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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

BIRCH LAKE IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BLID) Annual Membership Meeting June 15, 2011

The sixth annual membership meeting of the BLID was held in the White Bear Lake City Hall on June 15, 2011 with Chair Jim Grisim presiding. The meeting was called to order at 7:04 P.M. with 14 residents representing 13 of the 62 units in the BLID present and constituting a quorum as specified in Article 5, Section 3 of the BLID Rules of Governance. All notices or the meeting required by Article 5, Section 2 of the Rules of Governance had been complied with. A copy of the persons in attendance is attached.

Motion by Rod Kreuser, seconded by Ron Auger, to approve the tentative agenda. Motion carried.

Motion by Ryan Hoops, seconded by Rod Kreuser, to approve the minutes of the June 16, 2010 annual membership meeting. Motion carried.

The attached treasurer’s report was approved.

Chair Grisim presented a summary of the past year’s activities and future plans. The Star Lakes and Rivers organization awarded Star Lake status to Birch Lake at a ceremony on April 9. Along with the “Star Lake” designation, a $2,400 grant was awarded. A sign will be provided showing the new status; additional signs can be ordered if desired.

No harvesting could be carried out because of the low lake level. As an alternative, Lake Management Inc. applied herbicide to two areas of the lake with less than 50% kill, 80% being considered acceptable. Further treatment with copper salts improved percentage of kill slightly. At no cost to the BLID, Lake Management has agreed to conduct treatments with a different herbicide and to test a limited shoreline area.

Attempts to persuade the City of White Bear Lake to create a lakeshore walking path along Otter Lake Road are proceeding slowly. There are serious engineering problems involved, and projected cost will be calculated. It was suggested that the path be designated a “Nature Trail” to ease engineering requirements. It was also suggested that the BLID alert the White Bear Press to the problem and perhaps pledge some money to help generate interest.

The pump motor for the aerator was replaced, with the old pump being kept as a spare
The DNR has inquired as to the cost of power to operate the aerator.

Bremer Bank has agreed to install shades on their shoreline lights before next nesting season.

The City of White Bear Lake is working on a speed bump plan in conjunction with improvements to North Birch Lake Boulevard

Dale Bacon attended the Minnesota Waters conference this spring. The focus was on invasive species. VLAWMO will conduct an Invasive Species workshop on June 25.

Annual spring cleanup was held on May 5, led by Vice Chair Ryan Hoops. Chair Grisim extended thanks to all participants. Super America again provided coffee and donuts.

Phase 2 of the shoreline restoration project will begin after July 1. Undesired vegetation, including poison ivy and invasive grasses, will be killed off this year, with replanting scheduled for next spring. So, this fall it will look pretty brown until the replanting in the spring of 2012.

As part of its commitment to the Birch Lake Sustainable Management Plan (SLMP), the BLID board has approved partnering with VLAWMO to have a fish survey conducted and a follow-up nutrient lake sediment test performed. The fish survey will provide an indication of the health of the lake. The MN DNR, which usually conducts fish surveys, has indicated that, because of the small number of anglers who fish on the lake, our lake would have very low priority. We hope to hire Steve McComas, of Blue Water Science, to conduct the fish survey some time this summer.

Motion by Steve LaLiberte, seconded by Mary Dee Auger, to stock the lake with fish this summer. The Board had previously approved stocking next spring, as recommended by Rademacher Ponds, the company from which we purchase the fish. The motion was approved on a very close vote.

Several years ago the BLID purchased an easement from a previous property owner for the right to launch and remove our harvester. The question of liability resulting from the steel cable was raised. Motion by Fred Downing, seconded by Rod Kreuser, to install signs on the cable stating that this is private property and that permission to cross it must be obtained from the current property owner. (It was stated that the only public access to the lake is at the corner of North Birch Lake Boulevard-4th Street and Otter Lake Road, but it was subsequently learned that while the City of White Bear Lake maintains a dock at that site, it is not technically a public access.) Motion carried.

Since incumbents Ryan Hoops and Dale Bacon were the only candidates for the Board, motion by Dick Brink, seconded by Dick Gillitzer, to close nominations and declare Hoops and Bacon elected. Motion carried.

Motion by Dale Bacon, seconded by Rod Kreuser, to approve the attached budget for 2012. Motion carried.

Secretary Dick Brink announced the following meeting dates:
Quarterly Board meetings: September 15, 2011; November 3, 2011; February 16, 2012; June 7, 2012.
Annual Membership Meeting: June 20, 2012

The minimum lake depth to operate the harvester is 24 inches. Recent rains may have filled the lake to that depth.

