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Seeds sown for Pell Lake management plan



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April 08, 2014 | 03:25 PM
BLOOMFIELD — If getting volunteers is any indication, the Lake Management Plan for Pell Lake is off to a good start.

Between 60 and 70 people attended a meeting March 29 on the subject at the Bloomfield Town Hall.

At the end of the meeting more than a dozen people stepped up and volunteered to help out.

Presenting the options for the community’s plan was Eric Olson, director and lakes specialist for the UW-Extension Lakes program. He discussed the different possibilities for how to form it, including an incorporated lake association, a qualified lake association and a public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district. Each system has its own structure and formation process, financing methods and management powers.

“In all cases, lake management relies on local participation,” Olson pointed out. “The DNR can help you set it up, and we have other organizations in place to assist. The quickest way to set up a management association is by the village board appointing a committee and levying a charge to support the program.”

Other organizations which offer help include the Southeastern Wisconsin Planning Commission (SEWRPC), represented at the meeting by Beverly Saunders, senior specialist and biologist, and the Walworth County Land Use and Resource Management Department, whose lake specialist Audrey Greene attended as well.

“Both Pleasant Lake and Lauderdale Lakes have both districts and associations,” she said.

Having both systems in place provides eligibility for grant writing by the district and citizen fundraising and donations by the association.

In many cases, Olson said, the village can start the lake management program and then turn it over to a citizens’ independently-elected commission. Or, as Delavan Lake did, form a completely nongovernmental advocate for the lake.

Since Pell Lake has already completed a Pell Lake Aquatic Plan, which is available at the village clerk’s office or on the village’s website, www.bloomfield-wi.us, many of the active goals have already been set.

The main question from the citizens in attendance at the meeting was, “What’s the fastest way to get this done?”

Olson said the village or the association are each eligible to get this moving quickly. Greene said she was willing to work as the facilitator to keep things on an even keel as they organized.

And Village President Ken Monroe said, “What we need are five to seven people to work with the experts who can help institute this plan, and to form a board of directors with chair, recording secretary and bylaws.”

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