Dayton and Waupaca County are considering a possible agreement to lease the town’s boat landings to the county.
“The possibility of moving management of the landings to the county is in a preliminary phase of discussion,” according to Roger Holman, the county parks and recreation director.
Holman said the county Parks and Recreation Committee is unlikely to make any decision to lease the boat landings until there is public input on the matter in the town of Dayton.
“We need public involvement on this,” Holman told the County Post.
“We will not be acting on a lease at this time because we have not yet sat down with Waupaca County for a discussion of conditions and have not yet drafted a document,” Dayton Town Chairman Chris Klein said in an email responding to concerns raised by Dayton residents Casey Plunkett and Marilyn Dixon.
They were concerned about expanded parking at the launch sites, expanded public amenities such as garbage cans and toilets, and whether the county would charge Chain O’ Lakes residents fees to use the launches.
Currently, Waupaca County manages two boat landings in Farmington on Taylor Lake and Columbia Lake, and two landings in Dayton on Dake Lake and Miner Lake.
Dayton also has landings at Marl Lake and Knight Lake on the Chain, as well as Spencer Lake and Stratton Lake.
Klein noted that in exchange for its user fees, the county would be responsible for “regular monitoring, maintenance and site cleanup. Areas leased are subject to Waupaca County Parks Department rules which are uniform across the county.”
Klein also pointed to the existing agreement for the Dake Lake boat landing.
“We are proposing a similar agreement at the Spencer Lake and other town of Dayton sites,” Klein said. “We recognize that some things have worked well and others could work better and because of that there will be a negotiation process over additional rules and responsibilities so we both have an understanding about who is enforcing what rules and who is responsible for what costs.”
Under the terms of the Dake Lake boat access lease, the county could develop and maintain the site, “including parking, piers and walkways… The county may also develop shore fishing, sanitary and picnic facilities.”
“We would maintain the existing facilities,” Holman said. “We’re not looking to expand parking any place out there. If anything, we might be more restrictive because we would have use fees and require a boat launch pass to use county parking areas.”
“Past rules restricted access parking areas managed by the county to vehicles with trailers,” Klein said. “I have asked the county to require all vehicles within the restricted access parking areas have a access permit. Car top carriers and pickups with tubes or kayaks would require a access permit.”
Holman said the town needs to resolve any issues lake residents may have regarding the boat landings prior to negotiating an agreement with the county.
“We want to provide for easy in-and-out access to the lakes and keep the landings clean,” Holman said. “But our real goal is to be a better neighbor.”