Saturday, August 29, 2009 Long Lake Area Association Board Meeting Minutes

Held at the Chamber of Commerce Meeting Room, 9 to 11:35 AM.

Note:  Approved for posting to the website at Board Meeting on Sat.10/3/09.

Attendees:  Jeff Bjorkman, Stu Hamilton, Lois Madsen, John McKinney, Sharon Natzel, Larry Roberts, Lou Schultz.  Jim Blodgett, a member of our LLAA AIS Focus Group joined us for Bob Berdahl’s presentation on Potato Lake’s strategy for Aquatic Invasive Species and the AIS discussion following.

Old Business:

Fund Raising Project – Potato Lake – Bob Berdahl

Bob Berdahl from Potato Lake gave us an overview of the Potato Lake Charitable Fund, a component fund of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.  This fund is to provide financial support for the protection, preservation and enhancement of the quality of Potato Lake.  The fund would allow Potato Lake to act in a timely manner if AIS is encountered. (Bob pointed out that currently in MN there are 800 lakes with Curley Leaf Pondweed [CLP] and 200 with Eurasian Watermilfoil.)  Advantages of the fund include part of the fund is designated for actions against lake quality threats like AIS, any money contributed is tax deductible at time of contribution, and provides for action in a timely manner while still allowing Potato Lake to be eligible to participate in any additional funding programs that government agencies may have available.  They launched in June, 2009.  Bob Berdahl provided a copy of the charitable fund drive talking points and letter used for introduction.

Bob also shared information from their AIS research that Bay Lake which is 2300 acres has spent @$120,000 fighting milfoil, Portage is at  @$70,000 on CLP, also mentioned the Lake Emma Township 2009 grant for boat inspections at the landings, and shared an abbreviated version of the DNR’s Annual Report Summary for 2008.  (For the DNR Annual Report, visit this website at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/eco/pubs_invasives.html).

Bob Berdahl shared background on the Potato Lake Association, which is separate from the Potato Lake Charitable Fund and served by a separate Board also. The lake association’s mission includes 3 areas with the goal of preserving the lake. All dues ($25/year) are dedicated to the mission and not social events.  The association has an annual meeting, newsletter, lake management plan and a loon program.  They use vegetation mapping and have a long-running shoreline buffers matching money campaign.  They have been involved in some land use projects which encourage a common boardwalk / dock instead of multiple docks each spaced 150 feet apart. With the 13 miles of lakeshore (@ $100 million dollars value) they have helped encourage natural or undisturbed shoreline for 50% of the lakeshore.

Bob Berdahl said it is good to connect with other lake associations and encouraged us to keep up the exchange.  Potato Lake has about the same percentage members as LLAA but fewer in numbers. Potato Lake has 2 state/county access points and 1 other used access, plus resorts and camp ground with additional access points.  Potato Lake is in 2 townships.  They work closely with the Hubbard County Environmental Office, local leaders and with COLA.   We thanked Bob for sharing!

Jeff Bjorkman provided an AIS Committee update.  Jeff provided the July 2009 Upper Cormorant Lake Newsletter with a significant article on their treatment of Curly Leaf Pondweed.  They worked with their Watershed District to prepare a Lake Management Plan and assist in applying for a DNR Grant and are exploring a special assessment district.

Other AIS discussion by the Board included:

•AIS committee’s goal is to provide guidance for the Oct 3rd meeting at the Chamber of Commerce, 9AM.  Board will then come up with a comprehensive statement on what we could do - - goal is unified voice on how to do it.

•As we research and share via email, Larry suggested we CC: the Board members.

•Bigger problem than we are going to solve so focus individual energy and get behind COLA, who works with MN Waters Lobby to get the State of MN to take this on.

•Dave Anderson updated the LLAA blog with AIS info and link to the Portage Lake Association website.  This site shows pictures that are effective in communicating the problems with CLP.  They haven’t received grants although they have applied and have spent @ $70,000 to manage CLP thus far.

•LLAA has an offer from an individual who owns property on Long Lake, who is a managing partner of a law firm, to help with 501c3 legal status. There is an annual requirement for reporting funding and expenditures.

•Could set up own foundation. This is cheaper than the type of arrangement made for the Potato Lake Charitable Fund.

•We could take a several pronged approach with DNR grant – work with intern similar to Emma Township, focusing on education and inspection on all accesses plus work on state attitude plus explore if new tax for clean water can help.

•Observe inspectors at the Saturday, Sept 12, 2009 Fall Classic Fishing Tournament on Long Lake.  Larry will check with Harry Stock and Jon Sams who participated last year.

