Soon we will learn of the APA’s recommendation to the governor regarding the recent Finch, Pruyn land acquisition. Depending on the ruling, Indian Lake will either have an opportunity to attract more recreational visitors, or the deer and bears will have many more acres to roam. The town was also recently presented with a list of recommended projects for our hamlets, including access to the waterfront in Indian Lake and a destination hotel in Blue Mountain Lake. There have been many questions regarding the Hamlets 3 recommendations. Who will take charge of these projects? How much will it cost? And where is the money going to come from?
The answer to these questions involves all of us — both permanent and seasonal residents of Hamilton County. Will everyone agree with what’s best for our town? Most likely not. The only thing for sure, is if you don’t actively participate in the planning process, please don’t criticize the decisions of others who will. We have much to protect — our amazing school attended by multiple generations of our founding families; our pristine rivers and lakes free of invasive species; traffic light-free zones; and the quality of life our small town offers. Yes, these are the reasons we love our town just the way it is. These are the reasons second home owners choose our town to flock too, often escaping the big city and all its baggage.
However, if we don’t start attracting families to move here, our school might need to be combined with another. Our kids may have to be bused to Wells or Newcomb if attendance continues to decline. If we don’t attract new businesses, our graduating seniors and college grads will have no reason to return to our town. Did you know that Hamilton County is the largest county, is the least populated, and has the largest percentage of people over 52 years old? If we don’t do something soon, we could cease to exist.