On Your Behalf
NEWS FROM THE BOARD 8/21/2018
COMPLETION OF THE NEW DRAIN
We are pleased to announce that the Bald Eagle lake drain was completed by the WRC this month. As many residents know, this past February our lake drain that connects to the M15 drain collapsed and caused flooding to the north end of the lake. The drain was completely replaced and new, larger culverts were installed to help head off any future flooding.
This season Board members had received numerous complaints of reckless operation of vessels, playing chicken with PWCs, lack of wearing PFDs on PWCs, and lack of marine safety knowledge.
The Board members attempted to discuss with residents/members, only to be yelled at profanely with no improvement. Many of the issues are related to people who do not live on the lake, but rather are guests on the lake.
The Board of Directors sought input from the Sheriff who reported that the Marine Patrol has been contracted on 15 other lakes in Oakland County and explained the process. The Board voted unanimously to contract with the Sheriff's Marine Division. Our Board was voted into office to make decisions on the residents’ behalf, which is exactly what we did
The accident on Memorial Day weekend involved two PWCs playing chicken and not wearing PFDs. A resident/member jumped on his PWC to take to the injured victim a PFD as he was struggling to get out of the water and onto his PWC). Last year there was a near drowning due to reckless PWCs creating a wake and capsizing a small fishing boat (the occupant also was not wearing a PFD).
Since the patrols began Board members have received threatening phone calls, emails and social media posts from a very small minority of residents, who insist that this is a private lake and the sheriff cannot be here. Previous to 2008 the Oakland County Marine Sheriff regularly patrolled the lakes in the County, including Bald Eagle. Because of the 2008 recession the State of Michigan stopped funding the patrols, which is why newer residents have not seen them. Since then lakes have had to pay for this service.
When the Marine Sheriff's division docked their boat it was egged the first night and untied the second night and floating in the lake. Damaging government property is a felony.
The Sheriff has jurisdiction on the water and they are here for everyone's safety.* They have issued only a few tickets (PWCs with underage driver, no PFD and no boater safety course) and many warnings. Many of the residents/members have thanked the officers for being on the lake. Many residents have told the Board members also how nice it is to be able to pull tubers, canoe, and kayak as the lake is safer to do so.
Overall lake residents support the Sheriff being here at least 5 to 1
Remember the Board was elected by the members to serve the good of all members. You are either part of the solution or part of the problem.
* Law Enforcement Division
PUBLIC RIGHTS ON MICHIGAN WATERS
Under the law of this state, although the riparian owner on an inland lake or stream owns the soil under the water, he does not own the navigable water, and he does not own the fish. So far as they are capable of ownership, they belong to the state for the benefit of the people.
By judicial decision
Highlights of theAnnual Meetings
2018 May 19 Old Town Hall, Ortonville
Board members present: President Kal Kazak, Vice President Rick Meisner, Treasurer Barb Duval, Secretary Donna Domanke-Nuytten Board Members: Sandy White, Carol Ulman. Absent: Jody Hall.
Two board members have been replaced by board election. Rick Meisner replaced Jeremy Kratt as VP and Barb Duval replaced Jody Hall as Treasurer.
John Dean from Canal Dr was elected to the board. There is still one seat open. If you would like to be on the board please contact Kal.
President Kazak mentioned the loss of long time lake resident and past board member Aggie Fick, citing all her work for BELPOA.
Kal Kazak reported that the water level was up 12" this winter due to the problem with the drain. Carol Ulman stated that there was 15" of ice, then the rain came. WRC was contacted and they provided temporary removal of water by pumping out. It was determined that the drain collapsed because it is 60–-70 years old. The WRC will replace the drain this spring at Glass Rd. and M15. They are awaiting parts. This is county maintained. BELPOA thanked Bedrock for their donation of sandbags and Sue Workman for a financial donation.
The board is going to set a system to send emails to residents with timely and/or emergency information. Please share your email with us. It will not be shared with anyone else.
Merchandise sales were successful last year. We have new design and colors this year. Some from last year are available at a reduced price.
Results of the survey on the membership from was discussed. 70 out of 104 paid members answered the survey: 24 want news by email, 8 want to pay online, 1 would serve on the board, 37 are for sewers, 6 opposed to sewers, 4th of July parade no response, 1 volunteer for water testing, 1 website volunteer. We are sending newsletters by email for those who sign up. We will not pursue paying online until more people are interested. 37 out of 104 members for sewers is not enough to actively pursue that at this time
A five year agreement for access to the boat launch has been signed with EIPA. It is valid until 2022.
