Lake Improvement Project Q & A
Questions regarding this initiative can be sent to LIP@golakecarroll.com. These will be addressed immediately by our team of professionals and posted on this webpage to share with all Members. For privacy, all identifying text (names, sec/lot) will be removed before posting.
On 2017-07-16 15:12, XXXXX wrote:
To Whom It May Concern,
Please post the various ideas for remediation that the money will be
It should be a multi-facetted approach.
* Weed eradication
* Pull weeds including roots
* Buffer at water entrance locations
* Get homeowners to create bio-buffers (plant) between their lawns
and the lake
* Help homeowners understand the importance of using the proper
fertilizer mix (and what that ratio is)
* Educate and inspect all boats going into the water that are not
already in the water
On Jul 17, 2017, at 11:56 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
First of all, thank you for taking the time to send an email to the LIP program.
We appreciate your thoughts on a multi-facetted approach. Pollution (nutrients and sediments) come from non-point sources and therefore need a multi-facetted approaches to combat them.
As for the ideas for remediation efforts the requested funds will be used for, we have outlined them in the LIP insert. However, here are a list of projects we’re looking at funding:
•Dredging 3-tubes, E. marina, and South Bay areas
•Implementation projects for sediment capture and nutrient reduction
•Equipment purchases to maintain the lake
•Survey and design work to mitigate soil runoff in critical shallow bay areas
•Stocking of fish to help control zebra mussels
•Rip Rap and Culvert Installations or repairs for sediment control
•Grading of Fawn Pond to improve pond drainage when dewatering – Direct impact on the fish stocking operation
•Funds for development of the IEPA 319 watershed planning grant As for ‘weed eradication', we actually have developed an aquatic plant management program. Aquatic plants are beneficial to the lake, the ecosystem, ecology, and over-all health of the lake. Therefore, we work to eradicate the non-native species while managing the natives.
- Our program incorporates harvesting (association weed harvester machine), hand pulling or raking (individual home owners on their lots), and chemical control of non-natives (association) and an optional treatment program for homeowners on their lots (helps reduce biomass of plants on private lot areas whether native or non-native to improve lakefront usage by our membership).
- The bio-buffers you referenced are part of our long-term plan that will be developed during the upcoming watershed plan though our EPA 319 watershed grant. This will be a big educational effort and push to the membership to understand the benefits of having a buffer strip
along your lakefront.
- We have developed a ‘zero phosphorus’ program for the lake for nutrient management from lawns. We have also written and supplied educational articles on proper lawn maintenance and the need for soil tests as opposed to just blanket fertilizing.
- We do not currently have an inspection program for boats coming and going from the boat launches, but we have, and continue to do, an educational effort in our papers on the need for invasive species prevention, which includes inspecting and cleaning your equipment.
Again, thank you for the time to write, and hopefully this helps you to understand our current program, as well as what we are trying to do with the requested funds under the LIP program.
On 2017-07-17 12:53, XXXXX wrote:
Thank you for the detailed response. Can you post the inserts on the website?
Subject: Re: Remediation Ideas
Date: July 17, 2017 at 12:57:58 PM CDT
The insert is posted on the website. Here's a link for you in the event you'd like to review it, or share it with other members.
Thanks again for reaching out.
The LIP Team
On 2017-07-21 08:13, XXXXX wrote:
* Do we expect to need to dredge again in the future, if so when?
* If dredging will be needed on an ongoing basis did anyone look at the ROI (return on investment) if we purchase a dredge?
* Have we totally given up on the dredge that we own? Can we get it working?
* How have other lake communities like ours dealt with this issue?
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, July 21, 2017 8:59 AM
Subject: Re: LIP Questions
Thank you for the email. We appreciate the opportunity to further explain the program to our members. If you are available, feel free to attend one of the informative meetings being held tomorrow at 9am, or the 29th at 2pm.
In regards to your questions,
1) Currently, the program outlined is for dredging of the 3 main coves coming into the lake. There are other areas around the lake that will need to be dredged in the future as well but they are not in this plan.
The plan outlines projects to help reduce sediment coming into those areas before we dredge them. In reference to your question, however, yes. It is inevitable that we will have to dredge again in the future.
