January 22, 2014

Don't send water our way

By CHERYL ODDEN

Concerned citizens filled the Douglas Senior Center Sunday afternoon. Many who arrived early read a handout with information about a proposed pipeline to transfer water from Rice Lake to Douglas Lake.

Ron Kramer, a Douglas area landowner, addressed the group to share possible ramifications should the proposal materialize.

While Kramer agreed that on-going flooding of Rice Lake cabins sites needs to be addressed, he said the proposal falls far short of solving water issues. In fact, he said, it has the potential to create flooding issues in the Douglas area – an area that has also struggled with seasonal flooding.

Referring to Rice Lake cabin owners and the Rice Lake Recreation District (RLRD), Kramer said, "They’re definitely putting their needs ahead of ours."

Not only would the transfer of water create problems locally, Kramer said the proposal infringes on the rights of landowners who oppose a pipeline crossing their property. Kramer, one of the affected landowners who refuses to sign easements, said he is being sued by the RLRD. "They’re trying to rob landowners of property rights … they said they will use eminent domain if they have to." He added, "I really don’t feel it’s our job to solve Rice Lakes’ problems.


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