THE FRIENDSHIP LAKE DISTRICT
AND BUDGET HEARING
Date: August 30, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Place: Adams County Community Center
569 N Cedar St
Adams WI, 53910
1. Call meeting to order by Chairman: The meeting was called to order by Bob Berry at 9:04 am.
Present were commissioners Bob Berry (chairman), Linda Moonan (acting treasurer), and Larry Swaziek (secretary) and Dennis Rude (harvesting coordinator). Ron Johnson (Town of Adams), Matt Morrow (Town of Preston) and Jake Roseberry (Adams County) were absent. There were 34 attendees present compared to 39 last year and 33 the year before.
2. Review and approval of minutes from last Annual Meeting: The minutes of the Aug. 31, 2013 meeting were read by Larry Swaziek. Larry noted that these minutes were approved by the commissioners at the March 4, 2014 board meeting. Linda Moonan made a motion that the minutes be amended as follows: The minutes indicated that the Lake District has hired an attorney from a law firm in Madison. This statement is not true. The District has not hired an attorney. That motion was seconded by Bob Berry. A motion was made by Pat McCue to approve the minutes as amended. It was seconded by Betsy Vannettie and was unanimously approved.
3. Review and approval of Treasurer’s Report -- 2013-2014: The treasurer’s report for 2013-2014 was read by Linda Moonan. A copy of the Treasurer’s Report was included in the Fall 2014 Newsletter which was mailed to all members of the Lake District. Linda began her role as acting treasurer effective June, 2014 and extended a huge Thank You to Fran O’Brian for all the background help she has provided.
Linda reported that, as of July 31, 2014, we have $34,410.32 in the Money Market and $3,152.25 in the NOW account for a total of $37,562.57. We have two equipment reserve CD’s totaling $36,764.28. The account total is $74,326.85.
The Revenue total as of July 31, 2014 was $32,432.90 which includes Special Charges collected by the Town of Adams, Town of Preston and the Village of Friendship. Special Charges in the amounts of $1,370.73 for 2014 and $987.78 for previous years are still owed by the municipalities. Expense totaling $31,425.00 were paid out resulting a net income of $1,016.00 when compared with the Revenue collect from Special Charges. Linda added, though, that the General Liability Insurance paid out was higher than listed in the report and the resulting Net Income would be $710.00 versus the $1,016.00.
Linda added that the District hired the Certified Public Accounting Firm of Moy, Borchert, Erbs & Associates for specific accounting and tax oversight and that we switched insurance carriers for our General Liability and Worker Compensation Policies resulting in a combined annual savings of $1,114.00.
A motion was made by Betsy Vannettie to accept the treasurer’s report as read. It was seconded by Tom Bell and carried unanimously.
An Annual Audit of the July 31, 2014 financial report was performed by Patrick McCue, William B. Graf, Carmen Carpenter and Linda Moonan on August 25, 2014 (Carmen on August 27, 2014) and the financial records of the Friendship Lake District were found to be in proper order.
4. Budget hearing -- 2014-2015: The proposed budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 was read by Linda Moonan. A copy of the 2014-2015 proposed Budget was included in the Fall 2014 Newsletter which was mailed to all members of the Lake District. Some points highlighted by Linda were: 1) The format of the spreadsheet has been changed to show a portion of the Money Market, NOW Checking and CD accounts applied to the Revenue side of the spreadsheet. For the proposed 2015 Budget $31,000 has been applied. 2) The revenue for Special Charges is projected to be $33,803.00. 3) An amount of $1,000 has been set aside for Attorney fees. 4) Projected payroll has been increased slightly to $13,000. 5) $30,000 has been budgeted for the ramp project. Originally it was thought that the cost of installation would be $15,000 but now that the plans have been put together and permits have been obtained the true costs have increased. Based on the lot and it’s location on the lake it has been determined that we will have to go out further into the lake with the ramp and have to do more intensive landscaping.
