On April 5, this website reported that the Columbia Township Park had been padlocked and was no longer open to the public.  At the time, Supervisor Bob Elrod commented, “after reviewing the Governor’s mandate, I thought it would be unlikely that residents using the park could adhere to the 6 foot rule.”  As a result, the parking gate was locked and police tape was placed over the fence walk-through’s. At tonight’s meeting of the Columbia Township board, some of the restrictions were lifted.  It will now be possible to enter the park through the walk-through’s, but the parking gate will remain shut and playground equipment will be taped over so it can’t be used.   

The meeting was held via Zoom, which was an entirely different experience for anyone familiar with the township board meetings.  The order followed normal procedure—the meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance, prayer, and public comment.  The agenda followed, but under more difficult conditions.  It required the ability to hear what was being said through unwanted audio glitches and distortion.  In this short video, you can view the debate on the partial opening of the park.  Pauses and some of the glitches have been edited out, but pertinent dialogue was included to give context to their decision.  

Trustees voted to continue PLM’s fight against Clark Lake’s invasive weeds.  Last summer’s treatment significantly reduced the amount of hybrid Eurasian water milfoil (HEWM) in the lake.  However, some of it stubbornly survived near the County Park.  Starry Stonewort, an algae, has also been found in the County Park area, as well as near the Eagle Point Marina boat launch.  This year’s treatment will address those problem areas.  As before, the cost is covered by the Special Assessment District (SAD) created to deal with it.  A large majority of lakefront property owners signed a petition asking that the SAD be created, and the Township now manages it.  Other lakes found that leaving HEWM infestations unchecked clogged their waters-–reducing boating, destroying wildlife habitat and diminishing property values.  Starry stonewort also poses a threat, and seems to act differently depending on where it is found. 

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