GLPA Annual Meeting Aug 12th, 2017

We had a great turn-out for today’s GLPA Membership Meeting on a beautiful day! We sort of joke every year that a drizzly morning is our friend, so that our members have nothing better to do than attend a meeting 🙂

A quick recap for those who weren’t there:

Chad Kraai was elected to fill Doyle Smith’s seat on the Board; and then Rob Heethuis, Deb Masselink, and Chad Kraai were re-elected to serve another 3-yr term.

Our 501C4 status has been finalized!  We are no longer being taxed on any money we hold aside for future needs – 100% of our members’ dues now goes toward the good of the lake.  A huge THANK YOU! to Ryan Cole for making this happen!

Barry Co Sheriff Dar Leaf, Sgt Julie Jones, and two deputies presented Certificates of Appreciation to the people/families who assisted at the July 1st boating accident and surely saved lives – all of them were given a standing ovation by the membership.

I gave a happy recap about the round-the-lake water testing that showed zero e-coli in the lake – and one of the lowest e-coli readings on the Cuddy Drain, ever!  The Cuddy remediation is finished, and working nicely.  The Dam replacement is waiting for DEQ permits, and tentatively scheduled to begin late this fall.  GLIB (Gun Lake Improvement Board) is encountering a particularly-heavy year with invasive weeds and harvesting requests; and is currently $35,000 over the proposed yearly budget.

Rob reported that several of us on the GLPA are working with the Gun Lake Tribe, the State DNR and the Allegan County Parks Dep’t to hopefully install boat washes at Yankee Springs State Park and Allegan County Park, to help stop the spread of the aquatic invasive species that create so many problems.

Rob told the crowd that the DNR Fisheries Department has asked the GLPA to consider a very small Muskie planting – one fish per 2.5 acres.  Rob had the crowd respond, by a show of hands, how many supported or did not support this proposal (also – how many had “no opinion”) – I’ll edit this post later to give the ratio; but the “no” group was the majority.  The GLPA will be sending out a card with more info and a formal ballot this fall on this topic.

Jan Schuiling and Dan Ullery gave a report on this year’s fireworks (which were awesome, by the way!) – Jan will be stepping back (after decades of expertly handling the program – you just can’t imagine how many permits and groups need to be coordinated for this!) and letting Dan handle next year’s display with her assistance.

A motion was made by a member in the audience, to add a line item “Legal Fees Donation” to the annual GLPA membership cards that will be mailed out next spring.  Many members expressed their desire to help financially.  The motion was seconded, and approved unanimously.  Another motion was made, seconded, and also unanimously-approved to continue working with our lawyers past the Marina’s  DEQ permit deadline (still no permit as of today), since zoning still needs to be addressed; and appeals might need to be filed.

Sarah Nelson of the Barry County Conservation District dropped off flyers showing what Phragmites look like and why we don’t want them – unfortunately, they are becoming very prevalent in our area.  They are easy to spot – they look like TALL grass (6′ to 15′ tall) with huge purple seedheads in the summer,  turning to silver plumes in the fall and winter.  They like “wet feet”, so can be found where cattails like to grow.  It’s a pretty plant; that can turn into a terrifying fire once ignited.  Here’s Sarah’s flyer, and I tagged a photo of a “Phrag Fire” at the end: