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Coon Lake Improvement District
2008 - 2009 Meeting Minutes > 2009 Annual Meeting FAQ
2009 Annual Meeting FAQ
Oct 26, 2009 --


1)      Discussion / Public Comments / Questions
A number of questions were posed by the public, most of which are listed below, and were responded to by the board, or in some cases other members. Space is limited to show the answers. These questions and answers will be posted on the CLID’s website.
* Who is providing treatment this year?
            Professional Lake Management (PLM) out of Pequot Lakes.
* Did we put this out for bid?
Yes, we sent bid requests out to seven providers with specific guarantee of performance clause language.
* Did we consider Lakeshore Management Inc (LMI)?
            Yes, LMI would not provide a guarantee and did not submit a bid.
* Why did we pick whom we did?
We only had two major responses, and PLM most closely matched the guarantee language, and treatment costs were similar to Lake Restoration Inc.
* How much is going to be treated? How determined?
73.3 acres were treated on July 23rd. Areas for treatment were determined by survey data and spotter team review, and this is what was approved by the DNR
* Infested areas don’t seem to be in populous areas – how considered?
Primary factors were level of infestation and common areas with a higher level of boat traffic.
* Are we treating only Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) this year?
* Why no Curly Leaf Pondweed (CLP)treatment this year?
We did not have funds available for early season treatment as we did not get any fee revenue from taxes until July. As indicated in the annual meeting, we need to have sufficient funds available for early spring treatment in May to be effective for  a CLP treatment. .
* Other lakes have done harvesting, such as Minnetonka – have we considered that?
Yes. Harvesting has not proven to be an effective longterm treatment option. It tends to allow plant segments to move to other areas of the lake, and is not effective, as it does not kill the roots, and it will re-emerge.
* Questions on chemicals / treatment – What chemicals are being considered? Liquid or granular? Are they safe? Will there be any swimming restrictions? Will there be signs around the lake informing what area has been treated, and any precautions? How / who will notify property owners of treatment areas, dates, and any restrictions? How will treatments affect water quality?
We are using Renovate OTF, which is a tryclopyr granular product. It is safe, but swimming is not recommended in treatment area immediately after treatment. It is not recommended to use treated water for the watering of plants, as it will kill surface broadleaf plants such as tomatoes, but can be used to water lawns (it will also kill creeping charlie). Signs were put up on shore in the immediate treatment areas. Signs were also put on buoys in the treatment area, but the DNR has indicated that is not acceptable, as it may hinder navigation, or draw boaters to the treatment area to see what the signs say. Treatment chemicals do not adversely affect water quality.
* There was discussion of the Senior Center – why only one assessment when so many docks? Can’t we get them to pay their fair share?
The Senior Center is charged one assessment fee per the guidelines of the CLID by-laws, as all the docks that line the channel are on only I Pin #. Requests have been made to have the Sr. Center add a $30 fee to the annual charge for each dock used, to be given to the CLID, but this was turned down by their members. The CLID board is continually reviewing alternatives, possibly such as an extra charge based on # of docks etc, but this has not been completed. A group of advocates could be helpful in addressing this issue.
* How are we assessing the campgrounds?
The Campgrounds have three pin numbers, and have paid 3 assessments of $300 each.
* A statement was made that there has to be a better way than assessments – did we consider other alternatives?
We considered all possible ways of generating revenue for the CLID, and the fee assessment method was determined to be the fairest method to generate funds from all members equally.
* Water quality / visibility seems good – are the weeds improving water quality? What will happen after treatment?
The weeds are actually aiding in water quality, as they help to filter the water. However, as they die and decompose (such as Curly Leaf Pondweed in June / July timeframe) they decompose and add phosphorus to the lake, decreasing water quality and clarity. Water quality has actually been helped by the draught conditions this year, as there has been significantly less runoff into the lake. ???
* Do we really need to do it – weeds overall seem to be down? No curly leaf pondweed any more.
As stated earlier, CLP dies in summer, and would not be evident at this time. Treatment is necessary to kill EWM as it exists & to keep it from growing next year if possible.
* Where there are additional weeds – how do we know it’s not just a result of lower water levels?
Lower water levels make the weeds more visible. We would still have a growing EWM problem regardless of the water level.
* How are properties being assessed – is everyone equal?
The fee assessment approach ensures that all owners with an eligible pin number pay an amount equal to everyone else.
* Why are some people being charged multiple assessments?
