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Thursday, November 19, 2009

BIRCH LAKE IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
QUARTERLY BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
November 6, 2009

Call to order: 7:05 P.M., Chairman Jim Grisim presiding
Members present: Jim Grisim, Rod Kreuser, Dale Bacon, Dick Brink
Member absent: Ryan Hoops
Also present: Julie Yoho

The following persons were also present: Member Dave Bartle, John Steinworth of the White Bear Lake Conservation District, Member Ron Åuger, Member Neil Franey, and Member Bill Gebhardt.

The tentative agenda was approved.

Motion by Bacon, seconded by Kreuser, to approve the September 16, 2009 minutes. Motion carried.

Motion by Brink, seconded by Grisim, to approve the treasurer's report, a copy of which is attached. Motion carried.

Grisim reported that the White Bear Lake City Council had approved the 2010 budget at its October 27, 2009 meeting. He will check to see whether Council approval will be required for future budgets. He will also check into making sure future documents refer to White Bear Lake Improvement District, not White Bear Lake Improvement Association.

Kreuser reported that the ramp improvement project had been completed. Excavation to a depth of 24 inches has been carried out and the muck hauled away. The reconstructed ramp includes, from the bottom up, a layer of contractor's fabric, expanded steel panels, rock, and concrete planks interspersed with rocks. It was noted that Grisim had carried out considerable negotiation with the DNR to obtain approval of the construction. With the coordination and equipment provided by Rod Kreuser, and the help from all the members who showed up for the project, the ramp turned out exceptionally well. The project met the objective of having a better ramp with a long term solid surface for future weed harvesting.

Bacon reported that the 900-foot northwest shoreline project was proceeding slowly, the BLID working cooperatively with VLAWMO and the City of White Bear Lake. VLAWMO has hired a consultant to survey the shoreline, and actual work is expected to begin in the spring. Last year's application for a $10,000 grant from Minnesota Waters will be revised and resubmitted. The land on which construction will take place is owned by Richard E. Smith, Jr., but he is expected to convey it to the City of White Bear Lake by quitclaim deed.

Dave Bartle presented a detailed report on the level of Birch Lake over the past ten
years, noting that it is currently 19 inches lower than it was at the time harvesting was suspended in 2008. It was agreed that lake level will be evaluated when the ice goes out next spring to determine if harvesting of weeds is feasible. If harvesting is not feasible, Bartle proposed that chemical treatment of selected weed areas should be carried out, paying for it with the approximately $10,000 that is allocated for the harvesting program and other line items in the budget. Ron Auger suggested that the area at the shoreline, which is always too low for harvesting, is a likely target area. Any homeowner can apply chemicals to his property to a distance believed to be 150 feet. Pertinent information will be researched for accuracy and provided to residents. The DNR approves weed harvesting for up to 30% of lake area, and only 15% is eligible for chemical treatment. Because the weeds in Birch Lake are native fern pondweed, the DNR will not provide any funds for treatment.

Bartle also provided information on the use of sterile triploid herbivorous carp for weed control, a practice followed successfully in several Southern states. Because Minnesota prohibits the use of carp for this purpose, it would be necessary to sue the State DNR to obtain permission. The process would be both long and expensive, requiring ichthyological and limnological experts to support the suit. Board members indicated that they would not pursue such an action at this time.

The Board has received a request from Fred Downing for early payment of the 2009 installment on the agreement for purchasing harvesting equipment. Motion by Grisim, seconded by Kreuser, to pay the next installment before the due date of December 1. Motion carried.

Motion ;by Brink, seconded by Kreuser, to adjourn. Motion carried, and meeting adjourned at 8:50 P.M.

Richard E. Brink
Secretary