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Star Lake residents initiate LID

Tom Hintgen/FOCUS Speaking to county board members and requesting the establishment of a Star Lake LID are Property Owners Association members, from left, Lee Mindemann, Jim Ebert and Noah Riley.

Members of the Star Lake Property Owners Association are the latest group to seek county board support for establishment of a Lake Improvement District, or LID.

The county board, meeting in Perham last week, set a date of June 10, 2013 for a public hearing on the matter.

"This will allow for lake residents who head south for the winter to have the opportunity to attend the public hearing," said Lee Mindemann, chairman of the Star Lake Property Owners Association.

Mindemann and fellow association members Jim Ebert and Noah Riley told the county board that, during previous public information meetings, 85 percent of attendees have supported the establishment of a Star Lake LID. They also said it's imperative that those in opposition to an LID also have their voices heard.

Mindemann, Ebert and Riley agreed to the county board's request that voices from all sides of the LID issue be heard in future months.

For its part, the county board said it seeks uniformity of LID structures among the various lakes in Otter Tail County. The board, in addition to setting June 10 as the date for a Star Lake LID hearing, passed a resolution supporting the association in efforts to pursue LID designation.

"We feel we've done our due diligence," said Mindemann. "In was back in June of 2011 when our association established a committee to look into forming an LID. Star Lake is a pristine body of water with good fishery and good wildlife habitat. We want to keep it that way."

He said property owners have done their best, with limited resources, to address lake betterment issues. Down the road, said Mindemann, an LID will be needed to address issues at Star Lake such as high water and invasive species.

Star Lake currently has 853 property owners with 471 parcels.

The county currently has five LIDs: One for the Pelican group of lakes near Pelican Rapids, a second for the lakes of Little McDonald, Kerbs and Paul, a third includes Devil's and Little Devil's lakes, a fourth for Big and Little Pine lakes and a fifth for South Turtle Lake.

Big McDonald, Marion Lake and other lakes in Otter Tail County, in addition to Star Lake, also are making efforts at development of LIDs.