Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

April 12, 2013

New superintendent to oversee lake; marina to be sold at auction

Bill Grimes
Daily News

---- — Effingham native Michael R. Dirks is expecting to begin work Monday as the new Lake Sara superintendent.

Dirks accepted an offer from the Effingham Water Authority Board March 29. Board President Chris Kabbes said in a prepared statement, “We look forward to having Mike come on board and continue the tradition of making Lake Sara a beautiful asset to the Effingham area.”

Dirks was born and raised in Effingham before joining the U.S. Air Force. As a security forces member, Dirks earned the rank of senior airman before his discharge.

He then earned a bachelor’s degree in forestry resource management from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Upon graduation, he worked as a forester for Cole Logging Inc.

Since July 2011, Dirks has been the district executive for De Soto Area Council of Boy Scouts of America in El Dorado, Ark.

Dirks accepted the lake superintendent position after a lengthy search by EWA board members to seek a replacement for retiring Gene Arnold.

In addition to a new superintendent, the lake is likely to see a new owner of The Marina@Lake Sara following an auction next month. The owner is selling the marina, stage and 16 surrounding acres.

Marina owner Brian Larson said the project has just become too much for him.

"I've enjoyed it," Larson said. "It's been fun, but I'm 51 years old and this has taken up a big portion of my summers. I think it would be better in the hands of other owners."

The auction is set for 2 p.m. May 19 at the marina on the north shore of Lake Sara. While the Effingham Water Authority owns the land, Larson owns the lease.

For a minimum bid of $395,000, the lease buyer will receive 16 acres of land, the 600-square-foot bait house, three outbuildings and the stage area.

Other items for sale include five float boats, a riding lawn mower, golf cart and box truck.

Larson said he would operate the marina until the sale is closed, typically 30 days after the auction.

Larson opened the marina in 2007 with then-partner Danny Hankins. He also owns Broncor, a health care company that provides interoperative monitoring for surgeries involving nerves.

Larson said he would continue to operate Broncor, which employs 35 people.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com.