Minutes of Board Meetings

Cedar Lake Improvement District (CLID) Annual Meeting Minutes
held on April 10, 2018, 7:00-9:00 pm at the New Prague Fire and Emergency Services Building.

Attendees: Marie Jaeger, Dave Nielsen, Joel Larson, Tim Singleton, Tim Schroeder, Barb Novotny, Jeff Gorman (board appointee), Meghan Darley of Scott Water Conservation District, Jordan Wein of Carp Solutions, and Melissa Bokman of Scott Watershed Management Organization, and approximately 25 district residents.

Agenda:
-Introduction
-Board Member Elections
-Shoreline Restoration & Rain Gardens
-Carp Removal Options/Carp Solutions
-Carp Kabob Tournament
-2017 Actual Expenses vs Budget
-Curly Leaf Pondweed Treatment Costs to Date
-Future Treatment Costs/Funding
-Approval of Proposed 2018 Budget
-Lake Vegetation Management Plan 2018-2021
-Various Lake Studies and AIS Prevention

Marie opened the meeting with introductions by current board directors and guest speakers. Marie displayed a map showing the CLID boundaries comprised of 457 properties. She also indicated that Cedar Lake was located in both Helena and Cedar Lake Townships.
 
Marie reviewed board requirements and election terms. Three board directors’ terms expired in 2018. Dave and Marie renewed their terms. Sam Dresow moved out of the district so he was no longer eligible to serve on the board. Marie and the board expressed appreciation for all of Sam’s contributions for the last few years and especially for efficiently running the annual Carp Kabob Tournament for the last few years. Marie then introduced Jeff Gorman who applied to fill the vacant 3-year term. Jeff was unanimously elected by a vote from the property owners in attendance. Marie expressed the dire need for residents of the District to apply to join the board. Without more applicants, we will not be able to fill vacancies as they occur.  Applications are available on the website.
 
Meghan Darley presented information regarding Shoreline Restoration and Rain Gardens. She shared several ways that Scott Water Conservation District (SWCD) can help improve water quality, shoreline erosion and shoreline stabilization/ restoration. Establishment of rain gardens is also available for areas without direct shoreline since water run-off from adjoining areas can also impact the water quality in the lake. There is free technical assistance and cost-share assistance available. To find out more or to register for an upcoming free workshop, go to www.scottswcd.org.  She also mentioned that their Annual Tree, Shrub & Native Plant Sale is being held April 27-28th. Orders can be made online at www.ScottSWCDTrees.com

Tim Singleton presented options and funding for carp removal.  As he explained that after many futile attempts to contract carp removal through state-licensed commercial fisherman, the board looked into other options and feel confident that box netting will be successful.  It was recommended in last year’s study funded by SWMO and completed by Carp Solutions that the Cedar Lake Improvement District reduce the population of carp by approximately 10% each year (700 carp).  To accomplish that recommendation, CLID plans to hold the carp bow-hunting tournament in May and use box nets in mid-summer. 

Tim then introduced Jordan Wein of Carp Solutions who described in detail the process of box netting for carp in Cedar Lake. CLID will provide a link on the website that goes into detail about this process.  At this time, CLID is currently looking for volunteers to provide possible locations for the four netting areas and to perhaps assist with baiting the nets.  Nets are 30x60 feet and would need to be in locations in two- to four-foot water depth.  If you are interested in learning more, please contact the CLID through our website.
 
Tim Schroeder discussed the Carp Kabob Tournament to be held May 18-19 with June 1-2 as back-up dates if poor weather forces postponement.  Everyone is invited to attend the carp weigh-in and prize awards presentation tentatively set for 5:30 a.m., May 19th, at the east public access/boat launch parking lot. Tim Schroeder and Dave Nielsen have volunteered to co-chair this event and have applied for funding from SWMO which has been awarded in past years to fund the tournament prize monies.  We are again allowing 10 boats this year to participate.  Applications will be made available soon.

Dave reviewed 2017 (1/1/2017-12/31/2017) expenses. Due to careful management, the budget approved from last year’s annual meeting exceeded the actual expenses paid out in 2017. 

Joel reviewed the chemical treatment areas by per acreage cost and displayed two lake maps detailing the treatment areas. He also provided a yearly breakdown of budgeted and actual costs to date since 2012 showing actual contributions by the DNR, SWMO and the CLID. The funds from the DNR over the last few years have assisted both the SWMO and CLID with keeping budgeted costs lower than anticipated since the DNR contribution was never in the expected funding due to changing legislative priorities/funding.

