STAMBAUGH TOWNSHIP—The Chicaugon Lake milfoil issue continued to be a topic of discussion at the October meeting of the Stambaugh Township Board.
Township Supervisor Eugene Pellizzaro reported that the total revenue collected from lake use permit stickers was $12,460.
A breakdown of expenses for the year included DNR permits at $400 and 16 acres of treatment costing just under $18,000.
A 2012 lake survey, costing $2,400, showed 18.19 acres of milfoil left in the lake. Expenses for the year totaled $23,035.
“If we have no source of revenue, it will get away from us,” Pellizzaro said, referring to the recent uproar regarding the permits.
He added that the Chicaugon Lake Association currently has enough money for next year’s treatment expenses.
Despite this apparent success, Iron County Commissioner Wayne Wales expressed his concerns to the board, stating that the “issue is going in the complete opposite direction that is should be.”
He added that local law enforcement feels alienated and key groups were lost due to the township’s enforcement of its ordinance.
Pellizzaro pointed out that local law enforcement is not the responsible party in ordinance enforcement.
“It is a township issue,” he said.
He also reminded Wales that the township had asked other groups for assistance for years, with no action taken other than the Chicaugon Lake Association’s $40,000 contribution for previous milfoil treatments.
“We’re willing to work with anybody who has a good idea,” Pellizzaro said.
He brought up the fact that the County Board had recently rescinded its permission to place a money collection box at the county-owned boat landing, with the claim that the agreement between the two entities had been violated by the use of a trail camera at the site.
It was explained by Chicaugon Lake Association member John Archokosky that he had personally put the trail camera up to deter ongoing vandalism to the box, a suggestion that had come from an Iron County Sheriff’s deputy.
Archokosky told Wales that his personal action should not reflect on the township or its agreement with the county, as the Township Board was unaware of the camera.
One audience member called the county’s reasoning “an easy out.”
With most comments at the meeting geared towards the county and the township working together, Trustee Kevin Isaacson asked Wales what specific issues the county has with the township’s ordinance, other than the law enforcement.
Wales suggested continuing to try to get the DNR or DEQ involved, stating, “We can’t handle this milfoil issue on our own in this county.”
Lake Association attorney Steve Polich reminded those who chastised the township’s actions, claiming more cooperation was necessary, that many people, including the late Jerry Losey, had asked for cooperation with the problem some eight to 10 years ago.
“The Chicaugon Lake Association has requested help for years and years from these organizations,” Polich said. “This is not the lake association’s fault or the township’s. We’ve had a cooperative working relationship. The county’s done nothing. End of story,” Polich said.
Pellizzaro added that he had attended a meeting in Gogebic County with the head of the DEQ, State Sen. Tom Casperson and State Rep. Matt Huuki, regarding the milfoil there, which, he said, got them nowhere.
In the end, members of the Township Board, the Chicaugon Lake Association and Wales agreed to meet to further discuss the matter.
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