August 28, 2019 – Town of West Bend, WI – There was a huge turnout Wednesday night at the Town of West Bend Town Hall for the annual Protection & Rehabilitation District (PRD) meeting.
A video of the meeting is below.
Some of the highlights: the 2019-2020 annual budget for the PRD was passed by a vote of 437 – 104. That did not take into consideration the voice vote which was predominantly a ‘yes’ vote.
There was also an election to fill the seat of PRD commissioner Mike Burns as he wrapped up a 10-year term. Candidates were Dave Baldus and Kevin Leitner. The seat carries a 3-year term. Out of 607 total votes Baldus beat Leitner 368-239. Baldus will be sworn in at the next meeting.
A report was also given on the water quality of Big Cedar Lake. Overall the representatives from the USGS thought the efforts taken to help maintain Big Cedar Lake were having a positive effect. While a rating can vary depending on location the USGS said BCL rated between a 7-10.
Highlights from PRD annual meeting.
There was an extremely large turnout for the meeting which got underway an hour past its scheduled 6:30 p.m. start.
State of the Lake and the watershed Bridget and Dale Robertson and USGS US Geological Survey.
Look at algae, water clarity and monitor profiles of two parts of the bay. Sample the lake five times a year.
Monitor south basin which is the deepest spot and most indicative of the health of the lake.
Throughout the year the lake “tends to stratifies” the oxygen goes down as the season goes on and the temperature increases. Slight loss of oxygen at the thermocline.
What does it all mean? USGS looks at total phosphorus and it measures the nutrients in the lake.
Also look at chlorophyll it measures the amount of algae in the lake. Sampling since 2000 and it looks like it’s going down.
Secchi Depth and measure how far down you can see into the lake. See down into the water at 12 meters in the lake. That’s pretty deep for clarity.
Three types of Lakes – Oligotrophic lake is a young lake. Mesotrophic lake is moderate lake and good fishery. A Eutrophic lake is an old lake and rough fish are common and a lot of oxygen depletion.
The trend is a good measure.
Not a big increase or sodium and chloride trends – no big spikes in last 20 years.
Lake monitoring research – usgs.gov/centers/umid-water/science.
On sampling – use a van Doran horizontal sampler lowered down a half meter below the surface and a half meter from the bottom.
In south basin the USGS does test sampling.
Majority of people live in the north basin. How does the north basin compare?
Technicians who sample lakes, this is one of the favorite.
On a scale of 1-10 … what is the lake. In southern end of Wisconsin – BCL is 7-9- 10.
There’s a lot of things the DNR has been pushing is phosphorous free fertilizer. Any kind of actions in the water shed are helping. “A lot of lakes aren’t improving and this is a good sign and it’s great to have a great data set. Here the results are showing a positive effect,” he said.
Talk about quagga mussels. … those go into deeper water.
Question about getting rid of the zebra mussels. Dan Carroll said they are still in Big Cedar Lake.
Once you get zebra mussels it’s hard to lose them. The zebra mussels go through cycles.
Election – two candidates. Kevin Leitner and Dave Baldus. Share background and history.
Kevin Leitner: Married to Kelly and resident for 12 years. Two sons.
Owned and operated Leitner Homes for 35 years. Wife owns Leitner Properties.
Decided to run for PRD commissioner. Care about community, Big Cedar Lake and preserving and safety.
Sat on survey committee in PRD district. Take input of community seriously. In respect to the launch would have liked to have seen a survey prior to the ordinances being put in place.
The parking restrictions – would have liked to have seen impact first.
Initial launch ordinance – to regulate all boat launches. That would have closed off Hacker and Cedar Park
Active in town meetings.
Not in support of unlimited access. The lake is busy a handful of times and there’s a need to protect conservation and use management approaches.
Rumors of running for own commercial interest. Assure you the decision is based on his own interest and is not financial.
Heileman’s has one pier and there’s few opportunity for customers to come via lake.
Wants to work to improve transparency and openness, protect safety for all, bridge relationship with community, and work to improve property.
Wants to work on POA as director
Dave Baldus – lived on BCL for 30 years. Used to be in the plumbing business.
Did not serve on survey committee. Work on all aspects of safety mentioned in survey.
Would like property owners association and PRD speak with regard to rules of the road on the water.
Water quality. Lake is in great situation.
Turbulence in north basin is an issue. May be consider some changes.
People who live in the district and should they be able to launch at will. It does need to be managed.
I know the lake pretty well, I used to work for PRD on the weed crew.
Worked on several industry boards and on service boards including Property Owners Association.
In local rotary and part of Enchantment in the Park and currently on MPTC foundation board. Proud of 15 years on Cedar Lakes Foundation Board.
Last 14 months working with Cedar Community and close to making a deal and got them agreeable to save up to 100 acres of land and shoreline and provide funding. Closed with the Rotary four-way test. I believe in those words.
Election result: Dave Baldus defeated Kevin Leitner 368-239
Hearing of 2019 tax levy to be collected in 2020.
Chris Genthe treasurer. Tax levy changed – went down by $6. $302,094 is tax levy.
Budget 425 – 100 yes 425 – 100
District operations – Dan Carroll – 758 hours of on the water patrol. 147.75 administrative hours. 111 hours exempt. Summer patrol in 2019 – under 1,000 hours. Citations 64 issued on the lake. 13 written warnings. In 2018 there were 125 written citations.
Hauled 19 loads of weeds in 2019 compared to 60 in 2018. Trend is weed growth is dropping.
Gonring boat launch – is it closed or on hold
PRD chairman Roger Walsh – the ordinance is in effect and the launch ramp is closed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday – it’s closed when the parking lot is full. If someone comes off the lake then the lead car in line can have access to the lake.
That ordinance is not enforced at Hacker or Cedar
Dan – there were two or three days it was shut down for an hour or an hour and a half.
How much does that cost the taxpayers to close it – Dan Carroll – around $1,000 in cost. We’ve been using the weed control crew on the weekends. Don’t have the staff for a law enforcement officer.
Only enforcing launch ordinance for 2 to 2.5 months.
Cost 40 hours of Roger Walsh at a rate “which isn’t much.” Legal fees were $8,000 – $9,000. Town wanted PRD to prove it owned the launch. “We were able to show them materials from 20 years ago that PRD took out the permits, got reimbursement through state funds and the town attorney finally agreed. The PRD owns the launch and the town owns the road,” said Walsh.
Troy Zagel – working on a program -do the DNR clean boat/ clean water program at Gonring lanch. Working to stop the spread of invasive species. Trying to educate boaters about the invasive species. Looking for volunteers.
Congrats to Mike Burns and thanked him for his 10 years on PRD.