Annual Membership Meeting Minutes
August 30, 2019
The Annual Meeting of the Oquaga Lake Improvement Association was held on August 30, 2019 at Scotts Family Hotel lobby. Board members present were Ron A, Marie D, Lil D, J, Heather H, Gary H, Barbara M, Mark M, Judy R. Absent were Koen G and Joe R.
Thirty-one of 79 paid Association member properties being represented, constituting 39% of the paid membership; therefore, a quorum was present. (By-Laws require twenty percent as a quorum.)
A. Opening Comments
President Mark M called the meeting to order at 7:37. Board members were introduced. Mark thanked the Scotts for the use of the facility. He asked if there were new owners or members present. The Association welcomed Lenore L who recently purchased the Brenda/Mort L property at 725 OLR.
Barbara acknowledged the passing of neighbors since the last annual meeting: George Akel, Bill Baumann, Joe Cecala, Helen Dobrinski, and Carol Klionsky. All good friends of the Lake and they are missed.
B. Approval of Minutes and Treasurer's Report
There was a motion by Kevin R, second by Gary H to waive the reading of the Secretary’s minutes from 2018 as they were available at the meeting. Passed unanimously.
Marie D summarized the Treasurer’s report including the financials and the membership list. There are 79 paid regular members and 21 unpaid members. Third and final invoices will be sent. There was a question about the cost of flares: $1800. It was noted that a purchase of flares typically covers five years and that we get income on the sale of them; we do not sell them at a loss. Motion to accept the Treasurer’s report by Peggy Ruhnke, second by Sy Klionsky. Passed unanimously.
C. Committee Reports
Fish Report: Kurt A gave the fishing report. He stated that a 3.5 pound brown won the fishing derby. All the fish appeared to be healthy and there was a large mix of types of fish, but there were no pickerel. The details of the contest were previously published in the Newsletter. On Mother’s Day we stocked 300 rainbow and 300 brown trout. Kurt suggested that we might investigate the fishing rules with DEC; since we stock our own fish, we should be able to keep them all year.
Field Games and Water Sports: Heather H reported that about 15 people participated in the Gruelathon. The field games were held with participation by a lot of teen-agers. Water sports were not done due to lack of participation but the cannonball contest did take place at Scotts high dive. There was the annual tug-war and “the girls won, yet again”.
Water Quality: Ben H has taken over this project with the help of friends and Ed W. We have been participating in this NY state and DEC program for over 30 year. The water quality continues to be excellent, but we need to continue to be vigilant.
Land Use and Zoning: We need to continue to work with the Town to maintain the interests of the Lake Overlay District, which specifically addresses the unique concerns of Oquaga Lake. Attendance at Town meetings to keep aware of issues that concern the Lake is encouraged. It was noted that Barbara Marko is now on the Town of Sanford Planning Board.
Event Planning: We’ve tried introducing new events in recent years (ice cream social, boat parade). This year was the first that we didn’t have a picnic due to ever decreasing attendance. What kind of events are people looking for and who can plan for them? Help needed.
Membership / Welcome Committee: Our membership includes the owners of the property on the Lake. A “welcome wagon” type of activity would be helpful to familiarize new owners and members with the Lake and community. [Following the meeting, Lil D volunteered to undertake this project.]
Boating: Mort Levy was the biggest proponent of this and we need someone to champion this going forward. Boater safety continues to be an issue. We have had some very serious incidents this year (More below.)
History/Newsletter: The book should be updated and made electronically available. Help needed.
Sewer: A few years ago, Jim Bennett and Mark managed a few years to avoid a major capital improvement project that would have cost Lake owners significant tax increase. It’s important to work with the Town to provide direction and guidance regarding our sewer district.
C. Old Business:
Lake Lowering: In 2020, the gate will be opened on November 1 for Lake lowering to allow work to be done on docks and shoreline. The gate is open for thirty days and it takes time for the water level to return. Permits may be required from the town, DEC, and Army Corps of Engineers. Members are encouraged to start the process now.
Boating: Boats out at night going fast. Boats going the wrong way. Near misses between motorboats and non-powered watercraft. Boat drivers watching the skier or tuber rather than focusing forward. Many issues this year with unsafe boating. A sign with boating rules has been ordered to post at the ramp. If you see something, say something. People may not know the rules. Non-powered boats should stay within 100 feet of shore when power boating is happening.
Mark displayed the sign that will also be posted regarding aquatic vegetation and invasive species being brought to the Lake. If your boat has been on another body of water, make sure your boat has been cleaned: bilge, live well, no vegetation on trailer and prop.
Barbara noted that the Boating Rules could use updating; a Committee to do so would be appreciated. [Following the meeting, Anthony P informed her that he and others have volunteered.]
Bears: No reports of bears this year, but we have seen garage strewn across the road so we know they are there. Be aware.
Dogs: There have been incidents with dogs at a rental property. Dog warden has been called several times and the dogs have been removed by the State police more than once. The dog warden has suggested that pictures should be taken of the dogs when they are out, to substantiate that the dogs are loose, as the owners deny it.
Lake Clean-Up Day: Once again a couple bags of garbage were collected.
Blue Stone Wind Project: In 2017, Mark commented on the project and disclosed he had been retained by the Towns of Sanford and Windsor to review the application. Our membership is diverse: some oppose and some and some are receptive. We are a not for profit corporation under the state of NY. Our focus is the Lake and adjoining lands. The nearest turbine will be four miles from the Lake, most six to eight miles away. We encourage people to become informed. There is a very active concerned residents group of opponents. Subscribe to the Deposit Courier. Check out the websites. Mark’s complete state can be heard on the Oquaga.com website.
Judy R noted that Senator Akshar has a survey regarding the wind farm project on his website.
D. New Business
There was a question that the Lake seems to be lower this year. This is probably due to lack of rain in July and August, and natural evaporation due to the hot Summer. Gary noted that the gate is closed.
E. Election of Officers
The terms of Barbara M, Ron A, Joe R, and Gary H are expiring. All agreed to remain. There were no nominations from the floor. Motion by Kurt A, second by David S. Elected unanimously
F. Open Discussion
Barbara noted that there are Oquaga Lake maps for sale.
Mark mentioned that NYSFOLA publishes a document called Waterworks, hard copy and on-line, which covers many general lake related issues, which concerned members might want to subscribe to.
There was no other open discussion.
Mark asked for a motion to adjourn. Several were offered and seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 8:32pm.
Minutes respectfully submitted:
August 30, 2019
Board of Directors Meeting to Appoint Officers
Attending: Ron A, Marie D, Lil D, Jestina D, Heather H, Dick H, Gary H, Barbara M, Mark M, Judy R
Absent: Koen G, Joe R
As required by the By-Laws, the Board of Directors met following the general meeting for the appointment of Officers. The meeting was called to order at 8:34pm. Gary made a motion that the officers in place remain in place. Second by Dick. Passed unanimously. Meeting adjourned at 8:35pm.
Minutes respectfully submitted:
August 30, 2019
Last update 09/04/2019