Lilly Lake to remain on slow no wake; engineer to present drainage options at lake district annual meeting

Lilly Lake will remain on slow no wake status for now, the Wheatland Town Board decided Monday.

The latest measurement taken by town Chairman Bill Glembocki on Monday showed the lake level had receded only about two inches since earlier this month, when it was 758.9 feet above mean sea level.

“It’s way high yet,” Glembocki said. “I think we need to leave the slow no wake on there.”

A slow no wake order means boats operated on the lake must travel slow enough that they do not create a wake.

Wheatland does not have an established level for instituting a slow no wake order, as many other lakes in the area do. The lake is almost as high now as it was when a slow no wake order was last instituted in the summer of 2017, when the region experienced historic rainfall that also created the highest crest ever recorded on the nearby Fox River.

Lilly Lake tends to stay at a high level longer than some area lakes, town officials say, because it does not have an outlet.

Before the Town Board meeting, the Lilly Lake Protection & Rehabilitation District Board of Comissioners — which has the same members as the Town Board — voted to move the district’s annual meeting to Aug. 3 so town engineer Len Roecker could attend to address potential options to create drainage for Lilly Lake.

In an email message to town Clerk Sheila Siegler, Roecker identified two possible options for draining the lake: one which would drain water west and another that would drain the water south.

A possible stumbling block with the west option is the close proximity of identified trout stream Palmer Creek. However, that route could likely be done utilizing public right of ways under the town’s jurisdiction.

The south route is shorter and doesn’t necessarily endanger any environmentally sensitive areas like the trout stream, but it would require negotiations with a private property owner, Roecker said.

Also on Monday, the lake district commissioners approved $2,500 to pay for Roecker to develop a preliminary concept for the drainage options and attend the Aug. 3 meeting to explain the plans and receive pubic input.

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