Meeting Minutes: August 12, 2017

Siseebakwet Lake Association Board of Directors Meeting Minutes August 12, 2017


The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m. by president Bruce Erickson.  A quorum was present including Betsy M., Gwynne B., Deb H., Bill H., Roger Q., John O., Marv C., Bruce E., and Sharon H.  Also in attendance was Joanne C., a visiting SLA member.


Siseebakwet rental property concerns will be discussed under New Business.


Motion was made by Deb H. and seconded by Bill H. to accept the minutes of the July board meeting with no corrections,


Roger Q., treasurer, reported that the SLA account has a current balance of $21,487.49.  Overall year-to-date income is $6,012.02 while year-to-date expenses have totaled $1,526.25, for an overall total income balance of $4,485.77 so far this year. The total amount collected for the fireworks was only $805.00, this due to very low participation.  Bruce stated that some Sugar Lake property owners who gave significant amounts towards fireworks in the past, did not contribute this year because they felt that their generosity was not appreciated or acknowledged.  In the future, there may need to be a different system for tracking fireworks donations.  Betsy M. moved to approve the treasurer’s report.  Marv C. seconded the motion with an “aye” vote by all.


    a).  SLA Committee Structure - Betsy M. and Gwynne B. outlined a new model called the “committee model,” that could be used to restructure the SLA board of directors.  Using this model, the board keeps the four necessary officer positions: president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.  Then, three main committees could be formed, i) Lake Management & Education, ii) Membership, iii) Communication.  Each of these three committees would be chaired by an SLA board member.  Each committee chair recruits volunteers to work on projects that are within the parameters of that committee.  The volunteers would not necessarily be board members.  Several positive comments were made regarding this model including a potential for getting more people involved in the actual work of the lake association. If the “committee model” was adopted, fewer people would be needed to serve on the SLA board, which would also affect the number needed to reach a quorum at meetings.  In order to make these changes, the SLA by-laws would need to be amended and a vote taken by the membership.  No action will be taken on the “committee model” this year.

    b).  Weir Subcommittee

          i).  Approve Weir letters and mail out

This committee met and a letter was drafted by Tim M. regarding the impact of potential weir failure.  The purpose of this letter is to make all property owners on Siseebakwet, South Sugar, and those in the watershed area, aware of the weir’s purpose, it’s current state of deterioration, and to update them on the weir replacement plan and it’s cost.  The letter also outlines the need for and requests contributions for this purpose.  Roger Q. informed the board that in order to comply with 501c tax laws, the letter needs to state specifically how the contributions will be used, as well as any “extra” amount collected that is over the actual cost of the project.  The letter was reviewed and revisions made by board members with a final draft approved.  Motion was made by Bruce E. and seconded by Deb H. to finalize the letter, get it printed on aqua-blue colored paper, and mailed out within the next week, with an “aye” vote by all.

    c).  Web-site Update - Bruce E. reported that he and Abby have discussed some changes that would make the site more user-friendly and easier to navigate such as, better categorization.   

    d).  Survey Update - Results are coming in. Fifty people have responded so far.  Responses are showing that septic systems and fertilizer-use are still big issues.   

    e).  ICOLA:  Invite to SLA meeting Aug./Sept. - In past meetings, board members have questioned the value of belonging to this organization (Itasca Coalition of Lake Associations).  The concept of the organization is good, though there seems to be a lack of communication between ICOLA and the SLA.  This Fall, Patricia Gould-St. Aubin, current president of Pokegama Lake Association, will be taking over presidency of ICOLA along with Bill Grantges as vice president.  Patty Gould-St. Aubin has agreed to attend the Fall SLA membership meeting on Sept. 3, 2017.  Betsy M. moved and Gwynne B. seconded a motion to remain members of ICOLA and pay dues for the upcoming year with an “aye” vote by all.

