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Start date 07/11/2009 
End Date  
Location Our meeting was held at the Family Community Center in
Hamilton Twp,
beside the Dodge City Fire Dept. 
Presenter President Al Loucks 

General Membership Meeting Minutes July 11, 2009

Chain of Lakes Association (COLA)
P.O. Box 245, Harrison, MI 48625-02456

General Membership Meeting Minutes July 11, 2009

Association president Al Loucks opened the meeting at 10:00 A.M. with the Pledge of Allegiance, then introduced the COLA officers for 2009 Pres. Al Loucks, Vice President Mike Lavin, Treasurer Bill Charron (absent), Secretary Melissa Burnham, Lake Directors: Haven Lake: Robert Height, Haven Lake channel: Saundra Kozak, Lake #4: Norbert Schollett, Boathouse Lake: Lake #5: Cedar Shores Representatives: Cathy & Jerry Timmons Sand Lake: Andy Dennis, Sand Lake channel: Bryan Doyle, Townline Lake: Dan & Melissa Burnham

Al introduced Clare County Sheriff officers: Lt. Rick Miller and Detective Mike Coon.

Lt. Miller spoke of the recent crime in the Dodge City area. He spoke of the importance of Neighborhood Watch programs in instances just as this, and encouraged anyone interested in starting a Neighborhood Watch in their area of the chain of lakes, to call the Clare County Sheriff's Department at: 989-539-539-7166, and to speak with Lt. Miller directly, ext. #230. Lt. Miller also talked about patrolling the waters in our chain of lakes. He said folks who might be interested in becoming volunteer Marine Officers (to patrol our waters) should contact the Clare County Sheriff's Department for more information. Training for eligible candidates is available from the Sheriff's Department as well.

Detective Mike Coon then spoke about the investigation into all of the recent break-ins and the malicious destruction of properties that has been happening around the lakes. He said that one person of interest has confessed to 10 B&Es, and this person's partner would be taken in for questioning soon. Both were repeat offenders. Detective Coon stressed that anyone noticing suspicious activity in their neighborhood could call his office anonymously and report what they've seen, with no fear of recrimination. His office number at the Clare County Sheriff's department: 989-539-7166, extension #234.

After thanking the officers, Al Loucks continued the meeting by thanking Haven Lake's Kelly Miller for organizing the 4th of July boat parade.

Al talked of the water testing that was done on our chain of lakes, our waters tested out very well. More samples will be taken next year to monitor bacteria levels, etc.

Dan Burnham was introduced and spoke to the group regarding the requirements by the DEQ for installing fish cribs to improve the fishing environment in our waters, and restocking the fish in our lakes. The last recorded fish restocking of our chain was in 2001, at a cost of approximately $3000.00. Duane Whitmyer of Cedar Shores spoke up and said that Cedar Shores had just recently restocked the lakes with a small amount of fish. Dan researched and said that if COLA buys with some of our neighboring lake associations (when they restock) and combine our order with theirs, COLA would get a lower price for the fry. Donations may be made for restocking, and volunteers will be needed for both building pallet fish cribs, or if folks can donate materials, that would be appreciated, too. Contact Dan @ 517-525-2352 to help in any way. Dan thanked those that had already donated to the fish restocking fund, and said that it will probably our take association quite a while to raise $3000.00+ and talked of possible future fund raising events.

Al then spoke of changing banks regarding our COLA account. COLA's monies have gradually been decreasing over the years due to service fees. Al and COLA treasurer Bill Charron will be looking into opening a new account with a different bank.

Water levels in all of the lakes were discussed. Since the chain of lakes feeds into Dodge Lake, the lake levels have been predetermined, and are controlled by the Clare County Drain Commission.

Discussion then moved on to the neglected docks in our chain of lakes, and what can be done to get property owners to remove or repair them. A call to the Sheriff's dept. or the Hamilton Township blight officer was suggested, or possibly calling the local DNR officer.

Discussion then followed regarding the closing of the beach area on Boathouse Lake by lake front property owners. Local property owners had taken action by putting up a fence and signs to stop the constant partying and littering. It was suggested to call our Hamilton Township supervisor regarding this, or to look into the subdivision plat language to help resolve this issue for folks that don't own waterfront properties, but live off the water with lake access.

The issue of who should mow/maintain all of the boat landings was then discussed. Dodge Lake Association hires someone to maintain their launch and beach. Options were then discussed re: folks who have community service hours to fulfill. More discussion and input will be needed before proceeding with anything. In the meantime, volunteers could be used to help out mowing the boat launch on the lakes. Persons interested in helping should call their lake directors.

Talk then centered on pontoons that have been left at the boat launches (some for years) without being moved, or folks parking their pontoons in the water at our boat landings, when they don't own property here. Al suggested talking to Hamilton Township supervisor Dave Cooper re: long-termed parked/abandoned boats, or calling in the boat registration numbers to the Sheriff's Dept or the DNR.

Discussion followed regarding how far from shorelines (and docks) boaters should stay. Boaters were asked to please follow the 60'-100 ft. rule and to respect our lakes boating and fishing hours, posted at the boat launches and in the lakes. Lake boating hours is No Wake: 7:30 P.M.-11:00. Folks were asked to remember to finish all tubing, boating and skiing by 7:30 P.M., and observe the No Wake hours from 7:30 P.M.-11:00 A.M., and to remind any guests visiting the chain of lakes of the boating/fishing hours. Also, boaters were reminded to slow down in all of our chain's channels. They are all No Wake zones.

Mr. Rob Mulkey and Mr. Gordon Sorensen of the Dodge Complex Improvement Board, and Mr. Dave Cooper, Supervisor for Hamilton Township, were thanked for their efforts in getting our Boating Navigational signs replaced in our waters. Thanks also went out to our volunteer sign installers: Dan Burnham, Bryan Doyle, (and his son in-law!), Bryan's neighbor, John Duplessie, Brian & Kelly Miller and to X-treme Graphics in Harrison for a job well done.

The winner of the 50/50 drawing was Todd Green, who generously donated his winnings to the Fish Restocking fund.

Meeting was adjourned 12:05 A.M.

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