The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting was on Thursday December 1st at 6:00pm and was held in the City Hall Council Chambers located on the third floor of City Hall.
Special Presentation Erosion Study: Dr. Toni Pennington from Tetra Tech made a presentation on the erosion study recently released by the DLWID. Many details of the report were outlined which concluded that waves generated by boats or wind, the nature of the soils around the lake, the presence or absence of sufficient bank stabilization, and the slope of the lake bottom are likely more influential on shoreline conditions than relatively small changes in lake levels. The board asked several questions related to the contents of the report. Several questions that were submitted by members of the public were discussed. The Lake Manager and some Board members were highly critical of the report. It was stated the report did not address impact of inundation, reservoir hydrology, vegetation recruitment, impact of grass carp and the role of saturated soils. More information on the contents of the report as well as links to related documents, see Erosion Study Released.
Public Comment: There were 15 interested parties in attendance. Comments were made to the Board in which were related to the erosion study, the septic program, sewers, the Cafe, sand fill at Regatta Park, and the new for the District to inform the public that the lake is not polluted and is safe for swimming.
Septic Tank Revitalization: District Project Manager, Seth Lenaerts reported on the recent events related to the septic tank revitalization program. The City Council took up the issue of a septic inspection program and sewers at their Monday, November 14, City Council meeting. During that meeting, several options were presented which included suggestions for an expansion of the program to include the possible construction of sewers around the lake. One selected option was a directive to City staff to prepare an ordinance for Council consideration that would require an inspection of septic systems as a condition of continued water service (for those outside the City).
Save Our Shoreline: An powerpoint presentation was provided related to the SOS project at the East Devils Lake State Recreation Area. The District completed the first day of site preparation on Thursday, November 17. Work continued on the site on Monday, November 28th interested parties can see several pictures of the project on the DLIWD Facebook page.
Vegetation Management: Two responses were received to the Districts RFP for the outside consultant on the grass carp project. The board appointed a special interview panel consisting of two board members and the Lake Manager to interview each of the applicants. The panel made its recommendation to the full board recommending Joe Eilers of Max Depths Aquatics be awarded the project. There was some discussion by the Board about making sure that the study is scientifically neutral rather than being performed for the purpose supporting the Boards desire to obtain a permit for grass carp, It was stated that the Board has looked into many options and the new intern will continue research on this. The Board acted to hire Max Depth Aquatics.
Sewer: Brian Green stated that the project in his neighborhood is continuing. During the SOS discussion an overview was provided about the City of Lincoln City who recently scheduled workshop on Septic and Sewers last month; DLWID was invited to participate and Board members Kip Ward, Randy Weldon and Noel Walker attended as did the Project Manager and the Lake Manager. The City Manager put forth several proposals at the subsequent City Council Meeting based on this initial workshop. Options presented include suggestions for an expansion the sewer system to reach around the lake.
The options under considerations include; 1. Develop a proposal to assess those customers who have a septic system tributary to Devils Lake a water charge, $40 was suggested, that would be used exclusively to accelerate the installation of sewer in that area. 2. Ask the Devils Lake Water Improvement District to develop a proposal for voter approval to impose a property tax, estimated to be $.96/1000 in district and $0.48 outside district and authorize a general obligation bond to be used to accelerate the installation of sanitary sewer. 3. Develop other incentives to encourage sewer in the Devils Lake Watershed.
Also discussed, was the Oregon DEQ’s implementation in 2012 of recommendations designed to meet federal requirements under the Coastal Zone Management Act. This program, applied to all coastal communities will require septic tank inspections and submission of a report to DEQ at time of property transfer, while requiring the reporting of septic tank pumping events to DEQ to verify proper management and disposal of septage. There was some discussion by the Board about using a system simular to the Regatta project in other areas around the lake.
Communications Report: It was reported that the District board meeting from November 2011 was not recorded due to a scheduling error by the City. As a result the October 2011 meeting has been airing on Charter Cable Government Access Channel 4 since the Districts first live broadcast. The December meeting was recorded and will be re-aired throughout the month as planned. The District is going to attempt to post audio recordings of the meetings on the District website.
Closing Comments: Board member Kip Ward went on the record to state that he felt that the comments made during the meeting by members of the public that the District appeared to be trying to rewrite the erosion report with their comments were misguided. He felt the Lake Manager and board were simply trying to ensure that report contains the details specified in the RFP. That is not trying to rewrite the report. Two other Board members agreed with his comment. He continue to explain that he attended the septic/sewer meeting with the City and would strongly disagree with the statement made during public comment that the septic/sewer program is being ramrodded on the public. He felt that Mr Hawker was very cooperative and was simply working to solve a problem.