Category Archives: DLWID

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DLWID Considers Dam Removal

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District cancelled its December 11th board meeting due to the threat of high winds. There were several important items on the Board’s agenda we would like to call your attention to the last item in unfinished business; the replacement of the water impoundment devices (the dam).

Director Randy Weldon’s report to the board states that “At our November 2014 meeting, my proposal to the board was to explore the idea of removing the concrete foundation of the current dam and using a different type of impoundment device in the summer. I suggested that we use sandbags or water-filled flood control tubes during the short recreational impoundment period instead of our current structure.” The winter edition of the District’s Clearwater Newsletter further describes this proposal; you can find a link on the right hand of the District website.

Temporary Sandbagging

Temporary Sandbagging

Plastic Water Tubes

Plastic Water Tubes


Mr. Weldon recommended the board take action during the December meeting by writing that, “The US Army Corps of Engineers and Division of State Lands Joint Permit can take up to 120 days to complete. While waiting for our permit to be approved, we could proceed with RFP’s for removal of the concrete foundation and select a contractor to do the removal work.”  We anticipate that his request for authorization will be brought forward for action during the January 8th DLWID Board meeting. We strongly recommend attending the January meeting to encourage the Board to meet with the DLNA Board as well as suggest putting the brakes on this potentially DAMaging idea that has not been through any type of public process or outreach.

The Devils Lake Neighborhood Association urges the DLWID to defer taking any action toward authorizing the creation and release of an RFP for the removal of the current dam structure. For a dam of this size Oregon does not require that the design be prepared by a professional engineer however the Oregon Water Resources Department specifically recommended the District “consult with an engineer when making changes to a dam.” 

The structure that is the subject of this discussion is considered a “small dam” as defined by the Oregon Water Resources Department. Since the proposal is to remove the current structure completely we have verified that from a regulatory perspective this would be treated as two separate projects, one for the removal of a small dam, and one for the construction of a new dam structure to replace it.  This would involve input from a minimum of 11 State,Federal and local Agencies for both the removal and construction phases of the project.  Successful completion of the removal approvals does not guarantee approval for the installation of a new structure in its place.

The proposal before the board does not include the recommended professional engineering, or any discussion of the regulatory process required.  Why would you remove the dam before you have permission to replace it? The performance of a temporary structure is unknown; the risk is high that permission to build a new permanent structure would not be granted.  A project such as this if done without the proper engineering, planning and care could severely impact access to and the use of our lake and potentially result in lower property values.

It is also possible that a properly engineered project could have a positive result.  In any case, this project is every bit as complex as the district’s ongoing attempts to restock grass carp which began in mid-2011 or the aeration project that is just getting started.  It’s a safe bet that if all these government agencies are interested in these proposed projects that the citizens that live on or near Devils Lake would also be quite interested in the same projects. The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board Guidelines for Dam Removal devotes seven full pages to describing the importance and methods to be utilized to build organizational support through public outreach.  The district needs to take this advice to heart.  A workshop is a single component of an outreach program that is helpful but not nearly adequate to address the complexity of the projects currently underway.

The Devils Lake Neighborhood Association has offered several times to help the district build a connection with the citizens that live around Devils Lake.  Representing the citizens that live on and own the 1,473 parcels of land within our boundaries is the primary reason we exist.  We continue to offer the district an opportunity to schedule a public meeting of the DLWID and the DLNA boards so we may engage in a two way dialogue about ways we can work together toward the benefit of the lake.

Since we are nearing the end of another year; might I suggest that the Board of Devils Lake Water Improvement District make a New Year’s resolution and agree to schedule a meeting in January with the Devils Lake Neighborhood Association.  They risk so little and they have so much to gain.  No let me rephrase that, we have so much to gain.



Filed under DLWID, Editorial, Meeting Reports

DLNA Comment at DLWID Meeting

During the October 2nd DLWID Board meeting the Devils Lake Neighborhood Association was represented by Mitchell Moore and Mark Christie. The goal of our testimony was to let the District know that there are several areas where the neighbors and the District agree. We feel that relations could improve if we could find a project or two that we could work together.The following are the comments made by each DLNA representative.

Comments of Mitchell Moore.

In February we introduced you to the Devils Lake Neighborhood Association. There are several members of the DLNA here tonight. I am happy to report that since that time the Association has held several well attended public meetings in the Driftwood Library as well as at Faith Baptist Church. The great news is we are growing at a rapid rate and have received membership declarations from hundreds of residents in the neighborhood. In our meetings a consistent theme is the expression by our membership of genuine concern for the lake and a willingness to help.

I have been before you on several occasions this year to discuss how residents of the neighborhood are supportive of the majority of the projects contained in the Devils Lake Plan. While we have offered our help on several occasions we have never been contacted by the District or this Board of Directors. I am here again tonight to offer the assistance of the Neighborhood Association.

