Fall President’s Letter

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Where did our beautiful summer go?  What a great summer season it was on Lone Lake and a beautiful fall is on its way.  Our annual fall road clean-up was held that past Saturday, September 8th and we want to thank the 20 loyal members that came out on a beautiful day to do our road pick-up.  We were treated to rolls and coffee complements of Mike Paulbeck from Paulpecks Country Market in Aitkin.  Members sipped coffee, shared the latest news on the lake and had a group picture.  Thanks to the county the roadsides were newly mowed and it was great walking and cleaning of our Lone Lake environment.

Our last event of the season is the Shoreland Preservation Workshop to be held Saturday, September 22nd from 10 to noon at the Wetmore property at 30097 Oak Avenue with Shelly Larson presenting.  We need your participation because our grant from Aitkin Soil and Water is funded by your volunteer hours so bring the whole family!  The LLPOA is sending out a postcard to all members promoting the event and see details elsewhere in this News Brief.  This is truly part of our mission to enhance, protect and preserve the beauty of Lone Lake for the future.

IMPORTANT NEWS FLASH!  Mark Ritter contacted the LLPOA to let members know that there will not be any gravel crushing this year.  Due to timing and weather conditions the company that contracted with Mark had to cancel it plans.  We appreciate Mark Ritter’s willingness to work with the LLPOA and to let us know of future activities at the gravel pit.

The LLPOA Board held its final meeting of the year to finish-up details on 2018 and to plan for 2019 and beyond.  The Board established the 2019 LLPOA Program Calendar with some new and notable changes.  We would like to direct you to four important dates:

(1) We will hold a Future of Lone Lake Planning Session on May 4, 2019 at the Aitkin County Library in the Community Room from 9:00AM to Noon with lunch provided.  This event is open to all LLPOA members to participate in updating our Lone Lake Management Plan.  We do this roughly in five year cycles to monitor and make action plans in the areas of Water Quality, Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention, Planning and Zoning, Fish and Wildlife, Shoreland Preservation and Communications.  We divide into teams to discuss and set action goals for the next five years and you are invited to be part of this important process of lake management planning.

(2) We have moved the spring road clean-up to Saturday, May 18th which is a week later and after the Fishing Opener to avoid conflicts of having both things on the same day. 

(3) The LLPOA Boat Parade will actually be held on Thursday, July 4th in 2019

(4) The final goal set by the LLPOA Board was to have the LLPOA become paperless by the year 2020.  This goal will be discussed at the LLPOA Annual Meeting to be held on Saturday, July 20, 2019.

Finally, thank you for your membership and support of the LLPOA in 2018.  Together we can protect Lone Lake for the future.

Steve Frazier, LLPOA president

 

Gravel Pit Update

In lieu of a late-August LLPOA News Brief, we are sending you this short note to alert you to a few important and timely items:

The shoreline management workshop scheduled for Saturday, August 25 is postponed until September.  A new date will be communicated soon.

Mark Ritter, who owns the gravel pit on southeast side of the lake, notified LLPOA of plans to crush and haul gravel in early September.  Set-up of the portable crushing plant will start August 30. Crushing will begin after Labor Day weekend, starting on September 4th for 7 to 10 days, and then the gravel will be hauled away until the materials have been moved off site.  Our agreement with Mark is that he would notify the association of upcoming plans so that residents can plan accordingly.  We appreciate Mark's willingness to cooperate with the LLPOA and additional questions and concerns can be directed to him.

The annual fall Road Clean-Up will occur on Saturday, September 8. Meet at the public beach at 9:00 a.m. for coffee and rolls, a group photo, and team assignments.  Work is usually completed by 10:15 a.m. Many hands make for quick work!

LLPOA appreciates your support and your care for our beautiful lake.  Our membership has now topped 105 for 2018.  Thanks for another great summer on Lone Lake. 

 -- Steve Frazier, LLPOA President.

4th is over; Annual Meeting just ahead

Independence Week on Lone Lake was glorious, but perhaps quieter than usual because the 4th landed mid-week this year. Nevertheless, athletes competed in the annual Lone Lake Triathlon, which was organized by the VanSlooten family. On Saturday, LLPOA marked the occasion with our boat parade, despite a windy lake. Check out the photos and captions about these events elsewhere in the newsletter, website and Facebook.

