Glenn & Nancy Speich, Erv Teichmiller (Vilas County Board representative), Bill & Min Terlep, Cole Tychsen & Meredith Hill, Tom & Bev Tychsen, Don Wallace (Big Arbor Vitae Lake Association), John & Linda Wrobel, Virg Zagrzebski
The meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Glenn Speich.
Approve Minutes of the 2014 annual meeting -- A motion to approve the minutes of the 2014 annual meeting was made by Jerry Brzeski and seconded by Todd Boyd. A call of yea vs. nay votes indicated no nays to the motion and the motion was carried.
Audit Report of 2014/15 Budget & Treasurer’s Report with 2015/16 budget -- Cindy Brzeski reviewed the 2014/15 budget and presented the 2015/16 budget (see page 6). An addition shown on that budget is workmen’s compensation insurance for elected board members. The proposed tax levy is $6,000 which is a slight increase from last year. It was decided to defer approval of the proposed budget until the end of the meeting.
Thanks to Greg DeMaster, Gary Grapentine and Min Terlep for volunteering to be members of the 2016 audit committee.
Wrap-Up of the Comprehensive Lake Management Plan & Introduction of Communication Plan to Satisfy the Requirements of the Lake Management Plan -- Glenn brought attendees up to date on the status of the program. All components of the Plan have been met except for communication to owners. To meet that requirement, the Board is recommending a Little Arbor Vitae Lake Protection & Rehabilitation District website be developed. Nancy Grapentine presented a proposal from Northwoods Computer Service to design, develop, legally register, maintain and train volunteers to operate at a cost of $832.44. (Thanks to Nancy Speich, Min Terlep and Linda Wrobel for offering to help out.) Erv Teichmiller suggested that the site be linked to Vilas County Land & Water Conservation’s site. A motion was made by Gary Grapentine to proceed with the Northwoods Computer Service proposal as presented. Todd Boyd seconded the motion. A call of yea vs. nays votes indicated no nays to the motion and the motion was carried. (The Little Arbor Vitae Lake website will be developed over the Summer months. The hope is to have it on-line in the late Summer timeframe. Please feel free to google it. Suggestions and/or comment are always appreciated!!)
Volunteer Opportunities -- Volunteers continue to be the key to making this a successful and productive Lake District. Glenn presented some volunteer opportunities and updated attendees on status of on-going programs. Quickly identifying and eradicating potential Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) is a priority for the lake.
Shoreline Sentinels – At this point, Little Arbor Vitae Lake has not identified any AIS. These volunteers are asked to regularly evaluate plants in a designated portion of the lake. Thanks to the several owners who volunteered to be a part of this program.
HELP NEEDED -- Kayakers or Canoers who can navigate Link Creek. Since water from Big Arbor Vitae Lake flows into Little Arbor Vitae Lake through the creek and Big Arb has identified AIS, it is in everyone’s best interest to know the plant population in the creek. AIS training and informational material is available. Please contact Nancy or Glenn if you can help.
Clean Boats/Clean Waters (CBCW) boat landing monitoring. We have students at the public boat landing for 200 hours for the summer period. Glenn asked for help monitoring those students, i.e. making sure they’re on duty at their assigned times, just being friendly and saying “hello” and thanking them for their help, etc. For a copy of the schedule, please contact Glenn.
HELP NEEDED -- The CBCW program continues to need volunteers for May, September and October. If you would like to help, please contact Cindy or Glenn.
Clean Boats/Clean Waters Grant for 2015 -- Glenn said that the CBCW student program can potentially be budgeted for 300 hours. In the Summer of 2014, there was an average of 1.4 boats utilizing the landing per hour. A motion was made by Jerry Brzeski to increase the student monitoring program from 200 to 250 hours for the 2016 Summer period. The motion was seconded by Todd Boyd. A call of yea vs. nays votes indicated no nays to the motion and the motion was carried.
Water Quality Testing for 2015 -- Bill Christensen continues to head up the water quality testing program. Glenn explained the purpose of the program and the time and labor commitment involved with it. All costs are covered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The program is best operated with three volunteers. In addition to Bill, Kevin Chadwick volunteered to help out. If you can help out with this program, please contact Bill at 715-356-5310.
Potential Grant Request with Big Arbor Vitae Lake regarding Phosphorus Testing -- Glenn brought attendees up to date on the ongoing phosphorous issue as identified in the Comprehensive Lake Management Plan. The only potential cure mentioned by Onterra LLC for internally loaded phosphorus is an alum treatment to the lake to seal in the phosphorous. A grant-sponsored program would be done in cooperation with Big Arbor Vitae Lake as that lake’s phosphorus and algae issues are in line with Little Arbor Vitae. Several discussions took place with the Big Arbor Vitae Lake Association Board over the past Winter months.
