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November 1999

I just returned from a three-week trip to New England to look at the colorful leaves. Two observations: The colors on the Irving Road this year match or exceed anything we witnessed. Green Lake, where we live or vacation, is worth everything we can do to pass this gem on to future generations better than we received it.

We are concerned, and you should be also, about the small group of boaters who create problems at Emerald Bay and Lone Tree during the weekends. It is difficult to improve, but we are working with the Sheriff’s Department and the DNR. Drinking while driving a boat is illegal. Because of recent high profile boat accidents involving drinking, matching boating laws with automobile laws may be an effort in the coming Legislature.

Road construction on the North Side (Co. Road 30) is giving us an opportunity to beautify the area. Planting wildflowers and short grasses on the slopes of the right-of-way can retain the soil and add color to the area. We will be accepting this unique opportunity for a long range beautification.

The County Highway Dept. has informed us that all mailbox posts will be the same. It will be a metal post that is designed to swing away if snow from a snow plow hits it and swing back in place after the plow passes. All mailboxes will b eon the south side of North Shore Drive. They will be provided and installed yet this year.

We are considering having a Website for the GLPOA. Our Secretary has an email address (frazee@midstate.tds.net). If you have comments or ideas, let us know via electronic mail.

Our membership is 431 residents, which is 65 percent of the properties around the Lake. The Board of Directors want to thank all of you for your support and participation in the Green Lake Property Owners’ Association. Have a good Winter and see you in the Spring!

Chuck Burmeister
President


 Highway 23 Project

Approximately 200 people attended the July 27, 1999 open house meeting held at Prairie Woods Elementary School in New London. Attendees had the opportunity to view updated roadway layouts and computer visualization images for various sections of the project. A frequently asked question at the open house was: "To what extent will the expanded roadway impact my property and will I receive compensation for any negative impacts?" The actual right-of-way will not be determined until Spring 2000. However, if the project requires loss of property or closes a direct access, compensation will be provided based on appraised value.

Mn/DOT has been working with the City of Spicer and their consultant making numerous design changes to the segment of roadway through the city. The design for the urban section is a low speed roadway with narrow shoulders, curb and gutter and a landscaped median. This will allow for center landscaping and a wider berm width between the trail and the roadway. The pedestrian underpass at the intersection of TH 23 and South Street remains under study. Speeds in the downtown area are anticipated to be posted between 30-40 mph, while in the transition zone speeds are expected to be posted between 45-65 mph.

Mn/DOT was invited to a public meeting on September 28th, hosted by the New London Township Board of Supervisors. Approximately 150 people attended the public meeting to learn more about the project and to ask questions and express their concerns for the reconstruction of TH 23. Mn/DOT is currently in the process of responding to comments received from both the Township Board and the area residents.

A refined preliminary design of the roadway corridor is nearing completion. Once a preliminary design is finished the Environmental Assessment (EA) document will be completed based on the refined layout. Following the completion of the EA, a Public Hearing will be held to present the findings of the study and to receive public input. The Public Hearing is scheduled to occur in Spring 2000.

Mn/DOT and its employees wish to thank all who participated and provided input at the open house and township meeting, we are listening and your comments are making a difference!

Individuals wishing to discuss the projects should contact Lowell Flaten at the Willmar Mn/DOT Office, telephone (320) 214-3698.

 

Jim Gilbert’s Journal – Sumac Shrubs

Smooth sumac and staghorn sumac often grow together in thickets. Both grow in sandy soil and rocky hillsides and, by means of their extended roots, take possession of large areas. Since they are able to control areas to the exclusion of other plants, it’s possible to see great masses of brilliant red foilage along area roads and the hills sloping to these roads. They have reached their autumn peak of beauty. The leaves are mostly red, but there’s bright orange and yellow too.

Both sumacs are shrubs or small trees that have feather-like compound leaves. Both have dense clusters of dry , red fruit that cling to branches through winter. Sumacs that grow in dry soils and have red berries are not poisonous, but sumac plants with greenish-white berries that grow in wet places are poisonous.

Several bird species – such as ruffed grouse, ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite quail, eastern bluebird, American robin and brown thrasher – rely on the clusters of red fruits for food when other foods are scarce in winter and early spring. White-tailed deer feed on the twigs and foilage of sumac and cottontail rabbits eat the bark and fruit.

