Notice of Intent

Announcement from Leland Rogness
Resolution of intent of establish a lake improvement district for Star Lake.
Otter Tail County Resolution No. 2012 - 54

Whereas, Minnesota law provides that in order to preserve and protect the State of Minnesota and to increase and enhance the use and enjoyment of its lakes, it is in the public interest that there be established a statewide lake improvement program to preserve, protect and improve the quality of lakes; and

Whereas, Minnesota law permits the creation of lake improvement districts initiated by the request and upon a resolution of a County Board; and

Whereas, the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners has received a request from the Star Lake Property Owners Association, who also reported that more than 90 percent of the property owners within the boundaries of the proposed lake improvement district, who have attended an informational meeting are in support of its establishment; and 126 of those property owners have provided written feedback to the same via an opinion card; and

Whereas, the reasons Star Lake wants to create a Lake Improvement District are (1) to maintain/improve water quality and to protect/enhance the fishery and wildlife habitat of Star Lake; (2) to manage/respond to water level related issues of Star Lake; (3) to educate Star Lake property owners and others on water quality issues, and lake related environmental issues, with the intent of having a more aware and engaged citizenry to safeguard the recreational value of Star Lake; (4) to address other lake environmental issues that may arise within the district, including preventing Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) from entering Star Lake, and/or treating to remove/control them, as allowed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR); (5) to enable the receipt of financial assistance and participate in projects or enter into contracts with federal and state agencies for the study and treatment of pollution and other water quality problems; and

Whereas, there are two public accesses on Star Lake – one on the north shore off State Highway 108, and one on the east shore off Beaver Dam Road, owned and operated by the Department of Natural Resources; and

Whereas, a map showing the boundaries of the proposed district, the number and location of permanent homes and seasonal dwellings, the scale, and basic geographical information is on record with the County Auditor; and

Whereas, there are proposed to be 7 directors for the district; and

Whereas, there is no surface water ordinance regulating Star Lake, but the Otter Tail County Shoreland Management Ordinance, copies of which are available at the County’s Office of Land and Resource Management, regulates the shoreland including the public access; and

Whereas, the proposed district has an Estimated Market Value of $70,148,500 (Land – $41,913,000 and Buildings – $28,235,500), a Taxable Market Value of $67,486,200 (Land – $40,531,910 and Buildings – $26,954,290), and a Net Tax Capacity of $665,449; and

Whereas, all of the documentation mentioned herein that is on record with the County is available for review on the county’s website.

Now, therefore, it is hereby resolved that the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners hereby declares its intent to establish the Star Lake Improvement District.

Be it further resolved that the following information be provided, as required by Minnesota Statute §103B.515, Subd. 1:

1. The name of the proposed Lake Improvement District shall be:

Star Lake Improvement District

2. The boundaries of the proposed lake improvement district shall include parcels that have lake frontage on Star Lake Otter Tail County, but shall exclude agricultural land.

As the use of agricultural lands within the boundary of the district changes to non-agricultural use, the district may, by confirming the change of use to the County Auditor and Assessor, and by notifying the owner of the property and the Administrator of the Otter Tail County Department of Land and Resource Management, include those formerly agricultural lands in the district.

3. The water and related land resource management programs that may be undertaken by the district may include:

a. Develop and implement a comprehensive plan to monitor and improve water quality as needed;

b. Apply for private or public grants, and or enter into contracts with federal/state/county agencies, or private contractors for the study and treatment of problems/issues related to pollution, aquatic invasive species, a healthy fishery/wildlife habitat, and water level related issues;

c. Undertake research to determine the condition and development of the body of water included within the lake improvement district and to transmit the studies to the Land & Resource Management Department, the Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and other interested authorities;

d. Make cooperative agreements with the United States or state government or other county or city to effectuate water and related land resource programs;

e. Conduct programs of water quality monitoring, water quality improvement and conservation;

f. Serve as local sponsor for state and federal projects or grants; or

g. Such other programs, plans, studies, developments or implementations as are allowed or permitted by MN Statute 103B. 551-581, and approved by the County Board from time to time.

4. The Otter Tail County Board may delegate to the lake improvement district pursuant to Minnesota Statute §103B.551, Subd. 3, authority to:

a. Acquire by gift or purchase, equipment, structures or control works that affects the level of waters in the district.

b. Construct and operate water control structures, equipment or control works that are approved by the commissioner of natural resources under section 103G.245.

c. Undertake projects to change the course current or cross section of public waters that are approved by the commissioner of natural resources under section 103G.245.

d. Acquire property, equipment or other facilities, by gift or purchase to improve navigation.

e. Contract with a board of managers of a watershed district within the lake improvement district or the board of supervisors of a soil and water conservation district within the district for improvements under chapters 103C and 103D.

f. Undertake research to determine the condition and development of the body of water and the water entering it and to transmit the results of the studies to the pollution control agency and other interested authorities.

g. Develop and implement a comprehensive plan to eliminate water pollution.

h. Conduct a program of water improvement and conservation.

i. Construct a water, sewer, or water and sewer system in the manner provided by section 444.075 or other applicable laws.

j. Receive financial assistance from and participate in projects or enter into contracts with federal and state agencies for the study and treatment of pollution problems and related demonstration programs.

k. Make cooperative agreements with the United States or state government or other counties or cities to effectuate water and related land resource programs.

l. Maintain public beaches, public docks and other public facilities for access to the body of water.

m. Provide and finance a government service of the county or statutory or home rule city that is not provided throughout the county or, if the government service is provided, the service is at an increased level within the district.

n. Regulate water surface use as provided in sections 86B.205, 103G.605 and 103G.621.

5. Funding for the lake improvement district shall be from any combination of the following:

Lake improvement district activities may be funded from receipts of private/public donations, and/or receipt of public / private grants.

b. Lake improvement district activities may be funded by the levying of an ad valorum tax solely on property within the district. No establishment or increase in the ad valorum property tax will be allowed if it affects the county levy subject to state-imposed levy limits.

c. Lake improvement district activities may also be funded by assessment of costs of projects upon the benefited property within the district in the manner provided under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 429.

d. Lake improvement district activities may also be funded by imposition of service charges on users of the lake improvement district services within the district (Minnesota Statute §428A.05).

e. The Lake Improvement District may also finance projects and services of the district by issuing obligations as provided in Minnesota Statute §429.091.

6. The Administrator of the Otter Tail County Department of Land and Resource Management shall be responsible for supervising the programs of the district. A public hearing will be held on whether the Star Lake Improvement District should be established on June 10, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioner’s Room of the Otter Tail County Government Service Center, 500 West Fir Avenue, Fergus Falls, Minnesota.

Upon the motion of Commissioner Huebsch, seconded by Commissioner Johnson, and passed on a 5-0 vote, the foregoing resolution is adopted this 25th day of September, 2012.

Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners
By: Leland R. Rogness, Board of Commissioners Chair
Attest: Larry Krohn, Clerk



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