Board members present Harlan Meints, Bob Meyerson, Colleen O’Leary, Gordon Behm, Jim Teschendorf, Tim Groshens, Ken Gutzwiller, Becky Ricklefs, Tammy Skovbroten, Brian Weseman.
President Meints called the meeting to order at 930am. He introduced guest present Sheriff Hartog, Margaret Johnson-Watershed District, John Kavenaugh-DU, Nick Brown-DNR, Harlan Madsen-County Commissioner.
Sheriff Hartog advised the group of the No Wake order on the lakes. The landings are posted, on the radio and in the paper. It may last until the 04July, and there is a civil penalty of $145 for violation. He advised that Golf Carts are not street legal and are not to be on any public roads. ATVs also are not allowed on public roads.
Minutes of the 2013 Annual Meeting were summarily read, Motion by Gordy and 2nd by Jim to accept minutes. Motion passed.
The Treasurers report was presented by Sherri Meints. Savings-$17258.16, Checking-$2998.29, 4CD’s-$14116.44. Grand Total--$34372.89. Deposits-$200.00 dues. Withdrawals—None. Paid Membership—228. Motion Ken, 2nd Jim to accept this report. Motion carried.
Motion by Bob, 2nd by Jim to pay $54 for the donuts at this meeting. Motion carried.
A discussion regarding our membership with Conservation Minnesota or Minnesota Lakes and Rivers was held. Bob reported that he had communicated with Bonnie Nelson, an activist on invasive species. She indicated that Conservation Minnesota was a group with good lobbying results. Our dues for membership will be ~$200 per year. Motion by Bob, 2nd by Brian to pay the membership. Motion carried. It was suggested that we ask the director to attend one of our meetings. Tim agreed to be the liaison to the group.
Harv reported that the carp tournament was held this May. A good time was held by all, it was a smaller group, the largest fish was 39lbs and ~1 ton of fish were disposed of. DLARA paid a $85 bounty plus the dumpster cost.
Margaret Johnson of the MFCRWD reviewed the MPC orders regarding the TMDL on the impaired waters of Diamond Lake—Improve the sewer system, Construct a new fish barrier, Control the rough fish, Institute agriculture conservation practices and Control upstream Lake Management.
Josh Kavenaugh of Ducks Unlimited presented on the ongoing project. This project –Hubbard/Wheeler/ Schultz is that of turbid water >50 acres <15 ft deep. He indicated that the engineering plan will create a water condition center that will simulate a period of draught. Through a draw down and refill, rough fish and non-native vegetation will be reduced. He described a similar successful project on Olson Lake in Kandiyohi County and also on Smith Lake. He indicated it will take ~110 days for the drawdown and ~1-11/2 years to refill. A valve will maintain the water level on Diamond Lake. The cost of the project will be in excess of 1 million dollars. DU has received grant money for this entire project, construction to start next fall. There will be a meeting on 01July14 of the MFCRWD to accept the process of maintenance of this project. There will be a cost to the homeowners. It is a capital P project—costs spread over the entire district not only Diamond Lake residents--~$0.40 per homeowner per year. There were questions on dumping into Ditch 28 and who would be charged. It was noted that if you are not currently being assessed then you will not be assessed now. It is possible that assessments could happen after usage is redetermined in ~10 years. The level of Diamond Lake was questioned and it was stated that the outlet and inlet would be at the same level and the management plan is key.
Margaret Johnson spoke on some projects of the watershed district, funding and tours. The district is 275 square miles and we are located on the south end. She stated that volunteers on all lakes help monitor secchi disk and other readings. The district has 6 interns doing AIS inspections—96 hours were dedicated to Diamond Lake last year, 225 hours are designated this year. She also made it known that grant funding is still available for shoreline restoration, woodchip bioreactors, and lake sediment removal projects. The district will cost share 75% of the load and DLARA will contribute an additional 10% up to $1000—all with prior approval.
President Meints reviewed the weed control petition and project status. Last fall we sent out surveys regarding interest in creating funds by taxing to treat non native vegetation in the lake-- 180 responded yes, 10 no. A petition was then drawn to have the watershed district act as the taxing agent for this 15 year project. The required 25% of homeowners signatures was obtained and turned into the MFCRWD. The DNR does not allow cutting weeds unless immediately harvested, therefore the chemical option is more cost effective. The chemical is Endothall. Over the past 2 years, DLARA treated 12 acres at a cost of ~$10000 with good results. This is not sustainable on $25 per homeowner dues, we must spread this cost across all residents. Spraying will occur in the Spring when water temps are between 50 and 60 degrees. We will treat between 30 to 100 acres per year –DLARA and DNR will be involved in the selection of these acres. If we go forth, the first assessment will probably be in 2016. In order to go forth with accepting this petition for management of this project, MFCRWD will require a $20000 bond for engineering and appraisal at a 10% cost of $2000. Motion by Gordy, 2nd by Ken to provide this $2000 bond. Motion carried.
President Meints also advised that Lake Directories are available on the website by name and by address.
Colleen O'Leary reported on the petition to reduce the speed limit on Hwy 4 between 49th Street and County 26. This petition was sent on 19Sep13 and no acknowledgement or reply was received. This June, Rep Sawatzky contacted the DOT Ombusman office on our behalf. This is where it currently stands.
Harlan Madsen reported that there was a letter of response and he apologized that I did not receive a copy. He continued that Gary Danielson sent a letter indicating that after review they found no reason to change the speed limit in this area and that he would make sure I received a copy. Mr. Madsen also commented on sewer issue, the no wake issue and he thanked the MFCRWD on their work on AIS issues.
The terms of Becky Ricklefs, Bob Meyerson, Gordon Bloomquist, and Tim Groshens have expired. They have all agreed to run again. It was moved by John Ryan and 2nd by Ken to have the secretary cast a unanimous ballot for the above slate. Motion carried.
The next meeting is scheduled for 20July14 at 300pm.
President Meints thanked all who have joined DLARA and helped on any projects. DLARA membership is a great $25 bang for the buck, encourage your neighbors to join.
Bob also thanked all and especially President Meints for all of his work. He encouraged others to get involved.
Motion by Jim, 2nd by Brian to adjourn.