The Canton City Council met Tuesday for the final time this year.

The Canton City Council met Tuesday for the final time this year.

The majority of the additional 30 or so folks was mainly due to the first item under Lake, Buildings & Grounds, ‘discuss, consider and vote on the bids received for Canton Lake.’

Council is exploring the option of leasing the lake grounds to Herman Brothers Lake and Land Management; the same group that manages Giant Goose Ranch located just west of the city.

It is important to note no decision has been made one way or another, but visitors wanted to make it clear where they stood on the issue, “We have signed petitions  opposing the lease of the campground,” said one woman.

She went on to say they have heard fees will increase if the property is leased, “We want the freedom to come and go as we please. Canton Lake was made for residents of Canton. Some campers have been here several years.”

Further, Council was asked where campground funds are going with one person opposed to the notion saying, “It basically maintains itself.”

They suggested the City of Canton has the means and workers to do what the group leasing it would. Council was urged to re-think leasing the campgrounds.

Mayor Kent McDowell said no decision has been made, “Nothing is etched in stone. If and when a decision is made it will be out in the open.”

Mel Harris said he has been utilizing the Canton Campground for 25 years, “Why lease to outside people? Things should remain the way they are.”

Following a lengthy executive session, Alderman Tad Putrich, Chair of the Lakes, Building and Grounds Committee, said they had questions that needed to be asked in executive session, “We’re not hiding anything.”

McDowell added, “No decision has been made by Council, we’re just as inquisitive and inquiring as you are. We’re staying above board; we’re on the up-and-up. This concerns all of us.”

Additionally, McDowell acknowledged the rumors, gossip and innuendo ‘flying around’, “I can’t control it. Every municipality is fighting (financial issues). Ag. and recreation are our assets. We are going to look, experiment and be inventive to stay out of the ‘red’.”

Ultimately, it was decided the issue would be tabled until the Jan. 2 meeting. Prior to the 6:30 p.m. regular meeting anyone interested is welcome to attend a presentation by Herman Brothers Lake and Land Management beginning at 5 p.m. where people will be able to ask questions or share concerns. If those wanting to attend are not available at the start time it was noted they will keep the floor open until 6:15 p.m.

Putrich urged those with questions to drop them off at the City Building or email them to City Attorney Curtis Lane. His email, as well as other city officials, is listed on the city website.

Alderman Christopher Jump said people are encouraged to offer suggestions, as well, “There is a lot to do before any agreement is reached, if there is one.”

Prior to adjourning, another executive session was held, but no action followed.