The Green Lake Property Owners have special permission to use Jim Gilbert’s Journal. Jim is a naturalist with WCCO Radio.

 


 Construction Update

 

 

This portion of the Breeze is being written on Oct. 15th, so some items are going to be fore- cast and not actual. All in all, the north shore project has gone very smooth. We all have had to adjust our time schedules and our travel routes but we have handled it. We have had excellent communication from our contractor in a timely manner.

On this date, most underground work is completed, in zone 3, work should be completed by Oct. 22nd. Zone 3 will then be graveled, graded and curb and gutter installed. At that time it will also be blacktopped.. Blacktopping should be completed in all other zones by Oct. 23rd.

Work in zone 9 and 10 by the outlet is progressing and this area should be completed by Nov. 15th.

 

Earlier this summer, the city of Spicer developed a problem with one of their wells. The Green Lake Sewer & Water Commission then contracted with our contractor to put the west shore water pipes in this fall so that Spicer could hook on to the system as soon as possible. The homes on the west shore will not be hooked up to water until next year. The work on the west shore is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 15th.

 

As the north and west shore work is nearing completion for this year, we are looking ahead to next year and the balance of the project. The water treatment plant is expected to be operational in January or February. At that time the sewage from New London & Spicer and the west shore of Green lake will be diverted to the new plant. At that time we will be able to hook up residences on the north shore.

The Green Lake Sewer & Water Board, at its Oct. 11th meeting asked that the county proceed as soon as possible to prepare for bidding the balance of the project. This would allow for work to start early in the spring on the East/South so that we do not have to wait for the sewage treatment plant to be completed first. We are hopeful that this will allow the contractor to work in areas requiring some special considerations and not be putting so much of the work starting late in the season. This will also allow the contractor to work in zones like was used on the north shore.

As work proceeds, we will get word from the County Engineers office and we will share it with you. Those of us on the north shore are very pleased to have a new, smooth, wide road nearing completion.

 


Spicer First Responders

The Board of Directors voted unanimously to support the Spicer First Responders with a contribution of $1000. The funds were to be used for the purchase of a new radio for the intercommunications by their personnel. The First Responders are a volunteer organization that provides emergency medical assistance often times prior to the arrival of ambulance service. They provide this emergency service around the entire lake. We hope you never have to have their services, but it is very reassuring to have such capable people willing to give of their time and talents in support of all of us. This is our way of thanking them on your behalf.

Letter from the First Responders:


October 18, 1999
Board of Directors
Green Lake Property Owners Association

Dear Board Members,

It was a pleasure meeting with the Board and to learn of your intention to make a donation to the Spicer First Responders. Green Lake is, naturally, within our primary service area, therefore, we are dispatched to all emergency medical calls around the lake along with the ambulance. This service has enjoyed exceptional community support and has proven to be a valued resource.

The First Responder organization is funded primarily by the City of Spicer but is also supported by individual donations from the people in our coverage area. The cost of our services is not billable, therefore, we rely heavily on the gracious donations from individuals and organizations such as the Green Lake Property Owners Association.

Your recent donation of $1,000 will be used in the purchase of a new portable communications radio. These radios are used routinely during our runs to coordinate with our responders as well as other responding emergency agencies. It will be extremely helpful.

In the future, we will be considering other projects and /or equipment to enhance our operations and training program. Should your organization or even individual members wish to support any of these other projects we would be most grateful. I’m sure we will continue to stay in contact with the Board. Again, thank you so much for the donation.

Sincerely,

Tony Rime, President
Spicer First Responders


Minnesota Seasonal Recreational Property Owners Coalition Inc.

Date: October 1, 1999
Subject: Rate of Inflation Cap or 5% (whichever is less) on Annual Taxable Value Increases

Dear Green Lake Property Owners:

I am writing to your lake association to solicit your assistance and support for passage of vitally important property tax legislation in the coming 2000 Minnesota legislative season.

I am referring specifically to the RATE OF INFLATION (CPI) CAP (OR 5% WHICHEVER IS LESS) ON ANNUAL TAXABLE MARKET VALUE INCREASES FOR ALL MINNESOTA REAL PROPERTY-HOMESTEAD, SEASONAL CABINS, SMALL BUSINESSES, ETC. – IT WILL APPLY TO ALL! (It will also be retroactive to 1999 values.)

