Lake Panorama RIZ Election December 5

By Susan Thompson

Voting for two positions on the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone (RIZ) board will take place Tuesday, December 5. The polls will be open from noon until 8 p.m. in the lower level of the LPA office, 5006 Panorama Drive.

Two members of the current board, Doug Hemphill and JoAnn Johnson, are running for re-election and are unopposed. Other trustees on the RIZ board are Bill Dahl, Dale Grotjohn, and Corey Welberg.

Voting is limited to individuals whose voter registration address is located within the Lake Panorama subdivision. LPA members who do not consider Lake Panorama their primary residence for voting purposes are not eligible to cast a ballot. This is a government election, not an LPA election. Every eligible voter can cast a ballot. This differs from LPA elections, where each membership is allowed just one vote.

The trustees are charged with administering the RIZ, which includes the platted portions of the Lake Panorama development. The RIZ has existed since 1997 and is responsible for funding erosion control and water quality improvements at Lake Panorama.

This year, the RIZ completed two wetlands projects. The Donahey Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) wetland helps reduce sediment running into Helen’s Cove. The Elmquist CREP wetland helps protect Hughes Cove.

RIZ is in the process of planning a third wetland for construction in 2018. RIZ is scheduled to take possession of 42 acres of property in mid-November, which will house a 9-acre wetland pool. This project will receive a 50-percent cost share through a grant from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Soil and Water Conservation Society.

RIZ also remains focused on the dredging of Lake Panorama. During 2017, LPA crews dredged 155,000 cubic yards of sediment from the upper basin and another 32,000 cubic yards from Burchfield Cove. Other 2017 projects include planned modifications to RIZ’s County Basin outlet structure, land trades and acquisitions for additional wetlands and buffer structures, plus long-range planning for the next 20 years.

A portion of property taxes resulting from the growth of Lake Panorama on property in the district is the source of RIZ funding. RIZ also has the ability to levy a stand-by tax for bond repayment, but opted not to assess that levy for the 2017-18 fiscal year because an existing bond is nearly paid off. The RIZ 2018-19 fiscal year budget will be adopted in early 2018.