pana lakeSPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) to allow the city of Pana to move forward with a plan to develop 140 acres of dormant land around Pana Lake was signed into law this week by Governor JB Pritzker. The legislation was brought to Senator Manar by Pana Mayor Don Kroski.

“This is very exciting for everyone involved in the planning of the Pana Lake development. This allows us to develop hiking trails, camp sites and other recreational amenities. We’re grateful to Senator Manar for his effort in removing this barrier,” said Pana City Engineer Greg Holthaus on behalf of Mayor Don Kroski.

Senate Bill 1597 authorizes the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to relinquish the state’s contractual right to manage and develop the Pana Lake dam and the land surrounding it.

“It’s important that local leaders be in the driver’s seat and have a say regarding land that lies within their boundaries,” said Manar. “Transferring this land from state ownership will provide Pana with the authority to most effectively use the land to benefit its residents and the region. I appreciate Mayor Kroski reaching out to me about this important issue and I am pleased that we were finally able to get it resolved.”

The contract was originally created as an agreement between the city and the now-defunct Department of Conservation in 1949. The state intended to develop the land for recreational use, but never did so.

SB 1597 will go into effect immediately.

 

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