Discussion begins for bringing sewer to more lakes

WILLMAR -- A proposal to put a sanitary sewage collection system around George, Henderson and Nest lakes near Spicer will be discussed this weekend with property owners.

WILLMAR -- A proposal to put a sanitary sewage collection system around George, Henderson and Nest lakes near Spicer will be discussed this weekend with property owners.

The meeting comes on the heels of a decision made last week by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners to shelve a similar proposal for Diamond Lake near Atwater because of objections from property owners.

Meanwhile, construction is under way to install a sewage collection system around Lake Florida west of Spicer. That project was initiated by property owners.

Sewage from Lake Florida, as well as that from potential line extensions to the other lakes, will be treated at the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District's treatment facility.

The plant has the capacity to handle the additional sewage, according to Gary Danielson, Kandiyohi County public works director.


The sewer and water district currently treats sewage from Spicer, New London and Green Lake.

There have been informal meetings with lake associations from George, Henderson and Nest lakes to gauge public interest in hooking into the system, but this weekend's meetings will lay out details of how the system will work and how much it will cost individual homeowners -- about $18,000.

Danielson and engineers from Bolton & Menk will provide detailed information about the proposal from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday in the community room at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services building. The information will be repeated from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday at the same location.

Discussion and feedback that's generated at the meeting will help the County Board of Commissioners decide whether or not there's enough interest to proceed with the next phase in the planning process. That process would include additional informational meetings and public hearings.

During the Lake Florida public process, there was little if any dissent because of a consensus by a majority of lake residents to proceed with the project.

There was a different story on Diamond Lake. A vote by the lake association members indicated 116 residents did not want a common collection system and 94 did. Because of that split vote, the County Board agreed last week to put the project on hold.

The results of that vote, and discussion of future action with Diamond Lake's water quality and septic tank issues, were discussed Saturday at the Diamond Lake Area Recreational Association's annual meeting.

Robert Meyerson, a member of the board of directors, said those who opposed "felt it wasn't worth the money."


Homeowners who have small lots and not enough space to meet the requirements for individual septic systems supported the proposal.

Meyerson said people had "very good personal reasons to be on one side or the other."

Commissioner Harlan Madsen said there was "excellent" discussion on the issues and an agreement to continue to look at options. "It was a very positive meeting," said Madsen.

Meyerson said that Madsen "made a plea" that the Diamond Lake residents don't get "polarized" on the issue but be willing to continue discussions.

The proposal had apparently resulted in a bit of shenanigans on Diamond Lake when counterfeit ballots started showing up on door knobs and in mail boxes. Meyerson said the lake association had sent out ballots to its members that were to be returned to lake association directors. He said similar ballots, with slightly different wording, were also distributed with instructions to send the completed ballots to Madsen. That resulted in a little confusion with the ballot counting.

Meyerson said the lake association was also told at Saturday's meeting that the county's intent for proposing the new sewer extensions to other lakes is not to generate needed revenue for the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District and that a sewer system would not be forced on residents if they don't want it.

That's the same message that will likely be delivered to residents of George, Henderson and Nest lakes this weekend when they hear about the proposal to extend services there.

Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at or 320-894-9750
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