We voted to provide up to $100 for prizes to 4th of July parade winners. We still need someone to coordinate the parade. Duties include purchase the prizes, register the boats at the boat launch, find judges secretly, hand out prizes. Contact Kal.
Motorcycles on ice was discussed. In a meeting with the owner of the Boat Bar, he indicated he has no intention of limiting access from his property to the lake. The DNR can be called to ticket cyclists who leave gas cans on the lake.
Discussion about swans and geese. There seem to be less geese on the lake this year. The two swans have not been a problem. Linda Smith mentioned that the mute swans are considered an invasive species by the DNR.
2017 May 20, Brandon Library
A general membership meeting of BELPOA was called to order at 10:00 AM at the library. There were 21 members present and 8 board members: President- Kal Kazak, Vice President- Jeremy Kratt, Treasurer-Jody Hall, Secretary-Donna Domanke-Nuytten, Media Specialist- Sandy White, Rick Meisner and Barbara Duval, Carol Ulman
President: Kal informed the membership that Board membes JJ Johnson has passed away and expressed condolences to the family. Kal reported that a five year lease for use of the boat ramp was signed with EIPA that includes our helping to pay for any improvements if they are needed.
Vice-President: Jeremy reported that the water depths have returned to normal levels. There was as 5" to 6 ½ "drop from last month. Jeremy has also investigated the removal of geese. We would need a 51% approval of the membership. A show of hands at the meeting revealed that all were in favor. This would involve egg shaking April 1 and relocation of the geese by the Geesebusters company. A question from the membership about removal of swans was also raised, because of a very aggressive male swan chasing pets and children. Two dogs have been attacked as well. Jeremy will look into. This requires a federal permit.
Reports of Standing Committees:
Water Quality Report: Sandy reported that the water quality is good although the ammonia level has risen this year. Water quality report is in the newsletter.
Website Report: Sandy request historical photos be sent to her for putting on the website since that is one of the visited pages.
Parade/Picnic: Carol Ulman will lead the 4th of July boat parade, 1 PM, outside of the beach area. Picnic at the beach with prizes given after the parade. Contest for Patriotism, Originality, and Bald Eagle Lake Spirit.
Complaints of motorcycles on ice. Kal has contacted Boat Bar Owner to discuss issues, willing to meet. Signage suggested with disclosure. No motorized vehicles on the lake as it damages the lake per the Oakland County Sheriff. An agreement from 2003 signed by John Hagar states no marine access from the bar. A discussion ensued regarding whether or not ice/frozen lake was marine access. We will continue to investigate.
T-shirts - T-shirt styles and sizes have been expanded, V-necks, youth sizes, Koozies, glassware. Order forms are available on the home page.
On-line Dues payment — the board will investigate.
A question was raised as to whether or not the newsletter would be available online. The discussion was mixed regarding this.
We will create Facebook for BELPOA members.
Sewers – A postcard survey will be sent to all Bald Eagle Lake residents, so we have an idea if that would be supported.
Discussion about unsafe boating practices.
Discussion about Rafts being too far from shoreline.
Election of Board of Directors: Kal Kazak, Donna Domanke-Nuytten, Jeremy Kratt and Sandy White were reelected Congratulations to everyone.
Next Meeting: Saturday, May 19, 2018.
2016 May 27, Brandon Library
President Bill Reinhart resigned because he has sold his house and will be moving away from the lake. Kal Kazak thanked Bill for his service to the organization. Bill has done a great job and has been an asset to the Bald Eagle Lake Property Owners Association.
Three new board members were elected: Rick Meisner (Allen Ct), Carol Ulman (Canal Dr) and Barb Duval (Sunset Rd).
BELPOA tee shirts were available for sale at the meeting. They will also be available at the July 4th picnic at Dunwoodie Beach.
We will be working on holding an "Ice Softball" tournament in the winter.
There was discussion about power loading—when a boat driver guns the motor to get more speed to load onto the trailer.
Kal discussed the destruction this causes to the launch area. John Smith of EIPA, which own the launch stated that 6 inches of stone had been added 5 feet out. Perhaps a sign on the inside of the boat launch area would be appropriate. Boaters are asked to refrain from this.
