DNR provides plans to stop Crystal and Fish Lakes flooding

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TOWN OF ROXBURY (WKOW) — Flooding concerns are coming to a head for people living near the shores of two southern Wisconsin lakes.

The fight for drier ground along Fish and Crystal Lakes has lasted years with few results.

Back in April, people were pleading for state help to deal with rising lake levels. Now, things have gotten worse.

The water has forced people out of their homes.

More than a hundred people packed into the Roxbury Town Hall to hear what can be done to put an end to their flooding problem. Officials shared 8 possible DNR plans, most will cost millions of dollars.

Steve Bodenschatz owns Crystal Lake Campground which has lost 50 of 300 plots. He and his neighbors are worried red tape will ultimately doom the proposals.

“The Department of Natural Resources, they’re the 800-pound gorilla in the room,” Bodenschatz said. “They say you have to have a permit for this, and for this and your water quality has to meet this and this.”

The frustration for many is that it’s getting too late to deal with the issue.

However, there are some that are still holding out hope that the proposed plans could make a change.

One plan includes digging a channel from the last lake in the chain to the Wisconsin River.

“I like it because now the water is going to be going slow, it’s going to take a wider swath but it’s going to be going slower and it’s going to filter and it should be cleaner better water before it gets to the Wisconsin River,” Bodenschatz said.

That project was estimated at around $4.5 million.

Cost is one of the biggest hurdles. State representatives for the area said it’s going to be their job to try and find funding for whatever plan the local municipalities pick.

“There is not one solution that we’re going to come up with where everyone doesn’t have to give a little bit. It’s not going to be perfect for everyone,” Rep. Dave Considine (D-Baraboo), said.

Before a decision can be made, all the individual affected municipalities will pick a plan they want to go with.

But officials say after a plan is picked, it could still take years before it is put into place.

Francisco Almenara

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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