Letter to the Editor


To the Editor:
Albion Township has been lowering the level of Little Rock Lake illegally over the past 15 years and in September 2013 lowered it another 16 inches. Beginning in 1997, the township applied to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to relocate the one culvert on Greer Ave. NW, Maple Lake. There are two culverts, one from Little Rock that drains onto our property and then runs through our property into the second culvert that drains into Big Rock Lake. The culvert that drains into Big Rock is the one the township had applied for a permit to relocate farther west of where it originally was.
After the permit was approved, the township slipped in the lowering of the culvert on Little Rock also changing it from a 10-inch culvert to an 18-inch culvert without a permit to do so. This has caused the level of Little Rock to drop massively and drain surrounding wet lands. Once a beautiful and peaceful water body, Little Rock today is nothing more than a large puddle with cattails and weeds replacing clear water. We have tried to work with the township to restore the lake to its original level before the new culvert was replaced in 1998 to lower the lake to no avail.
In June 2013 the DNR told the township board chairman, John Uecker, the township must submit an after the fact application for a permit to lower the Little Rock culvert, but as of the September 2013 township meeting, there has been no discussion or submission of a permit. The DNR hydrologist told us to collect petitions to restore Little Rock to its original level before the lowering of the culvert in 1998, from landowners on the lake and people who are otherwise directly affected. We presented the petitions to the board at the September 2013 meeting. Mr. Uecker refused to accept the petitions, stating there was not enough of the signers present, even though the petitions were signed by all the landowners on the lake and notarized. Five landowners were in attendance. Finally two supervisors, Bob Neuman and Dwight Hammer, agreed to accept the petitions. Mr. Uecker still refused to accept them. 
As board members of a township they surely should be following the laws and getting the proper permits for the work that is being done in our township. As a landowner on Little Rock Lake, I would like to see some action taken.
Concerned landowner,
Deb Schmidt
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