At the BELPOA board meeting following the annual meeting Kal Kazak was elected President, Jeremy Kratt Vice-President, Jody Hall Treasurer, and Donna Domanke-Nuytten Secretary.
After concerns about the high water, President Kal Kazak contacted the Oakland County Drain Commission. They cleaned the clogged drain the last week in May. According to Jeremy Kratt's water depth measurements the lake dropped from 8.25 " to 7" by May 31.
At the BELPOA Board meeting on May 16 the following peoplewere elected to be officers:
President: Kal Kazak
Vice President: Jeremy Kratt
Treasurer: Jody Hall
Secretary: Donna Domanke-Nuytten
New Board members:
Rick Meisner (Allen Ct),
Carol Ulman (Canal Dr)
Barb Duval (Sunset Rd).
The Committee formed to revise the By-Laws of BELPOA, reported their suggested changes. They were approved.
Water test report: According to Test America all the categories we tested were within normal ranges. See the report.
At the BELPOA Board meeting on May 16 the following peoplewere elected to be officers:
President: Bill Reinhart
Vice President: Kal Kazak
Treasurer: Jody Hall
Secretary: Dawn Godfrey
Boat Launch Ramp Replaced
by John Smith
BELPOA worked with the Eagle Island Protective Association to repair the boat ramp last fall. They sent out seven bids, four were returned and John Wudarcki's came in the cheapest by $3,000. He had done the previous ramp and had a good idea of what needed to be done.
The work included pulling all existing slabs which are connected by rods and installing two new 12 ft.. x 6 ft. x 4 in. thick slabs. When putting in the new slabs the depth of the launch was adjusted 12 inches lower to add depth for when water levels are low. The two new slabs were installed first, followed by the four existing slabs and 2 inches of stone was added at the end of the launch for extra length for trailers that go far into the water. When the job was completed we had close to 6 ft. of water depth at the end of the launch. The job took about a week to complete. We are expecting to have a good summer at the launch.
2014 May 17, 2014 Brandon Library
Several people complained about the noise from the motorcycle racing on the lake. BELPOA will contact the Boat Bar about this issue with a petition of people bothered by the noise.
A Committee was formed to revise the By-Laws of BELPOA, which were written in 1981. The committee will propose changes, which will be voted on at the next annual meeting. Members may make suggestions.
2013 May 18, 2013 Brandon Library
Swimmers Itch was discussed. Legal Burn days will be posted on the website. Discussion about fences resulted in the formation of a committee to explore the possiblilties and report back to the membershio next year.
2012 June 2, Brandon Library
All board members were present plus 19 lake residents.
Last year we investigated getting the marine sheriff to patrol the lake this summer. However the expense is too great to pursue.
Ramp Key Policy. The combination worked well last year. John Smith will be changing the combination frequently over the summer.
John Smith also brought up the issue of who has access to the beach on Dunwoodie. This is private property that belongs to residents of of the Eagle Island Protective Association, mostly people who do not live right on the lake. Unless your own property defined in this subdivision you are not eligible to use the beach. Joining BELPOA does not include use of this beach.
There was much discussion about the algae on the lake. The drain from the lake is next to John Nassar's property and John had taken care of the drain for many years. Unfortunately John and his wife are no longer living there. This spring Mark Carter did a lot of work clearing the drain to help get rid of the algae. The drain belongs to the county and they are supposed to maintain it. The Nassar family does not want anyone on their property for safety reason, so we will have to make sure the county follows through.
Steve Ahonen emphasized the importance of septic tank cleaning. Steve also reported the effects of the warm winter on the weeds, with less snow the weeds got more sunlight and will probably be worse this summer. We will know later this summer. Zebra mussels also make the water clearer, encouraging weed growth. Bill Reinhart reported that the two years the lake clarity has actually declined.
Lake Board - Weeds
Tim Andreolli brought up the issue of needing a lake board to deal with the weeds. Jim Miller, Steve Ahonen, Roger Duval Jody Hall and Rich Harrold all reported that we have not gotten enough support for a lake board from the residents of the lake.
Roger Duval proposed we put a check box on the annual dues notice asking people if they are interested in investing in a lake board. Vote: 25 for, 3 opposed.
Rick Fisher wanted the BELPOA website to post information about Aquaweed, a company that does localized weed control. He feels using this company is better than homeowners applying unsafe and unregulated chemicals to control weeds. Several people questioned the safety of these chemicals in the lake.
Jody Hall proposed we put this information on the website. Vote: 25 for 2 opposed.