Property owners with more than 1 eligible pin number (an additional property separated from their homestead, or an improved property with a structure on it) are required to pay an assessment.
* There is supposed to be a means to get an exemption? What is it? If people have limited access why should they have to pay?
There is a means to get an exemption for property not properly assessed – the exemption is not for financial hardship, but instead for properties with unusual circumstances, such as inability to access the lake. There is a for request from exemption of fees that will be on our website shortly.
* Do property owners need to treat their own individual lakeshore anymore?
Yes, treatments being performed / contemplated are for common areas of the lake, and not intended for treatment of littoral areas close to shore.  The CLID may seek permission to treat areas close to the shoreline, but we encourage homeowners to continue to treat their individual shorelines. It should be noted that CLID treatments are for Invasive species only.
* How does the DNR determine what can / will be treated?
Aquatic surveys, spotter teams, types of weeds etc are all reviewed by the DNR. We are trying to be flexible in order to assist in the treatment of areas as needed, rather than 3 years of treatments in a single area and ignoring the rest, which may be required of a Lake Wide treatment plan.
* How large is Coon Lake? Why can’t we treat more?
Coon lake has 1,503 acres. The DNR tries to limit treatments to no more than 15% of a lakes area, unless part of a predetermined program, which we are not part of.
* What is a common area? Who determined?
A common area is a navigational pathway for traffic flow on the lake to various areas. The area we have outlined as high traffic/common area was determined by the CLID Board.
* Why is the water quality less on the East Lake?
Water quality on the East Lake has traditionally been less than the West Lake due to less natural weeds. It is more a function of water “clarity” versus water quality.
* Why is most of the treatment on the West Lake?
            The West Lake has the heavier concentration of EWM.
* Explain what has been treated in the past? Was it effective?
Treatment in prior years has been on the East Lake – a couple of treatments around the beach area, and on the south shoreline east of the channel. It appears to be very successful, with reduced re-growth of EWM, which has allowed us to concentrate on the West lake area.
* Why doesn’t the CLID monitor the boat accesses, and check for weeds?
It is a matter of time and resources. We have neither the money nor the time to do this properly. We would welcome any volunteers, as the DNR trains people and supply materials for this activity.
* Can we control public access to the lake? Can we restrict bass tournaments?
We approached the County and learned that the County entered into a contractual agreement with the DNR not to charge a fee for the boat launch at the County Park. Bass tournaments are allowed by permit by the DNR. We are investigating the possibility of adding a fee to the permit process to go toward weed treatment. A committee would be welcomed to address these issues.
* Are we pursuing grants for lake treatment?
We are consistently looking for grant opportunities. We have a funding committee which is applying for grants and funding requests, and could use extra help in this area as well.
* What are chances of getting a grant for lake treatment?
Grant money is a valuable and limited commodity, and the competition for grant money is very intense. Some grants are for formal lake treatment experiments, that thus far we haven’t been eligible for, though we’ve applied. We have obtained a $10,000 grant this year, to be reimbursed to us after we have paid for the treatments.
* If grants are available, why a need for assessments?
Grant monies are not available to the extent we need them for multiple lake treatments a year, and there is no assurance we would be able to successfully obtain them. Also, in order to get most grants, we need to have the financial resources to do the treatment, as they are only available for reimbursement or in addition to costs incurred, and they typically only cover a percentage of the actual dollars required to be spent.
* What are we doing to get funding other than assessments?
We have asked for donations, sent letters to local units of government asking for contributions in their annual budgeting process, and have applied for grants, as well as considered other opportunities such as fundraisers to generate income. Your consideration and action with regards to this is welcomed.
* What will the clean water act do for us? Why aren’t we asking them for funds?
We have not yet applied for funds from the Clean Water Act.  
 The program is in the early stages, and the application / eligibility / disbursement guidelines are not well defined. A committee or a volunteer is needed to pursue this issue as well.
* How are CLIA & CLID interacting – is there overlap?
CLIA & the CLID are both very active in lake vegetation activities, and work together continuously. CLIA has solicited volunteers for spotter teams to assess weed growth, conducts secchi readings for water quality, has championed a Lake Vegetation Committee, has applied for grants, initiated treatments in the past, and have donated monies to the CLID for start-up activities and expenses. 
* Presentation is hard to read – why don’t we have handouts? Can the presentation be on the website BEFORE the annual meeting so people can review?

We apologize for the poor visibility of the presentation. Next year we will either have handouts of key material, will put the presentation on the website before the meeting, or will do both.