Carmen Carpenter asked, for clarification, for a breakdown of the projected total cost of installing the ramp. Linda noted that the total cost would now be in the range of up to $48,000 -- $15,159 for the land plus $603 for permits plus $1,600 for plan prep work by Patrick Gatterman plus $30,000 for installation plus minor misc. costs.
A motion was made by Pat McCue to accept the proposed budget as read. It was seconded by Linda Graf and was unanimously approved.
5. Citizen Input: Rich Wieloch commented that he still felt that the land purchase and installation of the new ramp will save us money in the long run by reducing travel distances for the harvesting crew. We also do not know how long we will be able to use the ramp at 11th Ave at the east of the lake for loading weeds.
6. Election of Commissioner (term ends): Bob Berry noted that Fran O’Brien decided to retire effective April 2015. Linda offered to fill the vacancy, was nominated by Bob and was voted in by the commissioners at the June 2014 regular board meeting. Linda has held the position of acting treasurer since then. Bob established an election board consisting of Carmen Carpenter, Betsy Vannettie and Greg Weiss.
Linda Moonan was nominated by Greg Weiss and Linda accepted. Bob Berry asked three times if there were any other nominations from the floor. There were none. A motion was made by Carmen Carpenter and seconded by Linda Graf to close nominations. Bob asked for a show of hands and Linda was elected by unanimous vote. Linda Moonan will serve a 3 year commissioner's term.
7. Friends of Friendship Lake report: Roberta Ebert was unable to give the report this year, so Linda Graf reported on several events that were held: a) Last year‘s Brat Fry was held on a Sunday and it was disappointing. More money was made on the bake sale than the brat sale. Total made was $200. The next Brat Sale is in 2 weeks and is on a Saturday. Will have new twists such as putting an ad in the A-F County flyer and will provide a new item, chili dogs. Linda asked that people donate baked goods. b) The Lake Ladies still meet on the third Wednesday of each month at the 21 & 13 Café at 11:30 am. c) This year’s picnic was held last Saturday. All had a good time. d) The annual Spring Fling will be held in May next year. Attendance has been low at Carlson’s Rustic Ridge. Linda asked for ideas on how to increase attendance such as meeting at a different place or picking a different time of the year. Tom Bell suggested that we maybe look into meeting at Woodbine. e) The Friends presented a check in the amount of $500 to the Lake District to apply to the purchase of tools for the harvesting crew. All thanked Linda for the report and the donation via applause.
8. Adams County Lake Alliance (ACLA) Report: Bob Berry reported the following: a) There is now a representative from the Lake Alliance on the Adams County Land and Water Commission Board. b) Last summer the Alliance put on the Lake Fair which was held on a Saturday at the Community Library. There was a good vendor turnout, but, very few people showed up. Those that did participate had a good time and had good things to say about it. The Alliance is looking at having it every three years and will try to get the school involved.
9. Update on sale of Friendship Dam: Bob Berry reported that he has not heard from the DNR regarding the status of dam ownership. Bob asked Chuck Pheiffer if he has heard from the DNR and he said, no. Carmen Carpenter commented that she was aware of a dam inspection and a report that was issued by the DNR identifying some potential deficiencies that needed to be addressed. It was confirmed that there was an inspection on March 31, 2014 with a follow-up report dated June that was sent to Chuck and the Village of Friendship. Larry noted that the report itself does not indicate that the dam needs to be shut down immediately but that the items identified needed to be addressed within a certain time period such as March 31/April 1, 2015. Some felt that this was an indication that the dam has not been maintained properly. Chuck stated that he has taken care of the dam for the past 30 years and that some of the items listed in the report were not correct. Chuck has the right to show that to the DNR. Chuck stated that he would not put any money in the dam until he gets clear direction from the DNR that he is in fact the owner. He felt that it is the fault of the DNR that this is all happening and that the Lake District or County could not afford the repairs needed to the dam required as a result of the DNR inspection..
