LMMD - Lake Mason Management District
Saturday, January 12th, 2019- 11:00am
Attendance: Dave Ditter, Pam Klein, Jim Brancel, Rocco Terranova, Mark Hamburg, Robert Salamon, Andre Bukowski (phone)
- Dave Ditter called the meeting to order 11:04 am
- Check for Open Meeting Law Compliance
- Dave Ditter announced the agenda was posted Monday, January 7th, 2019.
- Role Call of Officers
- Approval of Agenda
- Rocco Terranova made a motion to approve the agenda.
- Mark Hamburg seconded the motion.
- Motion approved.
- Approval of the Minutes
- Dave Ditter made a motion to approve the LMMD minutes from 9/1/2018 meeting.
- Mark Hamburg seconded the motion.
- Motion Approved.
- Treasures Report and Outstanding Bills
- Approval of Treasurer’s Report and Approval of Bill Payments
- Treasure report by Andre Bukowski.
- This will be submitted via email by Andrew in the coming days.
- Information Coming:
- Dave Ditter stated outstanding bills are covered. We will not exceed the difference. We will not have to dip into matching grants fund.
- Jim Brancel questioned if Andrew had sent the town of Douglas a check for our share of the dam expenses yet and Andrew replied it has not yet been done.
- Jim Brancel notified Andre he had sent an email on December 11th, 2018 regarding the dam expense. Jim also stated New Haven had already sent a check for their share.
- Our expense is $1,996.17
- Dave Ditter explained we cannot vote on what lake members will be charged until the annual meeting.
- Rocco Terranova made a motion to Table Agenda Item Number 7 until the next meeting
- Jim Brancel seconded
- Motion Approved
- Voting By Board Members Language/Bylaw Language (ex: Conference Call, Email)
- Dave Ditter reported on the legality of electronic communication between Board Members. Dave made reference to advice from Eric Olson from UW Stevens Point who works with Lake Districts through UW Extensions and he advised we can have Board Members at our meetings electronically (phone, Facetime,etc.) however, Board Members who are not physically present cannot vote.
- Rocco Terranova questioned whether Board Members can vote via email?
- Mark Hamburg stated his belief was no and that we should trust Eric Olson and the State Statutes.
- Pam Klein proposed the idea for Board Members to create a separate Email to use for LMMD Government Business instead of communicating through our personal emails.
- Andre Bukowski supported this practice and spoke to current government Email practices and climate.
- Mark Hamburg spoke to the difficulty of keeping up with current emails and adding one more would be difficult.
- Mark Hamburg made a motion to continue using our private emails for LMMD government business.
- Vote was taken: Aye: Ditter, Hamburg, Brancel, Salamon, Terranova - Nay: Klein, Bukowski
2. Campground Assessment (Mason Lake, Wagon Wheel)
- Dave Ditter spoke with owner of Wagon Wheel Campground who has hired an attorney as they feel they have been overcharged for assessment in the past and are looking for back pay. Current owner feels their business has been overcharged since 2004.
- Pam Klein reiterated the Campground Assessments had been reduced by 50% at the last meeting.
- A representative from Wagon Wheel Campground was not present at the meeting.
- Mark Hamburg shared LMMD can charge businesses a different assessment rate than residents.
- Dave Ditter stated we will table this discussion until the next meeting and a representative from Wagon Wheel can attend.
3. Buoy Storage Shed - Lake Mason Campground
- LMMD would like to thank Lake Mason Campground for the space to store buoy’s on their campground and in their shed.
- Pam Klein volunteered to make Lake Mason Campground a Thank You card and will mail it to the owners of the campground.
4. New Summer Buoys (need 6)
- Dave Ditter reported we need 6 new buoys as a result of boaters running into them. They would be purchased before spring.
- Mark Hamburg made motion to approve purchase of 6 new buoys.
- Jim Brancel seconded
- Motion passed
5. Fish Purchases
- Dave Ditter shared we do not have approval from DNR to purchase fish yet. The DNR will be doing a fish survey this spring. After that we can talk with her about her recommendations for fish. We have to wait.
- Mark Hamburg questioned if this purchase is in our 2019 budget.
- Past Chairman Charlie Newling questioned if there will still be time to secure fish from the pantry after getting DNR report.
- Dave Ditter shared that last year we ordered the fish in June.
6. SWIB versus CD’s for Lowering Rates - State of Wisconsin Investment Board
- Dave Ditter stated our matching fund is going into a money market.
- Jim Brancel shared that local municipalities, towns, city government, etc. can invest in local investment pool. Last year we earned 2.37% in interest. Jim shared that the Town of Douglas has participated in the local investment pool since 1980’s. This is fluid and is not a CD. This avenue is always above the CD rate. Best part is it is liquid when you need it.
- Rocco Terranova made a motion to move forward with the SWIB.
- Andre Bukowski: It is a standard investment and is it a risk?
- Jim Brancel stated it is somewhat of a risk but minimal. Restated the Township has done this for 30 years and has never lost money. Never been a negative amount in the pool.
