The Annual meeting of the members of the Blackwater Lake Association, hereinafter referred to as “BLA”, was held on the above date at 10:00 a.m. at Woodrow Town Hall. Sixty members were present including board members, Lloyd Thielmann, Carolyn Dindorf, Linda Burns, Dodi Sletten, Barbie Laughlin, Becky Seemann, Tim Marr and Shannon Klundt.
Call to Order
Lloyd Thielmann, Board chair called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. with an opening statement relaying the appreciation and thank yous we have received from the organizations we donate to.
Approval of Agenda
The agenda was distributed prior to the meeting via Blackwater Blurb and email and copies were available at the meeting. Lloyd asked the floor if there were any additions to the agenda. There were no additions from the floor and upon motion duly made and seconded, the agenda was unanimously approved.
Approval of Prior Minutes
The minutes of the 2018 annual meeting were posted on line and were made available at the meeting by Secretary, Dodi Sletten. Upon motion duly made and seconded, the minutes were unanimously approved.
Lloyd introduced our new conservation officer – Jaqueline Hughes – who talked about the area that she covers. She answered questions from the floor regarding AIS, Blackwater bass regulations, bear prevention advice and minnow transportation regulations. Her advice to prevent bear encounters was to eliminate food sources that could attract them such a bird feeders and enclosing garbage inside or in a fenced in area. She advised that grills be cleaned thoroughly as well. She recommended using a separate bag to transport the minnows from the existing live well or minnow container after draining the water they were kept in.
Treasurer, Linda Burns presented the highlights and summary from the Treasurer’s Report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2019. She reported the current balance at approximately $5800 and summarized the various expenditures including Beaver Control, various AIS expenses/dues including Conservation Minnesota/MN Waters, ACCL (Association of Cass County Lake Associations), Minnesota Lake and Rivers Advocates, Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation, AIS training, RMB labs for lake water testing, a donation to Lakes Area First Responders and Blurb expenses.
Linda also talked about the plan to segregate the money collected for Water protection/AIS into a separate account to better position ourselves for potential future grants. She reported those funds are at approximately $2200.
Upon motion duly made and seconded, the Treasurers Report was unanimously approved.
Tom Staley reported that he had reviewed the books, talked to the process he performed and found them to be complete and accurate. He noted that Linda has a very tough job and commended her for doing a very thorough job.
A moment of silence was held in remembrance of Ernie Cook, and Ron Martel, and Peter Plagemann who passed away this past year.
Minnesota Lakes and River Advocates
Lloyd Thielmann talked to the members regarding Minnesota Lakes and River Advocates who lobby for the lake property owners, lake and water protection, and is our voice in the government. He talked about the success MLR had in reducing the general tax for which cabin owners are taxed and capping it at 6%. He also sited their work to gain restoration of grants to fight AIS. Lloyd urged members to sign-up and support this group.
- 4th of July Parade: Cindy Larson reported that 22 watercraft participated in this year’s boat parade. The Gardell family won with a float decorated as a construction zone. A question from the floor was raised asking if there could be a method for the folks on the shore to vote. After discussion, the timing of the voting and technical needs may be outweigh the effort.
- Beaver Control: Lloyd Thielmann reported that our beaver control contractor has done a very thorough job. He reported the removal of 22 beavers. Lloyd covered the trapping and removal process as well as the running back and forth in the channel using a mud motor to open up the flow. A question was raised from the floor on what is being done with the trapped beavers. Lloyd educated the members on the process.
- Lake water quality report: Jim Sletten began his report with a trivia question and asked the group if anyone knew how many islands are in Lake of the Woods– 14,000. Jim talked about the process he goes through to test the water and get the clarity readings. He reported no significant changes either way this year. He had physical copies of the trends for anyone that was interested in seeing the results and also told the members of the RNB site they could access and look at the trends at any time. He reported the water clarity reading during the last two tests was at 12-14 in windy and cloudy conditions. Both Lloyd and Carolyn reported much better readings at various times and all agreed the lake is looking good at this time. No significant changes.
- Aquatic Invasive Species AIS report: Carolyn Dindorf talked about the AIS detector volunteers who are divided by roads around Blackwater. She recognized the AIS volunteers by asking them to stand and be applauded for their work. She reported the Rusty Crayfish have taken over for the native species with very few native being found in the traps. Chinese and Banded Mystery Snails are present in the lake and she recently found Purple Loosestrife by the channel. She asked the members to remove any they find if it’s possible. She confirmed Zebra Mussels were found in Hand Lake-Cass County and noted that Starry Stonewort is also in Cass County. She asked that boat owners do their job in cleaning boats and use the facilities to Clean, Drain and Dry. Carolyn brought samples of the invasive species to the meeting for members to view and recognize.
- Membership report and Lake Protection fund: Linda Burns covered what was donated to date for our Lake Protection/AIS separate fund and reported membership at 142 members which is at its highest number.
- Seedlings Report: Court Lechert thanked the number of volunteers, the teamwork, and board members past and present for the many hours spent on various projects and efforts. Lloyd thanked Court for all his years of handling the seedlings program from 2003 to date. Court mentioned that Craig Laughlin introduced an ordering spreadsheet system and expanded the number of options from conifers to include other species. Lloyd reported that Pat McKee and Doug Meisner will take over the seedlings program. Court will work to transition to Pat and Doug.
- Board of Directors Nominations and Election: Lloyd Thielmann introduced the new board nominations. The board has nominated:
- Becky Seemann-2 year term as director
- Tim Marr-2 year term as director
- Shannon Klundt-2 year term as director
- Dodi Sletten-3 year term as Secretary
A motion was duly made and seconded, the nominations were closed as there were none from the floor and the slate of directors nominated by the Board of directors was elected by unanimous acclimation.
- Other Business
- Lloyd Thielmann opened the floor for any additional topics for discussion.
- Lloyd Thielmann reported on the cabin coffee events. Scott and Elizabeth Agree held the first cabin coffee and had 17 quests. Tim and Jan Marr, who hosted the second cabin coffee, also had 17 guests. He reminded the members of the upcoming cabin coffee on August 9th at Jim and Dodi Sletten’s.
- Lloyd Thielmann also followed up on the request (also published in the Blurb) from Woodrow Township for volunteers to be a Woodrow Watchdog on the roads leading to the cabins around the various lakes. He mentioned that the group of Woodrow supervisors are keenly interested in helping and making a difference for the township residents.
- Lloyd Thielmann reported that we may lose some of our recycling sites from Cass County if the public continues to misuse the sites by dumping garbage. Various suggestions were made to monitor the sites with camera options but nothing concrete was decided as a potential workable solution to bring to Cass County.
- Becky Seemann asked the members to share their lake and cabin history stories with her as she would like to see it captured and shared. She also asked anyone who has an animal story to share to contact her.
- Tom Staley asked the members to contact him and Geri Staley when and if they know of any new people who have moved in around them. It has been somewhat difficult to track some of the new owners down and welcome them to Blackwater.
- A question was raised from the floor on how many volunteer hours Blackwater gets for AIS inspection. Lloyd Thielmann relayed that it is about 32 hours a month.
- Luncheon: A luncheon was served post meeting adjournment by Terry Thielmann and Jean English.
- Silent Auction: The silent auction was opened at 9:00 a.m. during the social hour and continued for ½ hour after the meeting adjourned. Barbie Laughlin and Dodi Sletten announced the winners post meeting adjournment and after the luncheon.
There being no further business to come before it, upon motion duly made and seconded, the meeting was unanimously adjourned at 11:25 a.m.
Dated as of the date first written above.
Dodi Sletten, Secretary