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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Board Meeting Minutes

Aug 15, 2018

7:00 pm, White Bear Lake City Hall

Call to Order at 7:05 PM. 

Members present Jim Grisim, Dale Bacon, Terry Huntrods, Steve Laliberte, Ryan Hoops, Dick Gillister and Deb Vernon

1.      Approval of Agenda

Motion (Hoops/Grisim) Move to approve.  Motion carried.

2.    Approval of Minutes

Motion (Huntrods/Bacon) Move to approve.  Motion carried.

3.    Treasurer’s Report

Terry has yet to meet with Tom so no report document.

Paid the insurance, received money from the city.

a)      Bank signature form

Steve had the, Resolution of Lodge, Association or Other Similar Organization, form from the Bank.  The officers signed the form. Gave Terry Huntrods the power to, Open any deposit or share accounts in the name of the association.  Gave the other four officers the power to, Endorse checks and orders for the payment of money or otherwise withdraw or transfer funds on deposit with this Financial Institution.

Steve would like himself, Dale and Terry to meet with Don Rambow to talk about the budget, reviewing the books and the Number of units assessed.

4.      Status Reports


            Sign Post Project

                        Jim will do grant.  VLAWMO will pay 75% of the cost. Post will go in by the                           bench on North Birch Lake and by 4th and Otter

            Filter at 4th and Otter

The survey is done. Land has to be transferred to VLAWMO. They are designing the filter.  Jim doubted it would be done this year.

5.      Action Items

a)      State of Lake

Weeds are bad

Several days before Aspen is done the board is going to do a drive around the lake to check the status of the cutting.
b)     2018 Weed surveys

McComas did an hour look at the lake.  Don’t think there is any value in having anything else done this year.

c)      Budget hearing

Will be schedule in Oct after the budget is submitted to city.

d)     Annual Report

Is due out by Oct 20th.  Steve has a draft.  Will finalize by email.

e)      Update on harvester

Dick G updated the board.  Pump needed to be replaced, new blades.  Entrance conveyor belt had to be shortened.  There are some parts that are rusting.  Dick things it should be covered when it is being stored and it should be greased.

Guy running it seems knowledgeable and wants to do a good job.  He is cutting at 4’. 

Recommended that a checklist be created about what needs to be checked and add to a SOP.

6.      Discussion

A)     Goals for 2018-2019

Path around the lake


Stocking of lake

# of meetings

              Quarterly and Annual and how many more

VLAWMO partnership

Filter at 4th and Otter Lake

Invasive species

Member Survey

Formation of Committees

History of Birch Lake

Communication and Newsletter

B)     Conference

Dale is going to an Invasive species conference

7.       Adjourn at 8:25

Motion: (Grisim /Bacon) Move to approve.  Motion carried

Next meeting is the Quarterly Meeting Nov 7, 2018

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Quarterly Board Meeting Agenda

November 7, 2018

7:00 pm, White Bear Lake City Hall

1.      Approval of Agenda
2.    Approval of Minutes

3.    Treasurer’s Report

4.      Status Reports

a.      VLAWMO

Sign Post project

5.      Action Items - Working Session Prepare Annual Report

a)      Review and approve 2019 calendar

b)     Harvester Maintenance and repair – need a new roller

c)      Aerator

6.      Discussion

a.      Improvement to the Boat Launch

7.        Adjourn 
Next Quarterly meeting

February 20, 2019

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Birch Lake Improvement District

2018 Annual Report

Birch Lake is a shallow suburban lake with an area of 123 acres and a maximum depth of 6 to 8 feet.  It is considered to be one of the healthiest lakes within the Vadnais Lake Area Water Management Organization (VLAWMO).  Concerns over maintaining the quality of the lake led lake property owners to petition the City of White Bear Lake to form the Birch Lake Improvement District (BLID) in 2006.

