Only one person spoke against the formation of a lake district on well-known Squash Lake west of Rhinelander. About 50 people attended a public hearing Saturday morning, with a majority speaking in favor of forming the district.
Public inland lake protection and rehabilitation districts – better known as lake districts--are a local governmental unit given taxing authority to mostly help preserve the water body. A lake association is similar, but does not have taxing authority to affected property owners.
54 percent of the property owners within the proposed Lake District signed the petition in support of the district. 63 percent of the Squash Lake riparian owners signed the petition.
Speakers said forming the lake district would be the best way to continue six years of work to control aquatic invasive species and maintain water quality. Others cited this form of funding is the best way to keep money available to keep water quality.
County committee chair Bob Mott says the county will verify signatures on the petition and prepare a draft report, which will return to the committee at its next meeting in January. A final report will be presented in February. The committee will then send its final report to the full Oneida county board for discussion in February and a final vote will take place in March.