Board Meeting Minutes 3/25/21

Mid Lake Protection and Management District
Board Meeting
Wednesday, March 25, 2021
7 p.m. CST
Woodruff Town Hall
Board of Commissioners
Present: Mike Timmons (Town of Woodruff).
Present via video conferencing: Bob Mott (Oneida County), Ed Bruner (Chairman), Andy Bullock (Treasurer), Scott Bullock (Secretary), and Robert Grant
Not present: Nick Iordachescu

Ed Bruner called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. CST

The agenda was reviewed by the quorum. Bob Mott motioned to approve and seconded by Andy Bullock. Vote: 6 Aye 0 Nay. Motion passed. The meeting commenced accordingly.

Prior Minutes
The minutes from the early meeting on September 23, 2020 were reviewed. Minutes were motioned by Andy Bullock and seconded by Mike Timmons. Vote: 6 Aye 0 Navy. Motion passed. The minutes were approved and to be posted on Mid Lake District website.

Date(s) of future meetings
The next meeting will be held at Woodruff Town Hall on May 19, 2021 at 7p.m. CST

How to stagger commissioner elections IAW Chapter 33
As allowed by Chapter 33, there are five elected commissioners and two appointed commissioners. Currently, the election cycle is: 3 positions, 2 positions, 0 positions. The Board’s intent to shorten the term for one commissioner (Andy Bullock) to a two year term. This one time deviation will allow for a new election cycle of: 2 positions, 2 positions, 1 position. This new cycle (as shown in the table below) will provide the District an election every year.

Old Method New Method
Year # of commissioners to be elected Year # of commissioners to be elected
2020 - 3 2020 - 3
2021 - 2 2021 - 2
2022 - 0 2022 - 1 (due to one-time deviation of a 2 year term)
2023 - 3 2023 - 2
2024 - 2 2024 - 2
2025 - 0 2025 - 1

With the exception of this one deviation, the Board will ensure that if any commissioner has their term terminated early their replacement will fill the rest of that commissioner’s original term instead of a full 3 year term. If someone does leave the Board the Chairperson shall appoint a person to fill the remainder of the unexpired term subject to approval by the majority vote of the Board [33.28 (7)(c)]. This will ensure that the election cycle is not altered. It is the intent of the Board to clearly illustrate this at the annual meeting.

Discuss possible future picnic with possibility of district funds
The Board revisited having a social/educational event for the District. It was agreed by the Board that the funds used for the event would come from lottery credit or interest from a Certificate of Deposit. Ed Bruner is going to coordinate with Mary McCann to try to estimate how many people would be interested in participating in the event. Ed is hoping to have a head count before the next meeting. The Board agreed to try and tentatively find a date during July in order to accommodate the most amount of District members. The primary location for the event would be in Brandy Park, Woodruff. Mike Timmons motioned that the Board allows up to $2500 for an educational picnic to be allotted out of District funds. Andy Bullock seconded the motion and Robert Grant also seconded the motion. Vote: 6 Aye 0 opposed. Motion passed.

Discuss wake surfing boat usage and possible signage at lake entrance
Ed Bruner provided the following points on wake surfing. First he referenced a report by John Johnston on the damages that wake surfing causes to shallow lakes. He also mentioned as a board it is our responsibility to protect the lake. There is a likelihood that wake surfing vice wake boarding could cause harm to Mid Lake. After discussing the matter with the DNR he was giving guidance that we could put out a sign. As long as the sign doesn’t sound like an ordinance we could do what we want. Mike Timmons agreed that after speaking to the Boat Patrol that a sign can be suggestive only. It would take the Town of Woodruff to make it an ordinance.
Ed Bruner brought up the item for discussion to place a sign at the entrance to Mid Lake suggesting that Wake Surfing should be done in deeper water. Robert Grant suggested the sign say “Warning Very Shallow Lake – Wake Surfing may cause damage to the lake and your boat!” Mike Timmons stated that the sign would have to be on an owner’s property because it cannot be on state land. There is confusion because signs are allowed on the landings. Bob Mott brought up the points that the District can set up regulations and ordinances on their lake as discussed in Chapter 33. Ed Bruner is going to contact our DNR representative in Rhinelander in order to see if we are able to place a sign or buoy notifying boaters of the hazards of wake surfing on Mid Lake. Bob Mott mentioned that Squash Lake has a similar problem and they are attempting an educational effort. After receiving guidance from the DNR we will follow up during the next meeting.

