Research was conducted for Lake of the Woods County to find policy solutions for the
budgetary deficits the county solid waste system and emergency services received in
winter of 2020. The deficits were due to the record high solid waste collected and
emergency service calls received during the season. Lake of the Woods, a popular ice
fishing destination in the county, received record-high traffic due to more favorable ice
conditions compared to other lakes further south.
A literature search, meetings, a survey, and interviews were all used to gather data on
the issue. Three policy options were created from findings: including sleeper houses in
unit counts and prorating for winter, requiring all resorts and ice road operators to have
dumpsters for customers, and issuing permits for wheelhouses on Lake of the Woods.
Policy options were qualitatively analyzed with SWOT analyses and compared to one
another. These options were presented to the county board who discussed them briefly
after the presentation. It was recommended that the county waits at least one more
season before beginning any new policy implementation.