What’s next? We’d like to invite everyone to our next very important LLPOA event -- the Annual Meeting and Potluck to be held on Saturday, July 21 starting at 11 a.m. at JoAnn and Dick Preiner’s storage facility on 30353 Oak Avenue. Look for the “Lone Lake Annual Meeting” sign. We will honor friends and members who have passed away this past year, including Roy and Jane Carlson, Gladys Honnold and Jane Humphreys. We will have a guest speaker and, as always, great food with the lake association providing hot sandwiches, pop, coffee and water. Join us, bring a dish to pass, and enjoy a relaxing time with neighbors.

Looking further out into August, we will host another workshop to help property owners learn techniques to protect and preserve their shorelines from erosion. The 2-3 hour session will be held the morning of Saturday, August 25 at a to-be-determined location on the lake. Please plan to attend. More information will come. Among the issues covered will be how to deal with deteriorating rip-rap, and how to make willow-wattle, an inexpensive wave-breaking barrier. The session will give you ideas on ways to hang onto your shoreline and lake hillsides, especially in these times of rising water levels and stronger waves caused by wind and bigger boats.

In light of the high lake level – thanks to recent 4-6” rainfalls – will you please keep boating activities to the middle of the lake, so waves can lose some of their energy before reaching shore? Even a slow-moving pontoon can cause a wake, so enjoy a leisurely ride around the lake. Keeping the soil from spilling into the lake will help keep our lake pristine. Thanks for your cooperation.

Thank you for your membership support of the Lone Lake Property Owners Association.
See you at the lake!
Steve Frazier, LLPOA president

2018 Boat Parade

Congratulations to our 2018 WINNERS!

 Pontoon – Decker/Sanford – Lot 123 The Red, White and Blue

Pontoon – Decker/Sanford – Lot 123 The Red, White and Blue

 Dock – J. Olson – Lot 6.1 Tall Diving Tower

Dock – J. Olson – Lot 6.1 Tall Diving Tower

 Speedboat – Mann/Gmach – Lot 68  Tribute to Lincoln

Speedboat – Mann/Gmach – Lot 68  Tribute to Lincoln

 Honorable Mention Float – Hasskamp/Laine – The Flying Unicorn

Honorable Mention Float – Hasskamp/Laine – The Flying Unicorn

Big month ahead for Lone Lake recreation

Hi Lone Lakers!  Summer is in full swing on Lone Lake and a lot is going on around the lake.  With the 4th of July coming up, I’ll highlight the week’s events.  

• Thanks to our Aitkin County Aquatic Invasive Species grant we will have county inspectors at the public landing inspecting watercraft from June 29 to July 8.  Tell your friends how to keep our lake clean. 

• The Lone Lake Triathlon is July 4 starting at 8:30 a.m. at the beach. The VanSlooten family organizes this yearly event and it is open to everyone. It features a swim, bike and run competition for females, males and teams with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each category receiving medals. Compete or come out and cheer them on.

• The Lone Lake boat parade is on Saturday,  July 7. The Wagenknecht family, last year’s pontoon competition winners, will judge the pontoons, docks and run-abouts.  Please put your Lot # on the front of your boat or dock so you can be identified. We are holding the parade on Saturday, July 7 because the LLPOA board felt that most Lone Lakers will be up for that weekend. 

Switching gears to environmental matters, LLPOA actively participated in the Aitkin County Planning Commission’s June 18th review of the mining operation in the gravel pit adjacent to Lone Lake.  Before the conditional use hearing was conducted, LLPOA spoke with Mark Ritter, who was applying for the permit, about residents’ and the association’s concerns with the operation of the gravel pit. Ritter expressed an understanding with our issues and vowed open cooperation with the association and residents.

He said he will alert the association to any major projects and impending crushing operations so that residents can plan accordingly.  

The six areas discussed with Mark Ritter and also with the Planning Commission were:

1. The intended depth of the mining not to interfere with the water table and springs around Lone Lake and any tangential effect it might have on the lake.

2. That the expansion area of the pit meets the standards set by the local, county, and state regulations and statutes as stated in the application.

3. The number of days of operational crushing and hauling.

4. Hours of operation and days during the week. Most common concerns are noise, dust and vibration.

5. Assurance that other materials will not be brought into the site for crushing.

6. Request of prior notice so that residents can plan accordingly.

The LLPOA did not oppose the granting of the five-year permit, which allows mining and crushing to occur up to six days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., standard for the county.  Ritter assured the association that there will not be a hot plant on the site, that crushing will be on a limited basis and rarely on weekends and none on holiday weekends and prior notice if any large projects are awarded.  Ritter is well known to many of us on the lake and he wishes to maintain a positive relationship with his clients on Lone Lake. The LLPOA feels that this is the best we can do and having an open line of communications with Ritter is a positive step for residents and the association.

