Mustang’s Lakehoma Lake is not seen by most residents as a place of escape from scorching temperatures during the summer months.
Algae and Canada Geese rid the lake that was once seen as a place families could visit and enjoy themselves.
Andrew “Andy” Stewart recently moved into the Lakehoma neighborhood and is calling for change to the lake’s algae problem through a Facebook post asking for people to consider using algae control.
“We scoped this neighborhood out for quite a while,” Stewart said. “We were shopping for houses.”
He said the size of the property and having Lakehoma in his backyard enticed him to buy the house that would remind him of home in Missouri.
The algae was not a problem until it got hotter.
“When we first looked at the house, there wasn’t any algae in the pond,” Stewart said. “By the time we moved in, it had gotten warmer, and the rain had subsided, so, the algae came.”
He said he didn’t think anything of the algae whenever he first moved in, but he wanted to make a difference and improve the lake’s aesthetic.
“I’ve spent $40-50 bucks – not a lot – but it’s not enough to make a big enough difference because the pond is like three acres,” Stewart said. “My little bit of treatment that I am doing, or that my neighbor might do is not enough to make a difference.”
Jennifer Jones, a Mustang resident, said she was disappointed to see the amount of algae the lake had.
“It’s not a good thing, but I don’t know what can be done about it, or what should be done about it,” Jones said.
Stewart said he thinks it would take a collective effort from his neighbors to clean up the algae in the pond.
“I just don’t know if the city is even aware there’s an issue with algae,” Stewart said. “… I’m sure the people around here, if they were more aware there was a way to control it, would be more apt to contribute.”
The City of Mustang does not maintain Lakehoma. It resides in Canadian County Commissioner David Anderson’s district.
He said the lake has been in the county’s possession since the 1960s. However, some portions of the lake are privately owned.
“Maintaining property the county owns is a responsibility that all property owners have to deal with,” Anderson said. “If it were a vacant lot, we would have to mow it.”
He said he received a quote from a company saying it would be around $9,000 a year to maintain the algae inside the lake. Algae isn’t a hazard to Lakehoma or the residents of the area but affects the beauty of the pond, he added.
“I am open to the idea of investing a little money into the maintenance of it,” Anderson said. “Then again, I think the long-term solution for the lakes is to get them back into control of the property owners that are adjacent to the water.”
Anderson said he thinks the residents who live on the edge of the water could form something like a homeowners association to buy the lake from the county.
“I like the idea of placing this back into private ownership,” Anderson said.
Jones disagreed, as people who do not live in the neighborhood wouldn’t be able to enjoy the lake.
“I’m not a fan of a homeowners association,” Jones said. “But I also don’t like the idea of the neighborhood lake becoming a real busy area either.”
She said she believes the best idea is for residents of the neighborhood to informally agree to clean the lake.
In order to come into possession of the lake, an auction process would have to be triggered through an offer to purchase the property, Anderson said.
“I don’t have any personal ties other than emotional ties,” he said. “… I have emotional equity in it because not only did I grow up there, but I have lifelong friends who live there.”
The commissioner wants to see a good resolution for the people of Lakehoma Lake and the county.
Anderson said the topic of Lakehoma’s algae outbreak and how to control it will be discussed at the June 28 county commissioner meeting. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the County Administrative Office’s Public Meeting Room.