Lily Lake closes to swimming this year

The Stillwater City Council unanimously agreed to close Lily Lake beach to swimming this season, but the lake will remain open for recreational activities.

The council’s decision on Lily Lake comes almost one year after death of 9-year-old Jack Ariola Erenberg, who died in late August after he contracted a rare disease, Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM), from an amoeba in the water after he swam in the lake.

“Washington County, along with the officials they’ve been talking with at the CDC, have said that closing the beach is a city decision. Given what has happened there, I would recommend that we should close the beach and make a decision at a later date,” said City Administrator Larry Hansen.

Hansen said signs saying the beach is closed will be installed soon.

“I believe that this is the proper legal action considering there is no way at this time to ensure that in the future it is safe for children to swim. I think the best thing is preventing swimming in it all together.” added City Attorney David Magnuson.

Permanently closing the Lily Lake beach is still up for debate ,but Hansen said that if new information comes to light, the swimming ban could be lifted. The council decided to ban swimming this year and revisit the issue again next year.