Blue Lake Association
Annual Meeting Minutes
Held July 14, 2007

1.  Call to Order: President Bruce Butler called the meeting to order at 9:30 am.

2.  Approve 7/1/06 Minutes: The minutes were mailed in October, 2006.  The minutes were approved 
     as written.  Brenda Boterman motioned, Ron Jacobson seconded.    Motion carried.

3.  Vacating Half Moon Road:  Guest Speaker: Jeff Adolphson: Mr. Adolphson gave a detailed verbal
      report regarding Half Moon Road, beginning with the history of the road right up through the current
      status of possibly closing of the road.   Some of the highlights of his report are as follows:
The road was formed in 1920.
In July of 2005, a petition was made to vacate the road along the north shore of Blue Lake and a new access road would be built at the expense of the affected homeowners.
A detailed history of hearings and meetings was given.  During those meetings, documentation and comments were presented regarding whether or not the lake and property owners would benefit from vacating the road. 
At the November 2006 board meeting Mr. Adolphson recommended a feasibility study be completed to objectively identify impacts to the environment, transportation, recreation, property and safety; provide engineering solutions for both maintaining and vacating the road; prepare costs for each solution; recommend the most feasible solution.  Over the next several months the merits of completing a study were discussed and in April, 2007 the study and a survey of the road (For accurate recording of property lines, etc.) was approved to be completed.
The Township board was presented with the feasibility study  and passed a motion to vacate the road at the July 2007 meeting.  The motion had the following terms and conditions if the road is to be vacated: That the effected land owners (Listed by name) must file with the town clerk a statement stating: 1.) they give consent to vacating the roadway, 2.) they have access to their properties via another route, 3.) they waive any claim to damages, 4.) they understand the township will not remove the road surface or perform any restoration and any restoration will be the responsibility of those land owners, and 5.) the documentation must be filed by February 5, 2008 or the vacation order will be rescinded.
To view the township minutes see: <>
DNR Public Access: Apparently, if the road is vacated, the DNR would improve the Blue Lake public access including constructing a small storm water retention pond to help control run-off.
Lake Emma Township does not have any zoning ordinances and therefore the Township board does not have any zoning authority over any shore land, ice ridges, mowing down to the lakeshore, developments, etc.  The zoning is done by Hubbard County and all properties fall under county shore land and sub-division ordinances.  This issue has been discussed in the past with little interest, especially when compared with the additional costs of adding township ordinances.
Closing the road would save the township approximately $1,350 each year.  (Cost of maintaining the road minus the loss in gas tax revenue)
All land owners had access to the feasibility study.  Announcements were sent out and it is posted on the website. (See above)
Jeff recommends a committee be formed of Lake  Association members, Soil, Water and Conservation to pursue grants in coordination with the Township board to assist in restoration.
A motion was made to set up a Lake Association committee to work with agencies to assist with restoration.  Kris  Bettin motioned, Brenda Boterman seconded.  Motion carried.
The township can not just scrape off and reuse the class 5 gravel currently on the road without variances from each effected individual land owner.

Walking trail:  The current easement is only for maintaining the road.  A Conservation/walking trail easement would result in partial liability for the effected landowners.
Township board meetings are the first Tuesday of each month.
The feasibility study concluded that the road plays  a part in polluting Blue Lake.
The Annual township board meeting dates and times are set by state law and they are good meetings to attend because the annual budget is set and money can be allocated to issues that the township considers a priority.
The lake association members thanked Jeff and acknowledged Rod Westrum for their hard work on this issue.

4.  Treasurerís Report: Melodee Monicken reported as acting treasurer.  There is currently $768.72
      in the association checkbook.  There were two checks written to COLA, and one to Steve
      Schoener for costs related to the secretary duties.  The bank assists with taxes.

5.  Election of treasurer to fill Teri Moenís term: There is one year left on Teriís three year term. 
     A motion was made to elect Jim Peterson to fill the remaining one year of Teri Moenís three
     year term.  Kris Bettin motioned, Brenda Boterman seconded.  Motion carried.

