December 2017 Cop's Corner

by Chief of Police, Donnie Hachman

Dumping/Blowing Leaves in our Lake is Illegal

This time of year, the police department gets several calls from concerned residents about their neighbors blowing leaves into the lake from their property. Though leaves are organic matter, dumping large amounts of them into the water can have adverse effects. Other private lakes in Missouri have recommended property owners not dump their leaves in the lake because leaves have nutrients similar to fertilizer and they contain high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. When leaves are naturally blown into the lake from trees on a shoreline, the lake can handle the influx. But when massive amounts of leaves are dumped, it can upset the natural ecological balance, especially in areas of high population density, like here at Lake Waukomis. “When too many leaves are dumped into the lake it can cause an excessive amount of algae growth and some algae can release toxins that might harm humans, animal life and fish,” LOWA,(Lake of the Ozarks Alliance) Executive Director Donna Swall said. “But even with nontoxic algae blooms, as the overabundance of algae dies, it decays, causing bacteria to use up the oxygen in the water. This can kill fish and other aquatic life, ultimately harming sport fishing and the quality of the water.” A trout hatchery at Table Rock Lake experienced this phenomenon firsthand last summer. Flooding brought a large amount of debris into the lake, the Springfield News-Leader reported, and the resulting decomposition and skyrocketing nitrogen content in the water killed approximately 81,000 brown and rainbow trout. A local lake resident alleges that leaf dumping has decreased the fish population in the waters near his home. "I can’t catch bluegills anymore," he said. "They live in the rocks at the bottom of the lake and now they are all covered with sunken leaves. They have no habitat, and there are a lot less fishermen who fish near my dock."

Purposefully dumping leaves in the lake is illegal and violators could be charged with this Missouri Revised Statutes which deals with water pollution. RSMO 644.051.1 reads: It is unlawful for any person: (1) To cause pollution of any waters of the state or to place or cause or permit to be placed any water contaminant in a location where it is reasonably certain to cause pollution of any waters of the state. There could be a fine of up to $10,000.

Lake Waukomis Municipal Court Ceases to Operate

As of 01/01/2018, the Lake Waukomis Municipal Court will cease to operate here in Lake Waukomis. Our entire municipal court system has been moved to the Platte County Circuit Court / Lake Waukomis Municipal Division in Platte City. All questions regarding court, court dates, or tickets received should be directed to the new court clerk at 816-858-1986 and not our City Hall; you no longer pay fines or conduct any court business at the Lake Waukomis City Hall. All Lake Waukomis court cases will be heard at the Platte County Court House. Officers will issue an information sheet along with the summons explaining details on fine costs and different on-line / phone payment options which were not available before. This move only affects our municipal court system and not our police department, which will operate as normal.

RESIDENCE CHECK

A complete check of the exterior of the residence including physically checking all windows and doors. Pick up papers and packages.

RESIDENCE WATCH

A visual check only. No physical checking unless something suspicious is observed or reported. To order one of these, you can call 741-2071 or go to our city’s website, www.lakewaukomis.org, and select the Residence Check Form tab.

Please remember to report any suspicious persons or activity to the police department by calling 911 or the non-emergency police number at 816-858-3521.

Kris James KulsrudComment