Autumn greetings from LPA!

It is hard to believe November is already upon us. October’s warm weather has allowed us to deny summer’s end for a few extra weeks. I suppose the illusion will be over before long.

Tricia and I have enjoyed helping the kids prepare for Trick or Treat this year. Kael, our 7-year-old son, is going to be a knight in shining armor; he’s excited to don his  silver costume with the matching sword and the shield.

Emma, our 5-year-old daughter, is dressing as the Alexa, the Barbie Princess. She has assembled her favorite components from various dress-up outfits in her closet. I love her dearly, but must admit her ensemble looks more like a gypsy princess than a Barbie princess.

Speaking of ghouls and goblins…

…don’t forget to vote this November 2nd. Most people are focused on the Governor’s election, but don’t lose sight of the other issues. Here are two things you should be voting on as a LPA members

Guthrie County Supervisors – There are currently 7 candidates running for 3 Supervisor positions. The Supervisors are important partners to Lake Panorama and play a key role in the quality of services our community receives from county government. Local access (channel 12) will air the supervisor candidate forum on the evenings of the 29th and 30th. Local newspapers will also have information about your candidate choices.

Question #1, Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy – This is on the back of the ballot and gives us the opportunity to make conservation and water quality a constitutionally protected priority for future generations of Iowans.

If you are a Farm Bureau member, you have likely heard about why you should vote against this amendment. I have read Farm Bureau’s arguments and personally believe them to be off the mark. I will save you the lengthy argument, but want you to know I  will be voting “YES” for amendment #1 this November 2nd.

Read about this issue and make up your own mind at:

http://www.iowaswaterandlandlegacy.org/home.aspx

Please find below a synopsis of our activities for the month. As always, we appreciate the compliments and support we receive from all of you. It is truly a pleasure to work for such a wonderful community.

Take care,

John

Lake Panorama Association

General Manager’s Report (as of 10/21/10)

Administration

  • An update on the FEMA flood plain issue is included in the Board’s agenda packet. In summary, it appears there is no affordable solution to this issue.

  • The Board packet also includes a first draft of the 2011 budget. Staff and I have been working on this for about a month and look forward to your feedback on our initial draft.

  • Landscaping at the office has been essentially completed and looks very nice. We intend to continue cleaning up our appearance by painting the office next summer.

  • Our aggressive approach to collections has been successful this year. We will be revising our collections policy over the next month to reflect these new practices. Expect to see this in the November packet.

  • Randy Holl attended a watershed improvement conference on Monday and Tuesday of this week. We will continue to devote time to these types of events so that we can remain in the loop on Raccoon River water quality improvement programs.

  • Recent events have prompted us to revisit our safety policy and procedures. We will be reviewing this policy this winter and are holding (and documenting) weekly safety meetings for all full-time staff.

Maintenance

  • The Maintenance Department has been devoting the majority of their time and personnel to erosion control projects. They have been using the long stick backhoe we rented in early October at the west fork of Burchfield Cove and at Dale’s cove. Work is ongoing on the west side and will extend into early November.

  • We have a full supply of salt for the upcoming winter. We aren’t in any hurry to use it but are pleased to have it for when snow does arrive.

  • The St. Thomas More detour signs have been removed and will be modified over the winter. This will allow them to be folded up when not in use. Reinstallation will be completed prior to June 1, 2011.

Security

  • Doe harvests have been steady. We will summarize total numbers at the end of the season for review.

  • Our “Sponsor a Harvest” program has received some good donations, although we are still slightly short of our goal. We will be purchasing deer tags for hunters with this money which should increase the number of doe harvested. We will not be funding an incentive prize as originally intended.
  • Goose harvests have been low. There were 230 geese in the LPA office lawn in September. By the time the season opened, however, the geese had moved on to other areas. The open crop fields have given them other feeding opportunities and they are no longer drawn to our lawn. We will speak with DNR about the possibility of a 2011 special hunt (September).

LP West Golf Course

  • The LP West committee met on October 4th and has some interesting ideas for next year. Increased marketing and a membership survey are topics that will be pursued further in the coming weeks and months.

Water

  • The well project is essentially completed. Preliminary testing showed extremely good quantities of water. Water quality has not yet been tested but should be very similar to our old, Jordan well which was located very near the new well.

  • Bids have been received for the water plant and detention pond. As we discussed mid-month, the numbers are higher than what we anticipated at our September meeting. We had hoped to receive bids which were significantly below engineer’s estimate but were not so fortunate. Despite this, we were pleased to receive some very close bids and still remain in line with the total project budget the Board approved at the beginning of this endeavor.
  • Tom Madden, water engineer, will be at the LPA Board meeting on the 26th to review water plant bids and present his recommendation for contractor selection.
  • The new project total will require the Board to approve increased funding authorization for the project. This will result in current water rates being left in place into 2015.

Erosion Control

  • Progress, our utility barge, continues to work in Dale’s Cove. This is proving to be a slow and deliberate process. We will continue to work in this area until we begin winterization of the equipment. We will then return in 2011 to finish the project.
  • Dredging is on pace for completion by November 5th. This is ironically the date of our next RIZ meeting at which we will be assisting that board with their 2011 plans.
  • Repairs were made to erosion at the county silt basin dam. These were done in-house and were of no cost to RIZ. While completing this work, our crew noticed a wet spot on the backside of the dam. This has been visited by Shive Hattery and Allender Butzke and will be discussed by RIZ on the 5th.

Dam

  • The Dam will be lowered on November for routine inspection and maintenance. It is likely the lake will return to normal pool elevation in a matter of a few days. Members should not anticipate an extended work period for their shoreline or boat houses.

Respectfully submitted,

John Rutledge

GM – LPA

Quote to ponder:  We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.  ~Thomas Fuller

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