A letter in the May 13 Tomahawk Leader:
Letter to the Editor:
After reading the article in the April 29 Tomahawk Leader regarding the proposed Lake Nokomis Protection District, and attending the public hearing May 2 at the Nokomis Town Hall, I believe the following issues/questions need to be addressed:
1. Why did the lake district petitioners have an unlimited amount of time to raise the 51 percent signatures required, while those with objections only had four business days to file an objection?
2. Of the letter received in those four days, 56 were against formation of the district and only two were for the district.
3. Why did the lake district proponents push to have the public hearing at 4 p.m. on Friday at the Nokomis Town Hall, when the town chairman had arranged to hold the meeting at the school for free on a Saturday in order to accommodate more people at a more convenient time?
4. One hundred seventy-seven people attended the meeting, and others were turned away due to the maximum capacity at the town hall. The majority of those who spoke were against formation of the district.
5. Some property owners who had signed the petition and later requested their signature be removed found out their signature had not been removed.
6. Some property owners who had signed the petition were misled as to what they were signing (some thought it was a one-time donation), while others were pressured with multiple requests to sign.
7. Some property owners within the district never had the chance to sign or object to the petition. They were not contacted by a petitioner or letter, and knew nothing about the proposed lake district.
8. Because it took almost two years to get the required number of signatures, how many properties have since been sold to new owners who knew nothing about the petition?
9. Why is the Bradley Dam not included in the district boundaries?
10. Why are non-riparian properties included in the district boundaries? Some properties are more than three-quarters of a mile away from the lake. According to two attorneys and an appraiser at the public meeting, the only property owners that would receive a “real and demonstratable” benefit from the district are those on the lake and those with lake access.
11. The Leader article mentioned the tax levy on the lake district properties would be 25 cents per $1,000. In addition to the levy, the law states property owners may also be taxed for (1) special assessments at an additional 25 cents per $1,000, (2) principal and interest on debt incurred by the district (for example, the purchase of a boat)-no maximum cap, (3) lawsuits brought against the lake district-no maximum cap. (Note at least two property owners have already hired attorneys.)
12. The proponents of the lake district state the main issue is dealing with invasive species such as milfoil. However, this additional layer of government has the power to create a sanitary district, public parks, a water safety patrol unit, etc.
13. What will the chemicals used to treat the milfoil do to property owners’ drinking water, and to the aquatic wildlife?