June DLWID Board Meeting Report

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District held its June board meeting in their offices on Thursday, June 3, 2010.  The meeting was attended by approximately 30 interested parties. The board took no action to change lake levels.

Hot Topics.

2010-2011 Budget: The budget hearing occurred and only one person made a comment.  The board was asked to reconsider its decision not to update the Devils Lake Plan.  It was suggested that the plan be updated prior to the next budget cycle to establish a consistent set of priorities from year to year.  The 2010-2011 Budget passed unanimously.  There is a more detailed description of the budget in our report on the May Budget Committee meeting.

Lake Level: During the public comment period10 commented on lake level.  Many points were made by the public on this topic. In the past 4 years only 2 homeowners have spoken in favor of lower lake levels.  A petition was presented in 2009 where 21 signed to lower the lake from 10’ to 9’, many who signed that document have subsequently expressed their satisfaction with current lake levels, some were at the meeting and rescinded their signature. Residents have been willing to compromise with last year’s lake lowering and this year’s dam construction delay. Most commenter’s agreed that erosion happens but questioned if summertime lake level is the primary cause, the general consensus was that winter high water and winds have a much greater negative impact. A discussion occurred related to the district’s permit to store 1360 acre feet and the requirement in August and September for the lake inflow to match the outflow. The lake level should fall during the period due to evaporation and bank seepage.  Many asked the district to abandon the proposal to further lower the lake, and look for a solution that would provide a long term; year round solution to the erosion problem.

It then turned to the board discussion on the topic David Skirvin presented in great detail an updated survey that he and Randy Weldon performed by measuring various docks on the lake.

Joe Barnes motioned to leave the lake level at 9’5.3” until a erosion study has been completed and after public comment.  The motion failed from lack of second. The net result was by lack of new motion the lake level will remain at 9’.5.3”.

Siletz Tribe / Lincoln City Water Right: During the public comment period 5 commented on the Siletz Tribe Lincoln City water right.  Generally, commenter’s were concern about what his might do to the lake and what benefit there might be for the lake.  One person Paul Katen from from Salmon-Drift Creek Watershed Council spoke in favor of the Siletz deal indicating that residents need look at this with wide angle lens because when the water runs out on Schooner Creek the City will come to Rock Creek to expand capacity.  The Board decided to invite the city and tribe to the next meeting to make a presentation on the matter.  It was suggested that the meeting be constructed to permit public questioning of the participants.

The Erosion Study RFP: This topic came up several times in the end it appears the first draft of the document was deemed lacking. Areas of the project that should be expanded were discussed but the RFP was tabled until the next meeting.

Several other items were reported as described in the Managers report such as DEQ 319, Native Veg, Financial Oversight, Safety Report, and Sewer.  Septic Tank was discussed mostly related what format the public input would be.  It was decided to put the draft ordinance on the agenda of the next board meeting, use the list serve to solicit opinions as see how it goes.  If there is still interest in a second meeting on a alternate date could be scheduled.

Seth did a very nice presentation on Save or Shorelines.   It was actually pretty impressive; the planting projects went well, the district’s communications efforts were successful and the enthusiasm that Seth had for the project is inspiring.

The Thompson Creek DNA sampling was discussed and the need for the vacuum pump.  Some discussion occurred and in the end the board authorized $1,000 for the pump.

Water quality was reported very good.  The summertime testing program for Ecoli has begun, cyanobacteria testing will not begin until it becomes more visible. $800 was approved to purchase a new fridge to store samples.

Staffing was discussed specifically the continued use of Seth.  It was decided that Paul will create a position description for the job and recommended compensation level.  Seth indicated some interest remaining depending on the offer.  All discussions on employment contacts were deferred to be considered in a 4:00pm executive session preceding the next board meeting.  The details weren’t defined but it is anticipated that the board will formally evaluate Paul’s performance in this session prior to considering the contract.

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