Property owners to discuss July 18 at Scambler Town Hall 

Two area lake associations are investigating the possibility of forming a formal “Lake Improvement District.” 

Aquatic invaders are the motivation for both Lida, and now Tamarac residents, in considering a Lake Improvement District (LID). Chemical treatments are expensive, and a LID can open up a lake to taxing authority and potential grants. 

Curly-leaf pondweed has infested both lakes. At Tamarac, a shallow lake just southwest of the Pelican lake chain, the lake scourge is estimated to exist in nearly a third of the lake’s 445 acres. Tamarac’s maximum depth of 11 feet. 

The Tamarac Lake Association is expecting to discuss the formation of a LID at the July 18 annual lakeshore owners’ meeting, set at 9:30 a.m. at the Scambler Township Hall. 

The petition process is underway for Lake Lida, which has invested tens of thousands in the relatively new chemical treatment to control pondweed. 

On Tamarac, the weed has been controlled individually, by individual lake lot owners. The average price for mechanical harvesting has been about $1,000 per property owner. But there has not been a broader initiative by the Tamarac lake group. 

“Our annual budget is only about $7,000,” said current Tamarac Lake Association president Dave Pederson. “That’s not a viable number if you’re trying to do some significant curly-leaf pondweed control. It just isn’t enough.” 

A LID opens up taxing authority options, which could build a war chest for controlling invasive species—and potentially other conservation and water quality projects on Tamarac. 

A property owner on Tamarac since the 1970s, Pederson said the weed has been present to some degree since then. The infestation has ebbed and flowed. The weed was more prevalent in 2018 and 2019, but appears to have cycled down somewhat in 2020, noted Pederson. 

There are approximately 130 parcels of privately owned land around Tamarac. But membership in the lake association is just under 60, which means fewer dues-paying members and less revenue for projects of this scope. 

“There’s really not a logical way to do chemical treatment without more membership,” said Pederson. 

At this stage, the Tamarac LID is only a discussion item. There are a number of steps that need to be followed to formally establish a LID.