After years of debate and disagreements between resource agencies, neighbors and developers, there may be a solution in the works to build a road from the shoreline to a five-acre development at the 3.5 mile marker.
Known as Isla Del Sol, the condominium development is not accessible by land. It is served by a ferry service that runs to and from the shoreline at the end of Lake Road W-12 on the north shore of the lake in Miller County. Prior to being taken over by Rockwood Bank, of Eureka, the development was known as Atlantis Island.
Past attempts to build a bridge between the shoreline and the island have failed. Miller County, along with resource agencies, such as the Missouri Department of Conservation and Ameren Missouri raised objections.
For the county, the concerns have been financial. Miller County officials have opposed a bridge, saying they couldn't afford to maintain it, and Ameren Missouri had taken the position that without a governmental agency to back up the bridge plan, the utility wouldn't approve permits.
That may change. The bank has proposed construction of a causeway instead of a bridge, and this time, the proposal may get approval. The causeway would be constructed using rip rap and span the 300-feet from the end of the road where the ferry docks.
The final decision rests in the hands of Miller County and Ameren, the agency responsible for issuing the permit.
Miller County Presiding Commissioner Tom Wright said the bank has filed a request for a Community Improvement District. A CID is a financing mechanism that would give the bank the ability to form a district, impose a tax assessed against the residents and use the funds to pay for construction and maintenance of the causeway. In all likelihood, the county will sign off on the CID. Wright said, after discussing it with the county attorney and receiving assurances from the bond counsel, adding there is no legal reason to not approve the CID.
Wright said the county does not want to upset the residents who are opposed to the causeway, but on the other hand, it wants to see the development thrive. Wright said a causeway would enhance the appeal of the development.
Although Wright said he understands the concerns residents have raised about traffic, noise and the impact of more boats on the water in that area, no one wants to see the project become an eyesore and blight on the landscape. He said the MDC has already signed off on the causeway, pending approval of other agencies with some recommendations for replacing the fishing habitat the causeway will displace.
Ameren will make a final decision on the permit for the causeway once the CID is proposed. Meanwhile, Ameren will take a final look at the project after the county commission holds a public hearing and the CID is approved. If everything meets with Ameren’s approval, it will issue a permit for the causeway.
Bank officials could not be reached for comment.
Jeff Green, shoreline management supervisor for Ameren Missouri, said until those requirements are fulfilled, the utility company can't issue a decision on the permit.
Contact Lake Media Editorial Director Joyce L. Miller at email@example.com.