Board Meets May 8th, 2014 6:00pm
The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Board meeting will be held on Thursday May 8th at 6:00pm. The meeting will be held in the City Hall Council Chambers, which are located on the third floor of City Hall. Your presence does make a difference. Please be there!
The District Manager’s current recommendation is to keep lake level down at 9.0’ and commission a study on the permanent removal of the dam which could result in a summer lake level a foot lower than you’ve ever seen before. Our conversations with the Board members indicate they still have an open mind on the issue. We need you to attend and bring five concerned friends or neighbors to help impress upon the DLWID Board that the only choice is to listen to their constituents and raise the lake to 9.53’ this summer. The Devils Lake Neighborhood Association has presented a plan to the DLWID Board which is designed to bring the community back together and accomplish great things for the lake.
I want to thank everybody who came to the April board meeting as well as the lake workshop the following weekend. For those of you attending the workshop you may have left believing there was a very high likelihood of the board reversing its current policy resulting in a summertime lake level of 9.53 feet. That conclusion would have been reached based on the presentation of the District’s subject matter expert, Mr. Joe Eilers of Max Depths Aquatics who when asked by a DLWID Board member if a change in 6 inches of lake elevation from 9.0 last summer to the 9.53 impoundment right, would have a measurable impact on erosion, wetlands or algae blooms, answered “no”.
Mr. Eilers has since changed his response as contained in the current meeting staff report provided by the DLWID Manager. He now says; “When asked about whether I could distinguish between the erosional effects that might occur at a lake stage of 9.5 versus a stage of 9.0, I answered “No”. I should have clarified my response, which in this case would have been that I could not distinguish the effects between these two lake elevations in the short term. In the long term, the effects of keeping the lake stage elevated at 9.5 ft should become evident.” He did not specify how this change would become evident. In addition to this reversal he provided comments or modified his position on 26 of the slides from the workshop. You can review the entire presentation by following the link.
Based on those revisions the DLWID Lake Manager has made the following recommendation; to “maintain the use of the water right at the District’s existing policy from June 15 to Oct 15 until the modeling efforts are completed at which time the District should make permanent a decision about its use or return the lake to its natural hydrology to increase the flushing of the lake.” The existing policy calls for a 9.0′ summertime lake level, the use of the term “natural hydrology” means removal of the dam, and of course permanent means forever.
The Devils Lake Neighborhood Association has attended the past three DLWID Board meetings and requested the Board resolve to exercise the maximum impoundment right of 9.53’ beginning April 15th through October 15th. We will need to modify our request asking for installation of the structure as soon as possible as April is now past.
We are all very happy that our water has cleared as we begin the recreational season. There is however much at stake as without positive action by the DLWID board our right to control lake level could be lost forever. Remember, in July 2012, the DLWID Board lowered the summertime lake level to 9.0’. Oregon law provides that the Districts water right must be forfeited unless they fully exercise the right at least one day in each five year period. The clock is ticking! Losing our water rights forever would be devastating.
Please help us convince the Board to make the right decision and attend the meeting this coming Thursday.