Minutes – Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Combined Lake Delhi Recreational Facility and Water Quality District

Thursday, June 18, 2020

6:30 pm

210 South St.

Delhi, IA 52223


The regular meeting of the Combined Lake Delhi Recreational Facility and Water Quality District was called to order at 6:30 pm by President Dan Staebell.

Present: Staebell, Herman, Burger, Althoff and Davidson. Scherrman and Leonard present via Zoom

Absent: None

Visitors: Larry Aschbrenner, Ed Schmidt, Wanda Davidson and Pat & Chloe Colgan. Laurie Kramer, Randy Rattenborg, Gary Grant and Larry Murphy via Zoom

Staebell asked for a motion to approve the meeting agenda. A motion was made by Herman, second by Davidson. Motion carried.

Motion to approve the minutes of previous meetings was made by Burger, second by Althoff. Motion carried.

Claims were presented for payment in the amount of $7,545.19 from the General Fund for electricity, internet services, auditor expense, beach port-a-potties, dam operation services, copier expense, lobbyist expense, clerical expense, and beach maintenance. A motion was made by Burger to accept the claims as presented. Seconded by Davidson. Motion carried.

May financial reports were presented. The General Fund had revenues of $6,084.27 from Delaware County. Expenditures for May were $113,112.58 ending May at $1,951,279.10. The Debt Service Fund had revenues of $5,618.54 from Delaware County and no expenditures ending May at $32,439.72. The Dam Improvement Fund had a transfer from the General Fund of $10,000.00 and no expenditures ending May with a $40,000.00 balance. A motion was made by Herman to receive and file the May financial report. Althoff seconded the motion. Motion carried.

The Board considered possible action on a payment option to Project Aware.   Staebell explained that last year the Board approved sponsoring their organization by paying them $15,000 for a five year sponsorship. Because they had to cancel this year’s cleanup due to COVID-19 that asked the Board wanted them to return the $3,000 annual amount or extend the sponsorship for another year out. Davidson made a motion to roll over the $3,000 to extend our sponsorship another year out. Scherrman seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Staebell asked Leonard to give an overview of the fireworks contract. J & M Displays has offered two contracts. One is for this year to be held Saturday, August 15, 2020. The cost of $10,000 has been funded by the LDRA. He noted that the contract includes insurance coverage. Leonard also noted that with a multi-year contract there would be a savings of 15% on the contract and an additional 8% savings if they are paid 70 days prior to the event. Leonard proposed having a rain date for the following Saturday, August 22, 2020.

Burger made a motion to approve the contract for this year’s fireworks at a cost of $10,000 and a rain date of Saturday, August 22, 2020. Herman seconded the motion. Burger asked Leonard how the discount works. Leonard said instead of a reduced cost we will get more fireworks. Motion carried.

Leonard reviewed the multi-year contract for fireworks with the Board. He explained that in order to get the maximum discounts it’s important to do a multi-year contract with this firm. The benefit to doing this is knowing we have them under contract for the dates we want. If we would need to cancel the fireworks, that would not be an issue. There is also no obligation to a fixed amount in the event the LDRA does not raise the $10,000 every year. It was noted that J & M Displays is a well-respected firm and they provide all the insurance coverage and licensure that is required by the county. A motion was made by Herman, second by Burger to approve the multi-year contract. Herman asked if the LDRA is recommending a multi-year agreement. Leonard said the LDRA is in favor of signing a multi-year contract with J & M Displays. Davidson asked Schmidt his opinion after dealing with the company. Schmidt said he is aware of other people who do firework displays. He asked if maybe there should be opportunities for other vendors to provide pricing for fireworks. Staebell said he feels that it is the LDRA’s decision on who to have provide the fireworks. Burger noted J & M Displays has vast experience providing fireworks for other organizations such as the Iowa Hawkeyes and Kansas City Chiefs and they provide excellent insurance coverage. In 2016, when the fireworks started back up again there was cost comparisons with other companies and J & M Displays was the cheapest as well. Schmidt asked that the additional insured include Ed Schmidt, Pat Dede and Achinbeck Farms. With no further discussion, motion was approved.

Davidson reported on the need to repair and/or replace the concrete at the upstream portage site on the south side of the dam. There have been two estimates to replace the concrete that was damaged during the construction of the dam. There’s also a wall that is owned by the District near the Kristine Nation property that has damage. The reason to replace the contract is that is part of the portage area and is currently not safe. It’s also being used as a boat ramp and that also is not safe. Davidson said the Trustees need to make a decision either to replace the area or block it off so no one gets hurt because the liability would be on the District. Davidson made a motion to replace the concrete. Herman asked if we know for sure that the wall belongs to the District. Randy Rattenborg stated he feels the wall on the lake side of Nation’s house belongs to the District. Staebell stated the first estimate from Welcher Concrete was $14,390 which included the wall. The estimate from Neuhaus Construction was for $13,328 which also include the wall.   Both companies said there could be additional excavation to add additional rock but that would not be known until they got into the work. Davidson said he would add to his motion to approve amount not to exceed $16,500 for replacement of the boat ramp and repair/replacement of the retaining wall subject to final inspection by Burrington Group. Staebell said regardless of whether part of the wall belongs to the District, once repair work starts on the ramp the wall will in all likelihood collapse. Leonard seconded the motion. Leonard asked if there could be funding available for this project. Davidson said time is of the essence and he would like to proceed with the project in lieu of writing a grant and waiting for approval. Leonard asked how soon we could get a contractor down to do the project. Staebell said it would be within three to six weeks. Herman stated that getting grant money after paying for a project usually never works. He also expressed concern about the repairing the wall and if, after identifying the property lines, it might be a good idea to push the wall back so it’s within the District’s property lines. Davidson said moving the wall could add to the cost. Herman asked to amend the motion to change the amount not to exceed $20,000 for any additional costs regarding the replacing the wall.   With no additional comments, motion carried.

