Rep. VanSingel holds "office hours" at Elk Township hall

Constituents discuss issues with area lakes

Rep. Scott VanSingel discussed issues, such as conservation and protection of local lakes, during his office hour in Elk Township recently.

Rep. Scott VanSingel discussed issues, such as conservation and protection of local lakes, during his office hour in Elk Township recently.

Star photo/Shanna Avery

ELK TWP. — Rep. Scott VanSingel (R-Grant) met with constituents to address their questions and concerns during his "office hour" at the Elk Township Hall last Friday.

Among the topics discussed was concern about weight boats, especially damage they can bring to shallow water, such as stirring up and destroying fish beds. 

"We need to get a bigger push to protect our water, and need to have something in place in both legislatures," Joyce Durdell said. 

VanSingel said there should be support to add more measures to protect water such as area lakes, streams and rivers, which are abundant in Lake County and helps drive the local economy through recreation and tourism. 

"People are falling in love with the outdoors again, especially over the past two years during COVID," VanSingel said. 

When the issue of invasive species in lakes, such as milfoil, was brought up, VanSingel, who is vice chair of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Committee, said it is difficult to find grant money, and about 90% of the EGLE budget is restricted funds. 

"Much of the money in the budget is already accounted for. You would have to get general fund dollars. It's hard to create new programs with general funds," he said. "I can talk with the chair and see if we can help with this. Public lakes should be an investment at the state level."