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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

BIRCH LAKE IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BLID) Annual Membership Meeting June 17, 2009

The fourth annual membership meeting of the BLID was held in the White Bear Lake City Hall on June 17, 2009 with Chair Jim Grisim presiding. The meeting was called to order at 7:07 p.m. with 14 residents, representing 13 of the 62 units in the BLID and constituting a quorum.

There being no objections, the proposed agenda was approved. Motion by Patrice Kuppe, seconded by Rod Kreuser, to approve the minutes of the June 18, 208 Annual Membership Meeting. Motion carried. Grisim reported on the past year's activities of the organization. The weed harvester was removed earlier than usual because of low lake water levels. It was determined that a tow truck should be used to remove the harvester in the future. Consistent with the concept of using professional help in the harvesting program, the 85 loads of weeds harvested were allowed to dry and then hauled to the composting site by Barefoot Landscaping Co.. Working with VLAWMO. and Steve McComas of Blue Water Science, our study on developing a long term sustainable lake management plan was completed, concluding that the BLID is "doing lots of things right" and recommending that we continue to monitor water quality. Board members have attended pertinent seminars and workshops. A dozen or so persons took part in a lake shore cleanup day on May 2 (a few people did cleanup work earlier). We will continue to have "Lake Cleanup Day" on the first Saturday in May. Aerator hoses have broken loose from their moorings in a a few places, and a more effective anchoring method will be developed. Board member Ryan Hoops agreed to lead the aerator hose "re-stringing" project.VLAWMO has offered to sponsor rain garden workshops if there is sufficient interest. Thanks to the efforts of Patrice Kuppe, the third annual BLID newsletter was published. Members present expressed their appreciation for the newsletter and the communication of BLID activities Weed control this year is complicated by low lake level. The Board researched the use of herbicides as an alternative to harvesting the weeds. Herbicide literature was on display and available for members to review. For lakes less than 15 feet deep, the DNR will approve the use of herbicides over 15% of the area. In our case, with a maximum depth of 6 feet and an area of 129 acres, we could treat up to 19 acres at a cost of roughly $1,000 per acre. Steve McComas does not consider herbicidal weed control very successful, especially with the fern pond weed predominant in Birch Lake.

In an attempt to use our weed harvester this year, we will seek approval of extending the ramp at our easement and dredge an area 2 feet deep, 18 feet wide and 40 feet long to permit the harvester to come close enough to the shore to enable transfer of weeds to our trailer.An application for a permit to carry out the project has been submitted to the DNR. Multiple environmental agencies need to approve lake dredging, including DNR Wildlife, DNR Waterways, VLAWMO, the City of White Bear Lake, the Federal Corps of Engineers, and the State of Minnesota Soil and Water Division. Unfortunately, even if the dredging is approved, we may not be able to harvest this year unless the lake level rises significantly.

Richard Brink being the only candidate for election to the Board, motion by Nicholas Nash, seconded by Patrice Kuppe, to cast the unanimous ballot of the group for Brink. Motion carried Kreuser presented the attached treasurer's report and the attached proposed budget for 2010. If there is no weed harvesting this year, the 2010 budget would be reduced by only about 25%, since about 35% of the budget goes toward purchase of he harvester. The final payment for the harvester and trailer will be in 2010, and thereafter the budget should be reduced by $8,148.84, the amount of the payment. Motion by Neil Franey, seconded by Patrice Kuppe, to approve the budget. Motion carried. The group expressed the sentiment that, if weed harvesting cannot be carried out this year, the unused budgeted amount should be considered for other projects or used to reduce the amount owed on the harvester and trailer.. Motion by Patrice Kuppe, seconded by Rod Kreuser, to ask the White Bear Lake City Council to amend the Order establishing the BLID by amending Article 6 to read as follows:
This Order shall remain in effect until dissolved by resolution of the
White Bear Lake City Council after receiving a request from the District's Board of Directors, or upon receiving a petition signed by owners of not less than fifty-one percent (51%) of the parcels in the District, or at the initiative of the City Council. Motion carried.

Motion by Neil Franey, seconded by Patrice Kuppe, to amend the BLID Rules of Governance as follows: Add the following paragraph to Article 7, Section 2: A property owner of the District who cannot attend the Annual
Membership Meeting may vote by giving his/her written proxy to
a property owner who will be present at the Annual Membership Meeting. Delete the following paragraph from Article 7, Section 3: Anyone desiring an absentee ballot should submit a written request to the Board at its business address (4701 Highway 61, White Bear Lake, MN 55110) no later than 30 days prior to the Annual Membership Meeting. Motion carried. The following four persons agreed to be members of a committee to consider ways to improve the northwest shoreline (roughly from the property of Nicholas Nash to the bridge) and to make specific recommendations to the Board: Dan Anderson, Nicholas Nash, Patrice Kuppe, Mary Dee Auger. Board member Dale Bacon agreed to organize and lead the group. Board Secretary Dick Brink stated that he will determine ownership of the land involved.

In the general discussion period, cleanup of the northeast corner of the lake, which has a high nutrient level, was urged. If weed harvesting is impossible this year, reallocation of the funds budgeted for that purpose should be considered. Use of the aerator in the summer was discussed. Nicholas Nash discussed the desirability of speed bumps to slow down traffic on North Birch Lake Boulevard.. Meeting adjourned at 8:33 p.m.
Richard E. Brink Secretary