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November 19, 2019

11/7/2019 4:15:00 PM
Prep for spring starts now for LID Board

The Board for the Chisago Lakes Lake Improvement District or LID is laying  some plans for 2020.  After several years of low precipitation the Chisago Chain of Lakes has “bounced back” with a vengeance and some property owners get a little nervous about the encroaching lake levels.

When dealing with Mother Nature in Minnesota-- being unprepared can work against you every time.  The LID reviewed channel and weir operations expecting healthy amounts of snow this winter and another wet spring.

In response to copious vegetation this summer that disrupted boat travel through the North Center-North Lindstrom channel, the LID Board directed staff to apply for state funding for a grant for two years, that will cover a lot of the costs with keeping this area clear.  Bog congestion will hopefully be dealt with next summer with this funding the Board approved applying for.

The match portion for local monies will come from the LID budget line item for lake association vegetation management, and is anticipated to be about $2,000.

The permit fee is $35 and Chris DuBose, county commissioner/LID liaison,  and formerly involved in a group working to open Chisago Chain of Lakes navigability (Chisago Lakes Restoration Association) said there’s a little money left in the CLRA bank account and they’d be happy to pay for the permit.

Also, LID Board members reviewed the autumn channel inspection report. The LID oversees the lake level manipulation system -- a network of dams and channels for overflow from the chain --eventually emptying into the Sunrise Pools in Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area and the St Croix River.

Should the outflow remain open and drop the lake levels a little more before freeze-up? That was the question.  At this time there is only one weir (outlet) in the open position.  

Seated in the audience, citizen Al Singer suggested a little more water be allowed to travel through the lake level system prior to ice forming drawing down the basins for an expected wet winter, and wondered if portions could even remain open over winter.

Engineer Gary Garske explained there are residual effects when the LID does that.   For example, thickness of ice when a lake outlet stays open and water moves through the system over winter,  is impacted  If any part of the system would stay in the “open” position it would most likely be the Lake Ellen-Swamp Lake Little Green Lake connection at the end of the lake chain.  (North Center-South Center basin is at the highest feet above sea level and there’s a gravity driven outflow to the other lakes as the hydrology of the area dictates)

Garske added, “We’re a long way from those elevations.”

The consensus was theat the management plan that established the level of feet above sea level for weir operations,  will not be deviated from, for now.

Another consideration in extending the window for open components, is the downstream flowage easements the LID has negotiated with property owners.  The LID is allowed a certain depth of water inundation over private parcels,  but if LID outflow floods an area and triggers a taking of land without compensation the delicate balance of what’s been negotiated will be upset.  Any change in culvert sizes, or extended use of lake lowering components can change the flood elevations downstream and set in motion a domino effect, Garske cautioned.

In other matters: a water quality monitor was recognized for volunteering his time to the program along with eight other volunteers who were not able to attend the LID meeting.  (See picture.)

They also reviewed the two upcoming 2020 membership seats that are expiring, and made sure the applications for holding election at the annual meeting in February will be ready.  


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