November 2015 Meeting Minutes

Yahara Lakes Association, Ltd.

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Thursday, November 19, 2015 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

The Yahara Lakes Association Board of Directors held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, November 19, 2015, in the Greater Madison Area Chamber of Commerce Board room.

The following members and advisors were present: Dick Adler, Doug Bach, Roy Carter, Bill Fitzpatrick, Mike Gerner, Carol Gillen, Annette Hellmer, Mike Jensen, Allan Levin, Bob Miller, Jerry Rekowski, Dan Schultz, Joe Tisserand, Sal Troia, and Rhonda Arries

Members and advisors not present: Caroline Fribance, Luke Hutchins, Dick Pearson, Debbie Waite and James Tye

11:35 a.m. Call to Order: President, Joe Tisserand, called the meeting to order at 11:35 a.m. Joe Tisserand welcomed special guest, Dave Taylor, from the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage System (MMSD) and Yahara WINS.

  • MMSD is regional - servicing the Yahara watershed and the Rock River area or about 40 million gallons of water per day in volume.

  • Waste water treatment has 2 aspects – solids and effluent. The solids are used as biosolids for agriculture and the phosphorous is harvested and turned into pellets for exports and retail sales (i.e. 100,000 lbs of pellets are exported each yr). 92% of effluent is directed to Badfish Creek and 8% goes to Badger Mill Creek.

  • There are increasingly stringent requirements for waste water management (i.e. mercury in parts per trillion, phosphorous and chloride in parts per million).

  • TMDL (total max daily load) is the way MMSD documents the sources, loads and assigns each source an allowable load to meet reduction requirements. The 2010 DNR guidelines are currently governing TMDLs.

  • 3 main sources of surface water to our rivers are treatment plants, urban run-off and agricultural run-off.

  • 50% of phosphorous reduction is targeted from agriculture and the other 50% from treatment plants.

  • The Rock River TMDL drives the Yahara watershed phosphorous reduction sources. The current target is 106,0000 lb/yr which is less than half of the total load per year.

  • The traditional compliance approach was for each group and source to work independently which is expensive and not always effective in reaching the TMDL requirements.

  • Adaptive management is watershed focused and helps all parties to collaboratively accomplish the shared goals to improve water quality. In adaptive management, the TMDL goal is managed by the group participants who each contribute to meet the goal in the best way – some partners have larger water quality issues than others so each addresses based on their own specific issues. This helps control costs in the watershed (versus building a new brick and mortar water sewage plant) and has proven effective in improving water quality.

  • The adaptive management approach has been tested for 4 years in the Dorn Creek / Six Mile Creek area (2012-2015) with 30 partners participating. The goal was to see if everyone could work together and achieve the cost and TMDL goals.

  • Yahara WINS helped in collecting 1200 water samples over the 4 year adaptive management test. 4 USGS gauging stations were put in place.

  • With the success of the 4 year test, plans are now to implement full scale adaptive management in the area. The current cost is $104MM over a 20 yr period to achieve TMDL phosphorous reductions from all sources in the Yahara watershed. Costs are to be distributed to municipalities in proportion to TMDL required reductions.

  • Yahara WINS has built capacity for this full scale project – it has extended phosphorous reductions outside of the pilot area as well as water quality monitoring outside of the pilot area. Currently, WINS is securing grants, developing business cases and developing a comprehensive adaptive management plan and intergovernmental agreement. Going full scale means a memo of understanding as it will require fees, permits, etc.

  • 2016 is a transition year to get the adaptive management plan submitted and approved as well as a memo of understanding for all parties involved. 2017 will be the year to implement the full scale program.

  • There will be 1 adaptive management plan for the entire watershed with annual reporting requirements. This will be a 20 year commitment with a 5 year “off ramp” for participants.

  • Dave Taylor noted that while phosphorous is currently a target for reduction, other areas of increasing concern are chloride and salt levels in the watershed.

  • Sal Troia asked Dave to keep YLA updated on big news events re: WINS and present to board members and perhaps YLA members in the future.

  • Joe Tisserand thanked Dave Taylor for his presentation. 12:25 p.m. Minutes: Bill Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the October 22, 2015 meeting minutes. Doug Bach seconded the motion. Motion passed. 12:26 p.m. Treasurer’s report: Sal Troia, Treasurer

  • Sal Troia reported the shortfall in member dues income which was $14,935 vs. a budget of $18,550 is largely offset by donations of $4,830 vs. a budget of $2,500. Net income to-date is $5,808 and is projected to be around $4,500 at year-end – on trend with 2014.