- Dave Ditter shared it takes a 5 year average to protect against stock market dropping.
- Jim Brancel seconded motion to move forward to invest money in SWIB. Stated again we would earn $7,000 in interest: Allows us a cushion in the future if we make this switch. Only negative is that this is being done now. Makes all kinds of money sense. Jim has a resolution to be filled out and signed. He will talk with State Treasure and set up the account. Jim recommends this account only be accessed by the Treasurer and President/Chairman.
- Mark Hamburg would like to clean up the motion.
- Rocco Terranova made the motion to take $250,000 out of current bank account and put into SWIB and keep $9,000.00 in current bank account.
- Jim Brancel Seconded motion.
- Mark Hamburg asked Jim Brancel to assist in this process.
- Rocco Terranova amended the motion for Jim to assist.
- Andre Bukowski asked if other banks have been looked at? After further discussion Andre is satisfied.
- Question from audience of whether this needs to be decided at Board Meeting or annual meeting. Jim Brancel stated again this is exactly what the Town of Douglas is doing.
- Motion Passed
- Jim Brancel made motion to sign paperwork at the end of the meeting.
- Mark Hamburg seconded motion.
- Motion Passed.
7. Audit/Need to Do Early
- Last audit was when former Board Member left in 2018. The Lake Mason guide book states audit can be done by the people on the Board or volunteers.
- Andre has looked into getting a professional audit. They can cost $5,000 and we only write about 30 checks per year.
- Charlie Newling: Before his time on the Board there was a Lake Association member who was a CPA and did the audit for free for a number of years.
- Rocco Terranova shared the CPA who volunteered to do the audit was his neighbor. Rocco will contact his neighbor and ask if she would be willing to do this audit for free again.
- Andre Bukowski reminded the Board of the $500 per 3 months, contract hires that can happen without having to do any documents or involve legal issues.
- Mark Hamburg clarified that he views an Audit as having a formal CPA doing the audit. If we audit as a board or small committee we are just checking to see if checks balance.
- Mark Hamburg recommends we table this until the next meeting
- Rocco Terranova seconded the motion.
- Motion Passed
8. Training for New Lake Commission Members
- Dave Ditter reported he will be attending the training in Stevens Point on April 10th, 2019. Cost is around $30 per session.
- Andre Bukowski has gone in the past and recommended others attending.
- Mark Hamburg made a motion for LMMD to provide funds to pay for registration as well as travel up to 4 people.
- Rocco Terranova seconded.
- Comment from audience: Can someone tag along if they paid their own fees and the Board felt this would be fine.
- Motion Passed
9. Parcel Rate Fee Reduction - Beyond the One Year
- Dave Ditter suggested we get a committee together to double check numbers and make sure they are in line. Are we spending more than is going out? Further explained Parcel Rates should be voted on each year.
- Rocco Terranova asked whether we are saving money but not actually spending it. Members may be growing tired of having money there. Suggested we should use it.
- Jim Brancel stated that at our annual meeting, we have a budget that we propose. We carry forward with what levy rate is going to be. It needs to be addressed on a yearly basis. It takes care of itself. Again stating we vote on it at the annual meeting every year.
- Robert Salamon brought up the question of whether LMMD is looking to make improvements over time. Is there any governing charter of us making improvements. Robert brought up the example of his concern regarding the launch area on south side of the lake.
- Mark Hamburg returned to the budget question and agrees with Jim Brancel referring to a zero based budget. The levy is based of of the budget. Making improvements goes above and beyond. Mark also suggested that if there is a specific concern about a launch, someone should approach the county .
- Robert Salamon again asked what is being done to improve our lake for property owners?
- Mark Hamburg suggested we approach the county and ask what they will do and kick in too (Example: Wagon Wheel)
- Dave Ditter checked into grant money for dredging. Man made lake means we cannot get any money. Lake Mason is filling up with sediment. Water currently is 3.5 feet deep in some areas where it was 5-6 feet in years past.
- Mark Hamburg made a recommendation to put together a five year plan.
- Pam Klein questioned conducting some type of Association Survey. What do our members want to see? What are their concerns, goals, vision?
- Charlie Newling made a comment thanking so many of the Board who are interested in going to the training and also shared that Mr. Solomon’s idea is great to improve the lake.
- Rocco Terranova stated he has been on board for many years and all boards have tried to make improvements in the past, even when there was feuding among board members, the goal was always to make the lake it’s best.
- Member from audience stated the County/DNR was supposed to put together a small group in Briggsville but it never happened.
- Mark Hamburg made a motion to organize an ad hoc committee with two Board Members and three people from the public, making a five person ad hoc committee to help put together a five year plan to put in front of the membership at our general meeting and also the Board.
- Robert Salamon Seconded the motion
- Motion Approved.
- Jim Brancel stated again that the meeting in April will be helpful.
