By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail Coorespondent

The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners, on July 13, approved the establishment of a Lake Improvement District (LID) for Lida Lakes east of Pelican Rapids.

The approval came after one stipulation was aired, relating to LID taxing authority.

Leaders of the Lida Lakes Property Owners Association (LLPOA) said likely LID board members agreed to have assessments of no more than $50 per parcel per year for the first three years of the LID.

“The assessment limits will be part of the new bylaws,” said County Board member Wayne Johnson of Pelican Rapids who made the motion to approve the LID.

A second to the motion was made by Commissioner Kurt Mortenson of rural Underwood. The motion to establish the Lida Lakes LID passed unanimously.

LID boundaries include parcels of property, any part of which has lake frontage on North Lida, South Lida, and Venstrom Lakes in Lida Township of Otter Tail County.

“We as a county board heard concerns from lake residents during the open forum in late June, and we needed to take those concerns into consideration,” Johnson said. “Another issue was fairness, and that also was taken into consideration.”

County Board Chairman Lee Rogness of Fergus Falls said the Lida Lakes LID now has a boilerplate as a start-up organization.

“This new LID will be in good hands,” Rogness said. “We’re confident the Lida Lakes LID will be successful.”

Board members of the LLPOA previously submitted more than the 400 signatures needed to move forward with the LID approval process.

The proposed boundary for the Lida LID was previously approved by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Minnesota statute allows local citizen initiatives to petition counties to create lake improvement districts in order to address specific concerns within lake watersheds. This allows for greater local involvement in the management of lakes.

Major LID projects of more than $5,000 would need approval of a majority of all lake property owners.

Zebra Mussels and Curly Leaf Pondweed (CLP) are present within Lida Lakes. 

Increasing frequency of CLP is suspected to be the cause of increasing trends toward eutrophication (which causes a dense growth of plant life and death of animal life from lack of oxygen), particularly in South Lake Lida.