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Clear Lake Mayor Nelson Crabb warns, “There is a risk in NOT taking a risk”

CLEAR LAKE - Big budgets are in store for Clear Lake this coming year as the community welcomes growth, despite worries from some residents, and Mayor Nelson Crabb offered words of wisdom to help dispel those fears.

CLEAR LAKE – Big budgets are in store for Clear Lake this coming year as the community welcomes growth, despite worries from some residents, and Mayor Nelson Crabb offered words of wisdom to help dispel those fears.

According to the most recent Clear Lake town newsletter, Mayor Nelson Crabb explained the spending from City Hall on growth that the community needs:

Clear Lake Mayor Nelson Crabb

It is wonderful to be back in Clear Lake after a brief winter respite of about a month to the “Sunshine State”. My appreciation to our Mayor Pro-Tem Bennett Smith for his strong and enthusiastic leadership of our City during my absence. While in Florida – one of the marvels of the 21st Century is that – I was able to
keep up with all things going on back home in Clear Lake; almost as if I had never left.

I’m excited about all the positive things going on in our City and the proposed FY 24 amended and FY 25 municipal budgets reflect that spirit of optimism. As our City Administrator stated during the first of two required budget hearings, “This is not a status quo budget, or one mired in stagnation and complacency”. These are the two largest budgets in our City’s history, as the result of some major capital investment in our beloved Surf District and elsewhere in housing and other community assets.

After watching the budget public hearing I thought I might share some added perspective for those who may fear growth and economic development in Clear Lake. In Florida, growth is everywhere and it’s explosive. Some communities have more than ten thousand people, or more, per square mile – I read somewhere.

Clear Lake, not counting the Lake itself, is about 11 square miles; ourpopulation has been declining, of course, and we currently sit at 7,600 people as our permanent population. That’s less than 700 people per square mile. Mason City is about 1,000 people per square mile. Wayzata, MN, a very comparable community to Clear Lake is nearly 1,500 people per square mile.

I also heard a statement at the hearing that Clear Lake will be building a “400-unit apartment complex”. Well, actually that’s not correct at all, of course. We are extremely excited, however, to welcome our first non-income and non-age restricted apartment project – a $16-million capital investment in our City – which is about 90 units. Many of these investments in our community I do understand make some of our residents uncomfortable. However, much like our own lives, we have choices to make. We can live the life we have – or one that we have the potential to live. I’m bullish about Clear Lake’s potential and I want to see it continue to prosper and thrive; providing things for families to enjoy.

Nelson Mandela once said, “there is no passion to be found playing small – and settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” I would suggest that same wisdom guide our perspective and investment choices for our community.

I’m looking forward to a wonderful spring and summer and wish all our residents and visitors the very best.

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I respect Mayor Crab but his comparison to the population of Clear Lake to other Cities per square mile, is apples and oranges. The population of Clear Lake might be officially 7,600 but the number of people that have second homes on and around the lake is huge! They do pay city taxes but are not counted in the census. This is a big reason the official numbers say population is declining but the building of new units continue to grow, a lot are just not counted in the census.
Weekend and summer population puts Clear Lake on par with Mason City as far as number of people are concerned.
I lived in Clear Lake and graduated from Clear Lake Schools. I loved my life there but had to leave and move to Mason City because of the taxes. The tax rates are basically the same in both cities but the home values in Clear Lake are so over valued for taxation purposes, you can’t afford to live there any longer in a nice house if you are a middle class earner.
I liked it as the little Mayberry that I grew up in, the rich kids were on the north shore, the rest of us were in very nice houses elsewhere in town. Everything south of the outlet were all summer cottages, there was no permanent housing,

Last edited 18 days ago by John

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