PO Box 342
Webster, WI54893

Minutes of YLRA Fall Membership Meeting at Forts Folle Avione, Sept 13, 2014

(To be reviewed and approved at the Fall Membership Mtg in 2015)

President Jon Papke welcomed everyone to the Fall Annual Meeting and called the meeting to order at 12:00 noon. Jon said the election for the new board and the business meeting would commence after lunch was served.

The lunch served to 110 YLRA members by volunteers at the Fort was:

Roast Beef & Ham Sandwich
Mixed Fruit & Veggie Salsa Salad
Chicken Wild Rice Bake
Blueberry Cheesecake Squares
Coffee, mineral water and soda

After lunch Jon began the business meeting. Jon mentioned the efforts that YLRA is doing to combat invasive species and said David Guay will cover our efforts in detail later in the meeting.

Jon thanked Pam Yorkson for the work she does updating the YLRA website at YLRA.org.

Ken Schultz reviewed the Minutes from the Fall Meeting on Sept 14, 2013. There were no corrections or additions. Dennis Kruger made a motion for approval, seconded by Bill Yorkson and the motion passed.

Marie King gave the Treasurer’s report showing a bank balance on 12/31/2013 of $84782.58 and a bank balance on 9/8/2014 of $97091.10 (see attached Treasurer’s Report) A motion for approval was made by Dave Guay, seconded and approved.

By-Law Changes
Jon reviewed the proposed YLRA By-Law changes that all members received in the August 2014 Newsletter. Jon explained each change and the reason behind it in a slide presentation. Tony Shusted made a motion for approval, seconded by Ed Collova, and the motion carried.

Jon thanked departing board member Ken Schultz for the work he has done as a board member and association secretary for the last several years. Ken in turn thanked his wife May for her computer and word processing skills.

Board of Directors Election
Jon started the Board of Directors election process by thanking election judges Pam & Rich Kenny. Jon explained that we have five director positions and two alternate director positions open for the board this year. Five candidates have volunteered to run for the two year board positions. They are Jim Buhil, Marie King, Dennis Kruger and Jon Rao Papke. Two candidates have volunteered to run for the one year alternate position. They are Jack Brunell and Dan Haumschild. Jon asked if there are any write-in candidates or nominations from the floor. There were none. Jerry Vogel made a motion for unanimous approval for the 2014 slate of candidates, seconded by Marie King and the motion carried. The returning board members are Chuck Eifler, David Guay, Nancy Lewis and Tony Rutter. Pat Amundsen has completed her one year term as an active alternate board member.

Bridge Update
Marv Merle, Union Township chairman, was asked to bring the membership up-to-date on the status of the replacement of the bridge between the two lakes. Marv said the bridge is on the federal list of bridges to be replaced but it has not made it to the funding list. Marv said that Bob Morehouse of Burnett County Highway Department has a cost estimate on the bridge at $400,000. The Federal Government is to pay 80%, Burnett County 10% and Union Township 10% of the cost. The bridge is projected to be a 2 lane bridge with a walkway included. In 2007 YLRA offered $5000 to Union Township towards their share of the cost for a new higher bridge if completed by 2009. Marv said that Union Township advocates a new bridge.

Propane/Natural Gas
Jon introduced Chuck Govin of the Burnett County Development Association. This Association is funded by tax dollars and studies issues important to Burnett County., Chuck was asked to report on the propane and natural gas issues that they have been investigating. The propane supply last winter was not good and it looks like it could carry over to this fall and winter as well. This part of Wisconsin gets most of its propane from Minnesota. A pipeline owner supplying propane to Minnesota has decided to reverse the flow in that pipeline cutting the Minnesota supply by 40%. At this time propane customers are in better condition than last year because they have decided to fill their tanks earlier. The outlook however, is for shortages this winter with a resulting increase in price.

Chuck said that We Energies Company’s aerial map density studies show that the area around both lakes and downriver has good potential for expansion of natural gas supply. The earliest possibility would be for heating season in 2015. Chuck said the cost comparison for heating value is if propane is $1.50/gallon a comparable amount of natural gas would cost 76 cents. Natural gas is also a regulated commodity and price increase has to be approved. If YLRA members are interested they should let We Energies know or if YLRA would give them their membership list then We Energies can contact them.

Presently there is a gas main running to the Casino in Danbury. There is also a line running along County U to the 10th Hole. Dick LaPlante has made connection to this line for some of his properties.

Jerry Vogel made a motion, seconded by Joe Kieman that YLRA send their membership list to We Energies asking for information on possible expansion plans and estimated cost of service. The motion carried. Jon thanked Chuck for his presentation.


Dam Operation/High Water
Jon introduced Gary Rast and Norbert Rehder of Renewable World Energies asking them to respond to questions regarding the operation of the dam on Yellow River in Danbury and the extremely high water levels on the two lakes and the river. Gary and Norbert explained that their license requires them to maintain a target reservoir surface elevation at the dam of 929.21 feet plus or minus 0.30 feet from April through October and a target reservoir surface elevation of 928.11 feet from November through March. Gary provided YLRA daily charts of the Danbury Dam daily operation from 4/1/14 through 9/11/14. The charts show that the operators having been able to control the water level in the reservoir just upstream of the dam but because of the excessive amount of snowmelt and rain (29” of rain this summer with 6” of rain in the last 10 days) that the desired Yellow Lake level of 929.5 feet has not been able to be maintained. On 9/11/14 the lake level was 931.4 feet. There is no maximum flow that they are controlled by. A normal flow at the dam is 125 cu.ft./second and now they are releasing 650 cu.ft./second. Flow of water is being restricted by heavy weed growth in Yellow River this year. Every day the dam operators have to clear out the weeds at the entrance to the dam. A question was asked if the lakes and river will be able to be dropped to winter levels this year. The response was that 2005 was the last time they had similar high water levels and that by October 2005 the water levels were back to normal. The weeds in the river will start to die off now and water flow should improve. The amount of rain this fall will be a factor. A question was raised about the lake level gauge at the Gate House. It is giving a faulty reading at this time. Norbert said that he has had the same experience and is in the process of checking it. He feels it has something to do with the high water problem. Jon thanked Gary and Norbert for their willingness to address our members.

Invasive Species
Dave Guay did a PowerPoint presentation for the membership on Weeds, Weeds and More Weeds. Dave covered the history from 2009 to 2014 of what YLRA has done and is attempting to do to control invasive species. The report covered grants received and grant applications not approved.  Dave covered investigation of weed control with chemicals, DASH (Diver Assisted Suction Harvesting) and mechanical weed harvesting. YLRA has been active in education for members and the general public on invasive species, in monitoring boat ramps and monitoring the surveillance cameras at the 3 public landings in Yellow Lake. YLRA has contracted with Matt Berg to do Curly-leaf Pondweed and Aquatic Plant Surveys in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2014. The plant surveys are required by the DNR before they will qualify us to apply for a grant. Dave reviewed the plant survey done this year by Matt Berg. The Curly-leaf weed problem continues in Little Yellow Lake and has grown dramatically this year in Yellow River. To compound the problem there are more native weeds along the shore of Little Yellow and down river. The plant surveys will now be analyzed and be used to apply for grants for weed harvesting.

President Jon Papke adjourned the meeting at 2:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Kenneth Schultz, Secretary