The Board considered a proposal on updating the Scada computer and security system. Althoff gave an overview of discussions regarding the updates. He noted that there are two components to the proposal. One is for a computer update and the other for an updated security system. The price to update the computer, which doesn’t include the software upgrade that isn’t due until October, is $8,766.00 which includes a new monitor, keyboard, etc.   He indicated some of these are not necessary upgrades. Althoff recommended approving no more than the $8,766 to replace the computer. He noted the other quote is for updating the firewall renewal contract which recently expired. Althoff made a motion to approve a three-year contract with SonicWall for the firewall renewal at a cost of $1,155 and also replace the Scada computer at a cost not to exceed $8,766. Herman seconded the motion. After some additional discussion, the motion carried.

Gary Grant and Larry Murphy from L & L Consulting were present via Zoom to give the Board a legislative update. Gary outlined the three objectives that they were assigned by the Board at the beginning of the legislative session.

Direct funding – funding of the Impoundment Fund

Identify and support indirect funding streams (example – grant programs)

Stop any harmful actions such as additional regulations that might adversely affect the lake

He addressed the Impoundment Fund which was established that is specifically for the maintenance of lakes created by dams that are public lakes. Because of COVID-19 there has been a shortfall of revenue at the State. Due to that there was no new money for the Impoundment Fund this year. However, there will be a variety of grants funded next year that will be at the level they would have been funded this past year.   The DNR does have a grant program called the Water Recreation Access program which provides grants for boat ramps, etc. There’s another program for water trails for canoes and kayaks. He said he wasn’t sure what the cost share would be but would look for more information if the Board is interested. He noted there have been no new regulations by the DNR which is good news. Some grants may need to have projects developed in order to get those monies. With regard to the Impoundment Fund there was no new funding even though the Senate was willing to put some monies into it, the House did not agree. Larry Murphy reiterated what Gary Grant said about the Senate being willing to fund money for the Impoundment Fund and that it was the House that stopped the funding. He urged the Board to be thinking about how to be strategic when the elections come up to position the District to have the best representation possible. With COVID-19, he feels that between now and November there will be infrastructure monies out there for the District to take advantage of.   Staebell asked about the 3/8th cent funding stream that would have provided money for the Impoundment Fund. Grant said that right now the 3/8th could have provided monies but now it’s a combination of General Fund monies and gambling revenue which is why right now the House was not excited about spending additional money since the casinos have been shut down for months. A big chunk of money that now funds outdoor recreation comes from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund. That money is now off the table. Murphy said that the District needs to work take advantage of those monies but it will have to happen next year.

Committee Updates:

Water Quality – Herman stated he will be getting back to people who have volunteered to help with water quality testing as he’s had several people come forward.

Quality of Life – Leonard stated that all of the approvals for the Wall of Recognition project are in place. He mentioned that the employee from Culver’s who oversaw the project is no longer there so he is in the process of working with a new project manager to bring them up to date and hopes to have more information for the July meeting. He also noted that there is have a family donation for an additional project that he will provide more information at the July meeting. He noted that this project is subject to approval by the Board.

Staebell noted that the ten-year anniversary of the dam is this year. KMCH is doing coverage in case if any of the Board are interested in being interviewed. He also noted that the Trustee Election is in July. Staebell also noted he reached out to folks in Michigan who just went through a dam failure to let them know if they needed anything from the Lake Delhi Trustees we would be happy to talk with them.

Property Assets/Dam – Davidson noted that the dam has been functioning very well. There was a rain event in the past week and the dam performed as it should. Pat Colgan also provided additional information on how the dam works and that there’s always a need for to keep the residents informed so they understand how the water events affect the river.   Randy Rattenborg mentioned that there’s document that was developed several years ago that would be helpful for residents of the lake because it shows the difference of the impact at various areas of the lake.

Water Recreation Access Grant – Herman said we’d be eligible 75/25 cost share. It’s due 9/30 available in March. It needs both access to the public. Davidson said it is not safe for to put boats in. Colgan agreed. Staebell said this would be a discussion item for July.

Public Comment:

Schmidt asked if there a concern that the DNR needs to approve the improvements to the portage area. The consensus was that there are no concerns from the DNR.

A motion to adjourn was made by Davidson, second by Burger. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 8:08 p.m.


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