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March 8, 2014
Dear LNNLRCD Taxpayers
Most taxpayers in the Lost Nation / New Landing River Conservancy District, especially within the community of Lost Lake, have at one time or another used the facility known as the Lake Court Center (LCC). Small groups meet there, a library has been established, holiday parties are held there, and other types of community gatherings occur at LCC, enriching the lives of most, if not all, of our residents.
The LCC is owned and maintained by the Lost Nation/New Landing River Conservancy District (RCD). History tells us that the RCD was to own the facility on behalf of the surrounding lake community after an investment company deeded the LCC to the RCD over 30 years ago. The reason it was deeded to the RCD is that as a governmental organization, the RCD pays no property tax or sales tax on this facility, thus saving initial and on-going taxes that any private owner would be subject to. It has now come to our attention that Illinois State law requires that income from rental fees must cover operational costs (beyond RCD use) for the facility.
70 ILCS 2105 Sec 11 (1)(c) “…If the board determines to operate any such recreational facilities, it shall establish for the revenue-producing facilities rates and charges which at least defray all fixed, maintenance, and operating expenses.”
The facility costs about $15,000 per year to maintain. Additionally, a new roof is needed on the building and the road and parking areas around the building need new chip and tar, adding an additional $30,000 to the taxpayer burden. Offsetting income obtained from renting the LCC to private parties is a fraction (about 12%) of the cost of basic operation and maintenance of the building.
The RCD exists under the jurisdiction of the Ogle County Board of Directors for the sole purpose of maintaining Lost Lake and its watershed. A well-maintained lake clearly enhances the property values of the surrounding lake community. The RCD is charged with primarily spending your tax dollars on lake improvement and restoration. To this end we are actively stabilizing the shorelines and incoming creeks and creating silt basins. Soon we will be dredging to deepen the lake. Much of this work has been done without borrowing any funds or increasing taxes because the RCD has pursued matching grants totaling over $1,000,000. Unfortunately, no grants are available for maintaining facilities like the LCC. The proposed dredging planned for 2016/2017 will cost the taxpayers approximately $500,000 which must be paid through our normal budgeting process.
In an open public meeting, the RCD has requested financial help from the United Lost Lake POA (ULLPOA), by far the heaviest private user of the facility, in the form of rental a fee of $10,000 annually to help defray the maintenance and operating costs at Lake Court Center, in exchange for essentially unconditional access to the building for itself and its members. The ULLPOA board rejected this proposal without the prospect of negotiation. The proposed annual fee would have also covered all current and future independent groups using the LCC. By today’s numbers, the requested annual rental fee would have added approximately $1 per month to the ULLPOA member dues.
The only recourse left to the RCD to adhere legally to the IL State law and cover necessary expenses at Lake Court Center is to charge a rental fee for every meeting, group, and event at Lake Court Center, a decision we feel can be curtailed by ULLPOA action. We are hereby making a public appeal to the ULLPOA to work with us to keep this valuable asset operating. We invite you to attend our regularly scheduled meeting in April and ask questions. Please visit the link below to examine a chart detailing the 2013 LCC building expenses. The second link points to the slides from the rental agreement presentation which was presented to the ULLPOA board in an open public meeting in December of 2013. - The LNNLRCD Board of Directors
2013 Building Expenses
RCD Presentation Given to the ULLPOA at their December Meeting
Upper Babbling Brook, Phase 2
NOTICE TO CONTRACTORS
Notice is hereby given that the Lost Nation / New Landing River Conservancy District of Illinois (LNNLRCD), 404 Lake Court, Dixon, IL 61021 will receive bids at the office of the Administrative Manager until 2:00 p.m., Monday, April 7, 2014 for the construction of a pond and wetland area of Upper Babbling Brook. The bids will be publicly opened and read aloud at their regular public meeting at 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at the Lake Court Center, 404 Lake Court, Dixon, IL 61021. This project involves construction of a pond, berm, wetland and riprap and miscellaneous items. All requirements and details are described and listed on the plans and in the project specification. All work is to be done in accordance with the specifications on file in the office of the Project Manager, Lost Nation/New Landing River Conservancy District of Illinois, 404 Lake Court, Dixon, IL 61021. Prospective bidders may obtain specifications and plans from the office of Wendler Engineering Services, Inc., 698 Timber Creek Road, Dixon, Illinois 61021, phone 815-288-2261.
