Lakefront properties around Winona Lake generate an additional $1.9 million in property tax revenue, according to Dr. Nate Bosch, executive director of the Lilly Center for Lakes and Streams at Grace College.
Bosch presented his research to the Winona Lake Town Council Tuesday night.
Bosch talked about the importance of the lake to the economy of the town.
He said 70 percent of the tax revenue comes from people who have secondary homes on the lake.
“They would unlikely be here if the lake didn’t exist,” Bosch said.
Bosch asked the town to donate $5,000 to help the Lilly Center with research on the lake. The county and the city of Warsaw also donated to the Center for 2018.
Bosch talked about some of the issues in the lake, such as a major death of white bass in 2017. He said the Center is still trying to find out what happened to the fish. Bosch said the working theory is a virus hit the fish right about the time the fish spawned.
He also mentioned the growth of blue-green algae in the lake. Blue-green algae can release toxins that are harmful to people and their pets. He said Winona Lake has a high population of algae but a low level of toxins. He said they are studying to find out what causes the algae to release toxins.
The board took no action on Bosch’s request for money.
In other business, the council unanimously approved a 3-percent pay raise in 2018 for town employees except Clerk-Treasurer Kent Adams who took no raise.
The council also approved a $275 Christmas bonus for town employees.