Torch Lake Citizens Sick of Mess Left by Fourth of July Partiers
“They would like definitely some relief it's two days out of their summer that it's totally ruined for them.”
The Torch Lake sand bar is a big draw on the Fourth of July.
But some say those parties are getting out of hand.
It's estimated more than ten thousand people flocked to the sand bar this year.
And that all of the drinking and trash left a big mess.
Tonight, people in Clearwater Township discussed the issue and what can be done about it.
Many locals say they have had enough.
They feel the parties have gotten out of hand and want something to change.
“It’s just an unsafe situation for a lot of people,” said Clearwater Twp. Supervisor Larry Niederstadt. “Things that are visible are not the things to write home about.”
Many locals say the sand bar party has grown into a large rave.
Some are worried about profanity, nudity, excessive drinking and waste at the party.
“I was in the family section, what I consider the family section, and it's really unfortunate that my family had to hear repeatedly loud blaring music that said ‘effing’ …. and someone exposing their breasts six times in one minute," said Michelle Bell, a concerned citizen who spoke at the meeting.
Some community member proposed solutions included more porta-potties and trash containers, glass bottle restrictions and law enforcement patrols.
“We've got people out there in the lake who are throwing Jell-O shots out of a double-decker DJ pontoon and we know they’re not checking IDs,” said Michele Schellie, another concerned citizen. “We do have a lot of folks that get so inebriated that they are falling into the water and quite possibly could drown because they can't pick themselves up.”
The DNR plans to triple its water patrols next year — and bring in more officials from other the departments as well.
“Again, it's a situation where (Clearwater Twp. doesn't) have police,” Niederstadt said. “There isn't enough of a law enforcement … here in the county to do it."
For many it just comes down to partiers having more respect for locals and the lake.
The supervisor says five truckloads of garbage were taken from the shore this year.
Some in the township fear next year's party will be even bigger.
They plan on hosting more meetings to get this all straightened out.