The city’s first lake management district became a reality Thursday night after Hicks Lake residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of it.
Based on the public support, Lacey City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to form the district, which will levy a property assessment and raise around $50,000 a year to spend on better managing the water quality of the lake.
“This is an example of a great citizen-driven initiative,” Councilman Jeff Gadman said. “I’m in favor of this.”
Tom Palmateer, a management analyst with the city, explained to the council that he mailed 182 ballots to residents in the area, and they returned 108 to the city, a response rate of about 60 percent.
Of those who voted, 73 percent were in favor of the district, while 26 percent were opposed, Palmateer said.
Up next for the council and the lake district is to meet Nov. 12 and set a date for a public hearing. The council is tentatively aiming for Dec. 17, he said.
The council needs to have a public hearing for anyone who wants to contest their individual assessments, Palmateer said.
Under the district plan, the owner of a lakefront parcel will pay $300 per year, while the owner of an upland parcel with access to the lake will pay $25 per year.
Mike Mahoney, who has lived on the lake since 1968, testified in August that he has watched the lake become infested with weeds and grass.
“Anybody living on the lake is a fool not to go along with this,” he said about the district. “What is $300 a year to enhance the lake?”
Palmateer also said Thursday night that the ballots and his tally sheets will be made available to anyone who wants to see them.