Art Koch said he’s been diving in some pretty exotic places in the Caribbean and Pacific over the past 20 years, but the place he’s most anxious to explore is the lake across the street.
Koch, owner of Sea Level Diving at 93 E. Berkshire Dr., said he’s been waiting for years to get access to the 500-acre Three Oaks Recreation Area — formerly known as the Vulcan gravel pit.
He wants the city to open the place to divers as soon as possible.
“The reason I opened a shop here is because of that lake,” Koch said of the expansive body of water that he can see from his parking lot.
Koch said he organizes trips that are available for his students to places like Fiji and Grenada.
Having a place to practice and explore right across the street would be good for business.
opened late in 2010. And 2011 was its first full season.
City officials have said they are moving slow because the place is so new.
“I think we could open it to scuba divers,” Ralph Dawson said. “But before that happens, I want to make sure safeguards are in place.”
Dawson said he wanted the lake protected from the infestation of invasive species such as zebra mussels. He also wanted to make sure non-resident divers would pay a fee to use the lake.
“Sure,” Councilman Jeff Thorsen said. “Let the divers in. The sooner the better.”