Editor, The Daily Leader:
In response to the front-page article in Wednesday's paper concerning the county-owned land on the south side of Lake madison, I would like to ask Linda Hilde, "Just how many houses do you need around the lake?"
There are currently five public access points to Lake Madison, one of which requires a State Park sticker to use, one has almost no usable shoreline and a large part of the area around Bournes Slough is almost inaccessible. So that really only leaves to areas where someone can drive into free of charge and enjoy the lake.
Now, I understand Linda Hilde's point; the land in question could be sold at a good profit and the proceeds used to pave another road. But then they are gone and the county still has to spend money to maintain that road.
Also, if the land is sold into private hands, Mrs. Hilde can maintain her multimillion-dollar neighborhood and not have to put up with the riff-raff that will use the public land: (you and I), the public.
This area is owned by Lake County. It used to be open to public use until Mrs. Hilde pointed out that there were no toilets there and that someone might "pollute" the lake while using this area; so, with no opposition at the time, the county closed it.
Now the county has an agreement with the state Game Fish & Parks Department to develop this area into a nice lakeside use area that all of us in the county (remember we, the residents of Lake County, currently own it but can't use it) can use for fishing, picnicking, walking and just relaxing.
Mrs. Hilde's main concern was that there were no toilets; now she will get her toilets and we will get our property use back and it won't cost the county anything. This is a win-win situation for everyone in Lake County.
Game Fish & Parks will plant trees as a barrier to the houses on both sides so we won't interfere with the rich people, and they won't bother us either. They will landscape and plant beneficial plants and control the weeds. This can become a beautiful lake area, open to everyone, on a lake surrounded by houses.
The bad news is that Mrs. Hilde still does not think the people who own the land should be able to use it. After all the work the commission has done and all the work that Game Fish & Parks has done to come up with this agreement, giving her the toilets she wanted, she thinks it should be sold and more million-dollar homes should be built.
Therefore, this subject is back on the commission agenda for the meeting on Jan. 6, Tuesday, at 9:45 a.m. I encourage all of you who would ever use this area for fishing or other activities to attend this meeting along with your friends, or to contact the county commissioners and voice your opinion. If enough public support is given, this project will get done. Do not let the view of a few people lock everyone out of land that should already be using.
Come to the commission meeting Tuesday, Jan. 6, 9:45 a.m. at the Lake County Courthouse.
Madison, Dec. 31
Land we already own but can't use. Good point.
Jim's got it right: we have a good plan that will serve every resident of the county (and our bait-buying, sales-tax-paying visitors). Let's make this happen!