Welcome to the 2020 lake season from LFARCC President Craig Panning
As I write this article, the newest challenge we are all navigating is the COVID-19 Pandemic. This new challenge has impacted most areas of all of our lives. Unfortunately the summer of 2020 activities at the lake will also be on this list. With social distancing and protective face masks in our daily lives for well into the future, and the importance of staying away from large group gatherings, all summer LFARCC sponsored activities will be cancelled. Note the list of cancelled activities in this newsletter. Your LFARCC Board thought this was the safest decision given the current circumstances.
New Board Members
Two of your lake neighbors have volunteered to join the LFARCC Board for 2019-2020. They are Kris Nelson Area Rep from Rustic Ridge (also our new secretary), and Al Smith new Area Rep from Melody Lane. Welcome and thanks to both. A complete list of Areas Representative and Officers and their contact information can be found in this newsletter. Feel free to contact any of us with suggestions and concerns.
As a lake property owner, you are probably aware that the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) is a major concern of lake property owners throughout the country. For this reason, one of the main responsibilities assumed by your LFARCC Board is to help monitor and prevent the spread of AIS to our lake. The good news is that as of this spring, Lake Francis remains free of any of the known AIS. The bad news is that it probably remains only a matter of time before this will change. This responsibility requires both financial and volunteer resources. On the financial side, a portion of all Lake Association membership dues is dedicated to a fund set aside to immediately address AIS mediation expenses, should it be discovered in our lake. The current fund balance is $74,758. Thanks to all who have contributed to this fund over the years. On the volunteer side, we all owe a big thank you to Brian Knox, Hidden Forest, our AIS Coordinator and his team of volunteers who monitor our lake for the first signs of any type of AIS. Brian is always looking for more volunteers for his team. This could provide an important volunteering opportunity for you. Contact any of the Areas Representatives if you are interested or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boat Inspection Program
In addition to our Lake Association's financial and volunteer efforts concerning AIS, Lake Francis is also part of a 12 lake Meeker County boat inspection program. This program is coordinated by Ariana Richardson, Meeker County AIS Coordinator. The 2020 program has been funded and Waterfront Restoration from Long Lake has been selected to providing the inspection staff. The COVID-19 Pandemic has also hampered the progress of hiring and training the staff of inspectors. An inspector will be stationed at our main boat landing Friday through Sunday starting May 9 through early September. The goal is to prevent transport of AIS from one lake to another. In 2019, this program provided 520 inspections on our lake with 25% listing Lake Francis as the last lake in. This means 75% of boats coming to Lake Francis during the inspection time potentially came from other area AIS infested lakes. This program can't inspect all boats coming to Lake Francis, but inspecting some is better than none.
I encourage you to read an article in this newsletter that was re-printed from the Fall 2019 Dockside Magazine which will give you more information on a program and organizations fighting the spread of AIS. Note the mention of our AIS Coordinator, Brian Knox in the article. This is only one of the programs Brian attends on behalf of our association. Again, a big thank you to Brian.
Membership & Board Information
In closing, I would like to thanks all lake area residents who support our lake association through their membership and encourage others to consider joining. Membership information is available in this newsletter. A special thanks to all who have volunteered through the years. Your volunteerism is much appreciated. As is the case with most volunteer organizations, we are always looking for more volunteers to get involved. One agenda item for our Annual Meeting is the election of Lake Area Reps. Since the June 27 Annual Meeting will be cancelled, we invite lake area residents who would be interested in joining the Board as Area Rep. to contact us at email@example.com. You are welcome to join now, with final approval of the entire slate of candidates voted on at our next Annual Meeting, hopefully in June of 2021. We could especially use additional Area Reps to help Al Smith in the Melody Lane neighborhood. If you feel joining the Lake Association is not for you at this time, I would still encourage you to make a donation to the AIS fund. This fund will become valuable to all of us, Lake Association member or not, should Lake Francis become infested with AIS in the future.
Stay safe and have great summer at the Lake.
Craig Panning LFARCC President