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Tide Change Coming


Thurston County officials are proposing a significant change in lake management strategy. The Board of Commissioners directed staff to develop a proposal for the placement of the Lake Management District program with another department outside of Public Works. At a November 9th Thurston County Board Briefing, the County Manager Rob Gelder will be requesting Board approval for the operational transition of Lake Management District support to a fully contracted model to include an administrative Point of Contact (POC) within Environmental Health.


If approved as proposed, this will initiate a significant change for holistic lake management responsibilities on Long Lake and other lakes in the County. Briefly, the proposal entails:


· In return for a 5% administrative fee the County responsibilities will be limited to 1) facilitating procurement of contracts, payments of warrants (invoices) for the collection of assessments and distribution of payments needed to carry out the work-plan of the LMDs and 2) ensuring adherence to all state and federal regulations, and all county approved policies and procedures.


· Technical expertise previously provided by County staff becomes the responsibility of the LMD within the LMD, or acquire it through contractor support at LMD expense.


· Over the last 3 years, the Board has covered indirect charges ($14,000 - $18,000 per year) with general fund support, and the board is considering reassigning that support to cover the LMD 5% administrative rate (about $13,000).


Lake Management District representatives and County staff continue negotiating details of the transition anticipated for implementation in 2024. Please contact Doug Karman with questions or comments at doug.karman@comcast.net.

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