I read with interest last week’s commentary, “What’s Going On?” One point that jumped out at me is the emphasis is always about the land. When is the lake’s water quality considered? The latest project proposed on Big Wood Lake is all about profit and supposedly, tax revenue. But when is the quality of life on our lakes also a priority?
The lack of scrutiny and transparency by the new owner of the former Wood Lake Bible Camp has brought us together as Concerned Citizens of Big Wood Lake. We’ve collected 1,000 plus signatures of support on a petition to protect our waters, neighboring lands, and quality of life.
It was sheer luck that the Conditional Use Permit to convert the former Wood Lake Bible Camp to a 180- lot RV park didn’t get on the February 5 agenda for the county Land Use Committee (the application was submitted a day late.) And when Jeff Sventeck came to the Wood River Township monthly meeting in January with this plan, the topic of an RV park was not even on the public agenda. Jeff spoke during the ‘Citizens’ Input” session. There would be no way anyone would have known this project was going on unless they were at the meeting!
In a short time, our concerned citizens group has raised many concerns about this project such as:
• Fish and fisher impact
• Invasive species and lake biology
• Shoreline impact
• Septic and sewage systems
• Wetland impact
Do you see who is doing their homework here? It’s not the new owners, not the Township, and not the County. When we did speak to some of these questions and facts, especially with our local board, we were not well received by some. We did succeed in getting a delay at the March County Land Use Committee meeting. And last week we finally got the Wood River Township Supervisors to write a letter opposing the project.
I will continue to be part of this group of concerned citizens to gather facts, reach out to experts, and educate our elected officials. We are determined to protect our waters and neighboring lands. Our future generations depend on it.
Town of Wood River