Carmen suggested that the Inspection report be posted on the Friendship Lake website www.friendshiplake.org for all to look at. Larry Swaziek will scan the report and posted it on the website.
10. Update on Lake Management Plan: Linda Moonan reported that a large part of the Lake Management Plan is the Weed Harvesting Map. We now have a DNR approved Harvesting Map covering both the west and east ends of the lake that was the result of intense dialogue between the Lake Advisory Group (LAG) and the DNR which began in 2010 and was finally finalized late 2013. (Note: Enlarged versions of the approved Harvesting Maps were provided at the meeting.) We may not have gotten approval to harvest all areas of the lake or the LAG proposed but the approved map allows more harvesting than the DNR originally proposed. Where we harvest is largely limited by physical limitations such as depth and/or critical habitat areas. We do have an option, on a case-by-case base, to harvest some areas in the shallow and critical habitat areas with prior approval from the DNR as long as we can prove to the DNR it is justified.
Linda added that there have been complaints as to what areas are being harvested and that it is different than what was proposed by the LAG to the WDNR. This referenced map was rejected by the DNR and we, as board members, failed to accurately inform the membership about the modified Harvesting Map that was eventually approved by the WDNR in late 2013. Dennis Rude highlighted the critical elements of the WDNR approved harvesting plan on the enlarged maps. Dennis pointed out that one is the minimum harvesting depth requirement of 3 feet and the other is the critical habitat area. If the lake level is low, that will affect what areas of the lake can be harvested based on the 3 foot min. depth. Dennis can, and has gotten on a case-by-case basis, approval from the WDNR to harvest areas that are not included on the map. Dennis also pointed out on the map that there are GPS coordinates that aid in delineating the harvesting areas. With that, the District has purchased 2 GPS units for the harvester operators. There was further general discussion about floaters, use of airboat, chemical usage, fish cribs in the middle of the lake that harvesters have hit, and modification of harvesters to better collect floaters. Dennis did ask if anyone had a pontoon they could donate that could maybe be used to help collect floaters or be used to service stranded harvesters.
Linda finished by saying that acceptance of the presented WDNR approved Harvesting Plan, including the critical habitat area and drop-off locations, is needed by the members present. Acceptance was voted on and carried unanimously. Linda will report this action to the WDNR.
A copy of the WDNR approved Dec. 2013 Friendship Lake Management Plan and Late-2013 Harvesting Plans can be found on the www.friendshiplake.org website.
11. Report on Weed Harvesting: The weed harvesting report was given by Dennis Rude. Dennis presented to the group weed harvesting charts he has generated as Harvesting Coordinator. The charts compared loads from this year and past years and included harvesting operation efficiency charts. The crew so far has collected 300 loads as compared to 212 loads total in previous years. Much of the discussion on weed harvesting took place previously during the Update on the Lake Management Plan. Dennis complimented Bill and Adam for all the help they provided.
12. Update on status of Weed Ramp: Bob Berry reported that we have gotten WDNR approval to proceed with the ramp installation. The next step are the hearings to get the approvals from the County and the Town of Preston. Larry Swaziek presented a tentative timeline for the approval and installation process. The land was purchased in 2013 as permitted by a vote at the 2012 Annual Meeting. 1) Submit Plans and Application to Adams County Planning and Zoning - August 2014; 2) Publish Installation for Bids - March, 2015 ; 3) Let Bid and Begin Installation - May, 2015; and, 3) Installation Complete - July, 2015.
Carmen asked where extra money is coming from to pay for this ramp installation. Linda noted that the District would not be able to afford the purchase of a new harvester and the installation of the ramp with the collection of special charges, currently, of only $33,000 per year. Options would include: 1) An increase in special charges District members would pay, which would not happen; 2) Delaying the purchase of a new harvester; or, 3) Other additional fundraising events. Nina Zelenski commented that there is some money available at the Town of Preston that she will look into for the District. Linda reported that the District will need about $30,000 to complete the ramp installation and asked the Commissioners be given approval from the District members to spend up to this amount. A motion was made by Pat McCue to permit the commissioners to spend an additional amount of up to $30,000 for the ramp installation . It was seconded by Bill Graf and was approved with one Nay vote from Carmen Carpenter.