A board of directors elected by improvement district members governs the Birch lake Improvement District.  Current board members are: Dale Bacon at large, Ryan Hoops, secretary; Steve Laliberte, chair, Terry Huntrods, treasurer and Jim Grisim, vice chair.  The board is responsible for implementing the Birch lake Sustainable Lake management plan.  These responsibilities include carrying out scientific studies on lake water quality, maintenance of recreational utilization of the lake and communication to the membership regarding threats to lake quality.

During 2018, the following activities were carried out by BLID:

The annual cleanup day was held on May 5, 2018.  Eight residents participated.  City public works provided pickup of the trash bags.

BLID members continue to participate in VLAWMO Citizen’s Water Monitoring Program.  This involves taking biweekly lake water samples and making water clarity and lake level readings.

During winter months, BLID operates an aeration system to prevent complete fish kills from oxygen depletion.  This year the permit to operate the aerator required specialized training in the operation of an aeration system.

We contracted with Blue Water Science to conduct a weed survey prior to harvesting.

BLID conducted weed harvesting during August.  Fifty-three acres were cut.  The weed harvester was reconditioned improving cutting bars, cables, and controls.

The twelfth annual BLID meeting was held on June 20, 2018.  Nineteen of the 62 parcels in the district were represented.  The 2019 operating budget of $21,587 was approved by the membership for submittal to the White Bear Lake City Council.  Terry Huntrods was elected to a 3-year term.   The next annual meeting is June 19, 2019.

In 2019 the BLID will continue to maintain the lake through harvesting and aerator operation.  We will stock the lake.  We will participate in the VLAMO filtration project on 4th and Otter Lake Rd. 

Submitted for the BLID board by Stephen Laliberte, Chair

Friday, September 21, 2018

Board Meeting Minutes

July 25, 2018

7:00 pm, White Bear Lake City Hall

Call to Order at 7:05 PM. 

Members present Jim Grisim, Dale Bacon, Terry Huntrods, Steve Laliberte and Deb Vernon

1.      Approval of Agenda

Motion (Grisim/Bacon) Move to approve.  Motion carried.

2.    Approval of Minutes

Motion (Grisim/Bacon) Move to approve.  Motion carried.

3.    Treasurer’s Report

No activity to report

4.      Status Reports


            Jim attended the Goose Lake meeting. Goose Lake has one of the highest nutrient levels. They are trying to decide if they should use spent lime or alum.  Going to try to try spent lime on Oak Knoll.  If that works they will use it on Goose Lake.  Will not know if this is effect for a year.

            Nic from VLAWMO asked about doing picture posts. Jim said there was positive feedback at the annual meeting.  Considering doing several locations: by the bench, 4th and Otter Lake Rd and on the bridge on White Bear Parkway.

            Dale is going to talk to VLAWMO about fixing erosion by the bench on North Birch Lake.

5.      Action Items


        Dick G has been working on refurbishing the harvester.  Matt from Aspen is willing to help. Dick is hoping to be done by Friday.

        Agreement with Aspen needs to be clarified.  Need a checklist for making sure the harvester is in working order so we do not have this problem in the future.  Steve will work with Dick G to develop the checklist.

Steve will check with Aspen on when they will be able to cut once the harvester is working.


        Fred was the chair the first year, Jim was the next 5 years and now Dale has done it 5 years.

        Dale thinks people should change positions.

Chair Steve Laliberte

Vice Chair Jim Grisim

Secretary Ryan Hoops

Treasurer Terry Huntrods

At Large Dale Bacon

The bank for the next year is Lake Area Bank

Paper is the WBL press

6.        Adjourn at 8:05

Motion: (Grisim /Huntrods) Move to approve.  Motion carried

Next meeting is the Quarterly Meeting Aug 15, 2018

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Quarterly Board Meeting Minutes


7:00 pm, White Bear Lake City Hall

Call to order at 7PM.  Members present Dale Bacon, Steve Laliberte, Jim Grisim, Tom Merritt, Ryan Hoops, Deb Vernon and Bill Gebhart