•Work with our Watershed District, county and townships.

• Do we need to explore tax district needs.

•Consider a campaign to work with our politicians and be clear what we want to do in order to lead to action.

•John McKinney volunteered to be part of the AIS Committee.  He will check with the water plan coordinator for Hubbard County to obtain additional ideas.

•We can talk with Darrin Hoverson from the DNR - - he’s worked with CLP lakes.

•Jeff looking for best practice and shared the information on boat washes.  It is disheartening as no example of successes we can quote.

•Read the Timber Creek Dock Talk newsletter with AIS article www.timbercreekMN.com

•Sharon provided a copy of the email from Greg Hensel, Hubbard County Agricultural Inspector, which provided additional information on how they have been treating the Purple Loosestrife on the tiny point on the island here in Long Lake to eradicate it.

Sharon emailed Secretary’s Report prior to the meeting for Board review.  It was approved to be posted to the website.  (MSP)

Treasurer’s Report – Lou Schultz

Total Assets  $2917.12

Total Current Liabilities (Walleye Fund) $785.00

Net Worth $2132.12

The Treasurer’s report was approved.   (MSP)

Septic Ordinance Update – John McKinney:

John now has a copy of the proposal.  Is trying to connect with individual in Building Enforcement to understand what really has changed.  He’ll do an article for the website.  There was a public hearing 10 days ago.

Website Editor Needed – Larry suggested that each neighborhood should ask if someone interested in volunteering.  Duties would include being the focal point for all articles, editing with proper paragraphs, charts, and updating photos – change seasonally perhaps.  The editor would provide clear guidance on how to get things up to the website.  The website needs to function for more dynamic communication.  Our webmaster Kurt is not a content editor, but does the file manipulation and posting as directed by the editor.  Lou reported that you can see the otters with the webcam and still get 18 to 20 hits per day on the website.  Query your neighborhood members and ask what they would like to see on the website.   For example, Dave Anderson had suggested a “What’s New” section.

New Business:

November Newsletter Articles – Larry

Larry reminded us that newsletter articles needed for the November newsletter.  Send any articles to Nancy Baer (baers_den@mindspring.com).   We will want info on the lake management plan, activities for Zorbaz, neighborhood events, AIS, water quality, gill netting, etc.  Stu is considering a suggestion about advertising in the newsletter.

Membership – Larry

Current membership is down as compared to last year at this time; 197 down from 233.  Good response to postcards.  People don’t renew unless send them a notice.  It was suggested by John McKinney that we adopt a notice process then and routinely send out.  Some emails were sent too.

The disk was received from COLA with @ 601 property owners in the Long Lake area association boundary.  This is tax record addresses.  We discussed and agreed to contact individuals who have not been members in the past.  Larry is revising membership form and drafted a cover letter.  He is seeking feedback in email from the Board.  We discussed membership tiers as part of the text.  John McKinney clarified that the membership adopted the Bylaws, but they are not incorporated in MN at this time.

John also suggested neighborhood door knocking as a method for having a Board member follow-up.  This would be similar to the telephone tree concept.  Could be implemented next spring when everyone here on Memorial Day weekend for example and all would owe money in prep for the upcoming July 1st to June 30 fiscal year.

2011 Governor’s Fishing Opener

Lou Schultz attended the initial planning meeting and offered insight in addition to the detailed Park Rapids Enterprise article that most of us had read.  Lou said it would be a nice way to showcase our new Main Street in 2011!  Larry and Lou will be attending the Sept 3rd meeting.  We determined we would not have to do anything at this time as a lake association.  We can volunteer individually.

Lake Management Plan – Larry

Larry prepared the application for the Lake Management Plan, which will provide us with a CD.  Similar to the process 2 years ago but then didn’t have time to do it.  This time around there is lead-time for 2010 to allow us to be proactive. We can have 3 primary focus areas such as shoreline inventory on erosion, AIS and access points, plus water quality.  Larry provided a packet with examples he received through a COLA meeting.  He asked that the AIS Committee take a look at this.  We will need to collect the data, organize and coordinate this winter.

Lou suggested we learn from other organizations and special project staffing with volunteers.

The next Board meeting will be held on Saturday, October 3rd at 9 AM at the Chamber of Commerce.  The Long Lake Area Association gathers at 6 PM at Zorbaz on the 1st Saturday of the month, which is October 3rd too.  We agreed this is a nice combination!

Meeting adjourned at 11:35 AM.

Submitted by Sharon Natzel, Secretary