A letter in the March 20 Tomahawk Leader:
To The Editor:
Many people have been inspired by the beauty and serenity of the Great Wisconsin Northwoods. Fishing, boating and recreational activities abound year round. Wildlife is abundant. This is called God’s country for good reason. So, in December 2003, my Bridge Lake home became my primary residence.
My search for Bridge Lake’s lake association led me to the Lake Nokomis Concerned Citizens (LNCC), which I joined. It was important for me to keep updated on current lake issues. In 2004, invasive species threats such as rusty crayfish, purple loosestrife and Eurasian Water Milfoil (EWM) were just emerging. Now, EWM threatens to take over several areas on the Rice Reservoir. It grows fast and can easily be spread. Left untreated, EWM will destroy native water plants and animals. The thick, ugly weed beds will render the water useless for recreational activities. LNCC is the only group actively and effectively fighting invasive species on the Rice Reservoir. Monetary donations from residents and community and grants from the state help fund this fight. However, the weeds grow faster than it can be controlled. The biggest effect on riparian landowners will be lower property values…
Recently, LNCC sent a petition and letter detailing the creation of a new lake district for the Rice Reservoir (Lake Nokomis, Bridge Lake and the Deer Lake Channel specifically). The arguments were enlightening and persuasive. However, questions lingered about how this organization would operate, how much it would cost me, and how my property would be represented. So I went to a LNCC board meeting for answers.
The district will have five to seven commissioners. Oneida County and Town of Nokomis will appoint one each. The Towns of Bradley and Little Rice will be represented along with three others. At the annual meeting, district members (actual owners of land on, and very near, Lake Nokomis and Bridge Lake) determine the composition of and elect candidates to the board of commissioners. This board carries out the wishes of the district members. The district members also vote on an agenda and budget. A district fee of 25 cents per thousand may be proposed, only 1/10th the maximum allowed. The fee could change yearly based on the district’s needs and member approval. The fee appears on your annual property tax bill but is used only by the lake district for issues decided by district members.
At first I was skeptical of forming this lake district. Not any more. There is a small group of people dedicated to keep the Rice Reservoir beautiful and safe. Their efforts have largely gone unnoticed and their goals cannot be accomplished due to community apathy and limited funds. The efforts of David Nycz and others have limited EWM effects. Clearly, the fight must continue and expand! Your help is needed.
We, the riparian landowners and our off water neighbors, need to band together and manage the problems nature and visitors bring to our lake. … A tax deductible lake district fee, imposed by the district landowners themselves, will fairly spread the costs of maintaining our lakes’ beauty and land values. …
Read the information. Ask questions. Get involved. …