May 24, 2012 Notes
Save Black Lake Community Meeting
May 24, 2012 6:30 PM
Deb introduced the SBL Steering Committee volunteers.
Accomplishments and Action Plan:
Deb gave an overview of the first two grants obtained, and the matching-fund requirements. She discussed the lake mat installation, and how the donated funds received in exchange for installation of the mats would be used to continue the lake cleanup. A sign-up sheet was circulated for those who want to have lake mats installed.
Deb announced that volunteers were needed to cut and sew sandbags, then fill the sandbags on June 23rd in preparation for using them to anchor the lake mats. Certified divers were asked to volunteer time to help install the mats. Additional volunteers were requested to help staff the booth at Columbus Park this weekend (May 26th). A second sign-up sheet was sent around for those who would like to volunteer for these and other tasks.
The Save Black Lake (SBL) Coalition will be preparing an annual financial report in order to ensure transparency regarding funds raised and expended. All the financial information for calendar year 2011 is already shared in the Public Info section of the website (www.saveblacklake.org).
Linda announced the pledge drive to raise the required matching funds for the second DOE grant (implementation grant) which will result in an herbicide treatment of the lake weeds this fall. All monies pledged will go to the lake cleanup. The new grant takes effect on July 1, 2012. The goal is to raise the $12,500 in required matching funds this summer.
The SBL Coalition needed $10,000 in matching funds for last years’ grant, and raised $12,000. Forty-four of the approximate 140 homeowners on the lakeshore made donations (about 31% of households).
Lake Management Overview:
Many lakes have issues with invasive weeds. Some, including Barnes Lake, did not address the problem until the lake was nearly inaccessible. Black Lake is unusual in that there is no lake management in place yet. There is some money available to start fixing the problem, such as the grants already obtained by the SBL Coalition. The grants are only a starting point; once the immediate problems are mediated, long-term management of the lake must be established in order to keep the lake pristine.
Vernon presented a series of slides showing the self-taxation approach that residents along Long Lake used to fund long-term management. The fee structure for private homes is based on human-useable and wildlife-habitat lakeshore frontage, plus the number of dwellings on a parcel. Public areas such as parks and boat launches, are assessed fees based on number of boater-days and/or swimmer-days. This combination approach is intended to share the costs equitably between those who live on the lake and those who use the lake.
A subcommittee is suggested to develop the fee structure for the approximately $100,000 per year needed to maintain Black Lake in the future. Vernon asked those in attendance to add their names to a list that was circulated if they wished to serve on the subcommittee.
Questions posed included:
Will we be controlling the weeds only, or also repairing damage from beaver dams and other issues? A: Weeds only for now, although other issues may be added down the road.
How many residents live on Long Lake? A: Not sure, but will find out
Are fees at Long Lake voluntary or mandatory? A: Mandatory, collected by the County
How many people are expected to serve on the subcommittee? A: 6 to 8
Additional questions from the public included:
How does a District get formed for lake management? A: Deb went through the process requirements for this.
Do the grants go away if we form a District? A: The grants go away whether we take action or not; they are intended only to get us started with treating the present symptoms.
One homeowner suggested that there was already a County code regarding management of Black Lake. He indicated that we could find it with a Google search of Thurston County code sections, looking for the words “Black Lake” (later identified as County Code Section 17.12, “Black Lake Stormwater Control District”). A: We will look into that!
Nita presented information about what needs to be done next. Requests for volunteers included:
Staff the booth at Columbus Park this Saturday, May 26th;
Sew sandbags to be used for lake-mat installation;
Fill sandbags on June 23rd, 8 am until noon;
Lake-mat installation - certified divers requested!;
Boats to transport sandbags from staging area to dock locations;
Information distribution at boat launches on some weekends, handing out flyers and perhaps working a “boat wash” event
Hosts and planning committee volunteers needed for a progressive BBQ on August 25th
Deb presented news learned earlier today that Thurston County would be sending volunteers out to dig out the yellow iris. The County has been impressed with the community-based actions taken to date and is taking this step to help. Questions followed about how to prevent the iris from seeding if it is about to bloom, and how to clear the other types of invasive plants near the lakeshore or dock. Vern answered these questions for the public.
A final question from the group addressed how to prevent getting the blue-green algae that was present in the lake last fall. A: The algae problem is caused by phosphorus, mostly from phosphorus-containing lawn fertilizers and from septic tanks in need to cleaning or other maintenance.
The meeting concluded at about 8:15 PM
Action Items for the Board:
Make sure materials about lake mats clearly state that all donations received for mat installations will be used to further the work of cleaning up the lake.
Prepare annual report of financials, and keep the information posted on the website for transparency.
Review County Code Section 17.12 about the Black Lake Stormwater Control District.
Document and post information about how to pull the pods off the yellow iris; how to rake out the water nymph plants; and how NOT to clear milfoil.