October 2018 Meeting Minutes

Yahara Lakes Association, Ltd.

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

Thursday, October 11, 2018 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

The Yahara Lakes Association Board of Directors held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, October 11, 2018, in the Verex Building (150 E. Gilman Street) Yahara Conference room.

The following members and advisors were present: Stuart Allbaugh, Roy Carter, Bill Fitzpatrick, Caroline Fribance, Carol Gillen, Allan Levin, Eric Olson, Nancy Peckham, Jerry Rekowski, Dan Schultz, Joe Tisserand, Sal Troia, James Tye and Rhonda Arries Members and advisors not present: Dick Adler, Doug Bach, Mike Gerner, Annette Hellmer, Parker Waller and Dick Pearson

11:34 a.m. Call to Order: President Dan Schultz called the meeting to order at 11:34 a.m.

11:35 a.m. Minutes: Allan Levin made a motion to accept the September 13, 2018 meeting minutes. Joe Tisserand seconded the motion. Motion passed. 11:36 a.m. Sal Troia provided the Treasurer’s report:

  • Due income is $16,370 vs a budget of $18,330. While corporate memberships met budget, individual memberships were down vs budget.

  • Donations are $7,510 vs budget of $5,000 vs last year’s $7,615. Donations continue to buoy the organization’s financials.

  • Net income year-to-date is $9,616. With one more newsletter to print and mail and 2 more months of administrative expenses, the annual net income is expected to be slightly better than the annual budget of $5,195.

  • Carol Gillen made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report. Bill Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Motion passed.

11:40 a.m. Rhonda Arries provided a membership update:

  • 342 total members vs 360 in 2017 and vs 336 in 2016. There are 30 corporate members and 312 individual members vs 29 corporate members and 331 individual members in 2017.

  • 39 new members joined – 23 were new lakefront property owners who joined after a free annual membership; 14 joined from the joint CLA mailing and 2 were new corporate members.

11:41 a.m. Dan Schultz provided a summary of upcoming Board member elections.

  • Board terms expiring 12/31/18: Dick Adler (Monona), Doug Bach (Monona), Bill Fitzpatrick (Mendota), Mike Gerner (Mendota), Annette Hellmer (Monona) and Parker Waller (Monona)

  • Dick Adler and Annette Hellmer confirmed they will seek re-election.

  • Doug Bach, Bill Fitpatrick, Mike Gerner and Parker Waller will not seek re-election.

  • Nancy Peckham and Eric Olson will be replacing Mike Jensen and Debbie Waite whose terms expired on 12/31/17.

  • Nominating committee of Carol Gillen, Nancy Peckham, Sal Troia and Dan Schultz: Sal provided an update on potential candidates: Dave Silverberg (Waubesa) and Eric Vieth (Kegonsa) and Jenny Kuehn (Mendota). Nancy noted that Dave grew up with her husband on Page 2 of 4 Mendota and on the Yahara lakes. Dave runs QTI and is very passionate about the lakes and lake living. Nancy highly recommends him. Eric Olson works with Eric Vieth who is an engineer with Pleasant Springs. He’s an avid lake enthusiast and has recently built a home on Kegonsa. He’s interested in lake levels and lake water quality. Mike Gerner has nominated his daughter Jenny Kuehn – her bio is being reviewed and a meeting is being scheduled for the nominating committee to talk with her and make a recommendation to the board. Dan Schultz would like to move her name forward as a potential candidate.

  • Carol Gillen thanked Bill Fitzpatrick for all his years of service on the YLA board and asked him to continue as an advisor. All other board members thanked Bill as well and he agreed to be kept on as an advisor to the YLA board.

  • Joe Tisserand made a motion to move forward in reviewing Dave Silverberg, Eric Vieth and Jenny Kuehn as potential board nominees and to make Bill Fitzpatrick an advisor to the YLA board. Roy Carter seconded the motion. Motion passed.

  • Nominating ballots will be finalized for sending to the membership to vote in the November newsletter.

11:50 a.m. As a follow-up to the August Member Survey, Nancy Peckham led a meeting on Weed Management. Paul Dearlove, from Clean Lakes Alliance, joined the meeting and gave his experiences on weed management on Lake Ripley. The key finding was that there is no magic bullet for weed eradication along shorelines and most of the weed management done by government bodies is in the middle of lakes and off shorelines. Paul also noted that it’s a good idea to teach riparians that not all shoreline weeds are bad – there are real advantages to have some weeds along shoreline for ecology so educating members is important. Recommendations are:

  • Nancy will begin contacting landscaping companies for potential weed removal – she will start with corporate sponsors such as Weed Man and also inquire about potential YLA member discounts.

  • Nancy and Carol Gillen will also work on an education program for members seeking out experts such as Paul Dearlove and Susan Graham from the DNR.

  • Nancy discussed contacting the county re: weed collection from piers but Allan Levin cautioned her about raising the issue because the city of Madison currently funds the county’s weed pick up along Lakes Mendota and Monona (even for areas outside the city limits). Instead, Nancy will follow up with McFarland and Stoughton to inquire if additional weed pick ups could be funded either by those municipalities or as a partner with YLA.

  • Caroline Fribance noted there are companies that sell mats to put down on the bottom of the lake early in the season and then remove them a month or so later with no weeds present. Board members asked Caroline to check with the DNR to see if the mats are ok to use in the Yahara lakes. It was noted that chemical applications are illegal. Weed cutters for residents is another potential option for Nancy and her committee to follow up on re: tools to remove weeds along shorelines. Allan will forward marketing materials he’s received re: personal shoreline weed cutters.

