STAMBAUGH TOWNSHIP—Ordinance No. 29 could be a “can of worms” for Stambaugh Township, noted local fisherman Larry Dobson, who attended the board’s May 2 meeting.
Dobson told the board that both the DNR and the Iron County prosecutor said they would not be enforcing the provisions of Ordinance 29 on Chicaugon Lake.
The ordinance allows the Chicaugon Lake Association to initiate the permit process for boats entering the lake waters as a means of raising funds to assist the association with treating the lake for Eurasian watermilfoil.
“We’re going to enforce it ourselves,” Township Supervisor Eugene Pellizzaro told Dobson, noting that it’s a township ordinance and the township can offer citations.
The DNR’s position, said Pellizzaro, was that it was not going out on the lake to enforce the ordinance.
According to Lakes & Streams Association, said township resident Paul Nelson, people cannot be charged to use the water, and they cannot be charged to put in a boat.
“We’re not charging for using the water,” said Pellizzaro.
“This is a boat sticker. The DNR is not taking care of the lake.”
Dobson told the board it was catering to the lake association, but Trustee Kevin Isaacson said the board was only stepping in to help them out.
“Not just them, but anyone who wants to use the lake, and to help prevent the spread of this (milfoil).”
Dobson said the lake association wanted the lake to be a swimming lake, while fishermen wanted it open for fishing.
“You guys are opening yourself to a lawsuit,” said Dobson, adding that he’s already paid his fishing license fees.
“If these people want a private lake, they should buy on a private lake,” said Dobson.
“The DNR told me they don’t know what to do.”
Dobson added that the DNR told him that it was not their water, and the prosecutor said she was going to do what the DNR did.
“It’s not legal,” Dobson said.
“There’s a lot of opinions out there,” said Pellizzaro. “This hasn’t been decided anywhere in Michigan. We’re testing the waters.”
“Lakes & Streams Association says it’s illegal,” Nelson said. “That’s enough for me. That’s good enough for me.”
“You guys could be opening yourself to a can of worms,” Dobson added.
Isaacson said that nobody is tacking the growing milfoil problem.
“County, state… nobody wants to do it.”
“Everybody agrees it’s a DNR problem, but they’re not doing anything,” said Pellizzaro.
“I know a bunch of guys who won’t buy the stickers,” said Dobson.
“It’s the DNR’s problem, not anybody else’s.”
According to Pellizzaro, the riparian owners on the lake have been paying for the milfoil treatment for the past four years.
“I could predict that if nothing’s done about milfoil, there will be people who can’t get boats from their docks into open waters. I’ve seen lakes where the milfoil has not been controlled.”
During the discussion about treating for milfoil, one suggestion was to “harvest” the invasive weed, as is being done in some areas, but one township resident noted that this just spreads it faster.
In another matter regarding the ordinance, Pellizzaro noted that the ordinance had some errors that need to be corrected.
According to the ordinance, said Pellizzaro, the township is designating the lake association as the agency to receive revenues, but this was inaccurate.
The revenues, he said, are not going to the association. The township would be collecting the revenue with the funds disbursed to the association upon receipt of an invoice.
The wording needs to be changed, said Pellizzaro, and will be brought up at the next Zoning Board meeting.
The board also approved Shelly Losey as the administrator of Ordinance 29.
Losey, said Pellizzaro, has expressed an interest in the position and will do it at no cost.
She’s also a township constable, he said.
In other business:
--Pellizzaro told the board that the county has finally signed the grant agreement with the state. and there will be some proposals out to get estimates so engineers can be hired.
“This whole bike trail has become a nightmare,” said Pellizzaro.
“It’s been five, six months working on this, just signing the agreement last week with the DNR and MDOT. When I see equipment out there making a trail, I’ll believe.”
--Pellizzaro said the Recreation Association of Iron County (RAIC) and the EDC are joining with the Windsor Center to hire architects for some proposals on the Windsor building.
The RAIC and EDC are acting as advisories on the project, he said.
“There’s grant money available.”
--The board accepted the low bid of T&T Excavating for the M-73 water line replacement.
The bid was for $7.48 per foot for 1,750 feet of line.
--Regarding the East Brule Lake Road, Pellizzaro said the Road Commission has sent out bids, which were due by Tuesday (May 8).
The East Brule Lake Road project consists of some 2 1 /4 miles or 11,880 feet, which the Road Commission would do in three parts, said Pellizzaro.
The total project would be $314,000.
The first part would include culverts, gravel and grading for the first half, $50,000; second part would be the second half, $64,000; and the third part, blacktopping at a cost of $200,000.
“This is just an estimate,” he said.