YOUR LAKE WISH IS OUR LAKE WISH…THE RICE LAKE PROTECTION & REHABILITATION DISTRICT IS MAKING RICE LAKE A BETTER LAKE!...BUT WE HAVE WISHES, TOO!...
“OUR WISH?...THAT MORE COMMUNITY MEMBERS WOULD ATTEND OUT ANNUAL MEETING ON OCTOBER 21ST AT 7PM AT RICE LAKE CITY HALL!”
THE RICE LAKE PROTECTION AND REHABILITATION DISTRICT CONTINUALLY STRIVES TO KEEP YOU INFORMED ABOUT WHAT WE DO!...FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OUR ANNUAL MEETING, GO TO R-L-LAKE-DISTRICT-DOT-ORG YOUR ATTENDANCE IS IMPORTANT TO US, BECAUSE YOUR LAKE WISH IS OUR LAKE WISH!...FOR MORE INFO, GO TO R-L-LAKE-DISTRICT-DOT-ORG
This is the current radio spot (October) for the Rice Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District. All summer long, radio spots have been run that hopefully address questions that constituents of the Lake District and others have about Rice Lake as a body of water and what the District does.
As a Lake District, which is a taxing entity, we have to decide what our budget going into 2016 needs to be. Part of that is determining what projects the Lake District is going to do in 2016.
In 2015, the Lake District completed a new Aquatic Plant Management (APM) Plan and a new Comprehensive Lake Management (CLM) Plan.
The APM Plan
The APM Plan focuses on non-native (curly-leaf pondweed) and native (all other plants in the lake) aquatic plant management actions and strives to educate the citizenry about other non- native aquatic plant species like Eurasian Watermilfoil (EWM) that is not in the lake right now but could get here at any time. It is this plan that lays out the Lake District’s management strategy for the dense growth curly-leaf pondweed (invasive species) that negatively impacts the lake in the early months of the summer; and dense growth native vegetation in certain areas that impacts the lake throughout the summer months. The use of aquatic herbicides and aquatic plant harvesting are included in this plan. You have seen the big blue harvesters out on the lake, and may have seen herbicide being applied to the South Basin in early May. This same plan, supports lake user education, property owner education, and community education as it pertains to how to protect and improve the lake.
The CLM Plan
The CLM Plan includes the management actions in the APM Plan, but goes way beyond just the impacts of aquatic plants on the lake and those who use it. The CLM Plan addresses what is coming into the lake from the Red Cedar River and Bear Creek. Both of these tributaries (streams or rivers that flow into another body of water) are part of the system that carries water from the land around Rice Lake to Rice Lake. This area is called a watershed and covers 1000’s of acres. Land use in this area includes the City of Rice Lake, smaller villages, residential areas, parking lots and roadways, rooftops and lawns, agricultural farm fields, farm animal grazing pastures, large industrial complexes (like PUSH and TOYS), and of course forests, prairies, wetlands, ponds, and other small lakes.
Excess amounts of the nutrients phosphorus and nitrogen (what people often use to make things grow better) are being washed into Rice Lake every day. Some level of phosphorus and nitrogen is healthy and good for the lake and surrounding land, but unfortunately there is an excess of these nutrients that get into the lake and cause lots of problems. At these levels, the nutrients are considered pollution. These nutrients cause excessive large plant growth (both native and non- native), make the water turn green in the summer, and lessen the enjoyment of the lake by users and other community members.
Implementing Our Plans
Almost everything the Lake District does is related to one or more goals, objectives, and actions in either the APM Plan or the CLM Plan. It is expected that the goals, objectives, and actions in these two plans really address what people have concerns about when discussing the lake. If not, then public input is needed to help better guide the Lake District as it moves forward with actions to improve or maintain the quality and integrity of Rice Lake now and in the future. This is where you come in.
While the Lake District seeks as much public input as it can, sometimes it seems like pulling teeth without Novocain or laughing gas. It should not be this hard. Every year the Lake District sets a tax rate that everyone included in the Lake District boundaries has to pay. This sum is generally very small, mostly pennies for every $1000 worth of property value in the District. The District includes all of the City of Rice Lake, and most of the Town of Rice Lake. There are a lot of people who pay to support the actions of the Lake District whether they know it or not. So many, that even on pennies to the thousand, the Lake District takes in nearly $100,000.00 each year.
How we spend that money is really up to you and others that are a part of the constituency. If you don’t want us to spend that kind of money, you need to show up at the Annual Meeting. It is here, where the final budget and tax levy for 2016 is set and voted on.
If you don’t like what the Lake District is doing, the Annual Meeting is your chance to voice that disapproval. Maybe water levels are not what you expect. Maybe the water quality is not satisfactory to you. Maybe the “weeds” by your place are really bad and you don’t feel the Lake District is doing enough about it. Maybe the fishing is bad. Maybe there are too many boats, or too many boating rules and regulations. Maybe you can’t gain access to your favorite part of the lake for one reason or another. Maybe you just want more information about what we are doing and why.
Conversely if you like what the Lake District is doing, we really like to hear that so we know we are serving the public well.
The point is, even though the general public is always welcome at any of the monthly board meetings held by the Lake District. And even though the Lake District sponsored a Recognition and Projects Updates Meeting in August, you may not have known about them, were unable to attend, or just plain missed it all for one of thousands of possible reasons.
At the Annual Meeting we will provide as much time as needed for the public to stand up and voice your concerns, good-bad-or indifferent. We will listen to you and address your concerns if we can. If we can’t we will try to explain why.
At the Annual Meeting we will recap our 2015 projects and get brief updates from each of the Committees that operate within the Lake District to find out what they are spending your money on.
At the Annual Meeting we will present the 2016 Lake District Operating Budget including the setting of the tax levy that you will be paying.
At the Annual Meeting, all those present will be asked to vote “yes” or “no” on our proposed budget and actions slated for 2016.
At the Annual Meeting we will be electing at least one, if not more new Commissioners to help guide the Lake District Board and the things they do.
It is your money, come and see how the Lake District is spending it.
The Annual Meeting is to be held on October 21, 2015 at the Rice Lake City Hall. The meeting starts at 7:00pm. The meeting itself should not take more than an hour of your time. Refreshments will be served.