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Lake Papakeetchie homeowners to pay $1 million for state project

Syracuse, Ind. -- Steve Herendeen enjoys the simplicity and peace that comes with living on Lake Papakeetchie, but in recent months, it hasn't been too tranquil.

"I'd like for them to do something a little more reasonable, but you have to do what you have to do," Herendeen, president of the Papakeetchie Protective Association, said.

He and 200 people who live around the private lake have had to see and hear construction.

The lake's old dam had a leak, so the state is making homeowners shell out one million dollars to meet new requirements.

"PMP --- Probable Maximum Precipitation... We gotta be able to handle 20-inches of rain in 24-hours," Herendeen said.

 Or, half the year's average annual rainfal in just a day. Something, that's never happened.

"We live right next to the project, so there's mornings I'd like to get a few more 'Z's'," John Hart, Vice President of PPA and homeowner on the lake, said." "It gets pretty loud out there."

He owns three lots on the lake, and said construction is one thing to live with, but the cost of the project is trickling down to his wallet. He and others have to pay several hundred thousand dollars of debt for the next six years.

All for a project they didn't even want.

 "It's a huge burden on everyone, but bigger for some people," Hart said.

And if they don't pay, the DNR will tear down the new dam and let Papakeetchie's water flow into nearby Lake Wawasee.

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