When well-intentioned citizens demonstrate the initiative and the drive to accomplish worthy tasks the government either won't or can't do, then it's time for the government to do one thing - get out of the way.
That's what the Crow Wing County Board should have done instead of denying the Serpent Lake Improvement District petition. In scuttling the Lake Improvement District by a 3-2 vote, the board set itself up as a roadblock to Serpent Lake residents who had met every requirement the board had previously set before them to create a district. Their motivation was to treat Serpent Lake for curly-leaf pondweed at an annual cost of $50 per lakeshore property owner.
The county wasn't going to solve this problem. No money. The DNR wasn't going to solve this problem. Same reason. So, the property owners organized and followed the procedures to fix the problem themselves, only to be stymied by the county board.
This sends a discouraging message to other lake groups that want to protect and improve one of this county's most precious assets, it's beautiful lakes. Those lakes, remember, belong to all of us, not just the property owners. When the lake quality deteriorates it has effects the entire county.
The board should revisit the issue and reverse its vote that denied the petition for a Lake Improvement District.
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