|Dave Spurlock (Chair)
As riparian land owners we are all faced with the costs of the management of our waterway. Chapter 33 of the Wisconsin Statutes sets out the responsibilities of the WWMD and the requirements of funding on the part of the riparian land owners. For those of you that aren’t aware of how this process works, its definition is relatively simple. The WWMD comes up with a budget for the coming year’s operations and it is presented at the annual meeting of the WWMD. The budget details proposed spending by the WWMD and the annual assessment to be paid by the riparian owners to cover this spending. The budget is voted on by the riparian owners and renters. Once approved, the information on the assessment is passed on to the taxing authorities for Racine County, the Town of Waterford, and the Village of Waterford. The riparian owners get their tax bills at the end of the year and pay them by January 31 of the new year.
However, the costs and the funding of the management of our waterway are much more complex than this. In fact, the WWMD spends thousands of dollars more than the riparian owners have to pay on the management of our waterway. You might ask how can this happen? The WWMD, as a governmental agency, is eligible for grants from other governmental bodies and other charitable institutions. The commissioners of the WWMD are very aware of the financial burden carried by the riparian owners, and are constantly looking for ways to accomplish its goal without having to ask its constituency for more money. In several instances, volunteers have found and secured grants for the WWMD.
With the magnitude of the ESR project (dredging) facing the WWMD, the WWMD has formed a finance committee which has been charged with seeking external funding for this project. Volunteers on the finance committee have been conferring with the Wisconsin DNR, elected officials of the State of Wisconsin, and other professionals, the goal of which is to minimize the financial impact of this project on the riparian owners of the WWMD. Because the costs of this project have yet to be fully defined, grant applications have yet to be made. However, research is ongoing to determine the agencies and organizations most likely to provide the necessary financial aid. As these sources are developed, you will see more information about them here and in the newsletter.