The Devils Lake Water Improvement District held its April board meeting in their offices on Thursday, April 1, 2010. The meeting was attended by approximately 14 interested parties.
Whole Lake Circulation – The Lake Manager has asked the Board to provide direction as to how they would like to proceed or not proceed regarding the placement of SolarBees on Devils Lake. After a breif discussion the Board decided to modify the direction previously provided by the resolution made in June 2009. The Board has instructed the Lake Manager by resolution to defer any further actions toward pursuing SolarBees.
Septic Tanks – The board was updated on the status of the program and the results of the most recent meeting with City officials. At the March 8, City Council meeting, Council voted 4-2 to direct staff to draft a septic system ordinance based on the eight outlined points approved by both Council and DLWID board. It was stated that it may be a month or more before the City Attorney begins drafting the ordinance. Once there is an estimate as to the availability of a draft ordinance the District will select a date to have a meeting for public input on the program.
Save Our Shoreline – Seth Lenaerts described the progress that has been made on this project. He stated that he intends to complete three shoreline restoration demonstration projects, two on St John’s Loop and one on Lake Cove Drive, at 9am, Saturday, April 3. The project will also require the help of volunteers. The event will be held from 9am to 1pm. If you are interested in volunteering meet Seth at the Neotsu post office at 9am this Saturday.
There were several other interesting topics on the agenda for the meeting. Here’s what transpired.
The DLWID passed a motion to cease involvement in the creation of ordinances related to boat houses and docks. The board felt that the Department of State Lands and Lincoln County should be the sole authority in the matter.
In March, the District created an RFP for the Lake Contractor, and advertised it in the News Guard. During the meeting, the board discussed the submissions and awarded the contract to Sexton Construction. The first task will be to work on the initial installation of the D-River Dam on April 15th.
David Skirvin presented a very informative presentation on water depth measurements taken along the Eastern shore of the lake in the mooring slips of docks in an attempt to understand the impact on homeowners of various lake levels. There was a discussion specfically about the silting of canals, in particular the Thompson Creek canal, and the impact of low water levels on nearby homeowners. We will try to obtain the presentation and make it available.
The board discussed the March 10th sewage spill which occurred when a blocked sewer line led to the discharge of 50,000 gallons of sewage onto City owned woodland just south of Devils Lake. The Board advised the Lake Manager to contact the City Sanitarian and establish a relationship with the intent of building a relationship mutually beneficial to the lake.
An update was provided on the districts efforts to get timely information out to local residents. It was announced that the informational flyer created by the District will be mailed as a insert in the April water bills. A discussion occurred about incorporating the Communications Plan developed by the Communications Committee into the Devils Lake Plan. Mr. Robertson was asked to provide the board some ideas of what he would like to incorporate, including changes to the original document. The board asked Mr. Robertson to deliver a marked up copy by the 15th of May for review and eventual adoption.
The board took some time to review the individual priorities discussed in the March Board meeting which were originally indentified at their February 4th workshop. The list of new 2010-2011 District goals were assigned a priority as follows:
- Grass Carp
- Finish Septic
- Implement communications plan
- Ecoli Thompson
- Sewer planning for lake
In the March Board meeting the topic of Grass Carp was raised during the goal setting session. Based on that discussion; Mr. Robertson provided an update on the topic. He stated that the District made an application for Grass Carp in October of 2007, knowing that it would be denied. The District has not pursued an appeal process.
The District has spoken to the ODFW Commission indicating that Grass Carp were planned only as a last resort should other strategies not be able to meet vegetation management goals.
Mr. Robertson reported that the Commission is, opposed to stocking or restocking of Grass Carp in waters of the state. He stated that in 2003 ODFW had conducted an extensive rule change on the matter which currently prohibit Grass Carp from be planted in any public body of water including Devils Lake. It was stated however, that the District has had communications with ODFW staff in Newport indicating they would be supportive of the District’s application. The Board discussed at length whether they should pursue obtaining a permit for future placement of grass carp in the lake. It was determined that the District should have a valid permit to for uses as a treatment option for the lake and raised the issue to be a top priority in 2010.