Letter to the Editor

A response from East Loch Estates

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Dickinson County Residents,

The quality of life here in Dickinson County is second to none! It is our utmost goal to insure and ultimately better the quality of life with hope that one day our children will be able to raise families and live and experience the wonderful Lakes region, as we have for so many years!

Many fictional thoughts and statements have been mentioned pertaining to the East Loch Estates Development. We would like to share some of the facts the East Loch Estates development will bring to the Iowa Great Lakes Region.

This development will be a major improvement for the environment! Today as it sits, 24 tons of sediment leaves this 66 acre site running into beautiful East Lake Okoboji. This is the equivalent to over 2 dump truck loads of sediment! After completion of this project, the sediment leaving the site will be reduced to a mere 1-2 tons of sediment. This is a REDUCTION of 22 to 23 tons of sediment entering the lake EACH year. This sediment, and the phosphorous that goes along with it, produces around 70,000 pounds of algae growth each year. This sediment and algae growth will be almost completely eliminated through the soil quality restoration and retention pond wetlands that will be built with this development. This information was procured from John Wills, the Dickinson County Clean Water Alliance Coordinator.

All traffic, fire, and police protection surveys have been obtained and endorsed by the proper Dickinson County agencies.

The TIF (Tax Increment Financing) will be structured as a rebate program and the county will NOT be asked to allocate any funds for infrastructure for the project.

All of the utilities and infrastructure will be paid for by the developers and NOT with taxpayer money.

All of the utilities and infrastructure on the interior of the development will be maintained by Iowa Lakes Regional Water, Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary District, and the Homeowner's Association, as already discussed and agreed upon. The county will NOT be asked to maintain any of the infrastructure.

The economic impact, per the study done by the UNI Institute of Decision Making, will be $10 million per year for nine years just from the construction process; totaling over a $90 million impact to the local economy. At full buildout, the increase in property taxes will be over one million dollars PER year, according to the Dickinson County Assessor's Office.

The county road fund will see an increase of approximately $180,000 per year at full buildout. With this, the county will not have any new roads to maintain or reconstruct on the interior of the project.

An easement along the East Loch Estates project will be donated to the Dickinson County Trails Board for a future recreational trail use.

The property is currently shown as future residential on the county's Comprehensive Land Use Plan. As it is currently zoned agriculture, that is not the best use for this property. For example, a hog confinement could be built on the property under the current zoning WITHOUT needing county approval. Would anyone want that in close vicinity of beautiful East Lake Okoboji? 

All of these facts have been consulted with and proven by professionals, stated at the previous three meetings this past fall.

Sincerely,

Nick Poolman, Jeremy Jalas, and Jeff Hultgren

East Loch Estates