COLA plans for a busy summer

Published 11:09am Friday, April 15, 2011

Monitoring of area lakes for water quality, working on state legislative issues and other matters will keep members of the Otter Tail County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) busy during summer 2011.

Meeting dates this year, with sessions starting at 9 a.m. on Saturdays in the Ottertail (city) Community Center, are April 30, May 28, June 25, July 23, Aug. 27 and Sept. 24. August is the month for COLA’s annual meeting at which time the organization will make presentations to recipients of Lake Association of the Year and Volunteer of the Year awards.

In March Otter Tail County COLA voiced support for a state legislative bill that would dramatically increase state efforts to prevent the spread of aquatic invasives. Shawn Olson, president of OTC COLA, said that, if enacted into law, the bill would redouble the state’s efforts to combat the spread of invasive species in Minnesota lakes and rivers.

The Otter Tail Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) has joined with 16 similar groups around the state of Minnesota to form the Minnesota COLA Collaborative. By joining forces, the organization is convinced it will carry more weight when he comes to lobbying for lakes issues at the state capitol in St. Paul.

Taking the lead for establishment of the Minnesota COLA Collaborative was Hubbard County’s COLA (Park Rapids area).

Dan Kittilson, president of the organization and a member of the Hubbard County COLA, reiterated on Wednesday that combining the state’s COLAs into one lobbying group will make sure voices are heard.

The group of 17 members, including Otter Tail COLA, has met twice and will meet again April 27 during the Minnesota Waters Conference in St. Cloud.

“A big issue is variances,” said Kittilson. “Other topics include shoreland rules, invasive species and other key issues related to preservation of our lakes and rivers, our greatest assets in Minnesota.”

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