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Lake Mitchell restoration groups to meet in February

Green algae flows along the western bank of Lake Mitchell just north of the amphitheater on Wednesday afternoon. (Matt Gade/Republic)

The two groups tasked with helping guide Lake Mitchell to a higher water quality standard will meet next month.

With committee assignments determined by Mitchell Mayor Jerry Toomey, the Watershed Advisory Committee made up of a group of volunteer stakeholders and the Technical Advisory Team, which will provide technical input and recommendations on water quality improvements, are expected to meet as early as February to start working to improve the algae and water clarity issues at Lake Mitchell.

When the Lake Mitchell Advisory Committee met on Tuesday at the Mitchell Recreation Center, Toomey informed the group that he’s found interested members to serve on the committees.

“Otherwise I think we’re pretty much set and ready to go with our committees, it’s just a matter of finding a date sometime in February and having a kickoff,” Toomey said.

The two groups will work alongside Omaha-based water quality specialists Fyra Engineering to help evaluate solutions, set project goals and build consensus regarding the project.

And with a lake restoration project finally in the works, lake committee member Mark Puetz said many Mitchell residents consider Lake Mitchell as a major reason to live in town.

“From the comments I’ve heard from folks my age is it’s a huge asset — whether they live on the lake or not,” Puetz said. “Oftentimes, if not all the time, it’s one of the main reasons why they considered moving back to Mitchell if they were originally from here — because there were outdoor opportunities, and this was a big part of the outdoor opportunity.”