Our sediment control pond program can be designed to be 60% efficient at a maximum. Therefore, no matter what we do, some sediment will continue to accumulate in the lake. We do not anticipate having to dredge the 3 main coves again for at least another 15 years, possibly more.
2) This is a multi answer response to your question.
A) We cannot use our current dredge (or one we’d but to replace it) for dredging the small cove areas. This would not be economically feasible due to the distance we’d have to pump the material and the need for multiple booster pumps etc.
B) Several years ago we determined purchasing a dredge and dredging in-house would be a more cost effective solution and we learned a lot about our capabilities over the last 3 years dredging on our own. We have determined that to get the best result, our staff is not the best option. At this time, we are working to sell the dredge we currently own to recover some of the expenses.
3) The lake committee and management has determined that the current dredge will not do what we need in an efficient manner. We have around 78,000 cubic yards of material to move, and the LCA in-house program was able to move about 3,500 cubic yards in the time we’ve owned the machine. At that rate, we will not make the impact we need in a timely fashion.
4) Most other lake communities deal with the dredging issue by hiring outside contractors to perform the work. However, Apple Canyon (just north of us in JoDavies Co) does own their own dredge and performs the work on their own. There are mixed opinions on how effective their program is at this time.
Again, we thank you for your questions, XXXXX, and look forward to seeing you at one of the public presentations should you be able to attend.
The LIP Team
Sent: Wednesday, July 26, 2017 6:02 PM
Subject: Special assesment
The special assessment for the lake project should be by member/family ownership and not by lot. Some of us have more than one lot and we'll be paying according to the number of lots. In my case, I have two lots and will be paying the assessment twice. Not fair!
From: Mike Schmieder [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, July 28, 2017 9:51 AM
Subject: RE: Special assesment
Thank you for sharing your concern regarding the assessment and know that others who own multiple lots have reached out with a similar concern. When our Finance Committee starting looking at the various ways to fund the Lake Improvement Project, they considered numerous options. Their goal was to create a way to fund the project while being fair to all and historically, annual dues and any assessments were charged incrementally based on dues paying lots. You own multiple lots and therefore you pay multiple dues. If we were to consider spreading the expense at one assessment per family, including the many families who have chosen to own multiple lots, it would result in a higher assessment being levied onto those Property Owners who only own one lot. The single lot owners would then have a case to claim that they are being asked to pay a disproportionate assessment based on what they own. By comparison, if there was a condominium with 50 units and the roof needed to be replaced, they would most likely spread that expense out evenly over the 50 unit owners who need that roof. If 40 people owned one unit each and one person owned 10 units it’s unlikely that those 40 unit owners would be willing to spread the expense only 41 ways.
In the end, it was agreed that the each dues paying lot would be assessed which is consistent with the way all things are typically paid for in a Common Interest Community setting like ours.
Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2017 9:21 AM
Subject: East end of Sections 23 & 24
I own XXXX and a portion of XXXX with my neighbor. I think I speak for all the owners at the end of swimmer’s bay that the weeds are out of control and it is limiting our ability to utilize the lake like most of us want to: swimming with our families, fishing, docking, paddle, kayaking and overall appearance of the lake.
I know you are addressing other areas for the Lake Improvement Project but just wanted to understand why not the east finger of swimmer’s bay?
Is there a way that we can address with additional payment? Would it help the overall quality of the lake if our area was dredged?
Why can’t the lake stay on top of the weed control? It was great for the 4th of July but the last 2/3 weeks they have been terrible similar to last year.
We love the lake and would like to be able to swim with our family in front of our home instead of having to go to swimmer’s bay and dock to swim. Fishing is even impossible now. There are lots of large families at the end of the bay that feel the same way.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
All the best,
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2017 3:25 PM
Subject: Re: East end of Sections 23 & 24
Thank you for taking time to write into us about the Lake Improvement Projects Program.
First of all, some of your questions on the aquatic plants aren't part of the "LIP" program, and we'll address those first. We currently utilize an aquatic plant harvester for cutting and removing native plants. This does two things: 1) creates better access for members while not completely killing off a beneficial native plant community that provide the lake with better water quality. We also conduct chemical treatments for non-native invasive plants to reduce their spread at Lake Carroll. They, in the long run, would be bad for the over-all ecology of the lake. Lastly, we provided a chemical alternative for our members to allow them to take part in an optional treatment program around their docks, lifts, and swimming areas by their shoreline. This is allowed due to the harvester not having access too close to docks and boats, or under docks. These native plants are good for the lake and some members actually do not want ANY plants removed.
