Commissioner Gary Crowley

Heavy rains affect county lakes

The heavy rains this summer have created high levels on county lakes.

“We have problems out there,” said John Biren, Planning and Zoning Director. He cited East Twin Lake, south of Florence, as an area with problems.

“There is a lot of erosion going on at that lake,” said Biren. He also said high lake levels have caused problems with landowners.

The Lyon County Board of Commissioners Tuesday decided to get answers from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) before taking any action. Biren said he’d take up the matter with the county water board, which was to meet Tuesday night, before taking any action.

Biren came to the county board to:

•Make sure the board is informed.

•Ask permission to consider establishing an outlet for the lake. East Twin Lake does not have an outlet.

According to Biren, the DNR sets guidelines for lake outlet dams, runoff elevations and lake levels. They also give authority to counties to, “Establish and maintain lake levels of public waters.”

“The body of water doesn’t belong to the county. The body of water belongs to the DNR. Some of this is our problem because of the local landowners, but why hasn’t the DNR stepped up on this?” asked Commissioner Rick Anderson.

“If we don’t do something on that lake, it may be bad because we have a campground out there,” said Commissioner Gary Crowley. Area landowners are also affected by the runoff of high levels on lakes.

Lowering the water level could cause excess problems for the watershed in the area. Commissioner Anderson questioned what was, “Our responsibility and what is the state’s?”

Biren indicated, “We’ve done a survey and said the water level is probably within four to six feet right now before it goes over the dam.”

“I think it might be a good idea to start pumping that water out of there,” said Commissioner Crowley.

“I agree, something needs to be done. But I think we need to get a good picture of all lakes to see what’s the best answer,” added Commissioner Anderson. “I think there are questions that need to be answered before we go ahead with it,” added Commissioner Anderson.

“The lake is still the DNR’s and they should be responsible to help with some of this,” he said. PrimeWest helps county take new direction in health coverage A new plan of providing health care to low-income residents has been accepted by the Lyon County board.

They approved a proposal to join PrimeWest Health’s county-based purchasing plan. PrimeWest helps provide services for people receiving health care through public programs. Not all the commissioners agreed.

There were concerns over what is estimated as $2 million to join PrimeWest — and that cost depends on how many other counties join a “consortium”.

Lyon County is going from Southern Prairie Community Care to PrimeWest Health and commissioners were concerned about the change. Each county will have to make their own decision regarding the joining of PrimeWest.

Lyon County Commissioners felt they needed to improve public health and this was a step in the right direction.

IN OTHER action the board:

•Approved a request by Administrator Jim Trojanowski of Plum Creek Library System for additional funding of $2,500 for computer-related equipment.

He indicated all nine counties Plum Creek serves are being asked for equal amounts.

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