Tim Schroeder presented an overview of hypothetical worst-case scenario treatment costs and projected budgeted funding for 2012 through 2021. Annually we rely on the lake surveys in April to determine the number of acres to be treated and cost per acre. Projections were based on a continued use of Aquathol on approximately 350 acres of the lake and a 3% increase in treatment cost per acre. In this table, the actual costs for the ten years could be several thousand over the incoming 10-year tax levy amount. Once the annual survey is done, then a true cost can be determined based on acres requiring treatment. This will continue as ‘best guess’ through 2021 due to the unreliable nature of CLP growth. The hope is it will continue to decrease and will require less funds.

Also making an impact to future funding, we are thankful for the DNR’s strong contributions early in our 10-year plan allowing us to build up some financial reserves, but now their budget has been reduced to zero funding. Also, the SWMO budget is limited to approximately $32,000 for 2018 and $25,000 for each year for 2019-2021. Until the spring plant survey is completed to locate the CLP and decide on an effective treatment, it is unclear if these amounts will be at 50% participation.

There will be a new request for bids and a contract for 2019-2021 for invasive week treatment contractors since the current contract expires after this year.
 
For more information on SWMO’s plans for upcoming projects (including Cedar Lake) for the next few years, see Scott Watershed Management Organization’s 2019-2026 Water Resources Management Plan which is available now for public review and comment at www.scottcountymn.gov/wmo/waterplanreview. They are seeking comments from residents for review and possible changes to the plan so public input can make a difference.

Dave presented the 2018 budget including expenses for the estimated 2018 Curly Leaf Pondweed treatment, carp box netting, required liability insurance, and general administrative costs (website, annual meeting mailing, etc.). Also requested was an additional $20,000 to be set aside in a reserve fund to be available for any new unexpected invasive species found in Cedar or additional areas of controlling CLP beyond estimated areas. No objections were raised to the proposed budget/reserve fund and it was approved by meeting attendees.

Marie provided an overview of the 2018-2021 Lake Vegetation Management Plan (LVMP) which allows over 15% of the lake to be treated in any given year. If it weren’t for the LVMP, we would only be permitted by the DNR to treat the 15% or 120 acres per year.  If limited to such a small acreage, the CLP would never be under control. Because of treating more than 15% of the lake, individual shoreline treatments of native weeds are limited to a 50 x 50 foot area and/or a 15-ft channel to get to open water. Some homeowners have received mailings about signing up for doing larger areas (i.e., 150-ft lake ward) but that is not allowed when the LVMP is in effect. The LVMP is found on the website under Lake Management Plan for additional details. Marie also pointed out the CLP typically reaches the surface from mid-May through the end of June. If weeds are seen at the surface in July through fall, that would not be CLP but probably native weeds. Some residents in the past thought the late appearing weeds were an indication that the CLP treatment wasn’t working so she wanted to clarify the growth pattern differences.

The CLID, SWMO and DNR have agreed that detection and spot treatment of curly leaf infestations will continue after the original planned five designated treatment areas are completed. No action would likely allow the CLP to persist or increase in the lake so “no action” is not feasible. CLID’s funding continues via the approved 10-year tax levy through 2021 when new funding would need to be discussed.

Melissa Bokman from SWMO showed a slide indicating that curly leaf pondweed covered 98% of the lake in 2007 and only one native weed (a single plant) was found that year when completing their plant survey of the entire lake.  She then showed four maps showing the dramatic decrease of CLP found in the lake in 2009 and 2015-17 and six maps showing the increase and variety of native plants that have returned due to the CLP decrease. The water quality was shown to improve via a table indicating near acceptable levels of phosphorous and chlorophyll-a. Melissa also provided information about avoiding transporting aquatic invasive species, laws concerning the cleaning and draining of boats and water-related equipment, the required 21-day dry time for lifts and docks and the authorization form required by law to transport such equipment. She also discussed permit requirements for weed removal and treating private shorelines.

The annual meeting concluded with a question/answer segment and was adjourned by 9:00 p.m.

Next Board of Directors meeting is at 6:30 pm at the New Prague Library on May 14, 2018.