(Beaver Dam) Now that enough signatures have been collected to form a lake district, officials with the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association are plotting their next steps. The taxing jurisdiction would raise revenue from waterfront property owners to address issues ranging from shoreline erosion to water quality. Revenue would be generated based on either assessed value or an equal division of the number of properties. Those who live inside the lake district would approve or disapprove budgets set by commissioners.
The next step in the process for the association is to petition the county to form the district, triggering a hearing within 30 days. A report on the hearing will then be presented to the county board within three months. A decision will need to be made by the county board within six months of the hearing. If the district is approved by the county, an organizational meeting of the initial lake district board must be held within 90 days, to prepare for the first annual meeting when the new board will elect its own members. The first annual meeting would not be held until next summer.
The five-or-seven-person 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. Initially thought to be the city of Beaver Dam, Association President Bill Boettge says it was recently learned that the largest taxing jurisdiction appears to be the Town of Westford.
The proposed district does have its detractors. Dan Keyes of the Town of Westford, a vocal opponent from the beginning, says he will encourage supervisors on the county board to vote against formation of the district. Keyes contends that the lake can be managed on a grass-roots level and finds the added government red tape and taxes unnecessary. He says people have a voice now without the district.
There are 1384 shoreline property owners representing roughly 800 properties and a 51-percent approval rate, or 706 signatures, was needed to advance the matter. The association collected 730 signatures.