Horseshoe Lake Public Inland Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District Annual Meeting

Meeting Date: September 18, 2021 at Beaver Town Hall

Call to order at 9:30 AM by acting president Tom Ludy with approximately 18 people in attendance and another 6 attending via Zoom. Steve Eichmann is in Canada and was unavailable to attend. A moment of silence was held for long-time resident Fred Cook, who is dealing with a serious health issue. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

2020 minutes were not read but are posted on HLIA website and were approved.

Water Levels
Tom Ludy gave an update on water levels. The county has installed a water level gauge in front of his property, and he has been monitoring it daily the past three months. This year was exceptional in terms of fluctuation of water height. From Memorial Day to Labor Day - the lake dropped 22".

Milfoil Update
Joe Waldo gave an update on milfoil situation. We again had very few areas with milfoil infestations this spring and because of this, were not granted a permit to do any chemical control. Noah Berg (Matt's son) spent an afternoon in May diving to manually remove milfoil outside of Mud Lake entrance and scattered plants in Henck's Bay and outside of Buckwall Bay. Dave Blumer also found a bed of plants in the west end of the lake where he and Craig Nackerud manually removed plant on three different occasions using the SNUBA. Matt Berg will be doing a fall plant survey which will give us an indication of what areas may need to be treated in 2022. Please be sure to remove individual milfoil plants you see in the lake - a plant pulled today may save a $1000 of spraying in two years.

Purple Loosestrife
Craig Nackerud gave a report on purple loosestrife. We continue to see plants present - mainly in the east end of lake. He and Laura have been manually removing plants they have found along the shoreline. Plants were also removed by Dave Blumer and team after our Lake Day event in July. Again - if you see plants on your lake shore, cut them before they go to seed and dispose of the plants (burn or landfill).

Zebra Mussels
The other thing we need to be vigilant for is Zebra Mussels. Once they are in the lake - there is not a lot that can be done. We luckily have not found any zebra mussels in the lake, although they are present in other area lakes. It is critical that you inspect your boats and your guest boats to make sure they are clean and that all live wells are empty before putting them in Horseshoe Lake. We have a zebra mussel plate under the dock at the boat landing (most likely place to find them first). Be sure to also inspect your docks and lifts this fall when you take them out and let us know if you see any attached to them.

LEAPS Update
Megan Mader has been working with Dave Blumer for about six months and has just completed her Masters Degree in Aquatic Biology at Grand Valley State. Megan gave an update on what she and Dave have seen on the lake this summer. Water quality is starting to get green, but that is normal for this time of year and the lake will clear up when it turns over. No blue-green algae blooms (which were seen on other lakes this summer). If you see anything questionable - please send her a photo and they can check it out. Steve is doing our annual Citizen Lake monitoring again, pulling water samples this fall to send to state lab for analysis.

The Lake Aquatic Plant Management Plan update is being finalized. We are waiting for Matt Berg's plant survey data. It should be completed late this year or early 2022. We will email a copy for everyone to review prior to submitting to the DNR. It is important to minimize runoff into the lake. If you see evidence of runoff or gullies forming after heavy rains, address the issues immediately. Healthy Lake cost share grants are available for rain gardens, native plantings, runoff diversion strips, and French drains (infiltration trenches) drains.

2021 Financial Report
Current Balances: Lake District Money Market: $16,504.92 (which includes $6,933 in advances from CWCB and Lake Planning grants) and $12,662 in CDs for our Emergency Invasive Weed Fund. We obtained an advance toward our grant expenses last year and will submit for final cost-share reimbursement in 2022 after all bills are paid. We did not spray for milfoil this year (so did not spend the $6000 budgeted). We did spend $600 for diving. We also had money budgeted for boat landing coordination that we didn't spend. Boat landing were down this year. The donation box had to be repaired and was not available most of the season. Interest income was down due to lower rates. Final grant reimbursement timing and amount is yet unknown, but we are anticipating $12,000 left in our main after all grant expenses and reimbursements are reconciled (in additional to our $12,000 Milfoil Emergency fund). Financial report approved..

