GLA Spring Resident’s Meeting Minutes – 3/25/23

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mentioned the current estimate we have for the cost of the spillway repair is $877K, though agreed this number could be outdated or inaccurate.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.

GLA Board Meeting Minutes – 3/8/23

Meeting Called to Order by Amy Heaven 4:00 PM at Amy Heaven’s home as well as on Zoom

Present:           Amy Heaven, Greta Jahrus, Leslie Hind, Blake Larson, Mike Rankin, Melinda Broward, Sandy Adams

Absent:            Clifton Bencke, Ryan Mueller

Lake Update: Presented by Leslie. The state is going to add some bass to the lake this year.

Secretary: Approved as submitted.

Treasury: Presented by Leslie. Current amounts are as follows: $22,867 checking, $435 Paypal, $574 Venmo, coming to a total of $23,878.03. Currently 63 people have paid 2023 dues for membership. Advertising for the calendar collected $1500, while the calendar expenses cost $1144.

Old Business:

-Mike Rankin mentioned a Lake Resident Directory is coming soon, he is working on making sure it is accurate and complete before release.


-Leslie Hind presented updates on the lake infrastructure. She has been investigating and digging up reports to help determine cost and needs for lake infrastructure.  The task force is meeting on March 9 to continue pushing our options.

-The Gardner City Council held a public meeting recently that touched upon the lake infrastructure. Much was discussed, and several residents made public comments raising their concerns. The funding for the project is up in the air, with some on the council committing some assistance, while others on the council disagreeing with this position. At the meeting, the council created an ambassador to Gardner Lake, and former Gardner Mayor and current City Council Member Steve Shute volunteered to take this position. The council essentially tasked the lake community with returning to them in agreement on a path forward.

-Sandy presented several awesome design options for 2023 merchandise. We will let residents know as soon as new merchandise is available – including some new items!

New Business:

-Spring Resident’s meeting is 3/25!

         -Starting with a Q&A with an extremely knowledgeable expert panel

-Incoming 50% sale on last year’s Gardner Lake merchandise!

-Fall/Winter/Spring newsletter: Amy is working on a forthcoming document.

-We are looking to add 2 members to the Board of Officers. We are taking nominations!


-Amy moved to adjourn the meeting, this was seconded by Greta.

GLA Board Meeting Minutes – 2/15/23

Meeting Called to Order by Amy Heaven 4:22 PM in Zoom format.

Present:           Amy Heaven, Ryan Mueller, Greta Jahrus, Leslie Hind

Absent:            Clifton Bencke, Blake Larson, Mike Rankin, Melinda Broward, Sandy Adams

Treasury: Presented by Leslie. Current amounts are as follows: $22,384 checking, $435 Paypal, $574.20 Venmo, coming to a total of $23,393.91. Currently 61 people have paid 2023 dues for membership.

Old Business:

-Presented by Amy. Amy, Mike, Leslie, and Ryan met with Shirley Allenbrand, Todd Winters, and their teams. The meeting was a level-set for all sides. The GLA representatives shared the information they had presented at the Fall Resident’s meeting. The other parties had some questions and comments around these ‘options’. The city and county parties agreed to look into the dam/spillway issue and schedule a follow-up with the GLA after. The GLA was then excused from the meeting allowing for further discussion between the county and city privately.

– Leslie mentioned the By-laws taskforce is going to meet soon to draft proposed updates to the current by-laws. These will be submitted to membership prior to the Spring Resident’s meeting for review and comment.

New Business:

-Spring Resident’s meeting is 3/25!

-Fall/Winter/Spring newsletter: Amy is working on a forthcoming document.

-Ryan to work on getting by-laws on Lake site.


-Leslie moved to adjourn the meeting, this was seconded by Amy.

GLA Board Meeting Minutes – 11/16/22

Meeting Called to Order by Amy Heaven 4:09 PM in Zoom format.

