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Shorefront license fees going up at Lakes Freeman, Shafer

The Shafer and Freeman Lakes Environmental Conservation Corporation Board voted to approve new shorefront license fees next year.

Beginning March 1, 2016, annual individual license fees for property owners on Lakes Freeman and Shafer will increase from $60 to $100. Access to lakes through an easement will increase from $50 to $85 per year.

Commercial shorefront owners will pay a $425 base fee per year which includes the first ten slips. Additional slips will cost $45 annually.

One official said in the organization's 21-year history, fees have only gone up one time.

The board realized that in seven years, it would no longer be able to continue dredging operations at present levels.

In a press release, the Corporation reports it has spent more than $187,000 including legal and consulting fees to protest the mandate issued by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the lowering of Lake Freeman during dry months. Concerned property owners and "supportive local and state organizations and agencies" have contributed $72,000 to the effort, which it said left them with a $115,000 shortfall.

94.1 WGFA