Archived Story

Jewett, Long Lake property owners team up to fight water

Published 11:13am Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Following the leadership of County Commissioner Wayne Johnson, members of the Jewett Lake and Long Lake property owners associations have agreed to work jointly to help solve high water issues that affect both lakes. To that end, five representatives from each association will meet with Johnson on Thursday, April 28.

“Both groups know that to solve the problem we need to address downstream issues, especially along Reed Creek west of Long Lake,” said Johnson. “This is the path we need to take, in a unified effort.”

With this in mind, the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners agreed with a planning commission recommendation to table a previous application by the Jewett Lake Association to modify terms and conditions of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) approved by the county board in 1999.

The planning commission said at a previous meeting that increasing water flow from Jewett Lake to Long Lake would exacerbate a problem of high water that currently exists at Long Lake. On a related issue, the planning commission and county board note that the existing valve to connect the lakes needs to be restored to full functionality.

There are 103 property owners on Long Lake and 145 on Jewett Lake, according to county records.

The county board will later address the issue of high water at Jewett and Long lakes during its May 3 weekly meeting. Those in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting expressed optimism that a viable plan of action can come out of the joint meeting among property owners to be held April 28 at the Government Services Center in Fergus Falls.

Ron Hardyman is president of the Long Lake Association and Neal Funkhouser heads the Jewett Lake Association. Some county commissioners, County Engineer Rick West and others from designated agencies also will attend the meeting of the association representatives later this month.

Another Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application also was tabled by county commissioners on Tuesday. This one pertains to a request for a retaining wall at Otter Tail Lake, in Amor Township. Jane Gilleland will work on a revised plan with the county’s Land and Resource Department.

The county board approved four CUPs on Tuesday.

The first to be approved was an application to establish a hair salon in a home at Sand Lake, in Scambler Township north of Pelican Rapids. The CUP was approved for Doug and Kim Richards. The second CUP to be OK’d by the county board was for the county highway department. The project includes reconstruction of 3.2 miles of Highway 9 near Pelican Lake, also north of Pelican Rapids.

The third CUP approved was for construction of two units at Buchanan Lake in Rush Lake Township, south of Perham. Applicants were Mary Banz and Greg Miller. The final CUP approval on Tuesday was for RD Offutt Company to build irrigation runways through a wetland at Brown Lake in Amor Township, north of Battle Lake.

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