The SOS program is an example of our offer to help the District achieve their goals
During last months meeting the board engaged in quite a discussion about the SOS program even considering raising the potential award to $1,500 to encourage participation. We have a list of several homeowners who wish to make shoreline improvements to their property. Our research indicates that there are a variety of issues that have prevented the initiation of these projects.
We would propose a the district consider a few modifications to SOS that that might be more acceptable to a broader base of lakefront owners. We would suggest that Ava schedule a lakeside meeting with a few of these interested parties to learn firsthand about some of the obstacles or roadblocks for the program. The DLNA will be happy to organize these meetings.

The rhetoric and relationships between the district and the community has been strained for the past several years. We created the DLNA in the hopes it could relieve some of the pressure that exists.Recently the DLNA appeared before the City Council to help define the process of creating neighborhood associations in Lincoln City. In that meeting the DLWID Chair spoke against the members of the Devils Lake Neighborhood Association, were not entirely sure why. Our response is come before you again and stress that we want to create a cooperative environment that is beneficial for the neighborhood and the lake.

Tonight we have offered a new path, one that directly engages the public in the mission of the District. We are recommending that the DLWID board and the DLNA board come together in a workshop to engage in a two way dialogue about ways we can move forward as a team, and not adversaries. You may contact me directly to schedule this important meeting.

Thank You for your time, we look forward to a productive meeting.

Comments of Mark Christie

My message tonight is similar to that you heard from Mitch, we want you to know that there are many areas that we are willing to help. Here are a few more examples.

In the past 18 months the district has focused a lot of attention toward the potential of extending sewer service around the lake. The members of DLNA are generally supportive of exploring the idea of expanding sewers around the lake. In fact I have yet to hear anyone speak out against such a project. We must all recognize that this is a complex issue that involves detailed engineering, private right-of-ways, extensive underground construction, taxation and eventual annexation. In the spirit of improving the chances of a positive outcome we feel a DLNA representative should be at the table as this idea moves forward. Within our membership we have individuals that have decades of experience in right-of-way acquisition, utility construction and operation, and residential and commercial development that are willing to lend their expertise.

Six years ago the district established septic inspections at the number one priority for the lake. Unfortunately to date there have been zero inspections performed as a result of this program. Indeed as of today, this program has been put aside in deference to the potential of sewers. This is a program that has been universally supported in the neighborhood. It has languished because the district has made “perfect” the enemy of good! with standards and expectations that are difficult to obtain. The DLNA has developed a voluntary septic inspection program designed on the DEQ Septic Smart program as well as the DEQ inspection guidelines
The Lincoln County Onsite Waste Management Division has agreed to participated in the record keeping portion of this voluntary program. Our program has been introduced to the real estate community throughout Lincoln County. We have requested their cooperation particularly encouraging pre-listing testing of existing septics on and around the lake. We would propose the voluntary septic inspection process be adopted by the DLWID for homes outside the City and with the UGB to begin in January of 2015. The District should continue to work with the City of Lincoln City to establish a inspection program within the City based on the same DEQ inspection guidelines.

The neighborhood is thrilled that the board responded to input supplied at a public workshop on lake level and began investigating aeration for the lake. I can declare that the DLNA is 100% supportive of the RFP for aeration based on receipt of a minimum of 3 qualified bidders. We would suggest that each bidder be invited to a public Board workshop and interview process for possible adoption. Indeed to help expedite this interesting project the DLNA engaged a lake contractor this summer to collect data related to the material at the bottom of the lake from a series of core samples. These samples have been chemically analyzed and our data could be shared with the final candidates to help them better forecast the results of their proposed solution. As with sewering we must recognize that this is also a complex issue that involves detailed engineering, and very likely private right-of-ways.
We have shown that we are committed to moving this process forward would like to offer a DLNA representative to participate in the project and act as a conduit to property owners, whose land will very likely be required for siting of air compressors, power lines and air houses around the lake.

As you can see there are many areas where we can work together. This could best be initiated by the workshop previously requested, one where the DLWID board and the DLNA board discuss ways we can move forward as a team for the good of the lake and the neighborhood that surrounds it.

Thank You for your time.


Filed under Meeting Reports

Attend The October DLWID Meeting

Board Meets October 2nd, 2014 6:00pm

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting will be held on Thursday October 2nd at 6:00pm. The meeting will be held in the City Hall Council Chambers, which are located on the third floor of City Hall. 

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District now holds its regularly scheduled Board meetings on the second Thursday of every month.  The agenda for this month’s meeting on Thursday March 14th at 6:00pm, contains several important topics.

If you cannot attend this month’s meeting; it will appear on Channel 4 for all Charter customers. You can check the Channel 4 Schedule for airing times. You may also now watch the meeting streamed lived, see the related article above. The best way to stay informed is for all lakefront homeowners and interested parties to attend these important meetings.


Staff Reports

Minutes Sept 11

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Attend DLNA General Meeting


We have scheduled a General Meeting of the Devils Lake Neighborhood Association (DLNA) which will be held at 3:00pm, on Sunday, September 28, 2014, at the Faith Baptist Church located at 5750 N Hwy 101, Otis, OR 97368.

Come join us and your neighbors for the following purposes:

A brief presentation on the formation of the DLNA.

