By SARAH MANN Daily News
RICHFIELD — Want to launch a boat? That’ll be $8, please.
The Richfield Village Board took one of the last steps in the planning stages of building a boat launch on Bark Lake. The launch, which is set to open later this year, will cost users $8 per launch, which is a bargain according to Interim Village Administrator Jim Healy; the village could have charged $8.50 but decided that $8 was sufficient to cover the expenses associated with renting out bathroom facilities near the launch.
The annual price — users can stop by Village Hall and request an annual license, rather than having to pay each time they launch their boat — will be $25, and that, too, is a bargain; according to village documents, annual launch fees on nearby water bodies are much more expensive. The annual launch fee for Cedar Lake is $70 and $80 for Little Cedar Lake.
The fee comes with the blessing of the people who use and are around the lake the most.
“As an association, we approve the charge,” Bark Lake Association member Dick Becker confirmed.
Members had expressed at an association meeting their concerns that boat owners may not clean their boats properly before launching, meaning that invasive plant or animal species from other lakes could be inadvertantly transferred to Bark Lake. The village did not address how to perform community outreach to educate boaters about the potential danger of spreading invasive species, but Healy and Trustee Bill Collins promised association members at one of the Bark Lake Association’s meetings that the village would research methods to get the message across.
There’s just one more step to take before the launch fee becomes truly official.
“We will have to work with the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) to work out the required forms before we can adopt it into our fee schedule,” Healy said.