ST. CLOUD -- Stearns County commissioners gave the go-ahead to residents of the Big Fish Lake watershed to hold a vote on whether to create a Lake Improvement District.

Organizers of the referendum were able to get the required 26% of property owners to sign the petition allowing for the vote.

Stearns County Commissioner Leigh Lenzmeier says the board should have stayed out of the matter and let the residents decide from the beginning.  he was the lone dissenting vote in approving the referendum.

Voting details on whether to create the "LID" will now be worked out with the Stearns County Auditor/Treasurer's Office. Some of the issues that need to be addressed include, balloting, date and times and location.

The issue has been divisive because, while some property owners think it's needed to guard the Richmond area lake against invasive species, others see it as another layer of government and wasted taxpayer dollars.