Lake lot fee increase tabled

Robert Smith

After a barrage of unhappy questions and comments from people who make use of leased lakefront lots at Bluestem Lake, Pawhuska city councilors last week at least temporarily backed off of adding charges for garbage service and other purposes to the $350 per year that leaseholders currently pay.

Laban Miles told the council he wants more for the $350 a year he pays the city for a lake lot lease.

“I want to know, when I have a problem who am I supposed to talk to? Who is responsible?” Miles said. He complained that he called the Pawhuska police when he had a break-in at the lake, but they told him all they could do was patrol the roads, nothing else.

City Manager Larry Eulert questioned why the municipal police can’t do something more than patrol roads at Bluestem Lake.

“It’s city-owned property. Why couldn’t they?” Eulert said.

Vice Mayor Rodger Milleson also took an interest in Miles’s description of police response to requests for help.

“Who told you they didn’t have authority out at the lake?” Milleson said.

Miles was told he could call and talk to Eulert — a bit of information he described as “nice to know.” But Miles said he wants a lake patrol.

“So you all don’t want our money any more?” Miles said. “You’re still taking my money. I want a lake patrol.”

Miles expressed ambivalence about the idea of the city charging lake lot leaseholders more for trash service.

“The dumpster deal, I’m not completely for it; I’m not against it,” he said. Miles complained, however, about non-leaseholders dumping trash at the lake in the past.

“The ones that are paying are getting run over by the ones that don’t pay,” he said, complaining about a general lack of service from the city.

Eulert has presented city councilors with a proposal to increase the annual lake lot charge by some $70 per lot to cover twice-weekly trash pickup. Mayor Roger Taylor has also raised the question whether the lake lot lease charge should be increased more than $70 to cover other potential needs at Bluestem.

Those complaining about the potential increase argued that the $350 per year was already supposed to cover trash pickup.

Councilor Mark Buchanan proposed tabling the lake lot lease issue until the council can be provided with more complete information about who promised what to whom in the past.