Boat Landing Monitoring
We did get a Clean Boats/Clean Water grant approved again for 2021, but had limited volunteers to work at the boat landing to do inspections. Walt Goethel has done several days of volunteer monitoring this summer, as has Bruce Johnson, so we should not have to pay back all of our grant advance like we did last year. Boat landing monitoring and boat inspections are our first line of defense for keeping zebra mussels and other invasive species out of our lake. For next year - do we pay someone to help do monitoring and coordinating volunteers like we did in the past? Do we partner with a local 4-H club or Boy Scout troup to do inspections as a project? Pam Nelson volunteered to put together an ad hoc committee to come up with ideas and a plan for next year. This could include developing better training materials explaining what is involved in boat landing monitoring and a better process for recruiting volunteers to work at the landing.

Lake Management Plan Update
We already covered most of this previously in meeting. This is required by the DNR and we need to update it every five years (which is what we are doing now). We had two "educational" activities in 2021 that counted toward our grant requirements - our lake cocktail party in May where Dave Blumer gave a shoreline training presentation and our July Lake Day, where we were trained on identifying and removing invasive species. We are also working on updating the signage at the boat landing. Forms are on the website ( for reporting any of your volunteer hours and should go to Joe Waldo for submission.

Decontamination Stations
While physical boat inspections are effective in finding and removing plants and pests from boats, a decontamination process using either hot water or low amount of bleach, is more effective in killing invasive species that are not visible or very difficult to see (like zebra mussels and spiny water fleas). A decontamination station provides these tools for use by anyone putting in or taking out a boat. Polk County, as well as Burnett, Washburn, Bayfield, and Barron Counties, has passed an ordinance legally requiring all boats entering or leaving a lake to use a decontamination station if one is present at the landing. Polk County will be paying to have these stations placed at county managed boat landings, but it will be up to other individual lakes to decide if they want to make these available (at their own expense).

We are not required to have a decontamination station at our boat landing (about a $1,200 investment). If we do put one in - everyone would be legally required to use it (every time). We also might need two stations to avoid backups (one for boats coming in and one for boats coming out). After significant discussion - it was decided that we should wait until next summer to see how these stations are working out at other lakes. In the meantime - an alternative would be doing more regular boat landing monitoring (instead of putting in a station) as we could perform decontamination as part of our boat inspection. By waiting, there is also a possibility that the DNR or county could decide to offer grants to pay for stations at non-county managed lakes.


Boat Landing condition
The boat landing is a very important part of our lake. It is owned, managed and maintained by Beaver Township and is a public landing - open to anyone to use. The damage to the trees at the boat landing from the tornado has increase the amount of running into the lake from large rains. With mainly stumps left (and no canopy to slow the rain), we are getting significant erosion of our gravel driveways, which is then running into the lake. The concrete ramps that were installed several years ago have deteriorated and will need to be replaced. The dock has been a nice addition to help getting boats in and out, but probably needs some refurbishing.

We did have the County Conservation Engineer out to look at the boat landing areas. He suggested that removing the trees and stumps in the center area would improve traffic flow in and out of the lake and we could re-grade the area to redirect runoff water into a holding area so it wouldn't run directly into the lake. We are looking at what that might cost ($5-$10,000?) and are checking into grants. The consensus of the discussion was that this something the township should pay for (as they own the boat landing), although the lake district might be willing to contribute depending on the cost and what is being done. Township got COVID funds, but they are currently limited on what the funds can be used for. If the township is allowed to use some of this money for boating landing improvements, the project might also include a storm shelter and/or bathrooms.

The scope of Pam Nelson's ad hoc committee was expanded include looking at all boat landing issues, including boat landing monitoring plans and training, decontamination station implications, and boat landing upgrades options. We may decide to do a zoom meeting this winter to encourage discussion and then have a plan ready to roll out in April. If the township board decided to look at this - it might be a one-shot deal (and we will need people to attend board meeting for support).

Sanitary System Update
We discussed at the 2020 meeting that the Village of Turtle Lake is in the planning process for future expansion of its sanitary system (which is near or over capacity), so if we would ever be interested in tying into that in the future, we need to be having those discussions with the village now. Constant pumping of holding tanks is expensive and usually just mean your untreated waste is getting dumped on a field somewhere (and potentially finding its way into the water system anyway). The decision was made that the Lake District would investigate what sanitary options might be available and then pass that information on to Lake District residents for further discussion - up to the point of which a finance commitment would be required.

