Blue Lake Association
Annual Meeting Minutes
Held June 21, 2014
1. Call to Order: President Pete Tuomisto called the meeting to order at 9:07 am.
2. Introductions: All present introduced themselves and indicated their locations on the lake and how long they have been there.
3. Approve 7/6/13 Minutes: Last year's minutes were approved as written.
4. Treasurer's Report 6/30/13 through 5/1/14: Jim Peterson
The association was $24 in the black at the end of 2013/14. Jim noted that this is very positive, given that last year we were "in the hole." He noted that this
situation is due to increased membership which yielded additional dues revenue, plus additional contributions. He reported that we should be able to stay in the
black in the coming year, as a result of the increase in dues to $40.
Pete Tuomisto made the following remarks:
· Fixed expenses are down. COLA water testing was $155, down from $210 in the previous year. Larger lake associations subsidize our cost.
· There will no longer be an expense for Dahl Computers for the Blue Lake Association website. The owner will work with Steve Schoener to keep website
information updated at no charge.
· Watercraft Inspections will be a fixed expense of $500. NOTE: Lake Emma Township contributes an additional $1000 toward the cost of inspections for
Blue Lake. Some additional funding for inspections may be coming from the state.
· Boat inspections seem to be concentrated during the late afternoon/evening.
There was a question about whether we are still doing COLA water testing. Pete replied in the affirmative. Ron Jacobson tests 5 times during the summer (Secchi
disk readings and water temperatures as well as water quality testing). The samples are submitted to RMB Environmental Labs for testing.
5. New Business
COLA Fundraiser – July 11, 2014
Pete Tuomisto reminded the membership of the upcoming COLA fundraiser – the sporting equipment auction – on July 11, 2014.
Restore the Shore Program
Consider ordering inexpensive plants and trees through the Restore the Shore program. Order by mid-September to receive delivery in May
Water Quality Report from RMB Labs
· Phosphate and chloropyll levels are down.
· Secchi disk tests show that our water clarity is being maintained. Water clarity measures have ranged from 7.0 to 22.0 feet over the period from
2002-2014. The mean clarity for Blue Lake is 15 feet. Pete remarked that the inevitable pine pollen has an impact on clarity early in the season. Clarity
steadily increases over the course of the summer.
Zebra Mussel Testing
Pete continues to test for veligers (zebra mussels) in August. He reminded the membership that it's important to check for this invasive species in the fall when
pulling boat sifts and docks out of the water. He suggested hanging a cement block off the end of the dock during the summer and examining it for zebra mussels.
If any are found, the DNR should be contacted.
The number one concern of Blue Lake members/residents is AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species), such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels.
Other concerns mentioned in the survey included: boating safety, jet skis, bright lights along the shoreline, and rental of cabins.
· Pete noted that it is possible to obtain night-sky-compliant fixtures, for those who are interested.
· Jet ski etiquette and laws were reviewed. Although the county has no rules or restrictions regarding hours of operation, the Minnesota Boating Safety
Handbook contains the following regulations: jet ski operators must stay 150 feet from any structure and stop jet skiing 1 hour before sunset.
· It was shared that the county requires a "conditional use permit" from Environmental Services Department before owners may rent out their cabins
Discussion of Annual Expenses
Members discussed the following questions:
Do we find value in COLA water testing? YES
Do we find value in continued boat inspections? YES
How should we proceed with zebra mussel (veliger) testing?
· Pete currently conducts one test in August. We considered the value of doing an additional test in July, since currently, there is no way to eradicate them
once they are detected.
· There was a question about whether or not zebra mussels survive over winter. They do as adults but not as velligers.
· The members decided to continue with once-a-year testing in August. If there are additional funds in the budget, they will be put toward additional boat
inspections, rather than toward an additional veliger test at this time.
A member asked whether others thought that the incidence of swimmers itch was increasing in the last few years. The general feeling was that this annoyance
comes and goes with the population of snails and ducks.
6. Guest Speaker: Richard Hamilton Smith
Smith, a Blue Lake resident and founder of Friends of the Headwaters, spoke about the Enbridge Corporation's plan to run an oil pipeline (the "Sandpiper")
through our Headwaters region, which is among the most environmentally valuable – and vulnerable -- in the state of Minnesota. He outlined the group's efforts
to educate the public about the numerous problems with the proposed route and to identify and propose alternate routes that meet the need to transport oil
while posing fewer dangers to the environment in the event of a system failures. Richard shared a number of maps which identified the environmentally sensitive
features of the region which would be at risk in the event of pipeline failures. He also provided information about recent pipeline failures/oil spills for which
Enbridge has been responsible and for which they have demonstrated a lack of sustained commitment to clean-up.
Through the efforts of Friends of the Headwaters and other concerned groups, the deadline for public comment was extended through May 30, 2014, in order to
allow for participation by summer residents of the region.
Richard explained that the Public Utilities Commission is the body that would approve the route, upon the recommendation of the Department of Commerce. The
Department of Commerce is in charge of hiring a company to do a Comparative Environmental Analysis (CEA), which consider only the construction risk analysis
and not the risk of future pipeline failures to the environment.
Richard encouraged members to share their opinions about the proposed Sandpiper project with their state senators and representatives, as well as to write
letters to the editors of local and state newspapers.
More information about the efforts of Friends of the Headwaters can be found on their website at:
7. Election of Officers
Pete Tuomisto opened nominations for Secretary of the Blue Lake Association, a 3-year term. This office entails taking notes at meetings, typing them up and
getting them printed, and submitting them to the web master. Steve Schoener, outgoing Secretary, estimates that this requires about 8 hours per year. There
were no nominations for Secretary at this time.
Jim Peterson is finishing up his 3rd year as Treasurer and is willing to continue for another 3-year term. All were in favor of Jim's continuing as Treasurer.
8. Final Items
Boat Inspections Funded
There was a motion to pay $500 to continue boat inspections at the public access. The motion passed.
Blue Lake Social – August 9
There will be another Blue Lake Social on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at the Emmaville Cafe. Jo Tuomisto requested that lake residents who would like to attend
RSVP to her by the Tuesday before the event.
9. Next Year's Meeting Date
Next year's meeting was scheduled for Saturday, June 20, 2015.
10. Adjournment – 10:32 am