  1. Open forum to allow neighbors to set the agenda for the DLNA.
  2. Draft a list of goals for 2015
  3. Consider November and May elections
  4. Discuss recognition by the City of Lincoln City
  5. Collect Membership Declarations
  6. Mix it up with your neighbors

Please mark your calendar and attend this important meeting. It is a great chance to meet your neighbors and shape the neighborhood’s future. Check our website at for more details.

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Lake Level Update

We would like to thank the DLWID Board for their attempts to preserve our water right by raising the lake to the full impoundment level of 9.53’ during the month of July.  Mother Nature did not however cooperate and the lake never exceeded 9.4’ during the month. Now that we have reached August the lake has been lowered to 9.0’ as per the most recent DLWID resolution on the matter.  Discussion by the Board in the July meeting indicated that the drop to 9.0’ satisfies the draw down requirement for August and therefore can remain until September 1st when we will need to drop another 2 inches.

The current policy has been a great success as it has virtually eliminated the access problems that existed in the previous two seasons.  Residents report unfettered access to their docks and visitors have had no difficulty at area boat launches.  Water quality is greatly improved over the past two seasons as in 2013 we had large patches of algal scum covering the lake as early as Fathers Day; this year scum has yet to surface.  Interestingly water contact advisories were posted in the same week each year based on Microcystin levels.  With the drop in level the algae has concentrated in number as the same number of cells now is suspended in a smaller volume of water.

So today the lake is far from pristine; we have a great deal of algae in the water column but we are light years ahead of the past two seasons.  Unfortunately the algae has begun to surface; but we all have enjoyed July and hope for an August primarily free of scum. We have reasonable access to shallower areas and the canals still are covering the lake bottom. These conditions are greatly appreciated so thanks again DLWID Board.

Recent History of Lake Level Decisions

Around 140 interested parties attended the Devils Lake Water Improvement Association Board meeting in April.  Included in the mix was Mayor Dick Anderson and most of the Lincoln City Council members.  Lake condition and lake level dominated the discussion with nearly 40 testifying during the night.  In the end there were no decisions made by the DLWID board other than to begin the water quality testing for the year as requested by the Devils Lake Neighborhood Association in the March meeting.

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Filed under DLWID, Lake Level

Attend August DLWID Meeting

Board Meets August 14th, 2014 6:00pm

The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting will be held on Thursday August 14th at 6:00pm. The meeting will be held in the City Hall Council Chambers, which are located on the third floor of City Hall. 

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The Devils Lake Water Improvement District now holds its regularly scheduled Board meetings on the second Thursday of every month.  The agenda for this month’s meeting on Thursday March 14th at 6:00pm, contains several important topics.  During the meeting will be a discussion related to the Lake Manager’s desire to advocate for growth restrictions around the lake as part of the drafting of a Urban Growth Management Agreement between the County and the City.

The other main topic of discussion this month will be the award of the Monitoring and Modeling RFP which is a project that seeks to create a watershed model for use in evaluating lake management strategies. The report from this project is due on October 15th 2015. Several other items will be discussed as outlined in the Staff Report. The Water District makes several other important decisions regarding the lake every month and you are encouraged to attend.

If you cannot attend this month’s meeting; it will appear on Channel 4 for all Charter customers. You can check the Channel 4 Schedule for airing times. You may also now watch the meeting streamed lived, see the related article above. The best way to stay informed is for all lakefront homeowners and interested parties to attend these important meetings.
July 10 Minutes
There are several topics of importance to lake residents on this month’s agenda. Please check the links to the District’s documents to review the other topics on the agenda for this month’s meeting.

Staff Reports
July 10 Minutes
July 10 Video

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DLWID Board Meeting Update

photoThe Devils Lake Water Improvement District (DLWID) Board held its meeting on Thursday June 12th at 6:00pm. The topic of the night was lake level and the DLNA helped bring many a concerned citizen to the meeting.  In all 104 were in attendance and 17 provided testimony.

The DLNA asked the District to resolve to exercise the maximum impoundment right of 9.53’ by installing the dam structure by May 15th while placing the center section only after the lake level drops below 9.53’continuing full impoundment through October 15th. The DLNA also raised concerns about the potential of losing our water right forever as a result of the Districts failure to fully impound to 9.53 at least once in a five year period.

After much debate Brian Green made a motion to maintain the current policy which is a lake level of 9.0′ which failed 3-2. Then Kip Ward made a motion to remove the dam which failed for lack of a second. Then new Director Kent Norris made a motion to adopt the DLNA proposal which failed 3-2.

The final outcome was a motion made by David Skirvin and seconded by Kent Norris to raise the lake to 9.53 long enough to protect the water right, (likely around July 1st), then the boards will be adjusted to 9.0, but the level will be allowed to overtop rather than opening the gap wider which should see a slow drop to 9.0, the we start the managed drawdown to 8.6 beginning August 1 through October 1st.

In the end our concerns about the potential of losing our water right forever persuaded the Board to forward this policy for the coming year.  We’re thrilled that the water right clock will be reset and will continue to work with the District on a variety of neighborhood projects.

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