Minutes for Wednesday, October 22nd 2019 – Executive Committee


TIME & PLACE: The fall meeting of the Quiet Lakes Improvement Association Executive Committee was held Wednesday, October 22, 2019, at the home of Secretary Jane Precht. President Dave Neuswanger called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m.

Executive Committee (EXCOM) members present: Dave Neuswanger (President), Norm Bratteig (Vice President), LouAnn Phelps (Treasurer), Jane Precht (Secretary), and Steve Fiala (Directorat-Large). Also in attendance were Kim Phelps (Eco-Harvester Lead Operator) and Tom Precht (Eco-Harvester Volunteer).


1. REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF 2019 ANNUAL MEETING MINUTES: Dave Neuswanger will edit the Minutes from the Summer 2019 General Membership Meeting as submitted by Gail Nicholson and distribute a draft copy via e-mail to EXCOM members for review. The minutes will be posted provisionally on the QLIA website and will be formally approved at the Summer 2020 General Membership Meeting.

2. SITE LOCATION FOR NEXT ANNUAL MEETING AND ANNUAL SUMMER PICNIC: The annual summer picnic has been held at Boulder Lodge on Ghost Lake for two consecutive years. LouAnn Phelps shared that there is an interest among other Quiet Lakes resorts to host the event. She proposed that the annual picnic should be held at the various resorts on a rotating basis. Sites will be chosen based on owner interest, parking availability and usable outdoor space. LouAnn will contact all Quiet Lakes resorts and arrange site visits for her and Jane to visit those that have an interest in hosting the annual picnic. If interested, Reel Livin’ Resort on Lost Land Lake will be the site of the 2020 Annual Picnic.
There was also discussion regarding the location of the General Membership Meeting and whether it should be combined with the Annual Picnic as a single event. EXCOM members agreed that Spider Lake Town Hall best accommodates the membership meetings and that it should be held on a separate date from the annual picnic.
The cost of the 2019 Annual Summer Picnic was approximately $560.00. Steve Fiala motioned to charge members $5.00 per person for next year’s picnic to help cover expenses. LouAnn Phelps seconded, and the members voted unanimously to approve the motion.

3. TREASURER’S REPORT: LouAnn Phelps presented the Treasurer’s Report showing total account balances of $6,029.00 as of 10/21/19; this includes the Eco-Harvester account balance of $2,789.18 and the general checking account balance of $3,239.82. Current membership numbers 196 members, including 4 non-paying members and 44 who have not paid their 2019 dues. There have been 12 new members since the last report.
LouAnn and Jane will compose and send a communication to all members regarding dues and an upcoming fundraiser.

4. ECO-HARVESTER OPERATING COST/REQUEST FOR ESTIMATES FROM COURTE OREILLES LAKES ASSOCIATION: LouAnn Phelps reported the costs associated with purchase and operation of the Eco-Harvester year-to-date are $65,044.84. Norm Bratteig estimates that the Eco-Harvester will be in use for approximately 8 to 10 weeks in 2020 beginning sometime in mid-June. He feels that members and residents are reacting positively to the work being done and he is optimistic that more funds will be raised. He and Kim Phelps will devise a sturdy sun canopy for volunteers that will withstand stronger winds on the lake.
Currently, the Eco-Harvester is being housed in Norm Bratteig’s storage facility at no charge. Steve Fiala suggested that Norm should be paid the rental fee associated with off-season storage that he would otherwise be earning from his usual customers. Dave motioned that the QLIA rent space from Norm Bratteig for $500 annually to store the Eco-Harvester off-season.
There was no second and the motion did not pass. Dave then presented Steve Fiala’s prior suggestion in the form of a motion that QLIA rent space from Norm Bratteig for $750 annually to store the Eco-Harvester off-season. LouAnn seconded, and the members voted to approve the motion, with Norm Bratteig abstaining.
Dave shared that he received a request from Courte Orielles Lakes Association President Kevin Horrocks for operating expenses associated with running the Eco-Harvester. LouAnn will work with Norm and Kim to provide the estimates and will have follow-up correspondence with Kevin.

5. ECO-HARVESTER REGULATION AND PERMITTING: Dave shared that he has diligently submitted two detailed reports on the use and effectiveness of the Eco-Harvester to the Wisconsin DNR. Although they have been largely unresponsive to invitations and other communications, the agency has granted permission to expand use of the Eco-Harvester to Teal Lake; and there has been no objection expressed by WDNR to our continued use of the roller drum method for pulling milfoil from the lakes. However, Dave is aware that other lake associations have had trouble obtaining permits to use Eco-Harvesters with a roller drum; and he shared that an association in Green Bay was only approved for using a cutter bar method.
He feels that this may be a potential problem for our future operations of the harvester but maintained that he would meet such a political challenge with data-backed resistance.

6. ECO-HARVESTER AND OTHER FUND-RAISING IDEAS: Jane Precht presented details for a preholiday Quiet Lakes apparel fundraiser to take place from early November through early December. She has identified a company, Ink to the People, for on-line sales of custom t-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags and caps. The full-service company provides a URL for our use on membership communications and will print, pack, ship and handle money and donations collected. We are not required to purchase or maintain inventory, although we may choose to have items on hand for sale at future events. Discussion was held and it was determined that a $10 profit will be made on the sale of each item. Norm will send Jane the original artwork of the Quiet Lakes logo. Jane will draft a fundraiser e-mail to be sent to members when the URL is operational.

