July hearing set on Lake Sutherland junior taxing district

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Lake Sutherland property owners will have a chance to weigh in on the continuation of a junior taxing district to control Eurasian watermilfoil.

Lake Sutherland Management District 2, which supports a volunteer milfoil eradication program on the popular lake west of Port Angeles, is set to expire at the end of this year.

The three commissioners Tuesday passed a resolution declaring their intent to allow a vote to renew the management district.

A public hearing is set at 10:30 a.m. July 8 in Room 160 of the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St.

Invasive Eurasian milfoil is an underwater plant that infested the 80-foot-deep, 360-acre lake in the late 1990s.

The non-native plants can inhibit boating, swimming and fishing; impair water quality and wildlife habitat; and diminish aesthetic and economic values, the resolution states.

Although control efforts have been successful, county Noxious Weed Coordinator Cathy Lucero has said the work needs to continue beyond this year.

Signatures of 25 percent of affected landowners shows support for the continuation of the watermilfoil control program, Lucero said.

Lake Sutherland Management District 2 was approved by Lake Sutherland property owners in 2004 and renewed in 2009.

If renewed this year, the district would continue to collect $50 per parcel per year until 2024.

In other board action, commissioners Tuesday accepted a donation of 0.74 acres of land for the Olympic Discovery Trail in the east county.

In exchange for the land, the county will fund a $600 independent appraisal for the private property owner to use as an income tax deduction.

The donated land is located off U.S. Highway 101 at Pierce Road about halfway between Blyn and the Jefferson County line. It abuts Michigan School Road and the right of way owned by the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe.

“The Olympic Discovery Trail is likely to follow that route,” County Engineer Ross Tyler said.

“We’re not there yet, obviously, but it’s likely to follow that route. The thought process with this piece of property is it would be a strategic spot — and three-quarters of an acre being large enough — to make a parking area or a trailhead right off the highway, right there by the ODT.”

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 03. 2014 8:37PM
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