Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions

RE: Treatment of Invasive Weeds in Walled Lake

What are you planning to do?
· The petition drive is to demonstrate sufficient support for the City Councils of Novi and Walled Lake to adopt a resolution to establish a lake improvement board with a very narrow mission: the treatment of “invasive, exotic plants” (not mooring, or access, or geese, etc.).

Hasn’t this been tried before?
· Yes. The petition drive fell short of obtaining the number of signatures required—in large part because the scope of that proposed lake board was much broader. To avoid the same result and allow the quality of the lake to worsen further, the lake improvement board will only have the power to eradicate the “invasive, exotic plants.”

Why is this necessary?
· The growth of non-native weeds in Walled Lake is becoming worse each year—especially a weed called Eurasian Watermilfoil. These weeds cause problems for boaters, swimmers, and property owners who constantly rake weeds from the shoreline. The situation also detracts from the value of the Walled Lake area and its residential properties.
· Since the cities are not in a position to take on the project themselves, the only viable option to fund a project and to legally treat the lake is to form a lake improvement board.
· By having a very specific focus, we can gain the support needed to address this critical problem.

Where and How? What areas will be affected?
· Environmentally-approved chemical treatment appears to be the most feasible. The chemicals have been used in many other Michigan lakes (are explicitly approved by the DEQ) and have shown no negative impacts on human, animal, fish or other native aquatic plants.

When will this happen and when might the weeds be treated?
· As soon as the two City Councils pass the resolution, the Lake Board will be established.
· The make up of the Lake Board will be one representative each from the City of Novi, the City of Walled Lake, Oakland County Drain Commissioner, Oakland County Commissioner and a lake property owner. Participating government officials may receive a meeting stipend for attending the infrequent sessions of the Lake Board.
· The best time to treat the weeds is in the Spring. If all moves forward quickly, treatment may be possible next Spring - 2009.
· The weed treatment project consists of 3 components: A “conditions” study by an engineering firm selected by the Lake Board, initial treatment of the lake, and subsequent annual treatments. The project generally lasts for five years.

Who will treat the Lake?
· After the Lake Board has been established, the Board will obtain quotes and competitive bids for doing the engineering study and treatment.

How much might this cost me?
· An intentionally conservative estimate is that waterfront properties could be assessed between $180-240 per year (approximately $15-20/month). Backlot properties, if included, would be assessed substantially less. The total cost of the proposed project would come from the engineering study and must be approved by the lake board.
· Two public hearings would be held —one on project feasibility and the other on the assessments. Our hope is that the study and competitive bid process will result in the actual estimates being even lower.