Big​ ​Whitefish​ ​Lake​ ​Association

Member Meeting
August 24, 2019

Called to order 9:30am

Roll call: Present: Buyze, Dykhouse, Van Timmeren, Cornelius, Moore, Szymczak, Walker, Smith, Walker, Root. Absent: Fish

BOD meeting minutes: Approved as published on the BWLA website.

Treasurers Report: Approved as published on the BWLA website. Jeff Smith reports balance in the Association account is currently a bit high due to not yet being billed by Republic for members trash pickup. Approximately 190 residents paid dues (of 220).

Special Guest: Sarah Burkholder, Pierson Township Clerk: Sarah mentioned the Farmer’s Market located in the Township parking lot Friday, August 30 3:00PM – 8:00PM. Sarah shared the special assessment for BWL lake water treatment plan will be added to the next tax bill (winter bill). Residents should not send a check to the Township to pay this assessment. Sarah also shared some insight on the current Drain Commissioner/sewer system issues (see below).

2019 Big Whitefish Lake Directory & Association Information: 2020 Directory will be based on info from 2019. Any changes should be forwarded to Jeff Moore. Also send pictures from this year to Jeff if you would like your photo to be published (no guarantees) in 2020 Directory.

BWLA sponsored Activities Review:

Meet and Mingle: Planning to do the event again in 2020. Cheryl Stormzand will chair again in 2020.

Fishing Contest: Ryan Root reported 2019 a success with many more entries.  Planned again for late June 2020.

Fireworks: Jerry Poisson reports the 2019 fireworks show a success. Thanks the volunteers who helped prepare, stage and clean up the show.  There is the hope we can grow the show and BOD planning to offer a patron/donation option with the 2020 dues form.  Still open to deciding if 2020 show gets lit Friday, July 3 or Saturday, July 4.

Fun Run/Walk July 4: Zone B to provide volunteers/organization for 2020 event.  Jerry Rohen will stay involved and share his knowledge of the event with Zone B volunteers.  Thanks to Jerry and Zone C for hosting a record crowd in 2019.

Boat Parade:  Six boats participated.  Looking at holding it on either July 3 or July 5 in 2020.

Spearing Contest:  Low turnout 2019/light harvest.

Dam: The board to be removed September 14.

Boating Safety: Nothing reported.  Boat launch going smoothly, reports Jerry Poisson.

Road Maintenance: All current projects listed on Pierson Township website.

BWL Attire: New line coming 2020.  Submit any new ideas for merchandise to Mary Underwood or Susan Smith.

Land Use:  Good deal of discussion on improvements/maintenance of the tennis/pickleball courts…especially due to increased usage from pickleball players.  A committee should be formed to discuss what next steps to take regarding future plans and funding for the space. Buyze reports there are eight acres of land owned by the Association where the courts are located. Perhaps some funding available. A Porta-Jon has been added recently and budgeted to return for 2020.

Neighborhood Watch: Lock It Up!  Please report any suspicious activity as season winds down.

Sewer Update: The situation described in one word: mess.  While the sewer system is functioning as intended, the financial situation revolving around the Township and the Drain Commissioner and funding/spending is the messy part.  Township has retained legal counsel to follow up and attempt to resolve. Township Controller also looking at finances. BOD and members discussed next steps in seeking further information to supplement what was gathered from the Freedom of Information Act report.

Trash pick-up:  Free to members until the last Tuesday in September,

BWLA eBlast/website: Contact Judy Wells Warner.  We could use at least two more sponsors to offset cost of website.  Send any leads to Judy for further information.  Thanks to Judy for the fine job.

Ecology:  Dave Cornelius reports collecting/monitoring the lake measurables to establish a baseline for water quality and staying on top of the need for treatments.  Brad Quist reports Ecology Committee volunteers regularly monitored invasive weeds then advised and rode with PLM as areas were treated.  This was very successful in staying on top of treatments as allowed by law/regulation (for instance we can only treat for algae every 15 days).  Starry Stonewort found near boat launch.  Goal is to minimize need and expense of treatments particularly delaying big, expensive Sonar treatment.  Brad would like to train ecology volunteers in April 2020.  Members asked if Jason or someone from PLM could meet members at next Spring meeting.

Special Assessment District (SAD): Done and settled for 2020 – 2025. As noted in Sarah Burkholder’s comments, the $197.70 will be added to the next tax bill.  Do not send a check to the Township.

Fertilizer: Discussion surrounding fertilizer ban within 300 feet of the lake. Weed control applications ok. Township to enforce…see something/say something.

Board of Directors Election. Dan Buyze and Jeff Smith have both fulfilled their term of office and will leave the board.  Jane Dykhouse will continue for another term and stay on as Vice President.  Jon Durren and Kevin Gilfillan were elected to fill the two vacant posts. BOD elected Kevin Gilfillan the new President and Jon Durren as Treasurer.  Dan Buyse promised to assist Kevin in his duties as needed/able including work on job descriptions to delegate some of the Presidents duties to others.  Member Jackie Brayman spoke up for all those in attendance and especially for the BOD in thanking the outgoing BOD members for their service, especially Mr. Buyze for his leadership and hard work as President for the last two years through some difficult issues.  Amen.

Next Board meetingSeptember 9 (Jane Dykhouse to host).

Motion to adjourn:  Approved 10:43am.

Submitted by Ron Van Timmeren, Secretary