As lakeshore property owners you are aware that annual increases in assessed market/taxable values are driving property taxes into orbit! We simply must have the rate of inflation "Cap" before we are all taxed out.

For the past three legislative sessions MSRPO has sponsored legislation to cap taxable market values/increases – we have come close to getting it passed, but haven’t quite succeeded as very strong local government and big business lobbies against the Cap at the legislature have prevailed!

The forthcoming 2000 legislative session will be followed by a full House and Senate election. As such, letters requesting legislature support (votes) for the CPI/5% Cap should get serious consideration. Please write bother your state Senator and Representative as soon as possible. Ask them to stand up in their respective party caucus meetings and urge full caucus support of the CPI/5% Cap on taxable values and to cast their own votes in support in committee (if they are tax committee members) and , of course, on their respective House/Senate floors.

You should be aware that the Chair of the House tax committee, Representative Ron Abrams, is strongly opposed to passage of the "Cap". As such, it is absolutely crictical that a strong "grass roots" support effort be impacted against individual legslators otherwise the House majority leadership will support the tax chair’s position of opposition. Plead, beg, urge them to pass the Cap in 2000 and , most importantly, to stand up in caucus and be very vocal in their support of it!

MSRPO and the Minnesota Lakes Association are working together to have a CPI/5% "Cap Day" at the state capittol sometime in early March (exact date to be announced later). We have designed a special ball cap that prominently displays "Lesser of CPI/5%" on the front. We hope to have thousands of these caps displayed/worn throughout the state, and of course, at the capitol on Cap Day!

Once again, we implore you to write your state legislators as soon as possible. If you do not know their names or mailing addresses, call us (MSPRO) and we’ll try to help you out with that information.

About a week to 10 days following the mailing of your letters, call your legislator’s office. Ask if your letter has been received and simply state you want to be sure that Representative Al Juhnke/Senator Dean Elton Johnson is going to support the "Cap", and if not, why not? Push for support or an explanation.

If you have any questions regarding this letter or the "Cap" or wish to get more involved, please feel free to call me at (612) 854-1317. Your involvement and assistance is greatly appreciated and sorely needed. PLEASE WRITE TODAY!

Sincerely,

Richard G. Wray, President
MSRPO Coalition, Inc.


Indian Beach Road to Remain Open
Printed with permission from West Central Tribune

On a split vote late Tuesday night the Irving Township supervisors made a turn-around decision on the future design of Indian Beach Road.

On a one-to-one vote, with Chairman Dan Olson breaking the tie, the board agreed to keep the Indian Beach Road open to through traffic around Green Lake, widen the road to 28 feet, create bike lanes and include an adjacent sidewalk.

The board had previously spoken out against a sidewalk proposal and had proposed turning the end of the township road – which joins County Road 95 – into a cul de sac. That proposal conflicted with the county road and develop a sidewalk and/or bike path around Green Lake.


Gary Danielson, Kandiyohi County Public Works Director, indicated he was pleasantly surprised with the supervisor’s decision. The vote reflects the original recommendation made to the township by the county.

It appeared a majority of the 30 residents at the meeting also agreed with at least portions of the board’s decision. Most were pleased the road would not end in a cul de sac, but a fair number didn’t like the idea of a sidewalk.

Russell Schmidt, the supervisor who cast the only no vote, said the design will not address the issue of safety adequately. He suggested moving a segment of Indian Beach Road and making a cul de sac near the Indian Beach Resort. That’s the plan that the resort owners also supported.

Dan Olson and Harlow Olson both said they did not favor the cul de sac proposal and wanted to keep the road around Green Lake open.

Schmidt said he felt under pressure by the public to give up the cul de sac proposal. Schmidt said as long as the road was going to a "thorough-fare," the sidewalk would be necessary to improve safety.

The wider road will be striped to provide bike lanes on both sides, which should help keep traffic speeds at 30 mph, said Danielson. The 5-foot sidewalk will keep pedestrians safe. The sidewalk apparently will not cost residents along the road anything. Danielson said discretionary state aid funds generated from the north shore project can be used for the sidewalk.

