STAMBAUGH TOWNSHIP—The controversial issue of the Chicaugon Lake usage fee was brought up again at the June 5 meeting of the Stambaugh Township Board.
Changes were made to Ordinance No. 29, the township’s ordinance requiring users of the lake to obtain a permit before putting a boat on the lake.
The ordinance now states that all proceeds from the sale of permits will be used exclusively for invasive species control and enforcement.
Failing to obtain a permit is a violation of the township ordinance and is considered a municipal civil infraction and subject to a fine of $200 plus any court costs or attorney fees.
Also adopted was an agreement between Stambaugh Township and Iron County, in which the county will allow the installation of a permit fee money box at the county owned boat landing on Chicaugon Lake.
The agreement also holds the county harmless against any liability involving the fee box.
County resident Tony Dallavalle urged the board to discuss the issue with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, noting that the invasive species is a plant that cannot be defeated and that fact is why the DNR does not participate in any type of lake treatments
Dallavalle’s opinion was that the DNR was not assisting because there was no hope of eradicating the plants.
Stambaugh Township Supervisor Eugene Pellizzaro explained that while the Township Board itself had not talked to the DNR, the Chicaugon Lake Home Owners Association had, and both groups were very well informed about the invasive species.
It was Pellizzaro’s opinion that the DNR has chosen not to take part in treatments because of a lack of money.
He added that the township and the home owners association had chosen to take the proactive approach to at least get the milfoil under control, as it had recently spread closer to the boat landing and is now in the beach area.
Pellizzaro also said that Runkle Lake has nearly defeated the plant and that in Vilas County, Wis., 288 acres of milfoil was recently cut to 66 acres after repeated treatments.
“It will take over the whole lake if we don’t do something.” Pellizzaro said.
Trustee Kevin Isaacson added, “Pretty soon you won’t even be able to put a boat out.”
Twenty acres of the lake was scheduled for treatment on June 7, according to Pellizzaro.
In other business, work is being scheduled for East Brule Lake Road, with North East Asphalt coming in the with the low bid, though Pellizzaro said that a contract from the Iron County Road Commission has not yet been received.
The first half of the project includes one and a half miles, or 8,000 feet of road, and will begin at the West Hagerman Lake Road intersection.
Estimates for the initial work were $55,488 and included gravel and culvert work, but did not include the Road Commission’s 5 percent administration fee.
Water supervisor Gary Pangrazzi updated the board on the M-73 water line replacement project, which was recently completed.
There were no problems and he commended T&T Excavating on the work done. After the required water sampling and testing, the new portion will be put online.
Pellizzaro brought up the township’s allocated tax money, which is received from the county, noting that a request for an allocation increase was again shot down by the county.
A proposal on the August primary ballot will leave a future increase up to the voters.
The proposal asks for a 5/100s of a mill increase from the county for the years 2013 and 2014.
He stressed that this is not a tax increase, but a shift of funds between the county and the townships.
A Stanley Lake feud between neighbors continues to plague the township, which recently ticketed one resident on blight issues.
That resident was in attendance to complain about the poor condition of a fence which had been erected by the other involved party.
Pellizzaro informed the resident that since the fence was on the property line, the resident could paint and maintain his side of the fence, as well as remove any “no trespassing” signs on his side.
That resident was also directed to remove a vehicle and a camper from his own property, as they were considered a violation of the blight ordinance.
Also cleared up was an issue involving campers on the property over the summer months.
Pellizzaro and Zoning Board Member Isaacson informed the resident that his property is zoned as a lake lot and therefore cannot have campers temporarily parked there.
A wellhead protection plan update was given by GEI Consultants engineer Craig Richardson.
A public education presentation will be held on Monday, July 9, at 6 p.m., prior to the regular monthly meeting of the board.
All are invited to attend to learn more about the plan which protects the townships well heads and aquifers from contamination.
The presentation will include information from the Department of Environmental Qualities’ Chuck Thomas.
According to Isaacson, the zoning ordinance changes, which include the wellhead protection plan, have been reviewed by attorney Mark Tousignant and are ready to publicize and be adopted.
A June 14 wellhead team meeting is also scheduled.
The Township Board heard from three candidates for various county seats in the upcoming election.
Looking for support with her candidacy was Melanie Camps who is running for county treasurer.
Camps has been the deputy treasurer for nine years, working with current treasurer Marcia Cornelia, who will retire at the end of the year.
Camps told the board that, if elected, she is confident a smooth transition will take place.
Former County Board member Patti Peretto is again running for a seat on the county board in the First District , which includes Stambaugh Township, Iron River Township and the city of Gaastra.
Peretto said that she was instrumental in helping the county overcome a half a million dollar deficit, bringing the fund balance up to one million dollars after her 10 years on the board.
She said that she decided to run again because she does not think the County Board is going in the direction it should be.
Joetta Grieg, candidate for the county register of deeds, was also looking for support.
Greig said that during her 17 years in the treasurer’s office she worked closely with current Register of Deeds Mark Selmo’s office.
The Township Board approved the purchase of a 1/8 page ad in the Iron County Plat book, scheduled to come out in the fall.
Due to the Fourth of July holiday, the next regular meeting of the Stambaugh Township board was rescheduled and will be held Monday, July 9, at 7 p.m. with the well head protection plan public meeting at 6.