Two people at Little Hope Lake District’s annual meeting Saturday, May 31, questioned whether the meeting was legal.
“This is an invalid meeting,” according to Don Holtebeck. He is among several district residents challenging the validity of last year’s special meeting of electors in court.
Holtebeck had a list of the lake district’s property owners that was filed in November 2012 with the Waupaca County register of deeds. The list records 182 parcels within the district.
“The official list includes many names that you have not noticed,” Holtebeck said, noting that state law requires all property owners within a lake district to be notified by mail 14 days prior to an annual meeting.
Chris Klein, who is chairman of the lake district and the town of Dayton, said many of the parcels had been removed from the lake district.
Although no new documents indicating the smaller boundaries have been filed with the county, the current lake district is comprised of about 50 riparian parcels.
“They were removed by an action last year,” Klein said. “They could have objected.”
Klein said he would not allow anyone who was not a property owner within the current lake district to make a motion or vote at the annual meeting.
When the the vote for the meeting’s agenda came up, Tom Miller, a former lake district member, voted against it. He also said the meeting was illegal.
Klein told Miller he could not vote and was not allowed to make comments since he was no longer a member of the district.
“If you’re going to disrupt the meeting, I will call a sheriff’s deputy to remove you ,” Klein said.
Lake district budget
Those attending the annual meeting voted 15-6 in favor of a 2015 budget for the lake district.
The 2015 budget has total expenditures of $6,000, of which $4,500 is for anticipated legal expenses.
The Little Hope Lake District faces lawsuits from both local residents and from Waupaca County.
Property owners within the district have also filed claims against the county in an effort to stop the dam’s removal.
The district’s budget will be supported by a tax levy and $2,000 in donations.
Klein said the lake district’s total property is valued at $7.43 million and the $4,035 levy will be supported by a tax rate of 55 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
Homes in the district are worth an average of $160,000 and will see an assessment for next year of about $80, Klein said.