Let’s finish with a few words about this year’s membership drive.  We have 16 teams helping with the membership drive this year and many will be trying to finish their calls by the end of Independence Day week.  It has been more difficult this year to find people home so welcome the callers when they come a ’knocking on your door.  Dues are $25 again this year and if you wish to donate an additional $45 to cover a three-hour shift of AIS inspections that would be great.  

 JoLeeAnn and David Smith 

JoLeeAnn and David Smith 

We would especially like to recognize JoLeeAnn and David Smith for their generous donation.  JoLeeAnn wrote, “I have sent a donation of $750 to support the AIS boat inspection initiative. It's not much, but we just want to let ya'll know that even though we can't physically be there, we appreciate the efforts and the outcome of those efforts when we come to our property.”  We look forward to JoLeeAnn and David becoming more active once they retire in a couple of years! So, if you would like to make a donation you can do so when the callers come around or now you can pay online using PayPal for your dues and making donations at www.lonelake.org.

Thank you for your support of the Lone Lake Property Owners Association and we’ll see you on the lake!

Steve Frasier, LLPOA President

Lone Lake Survey results posted

Last fall LLPOA  conducted a survey of our members to get your thoughts and ideas about ongoing LLPOA  events and programs.  Over 65 membership households responded with answers and thoughtful comments.  The feedback will guide the organization as we consider priorities, changes to date and times of events, and how to engage more people as volunteers. The complete survey results have been emailed as a separate document along with this newsletter.  If you receive your Lone Lake newsletter by mail, please contact Jennifer O’Neill to request a copy of the survey results.

A few highlights:

• 53%  of respondents said  Aitkin  County should do all boat inspections, if funds are available.

• 48%  told us to keep the day/time of the annual meeting as is; 35% said we could  change it to a breakfast time

•  Results were mixed on changing the date and time of the Fall and Spring Road Clean-Up events.  We may experiment with some new days.  Stay tuned.

•  Two-thirds of respondents said they would not be interested in purchasing a reprint of the Lone Lake history book, although 72% said they’d purchased a second version, if one were created.  However, a majority of people would not likely  volunteer to work on it.

Fun events, thanks & Issues start season

Hi Lone Lakers,

We have a lot going on in June on Lone Lake and the LLPOA wants to bring you up-to-date on a few items of common interest to all members.  At the Board of Directors meeting in May, Marty Cook resigned his secretarial board position, because he will be commuting to Philadelphia for the next year or two on a special work project.  After discussing how to fill the position, board member Linda Szymanski volunteered and the board unanimously approved her appointment as secretary.  We thank Marty for his dedication and great service to our association as secretary and team leader of the Fish and Wildlife Team.

 Spring road cleanup crew! Thanks all! 

Spring road cleanup crew! Thanks all! 

We also thank the 21 members that came out for the Spring Road Clean-up on Saturday, May 12.  This is a great way to meet lake neighbors and to keep the environment around the lake clean.  If you missed the event this spring, come out on September 8 for the fall clean-up.

A developing story on Lone is the application of Mark Ritter to mine and crush gravel at the pit over on Ditch Bank Road (Co. Rd. 28) with a hearing set for June 18th.  Our Land Use and Zoning Team Leader David Wilke is looking into the provision of the Conditional Use Permit Application so that the LLPOA Board can formulate a plan.  Our efforts in the past have not been successful to prevent the use so the Board will most likely seek accommodation on the hours and overall duration of  the mine and crush operation.  As we get more specific information,  we will let members know more details and hopefully have a good turnout for the hearing.  If  you’d like to weigh in,  feel free to call me.

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On a more positive note the Rivers and Lakes Fair will be held at Aitkin High School on Sat.,  June 16 from 9 a.m.  to 2 p.m.   LLPOA  is a proud $200 sponsor of  this great family event and we  urge members to take advantage of the workshops and family friendly displays

If  you have not seen our new website - check it out – www.lonelake.org.    Bev Napurski has done a great job with it and the aerial view is fantastic.   The site allows members to pay for their dues and make donations through the website by clicking on the Donation tab with transactions going through PayPal.  Membership callers will also be out to visit you during  June to receive your membership dues and donations and also chat about what is happening on the lake this summer.

