Fenton Twp. — Weed treatment in the lakes of Fenton Township has brought mixed reactions amongst residents. At Monday’s board of trustees meeting, Aquatic Nuisance Plant Control was given approval to treat Lake Ponemah and three other lakes.
Residents on the lakes agreed that the weeds needed to be addressed. However, there was some debate as to whether chemicals should be used to treat the weeds.
“I would ask that I not be assessed to pollute my lake,” said Kathleen Lage. Lage told the Fenton Township Board at the Sept. 4 meeting that the lakes should be treated without chemicals.
Sharon Schafer, president of the Crane Lake Association said that a majority of the residents on the lake were in favor of the weed treatment. “We are desperate. Chemicals seem to be the only way to go,” Schafer said.
In order to establish a special assessment district, 51 percent of the people with the most land mass must be in favor of the assessment. For example, someone that has a yard twice as large as his or her neighbor has a vote that is twice as powerful. By establishing districts by landmass, Lage argued that a few homeowners with bigger properties could make decisions for the whole lake.
“It’s not representative of people living on the lake,” Lage said. “One property on Lahring Road can wipe out three riparians on Horrell Road.”
Ponemah, Dollar and Crane Lake and Lake Christi were all approved for chemical weed treatment. Following is breakdown of assessments.
• Dollar Lake residents will pay $125.45 a year for 2012 and $117.27 a year between 2013 and 2016.
• Lake Ponemah residents will pay $200.48 for 2012 and $198.32 a year between 2013 and 2016.
• Lake Christi residents will pay $165.64 for 2012 and $155.40 a year between 2013 and 2016.
• Crane Lake residents will pay $171.56 for 2012 and $153 a year between 2013 and 2016.
One suggested alternative to chemicals was harvesting. Lake Ponemah resident David Hawcroft voiced opposition to the option.
“Many, many weeds are spread by fragmentation,” Hawcroft said, adding that most surrounding lakes enter into Lake Ponemah. Weeds harvested in the city of Fenton float downstream to Fenton Township, Hawcroft said. “We are also the happy recipients of all the crap in the Shiawassee that comes from Fenton (city).”
Treatment of the lakes begins in the fall and picks back up in the spring. Township Supervisor Bonnie Mathis warned residents to not harass Aquatic Nuisance Plant Control officials or law enforcement would have to be involved.