President Tim Lovett acknowledged the passing of a long-time, LIA member, Jacque LeCompte. Tim noted that Jacque’s son Howard had worked on a lake dredge for many years before he passed away. LIA condolences go out to his wife Lucille and their family and friends.
The Treasurer reported that the February ending balance, after expenses, additional interest and deposits was $30,203.76.
Jeff Vossler, Trustee, and Milton Miller, Fundraising Chairman, provided an update on the funds collected for the Phase I Streamside Project plan. To date, $161,000 has been generously donated. With the first 20% of the goal collected, 2 Airy Gators have been purchased. Streamside has also been authorized to start building the first sediment trap. Jeff and Milt pointed out that with the number homeowners around the entire lake, if each one could donate $100, it would pay for the Phase I project. Pledge cards are available at the meeting today, and will be included in the March newsletter with the renewal notice. Please consider making a tax deductible donation to the “2010 Initiative”.
Kent Bryant, the Celina Community Development Director has been asked to provide a list of grants and other funds that would be available for matching money, gifts and loans to use as leverage to turn the $500,000 investment into $5,000,000. The potential impact of this first Phase is huge.
As reported at the February meeting, the LIA is committed to supporting grant writing. Consistent with that endeavor, Tim Lovett and the LIA board have asked our grant writers to identify which grants they intend to pursue and in what time frame we can expect this to occur. They’ve been asked to name what grants we’re going after and how much money we may be granted.
Framed artwork of Grand Lake St Marys was displayed during the LIA meeting. Trustee Dave Meyer received the artwork as a donation from Bobbi Erwin to use as a money-maker for the LIA. Bobbi and her husband are long-time advocates of the Bar Stool Open and have flown in from several states to participate! Dave had the picture framed and we will be selling tickets $1.00/each or 6 for $5.00 until we award it at the close of the July meeting. Take advantage of this fundraiser to acquire this very nice piece of artwork.
The Vice President, Mark Piening began his report on the new website status by thanking Midnet Media of Minster, OH. Midnet donated their services for the entire design and implementation of the website because they believe in saving Grand Lake and clean water! Brian Morris, a free-lance journalist, is in charge of accumulating and sorting all of the data that we need to make the LIA site effective. Brian also donated all of his time and efforts pro bono because of his belief in cleaning up Grand Lake. We offer our sincerest thanks to both for their commitment and dedication.
Please use the new website to become a member, make donations and to contact your Legislators. March 12th begins the SAVE GRAND LAKE campaign. Look for the ValPak envelope on March 12th for more information. Watch for other advertising on TV, radio, newspapers and bill boards beginning April 1st.
There are two new advertisers on the website, Valpak and Bayview Sun & Snow. There are 3 other spots open for the banner ad slot on the web page. A banner ad costs $450 for one year. Contact Jeff Vossler or Mark Piening to secure a spot.
Brian Miller, State Parks, Asst. Manager reported that the Dredge Material Relocation Area (DMRA) is being built off of ST RT 703, near Northwoods, for the Riley Bay East dredging scheduled to start this spring. The Riley Bay West project has received verbal permission to bore under the RR tracks. Funding is required to start boring. The DMRA will be built at the end of 2010, with dredging to begin in spring 2011. The Park Grand DMRA is being renovated so that the Beaver Creek project can be finished. The Mercer County DMRA was filled to near capacity in the first half of the project. 100 semi loads of concrete from ODOT redecking of ST RT 29 and US 33 were donated for the Anderson DMRA. Reminder: new Crappie regulations are 9” minimum and 30 fish bag limit. The new boathouse will be completed and ready for use in early spring.
The park has a new barge! A company in Florida is building; it should be delivered by May. The 2010-2011 fiscal budget is awaiting approval. Also a capital feasibility/cost study underway to replace 7 cabins and buildings at the campground. Check out the nearly completed Lockkeeper’s house at ST RTs 66 and 274 in New Bremen. There may be a large fish kill this spring due to the length of time that the lake has been frozen over.
Coast Guard Auxiliary, Larry Baker, has the schedule for boating classes. Please contact Larry for more info.
The Grand Lake Restoration Initiative is to be commended for garnering community involvement in cleaning up Grand Lake. Past President, Bill Ringo shared that being a board member of the Friends for Preservation of State Parks (FFPOSP) has afforded him the ability to meet with the Director of the Department of Natural Resources and other politicians each month.
The 4th Annual Symposium will be held April 9th and 10th in the Maumee State Park. Ohio’s First Lady, Frances Strickland is the keynote speaker. The cost will be less than $40. The members of the LIA are invited to attend. See Bill Ringo for more information.
The SAVE GRAND LAKE campaign timing is critical. Now is the time to show government representatives what they’ve been asking us for “Show community involvement, and we’ll join your effort.” The LIA and the GLRI are working on involving the whole community. We need to show that the lake is a positive economic influence/factor. There IS a Master Plan dedicated to getting people involved in the lake clean up:
2. Website
3. Billboards (4) designed to drive people who see them to the website.
4. Stay in touch with your government officials on every level.
5. Raise money to accomplish clean up projects
President’s summary: The LIA is working to clean up Grand Lake St Marys on several fronts. We support the Streamside Project, and the SAVE GRAND LAKE project which starts March 12th. The LIA has provided funding to support grant writing to leverage donations to their best advantage. The new websites are designed to educate and cooperate. The LIA continues to support the watershed issues. There are many people and much work required to manage the projects. A full-time team is needed to effectively manage these projects. The LIA supports a Port Authority or Water Conservancy ultimately for sustainability of lake clean up. Grand Lake needs more than this short term project as part of a long time solution to clean water. March is membership renewal month. Please renew yours and get at least one new member to join. Politicians are excellent at math! They can count votes like you can’t believe. I encourage each of you to pound the bricks. Relay the message and get new members. Pledge cards are being sent with your renewal notice. Please make a tax deductible donation.
Together we can make a difference…
The 50/50 drawing shared $96.00.
The meeting was adjourned in memory of Jacque LeCompte.
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