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Friday, June 18, 2010

BIRCH LAKE IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BLID) Annual Membership Meeting June 16, 2010

The fifth annual membership meeting of the BLID was held in the White Bear Lake City Hall on June 16, 2010 with Chair Jim Grisim presiding. The meeting was called to order at 7:07 P.M. with 15 residents, representing 16 of the 62 units in the BLID and constituting a quorum as specified in Article 5, Section 3 of the BLID Rules of Governance. Grisim noted that all notices of the meeting required by Article 5, Section 2, of the Rules of Governance had been complied with.

The Board members were introduced to the meeting attendees.

The proposed agenda was approved.

Motion by Rod Kreuser, seconded by Jane Bacon, to approve the minutes of the June 17, 2009 annual meeting. Motion carried.

Treasurer Rod Kreuser presented a summary of income and expenditures for calendar year 2009 (copy attached). Motion by Bacon, seconded by Grisim, to approve the report. Motion carried.

Chair Grisim reported on 2009 activities and future plans. A new harvester entrance and exit ramp, formed of concrete planks, has been installed, but because of unusually low lake levels, no weed harvesting could be carried out. The low lake level has also caused a problem when outboard motors snag the air lines running from the onshore compressor to the aerators in the lake. Some of these lines are only 10-12 inches below the surface. All lines will be run through PVC pipes and anchored with additional cinder blocks. Gordy Berg and Fred Downing will install additional buoys and provide signs warning boats not to enter the area.

Ron Auger has been taking water samples for the DNR’s monitoring of Birch Lake for over 20 years and will continue to do so. He reported that lake level on June 16, 2010, was the same as on April 9, indicating that we have maintained the same level but not increased depth. Grisim reported that conductivity measurements (which indicate salt content and are a measure of pollution) are higher in Birch Lake than in other lakes in our watershed. This is a concern, because it may lead to its being considered “impaired.” A VLAWMO report shows that 8 out of 13 lakes in the watershed are impaired; Birch Lake is not.

Grisim stated that the lake has been recently stocked with 500 bass, 500 walleye, and 75 perch.

The Board, together with VLAWMO, is monitoring drainage from the basketball facility currently being constructed near the hockey arena to see that drainage is adequately filtered.

15 persons showed up for the annual cleanup day on May 1, and many others participated either before or after that date.

Patrice Kuppe and Ron Auger cooperated to produce an informative newsletter on behalf of the BLID.

A cooperative pilot program to restore 125 feet of lake shoreline along North Birch Lake Boulevard is in process. Total cost of the project is roughly $22,000, with VLAWMO and the City of White Bear Lake providing most of the funds; the BLID contribution is $3,000. On the evening of June 23 volunteers are invited to help plant native flowers and grasses. Board member Dale Bacon is heading up the BLID committee.

A new statewide program invites lake associations that are actively working to improve or maintain the quality of their lakes, to apply for “Minnesota Star Lake” designation. It is believed that such designation might make an organization eligible for additional state grant money for future projects. We are submitting an application to become a Star Lake.

Vice-chair Ryan Hoops is trying to obtain governmental support for extending a walking path along Otter Lake Road where it abuts Birch Lake. We believe a safety issue is involved. Having contacted five different governmental bodies, he is currently dealing with the City of White Bear Lake.

Board member Bacon and Chair Grisim will develop a questionnaire to be used in a survey to determine the desires of BLID members in improving the lake. Volunteers will distribute questionnaires house to house and may incidentally obtain additional e-mail addresses to facilitate contact and communication of activities to BLID members.

An operating procedure manual will be developed for the BLID

Steve Nokomis will be consulted as to test acreage for herbicides. Large-scale use of herbicides risks promoting algae bloom. It is understood that the DNR will permit no more than 15% of a lake area to be treated with herbicides. With a lake area of 129 acres, no more than 19 acres could be treated. Ron Auger noted that the DNR will grand individual lakeshore property owner’s permission to treat 50 feet of waterfront with herbicide; any areas so treated count toward the permissible 15%

There being no candidates for the BLID Board other than incumbents Jim Grisim and Rod Kreuser, motion by Neil Franey, seconded by Nick Nash to cast the elective ballot of the organization for Messrs. Grisim and Kreuser. Motion carried, and the two were declared duly elected.

Motion by Neil Franey, seconded by Daniel Anderson, to approve the attached proposed budget for calendar year 2011. Treasurer Kreuser pointed out that typically 3 of the 62 units in the BLID fail to pay their assessments, meaning that income received in 2010 will be about $1,300 less than assessed. There will be some carryover from the previous year, so no problem is anticipated. Unspent funds resulting from inability to harvest weeds will enable us to perform needed repairs on the harvester if harvesting is possible this summer.. On vote, motion carried.

Motion by Dick Gillitzer, seconded by Ryan Hoops, to adjourn. Motion carried, and meeting adjourned at 8:15 P.M.

Richard E. Brink