March 2024 General Membership Meeting Minutes

March 2024 General Membership Meeting Minutes

March 2024 General Membership Meeting Minutes

It is the mission of the Lake of the Woods Property Owners’ Association to distinguish itself as the community’s leader by providing resources, direction, and service that results in superior lake quality and superior lake living for today and for future generations. To achieve this, we will:

1. Continuously improve our Association and the Lake environment.

2. Provide information and education to keep our members informed on priorities and goals.

3. Place equal emphasis on all Lake of the Woods’ Priorities: ecology, conservation, fishing, property values, recreation, safety and aesthetic value.

4. Provide opportunities for fellowship, fund raising, and other activities. LOWPOA Meeting Minutes March 9, 2024


1. The Lake of the Woods Property Owners Association met on March 9, 2024 at Connections Lane.

2. Mike Nate called the meeting to order at 9:00 am.

3. Pledge of Allegiance

4. Board of Directors Roll Call:

A. Present: Julie Boynton, Elaine Keller, Rodney Kitchen, Deb Lane, Mike Nate, Joe Skelton

B. Absent: Neika Smessaert, Rob Cross, Tim Legge

5. Review and Approval of Minutes

A. The October 14, 2023 General Membership meeting minutes were reviewed and approved by the board at the

board only meeting in November of 2023.

i) Copies of these minutes were made available to the membership for their info.

6. Treasurer’s Report

A. Brian Denk asked if we could send emails to confirm that we received payment for dues.

i) The board asked that if someone is concerned whether or not their payment was received, they should

contact Joe Skelton directly

B. Julie Boynton made a motion to approve the treasurer’s report. Deb Lane seconded the motion and all board

members agreed.

7. LOWPOA 2024 Goals

A. Further journey toward creating a Conservancy District at Lake of the Woods.

B. Continued pursuit of LARE and other grants.

C. Increase LOWPOA membership.

i) Membership incentives such as the below will be provided only to paid LOWPOA members:

(1) Discounts on events

(2) Discounts on merchandise

(3) Voting for board members

(4) Access to Quarterly newsletter (March, June, September & December/January)

ii) The board will be executing a yard sign campaign to help encourage lake residents to join LOWPOA.

iii) The board also asked the membership to alert us to any new residents moving into the community so a

welcome bag with LOWPOA membership info and other information can be provided.

D. Provide a Quarterly LOWPOA Newsletter

i) A member present asked if the newsletter will be mailed out. The board responded yes; the newsletter will be

mailed out via hardcopy to paid LOWPOA members.

8. Events and Fundraisers

A. The Chili Supper Cookoff took place on Saturday, February 24th from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.

i) We may consider doing it from 5:30 – 7:30 pm next year.

ii) A total of $559 was taken in

(1) $443 from freewill donations

2 | P a g e

(2) $46 from the 50/50 raffle.

(3) $70 from apparel sales

iii) There was $160.19 in expenses leaving a $398.81 profit.

iv) 60 people were in attendance

v) There were six chili cookoff contestants

(1) Laurene Skelton took 1st place.

(2) Dan Westin won 2nd place.

vi) T&C Cheesecake donated cheesecakes

vii) A Member asked if we did take out

(1) Elaine Keller responded no. This was not a buy and take event, but a free will offering donation to the

weed fund.

B. Earth Day will be celebrated with the annual Clean the Lake Day on Saturday April 20th from approximately 8:00

am to 12:00 noon

i) The Marshall County Recycling trailer will be here with trash grabbers, gloves, bags, etc.

ii) Two food trucks will be present:

(1) Pa’Lantojo Taco: 9:00 - 10:00 am for breakfast and 11:00 am to 2:00 pm for lunch

(2) T&C Cheesecakes will also be present from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

(3) 10% of the proceeds from these food trucks will be given to LOWPOA for the weed fund.

iii) The BCC will partner with LOWPOA for Clean the Lake Day this year.

C. A member asked about recycling services for his home.

i) Members and the board noted that Republic offers recycling as well as trash.

ii) It was also noted that LRS, who took over Michiana Waste, said they planned to start a recycling program

back up again in April.

(1) Another member noted that LRS also said the same thing in November and that they would start back in


9. LOWPOA Communications

A. The new resident welcome packet list was reviewed by Mike Nate in Neika’s absence.

i) Please see the full list attached to these minutes.

B. Mike encouraged the membership to continue to review the Facebook page and the website which both provide

for regular updates.

i) Website:

10. Conservancy Update

11. Mike Nate provided the following update on the Conservancy District efforts:

A. The NRC (Natural Resource Commission) public hearing will take place on March 12th at 1:00 pm at the County

City Building.

B. Anyone who wants to, can speak in favor of, or against, the formation of a conservancy district.

i) Please see Mike Nate after the meeting if you are interested in speaking in favor of the conservancy and he

will put your name on the list.

C. Rick Keller asked what NRC stands for and what the meeting is for.

i) NRC is the Natural Resource Commission.

ii) The meeting is required to illustrate and demonstrate the need for a conservancy district at Lake of the


iii) The NRC, DNR and IDEM will all be present.

iv) Dr. Jennifer Jones will be speaking as an expert witness on behalf of LOWPOA.

12. Weeds Update

A. For 2024, Lake of the Woods will receive up to $18,000 in LARE Grant funds for weed remediation. This is 50%

less than 2 years ago. Mike noted that it appears many lakes are getting less and less each year from the DNR

for LARE grants.