Therefore, we allow some limited treatments by homeowners through this program to alleviate some of their problems in their respective areas.
In regards to the LIP budget, here is an outline of some of the projects that directly impact the portion of the lake in which you reside.
-Purchase aquatic plant harvester, transport barge, and conveyor to assist with more efficient removal of the native plants. This would allow us to be able to address larger areas quicker and move on to other parts of the lake that need assistance as well providing quicker service to all areas of the lake needing maintenance.
-Purchase of a dedicated plant treatment boat. This would allow us to perform more efficient and timely treatment of the non-native plants early in the spring and later in the year.
-Your cove is one of the 9 areas slated for the engineering survey work and design to help mitigate sediment running into the lake. This would help address the long-term concerns for sediment in your cove. Once this planning work is done, we can budget to do programs to reduce sedimentation in that area as well as develop a dredging program to dredge the shallow coves that need it around the lake.
-Purchase of biological controls (fish) to help control the zebra mussel population.
You asked about assistance with added payments to help do work in your area of the lake. We will have to further investigate this option for lake maintenance issues in the future.
Lastly, you posed the question "why can't the lake stay on top of the weed control?" This year we have treated for non-native eurasian milfoil and curly leaf pondweed. We have been running the harvester around the lake, as needed, and we developed an optional treatment program for the membership. We are currently treating for brittle naiad around the lake as well. We have nearly doubled our off-load sites for the weed harvester, and greatly improved it's efficiency by doing so.
We are also continuing to improve our treatment program, and provide the membership with affordable options to assist them with plants that cause usage issues around their personal docks and lifts. If the LIP goes through, we will purchase more equipment to help better maintain the lake with larger, equipment that can help us be more efficient for our membership's needs.
Again, thank you for taking the time to write the email and to listen to our response. We're hopeful we've been able to answer all of you questions, and feel free to reach out to us if you need anything further to help you understand this program, and what is being proposed.
-The LIP Team
Sent: Monday, July 31, 2017 10:13 AM
Subject: Ongoing discussions regarding the LIP project
In some comments I have seen (very few admittedly), I have seen reference to individuals concerns and questions regarding the proposed LIP program. I myself have communicated directly with the Board with concerns and suggestions.
While I view this program as very necessary and want to get behind it, my concern is the actual funding mechanism and how much we rely on the vacant lot owners. As I expressed to the Board, I am concerned that we may view our at large ownership as easily being able to afford all that is proposed (both LIP and Annual Dues) when in fact we might really be a fundamentally middle income ownership base that will struggle with this plans funding decision. The timing of proposed payments is also questionable as it is too close to the payment date for those paying quarterly dues and comes just prior to the Holidays which is also typically a time of financial stress for many.
Other than the discussion at the LIP Presentations (I have watched the first presentation), I do not see any centralized locations to view comments or questions with answers as I would have expected. When questions are posed via this site is there a location that I can see the other questions, comments and answers?
From: Mike Schmieder [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2017 5:48 PM
Subject: RE: Ongoing discussions regarding the LIP project
Thanks for sharing your comments and concerns regarding the Lake Improvement Program, particularly how the plan will be funded.
