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Lake James Property Owners Association, Inc.

Roscommon County, Michigan

Lake James Sanitary Sewer System
Attention: Lake James Property Owners

During the past three years, I have served on the Lake James Property Owners Association (LJPOA) assigned to aquatic weed control. A great part of my job is to inspect the waters and shore lines for nuisance aquatic weeds, assuring residents a clean and healthy lake.

During 2011, upon inspecting the canal area on Lake James drive from Atwood to Driftwood Circle and beyond, I noticed at least 10 property owners have replaced their septic systems with stacked leach/drainage fields. Another property owner on Surfwood had to extend the existing leach field for sufficient drainage. In addition, from July to November, 2011, three septic systems were replaced on Lake James Drive near Linwood Park.

This number may be greater as I have not inspected the entire lake area or checked to ascertain the exact amount of permits issued for this type of upgrade. My concern is that the soil may be getting saturated and will not except normal drainage. It is obvious septic systems are periodically failing.

Further, it has been brought to my attention that some residents find it necessary to pump out their septic systems yearly, others twice a year. I have also noticed that the lake level has an effect on leach field drainage indicating a possible underground connection between the two. My concern is, how long before our lake water is affected? This could create a problem for us and also Houghton Lake residents since Lake James flows into Houghton Lake via Denton Creek.

Note: During the summer of 2011, Lake James water was professionally tested in several areas and proved to be acceptable.

On September 17, 2011, at a monthly board meeting, the Lake James Board of Directors (LJBOD) discussed the possibility and need of a Lake James sewer system. In agreement it was put on the agenda at the October 5, 2011, Denton twp., regular board meeting. Township board members, the township supervisor and the Houghton Lake sewer authority supervisor were present at this meeting and voiced concerns and objectives.

First: Lake James property owners will be asked to vote on this project at the August 2012, annual meeting. To move this project forward a "yes" vote of 51% is needed. Guest speakers will be available to answer questions at this time.

Second: A feasibility study of the lake area will be necessary to plan the project. The cost of this study may be imposed on the Lake James Property Owners Association (LJPOA) general fund if grant money or other means of payment are not available.

The LJPOA has currently contacted and interviewed representatives from two engineering company's reference to the mentioned feasibility study. Each company has submitted a bid. The successful company will be placed on hold until after the vote.

Cost & Questions: At this time we are asking everyone to consider the pros and cons of a sewer system before making a decision. es, this project will increase property taxes but more importantly, will also increase property value. Consider the cost of maintaining your present septic system or replacing that system if it fails versus a worry-free sewer system. Talk to your neighbors about sewer taxes. If you live downstate, what are sewer taxes there compared to septic tank upkeep? What will hook up cost? To reiterate, all questions will be answered at the August meeting. If you cannot attend a proxy vote will be arranged so your vote will be counted. Please deeply consider this project before voting.

Thank You
Rocco Daversa
Lake James Property Owners Association

Revised Sunday March 18, 2012 4:31 PM