A bill passed by the Michigan Senate proposes the Michigan DEQ help eradicate invasive weeds in public lakes. If also passed by the Michigan house, and signed into law by the governor, this could bolster Clark Lake’s war on hybrid Eurasian water milfoil (HEWM). When HEWM became a threat here, lake front owners petitioned Columbia Township to create a special assessment district to deal with it.  Why? Other lakes found that leaving HEWM infestations unchecked clogged their waters–reducing recreational opportunities, destroying wildlife habitat and diminishing property values.

The cost of treatment is currently borne by lakefront property owners and is annually is part of the winter property tax.  This new bill would require the DEQ to provide grants to eligible applicants to control the invasive species. Clark Lake’s special assessment district (SAD) would likely qualify, meaning less burden on Clark Lake’s lakefront owners.

John Calhoun, a Clark Lake resident who is also Township Treasurer, has urged passage of the Senate bill. Speaking as a resident, he wrote Representative Brett Roberts “Due to the fast spreading Eurasian Milfoil, local lake property owners have had the burden of ridding the lakes of the invasive species through special assessments and various treatment and harvesting methods.  I think it’s time the state takes some of the burden off of the local municipalities and shares in the protection of inland waters.” 

John Deming, chairman of Clark Lake’s Invasive Species Committee adds “the state needs to step up to the threat because they are the regulatory authority for water and environmental quality.”  He urges residents to contact those at the capitol who will be making the decision, including Representative Roberts. Clark Lake resident Flip Reynolds suggests contacting Representative Dan Lauwers at (517) 373-1790, requesting “that Bill 1136 be put on the agenda for the 3rd reading and a voted upon ASAP this term.”

Learn more about the war against invasive weeds at Clark Lake by clicking here.

Click here to read a copy of the Senate bill.