September 2018 Meeting Minutes
Yahara Lakes Association, Ltd.
Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Thursday, September 13, 2018 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
The Yahara Lakes Association Board of Directors held its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, September 13, 2018, in the Verex Building (150 E. Gilman Street) Yahara Conference room.
The following members and advisors were present: Dick Adler, Roy Carter, Caroline Fribance, Mike Gerner, Carol Gillen, Annette Hellmer, Allan Levin, Eric Olson, Dick Pearson, Nancy Peckham, Jerry Rekowski, Dan Schultz, Sal Troia, James Tye and Rhonda Arries Members and advisors not present: Stuart Allbaugh, Doug Bach, Bill Fitzpatrick, Joe Tisserand, and Parker Waller 11:30 a.m. Call to Order: President Dan Schultz called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m.
11:31 a.m. Minutes: Sal Troia made a motion to accept the July 12, 2018 meeting minutes. Dick Adler seconded the motion. Motion passed.
11:32 a.m. Sal Troia provided the Treasurer’s report: • Business dues income is $3,000 and on par with budget. Individual membership dues income is $13,330 vs budget of $15,330. • Donations are $7,510 vs budget of $5,000. Donations continue to buoy the organization’s financials. • Net income year-to-date is $10,387 and is forecast to be slightly better than the annual budget of $8,073. • Dick Pearson made a motion to accept the Treasurer’s report. Annette Hellmer seconded the motion. Motion passed.
11:35 a.m. Rhonda Arries provided a Membership update: • 341 total members vs 360 in 2017. There are 30 corporate members and 311 individual members to-date vs 29 corporate members and 331 individual members in 2017. • 38 new members joined – 22 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.
11:36 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. Mike Gerner will let Dan know if he will seek re-election before the next board meeting. Doug Bach and Parker Waller resigned from the board earlier in the year. Bill Fitzpatrick has moved and is no longer living on the lake.
Dan asked all board members to bring forward potential candidates prior to the next board meeting. Nancy Peckham has a potential interested candidate from Lake Waubesa. Jerry Rekowski would like another candidate from Lake Kegonsa and will look into potential candidates. Nominating ballots will be finalized for sending to the membership to vote in the November newsletter.
11:50 a.m. Newsletter: Publishing schedule is February, May, August and November November Newsletter – Carol Gillen is preparing articles for the November Newsletter.
Carol reported that Katie Nichols, her main contact for CLA, has left the organization. Paul Dearlove will now be her main contact. Sal Troia will secure an article from Prof DeWitt re: wetlands. James Tye will provide Carol with an article about the 3 major ordinances re: healthy lakes / healthy farms. Dan Schultz will write an article about lake levels. Rhonda Arries will provide a ballot for board elections as well as an electronic ballot. Nancy Peckham will provide a summary of the August member survey results and next steps.
Carol reminded everyone the deadline for articles is October 26.
11:55 a.m. Nancy Peckham provided a summary of the August online membership survey.
29 completed survey responses were received which is ~ 10% response rate. If all 18 board members responded, that would be the majority of responses received. FOLKS recently did a lengthy written survey and received a 90+% response rate. Allan noted that there are a lot of online surveys and they are easy to ignore.
Regarding discounts, shoreline repair and reconstruction had the most response rates. Dan Schultz would like to explore future discounts for members and asked Sal Troia to follow up.
Weeds and weed removal appear to be the #1 issue. Dan Schultz noted that James Tye’s previous comments re: weeds came through on this survey. He noted that Paul Dearlove will be happy to inform the board and members about what he knows about weeds and weed management. Dan asked for a subcommittee to learn how YLA can support the county’s efforts. Carol Gillen, Dick Pearson, Caroline Fribance and Nancy Peckham volunteered to be on the subcommittee. Carol Gillen noted that Susan Graham is an excellent county contact re: weeds. Allan Levin noted that weed spraying didn’t work previously but Dan wants to look forward to see what could work in the future. What are other lakes doing about weeds?
Further survey results include a big interest in lake level management. Also, most people highly prefer monthly email updates and quarterly newsletters.
12:00 p.m. Ken Potter, UW Professor Emeritus - Civil and Environmental Engineer, discussed lake levels and potential recommendations to stem future flooding
Professor Wu and his assistants created Yahara INFOS which provides excellent data collection, modeling and reporting throughout the Yahara chain of lakes for anyone to view. Modeling allows them to test historical data and model future scenarios using forecasted data such as rainfall and its impact on lake levels and flows. They developed a rainfall run-off model and now the question is how to interpret, recommend and manage lake levels with this tool.
Ken noted that, currently, sewers drain into the lakes so big rain events are exacerbated and increase lake levels threefold because of this. He would like to see more communities mimic Middleton which has closed off some of its sewers to drain into retention ponds vs. the lakes.
Hydraulics and drainage of the lakes highly depends on vegetation in the lakes. Allan Levin noted that increasing the flow from Lake Kegonsa, for example, impacts those downstream. Ken noted that “water problems shouldn’t be pushed or sent downstream” so the models should be used to understand the impacts of upstream management on downstream areas.
Ken is concerned about climate change and feels that climate models are underestimating the impact of global climate change. He sees that big jumps in extreme weather will be more frequent. Dan Schultz noted that 2 storms in the last 10 years dropped more than 12 inches of rain in the watershed so climate change extremes have already been occurring.
Mike Gerner provided a data table on lake levels and rainfall across all Yahara lakes. He discussed lake levels throughout the historic May 2018 rain events, Lake Kegonsa flooding and vegetative harvesting to increase flow rates and the subsequent high lake levels that remained on the other lakes prior to the storms that caused major flooding across the Yahara watershed. He noted that the flow rate should have been more pro-actively managed in mid-summer to get lake levels down when there was an opportunity. He noted there were clear data signals that should have alerted county staff to take action. He would like situational criteria targets to be put in place based on science and data from tools such as INFOS.
Ken recommends that a small, apolitical, technical group be formed quickly to test and make recommendations to the county and other interested parties on how to manage lake levels. This was supported by the YLA board and Ken was asked to follow up with the county. Sal Troia will follow up with Ken on behalf of YLA. Dan Schultz will write a letter to Dane County Executive, Joe Parisi, supporting this technical group formation as well as provide a list of items YLA would like in the 2019 budget to better manage lake levels.
Jerry Rekowski requested that communication be sent out to the membership re: what YLA is doing about the water levels. Dan Schultz agreed that this is a good idea and will write up a summary for Rhonda Arries to send in an email blast. He will also include his letter and summary in the November newsletter.
Dan Schultz thanked Ken Potter for his time and insights.
1:24 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.
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
1:25 p.m. Dick Adler made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Caroline Fribance seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Next meeting date is October 11, 2018