OAKLAND CITY, IN (WFIE) - A dam restoration project in Oakland City is the reason the New Lake Campground Beach will be closed this summer.
The $2-million project will actually renovate two dams in the city. They are both old and they are both leaking.
Mayor Hugh Wirth says the work will be extensive. The walls of the dam will be reconstructed so they are less steep. A pipe will be added to the dams and rocks will be used to reinforce the dams.
"It would be totally involved, the sound, the safety. It's going to be very busy out here this summer," says Wirth.
Wirth says he does not want to put anyone trying to enjoy either the beach or the water in danger so he decided to put a barricade around the area. It will be closed for the summer and, although he is not happy about it, he says he did not have a different choice.
"I hope they understand us," says Wirth. "They just have to bare with us this summer."
Clifford Folson lives in Oakland City and he says his great-nieces were excited to explore the "shore" in the summer sun.
"They keep asking, 'Can we go swimming yet? Is it time yet?' I tell them soon soon and, now, it is getting warm," says Folson. "I tell them sooner and now I am going to have to tell them, 'No, you cannot swim here.' I am disappointed and I know they are going to be heartbroken."
He understands the reasons for the closure but he says his great-nieces will miss the New Lake Campground Beach this summer.
Wirth says the construction is expected to start at New Lake site in May or June.