First, I’d like to thank you for watching the Lake Improvement Presentation and understanding how very important this program is for our Lake and the Association. Our Finance Committee worked very hard to create and consider numerous funding options and ultimately had to face the fact that this type of work is expensive, long overdue, and vital to the overall health and future of the Lake. While some may say that we cannot afford this project right now, others feel that we can’t afford to put these projects on hold any longer either. I can say that the per owner cost was considered and that the Committee and the Board are sensitive to the fact that $1,200 is a lot of money in the eyes of the vast majority of the Membership. It was for this reason that the annual payment option of $240 (for five years) was added. Your question regarding the timing of the payment was also considered and discussed. In regards to your concern that it is too close to the due dates for those paying their dues quarterly, any date for an additional payment would come 30 to 60 days before or after a quarterly dues payment. We wanted to make sure that no one would have to pay their quarterly dues payment on the same date that the assessment was due as that would clearly create a hardship for many. Your concerns regarding the November 30th due date being close to the Holidays is a valid one. The Lake Committee, the Board and Management all hope that this initiative passes and our intent is to start some of the projects this year (2017). For that to happen, some of the funds will be necessary as soon as possible. The proxies will be counted and the results will be known on August 26th. A due date of September 30th wouldn’t give the staff adequate time to prepare and send the billings or for the Membership to have the time to budget for this expense. A due date of October 31st coincides with the due date for the 4th quarter dues payments and no one had the heart to suggest billing anyone in December. The annual dues payments are due on January 31st so if we hadn’t selected November 30th, the soonest we could see income for the program would be February 28th and we hope to have some of the components of the plan in place prior to that time. While the November 30th due date may be inconvenient for many, not starting the program until late Winter/early Spring wasn’t an acceptable time frame for the program.
Thank you for sharing your comments and I hope I was able to answer some of the questions you raised. I know Donna Beyer sent you the link to our website where you may view questions and answers from other concerned Property Owners but I’m sending it again just in case.
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2017 8:36 AM
In general I am in favor of this concept, but opposed to its implementation. Here are my biggest concerns
1. We are proposing investing in expensive equipment that won't be in frequent use. Can we partner with Apple Canyon lake to do "equipment shares" (like a car share, or airplane share but for lake equipment)
2. Some of the breakdown says things like "we already budgeted for this in our general budget but since this really is for the LIP, we are going to add that cost to the LIP project and use that budgeted fund for something else." ABSOLUTELY NOT! I realize that these items are a small percentage of the overall proposal, but it underscores that you are allocating money inappropriately. If the money was already allocated in the general budget you MUST use that money for that purposes. OR, reduce the overall general budget by that amount.
I will not be able to attend the meeting. So please respond to this message.
From: Mike Schmieder [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2017 7:20 PM
To: XXXXX; LIP@golakecarroll.com
Subject: RE: suggestions
Thank you for expressing your concerns regarding the Lake Improvement Program and thanks for giving us the opportunity to answer your questions.
1) You are correct that a weed harvester, which performs a very important job and plays an integral part of our annual Lake Management Plan, will sit idle more than it is used. Sharing equipment like this is something we’ve discussed in the past in fact, in 2011 or 2012, prior to the purchase of our Harvester, we rented Apple Canyon’s weed harvester for 4 weeks. We were unable to rent their machine the following year because they experienced heavy weed growth and were unwilling to commit their machine for rental. As a result, we purchased the current harvester. Our existing machine is a good one and has helped us keep up with the weeds this year but last year, the weeds were overwhelming and our 6 foot wide harvester ran double shifts during the months of June, July and August. If the plan passes and we acquire the proposed 10 foot wide harvester, I would inform the roughly 20 neighboring Lake Associations that we have two machines and that we would consider renting one of the machines. The difficult part of sharing a weed harvester is that the Lake renting the equipment will want some type of assurance that our machine would be available to them and that they would want this assurance well in advance of the growing season (June, July & August). We need to be smart and maximize the asset but at the same time, we need to know that our equipment will be available for Lake Carroll first.
2) The only item included in the LIP project that used to be part of our annual Fixed Asset Budget is $16,000 worth if rip-rap. We have $16,000 budgeted for this year (2017) and we have already made the purchase of this rip-rap. We have included $16,000 for rip-rap in the Lake Improvement Budget and if the initiative passes, $16,000 will be spent on rip-rap in 2018 and the 2018 Fixed Asset Budget would be reduced by $16,000.
Thanks again for your questions and I hope my answers are helpful. Your support is important so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further comments or concerns.
Sent: Monday, August 14, 2017 3:36 PM
Subject: lip project & after
Hello lip team: 8-14- 17
I have future concerns. I'm speculating after the 5 year plan to "reset the lake", there will still exist problems & the association will let the fixed annual budget be there to maintain the extra expenses?
If I recall right, the association organized a special team to advertise to attract more residents, is there optimism? In coming from Chicago, I see no road signs for LCA, or hear anything on the news media.