Present:           Amy Heaven, Mike Rankin, Sandy Adams, Ryan Mueller, Greta Jahrus, Melinda Broward

Absent:            Clifton Bencke, Blake Larson, Leslie Hind

Old Business:

-Lake Preservation Force Report: Amy has been discussing infrastructure with the county. The county is interested in having a discussion. Concerns about fixed income residents if dock fee changes are on the horizon.

-Social Events: Christmas light contest is upcoming. Residents can email a photo of their house to GLA and we will host a vote on the GLA Facebook page.

-Calendar Update: Currently accepting advertisers for the calendar.

New Business:

-Task force for by-laws: Amy, Sandy, Greta, and Ryan going to work on a draft for the by-laws.

-Fall/winter newsletter: Amy is working on a forthcoming document.

-Ryan to work on getting by-laws on Lake site.

Adjournment: Greta motioned to adjourn, seconded by Ryan.

GLA Fall Resident’s Meeting Minutes – 10/8/2022

Meeting Called to Order by Amy Heaven 9:00 AM at the Gardner Senior Center.

Board Present: Amy Heaven, Mike Rankin, Sandy Adams, Ryan Mueller, Melinda Broward, Greta Jahrus, Blake Larson, Leslie Hind, Clifton Bencke

Board Absent: None

Introductions: Board members and new lake residents were introduced.

Agenda: Amy Heaven presented the agenda for approval. Miranda Burnett moved to approve the agenda, this was seconded and approved.

Secretary: Ryan Mueller presented the previous resident’s meeting minutes. Blair Honeyman moved to approve the minutes, this was seconded and approved.

Treasury: Presented by Leslie Hind. Major expenses in 2022 were: $636 for 4th of July Parade, $188 for kayak race, $1,472 for dumpsters (for 4 tons of trash removed!), and $850 for the Grass Carp addition project. Funds that were received in 2022 are: $3,954 in dues collected from 115 members, $2,008 collected from merchandise sales, and $4,150 received from 51 benefactors specifically for the Grass Carp addition project (thank YOU!). Leslie explained that of the GLA’s assets, $15,000 has been earmarked for infrastructure expenses and the remaining $3,806 is in the general fund, with another $435 in the Paypal receivable account.

Special Events: Presented by Melinda Broward. Melinda led us down memory lane with a review of the fun events held throughout the year. Some special highlights were the 4th of July Boat Parade with online voting, 2 very successful lake cleanups that beautified the dam / spillway area, and a kayak race with 25 volunteers and 40 participants (including a paddling pup!). Melinda built more excitement for the Annual Chili Cookoff that occurs later this day (10/8/22) and announced a Christmas Light Contest to occur later this year.

Special Presentation: Lake Infrastructure:

-Amy Heaven addressed the recent article by the Gardner News. In response to the article, Amy and the GLA board created a Gardner Lake Infrastructure Taskforce: a subset of GLA board members and residents especially dedicated to getting into the deep details of what it would take to repair the dam and spillway. The taskforce is made up of Leslie Hind, Mike Rankin, Ryan Mueller, Tim Orrick, and Amy Heaven.

-Leslie Hind reviewed the history of the dam / spillway repairs as well as the inspection report produced in 2021 by engineering firm Olsson. The lake Dam is currently classified as a High Hazard dam because a failure of the system could result in extensive loss of life, damage to homes, or traffic on high volume roads.  At the 2021 inspection, the dam was found to be in fair condition but deficiencies and needed repairs were noted including deterioration of the spillway crest, undesirable vegetation along the dam embankment, and sparse riprap in certain locations.

