- Associated Press - Friday, April 15, 2016

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) - Dumping grass, leaves or tree branches into Lake Mitchell might soon be against the law.

The Lake Mitchell Advisory Committee is recommending that those items be added to the city’s littering ordinance, which currently targets only items such as paper and plastic.

City officials are trying to solve a long-term algae problem in the lake. Leaves are a large source of algae-causing phosphorous in the water, according to Golf and Cemetery Director Kevin Thurman. One tree can produce up to 70 pounds of leaves each year, enough to produce thousands of pounds of algae in the lake, he said.

The ordinance would be targeted at people who purposely dump leaves in the lake - not at shoreline property owners who have trees from which leaves fall into the water, The Daily Republic reported (https://bit.ly/1SMtKbN ).

“I think it’s one thing … when you have trees that have been planted and some of the leaves are blowing in or what have you, but it’s another thing when people are physically raking up or blowing all together their leaves and dumping them in,” committee member Mark Puetz said.

The City Council will have the final say on the proposal. Councilwoman Bev Robinson, the group’s representative on the committee, has already indicated her support.

“At least if you got something there and an ordinance on the books, then if there is somebody that is a frequent offender, then at least you’ve got something to stand up with,” she said.

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Information from: The Daily Republic, https://www.mitchellrepublic.com


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