Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Jan. 31, 2000

Lake association for Howard Lake discussed

By Andrea Vargo

There is no active Howard Lake lake association at present, but John Swanson is going to try and change that, he told the Howard Lake City Council last Monday.

Feeling strongly that there is a need for residents around the lake to take an active role in the environmental health of the lake, Swanson said he is willing to contact people in the area to encourage them to form such a group.

He anticipated that he might learn something from the newly formed Crow River Watershed Association and attended a meeting, recently.

However, he told the council the group is just in an organizational stage, even though it has been meeting for a year and a half.

The group has hired a coordinator, and it has a grant for over $400,000.

The issue with the grant is that it must be shared with all the counties the Crow River flows through, he said.

Also, anything that is done with the money must first be approved by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, he noted.

There are three forks of the river, and they run through many counties, said Swanson.

The Crow River Watershed Association people are setting up water quality testing stations, and the coordinator will correlate all that data, he said.

Swanson said the Minnesota Lakes Association sent him an outline of how to go about setting up a local association.

In a short discussion with City Attorney Charles Paschke, it was determined that Swanson could attend the meetings as a city representative, but that the city itself could probably not get involved.

Councilman Shelly Reddemann said that rather than join a state or county association, the local group might want to stay local for awhile.

Everyone on the lake should pay dues, but anyone can join a lake association, Reddemann said.

"I certainly don't mind paying dues to a lake association, and I don't know anyone else that would (mind either)," said Councilman Don Danford.

It pays to set up a local lake association and make plans for the future of Howard Lake, said Danford.

Swanson said he will continue to investigate the things that need to be done to get a lake association started, and he will contact people on the lake and encourage them to take action.

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