The supervisors have been discussing the road design for many months with residents. They agreed that a public meeting earlier this month in Spicer brought out concerns they’d never considered before and helped change their opinion about the road.

The board also agreed to replace a culvert near Indian Beach Resort with a wooden bridge and not a concrete box culvert. The bridge will be more expensive, but will provide a larger area for boats to travel under and will allow the resort to expand.


Nature Notes

Summer is over. The last rose has faded. Our last swim was September 14th when the water temperature was 61" . We harvested the last garden produce: onions, squash, peppers, and green beans on October 1st. Lake activity is reduced to a few fishing boats and rafts of waterfowl planning their fly route. Frogs and turtles are on the move and squirrels and chipmunks are filling their jowls.

Because of a wider, faster road, we are seeing more road kill. This Fall we found many more baby turtles squashed on the road, apparently not able to climb over the curb and gutter. Wild life does not do well on road- ways. One bit of good news, however, is that wild flowers are going to be planted on some of the roadside slopes on North Shore Drive.

What I like best about Autumn is the low sunlight scattering diamonds across the lake, the crisp, clear air, and of course, the colorful leaves against the dark blue sky. Besides the leaves I like the berries that replace the flowers of wild plants and add color to the woods. The Jack-in-the-Pulpit shows off its cluster of scarlet berries. Blue Cohosh has deep blue berries and White Baneberry's fruit is a cluster of white berries each with a thick red stalk and a black eye called "doll's eyes". My favorite is Bittersweet Nightshade whose drooping egg- shaped berries turn from green to lime, to yellow, to orange, to ruby-red. They don't all change at once so I can enjoy the rainbow of colors, sometimes even peeking through the early snow.

For all of you who share in the beauty of leaves, which have been extraordinary this year, here is one of my fall poems:

 

Aspen Gold
The tango has begun
Aspen dancers change color
    with each twist of their seasonal skirts,
The sun dapping them with indigo
    against the sky.

Feel the magic!
Like puppets, they twirl
    from thin twigs
Sensuously
Flirting with the wind
    daring it to come closer,
Pick up the tempo
    of their already breathless whirling.

The wind knows
    they are weakening,
That it is time for them
    to stop their merrymaking
And return to the earth mother.

So the wind blew harder
The little leaves
    dangling precariously
           like gold coins
                on a money tree,
Reluctantly dropped
    to the ground.

Their exuberant dancing days
    were over
The master puppeteer had spoken
Their purpose was not to be
    whirling dervishes
Or a money tree at the
    Golden Anniversary
Nor even to be
    the Tree of Life
But to pave the path
    with golden beauty.

Verna Patrick


 Jim Gilbert’s Journal

Anyone who has kicked or stepped on a ripe puffball and has seen the cloud of powdery dust it emits knows why it was give this name. The puffs of powder contain millions of spores that serve to scatter the fungus over the surface of the earth.

It is estimated that a large giant puffball would contain 18 billion spores. There is obviously a tremendous waste of spores, since the fungus depends on the whims of the wind and other weather elements. Out of the billions of spores produced, only a few ever find a suitable spot to grow.

The giant puffball is one of the largest of all the fungi and we often find them in September. The fruiting bodies are nearly spherical, and a white color with a smooth outer surface when young. A cord-like structure attaches them to the ground. They range is size from that of a baseball to larger than a basketball. Specimens a foot in diameter are common; one found in Minnesota a number of years ago was more than 2 feet high and weighed 45 pounds. Fruiting bodies become tan or brown at maturity and then the upper part of the surface collapses to allow the spores to escape.

Giant puffballs grow in rich wet humus in wooded areas, along drainage ditches and at the edges of pastures. This plant is seldom abundant but we sometimes find them in groups. When sliced and fried, it is delicious, but like all puffballs it is good to eat only as long as it is white and solid inside; a tinge of yellow indicates a bitter taste. Always slice a puffball through the center and look for any signs of gills being formed. This would indicate that you have collected the button stage of a gilled mushroom, possibly a poisonous Amanita.

The Green Lake Property Owners have special permission to use Jim Gilbert’s Journal. Jim is a naturalist with WCCO Radio.

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