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Lake Detroiters propose city pick up aquatic weed tab next year

A member of the Lake Detroiters Association proposed the city of Detroit Lakes should pick up the $34,000 annual cost for aquatic weed removal along Detroit Lake during a city budget work session on Aug. 18. Members of the city's budget committee heard the presentation and are expected to address the matter during their final work session at the end of the month following the presentations for each city department.

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Brad Wimmer, member of the Lake Detroiters Association, speaks to members of the Detroit Lakes Budget Committee during a budget work session on Aug. 18, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune
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DETROIT LAKES — The Lake Detroiters Association requested the city pick up the tab for aquatic weed removal around Detroit Lake beginning in 2023.

During an Aug. 18 Detroit Lakes budget work session, Brad Wimmer, a member of the association, said aquatic weeds that accumulate on their shorelines have been removed once per week for the last 15 years and the costs have always been covered until now.

"Our weed problem has never been worse and for whatever reason, that's escalated," said Wimmer. "And we're really afraid, that if the pickup doesn't happen, just the aesthetics of Detroit Lake is going to decrease."

Aquatic weed pickup around Detroit Lake had been covered by the Pelican River Watershed District until they decided to discontinue the program in 2022 and instead focus on chemical treatment of the lake.

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Brad Wimmer, member of the Lake Detroiters Association, speaks to members of the Detroit Lakes Budget Committee during a budget work session on Aug. 18, 2022.
Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune

Wimmer said some of the lake shore residences can afford to pay to have their weeds removed, but not all property owners will be able to cover the added expense.

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"It's kind of the luck of the draw where those weeds end up around all three of those lakes," he said. "Luck of the wind, luck of the as the weeds harvest, as they bloom, different things happen because of the temperatures of the water, it's the luck of the draw. They may end up on south shore, they may end up on north shore, west lake gets it a lot."

He also said Miller's Yard Care and Construction has been conducting the weed pickup this year through the Pelican River Watershed and estimates they have about 150 users taking part in the program this year.

"Whether that's enough (users) to justify putting that in the budget, it's roughly a $33,000 to $34,000 annual budget item for (Miller's)," said Wimmer. "We could decrease that cost a little bit by doing it less frequent. Doing it once a month, twice a month, right now they're doing it once a week."

He also suggested, that if they went down to an every-other-week pickup, Lake Sallie and Lake Melissa property owners could utilize the off week for their own weed pickup program.

Department budget presentations will continue next week with the Detroit Lakes' Public Works Department annual budget being discussed on Aug. 25, which will include discussions on possible expansion of the city's sidewalk snow removal responsibility.

The budget committee is expected to address the weed pickup request from the Lake Detroiters Association during their final meeting the following week.

The finalized budget is also expected to be presented to the Detroit Lakes City Council for approval during their meeting on Sept. 13.

Related Topics: DETROIT LAKESBECKER COUNTYDETROIT LAKES CITY COUNCILGOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
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