October 6, 2015
Hanes Building, Mercer, Wisconsin
1 Call to order by Terry Daulton, President at 6:04 PM
2 Attendance: Terry Daulton, President; Jeff Malison, Vice President; Tom Mowbray, Treasurer; Bill Stewart, Secretary; Directors: Mike Hittle, Jim Moore, Bill Ficek, Diane O’Krongly, Web Site Committee Chair: Leann Malison Absent: Sandy Gitzlaff.
3 Treasurer’s Report: Tom Mowbray. Full report filed with minutes. We have received membership renewals from about 150 members. We have not heard from 25 past members. There are some members we expect to renew from whom we have not heard. A reminder mailing is going out. Our membership includes 18 new members. No comments have been made about the dues increase. Donations have fallen slightly and may reflect the increase in the amount of the dues. Our fund Balances are: General Fund $11,305.70
Fish Habitat $2832.75
A motion to accept the report was made and seconded. The report was unanimously approved.
4 Old Business
4 A Water Levels Jim Moore presented the most recent graph of water levels covering November 2014 to the present. This will be filed with the minutes. We met with Xcel Energy in May when there was plenty of water. In August we asked about the drawdown plan and were told it would be about 3.5 feet. The graph shows the drawdown this summer seemed steeper in August than our reasonableness curve would project. (See the graph). We have another meeting scheduled with the DNR on October 21. It is the feeling of the board that the DNR and Xcel are not managing the water levels with sufficient attention to the interests and needs of the property owners. It seems Xcel wants to shut our association out of the conversation. At the beginning of the summer Xcel said they could manage the summer with only a 2.5 foot draw down.
4 B Fish Management: Jeff Malison. The Fish Committee did not meet in September. A December meeting is being planned. Walleye fishing seemed “slack” this summer. Was this because of the large number of yellow perch? Crib production of pan fish seems good. One member has suggested we post signs promoting the consumption of bass. The question of becoming involved in bass tournaments was raised. The consensus of the board without the benefit of taking a vote is that this kind of activity falls outside our mission statement. The spring spearing by the Ojibwa took about 4000 fish this year, more than normal. There was interest in whether or not this impacted the walleye catch this summer. At least one local guide says he has been as productive as usual and noticed no “slack” in the walleye catch this summer. He suggested anglers may not have been in the right places at the right times.
4 C Invasives: Diane O’Krongly. Because of rain, no herbicide was used during the purple loose strife pull this year. The number of volunteers was up slightly and many plants were pulled by hand. No “new” locations were found. Some plants seemed to have been eaten by beetles suggesting that this method
of control has shown some results in a few places. Deer do eat the flowers. A meeting will be scheduled with Heather Palmquist and Xcel to discuss their grant to pay interns who help inform the public about the importance of clean boats moving from lake to lake.
4 D Water Quality: Terry Daulton reported for the Meyers. This summer’s data mirror last summer’s data. Sufficient funding for this program is available through 2016. There will be an article in the fall newsletter. Heather Palmquist wants to meet with our board to explain the funding issues more clearly..
4 E Newsletter: Mike Hittle. The newsletter committee met this afternoon and the winter edition is underway. Suggestions for articles should go to Mike Hittle and Terry Daulton by Nov 2. Topics in the works include: Outdoors in the Winter, Sturgeon Reproduction, the Rest Lake Dam, Shoreline Zoning, Aquatic Plan survey, Wildfire Defense, Staffing at the DNR and Iron County, Water Quality, the New Website, New Wildlife Biologist.
4F New Website Development: Sandy Gitzlaff, Diane O’Krongly and Leann Malison. Leann reported that the new site is staged as of this afternoon. Corrections and adjustments are underway. Board members will receive a link to view the site and are asked to make comments and suggestions. Viewers are asked to report what platform they are using to view the site to assist in any modifications. Guidance regarding the quality of pictures is needed because of the slow download speeds in our area.
Discussion developed on how to manage the site going forward. Do we need one or more board members to assume this responsibility and become trained on “Word Press” in order to run the site? Is there someone other than a board member who might do this for us? Who will determine what goes on the site and what is removed? The questions will be addressed at our next meeting.
Bill Stewart will call David Tron because he expressed interest in a member interest survey.
Terry Daulton will check with the local schools to see if they might have an interested IT person. We would need to pay for services rendered.
The question of having a Facebook page also came up. Further discussion is needed.
Diane O’Krongly mentioned that local schools were up-grading their smart board and projector systems and wondered if we might be interested in a projector.
Terry Daulton raised the need for future discussion for electronic archival of materials.
5 New Business
A Agency Staffing: Terry Daulton. The ranger hired by the DNR at the beginning of the summer was hired away by the Price County Sheriff early in the summer. The position is unfilled. The DNR has not filled the Flowage Manager Position that opened when Chris Paulik retired. There is a posting for a Temporary Flowage Manager.
B Zoning Ordinance Update: Discussion led by Terry Daulton. We reviewed the fact that the state budget requires new zoning standards for shoreline in all counties in Wisconsin. The new standard is 100 feet of shoreline per lot and removes the right of various counties to provide for longer shoreline
footage as is currently the case, especially in Northern Wisconsin. Only developers and property owners
interested in subdividing their properties benefit from this change and the new standard would substantially change the character of many lakes in Wisconsin and carry with it the additional environmental impact of increased population densities. Lake Associations in the northern part of the state and other places as well are “up in arms” about this change and the way it was sneaked through the legislature largely as work of one or two state congressmen. A repeal movement is underway for this provision in the budget. It is being led by the Plum Lake POA and supported by many other nearby Lake and POA’s. Madison Attorney Bill O’Conner has been hired to help in this effort. The question of our involvement and the extent of our involvement in supporting this repeal movement was discussed. In addition to the Property Owners Associations and Lake Associations most of the northern Counties also support this repeal.
Tom Mowbray moved and Mike Hittle seconded a motion that we send a check for $500.00 to the Plum Lake Association to be used to support the movement to repeal this portion of the budget law. The motion was passed unanimously. The Wisconsin Association of Lakes was not officially on board with this movement at the time of our meeting but will be joining and providing leadership.
C Xcel Invasive Species Grant see 4 C above
D Iron County Lakes and Rivers Association; Terry Daulton. Terry raised the question of the importance of our membership in this group. Jeff Malison attended the most recent meeting. He and Terry and others on the board feel the work of this group is important and we should be supporting it. They are in a reorganizing phase and delegating out responsibilities to participants so that their Chairman is not overburdened. Discussion concluded that our Vice President’s job description should include attending meetings of this group. It was moved, seconded and passed to renew our membership for $25.00 a
year. Terry Daulton will work on a revised job description for the Vice President
E Membership signs posts. Pictures were shown of membership signs created by one lake association. These are added to the fire number pole at the member’s address and serve as advertising of the association’s existence and support. The possible value of such signs for our members was discussed and tabled until the next meeting.
F Membership in the Wisconsin Lakes Association; Terry Daulton, discussion. This organization provides good information and support to many associations in addition to having an annual meeting which has had value in the past. Tom Mowbray reported that the membership rate is $2.00 for every member of our Association. It was moved and seconded that we continue our membership in the Wisconsin Lakes Association. Motion passed unanimously.
G Turtle Flambeau Flowage Association is the organization of local businesses in the area of the Flowage. Terry will continue to keep up to date with their interests and also keep them apprised of ours.
6 Adjournment 8:35