The President’s Perspective
I would like to thank everyone that showed up for the final meeting of 2017. We had a great turnout and wonderful discussion on the issues currently affecting our lake and other lakes in the area. I look forward to working with everyone throughout this year and next to keep the lake and the association moving in the right direction.
As we head into fall, I would like to reflect on this past summer. We moved to French Lake the end of April. Since then we've met wonderful neighbors all around the lake. It's great to see a community of people that are welcoming and considerate to all. This was evident after the storm on June 11. People we had just met or hadn't yet met were out checking on us and everyone around us. I would like to thank everyone for making this feel like home.
During the fall and winter months, I will do my best to keep everyone updated on news and other developments through the website and Facebook. If you have any suggestions or concerns, feel free to send me an e-mail or comment on the Facebook page. I wish everyone a safe fall and winter and hope to see you around the lake!
Josh Engelmann President
AUGUST MEETING MINUTES French Lake Improvement Association
Officers Present: President Josh Engelmann, Vice-President Scott Lewpowsky, and Treasurer Tom van der Hagen.
Officers Absent: Secretary Andrea Berard
Others Present: Filling in for Secretary Berard, Christine Iverson
The President, Josh Engelmann, called the Saturday, August 19, 2017, meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. All stood for the Pledge of Allegiance.
There was a motion by Paul Zabinski to approve the minutes from July 15, 2017, seconded by Harlan Dalbec. The minutes were approved as written.
Treasurer’s report was given by Tom van der Hagen; Tom reported that the Association has paid our PLM bill of $9,270.00 for invasive species treatment and that our accounts have: • Membership/General fund – $,3613.51 in the checking account and $5,210.04 in savings at Star Bank. • Invasive Species fund – $6,127.20 at Star Bank. • The wic.com bill was paid for the FLIA website domain. • Currently, there are 39 members with paid dues, which is an increase from the 37 members last year. • There are 30 members who have paid towards the Invasive Species Treatment fund, which is a big jump from the 21 in 2016.
Treasurer van der Hagen discussed the benefits of becoming a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which includes the ability for donations to be tax exempt, protects officers of the organization and makes it easier to collect funds. It is estimated to cost about $800.00 in fees to set up and $115.00 a year to maintain the status. Additional expenses for lawyers may be necessary, unless a member who is a lawyer was to donate services. The process would require the articles and bylaws of the organization.
Treasurer van der Hagen moved, seconded by Paul Zabinski, to pursue a 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Motion carried unanimously.
There was a motion by Kristin Engelmann to approve the Treasurer’s Report and it was seconded. The Treasurer’s report was approved.
Invasive Species Treatment: PLM treated 18 acres on July 13, 2017. President Engelmann opened the discussion. Some have asked whether it was worth the money. It was stated that you could barely get through the sand bar. Also, the treatment provided by PLM was a higher quality than the previous service provider, MnWest Aqua care. Additionally, weeds are like farming. If you keep treating them, they will be manageable. If you let them go, you lose ground on management. French Lake originally had 76 acres of EWM and the DNR only allows a lake association to treat approximately15 acres at a time. French Lake after treatment is now down to 8 acres. The treatment only kills Eurasian Milfoil and not Northern Milfoil or other weeds.
It was noted that sections of the southern bay have been missed over the years and yet, the DNR will not allow a lake association to treat the homes with lily pads in front of them. The DNR requires home owners to apply for an individual permit if they have lily pads. President Engelmann stated he will make sure to remind lake association members to apply for a milfoil treatment permit if they have lily pads in front of their property and coordinate the treatment process and the individual contracts with these homeowners. By coordinating the individual permits, PLM can include the treatment of these properties with lily pads. Contact President Engelmann in January 2018 if you have lily pads and want treatment. Watch for a reminder on the website, Facebook and from the French Lake emails this winter. If you have questions, contact President Engelmann.
Dan’s Lake Filter Project
Discussion turned to Dan’s Lake, which has been determined to provide significant run off during heavy rains that is rich with phosphorus that produces algae and reduces water clarity. A project to create rumble strips to catch the phosphorus with lime stone before the water enters French Lake has been discussed, but not pursued due to lake of funding. Grant funds from the DNR via the Wright County Soil and Water District were reduced this year by the Legislature.
Public Landing/Lake Signs
Homeowners including Tom Keller, who lives next to the public landing, will put up Clean, Drain, Dry signs to remind boaters to properly clean their boat before entering or exiting the lake.
Water Quality Testing Volunteer Needed • The association is seeking a volunteer to take water samples of the lake next year. Volunteers would simply need to take water samples on specific days and deliver them to Buffalo by 7 a.m. in the morning. The testing takes 15 minutes at most. There is training available.
Aquatic Invasive Species Update President Engelmann reported that the association’s five-year plan with PLM has concluded. A motion was made by Mary Orquist, seconded by Sue Winge, to contract with PLM for treatment in 2018. Motion passed. A discussion on other invasive species including Starry Stonewort, which was found in Grand Lake, was held. Treatment costs can run as high as $80,000.
Fundraising ideas were discussed such as an online raffle, donations from fishing clubs, etc. Kristin Engelmann will research the online raffle further. A motion was made by Gretchen Nelson, seconded by Mary Orquist, to research the online raffle. Motion carried unanimously.
Wright County Soil & Water Conservation District Report Paul Zabinski reported about the water inspections. Recently, 15 volunteers with 2,000 inspections on Clearwater. French Lake was moved to a tier 4, which means that the lake will rarely get an inspector. With contributions, the lake tier can be increased. The budget for lake inspections was decreased from $72,000 to $50,000. Funding for the grants that fund milfoil treatment was decreased from $293,000 to under $230,000 by the state legislature.
FLIA 2018 Meetings The French Lake Improvement Association meetings for 2018 will be held at the French Lake Township Hall on: • Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. • Saturday, July 21, 2018 TBD (possible picnic date) • Saturday, August 18, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. It was moved (motion by Wayne Anderson) and seconded (motion by Les Nelson) to adjourn the meeting. Motion carried unanimously.
Correction Russell Stuart’s name was missing from the July 2017 membership list.
In Memoriam Our French Lake community lost long-time resident Dick Golembeck in April. Our condolences go to Beverly and his family.
Thanks to Shirley Lundgren for taking pictures at the Lake Picnic, Christine Iverson for recording the minutes from the August meeting, and Umpy Anderson for bringing the rolls (Ump, did you really bake them?)