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Routine maintenance on the Lake Panorama dam is a very high priority. The LPA hires a qualified engineering firm to review the dam and its various aspects on a regular basis. As announced earlier this year and noted a year ago, routine maintenance on the concrete spillway of our dam will take place this fall. For perspective, this will be just the third time this has been done in the last 20 years.

Plans are to lower the lake four feet by lowering the bascule gate of the dam for the project to begin on October 1.  Lowering the lake level is needed to prevent water from going over the spillway so repairs to the spillway floor and walls can be made. At that time the low autumn flow of the river will be diverted through what is called the “low flow tube” in order that the lake level does not rise to again flow over the spillway. The spillway has to be dry for the repairs to be made. Repairs mostly consist of sealing cracks and repairing spalls–areas where the concrete has broken off or where imperfections in the concrete causes a small area to “pop out.”  These areas need to either be filled or smoothed depending on the engineer’s analysis, for the spillway walls and floor to remain in excellent repair. Cracks are sealed to prevent water infiltration and freezing damage.

The timing of the project cannot be delayed to help insure the outdoor temperatures are high enough for the concrete and sealing repairs to properly cure and be effective. Improper temperatures would only cause the whole process to have to be repeated soon. Avoiding that situation is also a priority.

What this means:

  1.  Since there is no way of predicting what weather will do, the lake level may not return to normal in 2015.
  2.  Boats on lifts will have to be removed prior to October 1 or they could possibly be stranded and endangered by ice and water level changes in the winter.
  3. Lifts and docks that are normally removed each winter, should be out prior to October 1 for the same reasons.
  4. IF the water level does not come back up after repairs are finished, the boating season will be completely over.
  5. Members desiring to do minor work on lakeshore riprap, may have an excellent opportunity to see the condition of their shoreline and possibly make minor repairs while the water is down.
  6. However, since the water may return to normal pool levels rapidly, there is also no guarantee the water will be down for an extended period. In other words, don’t depend on the water level staying down

This is an inconvenience to some members, however it is also an inconvenience to our own dredging department as dredging during this time must be either curtailed or highly modified which will cause delay in the completion of some areas.

A meeting between the Marina, local barge services, and LPA departments is being scheduled to encourage coordination in the timely and important removal of boats, boat-lifts and docks in time for the project to be completed.

It is possible that the timing will work well, the repairs completed and the lake return to normal pool prior to winter and still make a few isolated days of boating possible. It may also occur that another wet fall would make impossible the lowering of the lake for a long enough period to do the repairs. Let’s hope for the best! We are at nature’s mercy.

Thanks to all for your cooperation and understanding.

Ice on reservoirs in Iowa is always a chancy proposition. Early season ice is deceptive. Developing ice on Lake Panorama is not suitable for holding people up. The best advice is always to wait until there is at least four inches of clear ice to support you. The minor, but essential dam gate monitor repair is resulting in lowering the water level a few inches which may also cause issues with the ice. Don’t depend on the ice to support you. STAY OFF until extended cold closes in ice openings and ice borings show at least four inches of the clear stuff. Vehicles should NEVER BE TAKEN ONTO Lake Panorama ice.


ALERT – Lake Panorama Members – Flooding Possible


10 a.m., Monday, May 27


Lake Panorama Members,


Please be aware the level of Lake Panorama is projected to rise TODAY. Heavy rain upstream has caused the evacuation of the Springbrook Campgrounds. LPA has also advised Guthrie County Conservation to evacuate the campgrounds at Lenon Mill (below Lake Panorama).


The extent of this flooding/lake rise is not known, but has the potential to be significant. Additional rains in the forecast make for potential of flooding throughout the next week.


LPA advises you tie your boats to your lift, and then tie the boat and lift to a tree or other stake or structure on land. This will prevent your boat and lift from floating away in high-water conditions.


Remember – Lake Panorama is NOT a flood control lake. Our goal is to maintain a constant lake level, by discharging water out of the lake at the same rate water enters the lake. However, flood conditions result in a situation where our main spillway cannot discharge water as fast as it comes in.


Be safe –


John Rutledge


General Manager – Lake Panorama

Dear Members,

LPA needs your help finding a water leak. We have developed a significant water leak and have yet to find the problem. Dry conditions have made this a challenging task, as the ground absorbs a great deal of water before the leak surfaces.

