To the editor:
There once was an idea to construct a 7,700-acre recreational lake fed by the Whitewater and Little Whitewater rivers near Millersville. The lake would have miles of shoreline where steep hills and gentle ridges met deep ravines and creek bottoms. The rivers are clear-running streams with gravel bottoms that turn to mud-bottom streams at Millersville.
The idea was to have a lake that would provide recreation and also provide a future water source for surrounding communities. The hope of new business and increased tourism brought optimism to the project.
On the other hand, landowners were confused and worried they might not receive fair compensation for the land the lake would cover. This confusion and worry spread, and the communities turned a deaf ear to the positives. Many people thought possibly a thousand people would have to relocate when, in reality, fewer than a hundred would have been affected. Rather than educating themselves, too many decided to take a back seat and believe what they heard in the local coffee chops. The idea was put to sleep by doubt and pessimism.
The folks who spent countless hours gathering information and working to give this great gift to Bollinger and Cape Girardeau counties decided to face back into their communities and give up the fight. Some still dream of watching the sun set on the banks of this lake. There will always be dreamers, and perhaps new life will be born in the minds of new dreamers.
T.E. SMITH, Millersville