  • Mike Gerner made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report. Dick Adler seconded the motion. Motion passed.

12:30 p.m. Administrative Items: Joe Tisserand, President

  • 3 year terms are ending on 12/31/15 for the following board members: Dick Adler, Doug Bach, David Bohl, Bill Fitzpatrick, Mike Gerner and Bob Miller. All of the board members will be on the election ballot for another 3 year term with the exception of David Bohl.

  • Annette Hellmer will replace David Bohl on the nomination ballot. Mike Jensen replaces Chuck Gates on the board for the remainder of Chuck’s term through 2017.

  • Joe Tisserand asked Rhonda Arries to change board meetings in 2016 from the 4th to the 2 nd Thursday of the month to better accommodate board member’s schedules. Therefore, in 2016, meetings will be held at the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce from 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. on the following dates: January 14, March 10, April 14, May 12, July 14, September 8, October 13 and November 10 (no board meetings held in February, June, August or December). Rhonda will post these dates on the web page for board members and send out Google calendar reminder to all board members.

12:35 p.m. Environmental Committee – Chair: Allan Levin

  • Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) - Mike Gerner noted that CLA’s Yahara Lakes 101 breakfast events are very diverse in topics and well attended. He encouraged others to attend.

  • Allan asked if anyone noticed zebra mussels when taking out piers this fall – none noticed or had heard of sightings beyond the local news reports.

  • Nelson Institute – Bill Fitzpatrick attended a presentation by Professor Ken Potter in Sept. Ken spoke of undrained basins in the watershed that will likely be linked in to the watershed at some future date. Doug Bach also noted that these undrained basins may link into the watershed through flooding. Mike Gerner stated the county ordinances require 90 % of run-off to be retained but those standards could be changed. Mike suggested YLA get more involved in this issue.

  • Lakes & Watershed (L&W) - Mike noted that Dave Taylor’s presentation was very good but keep in mind that Dave spoke about the Rock River TMDL and that not all of this is part of the Yahara watershed so be mindful of the scope of some of the adaptive management plan. In the Yahara watershed, Lake Mendota appears to be the most effective area to concentrate on. For example, the CLA phosphorous reduction goal is 50,000 lb/yr to lakes vs 100,000 on land/stream. Doug Bach says the new program and verification is being done with models but doesn’t know how or if audits are being done to keep the plan in check (i.e. the model may claim success even if reality may be something different). Doug states that a third party is needed to keep the process in check. Mike Gerner noted that the agriculture compliance is by calculation which is a good example of what Doug is speaking about.

12:55 p.m. Special Events Committee – Co-Chairs: Dick Adler & Joe Tisserand

The Annual Dinner event will be Tuesday, June 21, 2016 at Blackhawk Country Club.  Dan Schultz will hold a meeting immediately following the board meeting today to begin discussions about the Lake Meetings he’d like to hold for YLA members in March/April 2016. All board members are invited to bring ideas about format of the meeting, topics, panelists, etc.

1:00 p.m. Membership Committee – Chair: Roy Carter

  • Rhonda Arries reported 378 members to-date (23 corporate and 355 individual members). vs. 400 members in 2014. A full breakdown of membership is on

  • Joe Tisserand got Royle Printing as a corp member for 2016.

  • Newsletter: Publishing schedule is February, May, August and November Joe Tisserand thanked Carol Gillen for a great November newsletter.

1:01 p.m. Government Committee – Chair: Dan Schultz Mbrs: Bob Miller

  • Dan Schultz noted that the shoreline regulations of NR115 are still being discussed and contested with recent changes. Sal Troia noted this is a big issue with a lot of activity happening in northern WI. Dan will continue to track any changes in the future.

1:02 p.m. Riparian Issues Committee – Chair: Luke Hutchins n/a 1:03 p.m. Old Business:

  • Dick Adler asked for an update on the Waunakee manure digester LOI to change management. Mike Gerner stated the management change is in process and there will be improvements by the new owners such as adding on water purification and nutrient concentration.

  • Bob Miller noted the following: there’s a huge carp removal program with radio frequency tracking which helps locate, catch and remove them and Dane county has $500k to restore marsh and bog by capturing and containing sediment.

  • Joe Tisserand noted that Sheriff Dave Mahoney sent a thank you letter to YLA for the Sheriff’s patrol donation made in September.

1:05 p.m. New Business:

  • Carol Gillen got an email from Jenny Seifert regarding a writing contest about water stories. It was agreed that it should be added to Allan Levin’s board meeting summary that will be emailed to YLA members following this meeting.

1:06 p.m. Sal made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Dick seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Next meeting date is January 14, 2016