyone who wants to help out on May 10.

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