Replotting takes revenue away, so what's the real gameplan, if the decisive lip meeting does not come together, what then?
Look forward to your response.
From: Mike Schmieder [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 4:42 PM
Subject: RE: lip project & after
Thank you taking the time to voice your concerns and ask questions regarding the Lake Improvement Program.
You are correct in assuming that the Lake will require constant monitoring and ongoing maintenance after the Lake Improvement Plan is executed and that’s if the initiative passes. The dredging of the Lake is the biggest part of this plan and at a cost of $1.3 million represents over half of the total 2.3 million cost. I’d like to add that the Lake Improvement Plan to “reset the clock” will be accomplished over the next 18 months, not the next five years. The second largest expenditure included in the plan is the purchase of an additional weed harvester, weed transport barge and shore conveyor at a cost of $550,000. Our Fixed Asset Budget will fund the future capital expenditures for the lake and the operating budget will continue to fund our weed management program which includes weed harvesting as well as chemical treatments as needed. So you know, lake dredging and dam grouting are both very expensive projects that we will need to have performed at some point in the future. The Board, the Lake Committee and Management are all committed to maintaining the health of our lake in the future by building a savings mechanism in the dues over the next few years so that we’re prepared to pay for costly projects when they need to be performed.
Your second set of comments are not necessarily related to the Lake Improvement Projects, but they are excellent observations and questions. Your recollection is correct in that the Board of Directors and our Steering Committee created an Ad-Hoc Marketing Committee two years ago. That Committee was made a standing Committee about a year ago and they have been exploring a number of ways to market our community to the surrounding area. The Committee is still relatively new but their focus has been on identifying the best geographical markets and proposing a number of ways to reasonably, and effectively market our product to potential new Members. Having a presence at boat shows, home and garden shows, suburban golf outings, suburban print media are all initiatives which the Marketing Committee has already started or are planned to be started soon.
Re-platting does have a chance of eliminating a set of dues but in most cases, it doesn’t. Very often a dues paying member will buy an adjoining lot from the Association or from the Carroll County Trustee and re-plat it with their original lot. In these cases, the lot that is being added is a lot that we have not been collecting dues on to begin with. The benefits to re-platting are two-fold: 1.) it increases the value of the property making the newer, larger parcel an asset that a Member will not walk away from and, 2.) homes on these double lots are less dense and helps provide more area for septic systems to function properly.
Thank you for your comments,
The Lake Improvement Program Team
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 6:05 PM
[18 Q&A combined within the following RESPONSE.]
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 8:40 PM
Subject: Re: Questions
We’ve outlined answers to your questions below by first restating your question, and then providing a response. Please feel free to reach out for clarification should you have more questions, or need more information on those you already provided.
We will precursor this with one comment, however. We believe you have weed harvester and dredging intermingled. They are two separate programs and we will outline that below.
1) Who will be doing the work as outlined in the LIP?
Answer: This is multifaceted. The engineering work, implementation work, and dredging will all be done by outside providers from contractors to engineers. Once purchased, the new harvesting equipment will be operated by our LCA staff.
2) Has there been a bidding process for the LIP?
Answer: The projects outlined within the LIP are being bid to multiple contractors, with the exception of Engineering work. We work with Fehr-Graham and Wendler Engineering Services for engineering. Some budgets were developed by engineer’s estimates based on current contractor trends, while others were provided by contractors specializing in the line of work we’re planning. The final projects will be bid to multiple contractors before a contract is accepted. We will evaluate costs as well as capabilities when recommending a contractor to be selected.
3) What happened to the used machine (weed harvester?) that was bought a few years ago by a Lake Carroll member (without prior authorization), reimbursed by Lake Carroll, and found not to be working properly?
Answer: I believe you are confused between harvester and dredge. We own a harvester and we will continue to use that machine. The NEW equipment is much larger, and will increase our ability to maintain the lake. The dredge we currently own (which I believe you are referencing in your question) is being sold. We are currently working to sell the dredge and equipment. As you know by the cost estimates to dredge the 3 big areas of the lake ($1.3M), we believed, at the time, that dredging ourselves would be an option for us for the long run. Unfortunately, after working on dredging for a few years, we’ve determined we are not able to effectively dredge as an Association and it would be best to have a contractor come in and complete the work in a timely fashion.
