The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting was on Thursday May 10th at 6:00pm and was held in the City Hall Council Chambers located on the third floor of City Hall.
Public Hearing: The District held a Public Hearing as part of its May 10, 2012 meeting. (See related article) The purpose of the public hearing was for the board to take public input on the lake level and the District’s Water Right Certificate 69267, Permit to Appropriate the Public Waters #52672 and Permit to Store the Public Waters #R-11968. There were 61 in attendance that comment during the public hearing. The Board discussed the comments and made a decision regarding the water permits. Brian Green moved to delay construction of the dam until a final decision is made after the second public hearing. Kip Ward seconded the motion and the board pass the motion 4 to 1 with Noel Walker voting nay. Continue reading
Many Interested Parties Attend This First Meeting
It’s hard to believe that this issue was debated during board meetings in 2009, and again in board meetings in 2010. In 2011 the debate morphed into the erosion study with resulted in low lake levels beyond the 4th of July. Tonight by my count 61 people came to the meeting to share their opinions with the board.
The meeting began with the lake manager walking through a presentation in favor of lowering the lake and/or never installing the dam. He cited the request of un-named residents, the results of the erosions study, threatened Coho runs and overall lake health as reasons. The presentation was 84 slides long and can be found at the previous link. The manager presentation lasted ss hours and was followed by a board question and answer period. The first member of the public was able to begin at 6:50pm. A total of 25 came to the podium and spoke.
The board was presented a petition that was signed by 200 citizens interesting in the lake. The petition requests them to leave the current policy in place with the lake held at 9.53 feet. Several comments from those petitioners were read into the record. Continue reading
Inversely 84% of Shoreline is Not Eroding and
Some of the Erosion is Indeed Quite Slow
In the recently re-released erosion study, it was noted that there were areas of observed erosion. These included areas where with differing bank stabilization measures created a discontinuity that led to erosion near the interface, as well as areas that are dominated by reed canary grass, where undercutting was commonly observed. While vegetated, this was also considered to be eroding. It was stated that differentiating “eroding” from “non-eroding” parcels proved to be more challenging than expected because the degree of erosion was highly variable.
Based on their observations, about 16% of the shoreline, or approximately 11,000 linear feet, is exhibiting at least some level of erosion, most of which (~72%) occurs in unarmored areas, although some (~28%) also occurs in areas where existing armoring has been damaged or is of limited vertical extent. Inversely 84% of the shoreline, or approximately
In an attempt to chart the advance erosion on a historical basis the District asked that an animation be made of the shoreline from aerial photographs. Observing these it struck us that there really was not much movement of the shoreline from 1939 to 2007; especially in the natural areas owned by the State. We noticed that the northern shoreline designated as eroding did not change whatsoever; this is clearly observable in the animation without enhancement. 58,000 linear feet, is exhibiting no signs of erosion. Over half, nearly 6,000 feet of the unarmored areas identified as eroding are located in the western end of the lake in the land owned by the State; a section of the shoreline adjoining the campground as well as the marsh on the southern shore where Rock Creek enters the lake.
In an attempt to verify that the shoreline did not see much change, we extracted images from each year and drew a line along the shore. In doing so, we discovered that there were two distinct water level groups; those primarily prior to 1992 where the resting height was somewhat lower than today and those primarily after 1992 where the height was about where it is today. Of course, the water levels vary at the time of the photo each year impacting the location of the shoreline. If one looks at each year individually you will see each line vary slightly toward and away from the lake but generally they stay about the same within the two groups.
To simplify this we have shown a comparison of the two sets; low water years and years with water about the same as now with just the oldest and most recent lines. The low water years include 1939 and 1992; in this image, one can see that the water level is lower in 1992 but the shoreline shelf representing the higher watermark is in the same location as in the 1939 image. It does however appear that a lobe of shoreline near the entrance of Rock Creek disappears by 1992 when the last meander of Rock Creek breaks through the shoreline. Perhaps more important to today’s discussion is the second image because it encompasses the years the dam has been in operation. This image displays a shoreline in 1977 that is almost a perfect overlay of the shoreline in 2007 indicating the shore did not move in a significant way during the 30-year period.
