The Lake Ripley Management District will hold its annual meeting and budget hearing this Saturday, Aug. 17, at 9 a.m. at the Oakland Town Hall, N4450 County Road A.

Adoption of a 2020 budget, board elections and reports are on the agenda.

Two incumbent board members, Mike Sabella and Mike Doman, are not running for re-election. Three people – Jason Hernandez, Debbie Kutz and Doug Maurer – are running for their two open seats.

Lake District Board President Jimmy DeGidio said the proposed 2020 budget is $159,404. That’s slightly higher than the 2019 budget of about $150,00.

The 2020 taxy levy – the total amount proposed to be collected in taxes from lake management district property owners — is $122,715. That is slightly higher than 2019 tax levy of about $121,000.

DeGidio said a current effort to fund more of the lake management district’s activities through grants is helping to keep taxes down.

DeGidio said unlike recent years, when the lake district was working on the purchase of about 40 acres of lake for the preserve from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, there are no proposed land acquisitions on this year’s meeting agenda.

The Lake Ripley Management District was created in 1990. It has taxing authority over an area bordered by County Road A, U.S. Hwy. 12, U.S. Hwy. 18 and Simonson Street in the village of Cambridge, that includes about 1,400 parcels of property. Its boundaries align with the sanitary sewer district was set up when sewer service was extended around the lake in 1984.

The lake management district has the statutory authority to levy up to $250 a year on a $100,000 home but the annual bill has never amounted to more than about $50.

One of the most far-reaching things the lake management district has done with the tax revenue it collects each year from district residents is to create a lake district preserve.

Located on about 200 acres along County Hwy. A, it has about mile of publicly accessible trails. It contains a mix of wetland, prairie, oak savannah and woodland in an area that drains into the lake. The preserve has a 20-year management plan, adopted in 2010 and updated annually.

The lake district has also funded clean-up efforts on the lake, including weed cutting, and it employs a full-time lake manager.

A short board meeting will follow the annual meeting.

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