7. ECO-HARVESTER VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT: There are currently nine volunteers for EcoHarvester operations: Steve Fiala, Tom Precht, John Wittenberg, Perry Cowan, Rick Zaksas, Ron Kunz, Dan Fitsimmons, Tom Ridgway and Gary Walker. Kim Phelps commented that he would like to enlist at least nine more volunteers for the 2020 summer season. Dave will make edits to the Eco-Harvester Volunteer Form and post it on the QLIA website. Norm shared that he plans to make operations more efficient by making it possible to service the grease tubes while the harvester is in the water.

8. DIGITAL DATA PROJECTOR FOR QLIA: On June 19, 2020, Dave will give the afternoon keynote address at the Northwest Lakes Conference in the Spooner High School Auditorium. The presentation will be entitled “Initial Progress in Mechanically Harvesting Hybrid Eurasian Water Milfoil from Lost Land Lake”. Dave made a request to purchase a digital data projector and possibly a screen for his power point presentation. The equipment will be portable and very useful at future QLIA meetings and presentations. LouAnn motioned to authorize the purchase of a digital data projector with a spending cap of $500. Norm seconded, and the members voted unanimously to approve the motion.

9. DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS LIABILITY INSURANCE RENEWAL: LouAnn reported that a payment of $560 was made to Horton Group for annual renewal of the QLIA’s liability insurance. It is a requirement that ten members of the Wisconsin Association of Lakes commit to paying this premium in order to receive a group discount. LouAnn also provided Horton Group with the names of the new QLIA officers.

10. TOWN OF SPIDER LAKE TAX INSERT: Annually, the Quiet Lakes Improvement Association partners with Spider Chain of Lakes Association to include a brochure regarding invasive aquatic species (IAS) in with the mailing of residents’ property tax bills. Dave asked if the brochure should be edited to include a cautionary statement about the 10mph speed limit on the Quiet Lakes. It was decided that the brochure should be left as is and focus only on IAS. Advance Printing will send an invoice for our share of the printing costs, which has a cap of $200. Dave expressed an interest in talking to the Spider Chain of Lakes Association about their successful endowment program.

11. ADDITIONAL BUOYS FOR STEAMBOAT BAY: Steve shared that the current high water level of the lakes has presented hazards to boater safety, particularly at the rock island site in Steamboat Bay outside of Reel Livin’ Resort.

12. SPENDING AUTHORIZATION FOR BUOYS AND HARDWARE: It was agreed to authorize the purchase of five additional buoys at the cost of $50 – $100 each; three to be placed at current hazard sites which will be identified by Steve Fiala, Norm Bratteig and Kim Phelps, and two to keep on hand for quick response to future hazardous sites. John Grady, Program Leader for Shoreland Habitat Enhancement and Navigation Safety, will be tasked with placing the buoys and will also be given a $1,000 cap to purchase any necessary chains or replacement hardware as needed for installation.

13. FALL ALGAE BLOOM ADVICE: Dave shared his response to an e-mail he received from a resident on Teal Lake regarding concern for his dog drinking water from the lake during the current fall algae bloom. Dave advised that the dog should be kept from drinking out of the lake for the duration of the bloom, which is an annual occurrence and lasts approximately two weeks.

14. REDUCED MUSKY FISHING SUCCESS: Steve shared his concern for the reduced numbers of muskies caught over the past three years on Lost Land Lake and Teal Lake. Several possibilities were discussed but Dave believes the most likely factor is the overabundance of bait fish, particularly good-sized yellow perch, which are keeping the muskies well fed and less interested in fishermen’s lures. Data shows that the musky population is excellent in both lakes.

15. FALL 2019 FISH SURVEY RESULTS AND WALLEYE STOCKINGS: Dave shared that Teal, Lost Land and Ghost lakes have been stocked this fall with walleye fingerlings. Lost Land Lake received 5 walleyes per acre while Teal and Ghost lakes received 10 walleyes per acre. The Wisconsin DNR electrofished the lakes recently in order to determine if there was any natural reproduction in 2018 or 2019, and to assess survival of the fall 2017 walleye stockings. There was very little evidence of natural reproductive survival in 2018 or 2019; but extended-growth fingerlings stocked in fall of 2017 (and earlier year-classes) were captured in relatively high number, as follows: Lost Land Lake = 74 walleyes, Teal = 143 walleyes, and Ghost = 87 walleyes. Dave will post summaries of the data on the QLIA website.

16. ANY OTHER TOPICS OF INTEREST TO EXCOM: Tom Precht asked that “Additional Fundraising and Branding for the Quiet Lakes” be added to the Winter EXCOM Meeting agenda.

17. SET WINTER EXCOM MEETING DATE/PLACE: LouAnn Phelps will host the Winter EXCOM meeting at her home on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

18. MOTION TO ADJOURN: LouAnn motioned to adjourn the meeting. Steve Fiala seconded, and the members voted unanimously to approve the motion.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:29 a.m.