BIRCH LAKE IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BLID)
June 21, 2007
The second annual meeting of the BLID was held in the White Bear Lake City Hall on June 21, 2007, with Chairman Fred Downing presiding. The meeting was called to order at 7:06 P.M. with 25 persons present, representing 18 of the 64 units in the BLID (counting the Cloisters representative as 3 units).
The minutes of the July 20, 2006 annual meeting were approved. After a discussion of ways to distribute minutes by e-mail, Steve Laliberte volunteered to establish a BLID “blog” to which interested persons could subscribe free of charge. This idea met with general approval and will be put into practice. Meeting minutes and perhaps newsletters could be stored on this blog, allowing people who have internet access to read such information at any time. More details will appear in future newsletters.
Jim Grisim distributed copies of the treasurer’s report (attached). He pointed out that since no tax revenue will be available till mid-July of this year, operating funds were provided by (1) transfer from the former Birch Lake Area Improvement Association (BLAIA) and (2) a $5,000 advance from the City of White Bear Lake. The report was approved.
Downing reported on the activities of the BLID board for the past year, mentioning opening a bank account, establishing a permanent business address, holding quarterly meetings and several special meetings, cooperating with VLAWMO, hiring Steve McComas of Blue Water Science as a lake expert, purchasing a weed harvester and trailer, improving the ramp access to the lake, leasing a truck, conducting weed harvesting, adopting Rules of Governance, publishing a newsletter, and stocking the lake with 300 walleye and 700 bass fingerlings. In 2006 100 loads of weeds were temporarily stored on a nearby site owned by White Bear Township. By this spring the pile of weeds had shrunk to 24 loads, which were transported to the composting site on County Road J. Since this Township property is currently for sale, we may lose it as a future temporary dump site
It was pointed out that the ramp access to the lake is intended solely for the ingress and egress of weed harvesting and related equipment, all in accordance with an easement obtained for that purpose. A chain barring the entrance of boats via the ramp has been cut on at least one occasion; a stronger chain and a sign forbidding such action may be required. More details will be presented in a future newsletter.
Steve McComas has made a preliminary investigation of the lake, using a GPS grid to identify locations, where he has charted types of weeds to determine where weed cutting should take place and measured depth and lake bed conditions. Weed harvesting is carried out by volunteers, with Ron Auger coordinating schedules. Because most of the volunteers have full time jobs, harvesting is carried out mostly on evenings and weekends. A recommendation was made that the Board consider hiring someone to run the harvester in the future. It was also suggested that the length of the harvesting schedule should be determined either by date or by number of loads of weeds. A motion was made, seconded and carried to hold a meeting of interested members at the harvester ramp on the first Saturday in August each year to decide when harvesting will stop. The effect of herbicides is uncertain, but in any event, the DNR will permit treating only 15% of the lake in any given year.
Downing stated his desire to find three volunteer supervisors to handle the details of (1) aeration, (2) newsletter, and (3) weed harvester and related equipment. He believes Ryan Hoops would be willing to handle aeration and will confirm this possibility with him. Ron Auger agreed to take charge of the newsletter with the help of Patty Kuppe and Carol Abbott. All persons present liked the idea of a newsletter, feeling that such a publication effectively communicates BLID activities. It is planned to have newsletter volunteers attend the first half hour of future board meetings for a discussion of current projects and events, together with all volunteers involved, for inclusion in the newsletter.
There being no applicants for the two open Board positions other than the two incumbents -- Rod Kreuser and Jim Grisim --, Downing moved their unanimous election. Motion seconded by Patty Kuppe and carried.
The proposed 2007-2008 budget was presented. Motion by Steve Laliberte, seconded by Rod Kreuser, to increase the sum allocated to Special Projects from $500 to $2,500, covering projects that might result from the McComas lake study, etc. Motion carried, making the amended budget read as follows:
Aerator $ 750.00
Admin. ( postage, copies, 2,500.00
Easement 300.00 $ 4,550.00
Steve McComas $ 2,000.00 $ 2,000.00
Weed eq’pt. payment 10,535.00
2d weed removal 1,500.00
Miscellaneous 1,000.00 $15,785.00
Special projects $2,500.00 $ 2.500.00
Grand total $24,835.00
Cost/unit $388.05 (64 units)
Motion by Patty Kuppe, seconded by Ron Auger, to approve the amended budget. Motion carried.
The dates of the regularly scheduled quarterly Board meetings for 2007-2008 were announced as follows:
September 20, 2007
November 1, 2007
March 20, 2008
June 5, 2008
Motion by Patty Kuppe, seconded by Mike Lennon, to approve the Rules of Governance, which had previously been approved by the Board. Motion carried. The Board was asked to consider amending the Rules of Governance to change the annual meeting date from Thursday to Wednesday to accommodate persons leaving for vacation on Thursday.
Downing announced that a training meeting for prospective volunteers for the weed cutting operation would be held at the entrance ramp at 9:00 A.M. on Saturday, June 23
The secretary was asked to check with the City of White Bear Lake to find out whether we could contract with the City (or, alternatively, someone suggested by he City) for such secretarial services as scheduling meeting dates, taking notes at Board meetings, and keeping track of dates when action should be taken.
Meeting adjourned at 8:55 P.M.
Richard E. Brink