That is great news. Any word on if the fishing will be resident only? If so I have family in Crystal Lake I will have to introduce to the fine sport of fishing. I drive by that lake all the time and seeing all that untouched water always gets my heart pumping.
This has been kind of a bone of contention for Crystal Lake. They are having trouble coming up with the funds to properly manage the property. Now Congressman Don Manzullo is in the process of getting funds to add two additional lanes to Rackow rd. This area is going to be in a state of confusion for quite a while.
After more than a year, Crystal Lake officials finally were able to resolve condemnation lawsuits with Vulcan Land Inc.
The city now will buy 13 acres from the company for $1.8 million. The land is crucial to the 503-acre Vulcan Lakes project because it provides needed access to the site. Development plans had stalled while Crystal Lake sought to acquire the land, and, like everything associated with Vulcan Lakes, the process seemed to drag on. And on. And on.
Ordinarily we would cheer the resolution. But there have been so many headlines proclaiming progress at Vulcan Lakes over the years that it is difficult to get excited until some dirt actually starts to move.
The city and Vulcan entered into an agreement in 1991 that allowed the company to mine under Three Oaks Road in exchange for hundreds of acres west of Pingree Road and north of Rakow Road. Vulcan continued to mine until 2001. The land, and two lakes, eventually were turned over to the city. For some perspective, Crystal Lake’s namesake lake is about 230 acres. The main spring-fed Vulcan Lake is larger at 280 acres; the smaller Vulcan Lake is about 35 acres.
It has become clear that the 1991 agreement was deficient in several ways. For example, the 13 acres that the city has been fighting over with Vulcan should have been part of the original agreement. There are other issues, as well. Although Vulcan was required to do some site work and some shoreline remediation, much work remains. The two lakes essentially are toilet bowls, with steep drop offs. To make the lakes useable for the public, an adequately graded shoreline must be built.
So what happens now?
Before the condemnation lawsuits were filed, the city selected New Frontier Co. as the developer of record. But that was more than a year ago, and the city has not been in contact with the company. City officials are setting up a meeting to see whether New Frontier still is interested. The plan was for New Frontier to develop the land. That development would, through a tax increment financing district, finance public improvements such as a marina, a fishing pier and the shoreline grading. What if New Frontier no longer is interested?
Crystal Lake Mayor Aaron Shepley said the city still would be committed to moving forward with public improvements, although ultimately the City Council would decide what to do next. If the city did move forward without a developer, then a revenue source – such as a sales tax increase – would have to be found to pay for the public improvements. But even if that happened, eventual private development in the tax increment financing district might allow the city to recoup its investment sometime in the future.
The bottom line is this: Without New Frontier, the city has to find the money to move forward. With New Frontier, money is not as big an issue, but it might take longer for any part of Vulcan Lakes to be open because the public improvements would be part of an overall development plan.
The reality is that the future of Vulcan Lakes remains uncertain. The city has a plan for the lakes and seems committed to implementing that plan. How the city gets there, however, remains to be determined.
They have been saying this for years.. but if it does open. We can only hope that it is all catch and release... The only reason why it is a good fishery from what i have heard is that no one is allowed to fish it. Once it opens, over 5 years of bucketheads going there can put a decent dent in the population. I actually hope it is all catch and release, if not I hope that they have a good creel size. to where it wont hurt the fishery.
I highly doubt this will take into effect. It will still be many years until we can step foot on that gravel pit.
This gravel pit could of been open In 2002 if the greedy Crystal lake political leaders would of took some public money.
Public money would of meant it would of been open to the public.
They want to keep it private and are going to impose a city sales tax increase to do it.
We non residents can only hope they it will be open to the public for a fee.
Looks like I still be fishing the lower fox at least thats sill free for now.
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