WHAT'S NEW ON THE FLOWAGE?
Tim Senechalle and his kids canoed over to the dam last week, to place the Danger Buoys in time for the Memorial Day Weekend. The outer buoy is the place to stop, and the inner buoy is where the underwater tube sucks the water through the culvert at a dangerous rate. It is a good idea to stay far off shore of both buoys, and keep the kids and dogs away from the area as well.
Thank you Tim and family!
HIGHLIGHTS OF 2019-2020
2019 Annual Meeting – July 6, 2019, Conover Town Park – Summary
Board Chairman, Karl Jennrich, called the meeting to order, introduced the Board and then invited each person in attendance to introduce him or herself.
Karl gave his chairman’s report on the year’s activities. 1) the dissolution of the Flowage Preservation Alliance, 2) updating the Lake Brochure, 3) creation of a Manual for Lake District Board members, 4) engineer’s inspection of our Dam by Ayres engineering. Karl summarized the Ayres report, which found the Dam in sound condition, with only some eroded soil at the outflow side of the old culvert site in need of repair. Karl indicated that the Town will make that repair when the road crew’s schedule permits.
Al Williamson gave the Treasurer’s report, and outlined the proposed budget for fiscal year 2019-20. The proposed budget was approved by unanimous vote, for a $7000 tax levy for 2019/20.
Clancy Senechalle reported that the audit committee confirmed that the District’s financial records are correct and verified by bank records.
Rich Ruffalo, chairman of the Dam Maintenance and Operations Committee, gave his report. Rich reported that a half log was removed in May during the Dam inspection, in response to record high water levels and at the direction of the engineer from Ayres. A very dry late May and all of June resulted in the lowering of the lake level. On the recommendation of the engineer, the ½ log was reinserted in late June. Comments about water levels on the Flowage and Baker Lake were made by numerous property owners. Many favored a higher lake level and cited difficulties getting boats off lifts and challenges accessing Baker lake through the channel; others expressed the view that the lake levels historically fluctuated with precipitation and other weather changes and noted the DNR and engineer advice against non-emergency log height adjustments in response to changes in precipitation.
Sue Holloway, co-chair of the Lake Wellness committee, gave her report. Sue commented on last year’s blue green algae bloom in Baker Lake and explained the study commissioned by the Lake District to understand the genesis of the bloom. Sue also mentioned that blue green algae in Wisconsin lakes is now a top five priority for the DNR. The committee continues to monitor the water clarity on all three District water bodies. Other news reported by Sue included the two kayak tours she guided on our lakes, the nesting of trumpeter swans and new loon chicks on the Flowage and Baker Lake, and the move by interested citizens to have the Town form a Lakes Committee as a standing committee of the Town Board, It was the consensus of the property owners at the annual meeting that we favor the formation of such a committee and would participate if one is formed. A question was asked of Sue about whether the Lake Wellness committee was studying the effect of lake water quality on the Flowage fish population. Sue and Clancy responded that this issue was not a focus of the Lake Wellness committee but that if there was an interest in such an endeavor, another committee could be formed for that purpose.
Board Vacancy – Ballots were cast and counted for the vacancy on the Board created by the expiration of Clancy Senechalle’s Board term. Ballots were counted by the election committee. Bob Vogt, the Board’s candidate, was elected to fill the vacancy on the Board. Karl then encouraged volunteers for future Board vacancies as they arise, and thanked the 2018/19 Board members and committee members for their
contribution of time and work this past year, and gave a brief summary of significant activities going on in the Town of Conover. The meeting was adjourned.
July 6, 2019 Board Meeting
Present were Board members Karl Jennrich, Mark Tuttle, Bob Vogt, Vern Wiggenhauser and Al Williamson. Also present was recording secretary, Bob Senechalle, and a few Lake District members.
The Board has received notice from Mark Tuttle of his need to resign from the Board, since their property is for sale, and he cannot commit to the remaining two years of his term. Karl thanked Mark for his service this past year, and has asked Clancy Senechalle to fill Mark’s term, with the idea that a replacement Board Member and possible secretary will be recruited at next year’s annual meeting.
The Lake District plans to open a savings account at Headwaters State Bank in Land O Lakes, especially for the Lake District’s non-lapsable funds, keeping it separate from the general operating account. The Board authorized the transfer of $12,000 to the new savings account, to be used for emergency and capital expenditures.
The Board amended its policy on adjusting the dam’s stop log height in emergency situations. The amendment requires the dam committee chairperson (currently Rich Ruffalo) to notify the Board Chairperson of an emergency lake level situation and make a recommendation of a specific log adjustment. The Board chairman would then call a special meeting to take up the emergency request and post notice of the meeting as required by law. Attendance at the special meeting may be either in person or by phone. The Board chair would notify dam committee chair of the Board’s decision. The dam committee would then promptly carry out the Board’s decision. If the decision is to make the requested stop log adjustment, the decision shall also include the authorization to the dam committee to return the stop log height to its pre-emergency level once the emergency abates.
The Board agreed that the Lake District should participate in a Conover Lakes Committee if one is formed.
September 21, 2019 Board Meeting
The Board elected their officers: Karl Jennrich Chairman, Clancy Senechalle Vice Chair and Secretary, and Al Williamson Treasurer. Bob Senechalle was approved to continue as Recording Secretary.
Rich Ruffalo dam included the dates of his lake measurements. With all the recent rain the lake was at normal high. The records were turned over to Karl Jennrich for our Lake District files.
Al Williamson gave the Treasurer’s report. Our non-lapsable fund has an amount of $12,000. Our total cash balance is $5,414.56. The final payment on our construction loan principal and interest due in March 2020 will be $8,950.52.
Sue Holloway reported the Town of Conover has approved adding a Lakes Committee as a regular Town Board Committee. The Town Lakes Committee is in the process of formation and will make a report annually to the town Board. Ten lakes are currently represented on this committee.
The Lake District Board Manual is partially finished. It details responsibilities for each Board Member and officer, and will also contain a copy of Robert’s Rules of Order for reference.
October 18, 2019 Special Board Meeting
The meeting was held consider the request of Rich Ruffalo, the dam tender, to remove 1/2 log based on his assessment that the water level was high. After discussion, it was agreed that ½ log could be for up to 14 days. This agreement was conditioned on the fact that the ½ log would have to be replaced before the icing of the lake if that occurred prior to the 14 days.
January 4, 2020 Board Meeting
It was decided to transfer funds from our non-lapsable fund add to the cash on hand to make our March final loan payment. The non-lapsable fund would be replenished when the taxes from our 2019 levy are deposited.
The Board currently favors levying $7,000.00 each year to build up our non-lapsable fund for future needs. This will be discussed again in our April meeting.
Discussion ensued on planning for our Annual meeting in July and a mortgage burning party with some party type refreshments. Bob Senechalle will prepare an amendment to our by-laws to avoid having future annual meetings on the 4th of July.
THE APRIL BOARD MEETING WAS POSTPONED/CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19