The petition now heads to the Indiana Department of Transportation Aeronautic Division and FAA to see if the site meets the required conditions and requirements of both agencies. Both will make on-site inspections of the lake and area. Recommendations will then be sent back to East for a final decision.
It could take another six to eight months before any further decision.
The first decision was made Tuesday with notification to interested parties being mailed Wednesday afternoon.
It was late March when an informal hearing was held following Randy Strebig’s petition. Close to 20 residents and concerned citizens of Dewart Lake attended and a majority voiced objection to the petition. (See related
The matter was turned over to East to review the petition, various rules and regulations on public fresh water lakes and comments and concerns of the public before deciding if it should go further.
East noted in his letter of final determination: “After careful review of the Division of Law Enforcement’s report concerning Mr. Randy Strebig’s petition to create a public seaplane base on Dewart Lake … which considered the potential hazards to safety and the environment that may be caused and the effect the seaplane base would have upon the public use and enjoyment of the waterway, I now make a final determination to approve …”
Major Michael Portteus, support services commander and boating la administrator, noted in March, at the informal hearing, that Dewart Lake was previously a private seaplane base until the spring of 2013, when the lake and a handful of others fell short of INDOT Aviation Department rules. All others which met the rules were converted to public bases, including one on Lake Wawasee.
INDOT rules, which are in step with FAA rules, state the usable area for a seaplane base must be a minimum of one-half mile by 100 feet wide, with a 200-foot diameter turning basin at each end. Dewart Lake falls within those parameters.
Portteus noted the law enforcement division looked at different angles in which a base could be positioned and even at the narrowest point there was still plenty of width available to meet INDOT’s requirements.
However, any person affected by the determination may seek an administrative review of the action by the Natural Resources Commission under IC 4-21.5 and 312 IAC 3-1. The letter also notes pursuant to IC 4-21.5-3-30, this determination and any administration review of this determination by the Natural Resources Commission, is subject to subsequent review by the Indiana Department of Transportation.