The Devils Lake Water Improvement District held its November board meeting in the District offices on Thursday, November 11th, 2010. The meeting was attended by approximately 12 interested parties.
Executive Session of the Board: The Board of Directors held an Executive Session preceding their regularly scheduled meeting.
Public Comment: The Board acknowledged the receipt of written comments; members of the public in attendance also provided comments on several items. Public comments included; an expression of concern regarding the limited scope of the Erosion Study as well as a few concerns on the development of the Devils Lake Plan. A couple of residents on 2nd Court expressed concerns about log removal on the canal and the D River which would improve the health of the canal and open the area to recreational activities.
Erosion Study RFP: The District received responses to the erosion study RFP on August 25th, 2010. The study was designed to determine if and how the lake level affects erosion on properties surrounding Devils Lake. The full RFP is available on their website. The meeting began with an interview with Dr. Toni Pennington of Tetra Tech to obtain more details related to their proposal. Dr. Pennington explained that, in reaction to concerns expressed about the cost of the project they have suggested that certain elements be removed from the study, such as the pictorial survey and historical data mining. She also stated that based on recent input from District staff the proposal has been reworked to focus more on answering the question; what impact would various water levels have on erosion? It was expressed that the District may be better served using a courser data set than the RFP specified, as much of the available data is in 2 foot increments. After several other questions and a few public comments, the Board and staff expressed their opinion that the value of the tasks removed outweighs the savings achieved. The Board decided it would like to perform the study in the summer. The Board requested that the proposal be review by Tetra Tech; the final bid should include a set of mitigating options that will minimize erosion on Devils Lake. A final bid will be prepared and brought back to the December meeting.
Lake Level: Staff reported that November brought a couple of unusually high tidal events washing the waters of the Pacific and a portion of the wayside beach into the mouth of the D-River. Sand was deposited well beyond the Highway 101 Bridge completing shutting down flow from the lake to the ocean. On Monday November 1st, the river was dredged yet predictably it did not last long as ocean swells clogged the river by early Tuesday morning. On Wednesday, the District dredged again with the lake reaching its peak at 11.2 feet. The river has been running unfettered since. By Friday, the lake level was reported to have returned to 10.2 feet.
Save our Shorelines: This is a program to assist landowners in increasing the native vegetation on their shoreline as well as other best management practices for living on the water. Staff provided an update on planning for upcoming SOS projects on Sand Point, and the First Street Canal scheduled for planting this spring. Efforts are progressing in the District’s attempts to create two high profile demonstration sites at Regatta Ground City Park and East Devils Lake State Park. The suggestion was made that landscapers and maintenance crews have a lot of say in how people do their landscaping around the lake. The District approved holding a workshop about shoreline planting and other best practices before the spring planting season begins for these professionals.
Devils Lake Plan: A new version of the Devils Lake Plan was forwarded to the board seeking feedback. The Lake Manager suggested that he seeks to produce a final releasable document by the December meeting. This document then would be sent to agencies for input including the ODFW Commission as a preliminary step to reintroducing grass carp into Devils Lake. There was some discussion related to the written comments received requesting that the District develop a well planned program to educate the public on the contents of the plan and to receive public input prior to finalization.
Grass Carp: The District has created a strategic plan for grass carp that contains the many required steps and a timeline surrounding the project. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff have indicated that the District may have a 50-50 chance at obtaining approval. The District’s strategy is to demonstrate specific progress on nutrient abatement issues, such as the septic program and Save Our Shoreline, as well as invasive species prevention such as boat wash station plans and signage. These successful projects would be persuasive for an appeal on the grass carp permit. District staff has had several conversations with individuals who would affect the project including Bob Buckman ODFW Fish Biologist, Dr. Mark Sytsma from Portland State University, and Kevin Herkamp at the ODFW Commission. Information was presented related to the feeding preferences and stocking rates of grass carp. Projected costs of the project were shared with the Board which expressed support of the plan presented and recommended proceeding.
Sewer LID: Brian Green gave a report on the work he has done on the creation of a LID near Regatta Grounds that would pave roadways and construct a 2 inch effluent removal system to connect to the City sewer system. A letter has been sent to all residents who are candidates for the project and he reported that they have received a majority of affirmative responses. Based on this response the project can move on to the next step.
Communications Report: The District has developed plans to take several steps forward in enhancing communication between itself and lake stakeholders. These include the design and purchase of the SOS medallions, the purchase of DLWID license plate holders, and the creation of a nice display for use in public spaces. There are also plans to develop a new brochure to describe the recreational opportunities on the lake which could be displayed in hotels, the chamber of commerce and the Lincoln City Visitors Bureau. It was proposed to build a Kiosk at Holmes Road as part of the Districts existing contract with Sexton Construction. The structure would be similar to the Regatta Grounds Kiosk in size and would house the large District map, Water Quality Data and other announcements such as the prohibition for fishing for grass carp.
2nd Court Canal: The District has been researching this issue and has determined that the Department of State Lands has indicated that the District does not need a permit to remove logs that are blocking the canal. To remove sand or other sediment the work would be classified as maintenance dredging which would require a permit. Based on previous expressions of concern related to this canal as well as public comment provide during the meeting the District indicated that it would take trial action related to the logs in the D River and canal opening this year.
Union 50: Several came to the October meeting to inform the Board that the Union 50 Club was for sale. There was an expression that it would be a great opportunity for development by DLWID or others in the community. The Board instructed staff to research the opportunity. A report was provided. The Oregon Coast Community College currently owns the building and has it listed at $950,000 for the two parcels that make up the facility. A level one environmental assessment has been performed on the property. Both parcels are in the Urban Renewal District boundary which provides an opportunity the District can explore. The balance of the discussion revolved around possible funding options and the District’s finances.