September 22, 2020
To the Members of the Six Mile Lake Association,
Unfortunately we have not been able to meet this summer because the Covid 19 pandemic. Even now with the maximum number in an area being raised to 250 folks with social distancing we probably cannot meet. This limit is also restricted by the a not exceed 25% of the allowed capacity of the venue. The church has also placed their own limits on what they will allow. Given that many of our members are in the vulnerable category the Board has decided to cancel the meetings for 2020. There was hope in May that we could be back to normal by this time. That has not happened.
The water levels have been high all summer but seem to be receding a bit now. As most of you know the Army Corp. of Engineers is doing a study on the whole of the watershed. They have installed many measuring devices to collect data of all kinds. This data then will be used to develop models and to develop a protocol for the operation of the dam in Bellaire, to determine if the dam is adequate in terms of flow and to identify other flow restriction along the Chain to Elk Rapids where the flow enters Grand Traverse Bay. The protocol in the past has been rigid, not accommodating increases in waterfall. Six-Mile lake is at the top of the chain and our lake rises faster than nay of the other. We have many streams entering the lake and we drain a lot of hills. Will Wottowa and I will be meeting with representatives of chain next week via Zoom to discuss whether protocol agreed to is working. As I see it, excess water was allowed to collect in the top end of chain over the last few years. The new protocol is not always being followed and it is not enough. The Board is considering engaging legal counsel for this matter as it is causing issue on our lake and it would appear we are dealing with folks who want to ignore it and us.
In relationship to the water level, FEMA differed their project redefining the flood plain along the Chain of Lakes because of the study. They have already done it for Lake Charlevoix and some on the South Arm found themselves now in the flood plain. We covered the issue of flood insurance a few years ago but just to remind you, your homeowners does not cover natural floods. There is federal flood insurance which can be expensive. Federal flood insurance is only available where there is a local FEMA compliant zoning ordinance. Those who live in South Arm Township are eligible, those in Echo are not.
We also appear to have an issue with S.A.D. as Echo township is making noises about pulling the plug. They believe based on who knows what the lake is being over treated. The reason the district assessment is still in effect is that Eurasian milfoil is still around, it is treated every year on the lake. It is important to understand we are treating only invasive aquatic species. There is a member of the Echo Township board who is saying that we have killed all of the fish, we killed all of the Lily pads, we have removed all of the weeds and that the fish are all gone. I am not a fisherman but folks I know who are just laugh at that charge. We made need folks to show up in mass at these board meeting a refute this. If the sad goes you will save some money, it will be like saving the dime to spend a dollar as the milfoil will again start taking over the lake. In a very few years the process will have to start over which does not seem wise. This also is very imortant because of other invasives coming into the lake.
Let us hope 2021 will be better,