-Tim Orrick presented information on the current governance of the lake and nearby properties. Importantly, it was noted the dam / spillway repairs are estimated to cost in the neighborhood of $800,000. Of this total, Johnson County has offered a grant to pay $400,000 towards these repairs. This has been declined for several years by the city of Gardner due to a lack of funds for the remaining portion of funding – approximately $400,000. So far, the city has expressed that some portion of this cost will be burdened by the residents of Gardner Lake. To this point, the GLA Infrastructure Taskforce is currently investigating options that would help get the dam and spillway repaired with various forms of financial structuring. These options and some of their pro/cons were:

1) Do nothing and allow the city to repair on their terms and timeline

-pros: passive choice, happens automatically

-cons: no control, city could decide to raise dock fees unilaterally to cover costs

2) Work with city to finance a ‘resident portion’ of the cost through dock fees

-pros: some voice in structuring of dock fees

-cons: dock fees not a good mechanism – overcharge some residents and undercharge others

3) City of Gardner passes ownership of the lake to Johnson County

-pros: county has authority to levy tax assessments in a more equitable way than dock fees

-cons: unlikely that Johnson County is interested

4) Transfer ownership of Gardner Lake to a private entity such as a newly formed HOA

-pros: an HOA would have control of decisions

-cons: would be difficult to form an HOA, resident responsibility for repairs increases

Old Business:

-Calendar Update: Sandy Adams is preparing calendars for 2023, sponsorships are available.

-Membership Update: Mike Rankin is working to build a contact list of lake residents for email notifications. Let the GLA know if you are not getting lake announcement emails.

-Dredging/Grass Carp Update: Leslie Hind said that dredging is still a priority and will be investigated soon. The existing and newly added grass carp have been working hard cleaning up algae around the lake.

-Raffle Update: Ryan Mueller showed off the awesome items available in the raffle for the Chili Cookoff.

New Business:

-By-Laws Update: Amy Heaven announced forthcoming proposed updates to the By-Laws to be voted on at the Spring Resident’s meeting.

Adjournment: There was a move to adjourn, which was seconded and passed unanimously.

GLA Board Meeting Minutes – 9/21/22

Meeting Called to Order by Amy Heaven 4:00 PM in Zoom format.

Present:           Amy Heaven, Mike Rankin, Sandy Adams, Ryan Mueller, Melinda Broward, Greta Jahrus, Blake Larson, Leslie Hind

Absent:            Clifton Bencke

Infrasturcture: Presented by Tim Orrick. Tim presented several options for ways to move forward on the lake’s infrastructure. He has agreed to present these to the larger resident’s meeting in October.

Treasury: Presented by Leslie Hind. Total in bank = $18,216, total in paypal = $435.90. Kayak run cost: $372.03, Kayak run income: $91 from raffle, October raffle made $105, $30 donations, $335 for clothing.

Previous Meeting’s Minutes: Presented by Ryan Mueller. Mike Rankin moved to approved, Leslie seconded. Unanimous approval.

Special Events:

Kayak Run: Hugely successful event with 40 participants including pro athletes, out of state competitors, a dog, and 2 princesses. There were generous donations from companies like Blazers, Fronteras, and Tumbleweed totaling over $300.

Chili cookoff: Coming right up on October 1st. Tons of planning going into this delicious event.

   Christmas Light Contest: Decision made to facilitate a contest this winter. More to come.

Old Business:

-Getting low on some of our clothing supplies, and a new design is incoming. The group decided to have a sale on t-shirts soon.

New Business:

-Resident’s meeting October 8th. The group is preparing for this event.

-Amy is preparing some suggested updates to the GLA by-laws, to be distributed to residents prior to the meeting.

-Algae is building up to the point the spraying company has requested to spray it to keep it under control before fall. No sprayings have happened yet this year. The city so far has not approved this request.

Adjournment: Sandy moved to adjourn, Leslie seconded the motion which passed unanimously.

GLA Board Meeting Minutes – 8/17/22

Meeting Called to Order by Amy Heaven 4:00 PM in Zoom format.

Present:           Amy Heaven, Mike Rankin, Sandy Adams, Ryan Mueller, Melinda Broward, Greta Jahrus, and Leslie Hind.

Absent:            Blake Larson, Leslie Nemitoff, and Clifton Bencke were unable to attend.

New Business: Leslie N. stepped down from the board, leaving the Secretary position open. Melinda nominated Ryan for Secretary and he accepted. Greta seconded this motion which passed unanimously.

Previous Meeting’s Minutes: Presented by Ryan Mueller. Mike motioned to accept the minutes as read and Greta seconded, motion passed unanimously.