Please take a few minutes to look around your property. Call LPA at 755.2301 or 755.3101 if you notice wet soil, standing water, running water or reduced water pressure. Please also walk around your neighbor’s property if they are not currently residing at the lake.

Any information you can provide will be helpful. Your assistance is greatly appreciated!


John Rutledge



Dear LPA Members,

Please remember to vote in tomorrow’s RIZ election. The polls will be open from Noon until 8 p.m. Location is the lower level of the LPA office, 5006 Panorama Drive. Dale Grotjohn is running unopposed for re-election.

Voting is limited to ONLY those individuals whose voter registration address is located within the Lake Panorama subdivision. LPA members who do not consider Lake Panorama their primary residence for voting purposes are not eligible to cast a ballot. (This is a government election – not an LPA election.)

Please show your support for RIZ by voting tomorrow!

Thank you,

John Rutledge


Greeting from LPA!

What a spring! It’s difficult to believe yards are already being mowed, boats are on the lake, and the first few morel mushrooms are being reported for the year. Weather like this is hard to beat.

Things are picking up here at the office with everyone transitioning rapidly into summer mode. Here are a few highlights of what’s happening at LPA.

Board Meeting March 27, 2012. The Board of directors will resume their regular, monthly schedule Tuesday at 4 p.m. The Board normally meets in the lower level of the LPA office, but will be gathering at the LPN Conference Center this March and April. (LPN provides a little more space to accommodate board candidates and other guests.) Please feel free to join us if you have any issues of concern, or are simply interested in the LPA governing process. Open forum is at 5 p.m.

Seal-coating expected to cover nearly ten miles. The Association is in the process of evaluating roads and preparing the seal-coat map for the 2012 year. This year, we expect to seal-coat approximately ten miles of roadway, the lower parking lot at LPN, the LP West Golf Course parking lot, and the road leading to the LPA Water plant. Preliminary pricing suggests the per-mile cost will be similar to what we paid in 2010 and 2011.

Fin and Feather Committee welcomes new members. The Lake Panorama Fin and Feather Committee will be holding their 2012 kick-off meeting on April 5, 2012 at 7 a.m. at the LPA office. If you are interested in helping the group prepare for their annual banquet, then please feel free to jump in. The group is very casual and openly welcomes new members. Remember, 7 in the morning – not 7 at night. This is an early bird group!

July 7 Fireworks date set. Joe and Rita Scheiring will again be coordinating the Independence Day Fireworks Show. The date for this year is Saturday, the 7th of July. Thanks to Joe and Rita for continuing this tradition!

Great rates at LP West Golf Course. For the second year, LPA is offering our promotional rate for new members of the LP West Golf Course. If you weren’t a member in 2011, then please join us for what promises to be an extra-long 2012 season.

Promotional Rates

Family $275    Couple $230    Single $150    Student $40

Also – Existing members of the LP West Golf Course who refer a new member to us will receive $25. This applies to new family, couple or single memberships. (Student memberships excluded.)

Water Hydrant Flushing April 16-20. LPA will be flushing hydrants April 16-20 as part of our routine maintenance schedule. Please use caution doing laundry during this time as light-colored clothing is particularly vulnerable to staining.

LPA Annual Meeting May 12. Please mark your calendars for the LPA Annual Meeting on May 12 at 10 a.m. at the LPN Conference Center. We look forward to seeing you there.

Please also make a point to cast your ballot in the LPA Board of Directors’ election. This will be mailed to you around April 20 and may be returned in person or via USPS (mail).

In closing, best wishes for an early and prolonged summer at Lake Panorama. As always, feel free to drop by if you have any questions or concerns.

John Rutledge


Quote to ponder:  “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”  — William James

Happy Friday, LPA!

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the Guthrie County Secondary Road Crew’s effort removing vegetation along 200th Road. Those of you who have traveled the east side recently have most likely noticed the County’s crew removing brush and overgrown trees from their right-of-way.

This is important as it allows more sunlight to reach the road surface in the winter, which helps to melt ice and snow. Additionally, the increased visibility should help to reduce the number of deer collisions in this area.

LPA has also requested the County clean up the right-of-way on Redwood Road, which leads to the LP West Golf Course. It’s our hope the mild weather will allow them to complete the Redwood Road project yet this winter.

If you see your County Supervisor, please let them know you appreciate their support of these projects!