10. Fireworks 2019
- Charlie Newling stated that he thought our charter does not legally allow LMMD to donate money toward fireworks.
- Audience member stated that cans have been placed out in the past for donations and that we have donated money toward fireworks in the past.
- Rocco Terranova stated that our membership wants fireworks.
- Audience member asked if lake district can get involved in raising money?
- Andre stated we did reach to out to our attorney and there was an advisement not to do sponsorship. Our Bylaws state we should not use lake district funds for anything that does not improve our lake.
- Mark Hamburg stated he did not want to be a curmudgeon but feels the lake should not be involved in fireworks in anyway, due to liability. Mark also stated we want to improve the lake. Mark shared that back in the 90’s he worked for Park and Recreation department during the summer. After this experience, he is worried about the debri in the lake.
- Audience member stated that fireworks were funded by the Fire Department and also questioned how we are able to fund the picnic and not fireworks? Audience member also questioned how are we we able to fund the picnic, then?
- Charlie Newling stated the individual who planned and set off the fireworks had to get his own insurance but our attorney’s opinion was we should not sponsor.
11. New LMMD Association Member Fees
- $600 for new members - Foxy’s and Mason Station both joined our association however the total cost was $660.
- Dave Ditter was concerned at the cost of the new members joining.
- Andre Bukowski stated he believes that if someone wants to be a member they need to pay the survey fee.
- Robert Salamon made a motion that LMMD pay related fees as it relates to survey and businesses joining our membership. Also added this be added to official documents of the LLMD.
- Andre Bukowski stated that once we pay for it, we need a policy so we don’t have to refund.
- Mark Hamburg seconded the motion.
- Rocco Terranova asked if this is legal?
- Mark Hamburg explained that due to expo facto we are covered as we are a government entity vs. a private entity.
- Jim Brancel stated he is not in favor of new members paying for the survey. It may discourage individuals and it so rarely happens, in fact he cannot remember the last time someone wanted to join our association.
- Audience member stated we need to have our map updated.
- Mark Hamburg Requested a Roll Call Vote: Klein/No, Terranova/No, Ditter/No, Brancel/No, Hamburg/No, Salamon/Yes
- Motion Fails
12: One Annual Meeting
- Dave Ditter explained that having more than one Annual meeting costs LMMD quite a bit of money.
- Pam Klein asked the specifics in terms of what it costs.
- Dave Ditter explained that you need to mail all members, it needs to be placed in the newspaper, etc.
- Charlie Newling explained that over the years it became a tradition to have two board meetings but LMMD can only vote at the Labor Day meeting. The Memorial Day meeting used to be called a ‘Special Meeting.’
- Dave Ditter questioned if we could have the Annual meeting on another weekend as holidays are very busy.
- Charlie stated that a large percentage of people are here that weekend.
- Rocco Terranova stated he believes that the majority of people who attend the meetings are here visiting their vacation home vs. year round residents.
- Mark Hamburg made a suggestion we could hold a listening session at the Memorial Day meeting and the agenda simply states Listening Session.
- Jim Brancel stated the second quarterly meeting could be held on Memorial Day.
- Charlie Newling again emphasized how a large percentage of members are here that weekend for holiday and just re-emphasized voting cannot happen at the Special Membership Meeting.
- Jim Brancel spoke to the topic of the Board voting on fish. Questioned how much we spend on fish and wondered if we do a fish vote at the Memorial Day Weekend meeting.
- Mark Hamburg stated the Annual Meeting will be switched from Labor Day to Memorial Day.
- Dave Ditter mentioned that we need to go through our Bylaws so we do not violate the State Statutes.
- Jim Brancel suggested everyone not have a life for a couple nights and read through the binder that Dave Ditter prepared for all of us.
- Dave Ditter explained we will have a tax roll at our next meeting.
13. Length of Terms for Officers
- Dave Ditter stated we must vote officers in every year. Further explained that we are operating under a three, two, and one year officer position and after that, they are voted in for a three year term.
- Mark Hamburg asked if the Board can elect the Treasure and the President or does the general public?
- Dave Ditter clarified that it is the law for the Board to vote.
- Jim Brancel said it was explained at last annual meeting.
14. Lake Map
- Dave Ditter reported we are getting a digital survey for our lake for free from Marquette County. This will be more cost effective and clear.
- Robert Salaman asked if the mapping of the lake will include the owners of the lake bed? His parcel has been updated recently. Basically, who owns the lakebed?
- Further discussion about lakebed and legal rights to be discussed at our next meeting.
Motion to Adjourn Meeting: Mark Hamburg
Seconded: Rocco Terranova
Comments: Mark Hamburg thanked Dave for the meeting and preparation that went into the meeting. He also informed the Board that the Agenda format needs to be cleaned up. We did not have any opportunity for Public Input. This will be done next time. Dave Ditter noted our website has not been updated in a very long time. Pam Klein offered to take over the website, time permitting.
Next Meeting Date: Memorial Day Weekend - Saturday, May 25th (Time and Location TBD).