  • Nancy and her committee will continue to research weed management and report back in November’s board meeting.

12:00 p.m. Newsletter: Publishing schedule is February, May, August and November November Newsletter

  • Carol Gillen is preparing articles for the November Newsletter which will be dedicated to the recent flooding. Articles will include a Presidential update from Dan Schultz including his letter to Dane County Executive, Joe Parisi; an article from Laura Hicklin about the newly formed technical group to study and make recommendations on lake level management; a summary of county budget items related to flood management; John Reimer’s latest updates on flow and flow rates especially re: what-if scenarios in different sections of the Yahara water system; Dan will try to tie flow rates with lake level management and note that it’s not a simple one shot solution but rather a multi-pronged solutions based approach. James Tye noted that CLA will not be addressing lake levels directly because it doesn’t tie back to water quality. He does note however that run-off does impact water quality and will continue to promote ways to increase infiltration. Board nominees and ballots will be included from Rhonda Arries. YLA member survey results will be provided by Nancy Peckham. Carol Gillen will also include information about leaf management.

  • Carol reminded everyone the deadline for articles is October 26.

12:15 p.m. Ken Potter, UW Professor Emeritus - Civil and Environmental Engineer, discussed lake levels, potential recommendations to stem future flooding and a newly forming technical committee

  • Ken noted that flow and flow rates are the #1 limiting factor today (i.e. 3 railroad bridge trestles and an Indian weir are known obstructions) but he’s also concerned about urbanization and land use within the Yahara watershed.

  • Prof Chin Wu and John Reimer created INFOS which measures rainfall and models flows across the Yahara watershed. Hydraulics are examined (i.e. how water moves thru the system) and real-time flow rates are reported from buoys in the waterways. The models can simulate critical hydrological years – both high and low water level years – to come up with scenarios to test removing or adding different impediments and different calibrations. Monte Carlo simulations will help with the testing scenarios. Evaluations and recommendations will be made re: impediments such as urbanization (where rain drains i.e. to the lakes from sewers or closed off ponds); review adding pumps to help get water out of the system and if that causes problems downstream or elsewhere. Cost-benefit analysis will be looked at regarding the possible recommendations.

  • Ken noted the county budget includes land purchases which may initially be more for infiltration but also has a side benefit of future potential water storage and water retention.

  • Ken also discussed “trading programs” which allow some smaller operators (i.e. real estate developers) to pay fees rather than control water retention. These fees are then used to purchase larger retaining properties in strategic locations. Ken feels this is a good step because its hard to manage a lot of small properties and easier for government bodies to manage larger programs and properties.

  • Ken discussed the newly forming technical group which will be made up of 4 or 5 scientists who will look at the Yahara lakes system from a scientific and engineering management viewpoint to make recommendations on flood control. They’ll take their recommendations to a broader stakeholder group to present their findings. Cost benefit analysis and an economic review of possible solutions will be important. Ken noted that the important part of the analysis and recommendations till be to look at the Yahara as a whole system and also to make sure solutions don’t send problems downstream.

  • February 1, 2019 is the deadline for the Technical Group to report to the Dane County Board.

  • March 31, 2019 is deadline for the Task Force to make recommendations so things can be in place for the upcoming Spring / Summer seasons.

  • Dan Schultz and Roy Carter asked Ken what meaningful thing can YLA can do to help? Ken responded that YLA needs to keep this issue in the forefront of member’s minds so that research and solutions continue to be sought – especially if this upcoming Spring is a low rainfall season because people tend to move on even though the underlying problems still exist.

  • Roy Carter also asked if the lakes will continue to be drained down after the water freeze. Ken stated the lakes will have to be lowered throughout the winter months to get them down to safe managing levels for the Spring / Summer months. This could mean ice heaves, ice pockets and potential shoreline damage but it is necessary to get the system back in-check and water levels down.

  • Dan Schultz thanked Ken and ensure that YLA continue to keep this issue in front of its members.

1:00 p.m. Dan Schultz wrapped up the topic. Allan Levin noted the Technical Group is a small working group that is already moving forward and is “closed door” (meaning it won’t be accepting inputs or reporting findings until its February deadline). All agreed this is a good approach to help the team focus without interruptions or politics. Dan will follow up with the Technical Group and/or John Reimer sometime in March to coordinate a time to present their findings to YLA members in the Spring 2019. Jerry Rekowski noted that YLA members want to hear what will be done for the upcoming season.

1:05 p.m. Environmental Tracking – Chair: Allan Levin

  • Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) – Mike Gerner is a CLA Board of Director member

  • Lakes & Watershed (L&W is an advisory committee) – Allan Levin is the YLA appointee. He noted that L&W makes recommendations to the Dane County Board and the Board then votes on whether it will fund those recommendations. It’s an important advisory committee but has lacked decisive actions and recommendations recently. Allan hopes the recent flooding will place some urgency and focus within the advisory committee’s mission.

  • Watershed Network Group – Roy Carter and Allan Levin

  • Healthy Farms/Healthy Lakes – Allan Levin serves on this committee for Dane County.

Government Tracking Committee – Chair: Dan Schultz, Committee Member: Allan Levin

Riparian Committee – Chair: Sal Troia (Carol Gillen, Roy Carter & Dan Schultz committee mbrs) New / Old Business

1:15 p.m. Joe Tisserand made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Jerry Rekowski seconded the motion. Motion passed.

Next meeting date is November 8, 2018