2014 Happy Holidays

2014 BPLA Holiday Newsletter

Warm Holiday Greetings!

With the holiday season moving into full swing, the Big Pine Lake Association Board of Directors wants to share a summary of recent activities, current status and future plans that should be of interest to our members and all property owners on Big Pine Lake.

A good number of our members attended our 2014 Annual Meeting on August 16 at the Crosslake Community Center to get an update on the Big Pine Lake Water Control Structure Study commissioned by Crow Wing County and to elect replacement directors to our Board.  We recognized and bid farewell to three former Board members who have served us so well, Nancy and Dave Rudberg and Bill O’Brien.  If you missed that meeting, you can catch up by reading the detailed minutes under the “Meeting Minutes” tab on our web site at www.bigpinelake-crosslake.com.

The new Board, including Richard Rammer who was re-elected, Bill Korchik and Pat Zulkosky, newly elected directors, and Tom Veeninga, appointed to complete the last year of Nancy’s term, met immediately following the Annual Meeting to appoint officers for the current year.  Contact information can be found under the “Contact Us” tab of our web site for each of the current directors:

Dennis Bengtson, President; Richard Rammer, Vice President; Tom Veeninga, Treasurer; Terri Rammer, Secretary; Bill Korchik, Marketing & Social Programs; Ken Ormsbee, Communications & Finance; Pat Zulkosky, External Agency Liaison

Leadership and accountability for the many and varied activities and responsibilities of the Board have been aligned with our By Laws and assigned to individual directors, although the entire Board functions as a team on all major issues and decisions.  Please do not hesitate to contact any Board member with a question, concern or suggestion, although you may be directed to another Board member for resolution.

We recognize that communications with our association members is critically important so we have been focusing on effective and efficient ways to share relevant information.  The Internet has become the backbone of modern communications with email and access to websites providing the quickest, most convenient and lowest cost methods of both pro-active and reactive information exchange.  As an association, we simply must embrace these effective communication methods if we are to keep involved and informed regarding topics and issues relevant to Big Pine Lake.  In the future, we will be moving nearly all of our printed communication to our website with breaking news and future event notifications also being sent directly to association members via email. For example, all future newsletters will be sent to current members via email and posted on our web site for everyone to access if they wish. It is extremely important that we have a current email address for each of our members and that all lake property owners become association members to keep informed in a timely manner.

Now that the Water Control Structure Planning Study has been completed, we have a much better idea of the type and potential cost of a structure to replace our fragile and aging rock dam.  The leading recommendation from the study was a sheet pile weir with a probable construction cost ranging between $326,500 and $544,000. The next step is to begin identifying possible grant sources and making application for funding such a project.  The Crow Wing County Engineering Department will lead this effort and we expect to assist them in any way feasible.  It is realistic to assume that this phase will require approximately two years to complete.

In the meantime, we must continue to maintain our current rock dam.  Whatever water control structure we have in place on the Pine River, our objectives will always be to minimize our property owners’ exposure to both extremely high and low water levels on Big Pine Lake.  We are confident that we can make progress toward both of these objectives through intelligent maintenance actions to our rock dam.

A detailed survey of the entire top surface of our rock dam was completed by Crow Wing County Engineering this summer.  It shows the effect of erosion during earlier high water events and a spillway configuration that exposes us to very low lake levels during extended periods of minimum inflow from the Pine River Dam at Crosslake.  Since we were blessed with more frequent rains in late summer, it was not necessary or feasible to attempt repair to the spillway and top of dam this fall.  Instead, we will work on securing the necessary permits from the DNR this winter and allow our maintenance funds from the SSD assessment to accumulate toward a significant repair action next summer.  We have also discovered some undercutting of the fill soil between the rocks on the east end of the dam which must be addressed, even if the dam survives the typically high spring water flows.

Looking ahead to another glorious summer on Big Pine Lake in 2015, we have been discussing ways to enjoy more social activities and events that will get us better acquainted and bring us closer together as a community.  Please take time to read the enclosed insert, indicate your preferences and suggestions and return it to us in the enclosed envelope so we can move forward with our planning.

We look forward to hearing from our members regarding their interests and ideas to make our lake and community more valuable and enjoyable for all property owners.  Please also let us know if you are willing to get involved as a volunteer to lead, host or support lake community activities and events.  We urge non-members to join our association to enjoy the benefits of membership and become involved.  Please check out the “Membership” topic under the “About” tab on our website for benefits, dues and a membership form.

Wishing you and yours a very happy and safe holiday season!

Your Big Pine Lake Association Board of Directors

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