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Rep. Triston Cole: You've got a right to party on Torch Lake but there are ways to clean it up

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City

Ten thousand people partied on Torch Lake over July 4th weekend this year. The sandbar on the lake has become one of northern Michigan's prime summer party destinations.

But many neighbors on the lake are upset about the trash, the trespassing and the noise.

State Representative Triston Cole (R-105th District) put together a roundtable on the issue last week, seeking a solution.

"This is a public body of water," Rep. Cole says, "and people have a right to have a great time and enjoy places like the sandbar on Torch Lake."

Cole says shutting down the party is not an option, but there are ways to clean up the festivities. One way is to increase enforcement of already existing state laws. But Cole says it all comes down to finding enough money.

"One of the ideas that was talked about is being able to increase the amount of fines that could be assessed for some of that illegal activity [on Torch Lake]," Cole says.