The cost of a study of the two lakes to determine whether alum might be a consideration for the phosphorus problem would be roughly $140,000. Little Arbor Vitae Lake and Big Arbor Vitae Lake’s responsibility would be approximately 25% of that cost or $35,000. That amount would then need to be divided between the two lakes leaving Little Arbor Vitae with a potential financial responsibility of around $17,000 in both cash and volunteer hours. At the completion of the study, there could potentially be an alum treatment to neutralize the phosphorus in the lake. The alum treatment cost is about $4,000/acre. There are many questions as to the actual potential benefits. There are also many questions about unknown results. Will clearer water promote even more weed growth in the lake? How do owners feel about chemicals being added to the lake? There is concern about significantly increasing the budget for unknown results. There is concern about securing enough volunteers to meet the requirements of the grant. If we were to start the grant and find that we cannot support it, we would be responsible to reimburse the state of Wisconsin for their financial input.
As a member of the Comprehensive Lake Management Plan Sub-Committee, Gary Grapentine has been investigating the alum treatments and shared that it is a very new process and the short and long range outcomes are too early to predict. Don Wallace, representing Big Arbor Lake, commented on alum treatment programs going on throughout the country and is also concerned about the unknowns of the treatments.
Both Big Arbor Vitae Lake and Little Arbor Vitae Lake boards agreed to move further discussion out to 2016 as the earliest grant timeframe available to us would be February 2017.
Glenn pointed out the Board of Directors feel the emphasis of the lake should be on Clean Boats/Clean Waters and early AIS detection.
Glenn went on to present the latest owners’ survey results. 29 owners responded as follows --
Question #1 – “Is the current water quality a concern?” 86% of respondents indicated “yes.”
Question #2 – “If yes, is the concern related to water color?” 44% indicated “yes.”
Question #3 – “Is the algae bloom an issue?” 59% indicated “yes.”
Question #4 – “Are the aquatic plants (weeds) in the shallow bays the problem?” 41% indicated “yes.”
Question #5 – “Is your concern that water quality is declining since the last survey in 2010?” 45% indicated “no.”
Question #6 – “If yes, do you believe the algae blooms are becoming worse?” 50% indicated “yes” while 50% indicated “no.”
Question #7 – “Do you believe the aquatic plants (weeds) growth is becoming worse?” 41% indicated “yes.”
Question #8 – “Are your concerns with the potential of invasive species?” 79% indicated yes.”
Question #9 – “Do you support expanding the clean boats inspection beyond what we are able to do through UW-Oshkosh?” 72% indicated “yes.”
Question #10 – “Would you be in support of treating the existing phosphorous in the lake, which was identified through the Onterra study, with alum?” 69% indicated “yes.”
Fisheries Report – Glenn presented his discussion with the WI DNR.
Walleye – the first year plant fish are now 14”-16” with a better-than-expected survival rate. The last plant of 16,000 are now averaging 6.”
The shocking survey showed 100 walleyes per one mile of shoreline. They believe there to be a 25-30% natural reproduction occurring. They suspect the first year plants could naturally spawn this next year. They are considering adding 16,000 more walleye fry to the lake next year.
Crappies – the 12”-13” are pretty much gone. There are still many 9” and 10” remaining.
The DNR doesn’t see the Smallmouth Bass being a problem. They indicate a tremendous Perch population at this time. They show a good amount of feeder fish for the predator populations.
The DNR believes the fishery is good and should stay healthy for the near future.
Spearing report – Walleyes – approximately 70. Musky – 15.
Officer Elections – Bud Roberts nominated Glenn Speich for a three-year term. Todd Boyd seconded the nomination. No other names were submitted. A call of yea vs. nays votes indicated no nays to the motion and the motion was carried.
The Board had previously appointed Nancy Grapentine to fulfill the term vacated by Denise Hervey. That term expires in 2016.
Other Business – Erv Teichmiller commended the large number and commitment of the volunteers of Little Arbor Vitae Lake.
To complete the budget process, Todd Boyd made a motion to accept the 2015/16 budget as presented. Len Adelman seconded the motion. A call of yea vs. nays votes indicated no nays to the motion and the motion was carried.
The 2016/17 meeting will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2016.
The meeting was adjourned by Glenn Speich at 11:30 a.m.
THANK YOU TO THE VOLUNTEERS FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO ON BEHALF OF LITTLE ARBOR VITAE LAKE!!!!
--Nancy Grapentine, Secretary