1.      Approval of Agenda
Motion: (Grisim /Hoops) Move to approve.  Motion carried.
2.    Approval of Minutes
Motion: (Merritt/Grisim) Move to approve.  Motion carried.
3.    Treasurer’s Report
    No activity to report.
4.      Status Reports
1.      VLAWMO
a.      2017 Annual Report and Summary are out.  Jim will bring to annual meeting for members to look over.  They have a new mascot.
b.      Filtration project is waiting for BWSR approval.
c.       Ramsey County conservation district has been disbanded.
d.      Band on watering was in the news.  Seems judge, DNR and legislators are having some discussions. Bottom line restriction seems to be the same as current restrictions.
2.      Action Items
1.      Weed harvesting Bid Review and vendor selection
a.      Two bids were received.  Premier Lake Harvesting was too expensive so Aspen will be doing it again.
b.      Dale is going to look into getting a GPS system so there is better information on what was cut.  The other option is to mark off the area that we want cut with buoys.
c.       Jim is working on the permit.  Hoping to cut 6-15 to 6-30.
Dale thinks there is more milfoil in the lake.  Weeds are about six inches below the surface.  Need to contact Steve McComas at Blue Water Science. 
Harvesting vs Chemical
Costs run about $700 an acre and only treat 15%

2.      Lake Clean-up day May 19th 10-12 and boat launch open 1-3
a.      Ryan will take charge. Jim will drop off the materials.  Should get some treats for the volunteers.
b.      Keys for launch
Jim, Ryan, maybe Steve and home owner Jeff.

3.       Annual Meeting
a.      Need 10 members to have a Quorum of 15%
b.      Written notice will be mailed out by June 10.
c.    Press release has to be in the last week of May paper in Community Events section.
d.      Agenda items that have to be done at the annual meeting:
                                                                                                           i.      Elections
                                                                                                         ii.      Approval of budget
                                                                                                       iii.      Approval of projects of more than $5000

4.        Adjourn 7:50
   Motion Hoops/ Merritt. Motion carried.

Next Meeting
Annual Meeting June 20, 2018

Annual  Meeting Minutes
June 21, 2017

Call to order at 7:04PM with the following board members were present:  Dale Bacon, Ryan Hoops, Steve Laliberte, and Jim Grisim.  

A total of 20 members were in attendance constituting a quorum.

Motion (Grisim/Hoops) Move to approve agenda.  Motion carried.

Motion (Hoops/Grisim) Move to approve the minutes of 2016 Annual Meeting.  Motion carried.

Treasurer Report: 

Motion (Nash/Krueser) Move to approve the Treasurers Report.  Motion carried.

Year In Review:
Completed weed harvesting in 2017.  Replaced hydraulics on the weed harvesters.  This may we stocked the lake with 1,000 bass and 500 crappies.

The board is working with the City of White Bear Lake and Ramsey County to discuss improving the walking path on Otter Lake Road in 2019 when the road is being resurfaced.

Many residents expressed concern about improving the safety of walking on Otter Lake Road.

Victoria Reinhart our Ramsey County Commissioner addressed the group about Otter Lake Road improvements.  One option is to make minor changes to the roadway as part of 2018.  The next option is to reconstruct the road to include a walk lane.   These options will be presented to the City of White Bear Lake for consideration. 

2018 Budget Review:
The budget was reviewed.  There was concern about needing to fund additional harvesting. 
Motion: (Laliberte/ Hoops) Move to increase the harvester operations line item from $6,000 to $10,000 and adjust the levy accordingly.  Motion carries.

Motion: (Laliberte/Grism )  Move approve the amended budget. Motion carried.

 There are two board positions that are up for elections.  There are three candidates:
Dale Bacon (incumbent)
Ryan Hoops (incumbent)
Deb Vernon

Ballots were distributed and tallied.

Dale Bacon and Ryan Hoops were re-elected. 