Treasury: Presented by Leslie Hind. The organization’s account has a balance of $20,606.99, reflecting a debit of $636.42 from 4th of July expenses.

Membership: Presented by Mike Rankin. The effort to build the lake contact list continues. A lake road rep BBQ is being considered for the fall in order to fill in a few positions and discuss ways reps can help build GLA membership and involvement.

Special Events: Presented by Melinda Broward.

Lake cleanup (8/20): starts @ 8am, pictures to be taken to document

Rock the Docks (9/4): not a GLA event but excitement is building for a fun weekend of music and the KC Airshow. GLA to facilitate a food truck at the marina in the afternoon and evening.

Kayak race (9/5): Lots of preparations being made for an exciting morning packed with races and prizes. Winners will get Amazon gift cards. There will be a drawing for prizes – all participants will get a free entry and everyone else can buy an entry for $1 per ticket.

Chili cookoff (TBD): This year’s delicious event will include a raffle of a luxurious hanging chair and 2 pieces of fine art, 1 of which was painted by the Lake’s resident artist David Paine. Raffle is 1 ticket for $5 or 5 for $20. Don’t have to be present to win. First winner has choice of all 3 prizes, 2nd winner will have choice of 2, and the 3rd winner will get the remaining item.

Gov’t Relations:

Leslie Hind: City aware of algae growth, unlikely to spray due to weather conditions. Sign replacement project in progress to replace outdated signs and possibly add signs where needed, building list of needs.

Amy Heaven: City returned that county is uninterested in helping fix the lake infrastructure.

New Business: Residents are clamoring for the latest Newsletter from Amy Heaven.

Beautification Project: The city has given the GLA reasonable freedom to improve the dam entrance as desired. Fall may be a good opportunity to get a team together to improve many areas around the lake.

Adjournment: Ryan moved to adjourn, Leslie seconded the motion which passed unanimously.

GLA Board Meeting Minutes – 7/21/22

Meeting Called to Order by Amy Haven 4:00 PM in Zoom format.

Present:           Mike Rankin, Sandy Adams, Ryan Mueller, Melinda Broward, Greta Jarhaus, Leslie Hind, Leslie Nemitoff, and Clifton Bencke. 

Absent:            Amy Haven and Blake Larson unable to attend.

Mike sent out the agenda prior to meeting let us know he would run our meeting since Amy was out of town.

Mike called the meeting to order.  Then presented the June meeting minutes for approval.

Ryan Mueller made the motion that we accept the agenda as submitted and Leslie Hind seconded.  The vote was unanimous and the minutes were accepted.

Leslie Hind sent in the treasury report. We have $20,703.09 in bank account and $435.90 in PayPal, total of $21,138.99.  We still need to pay the bill of $1,472 for the two large trash dumpsters we used for the dumpster weekend. Also still need to pay Sandy and Greta for the 4th of July parade expenses.

4th of July Boat parade was discussed that we had a nice turn out of boats.   All the trophies were given out and we retrieved all but 2 of our reusable boat numbers. The trophies were nice and heavy and a nice size.  We stayed close to budget. Leslie will get us the final numbers once all the invoices are paid. The downside to the parade was that we had a few complaints of a couple of boats were political.  We discussed that we could but in next year’s announcement to please avoid political statements and that we would like to keep the parade family friendly.

Sandy was able to get pictures of each boat and it’s number and sent them to Ryan for posting on our Facebook page for voting.   Had a nice voting turnout.  Also discussed next year we could have boat themes.

Discussed Rock the Dock’s that Amy and Suzy are working on.  Hope to have another good turn- out for 2022.

Discussed Kayak race scheduled for Labor Day.  If we can get some items donated for a raffle that would help generate some revenue and interest.  We are going to give out ribbons like last year and Greta will customize these.  Going to ask the Shawnee Kayaking group if they would like to participate again.  They donated funds.  We couldn’t get a food truck so we are going to do a potluck like last year.  Sandy will sell T-shirts.  Will ask Todd Chapell to do announcing again. Mike will have a boat for the kids turn around (beach house), ask the Burnett’s to cover the adult turn around (band stand).  Amy and Dave will use they double decker boat for the starting line and the judges to be on top.  Also, we will have a first aid boat and another boat at south end by fishing point for professional turn around.  Leslie Hind will work with city to get a porta potty for the fishing derby and the kayak race.

