By Mary-Justine Lanyon
In his report as interim general manager, Wayne Austin told the board and members of the Arrowhead Lake Association that the lake level stands at 5106.39 – just four inches below full.
“There is no precedent for having the lake this full in September,” Austin said. “We could find nothing in our historical records.”
During the tropical storm on Aug. 22, ALA opened one gate for 24 hours, letting two to three inches out of the lake. “That keeps erosion concerns under control and averts flooding,” he said.
Austin also reported on a number of upcoming projects. ALA will focus on cleaning out the silt basins around the lake over the next two months, he said, before winter sets in. Trash pickups from the end of members’ docks will cease on Oct. 2; ALA will move to winter operation, asking members to call the office for a trash pickup.
The lake week harvester boat will be put into operation over the next week. “We are racing against time,” Austin said. “As the water temperature goes down, the lake weed will die off and fall to the bottom.”
In their comments, several of the directors thanked Austin for stepping so competently into the general manager’s position while they interview candidates to fill the job left vacant by Bob Mattison’s retirement. The search is down to four candidates from the more than 280 who applied, President David Dahl said.
Director Eran Heissler commented that the report posted on the ALA website makes it sound as though the applicants postponed the oral arguments for the appeal of the preliminary injunction “enjoining the ALA from enforcing a member-approved bylaw amendment.”
“I’m disappointed in this update,” Heissler said. “The real fact is the applicants didn’t know about the postponement. The attorneys decided to postpone; we were ready to go.”
Secretary-Treasurer Alan Kaitz further clarified the matter: One of the attorneys, he said, had a medical problem and sought a continuance. “I wasn’t contacted by the attorney. We had no knowledge of the request. The court will always grant a continuance in such a case.
“It’s not really a continuance,” Kaitz added. “The judge just took it off the calendar and will set a new date. We would like to get the final order on the appeal over with. There is no blame to any of the parties because this was taken off the calendar.”
Director Bud Macer – dressed in Bavarian lederhosen to celebrate Oktoberfest – said he could not remember a full lake after Labor Day. “I hope it impacts next season,” he said. He added his congratulations to the general manager search committee for whittling the candidates down to four excellent ones.
The fall fishing is fabulous, Fishing committee chair Kathi Rothner reported. “Don’t take my word for it – get out there!” There will be a last fish stocking on Oct. 3, funded by donations from members.
In anticipation of a “lean” 2024, Rothner said they had purchased some equipment: a new scale for the fish derby with a large screen and more than 20 rods to be used by young anglers in the junior trout rodeo (which they were able to purchase at a 75-percent discount).
The retention wall at the marina is nearing completion, reported Jim Hannon, the chair of the Lake Operations and Maintenance committee. They are discussing how to finish it so it looks attractive and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. As the committee looks at ALA’s long-life assets, it has become clear that they have to start planning for the replacement of some that are beyond their useful life.
The lake patrol boats, Lake Safety chair Denise Loxton reported, are getting old and are in need of repair or replacement. The committee has been surprised by the number of safety violations involving children under 12 not wearing a life vest. Kaitz wondered if it would be possible for ALA to purchase some life vests that could be loaned to members with visitors so they don’t have to purchase them for a one-time use.
Bud Macer, the chair of the Shoreline Improvements committee, said that, as he has cruised around the lake, he has been impressed with the number of docks and piers still in need of repair from Snowmageddon. The four lake contractors can’t keep up with the work, he noted. “They are ignoring small jobs because they have so many big jobs.” He encouraged members to think outside of the box and consider contractors from down the hill, who would have to be approved by ALA.