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Marion Lake voters say ‘no’ to LID

Residents of Marion Lake, southwest of Perham, voted on Saturday to reject the formation of a Lake Improvement District, or LID.

The vote was 176 against and 111 in favor.

Proponents had hoped the LID would help fund pro-active measures to protect water quality and prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Since the idea was first brought forward, however, opponents have emphasized that they didn’t want the additional taxes. Opposition leaders have argued that Marion Lake has no invasives, and that the money raised through an improvement district wouldn’t do enough to solve that problem anyway. They also feel that more state assistance is needed.

Marion Lake voters cast their ballots on the issue at a referendum held at the Richville Senior Citizens Center. The referendum was required after more than 26 percent of lake residents petitioned for a vote on the matter.

If it had been approved, the Marion Lake LID would have been the first in Minnesota that was not created in response to a specific problem, according to a report on Minnesota Public Radio.

A LID is a special-purpose district formed around a lake. It is a local unit of government established by resolution of the county board, and support must come from a majority of affected property owners.

Otter Tail County currently has six such districts, and efforts are now underway to create a LID at Star Lake.

Tom Hintgen, Otter Tail County Correspondent