Weekend of the 20th we set for the annual weed and brush cleanup.  Sandy will make a flyer and send it to Mike to send out.  Setting this for prior to the kids fishing derby an outside group is having weekend prior to Labor Day.

The GLA mailing list still needs additional updating some missing emails or phone #’s or dock numbers.  Road reps could also help get this information.  List of membership director hasn’t gone out in a while and discussed this needs to go out again.

Road rep part was canceled and need to setup sometime in September with new date options.  Get the word out ahead of time.

Discussed our Zoom link for meetings needs to be updated so we can have longer meetings.  The free Zoom access is restricting out meeting time and have to relog back in.  Could go ahead and pay for a GLA account.

Discussed Lake Rules, had some complaints folks are swimming off boats.  The City updated the rules in summer of 2021 restricting swimming areas, no tubing, no alcohol and other items.  Probably need to post these again on our website.

Also docks need to get their numbers on several are missing.

Discussed city has no plans or budget this year to treat the algae in the lake.  The carp have done a good job on the main channel down in the south end.  There is a some growing now along the bank and around docks. 

Will work on the Chili cookoff details after the kayak race.  We will be selling tickets for the raffle items Ryan is collecting (hanging outdoor chair and artwork).

The meeting was adjourned.

GLA Board Meeting Minutes – May 2022

May 2022 Minutes


               $19,469.21 – 96.12 to Paypal for carp campaign = $19373.09 total in Treasury

               $5000 for carp

               collected $3276.42 in donations from 40 donors

               now $3.50/fish paid by GLA

               110 members in GLA

               $2701 from shirts (revenue or profit?)

               Treasury approved by Sandy, seconded by Mike

               Leslie N. mentioned putting excess money towards spillway, Amy mentioned we are earmarking some funds for infrastructure within the bank account


               -address updates – Mike says we need some help from lake road reps

                              -Leslie N. volunteered to host a lake road rep meetup

                                             -determined 6/1 for the date

                                             -roads 5 and 12 need reps, can invite potential candidates

                                             -GLA board members to bring food, 8 board members, 15 Lake Road Reps

                                             -Mike/Leslie N. to lead


               -4th of July

Lake Infrastructure Developments

               -Amy met w/ Leslie H., Tim Orrick

               -options discussed:

                              -county take ownership of lake

                              -voluntary annexation

                                             -Gardner doesn’t want us

                                             -Olathe doesn’t want us

                                             -need approval of residents

                              -3rd class city


                                             -more solution than needed for this problem

                              -take lake private

                                             -promising but not quick solution

                                             -could control our own lake

                                             -we do have time (lake not crumbling this year)

                                             -85% buy-in from residents potentially (that’s a lot)

               -Amy’s plan of attack:

                              -exhibit + Amy’s book could help lake get on National Register

                                             -helps w/ funding

                                             -won’t cause excess regulations

                              -build resident support through block parties

                                             -will need people power

                              -need to attend Gardner city meetings

                                             -Ryan & Mike & Sandy volunteered to attend some fairly regularly

                                                            -can start rotating members through

                                             -will build partnership

                              -possible lake parties for residents

                              -beautify the lake


                                             -monument sign at the dam

                                             -gardening @ marina

                              -public forums

                              -get dredging moving

                                             -shows we can get things done

                                             -residents would love

                                             -plan – maybe city raises dock fees to get paid for?

                              -Amy to meet w/ Mayor

                                             -then a GLA taskforce to be put together

               -Dam report

                              -maintenance plan and downstream resident list not updated

-New Business

               -flags for Rock the Docks

                              -collect from residents to get a flag to show support and fundraise

                              -idea tabled by Sandy    

-Meeting was adjourned