Neighbors on Star Lake can’t agree on improving vacation spotDent, MN (WDAY TV) - A battle is brewing near Dent, Minnesota, where waterfront property owners are disputing who should be responsible for funding improvements to Star Lake.
By: Andrea Hubbell, WDAY
Dent, MN (WDAY TV) - A battle is brewing near Dent, Minnesota, where waterfront property owners are disputing who should be responsible for funding improvements to Star Lake.
Some say a Lake Improvement District or "LIDS" might be the answer, while others are saying no way.
Lee Mindemann, For “LIDS”: "It's about 200, about 175 to 200 property owners that are members of the property owners association if you will."
It all comes down to money.
Mindemann: "Will mean an additional property tax."
While every year hundreds of property owners on star lake pay dues towards keeping the vacation spot in tip top shape. The thousands of dollars that flow in is spent just as fast protecting the area.
Mindemann: "Things like aquatic invasive species, or high level water issues. All in which we've seen happen with greater frequency in Otter Tail County."
And for the last two years property owners have been fighting to figure out which way is best to increase finances to fend off these problem.
Mindemann: "We don't really know how much it's going to cost and frankly we just know the current budget of the property owners association is not going to be sustainable over time to meet those increased costs."
A popular solution in Minnesota is creating a government-like option called LIDS or Lake Improvement District.
Now there's three different ways to develop a LID: one through the DNR, two through the resolution of intent and three through a petition. But property owners say there's no easy answer.
Marvin Hexum, Against “LIDS”: "It's more government to begin with."
Marvin Hexum owns two properties around the lakes area but doesn't agree with implementing the LIDS. In fact, Hexum wants the idea to stop before it even begins. And to do that, owners against the plan have to find 25 percent of Minnesota owners to say "no" and sign a petition saying so.
Hexum: "We're forced to go after a petition, to get something that's not in place stopped when it should be the masses that bring this thing to tuition in order to get it implemented."
Problem is, many of the lakeside owners aren't from Minnesota.
Hexum: "Besides that, the DNR, which is state, they are basically in charge of the lake. So, they should fund things that need correcting on the lake."
So, the biggest problem property owners face is funding.
Mindemann: "It does submit a budget to the county each year. And then the county would add that to the property tax bill of all people that own property within that proposed lid."
Tuesday, board members are expected to officially pass the LIDS proposal.