GALESBURG, Illinois – Lake Storey may be expanded 3 to 4 times its current size. The city budgeted $50,000 to conduct a feasibility study that could gauge whether the project is doable. City council will vote on Monday evening whether to perform the study or not. The purpose of the project is to bring more recreation and business to the lake and Galesburg.
“Right now, the body of water is 132 acres,” says Galesburg Parks and Recreation Director, Tony Oligney-Estill. “So, we are looking for something around 500 to 600 acres maybe.”
Currently, Lake Storey is used for fishing and trolling boats. But this new expansion would bring motor boats to make it a summer getaway for people in Chicago, St. Louis, and even the Quad Cities.
“Hotels, restaurants, all of that would be considerations for sure,” says Oligney-Estill.
To expand the lake, the city says they’d have to buy the farm land to the north and possibly houses to the west.
“It kind of depends, we might be able to work around those too,” Oligney-Estill says.
“They’re going to have to buy that property, take all this out, build another dam – that’s a major project,” says Pat Schaeffer, who walks the lake every morning.
The project will cost at least $10,000,000, but if it’s passed it wouldn’t be completed for decades.
“These aren’t quick,” Oligney-Estill says.
The feasibility study will take 2-3 months to complete. The city will then ask for community input. They say they should know by the end of summer if the project is moving forward.