B. LOWPOA also applied for an Arrowhead Grant for getting more filter bags to add to the ditches.

i) LOWPOA was awarded $4,500 toward the project.

ii) LOWPOA will work with the BCC to determine how many bags can be added.

iii) Mike Nate will continue to monitor phosphorous levels coming into the lake where bag filters currently are and

are not present.

iv) The current bags were placed on June 3rd in the Steffi Ditch in a way so as not to restrict flow nor inhibit fish


v) Mike has continued to monitor the phosphorous levels and after placement of the bags.

(1) We have seen anywhere from 58% to 72% reduction in phosphorous levels at the installed bag ditches.

3 | P a g e

(2) This is monitored twice per month and is put into an ongoing spreadsheet.

(3) Monitoring took place from June through December last year and will start again in April of this year.

vi) Water flow and ditch depth can affect the effectiveness of the bag systems.

vii) Bag life is 3 ½ to 2 years and the bags have to be flipped.

(1) These processes occur based off the readings and when we hit 25-35% phosphorous level effectiveness.

13. Lake of the Woods Entrance Signs

A. A generous donation was made to add three more “Welcome to Lake of the Woods” entrance signs around the


B. These will be placed at 4th Rd on the East side, at North Shore/West Shore (double sided), and one at 4th on the

West side.

C. Volunteers will be assembling one of the signs today.

D. Installation will take place as soon as the weather continues to stay warm.

14. Old Business

A. Apparel orders are placed on the 15th of the month.

i) Paula Nate is taking over the LOW merchandise and apparel.

15. New Business

A. A member noted that he has lived at Lake of the Woods for 50 years, and asked, “How do we notify people about

becoming a member?”

i) He suggested that the board consider an automatic renewal approach and an email list to send renewal

requests to. He stated that in order to increase membership it is important that it should be easy to do

business with LOWPOA.

(1) The board responded that several of these same topics have been discussed by the board and they will

continue to look into ways to increase LOWPOA membership and make interaction a bit easier.

B. Brian Denk shared the following BCC information:

i) The annual Ice Derby could not take place due to no ice on the lake.

(1) There will be a breakfast on March 23rd at the VFW. 8:00 am with prizes and raffles. Including a fishing

trip, etc.

(2) The food is all you can eat for a nominal fee.

(a) Mike Nate noted he has secured free eggs for the event.

ii) Walk/Run/Roll will be the first Saturday in July.

(1) Brian noted that this event is put on by the Smaka’s and is not BCC or LOWPOA sponsored.

iii) BCC Day at the Lake will take place on July 27th

(1) A mammal rescue will be giving a presentation this year.

C. Jane Zarris shared that Lake of the Woods made the Indiana Fishing Report for the largest bluegill in the state so

far this year at 11”.

D. Marlys Powers asked if we can have a sign noting the date of upcoming meetings.

i) Julie Boynton noted that we do use the sign out front of the BCC building to identify each month’s LOWPOA

meeting date and events.

(1) Julie also noted that she is working on a goal to hopefully install an electronic sign in the future.

E. Surf Internet came up with a member noting they just had it installed. He noted that he had some issues with the

initial installation but it seems to be working well now.

i) Several members noted how much cheaper it is and noted that the cost is advertised to never go up. There is

no contract that states the cost won’t go up, but you can leave at any time with no penalties. If you drop and

come back you would pay the going rate at that time.

F. It was noted by several members that the feral cat population is becoming a problem. It was suggested that the

county humane society be contacted and consider a TNR (trap; neuter; release) program. It was also noted that

there are several red foxes roaming about.

G. It was shared that NIPSO is planning for a 400-Watt natural gas fired plant in the area at a cost of $643.7M.

NIPSCO is expected to try and cover costs by rate increases every 6 months or so.

i) There is a public meeting on March 14th at the LaPorte Civic Auditorium 6:30 central/7:30 pm EST.

H. A member asked if the board had any comment on what is going on with the fire district for North Township.

i) Mike Nate noted that there has to be two “entities” to have a fire district. The town of Lapaz is planning to

include North Township so a formal fire department can be set-up.

4 | P a g e

ii) Another member noted that insurance rates could go down if a permanent fire department is in place, but that

will depend on your insurance company/policy.

iii) A formal vote on this topic will take place on March 11th

– 6:00 pm.

16. Julie Boynton made a motion to adjourn. Rodney King seconded the motion and all board members agreed.

A. The meeting adjourned at 9:49 am.

17. The next LOWPOA meeting will take place on Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 9:00 am at the BCC building.

Respectfully submitted by Julie Boynton, LOWPOA Secretary

Neika is putting the finishing touches on the improved New Residents as. There is a lot of great

information, suggestions from the community along the way, that will be included. If you have anything to

add and/or know of a new neighbor that hasn't gotten one over the winter please let Neika know.

Give their address to:

[email protected] or 574-220-6487

LOWPOA New Resident Packs will include:

LOWPOA reusable bag

: L O W P O A b o a t k e y c h a i n

LOWPOA car sticker

LOWPOA year in review

LOWPOA info sheet (board contacts, who we are, etc, membership application)

Boating rules

Business Listing

Current Calendar

FB page info

Lake map with common landmarks

BCC info

Fishing guide

→ . •

Golf cart ordinance

Aquatic Weed ID and Treatment

Current newsletter

Recreational Fuel info

Watercraft title/registration

Operation Dry Water (Drowning education and prevention)

Neika is also working on a LOWPOA and BCC combined event calendar. It will be finalized and included in

the March Newsletter set to go out on Monday.

To order LOW merchandise

Using the order from the Newsletter, provide the item number, quantity, and size.

If you need an order form, send us a message with email address. 

Contact Me

Send us an email

[email protected]