LIA Members Meeting

10 a.m. December 5, 2015


Celina Moose Lodge

Board Members Present: President Tim Lovett, Vice President Mark Piening, Sgt. of Arms Dave Eyink, Trustees Tom Rampe and Jeff Vossler.  Absent were: Treasurers Ted and Diane Bertke, Secretary Eric Morris, and Trustees Seth Brigham, Brian Morris, Nick Rentz, and Stan Wilker.

President Tim Lovett welcomed everyone and led the pledge of allegiance.

Mark gave the treasurers report: the checkbook balance is $44,957.19.  Income was $500 and expenses were $1600 for November.

Mark reported the LIA annual winter dance will be on February 27, 2015 at Romers.  “Motown on the Lake” is the theme and KGB, featuring popular Motown hits, will again the band.  Tickets will go on sale soon.   The advance price will be $12 single, $22 per couple and at the door will be $15 single, $25 per couple.  More information on the dance is on the LIA website.

Jeff reported that the nominations for the 2016 officers and trustees who terms were expiring closed at the end of the November meeting.  The nominating committee, headed by Nick Rentz, had proposed the following at the November meeting; PresidentTim Lovett, Vice President – Mark Piening, Treasurers –  Ted and Diane Bertke, Secretary –  Eric Morris, Sgt. of Arms –  Dave Eyink, and Trustees – Tom Rampe, Brian Morris, and Stan Wilker.  Jeff reported that no other nominations had been made for the positions.  Jeff requested that a motion be made to elect the nominees by acclimation.  A motion was made from the floor and seconded.  The motion was unanimously approved by the members in a voice vote.

Tim thanked the membership for the opportunity to lead the LIA in the coming year.  He thanked the officers and trustees for their support as well as the many volunteers which have been critical to the continued success of the LIA.

Tim noted that there will be no meeting in January to allow the officers and trustees time to review the activities of the past year and plan the activities for the coming year.  He stated that principle speaker at the February 6 meeting will be Tom Grabow.  Tom will give a report on last year’s dredging success and plans for the 2016 dredging program.

Milt Miller from the Lake Restoration Commission made a presentation on the Coldwater Creek Treatment Train (CCTT).  Excellent progress is being made on the CCTT which he showed in slides.  The CCTT will include 252 acres of wetland and 125 acres of these wetlands will be available for dredged spoils storage.  He noted that the contractor is on target on the rock berm which will enclose the wetlands and the discharge from the constructed upstream portions of the wetlands will go into Grassy Creek before going into the Lakeside portion of the wetlands.  A member asked about an article in the Daily Standard that reported a producer is expanding their operations in the watershed which seems to go against the LRC efforts to reduce phosphorus loading in the Lake.  Milt responded that as long as an applicant meets all regulations including those on disposal of their manure, the State has to approve the application.  A new law would be required to ban any new or increased animal production facilities in the Lake’s watershed.

Tim stated the LIA would not support any additional animal loading in the Lake’s watershed.

Abby Toby, coordinator for the Grand Lake/Wabash Watershed Alliance (GLWWA) advised the members that it included Auglaize, Darke, and Mercer Counties and had a board member from each county.  Part of each of the counties is included in the Lake’s watershed.  She noted that 133 soil samples were received under the soil testing program in the Lake and Wabash watersheds.  She will summarize the testing results soon and have them posted on the LIA’s website.  She also noted that the $1500 grant for non agricultural water pollution reduction programs in the watersheds has been received.  She is ordering plants locally for resupplying floating wetlands in channels adjacent to the Lake next spring.

Abby reported she is resigning as the coordinator and will be moving to eastern Ohio.  She noted that the GLWWA board has voted to disband to improve efficiency.  Instead of watershed coordinator, a watershed technician position will be established in the Mercer County Soil and Water Office.  The technician will provide support to all of the producers in the Grand Lake and Wabash watersheds as well as the rest Mercer County.  The technician will also be responsible for maintaining the GLWWA watershed action plan.  The advisory board to the GLWWA will be replaced with a watershed alliance advisory committee which will provide input to the action plan.  She noted that the funding which is available for her position will be used to fund the technician position.  She indicated the change will allow for the application for more grants for pollution reduction in the expanded area.

Abby indicated we can’t stop what we are doing to improve the Lake.  We shouldn’t go back to finger pointing.  It will take time and continued community support to improve the Lake.  We want people to know how the community has come together to improve the Lake.  We are not seeing improvements now but we will.

In response to a member’s inquiry, she did not know what would be the educational requirements for the watershed technician.  The position description for the technician is being developed by Mercer Soil and Water.  In response to another inquiry, Abby responded that the funding being transferred to support the technician position will allow the technician to support producers outside the GLWWA watershed although the funding was intended originally to provide support only in the GLWWA watershed.

Frances Springer from ODNR gave a presentation on the new rules on the application of commercial fertilizers in the western Lake Erie watershed.  She distributed a handout that summarizes the new rules and the rules now in effect in the Grand Lake watershed.  She noted that nothing has changed in the watershed on the use of manure.  The ban remains in effect on the spreading of manure in the watershed from December 15 to March 15.

Frances responded to a member’s inquiry concerning the installation of a Quasar manure digester with enhanced phosphorus removal in the watershed.  She indicated efforts are underway to get several producers to agree to use the digester and set up a site for it.

Frances thanked Abby for her assistance in preparing the handout and for her assistance in implementing the rules in effect in the Lake’s watershed.

Tim strongly encouraged the members to report any instances of improper manure to Soil and Water.  Most of the producers follow the rules and violators need to be addressed and required to change their ways.

Milt Miller won the 50/50 drawing and donated the winnings to the Kid’s Fishing Derby.

Minutes prepared by Thomas Rampe, Trustee