2017 BPLA Spring Newsletter 2

2017 BPLA Spring Newsletter

Spring Greetings!

The Big Pine Lake Association Board of Directors wishes to update our members on recent news, current status and future activities that should be of interest to them and all property owners on Big Pine Lake.  We also want to encourage all property owners to get involved in 2017 summer activities that will get us better acquainted and also to share in the programs and benefits of membership in our Lake Association.

Newsletter Distribution:  In the interest of timeliness and efficiency, we continue to distribute our newsletters to our association members via email so it is imperative that we have an email address for every member.  We will also continue to post each newsletter on our web site at www.bigpinelake-crosslake.com.

BPLA Memberships:  The benefits of membership in our lake association are listed on our website at http://www.bigpinelake-crosslake.com/about/membership/.  Annual memberships are effective from May 1 until April 30 the following year, hence membership renewals for 2017 are due beginning May 1.  We currently have 48 paid memberships that end April 30, 2017.  The price of an annual membership remains $25.  New members may join our association at any time during the year for the full membership price.  Please mail your dues payment to: Big Pine Lake Association, PO Box 756, Crosslake, MN 56442.  Note: Annual membership dues may also be combined with payment for subscription in the 2017 Environmental Mosquito Management Program (offered below).

2017 Environmental Mosquito Management Program:  According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 64 symptomatic cases of the Zika virus have been reported in Minnesota since 2015, when formal tracking of the disease began.  To learn more about Zika virus risks, prevention, and treatment, simply click on the link above.

Given the growing threat of Zika and the cost-effective comfort that our mosquito control program provides subscribers, we are especially pleased to announce and offer subscriptions to the 2017 BPLA Environmental Mosquito Management (EMM) Program.  This program is sponsored and administered by BPLA on behalf of its members – at no additional cost beyond the annual program subscription fee.  Non-BPLA members are also welcome to subscribe for an additional administrative fee of $10.  

Highlights of the BPLA 2017 EMM program, provided by Clarke Environmental Mosquito Management, Inc. include:

  • (9) Truck-based Ultra Low Volume (ULV) treatments if property is large enough to accommodate truck
  • (9) Backpack-based Barrier Control treatments in and around property
  • Treatments control mosquitos, no-see-ums/sandflies, and flying midges for up to seven days
  • Comprehensive insurance coverage for BPLA
  • Program Consulting and Quality Control Staff
  • Citizen Mosquito Hotline: (800) 942-2555
  • Local, state, and federal regulatory compliance
  • Digital customer database record keeping
  • First application will commence the week before Memorial Day weekend
  • Clarke will once again hold the 2009 price of $55 per treatment per household ($495 + tax for the entire season)
  • Seasonal subscriptions MUST be paid to BPLA no later than May 12th in order to participate in the 2017 program
  • Please send payment to: Big Pine Lake Association, PO Box 756, Crosslake, MN 56442
    • BPLA Members – $529.03 ($495 + 6.875% tax)
    • Non-Members – $539.03 (includes additional $10 administrative fee)
    • NOTE: You may include $25 for a new BPLA Membership or a Membership renewal with your EMM subscription for a total of $554.03 ($529.03 + $25)
    • For questions or further information, please contact Ken Ormsbee at (612) 963-1660 or ken.ormsbee.ii@gmail.com.

This year, our initial proposal from Clarke included a seven percent price increase – their first since 2009.  We pushed back on the price increase and ended-up negotiating a contract that was unanimously approved by the BPLA Board.  The contract spans three years, includes no price increase for 2017, and authorizes a four percent price increase in 2018 that will carry through to 2019.  The net effect will be a $20 per year price increase beginning in 2018, for an all-in price of $515 plus tax in 2018 and 2019.  Given that Clarke has held their price flat with no increases since 2009, we felt their offer was more than fair.  We’ve also received very few complaints on the quality of their service and when issues have been raised, Clarke has responded quickly and satisfactorily rectified them.

As you may recall, each year since Ken began managing the EMM program, BPLA has sought-out pricing from other firms that perform services similar to Clarke’s.  The lowest price we received was $600 for eight backpack-applied treatments and no truck-based ULV treatments.  Just to put the lowest-priced company’s offer in perspective, it was 36 percent or $20 per application higher than Clarke’s.  They were also based in the Twin Cities, had never performed work north of St. Cloud, and they required full payment in advance for a minimum of 20 subscribers.  The highest price we received was from Mosquito Squad out of Merrifield at nearly $86 per treatment, which totals $687 for eight backpack-based treatments.  Last year, the BPLA EMM program served 30 Big Pine Lake households and we hope to see robust participation again this year.