4) Why is the LIP proxy voting process not going through the First State Bank of Shannon/Lake Carroll, as other proxies have?
Answer: This answer was already provided and I’ll paste it here: "The LIP Proxy is being handled exactly as all LCA proxies are handled, by Administration Staff. I believe you are thinking about the ballots for the voting of board candidates for the Annual Meeting that is handled through the First State Bank.”
5) Where is the transport barge coming from? How did you learn of it? Did you bid out the process/purchase?
Answer: The transport barge we’ve referenced is from a manufacturer in Wisconsin. They provided a budget number for the machine we are considering. Our lake manager and lake committee look at ways to improve our maintenance program and this machine was brought to the committee by a member as an alternative to our long travel time to off load with our machine. A transport barge like the one described, would increase the efficiency of the harvesting operation significantly. Thus, allowing the harvester machines to cut more areas of the lake, more often. We will bid the purchases to other manufacturers as we move forward. The budget was created based on quotes from one manufacturer to develop the budget. The consensus was that we know we can get a quality machine within the proposed budget based on their price sheets. We will still bid this out to qualified manufactures when we purchase the machine. Lastly, we will evaluate used equipment options as well. We purchased a used harvester in 2012 and it has functioned exceptionally well in the past. Due to the changing plant community, we have a need for larger equipment that will increase efficiency for our members.
6) What financial institution are you approaching for the line of credit? Did you shop around?
Answer: The line of credit is being provided by the First State Bank Shannon/Lake Carroll. The line of credit was negotiated by Members of the Board and Finance Committee and it was determined that the rate was very competitive and the bank has worked very hard to accommodate our strategic “sweep account” feature where we use surplus funds in the early months of the year to buy all of our loans/lines of credit down to $0. So you know, the only loan we have is the Nicor loan with a balance of approx. $350,000 after the pool loan was paid off earlier this year.
7) Could one of the current security boats be used for the spraying, instead of buying another boat? What is the process for buying the boat? Bidding? Local?
Answer: No. The newer security boat would not function property as a spray boat due to its design. The old security boat does not have the weight capacity, or space to house the tank, and gas engines to distribute the chemicals.
8) Where and how are you securing the bids for the dredging?
Answer: We are utilizing an outside service to assist us with development of the bid specs. Once developed, we currently have 3 dredging companies with the capabilities to do the work we need done.
All of these companies will be solicited for bids.
9) What is the average life span of the equipment?
Answer: The harvester equipment is generally replaced around 20 years. Boats, motors, etc are variable, but we can expect to get 20 years out of the boat, and 10 plus years out of the motor. Some motors we currently own were purchased in the early 2000s and are still in operation today.
10) Are you looking to share/rent out the equipment with area lakes to reduce or recoup some of the costs?
Answer: This is a copy of what was sent by the General Manager to answer the same question you have posed: "You are correct that a weed harvester, which performs a very important job and plays an integral part of our annual Lake Management Plan, will sit idle more than it is used. Sharing equipment like this is something we’ve discussed in the past in fact, in 2011 or 2012, prior to the purchase of our Harvester, we rented Apple Canyon’s weed harvester for 4 weeks. We were unable to rent their machine the following year because they experienced heavy weed growth and were unwilling to commit their machine for rental. As a result, we purchased the current harvester. Our existing machine is a good one and has helped us keep up with the weeds this year but last year, the weeds were overwhelming and our 6 foot wide harvester ran double shifts during the months of June, July and August. If the plan passes and we acquire the proposed 10 foot wide harvester, I would inform the roughly 20 neighboring Lake Associations that we have two machines and that we would consider renting one of the machines. The difficult part of sharing a weed harvester is that the Lake renting the equipment will want some type of assurance that our machine would be available to them and that they would want this assurance well in advance of the growing season (June, July & August). We need to be smart and maximize the asset but at the same time, we need to know that our equipment will be available for Lake Carroll first.”
11) Where will the large equipment be stored?
Answer: Our current facilities director is working on maximizing storage space in our facilities, as well as cleaning up the outdoor storage areas at the maintenance building. Many associations winterize their equipment and tarp them in cold storage, or outside. The transport barge is 45 feet in length (off the trailer), and we may not have an option for indoor storage.
