Friday, July 13, 2018
President Dave called the meeting to order.
Referred to the handouts. About 85 were in attendance. Minutes from last year’s annual meeting was approved. Diane Reff gave the treasurer’s report. Total in the checking account is $32,401.85. Total expenses were $20,030.95 and income was $15,695.28.
Zack Hermann was voted in as treasurer.
Dave introduced Jay Elshaug from the Pelican Group of Lakes Improvement District. Jay informed the group of what a Lake Improvement District is. LIDS has been around for 25 years at Pelican Lake. A small tax levy is appropriated for any property within 500 feet of the lake (high water mark). Their operation costs are $130,000 – the levy is a percentage of the properties taxable value. Pelican Group of Lakes has three organizations- LIDS, Lake Association (voluntary participation), and a Foundation for those who want to find ways to impact the lake for future generations.
LIDS does water quality monitoring leading to partnership with DNR – tracking minerals and organisms in the water including invasive species. One of the key benefits, should we have some outbreak of something, we already have a structure in place that can apply for funding and attack the problem. Pelican Lake started a tree program through their LIDS. Deforestation is a problem, the LIDS provide and plant trees on properties. LIDS monitor septic systems, teamed with the DNR and other organizations and applied for the Legacy grant to get the dam opened up to let fish species move up and down the waterway. Their Board is made up of 9 individuals- 3 come up for election every year.
Mosquito program- question does it work?
Yes, they have a system for doing the application to cover the entire area.
Is it safe?
They are conscientious of when they spray and is balanced with the concerns of West Nile, etc…
Question- Dues? How does that work?
Dues are established initially when the LIDS is set up based on what the budget needs are. We haven’t changed the levy in five years, we’ve changed how we spend the money, but not the amount. It doesn’t seem to have undue burden. It requires 100% participation unless people don’t pay their taxes. Property owners do not have the option to say they don’t want to be a part of it. The tax stays right here on your lake, it doesn’t go to St. Paul.
Question about monitoring the septic system- who do they partner with on this?
They work with the county and they have a map that indicates if a property is compliant with their septic system.
Isn’t that a duplication with the county?
Answer: All we are doing is tracking who is compliant and who is not.
How many extra properties are you picking up by going 500 feet from the high water level?
Jay wasn’t sure of that number.
Water level question, how has that been impacted with the LIDS?
We are interested in how much water is running in to our lake, we had efforts to impact the dam and analyze what can be done about the water levels.
Question about the grant money ($400,000), would that have been available if you weren’t a LIDS?
Why wouldn’t the Lake Association be able to do that? We needed to put in money to do an assessment in order to apply for the grant, which cost us $40,000- you need to have that kind of money in the account to be able to do that.
Say we decided to do this, but we didn’t like it, how hard is it to dissolve the LID?
Needs to be voted on, just like how you started it.
Jim Wolters, DNR, spoke to the group.
Jim has been with the DNR for 30 years. Fisheries has not done any aquatic vegetation survey since the mid 90’s. They are the only agency statewide that does fish surveys, but other entities do the aquatic vegetation surveys- such as ecological waters organization. Surveys have been done on the emergent plants like water lilies, rushes, etc… in 2016. Curly leaf pondweed is in both lakes. The question was asked whether or not the LLPOA should help treat nuisance weeds. Not many associations handle the situation of ridding the lake of nuisance weeds. You can get a permit to do it yourself. Without a permit you can remove up to 2500 square feet of submerged weeds, weeds that come to the surface – but not rushes. You can remove them by pulling them. Have to take the plant parts with you, can’t leave them in the lake. Any area larger than that or chemical application, you need to get a permit. Information is on the DNR website- search “aquatic plant permits”. One staff approves applications year-round at the DNR. Weed rollers require an application/permit as well. Not many lake associations get involved in weed control, where they do it’s only for the invasive aquatic species. Part of the reason is because weeds vary- shallow waters have more weeds. Multiple property owners can get together and address the problem in their bay.
DNR just finished fish survey yesterday on south Lida. North Lida will be surveyed in a couple of weeks, first part of August. They survey North and South Lida every three years. Because of the Slot limit for walleye they are interested in the fish population on Lida(s). Jim explained the graphs passed out- the graphs will be posted on the Lake Lida website. There are lots of pike in south Lida- extremely high numbers but the majority of them are small. It is concerning that the general trend is increasing in Pike. Walleye numbers have been stable since 2003, however, the size of the fish is concerning. Not many are under the 17 inch category. Wolters also reported that when the curly leaf pondweed dies back you will see more green colored water – algae bloom. The plan after DNR gets the North and South Lida data is that they are going to look at the slot limit. But right now the slot isn’t the problem, it’s the reproduction- we need to supplement the weak natural production of walleyes. Statewide the slot limits are getting adjusted. This year the number of smaller walleye is weak. Wolters relates that back to habitat loss. They have a lot to eat, lots of perch, we don’t know what the issue is with production- are the eggs dying?, etc… If you lose the larger fish, you start relying totally on stocking. There is a strategy for where they stock the fingerlings. The Lake Association can use restricted funds to stock walleye. The curly leaf and zebra mussels have an effect on spawning habitats. Does water level have an impact on fish/zebra mussels? DNR has limited funds available for curly leaf pondweed control, but the lake association could decide to address that.
President Dave reported
that Lida Township has purchased two mobile speed reduction signs – you can contact the Township Board if you would like the signs placed near your property.
CD3 (Clean, Drain and Dry) waterless cleaning system to clean off your boat when you come off the lake aimed at reducing the spreading of aquatic invasive species. Grant money is potentially available through Otter Tail county and DNR will allow these systems at boat launches. Purchase amount around $30,000 and the Lake Association members are being asked if there is interest in purchasing one of these, which would be around $14,000 (half of the cost) and the county would maintain it, including repairs. The machine has software that will tell us how often it is being used. Question is asked, what does it do for our lake? It’s not directly helping our lake, but it is helping the spread of aquatic species. A motion was made to table this discussion to purchase a CD3. Seconded. Discussion included the opportunity to be pro-active for once, cost is high, President pointed out that if we were to vote to obligate the money, we won’t spend a dime unless we get the grant. This is a new company and new technology, let’s wait and see if it’s effective. Motion was made to table the discussion. President pointed out that this would delay getting one until 2020 and the funding may not be available. Those in favor of tabling the discussion for tonight – 23, those in favor of continuing the discussion- 24. Motion made for the board and beach captains to discuss further and to make the decision. Seconded. This would require a special meeting of the board. Need to apply for the grant by August 13. 31 in favor – those against 22. Motion passed.
Suggestion that more information be provided before the beach captains and board voted on the purchase of the CD3.
Buoys and signs- (ie. Watch out for rocks, South Lida) where do we need them? Let Board or Beach Captain know if you have suggestions where signs may be needed and we will invest in these items.
LIDS discussion. President reported that Pelican Lake has a paid position to help manage the plan. Motion was made to vote to proceed with pursuing the LIDS. Question was asked “in the absence of the LID is this association able to do the same things?” Comments made include: There’s safety in numbers in doing the LID, rather than just as single associations. Concerned about laying on another layer of infrastructure and government. Impressed me that 100% of the people participate- everyone benefits. Majority voted to continue pursuing the option of becoming a LID.
Skipped the rest of the agenda due to time. Suggestion to send a postcard to educate folks about the website.
President shared concerns about fireworks- mess and water contamination. Referred to an article in the Detroit Lakes paper July 5 regarding the contamination.
Door prizes were awarded. Motion to adjourn the meeting. Seconded.