Tom Ludy reported that nothing has changed in the past 12 months. Village is currently having challenges getting local industry to contribute toward the sewer project. DNR has set a date of the end of the year, so a decision will need to be made at sometime soon. Tom will continue to monitor the situation and report back when something changes. Nothing would be done regarding lake district involvement in this project without having detailed discussions with lake owners and a vote would be required on whether and how we would move forward. But realistically - best case would be four-to-five years before we would be to that point.

2022 Budget
Based on the discussion at the meeting - we will not plan to budget for a decontamination station or boat landing improvements. Once the Lake Plan is complete, we get back to more normal expenses. For 2022, we will continue to have LEAPS help with lake monitoring and training and we will still need have our annual fall weed mapping done. We will again budget $6000 for milfoil control (based on our ten-year average), with the actual expense depending on area we would need to treat plus what control methods we use. We have been using a granular based treatment, which has been generally effective but milfoil in some areas seem to come back every year (like going into Mudd Lake). Dave Blumer has researched information on a new liquid product that we might want to consider - at least for those harder to control areas. It is 2-3x more expensive but is less harmful to native plants and also has shown better multi-year control of hybrid Eurasian milfoil. Other main budget items are liability insurance, member communication and boat landing coordination/monitoring. Member communication includes cost of mailings plus website hosting fees. Mike Foster is still managing our website and Craig Nackerud our FaceBook page on a volunteer basis. Miscellaneous cost includes marker buoys. We have replaced most of the existing buoys, but if water levels drop further - we will need to buy another 2-3 rock buoys.

Proposal is to keep tax revenue at $9,300 (same as past couple years), even though our annual expenses are around $14,000. We would maintain our $12,000 Emergency Milfoil Fund in CDs (inherited from the original Lake Association) but start utilizing of our additional cash reserves. The current tax base of the lake district is a little over $57MM, so the $9,300 is around $16/$100,000 valuation. At some point in the future, we will probably need to increase tax revenue to $14,000 to cover annual expenses (once we use up our excess cash reserves), but this would still be under $25/$100,000 valuation. Motion was passed to approve the 2022 budget as proposed and the $9,300 tax revenue levels. If the committee decide it makes sense to invest dollars toward boat landing improvements, the Lake District Commissioners does have the authority to spend unbudgeted dollars if needed (but would get input from lake owners first).


Joe Waldo was elected to another three-year term as lake commissioner. Lake commission board members for 2021-22 are Steve Eichman, Tom Ludy and Joe Waldo (elected lake owners), Roxy King (Beaver Township representative) and Tracy LeBlanc (Polk County representative).

Horseshoe Lake Directory
We are still working on updating this. We have updates (including emails) from 150 of the 240 properties, so not sure how many more we will get. I will send out a final update for review and then Mike Foster will do a final update of the map. We do not plan to print out copies but will instead email out a pdf copy to everyone who provided email and an update. For those not responding with updates, we will just include publicly available info (name/address).

New Business
Craig Nackerud gave an update on the potential for having a water safety patrol, which would be hiring off-duty law enforcement officials to be seen on lake to enforce boating rules. We have not seen any game wardens or sheriff's department personnel on the lake in 2021 (definitely less than in the past). After discussion, it was decided the lake district should send both groups written requests next spring to request additional support for them for summer of 2022. It was also recommended that we send out current boating rules to all property owners next spring, asking that they and their guests follow. These are posted on our website but should also be provided in either an email or a paper mailing to all owners. We also will want to reach out specifically to the two rentals property owners on the lake before next season. Airbnb and rentals are required to get conditional use permit from Polk County, which has ordinances for rental units to follow. They are legally bound to post a list of rules and are responsible to make sure their renters follow those rules. These efforts are necessary to maintain everyone's safety and allow for maximum enjoyment of the lake for all. .

Meeting adjourned at 11:05 am.

Respectfully submitted by Joe Waldo (Secretary/Treasurer)
Horseshoe Lake Public Inland Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District


Go to Home Page