13. Discuss purchase of New Harvester: Linda noted that at first the purchase of the harvester was a priority and now the ramp installation is a priority. The harvester is now a secondary issue we will revisit next spring.
Larry Swaziek presented a summary of financing options for the purchase of a new harvester dated July 30, 2014. This summary included the following: a) The cost of an Aquarius HM-420 similar to what we have now ($125,900) plus an optional hydro unit ($5,500) plus delivery freight charge ($750) for a total purchase price of $132,150. b) receipt of a DNR grant in the amount of $66,075 (50% of cost) resulting in a District cost of $66,075. c) minus District CDs in the amount of $36,750 resulting in the need to take out a loan in the amount of around $30,000. The summary also listed loan options. One is a State Trust Fund Loan that can be used by municipalities for equipment purchases with a loan rate of 4.25% for an 11-20 year loan. Other options Larry investigated were the local financial institutions Royal Bank, BMO Harris Bank, Nekoosa-Port Edwards Bank and Grand Marsh Bank. Potential loan rates were identified in the summary with amounts in the 4.25% to 7% for a 10 to 20 year loan.
Larry noted that, before we can proceed with this type of purchase that would be above the board’s $10,000 limit, we need the approval from the membership. With that Larry asked for a motion and a second to authorize the board to proceed with this purchase even if it may not happen. It would be understood that the financing could not exceed those numbers given in the summary. A motion was made by Tom Steiskal to allow the board to proceed with the purchase not to exceed those amounts presented. Greg Weiss seconded the motion. The motion carried by unanimous vote.
14. Review and vote on proposed changes to Friendship Lake District By-Laws: Larry Swaziek reported that there were three major proposed changes to the Friendship Lake District By-Laws and some other minor changes. Larry distributed a few copies of the By-Laws with proposed changes and added that the proposed amendments have been posted on the Friendship Lake website www.friendshiplake.org. The major changes were also presented and approved at the 2013 Annual Meeting and included in the 2014 Spring and Fall Newsletters. One addition was to recognize the Lake Advisory Group (LAG) as a committee in the By-Laws, the second was to include the position, Harvesting Coordinator, that will be selected by the board and require such Coordinator to attend and report at board meetings, and the third was to allow amendments to the By-Laws be voted on at an Annual Meeting with only a 30 day notice of the change(s) to the membership. Originally, it would take one year before an amendment could be voted on and changed. A motion was made by Greg Weiss to approve the proposed changes to the Friendship Lake District By-Laws. The motion was seconded by Pat McCue and carried by unanimous vote.
15. Any old business: None.
16. Any new business: There was a question about any contributions made to John Ashworth for the fireworks. Bob reported that the fireworks for 2014 were sponsored by the Lake District and ACE Hardware/Anchor Floral and John allowed the fireworks to be launched from his property. Bob said that he would try to get some additional business sponsors for next year‘s fireworks.
17. Future committee meeting dates (11-4-14, 1-6-15, 3-3-15, 5-5-15, 7-7-15): Larry Swaziek noted that the future meeting dates are as shown in the agenda. This is for informational purposes only and no action was needed.
18. Set date for next Annual Meeting (08-29-15): A motion was made and seconded to have the next annual meeting at 9:00 am on Saturday, August 29, 2015 at the Adams County Community Center, 569 Cedar Street, Adams, WI. The motion passed by unanimous vote. (Note: After this meeting it was determined that 08-28-2015 was not the Saturday on Labor Day weekend which is the typical weekend the Annual Meetings are held. To be consistent with past meetings the actual date will be Saturday, September 5, 2015.)
19. Adjournment: A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was ended by a unanimous vote.
Respectfully submitted by,
Commissioner Larry Swaziek, Secretary