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LETTERS: Lake renters are not subsidized

To the editor:

The Friends of Marion County Lake is an association of trailer owners and homeowners surrounding Marion County Lake.

Over the past couple of weeks, The Friends of Marion County Lake has reviewed the financial statements for Marion County Park and Lake, and its electrical usage in detail. The intent of this letter is to show Marion County Residents are not “subsidizing” the trailer park. In fact, the truth is quite the opposite.

Investigation has uncovered that in truth, documented by financial information provided by the county clerk and the lake superintendent, the annual lease payments from the trailers not only cover the entire water, sewer, and electric bills for the lake but show a direct relationship to an average of a $30,600 profit each year since 2008.

The “shortfall” is identifiable as a newly budgeted increase demand by the commission for the lake. No identifiable lake-related reason can be found for that increased burden to come from an already stable and cumulatively profitable source.

The members of Friends of Marion County Lake Association have not wavered in their support of this facility. The hot weather this summer has been excessive, the campground rental has dried up, and the day usage has withered. Trailer income not only covers the water, sewer, and electric invoices, but provides major cash flow to operate this county facility. If the trailer park did not exist, this burden would fall upon the Marion County taxpayer.

A detailed review of the electrical use at the lake revealed approximately two-thirds of the electricity consumed at the lake goes to the superintendent’s residence, the bait shop, the heated dock, camp grounds, and other miscellaneous items. The trailer park only consumed approximately one third of the electricity.

For 2010, the records show income from trailer leases of $61,122.50 less $36,049.75 for water, sewer and electric to produce a $25,072.71 profit to the lake for maintenance and upkeep.

It is the income from the trailer park that is subsidizing Marion County Park and Lake, for if not for that income, it would come from the tax base.

The trailers steal nothing from the county. They organize lake attractions, oversee themselves, provide disaster and rescue assistance to the park, and contribute economical support to the communities of Marion County. They are proud of this lake and are its ambassadors to surrounding communities and states.

Jim Bratt, president Friends of Marion County Lake

Last modified Sept. 29, 2011

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