Lake residents will be surveyed to determine areas of interest. Volunteers to take the survey form door-to-door are sought.

Ron Auger expressed thanks to the BLID Board for their work of the past year.

Meeting adjourned at 9:02 P.M.

Richard E. Brink

Monday, June 13, 2011

Survey Says...

Thank you for taking this short survey. We will use this information to determine the future course of action of the BLID.

How long have you lived on the lake? _________

Please rate each of these from 1-5 with 1 being the most important to you.
_____ Use the lake for swimming or boating
______ Visual appearance of the lake
______ Have a healthy lake
______ Keep or increase the number of birds and fish on and in the lake
______ Maintain the value of my property

Please rate each of these activities from 1-4 with 1 being the most important to your family.
_____ Boating
_____ Swimming
_____ Fishing
_____ Walk around the lake
_____ Enjoy the view from your home
How do you feel about weed harvesting as a control method?
Chemical Control? ______________________________________________
How important is the control of the lake vegetation?
____ Highest priority and more important than anything else
_____Equally important with the health of the lake or other lake projects
_____Not as important as other things that could be done on the lake

How important are these projects to you?
Please mark with: Very / Kind of / Not really
____________ Cleaning up more of the shoreline
____________ Making the walking path along Otter Lake Road safer
Is there anything you would like to know more about that has to do with the lake? I am interested in learning more about….

How would you rate the BLID Board in looking after your concerns on the lake? (please circle one)

Great Pretty Good OK Could be better Bad
And Why? ____________________________________________________
Are you adequately informed of the BLID activities? Yes / No
Do you find value in the newsletter? Yes / No
Is it frequent enough? Yes / No
Would you be ok with an electronic copy? Yes / No

What other areas would you like the BLID Board to focus their efforts and the members’ resources on:


Do you feel that the activities of the BLID have enhanced the health and awareness of the lake and shoreline? Yes / No
Rate the financial cost (levy) for the work being done on the Birch lake:
Good / Fair / a little too low / a little too high / too high / way too high

If you are looking to volunteer for a project on the lake, please finish the following sentence;
I would be interested in volunteering with ________________________


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to: Add a side walk to Otter Lake Road.

April 28th 2010 – Emailed Victoria Reinhardt (Chairperson of the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners) who referred me to

May 11th 2010 Darren Tobolt (Aide to Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt) who referred me to

May 25th 2010 Connie Bernardy (Active Living Ramsey Communities! Director) who referred me to

May 26th Bill Short, (Clerk Treasurer of White Bear Township) who referred me to

May 26th Jim Robinson (WBL Community Development Director) who reffered me back to Connie Bernardy

July 2th Carol Nelson (Birch Lake Resident) introduced me to Ellen Richter (Assistant to the City Manager)

July 6th Ellen Richter (Assistant to the City Manager) is checking to see what the city can do.

Aug 9th- Julie Kleinschmidt (Ramsey County Manager) referred me to Ken Haider

Aug 17 – Kenneth G Haider (Ramsey County Director & County Engineer) – states the city must initiate the project, and the county would contribute 25% of the cost

Aug 19th- Kenneth Haider (Ramsey County Director & County Engineer) – reffered me to Mark Burch

Sept 2nd – Mark Burch (City Engineer)- explained that the county constructed a wide shoulder on Otter Lake Road for pedestrian use several years ago.

Sept 9th- followed up with Mark Burch to see what alternative options we have, awaiting his reply.

January 10th follow up with Mark Sather- no reply

January 19th 2nd follow up with Mark Sather “do not have any additional information at this time.”

January 30th – Meet with Renee Tessier (Ward I Councilperson), she offered to present the project at a City Council meeting

February 18th - Mark Sather “we hope to have some sort of proposal that can be considered by the county but unless staff is redirected by the Mayor and City Council from other assigned priorities we will get to it as soon as we can.”

Februay 18th – Mark Bruch “Otter Lake Road is a county road and any work we propose there will need to be coordinated with them”

March 14th Darren Tobolt–“ We are working with the Mark Sather and the Interim County Engineer to come up with a solution”

June 3rd Mark Burch – “We are working on the trail proposal as time allows. We did complete a survey of the existing roadway this week and will download the data when we get time. (We are in the middle of a busy construction season.)”

BLID June 2, 2011 Quarterly Meeting minutes