Have a great weekend,

John Rutledge


Quote to ponder:  “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”  — Thomas Jefferson

Greetings from LPA!

For better or worse, LPA received its first genuine snowstorm of the season this past weekend. My thanks to the snow removal crew for many long hours keeping the LPA roads open. As always, they did an excellent job.

Snow Removal – On more than one occasion, I’ve been asked if we are saving a bunch of money this winter. The answer is “Yes and No.”

On one hand, we are saving money on the salt, sand, fuel and overtime that comes with snow removal. On the other hand, we know that warm winters are accompanied by soft roads. Soft road conditions result in increased seal coat damage, which creates more repair work for our crews in the spring and early summer. Rock, cold patch and seal coat are all very expensive to replace which will almost certainly offset our December, January and February savings.

Are we saving money on salt and sand? Absolutely.

Are we saving money overall? Probably not.

In addition to seal coat damage, we are also faced with the challenge of soft shoulders. Please know that our crew is using care to minimize damage as we wing the snow back from the road to ensure the shoulders are clear. Clear shoulders are vitally important as they provide us room to plow the next snow. Additionally, clear shoulders help prevent mountains of snow from melting onto the roadway and creating the potential for black ice conditions.

Erosion Control – The Lake Panorama Rural Improvement Zone Board (RIZ) has been very busy this fall and winter. The Board is currently working with engineering firm Shive-Hattery to design and permit a silt basin near Burchfield Cove. This is an extremely important project as Burchfield Cove is the lake’s second largest inlet. Preliminary estimates place this project in the $600,000 ballpark.

Other highlights of the RIZ Board include future planning for a Helen’s Cove silt basin as well as the purchase of a replacement dredge. Both projects are anticipated to unfold within the next two years.

LPN Improvements – Improvements continue to be made to the LPN Conference Center this winter. Work has ranged from basic maintenance items to the upcoming installation of booths in the bar area.

On a personal note, you really have to try out some of the new items on LPN’s menu. The flat-bread pizzas and gyro salad are my personal favorites!

CIPCO – Those of you who have read the LP Times are aware that LPA will be making our final payment on the CIPCO contract this month. If you haven’t read this article, then please do so. It’s an interesting piece of LPA history.

Audit – It’s not an exciting topic on which to write, but I am pleased to relay that Meriwether-Wilson has completed their on-site visit for the 2011 audit. As expected, the audit has gone smoothly again this year. This final version of their report will be available for review in a month or two, and will also be a topic of focus at the LPA annual meeting on May 12.

Please know I always have an open door to discuss our financials with any member of LPA – transparency is one of LPA’s core philosophies.

Board Candidates – Board members Tom Jeschke and Tina Shaw will both be exiting the Board this May, leaving two open seats up for election. Members who are interested in running for these seats must complete and file paperwork with the LPA office by March 13, 2012. (Contact LPA for more information.)

A few members have expressed interest for these positions and will be collecting signatures for their petition of candidacy. My thanks to them for their willingness to learn about the association and put themselves out there on the May 12, 2012 ballot.

Water Plant – The board will be meeting with Tom Madden, our water engineer, to review the Jordan well and water plant projects. Without question, these were very successful projects for LPA. The overall budget and timeline was as expected with the end result being a major improvement to the association’s system.

The only remaining concern about our water production is water hardness. We knew the Jordan water would be somewhat harder than the Dakota water, but have found it to be even more aggressive than expected. The Board is scheduled to review water softening options at their April meeting and will discuss this as a potential improvement in coming years. It’s too early to tell if water softening is in our future, but we are exploring all options to ensure we can continue to provide high quality service to our customers.

Closing – The Raccoon River Valley Trail Association will be held at LPN on Saturday, February 18th. This year’s speaker is Iowa native and adventurer Charlie Wittmack. I highly recommend the event – It’s a wonderful cause and the presentation should be awesome. Check out this site for more info.

Best wishes,

John Rutledge


Quote to ponder:  “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster” – Jonathan Swift

Happy Holidays from LPA!

As I look out my office window, it seems more like September than December. The weather’s been so nice that my kids were getting worried about Santa’s arrival. I explained to them that Santa’s sleigh has landing gear which functions as either a wheel or a ski. (We had recently watched the Discovery Channel’s Flying Wild Alaska where the bush planes use this feature. Crisis averted.)

