The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting was on Thursday April 5th at 6:00pm and was held in the City Hall Council Chambers located on the third floor of City Hall.
Public Comment: There were 11 interested parties in attendance. Many comments shared their concerns related to the re-released erosion study. Several people brought up concerns with specific additions to this version of the report. Others raised concerns about the process the District used to complete project. It was suggested that the final report did not reach a conclusion and therefore the District should plan to install the dam on April 15 and so discontinue further consideration of changes to the authorized summertime lake operating level of 9.53 feet. Additional comments were provided against the septic program and it’s use of water shut off. There were also concerns expressed related to logs and debris floating in the lake. It was suggested that the City could be contacted to take the debris away for disposal on a organized clean up day.
Septic Ordinance: There was nothing to report on this topic.
Save Our Shoreline: A verbal report on the Lakescaping class the District sponsored was given. There were five in attendance and they gave positive feedback on the course. Lunch was provided and attendees could help themselves to an assortment of free native plants also provided by the District. The course covered some history of the lake, benefits of lakescaping, and a discussion of native plans as well at design tips. A discussion occurred related to the creation of a SOS video to be used to promote the program.
Vegetation Management: The District received a report by email from Joe Eilers of Max Depth Aquatics their consultant assisting in their efforts to appeal the grass carp decision. Some progress has been made describing the interactions between grass carp and Coho salmon. The consultant has suggested a nutrient budget for Devils Lake be created to allow the District predict the impacts of various mitigating projects. Four options were given; a Stella model for $15,000 which is pretty basic, a SWAT model for $46,000, the Cadallic model level which could exceed $120,000, and a new entrant the Bayesian neural network model which would cost about $3,500. The board approved the expenditure to develop a Bayesian Neural Network Model for the lake. In addition to the grass carp application the District is also investigating Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting (DASH). A short video on DASH was not played for the board due to technical difficulties, it was to be an introduction to further discussion and evaluation over the next months.
Sewer: The District has sent a letter to the City of Lincoln City requesting they wave their requirement for a mandatory connection timeframe. The letter pointed out that DEQ only requires a property owner with an existing septic system to hook up to sewer when there is adequate sewer access within 300’ of the property and then only when there is a permit required for the upgrade or revitalization of the existing septic system. It further stated that the economic reasoning for the District’s position to not require a mandatory hook up beyond what DEQ requires is that many owners may have recently invested in a septic system at great expense and would effectively loose that investment if a mandatory hook up were to be required. This statement struck some as counter to the District’s position on septic systems in its attempt to develop a septic ordinance. Board member expressed some real frustration with the City and their reluctance to fund the project. The City has stated at there insufficient funds in the capital improvement fund. The project may be split into a two year timeline to fit into the budget constraints.
Erosion Study: The District signed a contract with Tetra Tech, Inc. for a shoreline erosion study. This contract was issued on December 29, 2010 for $28,840. Field work for the study was conducted in the summer of 2011 and was originally presented on December 1, 2011. The District rejected the report. They have worked extensively with the contractor to revise the report and obtain several missing components. The Lake Manager provided a lengthy presentation of the erosion reports contents. In general the presentation was designed to persuade the audience that the study states that artificial lake levels do create erosion. Staff recommended waiting until after a public discussion in the May 10th board meeting to make a decision about the use of the dam this summer and thus the installation which typically would otherwise begin around April 15. The board decided to pay Tetra Tech for the completed study. The board decided to delay the decsion to install the dam until the May 10th board meeting.
Communications: The board approved a new opportunity to provide a community education class through the Oregon Coast Community College for Spring 2012. A detailed description of the class design and progress was provided.
MidCoastTMDL: The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has begun the planning process for developing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for 303(d) listed waterbodies in the Oregon Mid-Coast Basin. The District has been invited to participate. Representatives from local, state and federal government, special districts, Tribal Nations, private industry, forestry, agriculture, conservation, NGOs, watershed councils, landowners, and others were also identified. The kick off meeting was held March 20th. Over 60 people in attendance including the actual stakeholders invited and the interested public. This was largely an introduction to the process and scope. Presentation on the process were given as well as outlines of expectations and outcomes. Stakeholders will meet monthly, tentatively scheduled for the 3rd Wed at various locations up and down the coast through the next 18-24 months. Additional information can be found at http://www.deq.state.or.us/WQ/TMDLs/midcoast.htm.
Glossary: Additional progress was made on the glossary, which has been published at www.dlwid.org
Summer Intern: The District has received a number of applications; interviews will begin after the close of application period which is April 14, 2012. This internship focus on water quality and educational outreach.
Devils Lake Revival: In August of 2011, the District held the Devils Lake Revival – A community festival to celebrate Devils Lake and learn more about living in a watershed. The festival had over 200 attendees. Included were activities like, pontoon boat tours, kayak tours, Stand Up Paddle board demos, sailing race, live music, many interactive booths, children activities, and a raffle. The board discuss the plans for a second annual Revival in 2012. The plans were approved and the tentative date selected was August 04.
Lincoln City’s Comprehensive Plan: The Lincoln City Planning Commission recently placed on its agenda a discussion of the Comprehensive Plan. The board was asked for permission to have Project Manager to be the lead contact in monitoring the City’s progress on any updates to their Comprehensive Plan with the Lake Manager and the board participating at points along the way as required. The board …
Water Quality: The Lake Manager provide an extensive report after attending a Harmful Algal Bloom Surveillance (HABs) Stakeholder meeting. The Oregon Health Authority sponsored it at Lane Community College. The meeting focused on the updates to the HABs program for this year. A lengthy discussion occurred review the various details shared at this meeting including new requirements expanding the District’s toxicity sampling and the associated expense. The topic is complex and we will try to draft a separate article on the topic later. The board approved a proposal to use an outside lab to test certain samples that they don’t have the capability in house.
Riparian and Wetland Protection: The District recently received some questions about shoreline development and building in Natural Resource Overlay zones triggered by the new home being constructed near the marina. Another lengthy discussion occurred but the investigation revealed that the construction is permitted and complies with all rules that apply. Staff suggested that the District could encourage the City to add additional requirements to existing ordinances regarding, landscaping and setbacks. The City also has a Natural Resource Overlay Zone, that the District could lobby to have additional amendments to protect the lake. The board provided the following guidance.
Board Meeting Date Change: The board decided to move the May board meeting to the second Thursday which is May 10th.
Public Comment Non-Agenda Items: Additional comments were provided expressing concerns about the incorrect information presented related boat wake calculations and the arbratary multipler used to create fictions wave heights. The concern expressed was that the District may create an unintended conquences by publishing inaccurate data.