Motion to adjourn  (Nash, Grisim) Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 8:55 PM

Minutes prepared by Steve Laliberte

Monday, June 11, 2018

Birch Lake Improvement District (BLID)
Annual Membership Meeting
June 20, 2018
7:00 pm, White Bear Lake City Hall

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Spring 2018

Chairman’s Corner
By Dale Bacon

Birch Lake Water Quality
   VLAWMO, the Vadnais Lake Area Water Management Organization, has released the 2017 Water Quality Report.  There are 12 lakes within the VLAWMO watershed that are monitored for key water quality parameters include clarity, chlorophyll A, and key nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen.  Jim Grisim, BLID board member and Board liaison to VLAWMO, volunteers to take biweekly samples on Birch Lake throughout the summer.  Commercial laboratories analyze the samples.
   VLAWMO staff analyzes the data to arrive at a Tropic State Index for each lake. The tropic state refers to the level of nutrients and plant growth in a lake.  Oligotrophic refers to lakes with low levels of nutrients and plant growth.  Eutrophic is the other end of the scale with excessive nutrients and plant levels.  Eutrophic lakes are generally not useable for recreational use. Mesotrophic is in the middle of the scale, reflecting a balance between plant growth and recreational use.  VLAWMO has chosen to simplify the index by using an A-F scale.  Birch Lake is classified as Mesotrophic with a grade of B+
   The board has requested that VLAWMO monitor the lake for chloride levels.  The chloride level in lakes can be toxic to aquatic organisms.  The chloride level is a result of runoff from road salt use.  Current chloride levels show that the levels in Birch Lake are higher than other lakes in the watershed but still below the state standard.
   Birch Lake continues to be one of the clearest and cleanest lakes in the VLAWMO watershed.  Projects such as the phosphorus removal filter (see related story below) and lakeshore restoration help to ensure that the lake’s status is maintained for future generations.
Phosphorus Reduction Filter
VLAWMO has received a $97,000 grant from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources to install a phosphorus removal filter to treat storm water runoff entering Birch Lake.  This project is a cooperative effort between VLAWMO, the City of White Bear Lake, and BLID.  BLID has agreed to provide in-kind maintenance support.
The filter technology was developed at the University of Minnesota.  The concept is fairly simple:  the storm water runoff flows through the sand filter, which has been augmented with iron filings.   As storm water runoff travels through the filter, soluble phosphorus in the runoff adsorbs to iron oxide present on the iron filings surface.  A similar filter in Maplewood has achieved 90% removal of soluble phosphorus. 
The filter will be located in the wetland area at the NE corner of 4th Street and Otter Lake Road.   Drainage from this wetland flows into Birch Lake.  Monitoring studies done on behalf of the BLID have shown that this is the largest source of phosphorus loading to the lake.  The filter is estimated to remove about 8 lbs. of soluble phosphorus per year; this will help to stabilize the phosphorus levels in the lake.
The project is scheduled to begin this summer and should be completed by the end of the year.

Birch Lake Water Levels

2017 was a much drier year than 2016.  According to the Minnesota State Climatology web site, total rainfall for 2017 was 30.80 inches.  The total for 2016 was 42.71 inches.  The mean rainfall for the period of record is 29.42 inches. 
The water level in Birch Lake tracks rainfall amounts:  2016 lake levels hovered around the 920.00 feet msl (mean sea level) mark.  Water flowed into Rotary Park for most of the year.  2017 started out with lake levels near 920.0 msl and gradually fell to the 919.5 msl. There was intermittent flow into Rotary Park during the second half of the year. Exact level data for parts of 2017 are unavailable due to gaps in the DNR database. 

The historical lake level chart for Birch Lake shows that the level was fairly stable during the years 2014-2016.  Limited data shows a drop off in 2017.   The old timers have seen the lake go through cycles such as this.  The worst of times have seen the lake 3 feet lower than it is today (see 2010 on the graph, as an example).

