About Us

Wisconsin Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Districts

A public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district is a special unit of government formed under Chapter 33 of the Wisconsin State Statutes. Property owners living within the district boundaries may be assessed fees as part of the property tax levy. The lake district is not a general purpose unit of government like a town or county that must deal with a broad range of issues ranging from fire protection to road repairs. Instead, it addresses lake management issues. A lake district is empowered to operate on its own initiative, independent of its creating entity and the state, but subject to local ordinances and state law. Lake districts can act together with other municipalities and agencies to undertake lake protection and rehabilitation projects. Lake districts can perform a wide variety of lake management activities such as:

  • evaluate lake management issues
  • carry out lake management activities such as lake aeration, dredging,
  • and aquatic plant management
  • develop long range lake management plans
  • undertake projects to enhance recreation
  • monitor water quality
  • cooperate with non-profit organizations on projects
  • operate water safety patrols
  • form a sanitary sewer district

The Lake Onalaska District

The Lake Onalaska Protection and Rehabilitation District (LOPRD) was formed under the State Statutes in 1975 by order of the La Crosse County Board of Supervisors (Resolution 162-75) in response to a citizen petition. The LOPRD is comprised of property owners whose land adjoins the federal shorelands surrounding Lake Onalaska (formal District boundaries). The private lands upon which Lake District residents live are regulated under La Crosse County Shoreland Zoning with Wisconsin DNR oversight. At the time of its organization, the main purposes of of the District were stated as:

  1. Stimulate collection of information
  2. Develop lake management alternatives
  3. To promote projects that will lead to an improved lake environment
The first twelve years of the Lake Onalaska Protection and Rehabilitation District were summarized in a June 29, 1987 Memorandum

Lake Onalaska District Commissioners

Current Lake District Commissioners are:

  • Barbara Friell (secretary)
  • Vicki Burke (La Crosse County Rep)
  • Fritz Funk
  • Ben Lachecki
  • Connie Welch
  • Marc Schultz (chair, Town of Onalaska Rep)
  • Mark Tierney (treasurer)