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Lake association offers freedom of choice PDF Print E-mail

Letter the Editor:

The Big Sand Lake Property Owners Association was formed in 1993 to deal with the Eurasian water milfoil problem. I have been a voluntary member and contributor to fight that problem from the beginning.

I am proud to say the association has done a wonderful job with members voluntary donations, and grants from the state of Wisconsin to bring the milfoil to a much less expensive and manageable condition.

Not all property owners belong to or donated funds to the association. Some feel it is wrong to treat the lake with chemicals. (Do you remember the approved use of DDT?) These people are exercising their freedom of choice.

By law, to form a lake district, 51% of the landowners must petition, or owners of 51% of the land. Two years ago, formation in the form of 51% of the landowners failed.

Now the petition is based on owners of 74% of the land, not 74% of all the property owners. Sixteen of the largest parcels are owned by only six owners, some of which are corporations and trusts.

There are 79 lake associations in Vilas County, but only six lake districts. Why? Many associations have fundraisers that are open to the public to raise funds to raise awareness and to promote fellowship in the committee.

The Big Sand Lake Association has never in 20 years had one, yet as a district they want to levy taxes. Why? The goals of an association and a district are identical. However, in practice, one is voluntary and one mandatory. One seeks donations, the other levies taxes. One allows for freedom of choice, one does not.

The Vilas County Land and Water Conservation Committee found that a district was not necessary at this time for the public good, as required by law. I urge the county board to stand behind their committee’s decision and allow for freedom of choice.

Dru Claar

Phelps

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 3:16 PM
 

Comments  

 
0 #1 2013-03-25 12:09
Just a couple of comments:
1.Chemicals have nothing to do with a lake district, it is just the most viable solution at this time and is highly regulated - fear mongering is a poor substitution for facts
2. 74% of the property will pay 74% of the cost
3. Is Freedom of choice the same as Freedom to freeload? There are lots of things I don't like or use but I have to pay for. All property owners benefit and they should pay for that benefit.
4. Lake Districts will contiinue to grow as the threats continue to grow, 20 years ago milfoil was rare in Vilas County, look at it now.
5. Mr Claar - feel free to volunteer to organize a fundraiser! The same small handful of people do all the work.
6. When the volunteers get fed up and quit donating I expect the county and town to kick in the funds needed to protect the lakes.
The reduced bag limits, lake quality degredation, fuel prices.....how will it end, it doesn't bode well for the northwoods.
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