Photo Corner
Photos of scenes to come, yes!!
Mysterious” birdhouse appeared at south end of Rotary Park walk

Send your favorite photo for the next newsletter to

If you have questions or want to get regular updates from BLID please send your email address to:

Monday, May 7, 2018

Minutes 2/21/18

Board Meeting Minutes

February 21, 2018

7:00 pm, White Bear Lake City Hall

Call to order at 7:04 PM Members present were: Dale Bacon, Steve Laliberte, Jim Grisim, Tom Merritt, Ryan Hoops, Deb Vernon, Terry Huntrod and Nick Voss from VLAWMO

1.      Approval of Agenda

Motion: (Grisim/Merritt) Move to approve agenda.  Motion carried.

2.    Approval of Minutes

Motion: (Grisim/Merritt) Move to approve Nov 1, 2017 minutes.  Motion carried.

3.    Treasurer’s Report

Motion: (Hoops/Grism) Move to approve Treasurer Report.  Motion carried.

We have received the first portion of the tax levy.

4.      Status Reports


        2 annual reports were returned because no one is currently living at those addresses.

        Deb researched when the terms of office started.  Tom Merritt term is up in July.

        Standard operating procedures

                    SOP should be presented to the board for review. 

                         Done are Aerator use and permit application, how to develop the action calendar, How to do the Annual Report, Minutes, Notice of Meetings.

                         Need to do Position Responsibility (each office is to do theirs), Treasure duties (Tom is working on that), Spring lake clean up (Jim is working on it), Weed Harvesting Permit, Contract requirements (Steve and Jim), Lake access.

Aerator System

        Is functioning

        We received a bill from the paper.  The bill was paid in advanced.  Steve will give Deb the bill.  


        Nick Voss VLAWMO Education and Outreach Coordinator

(651-204-6070 )

Nick talked about doing Picture Posts around the lake. A citizen science project to study environmental changes over time. Members would take photos of the lake and upload to a website.  

He also talked about doing Adopt a Drain.  Nick will let Dale know where the drains are located around the lake. 

Steve and Dale will look at doing this and present the proposal to the board at the next meeting

      Phosphorus removal project

Location is 4th and Otter lake Road.  The hope is this will be installed by the end of the year.  When this is done it will have a drain that needs to be cleaned monthly.  (Adopt a drain)

                 Annual Report

2017 Water Monitoring Report is out.  See VLAWMO website.  ( )

The automated storm sampler on 4th and Otter Lake Rd showed very high nutrient level during storms.  Birch Lake is still below the State standards. The Phosphorus removal project should help to improve this.   Lake is at a B+ grade. 

5.      Action Items

Annual lake clean-up day

Jim will take the lead and work on putting it in a SOP.  Katie Piehl sent an email to board about getting scouts to help out.

 2018 Weed Harvesting Program

Steve and Jim will work on SOPs for doing a permit for harvesting and a contract for harvesting.  Permit is good until September when it is approved by DNR.  DNR does not approve it until weeds show that they need to be harvested. They will talk to DNR about getting permit early since we seem to always need to cut.  They will also try to figure out a better way to have the weeds cut (mark the lake with buoys?).  They will report to the board at the next meeting.

 Annual meeting

Meeting is June 20th. 

Treasurer term is up – Tom is considering retiring from that position. 

Dale will ask Nick from VLAWMO to come and talk about Phosphorus removal project, picture posts and adopt a drain.

Terry Hunstrod is interested in helping out on the board.

Deb Vernon would be interested in taking over the treasurer spot if Tom decides to retire.

6.      Communication


For now we will use email, Nextdoor (  and Blog (


          Dale and Tom are working on one for the Spring.

7.      General Discussion

Lake Vegetation survey was done in 2015.  Fish survey was done in 2014.

City wants to connect Hwy 96 path with S. Birch Lake (where the path in the grass already exists.)

Otter Lake Road will not be done until 2019 or 2020

Next Meeting will be April 25th at 7 PM in Conference Room on 2nd floor (Not enough officers here in March)

8.      Adjourn at 8:50

Motion: (Grisim/Merritt) Move to Adjourn.  Motion carried.

Minutes done by Deb Vernon