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Lake level dispute going back to court PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wendy Otto-Shimun   
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 3:08 PM

STAMBAUGH TOWNSHIP—It may be the middle of winter, but the Indian Lake Association will be back in court again regarding the lake’s diminishing water level.
Stambaugh Township Supervisor Eugene Pellizzaro reported on the issue at the January meeting of the Stambaugh Township Board.
According to documents sent to Pellizzaro regarding the case, the Indian Lake Association now has an issue with the Chicaugon Lake Association’s involvement with the implementation of a well, claiming the potential new well site is beyond Pentoga Park’s boundaries.
The Indian Lake group hopes to pump water from a new well into Indian Lake. The potential location of the new well is near Pentoga Road, though it is unclear how the Lake Association plans to transport water from the well to Indian Lake.
It was also noted that no permits had been acquired from the DNR or the Department of Environmental Quality. The Indian Lake Association is contesting involvement of the Chicaugon Lake Association’s geologist.
The township’s No. 1 water system usage is down slightly from 2011, according to water supervisor Gary Pangrazzi’s annual pumpage report. Just over 37 million gallons were pumped in 2012, with a 102,000-gallon daily average.
It was a very good year for main line breaks, with only six occurring; the least Pangrazzi has seen. This was due to recent work along M-73, which normally accounted for four or five breaks per year. Though there were fewer main line breaks, Pangrazzi said user-owned service line breaks were increasing.
“We find more service line breaks every day,” he said. “They are addressed as soon as we find them.”
The water department also reports problems with several water customers accessing water from a single tap—a violation of the township water ordinance. They will be told  by letter that they have until July 1 to rectify the issue with separate service lines.
Pellizzaro reported on the Heritage Trail non-motorized pathway project, which is partially funded by the DNR Trust Fund and the Scenic Byways program. Because of the state’s participation and the resignation of Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region’s Lori Hausworth, who was a vital part of the project, plans have been delayed during the past few months.
Questions pertaining to a previously abandoned request for engineering proposals were unanswered by the state Department of Transportation, according to Road Commission Superintendent Doug Tomasoski.
According to information Pellizzaro received at a project meeting prior to the township meeting, engineering proposals are expected to be advertised for in the next few weeks. It may be nearly two months before a firm is chosen. The way things are going, Pellizzaro said, he wonders if the project will begin by next summer and be completed by the Dec. 31 deadline. He said he hopes extensions could be granted once the project is initiated.
The supervisor also updated the board on the Windsor Center, noting that the group has scheduled a meeting with First Step’s Jim Beauchamp regarding a business plan for the Windsor Recreation Authority.
Pellizzaro plans to use the assistance of Iron Conservation District Forester Tyler Wood for a recommendation on the possibility of logging 60 acres of land near Wagner Lake Road. Wood’s services are free to the township, as well as to the public, through a Forestry Assistance Program grant, funded by the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to encourage more active management of non-industrial private lands. Residents interested in increasing forest management through the Iron Conservation District may call 875-3765 or visit
The board approved the changes recommended by the Planning Commission, which were discussed at the December meeting and public hearing. The changes, which include the addition of all currently undeveloped lakes to the L-2 District, will be published and will take effect after 30 days.
Also approved was the payment of the final Road Commission bill for work done on East Brule Lake Road in the amount of $25,391.07, slightly lower than estimated.
The township’s compensation commission will be asked to meet before the February meeting, as Township Board pay raises, if desired, must be requested at least 30 days prior to the annual meeting.


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