Work has been good at LPA with the Board wrapping up their 2011 business last Tuesday. The 2011 year will soon be in the books up with LPA performing modestly better than budget. Along those lines, the 2012 budget has been approved with project specifics to be ironed out in the next couple of months.

Here’s an update on some of our plans.

Marina Slip Expansion and Boat Storage – The LPA Board recently approved the addition of 24 new slips at the LPA marina. These will be added onto the existing, west set and will extend the structure farther south. These additional stalls will provide convenient lake access to offshore members and will also serve as a recurring source of revenue for the association. Contact Coulter’s Panorama Marine at 755-2920 to reserve your spot today. Space is limited.

The LPA Board has also approved the construction of an additional boat storage building. This will be erected next to our existing building on Tieble Road and will allow the marina to serve additional members who desire one-stop winterization and storage services.

Goose Deterrent – LPA spent the late summer and early fall experimenting with a goose deterrent system at Boulder Beach. The system periodically broadcasts goose panic calls, making the birds uncomfortable in that area. Goose droppings on the beach itself were drastically reduced at a low cost, and with no physical harm to the animals. We will be installing these at Shady and Sunset Beaches next year which will help to keep the sand and adjacent water cleaner than it would otherwise be.

Maintenance – The warm weather has allowed our maintenance department to make significant progress on roadside vegetation control. Many dead trees and overgrown areas were cleaned up with the stumps also being ground. Stumps were also removed at the LPN and LP West Golf Courses which will eliminate time-consuming obstacles for our mowers. This was a good project of opportunity as our crew was not occupied with the expected task of snow removal.

Water Department – The water plant project is completed with only a couple of punch-list items remaining. Staff will continue to fine-tune our water treatment process and is very pleased with how the plant project came together.

Increased water hardness is an unfortunate element of our new system at this time. As discussed early on, the benefits of Jordan Aquifer water are accompanied by a harder finished product. LPA has reviewed in-plant water softening options and will explore this as a potential addition to our existing system. For now, LPA members are advised to re-calibrate their water softeners to adjust to the new blend.

Dam Inspection – The LPA Dam is scheduled for a routine inspection this spring. Engineers will inspect the spillway and dam gate to ensure everything is in good repair. We expect some maintenance recommendations for 2013 and continue to pursue a pro-active approach to preserving this critical asset.

LP West Golf Course – The LP West Golf Course will again offer promotional rates to new members. If you didn’t take advantage of last year’s promotion, then here’s your chance to join the course at a significant discount. All salesmanship aside – this is one heck of a bargain!

Family – $275.    Couple – $230.    Single – $150.    Student – $40.

Silt Basin Plans – LPA and LP RIZ worked together this summer/fall to acquire property rights for two, important silt basins. The first basin will serve the Burchfield Cove area which requires frequent dredging. This is a crucial structure for us as the existing basin serving Burchfield Cove no longer has sufficient storage to accommodate dredging.

The second basin site will serve the Helen’s cove area. As with Burchfield Cove, the existing basin space for this cove has been exhausted. Both basins are in design phase and will be constructed based upon feasibility and permitting.

LPN – LPA will be working on the LPN this summer to chip away at maintenance issues, such as siding and windows. We continue to believe this building is a core asset of our association and want to better it a little each year. We are committed to pursuing this as an ongoing effort and appreciate your continued support of LPA’s wholly owned subsidiary.

In closing – Thanks to all of you for your support throughout the year. As I’ve said before, the greatest thing about Lake Panorama isn’t the Lake or the Golf Courses … it’s the PEOPLE. Take a few moments this season to wish your neighbors a Happy Holiday Season and remember the importance of a strong community.

May your days be merry and bright,

John Rutledge


Did you know? – The 1954 classic White Christmas is essentially a remake of the 1942 film Holiday Inn?  If you’re a fan of White Christmas, then treat yourself to the original (Holiday Inn) starring Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby. In my personal opinion, Holiday Inn is the better movie of the two.


You are invited to the LPA Water Company OPEN HOUSE at the Water Plant TODAY from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

This is a “come and go” event.  You may enjoy light refreshments, view the plant, and be on your way.  No RSVP is needed.

The water plant is located just west of Panorama West Golf Course. From HWY 44, turn north on Redwood Road. Drive approximately two miles and look for the large, blue water standpipe on the west (left) side of the road.

Have a great day,

John Rutledge


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