Many variables would prevent us from making absolute claims related to shoreline advance. The angle of the image, the height of the lake, the quality of the image, all make this inexact; but from all appearances better than half the shoreline the District claims to be eroding is not doing it in a way significantly observable way over a 68 year history. Take a close look at the animation video at each section of the lake and while you will see some man-made changes in the shoreline, you will not see major sections of shoreline disappearing from erosion. The study does not quantify the rate of erosion so this video is all we have in the place of scientific measurements. There are locations that are eroding but this does not seem to be an issue of epic proportions that justify the corrective measures being proposed by the District.
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. Continue reading
Delay of Erosion Study May Delay Dam Placement
The Devils Lake Water Improvement District signed a contract with Tetra Tech, Inc. for a shoreline erosion study. This contract was issued on December 29, 2010 for $28,840. The District has received a second iteration of the erosion report and returned it with additional comments to Tetra Tech. The New Erosion Study is now available and its contents will be presented at this month’s meeting. We encourage all to review the report. It is not clear how this report will impact the operation of the dam this summer, however the excerpt below from this month’s staff report indicates that due to the late arrival of the report the dam placement would be delayed. It also seems to suggest that lake level will be on the agenda in the May meeting. Again, please review the report and come to your own conclusions.
“Staff believes that the contract can be ruled complete and thus full payment should be issued to Tetra Tech, Inc. Further, staff recommends to have staff, the Board, and encourage the public to take the time to make an even more detailed review of the document and the deliverables over the next month in preparation for an open discussion on the dam and lake level as it relates to the Erosion Study as well as to other components previously identified such as fish and wildlife, recreation, septic systems, Harmful Algal Blooms, vegetation, wetlands, shorelines, and water quality. When the District issued the Erosion Study RFP it did so with the pledge to consider and act on the results of the study. While it was the District’s intent to have had time earlier in the year to have this discussion, the timing of the receipt of the final deliverables has made that most appropriately held in May. Given this and given the fact that the District pulses the dam, releasing water for fish passage mitigation through the end of May, and given the District has demonstrated that the full water impoundment can be achieved even if waiting until late June, Staff would recommend waiting until after the May discussion to make a decision about the use of the dam this summer and thus the installation which typically would otherwise begin around April 15.”
Erosion Study Presented April 5, 2012 6:00pm
The Devils Lake Water Improvement District has conducted an erosion study to determine if and how the lake level impacts erosion on properties surrounding Devils Lake. Tetra Tech presented their evaluation of the lake resulting from the fieldwork that occurred last spring at the January DLWID Board meeting. The agenda for this month’s meeting on Thursday April 5th at 6:00pm, indicates a presentation on the erosion study revisions requested last January will occur.
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. The best way to stay informed is for all lake front homeowners and interested parties to attend these important meetings.
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.
Program is Flush With Cash
The eventual expansion of the Lincoln City sewer system to the East side of Devils Lake received a boost from an unlikely source recently. As reported in the March 14th News Guard Bi-Mart corporation has agreed to pay $25,000 toward the City’s efforts to develop a Sewer Master Plan for installing sewers around the lake.
The funding commitment is part of a negotiated settlement between the City and Bi-Mart stemming from the 2009 land purchase required for the construction of the new store located on Oar Ave. As part of the sale agreement Bi-Mart agreed to construct its new store to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Due apparently to delays in the project the LEED requirement was not incorporated into the project. Bi-Mart was willing to commit to the cash contribution as well as a commitment to purchase at least 6 percent of their energy needs through the Blue Sky renewable energy program.
Commencement of project to create a Sewer Master Plan for Devils Lake has yet to be announced by the City but the general topic has been on Councils agenda several times in the past few months.