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Star Lake LID vote gets green light

Otter Tail County Auditor Wayne Stein has reviewed the results of a Petition for Referendum for the proposed Star Lake Improvement District and has found everything to be in order. Thus, a referendum will be held in summer 2014.

The petition contained 393 signatures with 321 accepted, which makes it a valid petition.

The county board unanimously voted at a meeting last week to call a special election from 2-8 p.m. on Saturday, July 5, 2014, for the purpose of a referendum vote of all qualified voters and property owners regarding the establishment of the proposed Star Lake Improvement District.

The location for voters is yet to be determined

A core group of Star Lake residents who are members of the property owners association previously made the push for establishment of a Lake Improvement District, or LID. A public hearing on the matter was held June 10.

For its part, the county board said it seeks uniformity of LID structures among the various lakes in Otter Tail County.

Star Lake LID proponents say they’ve done their due diligence. Opponents, however, see a LID as too costly and as another layer of government, in addition to other concerns.

It was in June of 2011 when the lake association established a committee to look into forming a LID. The group said a LID was needed in order to address potential challenges to the wellbeing of their lake, such as high water levels and aquatic invasive species.

Star Lake currently has 471 parcels with 853 property owners.

Minnesota’s state legislature authorized establishment of LIDs in 1973. Support must come from a majority of affected property owners in a particular boundary.

Tom Hintgen, Otter Tail County Correspondent