6.  COLA (Coalition of Lake Associations) Report:  Mark Larson reported that there is a new
     shoreline owners guide, which can be picked up from The Soil and Water Conservation District at
     212 Ĺ Second Street West, in Park Rapids.  [* If the guidelines are not too long of a document, a
     copy will be mailed with these minutes.]  There are two types of Watermilfoil to be aware of:
     Eurasian Watermilfoil is the harmful on and usually has between 12 to 21 leaflet pairs per leaf. 
     The second type is Northern Watermilfoil, which is a beneficial native plant with usually 5 to 10
      leaflet pairs per leaf.  Mark acknowledged the three Lake Emma Township Members for all their
     long hours and hard work regarding the closure of Half Moon Road.

7.  Participation in COLA Lakes Monitoring Program: (Bruce reported)
Secci test completed one time per month.
Water samples taken one time per month and sent to RMB in Detroit Lakes.
It is very important to have continuous data.
Every year a report comes out and Blue Lake only has 5 years of data.
      Bruce described the ratings system, then gave the following data:
Phosphorus levels: Blue is 9th at 12.6; Big Sand is 10.9.
Secci: Belle Taine: 22.4 (Ave); Blue: 15.3 (Ave) which is 8th in the area.
Chlorophyll: Blue is 12th at 3.9; Little Sand is 1st at 1.9.
Small variances in these levels make a big difference in a lake like Blue Lake.
Blue Lakeís June Secci reading: 18 feet.  May the pine pollen was heavy.  The July reading will take place 7/15/07.
Blue Lake is cloudy in the spring and clears up the rest of the summer, which is the opposite of  other lakes.
10 years ago, no other lakes could touch Blue Lake in regards to itís superior clarity and purity and it was pure enough to drink.
Thanks to Rolli Carlson, who has been taking the Secci readings the past 5 years.  Last fall Ron Jacabson took over with Pete Tuomisto as back up.

The past 11 years, Blue Lake has dropped from 1st to 6th place in water clarity.  Half Moon Road may be part of the cause, but we need to keep searching for other causes too.  There probably is not one cause, but many factors working together.
Currently, the public access does not have a good buffer.
Power launching boats onto their trailers tears up the lake bottom.
The DNR has not yet designated Blue Lake as a year around trout lake because the water temperature may be too high.  It was 77 degrees F  last week.

8.  Questionnaire Results Discussion: (Bruce Reported)

Water Clarity: This continues to be the number one issue.  This was covered in Bruceís report

Noise concerns: Firecrackers, dogs barking and loud music: If folks are obeying the laws yet
making noise, there is not much you can do except try to have a polite, friendly chat with them. 
If they are breaking the law, call law enforcement.  

Shoreline Buffer: Cutting down lots of trees and mowing to the lake is not good for the lake.  The
          Association will do itís best to inform landowners of this.

9.  New Business:

Association membership:
Out of 65 landowners, the Blue Lake Association only averages 25 -
30 members.  It would be nice to have higher membership for more participation in decisions at
meetings.  We will pick the next yearís meeting date at each meeting and include the date in the
meeting minutes so people know well in advance.  Other suggestions included holding more than
one meeting per year and people hosting social events.

Lake map with landowners:  A copy of an updated map (Thanks to Bob G. and Brenda B.) that lists landowners and their approximate location on the lake will be mailed with the minutes.

Harassing Loons: There was a report of a boat circling loons this summer.

Shoreline Restoration: Members can order trees and other plants beneficial for restoration purposes through SWCD.  Melodee Monicken can take your order.  You order in the fall and receive your plants in the spring for planting.

10. Election of new officers next year:  Please think about volunteering for a 3 year term.  The positions are: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary.   We will add it to the questionnaire that goes out next summer - who is interested in volunteering as an officer.

11. Next years meeting date: July 5, 2008.  Meeting will begin at 9:30 am.   Come for coffee and to chat
at 9:00 am!

12. Adjournment: 11:15 am.    Jim Peterson motioned to adjourn, Brenda Boterman seconded.  Motion carried.