A man who identified himself as Frank talked about Sundown Lake. He said he lives full-time at Sundown Lake and water quality is important to him and the others who live there.
“It is my sincerest wish that someday my grand kids will be able to walk down to the lake and catch a mess of panfish and have a great time with grandpa,” Frank said.
Next, he talked about how the folks who live at Sundown Lake want to be a part of the “solution that is a win-win for everybody. We want to be a part of the dialogue.”
Frank said “Water quality is clearly an issue for all of us that have invested in Sundown. We believe that if the lake thrives, the whole community thrives.”
Frank said Sundown Lake is a “jewel” in Appanoose County but the homeowners cannot ignore the siltation issues they have.
The issue of a RIZ at Sundown Lake has a history that dates back to November of 2012.
At that time, the Coves of Sundown Lake Owner’s Association petitioned the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors to establish a RIZ. The board denied that request but a judge in February of 2013 overturned the supervisor’s decision. The board voted to appeal the judge’s decision in March of 2013.
Aerial photos presented during the initial petition showed the lake was shrinking in size as more and more silt entered the basin.
As a RIZ, a certain percent of taxes stay in the zone to address pressing issues. In this case, the need to spend money to keep the lake intact.
Under the provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 357H, if a RIZ is established it is entitled to receive and use all future real estate taxes based on the total incremental taxable valuation (that is, any increase in the tax base for the proposed zone) from and after the date of its approval. Those taxes may be used by the RIZ (through a Board of Trustees who are to be elected residents of the proposed zone) for “improvements,” which are further defined as “dredging, installation of erosion control measures, land acquisition, and related improvements, including soil conservation practices, within or without the boundaries of the zone.”