Highlights of lake management plan
Robert Grant (committee chair) and the committee team (Ed Bruner, Kelly Hugget, Chris McCann, Barb Coulter-Smith, and Andy Bullock) has worked extensively with Eddie Heath from Onterra. The committee decided on the following six management goals (draft form):
1. Increasing Mid Lake’s capacity to communicate with lake stakeholders and facilitate partnerships with other management entities. In order to improve communications via email or text instead of traditional mail and also improve online presence.
2. Manage aquatic invasive species and prevent establishment of new aquatic invasive species. The general feeling is we have it under control, but we need to continue to manage especially through the use of hand pulling weeds. Monitor other lakes invasive species because it is likely we will get them as well.
3. Monitoring aquatic vegetation on Mid Lake. Need to monitor normal native aquatic vegetation because that is also part of a healthy lake. During the last few years the harvester has had way loads and the DNR is not sure why. Such few weeds is a concern in maintaining a healthy lake.
4. Maintaining the excellent water quality conditions. This is important for everyone that enjoys the recreational aspects of the lake.
5. Improve the lake as a fishery resource. Want to monitor the quantity and quality of the fish in the lake.
6. Maintain navigability on Mid Lake. We are restricted by DNR where we can cut, but want to make sure we have specific management goal that ensures we maintain navigation lanes that are permitted. That means we have the correct harvesting equipment, right resources available, and grant requests among other things.
There are a number of management goals that are currently in draft form. Ed Bruner mentioned that this plan is critical in order to be able to get permits from the DNR. Additionally, Robert said that online education sessions could be provided to the District. The last report was cumbersome and not readily available for the members. Mike Timmons suggested that the report be placed on the website for easy access to the District. Robert Grant forwarded the draft plan to the Board for review. Mike Timmons mentioned that we might be able to put something on the town website and with a link to the Mid Lake website.

Draft proposal of bylaw revisions to ensure accordance with Chapter 33
Ed Bruner feels that the bylaws are not needed and that we just follow Chapter 33. Anything that isn’t covered in Chapter 33 then we could just do a resolution. Scott Bullock countered that Chapter 33 is extensive and most of statute does not pertain to Mid Lake. The bylaws are helpful because it gets the important points from Chapter 33 and the key areas that are not addressed in Chapter 33. Scott Bullock said that our bylaws are easier to digest for the entire District than just reading Chapter 33. Ed Bruner feels that Chapter 33 and the bylaws are only meant for the Board and not the electors. Scott Bullock stated that the bylaws should be readily available for the entire District not just the commissioners. The Board is in agreement that the bylaws are outdated and need to be updated.
Andy Bullock mentioned that one of the functions of bylaws is to give something to the lake owners and members of the District at large that is easier for them than just referencing Chapter 33. Andy Bullock also mentioned that the Bylaws are required to maintain that the Board will not accept compensation for their positions (which is allowed in Chapter 33). The bylaws are there to provide clarity for the District members. The bylaws will specifically mention that they are secondary to Chapter 33 so they reduce confusion. The Board has used Chapter 33 during the annual meeting and either had trouble finding the appropriate part of Chapter 33, misinterpreted the statute, or it was not read correctly. Having bylaws that provide clarity would avoid that confusion. During the meeting there was even confusion on the Board when referencing Chapter 33. Scott Bullock mentioned that this further showed the need for bylaws.
Mike Timmons motioned that Scott Bullock revise the bylaws for the Board’s review by next meeting and following the meeting forward to an attorney for a legal review to be presented at the annual meeting. Motioned seconded by Andy Bullock. Robert Grant mentioned that bylaws on are often used to communicate and clarify organizational rules in order to avoid internal debates and conflicts. Bylaws are often used in the corporate world to clarify state regulations and to supplement those regulations with any desired communications or business practices. Anything the Board can do to clarify is value added and bylaws are not there to replace Chapter 33. Bob Mott added that if Scott is willing to deconstruct Chapter 33 into easy to understand language and the attorney will verify the bylaws will be in accordance with Chapter 33. The bylaws will provide clarity and a quick reference to the key parts of Chapter 33 and they will cover unique items not specifically mentioned in Chapter 33. Mike Timmons mentioned that by doing this the Board will look more professional instead of trying to scramble through Chapter 33. This is the best for the board and the best for the District. Ed Bruner responded that we should scrap the bylaws and just follow Chapter 33. Vote: 5 Aye 1 Nay. Motion passed.

At 8:07 p.m. (CST) agenda was completed and meeting was adjourned.
Minutes recorded by Scott Bullock, Secretary.
These minutes were reviewed and approved at the Board Meeting on May 19, 2020 via Zoom and at the Woodruff Town Hall at 7 p.m.
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