(Juneau) The formation of a lake district around Beaver Dam Lake is being held up by a civil lawsuit filed to stop the effort. The Dodge County Board in March approved the establishment of the taxing entity that would raise revenue from waterfront property owners to address issues ranging from shoreline erosion to water quality. The process was triggered when the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association submitted a petition with 730 signatures to the county to form the district.
David and Kathleen Munro filed the lawsuit against the Dodge County Board contending that the numbers do not add up. For the county board to consider the petition to form the district, the signatures of 51-percent of lake front property owners is needed. At the time, we reported that 714 signatures were needed and 730 were collected. The plaintiffs contend that the petition includes names from 295 properties where both owners signed and say there are 500 properties with co-owners. If they are correct, they say that would mean over 800 signatures would be needed to form the district and the effort would have fallen short by around 70 signatures. The Munro’s also take issue with the number of parcels that have signed on noting that there are 1104 parcels in the proposed district and 560, over half, are not on the petition.
Bill Foley with the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association did not comment directly on the lawsuit but as far as the status of the future of the district he says the initial slate of “commissioners…will complete a couple of important organizational tasks over the next couple of weeks. With the confirmation of these events,” Foley says they “will be able to provide a good perspective of where we are and how we plan to move forward in the future.”
There is a telephone scheduling conference before Judge Martin De Vries on August 31 at which time a hearing is expected to be added to the court calendar.
Once finalized, a five-person lake district board would be comprised of three members elected at-large, one resident from Dodge County and one person representing the municipality with the highest amount of taxable lakefront property. Those who live inside the lake district would approve or disapprove budgets set by commissioners.