    f).  AIS Plan:  Task Force Report from 8/10/2017 Meeting - The AIS task force, consisting of nine members, met to brainstorm ideas for an initial AIS plan for Siseebakwet.  Members of the task force include Fred Bobich, Bill Grantges, Chuck Jurvelin, Dennis Magner, Tim Walker, Bruce Erickson, Don Hilligoss, Lance Lonson, and Don Osell.  An AIS plan for any lake depends on it’s current status of contamination and type of contamination and falls into one of four categories: 1) Prevention, 2) Detection, 3) Treatment/Rapid response, 4) Monitor/follow-up.  Because Siseebakwet has four upstream lakes and low public use, it’s AIS infestation risk rating is “moderate”.  And because Siseebakwet’s risk rating is relatively low, it is a low priority for receiving resources.  The task force focused the initial plan for Siseebakwet on Prevention and Detection.  

  • Prevention can be accomplished through education such as AIS articles in the SLA newsletter, e-mails, and “welcome pamphlets” to new neighbors.  It is also important to have DNR certified watercraft inspectors at the public access.  The task force will have a follow-up meeting in Spring 2018 to discuss ways of involving resort owners and staff as well as property-owners for AIS inspection training and possible placement of as AIS decontamination unit.   

  • Detection of zebra mussels was discussed.  A zebra mussel detector is located at the public access.  Anyone who owns a dock, boat, or any watercraft should be looking for any signs of zebra mussel infestation when removing water equipment from all areas of the lake.  Both Paul Grooms and Dale Anderson are certified in AIS identification/detection and would report any issue they find when they remove equipment in the Fall.  Designating one day a year as a “lake survey day” when shoreline property owners would “look and identify” AIS was another idea discussed by the task force.   

    g).  Speaker for Fall Meeting - Gwynne B. has lined up sculptor/potter, Tom Page, to be the main speaker at the Fall membership meeting on Sept. 3, 2017.  Discussed other people who might agree to speak at future meetings such as Carroll Henderson, who gives presentations on his loon studies, and/or a presentation about wolves from someone at the Ely Wolf Center.

Fall Membership Meeting:  

                                           Social  5:30-6:00 p.m.

                                           Dinner  6:00-6:30 p.m.

     SLA President Bruce Erickson  Sugar Lake Update

             Main Speaker, Tom Page  7:15-8:00 p.m.


     h).  New Board Members/Nominating Committee - Current SLA board members whose terms expire this year:  Bruce Freeman, Maxine Otis, Deb Hagenbuck, Bill Grantges, and Bruce Erickson.  Deb H. has agreed to be re-nominated for a board position.  Bruce E. has agreed to continue to work on the AIS task force, the weir sub-committee and do water testing, but will not be returning to the board next year.  The SLA membership will need to vote on prospective board members at the September 3rd meeting.  


    a).  Rental Units on Siseebakwet - Discussion held regarding rental landlords’ responsibilities.  It was suggested that rental property owners receive a “new neighbor pamphlet” which they could display in their homes.  This pamphlet could include such things as, 1)  how to check watercraft for AIS, 2)  regulations for lawful operation of various watercraft, 3)  “safety” suggestions for wildlife encounters and tips for optimum viewing of wildlife.   If anyone observes illegal behavior while operating watercraft on the lake, they should call the sheriff.  SLA board members do not have any power to control and/or enforce laws.


    a). New Neighbor/Membership - Covered above.

    b). Social - Covered above.

    c). Lake Management & Education - Covered above.

    d). Nominating - Covered above.

    e). Road Clean-up -  Fall clean-up coming in September.  Hagenbucks will use the website       

         to recruit help.

    f). Receiver of Notice - None.

    g). ICOLA - Covered above.


Bill H. moved and Roger Q. seconded a motion to adjourn with an “aye” vote by all at 10:45 a.m.

FALL SLA MEMBERSHIP MEETING - Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, Sugar Lake Lodge

NEXT BOARD MEETING - Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, 8:30 a.m., Sugar Lake Lodge