2017-03-16 / Letters to the Editor

Writer advocates for boat wash

This letter is in answer to Mr. Jack McCauley’s question, “How should we pay for this project?” (“Representative asks for boat wash feedback,” Resorter, March 2). He was referring to the collaborative effort between the Houghton Lake Improvement Board (HLIB), the Houghton Lake Lake Association (HLLA), and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to install a boat washing station at the boat launch at Fisherman’s Paradise on Houghton Lake.

We are making progress in controlling the invasive species in our lake when all three of these organizations are working together! We all want what is best for our lake, don’t we?

Mr. McCauley wrote “the Department of Environmental Quality does not have a method to treat them (invasive species) if they invade our lake.” And this is exactly why we need a boat wash. Have you ever heard of the expression, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? In a perfect world, it would be nice to have a boat wash at all three of our DNR-owned boat ramps. But even one is better than none.

From its inception, members of our community have suggested at HLIB meetings that we approach our invasive species problem using several different tactics, including educating the public to wash their boats, having a boat wash, harvesting the weeds, placing weevils in the lake, having better signage and treating with chemicals. The main option the HLIB has chosen to pursue is chemical treatment. Now that we have started treating the milfoil in our lake with chemicals, we are being told that hybrid milfoils are being bred in reaction to the chemicals that we have used. So, now we need more and different chemicals to treat the hybrids. It doesn’t seem there will ever be an end to putting poisons in our lake.

Over the past 15 years the HLIB has spent over $6 million dollars on chemical treatment, management fees and permits! That averages out to over $400,000 per year! And you are asking how should we pay a one-time cost of 140,000-$170,000 for a boat wash?

The HLIB has over $400,000 sitting in our bank accounts right now. And you are asking how should we pay a one-time cost of $140,000- $170,000 for a boat wash?

Projected revenues that the HLIB can expect to receive from 2016 taxes are almost $500,000. And you are asking how should we pay a one-time cost of $140,000-$170,000 for a boat wash?

The money it costs to build a boat launch will be a one-time expense. The HLLA has offered to help with ongoing maintenance of the boat wash.

I’d like to ask, since we have the funds, and since we spend more than $400,000 on average every year for chemical treatment of our lake, why wouldn’t we spend $140,000 to $170,000 one time for a boat wash?

Thank you, Mr. McCauley, for asking your question. We should have asked it 15 years ago.

Roberta Buss

Houghton Lake

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2017-03-16 digital edition

Poll

Which is your favorite summer holiday?