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Residents in one KCK neighborhood want slimy lake where people once fished cleaned up

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Drivers along Leavenworth Road are complaining about an eyesore, a pond that's overgrown with algae and weeds.

Neighbors near Welborn Lake say they're disgusted by conditions they say even keeps wildlife away.

Lakefront property is usually highly desirable, but not near this body of water.

This used to be a place where people would fish and swim. Now, it's being compared to a cesspool.

Kurt Thomas is one of about a dozen homeowners who have formed the Welborn Lake Improvement Club.

He believes two mild winters have made the algae and other green slime worse than ever this year.

Neighbors have worked to clean up the shoreline and are partnering with the Leavenworth Road Association to lobby the Unified Government to tackle cleaning up the water.

"I've heard people say that they maybe want to fill it in but we’re kind of against that because we like the wildlife," Thomas said. "We like the geese, the ducks and the fish. A lot of wild animals that live around here, like the frogs."

Some say the problem is that the water is only about five or six feet deep.

That allows sunlight to reach the bottom and spur the growth of weeds.

At one time Welborn lake was about 15 feet deep.

Homeowners at the private lake inquired about dredging the pond to make it deeper, but the estimate, about $100,000, is too much for less than 50 property owners in this area to pay.

"People here just don’t have that money," said Robert Gordon, who's lived on the lake for 30 years."They are retired people or when they were working, they weren’t making that kind of money. Just don’t have that type of money."

There are city plans to put in a new sidewalk along Leavenworth Road, although some aren't sure anyone will walk next to a slimy, smelly lake.

Neighbors say they would rather see that money used to make Welborn Lake attractive for wildlife and recreation again.