Meeting Called to Order by Amy Heaven 9:00 AM at the Gardner Senior Center, also live through Zoom
Present: Amy Heaven, Greta Jahraus, Leslie Hind, Blake Larson, Mike Rankin, Clifton Bencke, Ryan Mueller, Sandy Adams
Absent: Melinda Broward
Infrastructure Q&A: Amy Heaven began the meeting and introduced Leslie Hind, leader of the Infrastructure Taskforce. Leslie discussed recent work by the taskforce including meeting with the city and county to level-set the current situation. Currently, the only serious commitment is the county has offered a wastewater grant for $400K towards dam / spillway maintenance. The remainder of funding for that project would have to be sourced by the city, the lake residents, or some combination of the two. She then introduced the expert panel assembled for the Q&A: Clint Anderson of Lake Road 2 and Stifel Investment Services, Tim Orrick of Lake Road 1 and Orrick Law Group, and Shirley Allenbrand, Johnson County Commissioner District 6 (Gardner Lake being in District 6). This panel accepted open questions and comments from those present at the meeting.
A special mention goes to Walt Bickley, a committed defender of Gardner Lake and our community, who has put many hours into research. Walt brought up several concerns including the cost and scope of the project that could balloon, and historical letdowns by the city that should be righted. Shera Shrum commented that the lake is today a rare resource and it will someday be an even rarer resource and commodity. A resident asked about alternative funding sources such as the Army Corps of Engineers, State and Federal grants, etc. Another resident brought up the land parcels the city has around the lake that can help pay for current maintenance needs.
Tim Orrick mentioned the current estimate we have for the cost of the spillway repair is $877K, though agreed this number could be outdated or inaccurate. Tim mentioned that even though we have some responsibility, one of the taskforce’s duties is to minimize the amount of that burden that falls on residents and not price residents out. He said that negotiating with the city gives us control over the outcome of these projects, versus letting the city make decisions unilaterally.
Shirley Allenbrand offered a commitment to work for the residents of the lake toward a solution. She said consensus from the community on what projects we support is important for her team to get working on a project. Her team can help us find alternative funding sources such as grants. Shirley believes dredging is a key issue as well for lake health and property values.
Clint Anderson acknowledged the city has an obligation to fulfill its duties and also believes the current situation could be an extremely rare opportunity for residents to gain ownership of the lake.
Everyone on the panel acknowledged that if the lake will be successfully maintained, it will be with some financial help from residents. The panel and board also realized the makeup of this lake has historical and fixed income residents that need to be considered. Residents will have to come to a consensus on if and what projects to undertake, with ‘do nothing’ and ‘go private’ being the two options at the extremes. In order to begin working to come to a consensus on what we do next, the GLA would like to host a meeting regarding infrastructure in the early summer. Which brings us to….
Important Note: We need to decide as a community what solutions we are willing to support in order to maintain this lake. We hope to begin community discussions on dam / spillway maintenance and dredging at a June 10th meeting, please attend to hear more!
Secretary: Minutes were read from the GLA website by Ryan Mueller. Blair Honeyman moved to approve the minutes. Approved by majority.
Treasury: Presented by Leslie Hind. Currently 86 people have paid a total of $2,661 (including donations) for 2023 dues. The GLA profited $355 on calendars after sponsorships totaling $1,855 minus expenses of $1500 (Thank you!). The Chili feed was a great success last year, the GLA collected $797 at the event as well as sold $755 in merchandise. The GLA spent $161 on an annual zoom account. In total the GLA currently holds a balance of $23,702.12.
Leslie asked for general approval towards allotting $10,000 of the current GLA budget towards any legal needs needed as lake infrastructure solutions are researched. She received a general approval from the membership and no comments against the action were voiced.
A resident brought up that the GLA by-laws indicate an annual audit of the GLA books should be performed. This will be completed as soon as possible.
A majority approved the financial report as discussed.
Lake Road Reps: Ryan Mueller discussed that Lake Road Reps are an important part of GLA outreach and an important way to get feedback from residents. If you are interested in being a Rep, let the GLA know. The GLA plans to meet and organize with the Lake Road Reps soon.
Social Events: Greta Jahraus presented information on the 2023 lake events. The GLA is looking forward to upcoming events this year including the 4th of July Parade, Rock the Docks on Labor Day weekend, the Chili Contest, and a Christmas light decoration contest. We are looking for help with all of these if you would like to volunteer, let us know!
Merchandise: Sandy Adams presented on the GLA merchandise. The GLA is having a 50% sale right now, see Sandy for details! Sandy and resident Shawnna Steele are working on a fresh new GLA logo, and they would love residents to submit ideas as well!
Directory Update: Ryan Mueller presented on behalf of the work Mike Rankin has been doing to create a complete and accurate directory of the Lake community. This is a daunting task, the best way residents can help is updating the GLA when your contact information changes.
Proposed By-Laws Update: Ryan Mueller proposed a set of updates to the current by-laws, as authored by several members of the GLA Board. The changes to the by-laws were reviewed in detail. A concern was presented about whether the annual review of financial books should be upon request (proposed) or automatic. This brought up an idea for adding verbiage to require the Treasurer to present a general annual financial report to membership. These concerns and suggestions were seen as valid by the Board and because of that the proposal was tabled for further consideration.
Sailing Program / Kayaking Events: Clifton Bencke presented on some work he has been doing trying to bring new recreation to the Lake community. He is working towards bringing a sailing and recreational watersports program to Gardner Lake in coordination with the city of Gardner. If anyone has any ideas or wants to help this program get a start here at the lake, talk to Clifton. He also hosts a theater program on the water here at Gardner Lake that you should attend when you get the chance!
-There was a motion to adjourn the meeting, this was seconded and the meeting was adjourned.