Water Level Update

Dear 6MLA Members,

Will Wottowa here to give you an update on what has been going on with water levels. If you remember, at the last Board Meeting on August 8 at the VanAndel Residence, we had Dave Christian and Janet Hickman from the ILA Water Level Committee join us. We had a lively discussion and 6MLA seemed in favor of their proposed study, but 6MLA did not want to wait 3-5 years for the study to be completed with no changes in water level management in the mean time.
6MLA asked for a number of changes to the dam operator’s protocol. If these changes were made, 6MLA would join forces in hopefully a win-win result for water levels. These changes include:

1. Stop catering to Intermediate River residents, less than 1% of the Upper Chain population, by keeping levels higher than Court Order.

2. Consider the Ordered Levels as “average” levels, not “at or above” levels, which inflate the average.

3. Anticipate heavy forecast rainfall by opening gates prior to rainfall and minimizing flood damage.

4. Open the dam gates from Labor Day to Memorial Day, unless the winter level is met.
Dave Christian and Janet Hickman promised to take our input into consideration.

Then, Linda VanAndel and myself were invited to attend a meeting on “Dam Operating Guidelines” at the County Bldg August 22, with Pete Garwood (County Administrator), Ed Boethcher (County Commission Chair), Steve Young (ILA President), Mark Stone (dam operator), Fred Sittel, Dave Christian, Janet Hickman, 3 Lakes Assoc. Rep (not sure of name)and perhaps more that I am leaving out.

I was a little skeptical. Dave Christian and Janet Hickman ran the meeting. Dave and Janet essentially took all of our requested changes and asked that they be incorporated into the dam operator’s protocol, one by one! I was elated to say the least. They agreed with 1 thru 3 above, and for number 4, agreed to drop the level in Sept from 607.15 to 606.84 by Oct.1, and down to 606.54 by November 1.

I am very pleased with this result. One reason that I am late in getting this out, was that I was waiting for the minutes from the meeting, which I still haven’t received. I am still a little cautious
as the County Commissioners need to agree, but this is a huge step in the right direction. Thank you all for your support and guidance.

Respectfully,

Will Wottowa

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