This project is funded by a State of Illinois I.E.P.A. Section 319 Grant and is exempt from all applicable federal, state and local sales tax. Retail sales tax shall not be included in the contract amount. The contractor shall be required to pay the current prevailing wage rate as established in Ogle County. The LNNLRCD shall receive from the contractor a copy of the weekly wage statements as paid by the contractor.
All bids received under this notice must contain labor costs at the current prevailing wage. Bidders must include a written statement with their bid indicating that this requirement is being followed. A mandatory contractors meeting will be held at Ed Bettner’s Machine Shed, 6400 S. Lowden Road, Oregon, IL 61061, on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to review the project requirements. The LNNLRCD will not accept a bid from any contractor who is not represented at this meeting.
The Lost Nation/ New Landing River Conservancy District of Illinois reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, award sections of this proposal to the lowest responsible bidder, to waive technicalities and to accept the proposal that the LNNLRCD Board of Directors believes to be in the best interest of the district.
By Order of: Steve Larry Project Manager Lost Nation / New Landing River Conservancy District of Illinois
Volunteer Photographer Found
Thank you, Rick Masterson, for vounteering to photograph the Upper Babbling Brook Project!
November 20, 2013 Bid Opening
On November 20, 2013, the LNNLRCD board held an open meeting at 404 Lake Court, Dixon, IL to open bids that were submitted to them for the materials and stabilization work to be done on Upper Babbling Brook under an EPA 319 grant.
IDNR Fish Survey October 1, 2013
On October 1, 2013, starting at 9AM, the IDNR went out onto the lake in a gas powered boat and performed their annual fish survey.
Lake Level Controls To Be Examined
JUNE 23, 2013
In light of Saturday's (6/22) heavy rain event, the RCD will be asking our staff engineer and possibly our staff lake scientist to study the issue of lake level control and make some recommendations. This is a high priority issue for us now. We are aware of the many hardships caused by sudden high lake levels and we are going to find out whether or not we can do something about it immediately.
The Future of Lake Court Center?
During the RCD's June 13th board meeting, the RCD voted to study the viability of the Lake Court Center. We have been operating this amenity at a loss since rental income has not kept pace with maintenance expenditures. We face some new and moderately costly maintenance expenses this year (new/repaired roof is the major one).
We would prefer that taxpayer money be appropriated in support of our efforts toward the lake and in the watershed to enhance the viability of Lost Lake now and for future generations. Lost Lake and the watershed are our primary concerns; amenities are secondary. We see ourselves at a crossroads. Do we further invest in this amenity or seek ways to permanently lessen the financial impact on the taxpayers? In the months to come, we will investigate everything from limiting free access to not-for-profit community groups, leasing (offices), partnering with entrepreneurs (convenience store, other commercial ventures), and divestiture (auctioning of the property to the highest or best bidder). We are not committed to any of these ideas. We merely present them to demonstrate the spectrum of investigatory possibilities.
As such, we invite your comments, ideas and suggestions as they are an important part of the exploratory process. We prefer that you provide your comments via our website's "Contact Us" form. We prefer the comments to be in writing, so if you call the office, we will direct you use our website's contact form to state your thoughts. CLICK HERE to visit our Contact Us page and to use our contact form. Any email received that does not identify the sender by name and email address will be treated as spam and rejected.
Shoreline Stabilization Rebate Program Continued!
The Lost Lake RCD is continuing its wildly successful Shoreline Stabilization Rebate Program. We will rebate or members up to 50% of the cost of materials and labor for work done to stabilize their shorelines. Click here to learn more!
$600,000 Watershed Partnering EPA Grant Approved!
The RCD is pleased to announce that we have received approval for a 319 Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), officially titled “Upper Babbling Brook Multi-BMP Project”, to address the stabilization and improvement of over three miles of Babbling Brook which flows through the Bettner Farm, beginning at its source and ending at the boundary of the Nachusa Grass Lands newly acquired Orland property. The grant application was mailed to the EPA in July 2012.
Important Announcement Regarding Lake Court Center