  Thank you for your support of the Lake  Association and please let us know of  any news, concerns or needs that the association may be of  some help.

We’ll see you on the water!  —Steve Frazier,  president

Aquatic Invasive Species: What can we do?

This article is from the Mille Lacs Lake Watershed Management Group newsletter, and was written by Steve Hughes, Aitkin County AIS Coordinator. It is an informative background piece on the efforts being made by the state, county and lake associations to contain the spread of aquatic invasive species in lakes and streams.

As we enter our 4th summer of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)prevention efforts, it is good to reflect back on where we started and how this program has evolved. In 2014 the MN State Legislature began distributing funding to counties based upon a formula that includes the number of public accesses in a county and the number of parking spaces at those accesses. Aitkin County ranks in the top 10 counties in the State for public accesses to lakes and rivers. Aitkin County receives about $275,000 annually to be used to stop or slow the spread of AIS.

In September 2014 Aitkin County received about $125,000 to begin an Aquatic Invasive Species prevention program in Aitkin County. That initial funding was used to purchase 3 decontamination units on trailers that are placed at various public landings. In addition, we purchased equipment for AIS Inspectors to use such as safety vests, coolers, shirts, hats, etc.

In 2015 we started to implement our AIS Plan which includes education, inspections, enforcement, rapid response funds for new AIS discoveries, maintenance of AIS equipment, and administration/coordination. In 2016 we increased inspection hours to about 420 hours per access and increased our covered accesses to 16 full coverage and 4 to 6 partial coverage. We operated 3 hot water decontamination units. We completed about 10,000 inspections from mid-May thru early-September. All of the numbers reflect increases over 2015. No boats with zebra mussels were found in 2016. Some invasive plants were found. Education continues to be our highest priority. In 2016 we staffed the Governor's Fishing Opener in the Big Sandy area with additional inspectors and 1 extra decontamination unit.  In 2016 the Aitkin County Sheriff's office greatly increased their involvement with education of boaters and roadside inspections. DNR Conservation Officer support remains very strong. 

In 2017 we added 2 additional lakes and hired 26 inspectors for the summer. The majority of the approximately $275,000 funding for Aitkin County per year is spent on inspections. 

Our goal for 2018 is 30 inspectors. We will have inspectors at the major accesses in the county; we will have the decontamination units operating; and, we will continue to provide education about AIS to as many lake users as possible.  

We recently applied to fund an innovative project to provide clean water for fishermen to change their bait water when they are leaving the waterbody.  This funding is being provided through the MN Initiative Foundation.  It is unlawful to transport water from Minnesota lakes and rivers or to release bait into the water. A project regarding this issue will begin in May, 2018. Bait shops and resorts in Aitkin County will give one gallon of fresh water to those who buy bait. This project specifically focuses on slowing the spread of AIS such as spiny waterflea, zebra mussels, invasive plants, and starry stonewort.  To encourage boaters to return the bag after use, $.50 cash will be paid for the bag or $1.00 off any artificial bait in the store.  The plastic bag features information to educate users on methods to slow the spread of AIS.  This project is designed to promote sustainable practices by recycling the bag as well as preserving the consumer’s bait. More importantly, the goal of this project is to educate boaters about AIS and to prevent their spread throughout Aitkin County and Minnesota.
 
Each year we start boat inspections on the Friday before the fishing opener and we inspect through Labor Day. In July, we sample ten of our larger lakes for Zebra Mussel veligers (young). We continue to sample and analyze lakes for available calcium which may be a limiting factor for Zebra Mussel populations. 

Our existing inspection schedule covers Friday afternoons, Saturday, Sunday, and the summer holidays. We try to match the available funds with the days and hours when the highest number of boaters can be reached and educated. 

In late 2015 one of our Big Sandy Lake inspectors stopped the launch of a fishing boat that had hundreds of live zebra mussels attached. A Conservation Officer was called and the boat was sent to a decontamination station.  The owner received a hefty fine for the transport of aquatic invasives.  It is sobering to consider the damage that one boat could have caused to a large beautiful lake.  

Do AIS prevention efforts matter?  We are convinced that they do! 

If you have questions or need more information please contact Steve Hughes @ (218)927-6565 or hughes.aitkinswcd@gmail.com.