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Lakeshore residents given extension on septic plan

With three possible options currently under consideration, the Lake Melissa/Sallie Lake Association has been given an extension by the county on a 2009 deadline to approve a new septic system plan for lakeshore residents.

Lake association representatives John Okeson and Clayton Jensen presented the deadline extension request at Tuesday's Becker County Board meeting.

According to Okeson, the association is still waiting for a $40,000 state grant to come in that will greatly aid in the planning process.

In addition, Jensen said, a technical steering committee that was formed earlier this summer to review possible septic system options should be finished with its report by Sept. 30.

There are three options currently being considered: To tie the lakes into the city's septic system; to establish a conventional septic system that would extend around both lakes; or to put in a new water filtration system like the experimental one that was installed on Ravenswood Beach earlier this year.

"I have a bias," admitted Jensen, a Ravenswood Beach resident. He would prefer that a similar system to the one that was installed for the 36 residents of that beach would be used for the other residents of Sallie and Melissa as well.

That system, which is operated by SJE Rhombus, uses the first flat sheet ceramic MBR treatment plant established in the United States.

The system weds SJE-Rhombus' expertise in electronic controls with cutting-edge German technology in the form of ceramic filters.

The initial cost of installing the system has been estimated at about $1,000 per homeowner -- but the system is virtually maintenance free, Jensen said, and will last an estimated 20 years.

Though Jensen would strongly support the use of the MBR system, he said the committee is "trying to come up with a solution that will best meet the needs of everyone around us."

He said the association is expected to make a decision on which plan it will pursue at its Oct. 3. meeting.

Commissioner Barry Nelson said he would support the extension, because he feels "it's not something we want to hammer down people's throats."

Rather, he added, he would prefer that the association take the time to make the right decision for everyone.

The board unanimously approved the extension.

In other business Tuesday, the board:

• Set the 2010 County Tax Forfeited Land Sale for 1 p.m. on Oct. 23 in the commissioners' room at the county courthouse.

• Approved a total tax refund of $20,113 for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007 to K-mart in Detroit Lakes, as ordered by the Tax Court.

• Approved a resolution allowing the Becker County Sheriff's Department to enter into a grant agreement with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety for the implementation of the "Safe & Sober Communities" project, for the period of Oct. 1, 2009 through Sept. 30, 2010. The grant is in the amount of $30,000.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454