West Otter in Action

West Otter Lake Association

Meeting Minutes

Fall 2016 Meeting Minutes

West Otter Lake Association meeting.  September 3, 2016.

The meeting was called to order at 9am

Treasurer Bill Roberts reported WOL checking account was $6524.45

Bill Roberts and Bill Essman have to meet in Sept. to take care of our Federal taxes.

Scott Banfield gave a report on weeds in the lake. He says he checks the lake in the spring, and then he monitors it thru out the summer.  He treated about 4 or 5 acres for milfoil.

Al Marshall from Local Net of Steuben County reported that everything is fine, nothing new to report.

Dana Slack said he knows of a guy that has a mobile boat motor repair business.  Greg Chrysler phone number 260-668-0591.  He charges $70.00 an hour.  Dana recommends him highly.

Bill Essman announced that he is moving and can’t be president after September.  It was suggested that Vise President Jodie Kruger accept the position till the spring meeting in May of 2017.  She agreed. We had no volunteers for open officers.

Advertising about meeting was discussed, to increase attendance.

Check book signatures will remain the same till the spring meeting.

Dana Slack discussed the Great Lakes Water Shed information and that it might be a way to get money, for sediment ponds, to help remove sediment before it goes into the lake.

Had discussion about the sandbar problems at the inlet to the lake and in Pigeon River bend.

Meeting adjourned at 10:00.  14 in attendance.

Beverly Roberts stand in secretary.

Meeting Date: April 5th, 2016

A spring meeting of the West Otter Lake Association Board was held at Bill Essman's house.
The meeting convened at 9:00 AM.

Members in attendance:
Bill Essman, President
Jodi Kruger, Vice President
Dave DeWitt, Secretary
Bill Roberts, Treasurer
Becky DeWitt
Sam Manning
Helen Miller

Officers' Reports:

- Steuben County officials removed our clothing sales signs from the lake.
- Bill will contact Scott Hartley to discuss campground dues participation.
- Bill will contact Scott Hartley to make arrangements for Scott to talk to Jodi about the possibility of a free cookout at the campground to promote Lake Association Membership.
- The Spring Meeting will be held on May 28th at 9:00 AM in Helen Miller's garage.
  The Spring Membership Letter will contain information on the location and what to bring.
- There will be no garage sale this year.
- There will be no fishing tournament this year.

Vice President:
- A change needs to be made in the wording on the clothing website. It reads  "Otter Otterware" where it should read "Shop Otterware." [Note from Webmaster: It actually read "Otter Outer-ware" as it used to be called, but I changed it as advised.]
- Jodi will organize the purchase of Otter Lake Koozies which she will sell to the public.
  She will donate the profits from these sales to the Lake Association.
- Jodi raised the question as to what can be done about obstructions in the channels due to objects such as tree branches.
- Jodi will take responsibility for the mailing of the Spring Membership Letters.

none available

- Bill reported we have a current balance of $4160.55.
- Arrangements need to be made for new signature cards to  be submitted with the bank.
- Bids have been received for the spraying of lake weeds.
- 200 stamps will be purchased to mail the Spring Membership Letters.
- Bill has received information for anyone interested in private purchase of weed spraying.
  He suggested that this info be included in the Spring Membership Letter.

Old Business:
none available

New Business:

- Helen Miller reported that the 4-H Fairgrounds Compost Lot at Crooked Lake is in danger 
  of being closed due to people not following proper dumping guidelines.
- Helen Miller will print up the Spring Membership Letter and send copies to Bill Essman 
  and Bill Roberts for proofreading. Bill Roberts suggested we mention the Otterware website 
  in the letter.
- The 4th of July boat parade will be held on July 3rd at 6:00 PM. Bill Roberts suggested 
  we include that information in the Spring membership Letter.
- The Annual Membership Dues for the West Otter Lake Association for 2016 will be $30.00.
- The Fall Lake Association Meeting will be Sept. 3rd at 9:00 AM at Helen Miller's.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:52 AM.

WOLA Spring Meeting Minutes (May 23, 2015)

President Bill Essman opened the meeting at 9:05.
He introduced the members present: Treasurer Bill Williams, Secretary Shannon McElmurry, Rae Easterday-board member, Jodi Kruger-board member, Len Brown-board member, Mark Henshaw-board member

Helen Miller, Nancy Williamson, and Bev Roberts assisted with a 50/50 drawing, memberships, and information.

Shannon McElmurry gave the Secretary's report.

Bill Roberts gave the Treasurer's Report.
We have $4,455.85 in the WOLA bank account which includes $1,450.00 in dues.

