2013 BPLA Summer Newsletter
It’s time to update you on a few things since my last letter. Our dam has been temporarily repaired to the tune of some $27,000, and so far it seems to be holding well. This expenditure has drained our SSD fund and we actually owe the County between $2,000 and $3,000. We are currently working with the County, the DNR, and the Corps of Engineers to start the search for a more permanent solution to our problems. Four board members recently met with our two County engineers, 4 employees from the DNR, 3 representatives from the Corps of Engineers, and our County Commissioner. This was a very informal meeting (although with a lot of heavy hitters) whose purpose was to get the ball rolling on possible dam modifications. We have been warned that it could take 2 years to come up with a solution (if there is one at all). Issues including water levels, environmental impact, and permitting all have to be taken into consideration. The County is going to oversee possible designs and permitting, and the Lake Association will research grants and funding as financial responsibility for the dam has always been up to us. We have a grant committee which has come with a couple of possibilities, but none of us are experienced in doing this so we would appreciate the assistance of anyone out there who can help us out. At this point, all we are looking for is sources for possible grants since we can’t actually request anything without a firm plan in mind. I must warn you that the County is growing increasingly impatient with the repairs that we have had to do over the years and we have heard grumblings from some County people that maybe the County should abandon the dam completely. It is extremely necessary that ALL residents get more involved with our future if we are to continue to have a lake of any kind.
With the recent high waters and winds, there have been more problems with bogs getting uprooted and going down river against the dam. Board members and some residents have twice gone out on the lake and relocated some of these bogs, but there are still some that are against the dam and will have to be taken out when the river goes down a bit more and it is safer to do so. I have again obtained a lake-wide permit from the DNR for anyone to remove bogs and am attaching a copy of this permit with this letter; you may also obtain a copy from any board member or download one from our website (see web address above). You must have a permit with you if you are doing any removal or relocation, and you must follow the guidelines of the permit in doing so. Only floating bogs (not rooted) may be removed or relocated. If removing, you may pull them up on shore and let them dry out. Once dry, they become very light and are easy to dispose of. If relocating, you should push the bogs against the shoreline and secure them into the lake bed with stakes. The Association has purchased several 2 inch by 8 foot stakes and if needed you can pick some up from the Rudbergs, the Gfroerers, or the Rammers.
We need to encourage everyone who can possibly help with the bog situation to do their part – this absolutely should not be the sole responsibility of the board members. When I recently recruited folks to work on bogs earlier this season, it was very difficult to find people who were up here and either available or willing to help. The biggest problem is obviously the fact that the vast majority of our residents are seasonal owners and not up here all the time. I am including with this letter a form that we would like you to return so that we can make a list of who is willing to help (if available and on what would probably be short notice), along with contact information. The form also asks for help with our grant search. Please return this to me as soon as possible. I have to say that the apathy I am seeing as far as support from our lake residents is extremely depressing.
Please don’t forget to check our website for lake updates and information about what’s going on. I know there are several people on the lake who do not use computers, but this is the fastest and most efficient way to communicate. Our Webmaster is very good about posting updates as soon as I give them to her – the places to look for current information are under the links to Lake News and President’s Corner.
Lastly, a reminder that our yearly business meeting and brunch will be held on Saturday, August 17th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Community Center picnic pavilion. Go north on Highway 66 to Route 66 Marine North (this is not a typo – they changed their name this year!). Turn right on Daggett Pine Trail and proceed about 2 blocks to the Community Center on the left. Bring a dish to share, plates, and eating utensils. The association will provide coffee and orange juice. We are in the process of looking for a speaker for this meeting. There will also be elections for the 3 officers whose terms expire this year – myself, Jon Gfroerer, and Terri Rammer. Please let me know if you are interested in running for office and don’t forget that you must be a dues paying member to vote. Also, we will be accepting food and monetary donations for the Crosslake Food Shelf.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Very truly yours,
President – Big Pine Lake Association