12) Do lake-front homeowners have septic or other utilities that empty into the lake and does this contribute to the water quality problem?
Answer: To my knowledge there is no direct discharge of septics to the lake. However, septic systems can impact ground water systems. There have been engineering studies performed at Lake Carroll in the past evaluating the installation of a waste water facility with lift stations around the lake. This was deemed to be too expense for our community to fund. The overall nutrient loading to the lake is most likely due to surface run off from our land uses within Lake Carroll as well as upstream land owner usage (such as agricultural runoff).
13) Is it true that LC changed its long-time insurance provider for the dam and is now paying a lot more for its insurance coverage bought through a LC member?
Answer: We use Cincinnati Insurance to cover the Association for property, casualty, liability and worker’s compensation and have been prior to my arrival in 2010. We changed our agent in January of 2012 after he and I analyzed the coverage and discovered that we were overpaying in some areas and the result of the analysis saved the Association a significant amount money. We still use Cincinnati as our carrier and our current agent is a Lake Carroll member. The Association has benefited greatly by having an agent who is local, very involved, and he took the time to develop a thorough understanding of Lake Carroll’s operations.
14) And will the new LIP equipment be continuously used, or will it sit for 15 to 20 years until we need to do another massive LIP?
Answer: The equipment is being purchased to maintain the lake, and unless conditions change that warrant us not using the equipment; it will be used annually with our aquatic plant management program.
16) Will the LIP equipment be sold upon completion? Or will this be an ongoing, continued endeavor?
Answer: The harvesting equipment and spray boat will be part of an on-going lake maintenance program. In time, I anticipate the equipment would be replaced as our other Fixed Asset purchases are done at the end of their life expectancy. We anticipate dredging the three big coves to happen again in the future, but not within 20 years.
17) Has there been any discussion on renting the equipment as opposed to buying it? Pros and Cons
Answer: Cost to hire an outside contractor to harvest from Clearwater Harvesting is $200 / hour, and they harvest an average of 15 hour days when on-site. ($3,000 / day). If we had them cut for 2 weeks, weekdays only, we’d spend $30,000 for their service.
18) Does Lake Carroll have staff that is knowledgeable in the use of this equipment?
Answer: Yes. We have been training and utilizing in-house staff to operate the harvester since it’s purchase. The new equipment operates the same way, but has a larger capacity.
Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 7:58 PM
Subject: Q & A - LIP - Section 26-XXXXX and XXXXX
Thank you for the work you have done on the LIP project. As you are probably aware, we have expressed our extreme concerns for several years to Joe Rush about the condition of our bay, Section 26. There have been many times we have not even been able to get our SeaDoos out, let alone our boat. Besides that, even if we can get our watercraft out, the bay is so terribly weedy it often clogs the motors. There is an incredible amount of silt at the bottom. It almost always looks very unsightly the past few years. We have actually taken the step for several years of renting a marina slip to dock our boat as a safety precaution, which is saddening as we own two lots and pay double dues.
So, as you can understand, again we would like to know specifically what steps will be taken to improve our bay and also what is the expected timeline? We fully understand the major dredging sites and how that improves the overall quality of the lake, but that still does not specifically solve the issues we have been communicating for several years.
Thanks in advance for your response.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2017 9:18 AM
Subject: Re: Q & A - LIP - Section 26-XXXXXand XXXXX
Thank you for taking the time to write into us with questions on the projects. We appreciate the support for the program and the work we've done thus far to get this program going. We also empathize with you on the situation you have at the back of your cove. The ends of the coves have historically been difficult for members living there, mostly due to receding water towards the end of the summer. Compound that with sediment accumulation over time on a 40+ year old lake and the problem becomes more challenging. The lake level issue has been improved with the 2014 grouting program, and has provided some relief to most members in the coves.
We are aware of your specific bay, the sediment loads currently there, and your concerns for being able to use your lakefront.
