Spring Message From The President
By Glen Johnson
As usually happens, spring eventually comes around after a rough winter. For those who are not year-round residents, it is time to think of getting the house ready and the boat launched.
If you like to read the legal notices in the Florence Mining News, you might want to seek professional help; however, you would also know that last fall the County Board approved a boat launch fee on county owned landings, which includes North Lake landing, specifically for capital improvements at the landing sites. This action came out of the Forestry and Parks Committee of the Board. The committee is responsible for the maintenance and improvement of the county owned landing sites. Like a lot of projects in the county, this work is funded by state grants through the DNR. The committee was informed by the state that unless they instituted a launch fee, the amount of funding would be reduced.
Separate and apart from the activity of the Forestry and Parks Committee, we have been talking to the county about a launch fee. Our concern is that the county needs a funding source to pay the clean boats/clean waters inspection and boat wash expenses.
Again, the county is dependent on annual state grants to fund the inspectors. The county has secured money to fund inspectors for the 2015 season but the amount available will not allow us the coverage on North Lake that we feel will make a meaningful impact. Wisconsin, like many other states, is dealing with limited financial resources and increasing demands for more spending. Future funding from the state may not be forthcoming. The county, to fulfill its fiduciary stewardship of the county lakes, should have a dedicated source of revenue for boat inspections in the absence of such state funding.
We, as well as other county organizations, lobbied the Forestry and Parks Committee that this fee should not be limited to capital improvements but also for boat inspection. As the fine print in the newspaper stated, we lost the argument at this time. So much for my career as a lobbyist.
Meanwhile, when the ice goes out, our friends, the zebra mussels, will still be with us. The goal now is to keep their relatives out of our lakes. We intend to fund additional time for the aforementioned boat inspectors with money you have donated designated for invasive species.
I hope you find the articles in this newsletter informative. Our phone numbers are listed if you have any comments or suggestions.
See you on the lakes!
Spread Eagle Chain 'O Lakes Association, Inc. (SECOLA)
P.O. Box 413
Florence, WI 54121
Town of Florence, WI
DNR Aquatic Invasive Species Program
Protect Your Waters: Stop Aquatic Hitchikers