August 13, 2009 at 7:31 a.m.

LID's annual meeting covers much ground

LID's annual meeting covers much ground
LID's annual meeting covers much ground

The Chisago Lakes Lake Improvement District held its annual meeting Monday August 3 at the Chisago County Government Center, and 25 people attended.

John Nieber, Chair of the LID, spoke to the audience about recent happenings with the LID. Nieber briefly went through some recent activities and expenses the LID has incurred. The addition of Jerry Spetzman as an AdHoc member was significant because he is the County Water Planner. Nieber said the LID joined with a non-profit landscape/environmental systems design group to develop stormwater BMP's (best management practice) for critical areas within the LID.

Nieber also said that the LID accomplished five tasks that were planned for this year. Those tasks included a SWAT modeling project, County Road 19 (Lake Ellen) culvert analysis, acquisition of easements, getting ready for a North Center to North Lindstrom channel connection, and system maintenance.

Matt Redington, a water resource engineer from HDR Engineering Inc., then showed the audience a powerpoint production about some of the same issues Nieber addressed, but in more detail.

Redington explained that the SWAT modeling determines the most effective approaches for reducing pollutant loads on lakes, with the most common being phosphorus. The SWAT is done in three phases beginning with data collection, model development, which Redington said is about 98 percent complete, and model calibration.

The two easements acquired are at the south end of Chisago Lake and the channel between N. Center and N. Lindstrom Lakes. The proposal for the channel is to be three and one half to four feet below the bottom of the channel now.

Redington said that the goal is to have the SWAT model entirely complete in the next three years. In that time the LID hopes to finalize easements on the Wallmark Lake outlet and the Lake Ellen outlet as well.

Redington then gave a brief overview of the existing weirs in the area. Redington explained that the County Public Works Department is responsible for both the weirs and the sheet pilings. Sheet piling is a structure that is placed along outlets of lakes to prevent abnormal amounts of drainage. With such low water lake levels, the weirs are inactive. Nieber said the last time the gates on the weirs were opened was August of 2004.

Redington explained that the water budget is broken down by three factors. For example, Chisago County's average rainfall is 31 inches. Evaporation removes around 12 inches of that. Ground water seepage removes close to 11 inches. Leaving 8 inches for the lakes. Redington said the State Climatologists told him Chisago County is down 16 inches of rain from 08' to 09'. And from April of 08' until now, there is a deficit of 8 inches.

Redington then showed a 1938 map given to him by Al Wahlgren that showed Wallmark Lake completely dried up as well as School Lake. Redington explained that there is close to two-tenths of evaporation per day on area lakes during the Summer. In a report by Nieber, it stated that 1 inch of rainfall equates to a rise of 2.5 inches on area lakes.

Jerry Spetzman then went into detail about the LID's $247,500 budget. Spetzman said the budget has not changed and he could not forsee any changes in the future.

The LID money comes from property owners within the district with the annual amount per household anywhere from $100 to $300.

Spetzman said the budget includes $25,000 for monitoring water quality which is part of the Chiasgo County Soil and Water Conservation District. Another $30,000 is allocated for homeowners on Glader Blvd. and Lakelawn Drive to ease their monetary burden for hooking up to city sewer (around $20,000 per household).

Spetzman said there is $10,000 set aside for the production of a complete map of the area for stormwater purposes. There's currently partial maps available, but very hit and miss, he added.

The LID has $15,000 for easement plans on the connection of channels discussed earlier. Spetzman also noted that $17,500 was allocated for education that includes some monies set aside for Mary Christopherson. She is directly involved with education including the water festival every year.

Spetzman also said that an amount of $20,000 is proposed for his new AdHoc position.

After some discussion about the Glader and Lakelawn sewer monies, a motion was made and passed to approve the budget at $247,500.

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