Elk Township initiates renewal of Bass Lake SAD

ORV damage an issue in township

The Elk Township Board of Trustees initiated the process for establishing a Bass Lake SAD to fund efforts to control invasive species in and around the lake for the FY2022 through FY2028 at its meeting Sept. 8. (Submitted photo)

The Elk Township Board of Trustees initiated the process for establishing a Bass Lake SAD to fund efforts to control invasive species in and around the lake for the FY2022 through FY2028 at its meeting Sept. 8. (Submitted photo)

IRONS - The Elk Township Board of Trustees approved a resolution to initiate the process of establishing of a new Bass Lake special assessment district (SAD) for the control of invasive species in and around the lake at its meeting Sept. 8.

According to Elk Township supervisor Lou Fitz, the board of trustees received a letter of request from the Big Bass Little Bass Lake Owners Association (BBLBLOA) to establish a new SAD.

"The BBLBLOA requests that the township board establish a SAD for the control of aquatic weeds and plants in and around Bass Lake, beginning 2022 through 2028, by resolution without petition," the letter said.

The letter stated that maintaining the invasive plants around the lake will be an ongoing challenge in order to maintain the health and safety of the lake, and the people around the lake, in general, expect the SAD to continue in perpetuity.

"We will need to know what kind of program it will be and the cost," Fitz said. "We will need to know the cost of the program on an annual basis and what the property owners need to be assessed each year for the five years.

The current SAD is $132 per parcel and ends in September 2020. The first collection of the new SAD would be December 2021.

The board of trustees unanimously approved a resolution for the board to initiate a SAD process, without petition, for a seven year period from 2021 through 2028, starting in December.

During the meeting, the board discussed the need for more security around the township hall because of damage to the parking lot from ORVs and people throwing their trash into the township hall dumpster.

"There have been two incidences of ORV damage to the township hall parking lot," Fitz said. "People seem to like to have a nice big open space to do donuts."

Fitz told the board he had received an estimate of $3,355 to install five cameras around the outside areas of the building that would send information to a DVR that could be viewed on a monitor inside the hall.

"This would cover the north side, the pavilion, the front door, the back door and the parking lot," Fitz said.

Additional cameras could be placed inside the building for $700, he added.

Board members questioned whether it was necessary to spend township funds on the security system at this time.

"Now that summer is over, we aren't going to get the ORVs like we have had," Township Clerk Karen Fickies said. "We could wait until next year and see if we are still encountering the problem with the dumpster and the parking lot, then address it again."

The board agreed, approving a motion to postpone action on the security system until April 2021.

Fitz added that if the ORVs continue to cause damage to township roads, he would like the board to consider closing the roads to ORV riders.

"It is a topic for discussion, if the damage does not stop to our intersections and parking lots, the board may consider rescinding the authority we gave ORV owners to drive on Elk Township roads," Fitz said. "Our intersections are a mess. Every intersection is torn up by ORVs.

"We want people to come here and have fun, that's why we opened the roads to them," he continued. "But we don't want them doing donuts in the intersections and tearing up the parking lots. That's unacceptable. If they can't come here and use the ORVs responsibly, I'm going to ask the board to consider rescinding the authorization we gave to riders to ride on the roads."

Webber Township officials have also been in discussions recently regarding closing roads to ORVs due to the damage they cause.

In other business, the board passed a resolution recognizing Josh Meyers, Pat Boyd and BSA Troop 61 and troop leader Ronnie Collins for volunteering to help with the township trash day.

"The township wishes to recognize its citizens for outstanding achievement, and to show appreciation for volunteers and others that make contributions for the betterment of the Elk Township community," the resolution read.

"I think it is absolutely fantastic that anybody volunteers to help out with trash day," Bass said. "It is tremendous that these people do what they do."

The resolution was passed unanimously.

The Elk Township Board of Trustees meets at 7 p.m., the second Tuesday of each month. The public is welcome to attend. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and limitations on indoor gatherings at this time, meeting are conducted virtually.

For information on how to participate visit elktwplakecomi.org. or call (231) 266-5983.