Thank you for joining me for my March update. I would like to welcome those of you who are new subscribers to the site. I appreciate your interest in LPA.

What a crazy week for weather! Spring on Thursday and winter on Friday. I think I speak for us all when I say the 50 degree temps will be welcome when they return next week.

A quick congratulations to the UNI Panthers on their NCAA tournament win against UNLV. Northern Iowa is my alma mater and it’s great to see them enjoy such a successful season. It’s refreshing to see that men’s basketball in the state of Iowa is about more than just Drake. 😉

Below I have attached my March report to the LPA Board of Directors. A quick review of this will give you a flavor of what the Board and I discuss regarding association operations. Please feel free to give me a call or an email if you would like any additional information.

Lake Panorama Association

General Manager’s Report (as of 3/17/10)


  • LPA’s major obstacle to reopening the brush dumps has been our lack of government status. As a private entity, we simply do not have access to the options available to other government entities.

To address this issue, LPA met with the Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone on March 5, 2010 and requested they assume formal responsibility for our brush disposal sites. The concept of RIZ sponsoring these sites was well received as they believe burning in ditches and drainages contributes significantly to small cove erosion.

RIZ has requested a written proposal from LPA which would include the following conditions:

  • LPA will manage the sites on behalf of RIZ.
  • LPA will adhere to all applicable regulations and will indemnify RIZ.
  • LPA will implement regulations prohibiting all burning in ditches and drainage-ways.

We believe RIZ’s requests are very reasonable and have proposed a burning regulation to the Board as part of the March agenda. Once this is completed, we will follow up with RIZ to request their formal commitment. I commend the RIZ Board and their attorney for recognizing the importance of this issue.

  • The 2010 budget through February has progressed as expected. Cash flow is also included in your packet as a March agenda item.

  • Shoremaster has completed the slip construction and is ready to begin installation once the ice is out of the marina. We have been monitoring ice thickness and recorded 9 inches next to the east slip this morning. We are hopeful they can start this project sometime in early April. *

* Blog Note –  Ice thickness at the time of blog publication is down to 6 inches. We expect ice in the marina to break up within the next week which will allow LPA staff to begin removal of the existing slips. Shoremaster is tentatively planning to begin their work on April 5th.

  • LPA is now a vendor of IA DNR hunting and fishing licenses. As stated before, this will be a budget neutral venture for LPA but will provide an important service to members.


  • LPA received one bid for our 2010 seal coat project. Sta-Bilt Construction submitted a proposal which includes better pricing than we received from them in 2009. (Bitumen was down from $3.90 per gallon to $3.57 per gallon, with rock remaining at $31 per ton.) This pricing translates to slightly more than $18,000 per mile.

The March consent agenda includes a contract with Sta-Bilt Construction for approximately 10 miles of road. The remaining $20,000 budgeted will be used to complete prep work and spot patching.

  • Ice storm damage is being removed from both LPA parks and the LPN golf course. Volunteers have been a tremendous help hauling the brush with LPA & LPN staff operating the equipment.


  • The March agenda includes proposed rules regarding the feeding of deer and the establishment of nesting structures for geese. This promises to be a controversial issue as our members have strong and differing opinions on the feeding of deer.

LP West Golf Course

  • LP West Golf Course recently had the carpet cleaned in preparation for the 2010 season. Course preparations have begun with play expected in the near future.


  • Tom Madden, Water Engineer, will be presenting his facilities report to the Board at the March meeting. Tom’s report includes improvements to LPA water production infrastructure which range from $1.5 million to $1.95 million. Once approved by the Board, the report will go to IA DNR for review and endorsement.

Erosion Control

  • While a portion of the lake is open, there is still enough ice in the lake to prevent deployment of the debris trap. Some debris has arrived with the spring thaw which will be collected as part of our spring work. We are prepared to deploy the debris trap when conditions allow.
  • The Dredge is being readied for the season with 300,000 cubic yards planned in the upper basin. In addition, several small coves will receive attention from the utility barge.
  • Erosion control is in the process of pulling stops at the County Basin for minor repairs to the outlet structure.
  • Shive Hattery continues to monitor some soil erosion issues specific to the basin with no repairs scheduled at this time.


  • The dam slough observed late last year has become more significant during the spring thaw. Engineers have been on site this week to confirm this is a surface issue and not a dam seepage issue. They will have an analysis to me in time for the March Board meeting which will recommend a course of action to correct this soil movement. At this time, I am using a cash flow estimate of $125,000 in July 2010. This sounds like a big expense but is essentially a maintenance item in relation to the overall value of the LPA dam.

Respectfully submitted,

John Rutledge


Did you know the name of Portland, Oregon was decided by a coin toss?

Co-founders Francis Pettygrove and A.J. Lovejoy each wanted to name the development after their hometown.  Pettygrove of Portland, Maine won the coin toss against Lovejoy of Boston, Massachussetts.

Quote to ponderWhen you are in any contest, you should work as if there were – to the very last minute – a chance to lose it. This is battle, this is politics, this is anything. Dwight D. Eisenhower