Bill Reinhart mentioned that the swans are being fed by people, which is making them too friendly and aggressive. Several people reported on encounters with the swans. Steve Ahonen reiterated that we should not feed the wildlife.
Greg Guziak raised the issue of fences on the lake side of people's property. Jim Miller will send a letter to the Township Zoning Commission to request changing the ordinance so that people cannot put up fences higher than 4 feet from their house to the shore. It is a safety issue as well as an aesthetic one. Steve Ahonen seconded. Passed
Jim Miller proposed that we change the by-laws to move the day of the annual meeting to the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend because of Creekfest. Rich Harrold seconded. Passed.
Rick Meissner offered to take care of stocking fish if we want to do it. Steve Ahonen and Sandy White said it was unnecessary and possibly dangerous and our lake is not a good habitat for walleye.
ASSOCIATION GETS SPEED LIMIT REDUCED
Normally our association would only be concerned about speeding on the water and not the adjoining roads but we felt that it was our responsibility to protect our residents from a potential hazardous situation.
Soon after our annual meeting a speed limit sign was installed on Bald Eagle Lake Road that increased the speed limit from 25 MPH to 45 MPH. This sign was placed within 100 feet of a curving road sign. There are children living in the home next to the sign in addition to walkers and cyclists that share this road. There was not enough time to react to the curved road sign when an automobile is travels at 45 MPH. It is common to hear squealing tires at all hours.
The township was contacted and we were told that the sign was the decision of the road commission. The resident contacted the road commission and requested the speed limit be reduced back to 25 MPH and was told there is nothing that can be done at the county level. Our association then wrote a letter to our state representative but received only an email that it was received with no further action on their part.
Within 10 days of sending our letter the news media reported a fatal accident at Allen Road and Bald Eagle Lake Road. (It was later revised to report that it was further down Bald Eagle Lake Road.) Our township supervisor, Kathy Thurman was immediately contacted and she was able to convince the road commission to do a study of the speed limit on the portion of Bald Eagle Lake Road with the new 45 MPH sign. Soon after the study the speed limit was reduced to 20 MPH from 45 MPH along with large directional arrows by Garland Ave. at the end of the pavement.
Lake Weeds... What to Do?
by Rob Rohde
Many people are concerned about the weeds in front of their homes and how to get rid of them. The best way is using good, old work. You need to rake the bottom—and there are many tools out there for this.
A landscaping rake works well. Do some research. The Oakland Lakefront Magazine (www.oaklandlakefront.com/) is a good source for this.
The most important thing is that you must remove the weeds from the water. If you do not, they will settle and regrow. This is why it is so important to clean your lakefront regularly. Believe it or not, you will get good results.
Now, on the issue of lily pads; these are harder to get out. The pads are how these plants live, so you must remove them. The lily is a tuber which grows under the bottom sediment. To get rid of the plant you should remove as much of the tuber as possible. Blasting them out with water is the best way.
Remember, the more you use your lake front, the better it will become. The more you stir up the bottom, the more the weeds cannot take hold and grow. So, good luck and you have your work to do.
Lake Study Results
We hired Wally Fusilier, Consulting Limnologist, of Water Quality Investigators, of to do an in-depth study of the lake. The recommendations from a follow up letter on the report from Mr. Fusilier are:
- It is not in the best interest of Bald Eagle Lake to be plant free.
- Harvesting is a good method of removing aquatic plants for several reasons:
- The plants are removed, so they don’t settle to the bottom and create additional organic material
- The nutrients in the plants are, of course, removed with them, so they don’t add the already nutrient rich bottom sediment
- No dissolved oxygen is used up to decompose the plants, which otherwise would have accumulated at the bottom
- Harvesting churns up the shallow water bottom sediments, exposing them to oxygen which helps decompose the organic material in the sediments.
- Since harvesting doesn’t remove the entire plant, the remaining part can prevent sediment from being mixed into the water by wind or boat action. Keeping nutrients out of the water will improve water quality
Mr. Fusilier recommends against aquatic herbicides for the following reasons:
- The herbicide kills all plants thus exposing the bottom sediments to wave and boat action which will then result in a deterioration in water quality.