Supplemental Clark Environmental Aquatic Service:  Lastly, Clarke Environmental also provides services aimed at controlling aquatic pests, weeds, and algae.  These services can be purchased independent of the BPLA EMM program directly from Clarke at an additional cost.  Information on the aquatic services they offer can be found at Clarke Environmental Aquatic Services.

Rock Dam and Pine River Fish Passage Project: The current low lake level is due to a washout of the bank at the east end of our rock dam. Rather than wasting time and money on a temporary repair to the old dam, we are now planning to accelerate the installation of a permanent section of the new dam. By splitting the new dam project into two phases, we hope to install a portion of the planned dike as soon as possible to prevent further erosion of the fragile east bank and redirect the river flow back over the rock dam, raising our lake to a usable level in the process.  Although this cannot happen overnight, we believe it will be completed as quickly as any temporary repair project and much earlier than the entire new permanent project.  Status updates and Breaking News items are now being sent periodically to all BPLA members via email.  Please refer to those emails for the latest status on the new dam project.

Lake Level Minnesota Program:  Big Pine Lake will continue to participate in the Lake Level Minnesota Program for 2017.  The measuring gage for Big Pine Lake will again be installed near the dock at 14145 Sugarloaf Road where daily readings will be observed and reported by a Board member.  Daily measurements taken during the summers of 2014, 2015 and 2016 are available to the public using the DNR Lake Finder online application using Lake ID = 18026100 or by clicking on this web address: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/showlevel.html?downum=18026100

Our daily lake elevation data has been valuable for calibrating the hydraulic model used to develop final design specifications for our new arched riffle water control structure.  To learn more about the Lake Level Minnesota program, please visit the following web address: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/climate/waterlevels/lakes/index.html

Water Quality Monitoring: We hope to continue our participation in the monthly water quality monitoring program sponsored by the Whitefish Area Property Owners Association.  This information has provided additional information to the Army Corps of Engineers as they monitor and release water into the Pine River. The 2017 Kickoff meeting will be held 9-10:15am on Monday, May 8th at the ACOE office near the Pine River Dam in Crosslake.  We would really appreciate having one or two volunteers take over this responsibility from the Board.  It requires a boat and about one hour of time on one day each month.  Please contact Pam Graves at pjgraves1@gmail.com if you are interested in helping.

Social Activities and Events:  Our social events and activities for this summer may be heavily influenced by the condition of our lake prior to and during construction of the new fish passage project.  The Social Activities and Events that we can announce at this time include the following:

  • Saturday, June 17 – We will host an Engineer’s Update Gathering, possibly at or near the lake.  The time and location of the meeting will be announced by email the beginning of June.
  • Saturday, July 1 – The Third Annual Family Fishing Tournament has been cancelled for this year.  The uncertainty of lake conditions due to construction of our new dam does not allow us to plan this event with sufficient confidence.
  • Saturday, August 19 – We will host the BPLA Annual Meeting at the Crosslake Community Center beginning at 10 AM.  Email reminders and signs will be posted two weeks in advance.
  • TBD – A Celebration Event will be held when the new riffle dam is completed.

Treasurer’s Report:  The balance of the BPLA operating account as of March 31, 2017 is $3,677.62.  The balance of the SSD account for dam maintenance as of January 1, 2017 is $43,232.96.  The next posting of assessment collections for the SSD account will occur in July, bringing the account balance above our commitment of $50,000 for non-state grant matching funds required for the new dam project.

We understand that low lake levels on Big Pine Lake may result in temporary inconveniences for many lake visitors and residents.  All of us on the Board share your concerns about temporary lake usability and property value impacts.  However, the new arched riffle structure that is in progress will provide us all with a much better long-term lake environment and enhanced property values so it is worth some short term inconvenience.  We are working hard to minimize the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience and support.

In the meantime, we welcome your ideas and suggestions for making our association more effective and valuable for all members.  Also important is your involvement in projects, activities and events that will improve our lake-living experience and property values for years to come.  Please let us know how you may be willing to help.

Thanks in advance,

Your BPLA Board of Directors

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