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Letter to the Editor: All should be concerned about drainage plan

As an attendee at the July 16 Ditch 25 Little McDonald, Kerbs and Paul Lakes Improvement District's Operational Plan Meeting, I walked away with little confidence that the quality of the water of the downstream lakes will be protected under the Lake Improvement District's current plan.

Although there are far more taxpaying property owners on Berger, McDonald, Big McDonald, Star and Dead lakes than in the Lake Improvement District, the statements made by the LID's representatives made it apparent that our concerns were not valued or wanted.

We, the downstream lakes, have the obligation to protect the current state of our lakes for future generations. The Lake Improvement District did agree, at the intervention of Commissioner Wayne Johnson, to phosphorus testing in May for McDonald Lake, but that was the only protection added.

The quality of water in Berger, Big McDonald, Star and Dead lakes are just as important. Why were protections not put in place for them? Why haven't the Otter Tail County Commissioners demanded that an independent Environmental Impact Study be conducted? It is very difficult to gain the trust of the downstream lakes when the firm, hired by the Lake Improvement District, is the only agency whose opinions are considered by the commissioners.

Otter Tail County prides itself on its lake system. Unfortunately, the Little McDonald, Kerbs and Paul Lake Improvement District project has the potential to negatively impact hundreds of downstream lake property owners as well as the entire ecosystem.

Any potential negative impact to the water quality of the lakes in our county should be of great concern not only to the Otter Tail County Commissioners, but to you, the public at large.