- The dead plants settle to the bottom and as they decay, they use up dissolved oxygen in the water and release nutrients which promote algal blooms. The associated reduction in dissolved oxygen and release of nutrients is worse with the use of herbicides than the natural process of plants dieing in the fall if the herbicide is applied in the spring or summer because the warmer water speeds the decay process while at the same time it holds less dissolved oxygen
- There is a potential health risk associated with the use of herbicides
A lake service representative stated that annual cutting does not eliminate weeds as they grow back with more vigor. They actually prefer this method since it produces a steady year after year income for their business. A discussion with a harvester indicated that the cutting encourages the weeds to grow stronger stems as more nourishment is forced down to the remaining weeds. We use this same procedure with our plants by cutting some back to created fuller blooms of flowers and larger fruits and vegetables. Expenses associated with this option are discussed later.
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This method uses chemicals that destroy all weeds. The plants will rise to the top and float to the shores. Swimming is not allowed for a number of days after the chemicals are applied. Some fish may die due to the lack of cover. A conversation with a homeowner on Houghton Lake stated that he spent a day a weekend raking and removing the dead weeds from his shoreline. This option is not without environmental consequences. Aquatic Nuisance Specialist Laura Esman said in the June 28, '04 issue of The Citizen: "The DEQ says in most cases chemicals are also a temporary treatment and impact the biodiversity of the lake environment, including killing the fish."This option too, involves considerable expense, which will be discussed later.
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Environmentally Sensitive Methods
There are three no-cost actions residents can take to improve the water quality in the lake and control weed-growth: proper septic maintenance; ditch-drainage control from Bald Eagle Road; and fertilizer elimination/reduction. Details follow:
Septic Maintenance: Have your septic system cleaned and inspected at least every three years for part-
time residents and every two years for full-time residents.
Ditch-Drainage Control from Bald Eagle Road: Petition Oakland County to eliminate direct drainage from the Bald Eagle Lake Road ditch at the south end of lake.
Fertilizer Elimination/Reduction: Eliminate or greatly reduce the use of fertilizers that make our lawns greener. A recent article in The Citizen quotes Todd Losee, an Environmental Quality Specialist from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality: "phosphates, the active ingredient in lawn fertilizers cause excessive growth of both native and non-native water plants in lakes and wetlands
Fertilizer runoff increases nutrients to aquatic plants life, causing a disruption in the natural cycle of life in lakes and wetlands."
These nutrients that wash into the lake with every downpour assist weed growth in the lake and are usually unnecessary. In actuality, most of the soil types found in our area do not require fertilizer at all. Residents who insist on lawns are advised to have their soil tested to learn how much fertilizer, if any, is needed for a healthy lawn. By finding a way to control the use of fertilizer, we could make real progress toward ridding our lake of unwanted weeds, and there would be no cost associated with this option.
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How do we pay for these alternatives?
Mechanical harvesting and herbicidal treatments must be paid as a special assessment on all owners. Our association cannot provide this service since we do not have 100% membership of all owners. It is unlikely that everyone would voluntarily contribute to the cost.
Through their Lake Board Lake Louise residents are assessed an annual amount of $32,900 for the next five years for harvesting and chemical treatments for 30 to 50 acres. If we treated only half our
lake the yearly cost would be approximately $50,000.
Under the environmentally sensitive option (choosing not to use fertilizer), there are no additional costs incurred for the lake property owners. But residents cannot be coerced into this alternative without government involvement.
How does the government get involved in any of the above methods?
A Lake Board, such as that which now governs Lake Louise, must be established in order to assess the
costs of mechanical or herbicidal treatments.
An article in the July, 2000 issue of Oakland Lakefront Magazine published an extensive article titled "Establishing a Lake Board."The article stated : " ...establishing a board required two-thirds of the lakefront property owners whose property actually abuts the lake to sign a petition asking to form such a board. Once the petition has been signed by the appropriate number of lakefront property owners, the petition is forwarded to the local governing body where the lake is located. The local governing body
must then pass a resolution within 60 days to establish the lake improvement board." This allows the costs to be included on the property tax bills.
With a decision to voluntarily govern our own use of fertilizers and maintain our septic systems, there would be no need for government involvement. To get 100% cooperation in this option, the township would need to pass an ordinance regulating the use of fertilizers in lake areas, or throughout the township.
We have some difficult decisions ahead of us. We need to explore every available avenue and think carefully about the direction we choose. Most are in agreement that something must be done. Our hope is that over the coming months, some consensus will develop among Bald Eagle Lake residents so that whatever we decide to do will be the best possible solution for ourselves and for our lake.
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