Lake Marion rejects improvement district

Residents on Lake Marion, in northwestern Minnesota, decided against a lake improvement district in a vote over the weekend.

According to the Otter Tail County auditor, 287 people turned out for the election on Saturday. The measure was defeated 176-111.

The district would have raised taxes that could have been used for projects around the lake -- such as preventing invasive species from entering.

Rick Snelgrove, who worked on the campaign to defeat the district, said his mother-in-law owns property on the lake. He said the money would not have addressed a specific problem.

"They were just trying to get a 'war chest,' as some reporter put (it)," Snelgrove said, "to have money on hand to try and fight the invasive species if they come into the lake. But there's no way of controlling invasive species at this point. It can't be done."

Property owners throughout Minnesota are increasingly turning to lake improvement districts as a new funding tool to protect water quality and fight the spread of invasive species.

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