The first steps for these coves was to understand where the problem areas exist. All 22 coves around the lake were mapped for depth and sediment thickness so we have a better understanding of the sediment in each of them. As was done with the big 3 tributaries, we are working towards reducing sediment loading and dredging areas with sediment issues. For your area specifically, the LIP program is allocating funds for engineering survey work to determine what can be done to reduce the sediment coming into your cove. As you are aware, the current budget allocates funds for dredging, but only for the main three big tributaries (E. Marina, 3-Tubes, and Zier Rd).
If the projects outlined in the LIP program come under budget, the monies are to be allocated to implementation of the designs provided by the engineers to reduce sediment in those 9 coves wherever access is available and then to start dredging the coves. The order of this implementation will be determined after the engineer's assessments.
(Some areas may not be accessible to perform the needed upstream work. Engineer's inspections will determine this).
As for the timeline you referenced, our goal is to complete the majority of the LIP projects within 18 months. (Hefty goal, but we do think it's attainable). Within that timeframe, we'll have a better understanding of surplus funds (if projects come in under budget). In the meantime, we will continue to solicit cost estimates from contractors to dredge the areas in the shallow coves so that we are prepared to dredge as quickly as possible should funds become available. If no funds were available as a surplus in the LIP, we would then work within our normal fixed asset budget cycle to request these programs. This would put us in the 3 to 5 year timeframe for dredging the coves. (Assuming approvals from the membership for the projects).
Thank you again for writing in to the LIP questions.
-The LIP Team
On Aug 25, 2017, at 10:26 AM, XXXXX wrote:
Joe and LIP committee,
Thank you for your response. We do believe there was alot of effort put into the LIP and we appreciate that.
We do NOT see ANYTHING in your e-mail that provides any relief for us in Section 26. So, Scott's and my requests for help over the last three years (probably 30 requests) have not only been unmet, but will continue to be unmet. We both know "left over funds" most often does NOT happen. We have ZERO confidence with your leftover funds plan. Yet, you are requesting us to approve an assessment payout to address the other part of the lake? ...and double because we have two lots? We are very unhappy with this.
You are offering NO relief for us? The weeds are so high and have so much volume in the middle of the bay back by us that it looks like a swamp. Treating the weeds just around our dock next year will help a bit but will not solve this. Have you even seen it personally lately? If not, I ask you to look at it for yourself!
We have been polite and patient over the past three years. We believed your continued responses and others responses of staff you have referred us to over the past few years, that there would SOMETHING done in our bay...that we needed to be patient. Our patience has been used up. We were getting lip service.
We understand personally the concern about property values going down unless the LIP is approved because of the quality of the lake. What about our property value (it was $900,000) in our bay? (...and it is so embarrassing to invite guests to our "swamp front" lake house) Our property value is decreasing regardless of the LIP because you refuse to deal with our bay.
If you think about this, I am certain you will understand our EXTREME dissatisfaction.
Clearly, your timely response is needed.
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2017 4:42 PM
To: email@example.com; Manager Joe Rush - Lake
Since the meeting is tomorrow morning we urge you to respond today.
Sent from my iPhone
From: Joe Rush - Lake Manager [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2017 6:04 PM
Cc: email@example.com; XXXXX
Subject: Re: URGENT!
Left over funds is not a plan. The point was to explain that if funds were available, every penny was dedicated to two projects: Implementation in those greenways (of which one is yours), and dredging the coves (of which one is yours). The ‘plan’ would be as was described in the LIP email. In that email, the work being done on your section 26 cove is outlined. The engineering work on the drainage through the greenway that directly dumps into your bay is on that plan. Not outlined in the email, however, is the harvesting equipment. This directly impacts your cove in that we will be more efficient in our harvesting operations, allowing the machines to move around the lake more often.
It is my opinion that if this LIP program does not pass, the proposed dredging program will be pushed out further as we develop the plan to fund it in the future. This in turn would push all these programs we have outlined out further. Maybe even 10 years.
Lastly, I want you to know, XXXXX, that I DO care about your cove. And that I AM following through, within my control, on addressing the problems you face on that cove. As your lake manager, I want every member to have the best experience possible living, or recreating, on the lake. There are some things than MUST be done, and they come with a cost. This LIP program is the first step in fixing some of the issues on the lake and within this community.
Thank you again, and know that whether you vote yes or no on this program, I will do what I can for you on your cove.
Joe Rush - Lake Manager