LARE Report:
WOLA will pay $1925 of a total cost of $9625 to treat our lake for unwanted vegetation this year.

Old Business:
Bill said we are trying hard to have money in the bank.
Steven Pierre donated his accounting services to help us get our finances in order and get us in compliance with the IRS.
We have millfoil issues on our lake that need to be handled.
We received $150 for dues from the West Otter Lake Campground owner.

New Business:  

John Williamson's Water Report:
John has performed many tests and says our water quality is not good. At our inlet, our water quality is over 73; good quality registers 70 or less.  The reading at our other outlet is 84.  eColi at the inlet is 0, but at the outlet it is 300.  Our lake is progressively getting worse.  We are getting help through the LARE grant.  The Steuben County Lakes Council is the process of taking out various sandbars in locations including our lake.  

We are going to keep using our 2014 directory instead of creating a new one.

Jody Kruger discussed clothing sales.  She said we are working with Graphics Unlimited.  Our webmaster, John Sutton, has added a link on our website so residents can order anything they want online.  Graphics Unlimited is providing this service free of charge.  They just ask that we share their business with others; like them on Facebook, etc.  We will earn 25% for WOLA!

We are not going to hold the kids' fishing tournament anymore as few children have participated each year among other reasons.

The garage sale will always be held on the last weekend each June from now on. This year it will be held  from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. on June 26 and 27.  The owner at the West Otter Strip Mall on HWY 20 has donated space for people to set up their tables in the parking lot.  He has even provided the use of a bathroom for our residents holding sales!

Owner Scott Hartley has offered to ask his campers to donate money towards WOLA dues.

We had an issue at one point this past year as our website was almost shut down.  John Sutton successfully conferred with someone at Go Daddy to save our website.  John will keep our website going!!!

Our boat parade will take place again on the fourth of July.  This begins at 6 p.m.  Last year we had a record number of boats; we even had five canoes and one swimmer participate!

Shannon suggested and Bill E. agreed that purchasing a new sign with "generic" information that could be used for all annual meetings would be a wise investment.  The sign we currently have is old and has to have the information changed for every meeting.  

A member asked about the membership committee.  At our recent board meeting, Jim Sudarek accepted the nomination to head a membership committee. Jodi Kruger and Shannon McElmurry offered to assist.

A member asked about having a social event to meet our neighbors.  Many agreed that this is a great idea.  We would need volunteers to spearhead this endeavor.

We looked into changing our meeting location.  Secretary Shannon McElmurry asked members to send any suggestions to President Bill Essman or any other board member.  

Bill adjourned the meeting at 9:54 a.m.

March 2015 Board Meeting

WOLA Board Meeting 3-21-15

President Bill Essman called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.
Members present: President Bill Essman,  Vice President Ron Grisez, Treasurer Bill Roberts,  Secretary Shannon McElmurry, Jim Sudarek-board member, and Jodi Kreuger-board member

Secretary's report
A summary of the WOLA meeting held last October was read.

Treasurer's report
$4,075.85 balance

We cashed in our CD.  It wasn't making any money.

WOLA had not filed for tax exempt status in over 3 years, so we lost our tax exempt status.    A friend of Bill E. prepared all of our paperwork free of charge. We are now up-to-date with the IRS.       
Anything donated to WOLA is tax deductible. Bill E. has a form that can be filled out for taxes.

LARE Report
Bill E. and Bill R. went to the last meeting. We are down to 7-8 acres of milfoil. WOLA has an $800 payment due from last year. Bill R. will send it out in the beginning of April. Anticipated cost share by the sponsor will be around $1900. We asked about taking a year off due to shortage of funds, but this will cause further problems and we will lose our place "in line."

New Business
Mickie gave Bill a file cabinet full of historical items that are priceless. He asked us if we want to see any of it. Jim suggested seeing if the Joyce Library or some other institution might be interested in adding these items to their collection.

Bill E. said we need to know how much Bill R., our treasurer, does for our lake.  We would be in trouble without him.  Both gentlemen agree that our main goal is to be financially solvent.  We are required to have  association meetings, but the cost of renting space is a major concern.  Whenever we have meetings at the church, we pay $100 per meeting.  Marge said we could meet at her "party shack" on her empty lot.  Bill asked Ron if, as a parishioner of Lake Missionary, he would ask if we could meet at the church free of charge. Bill asked him to let him know what he finds out.

Helen Miller has been keeping the directory.  We update it biannually.  Her costs in 2013 were $127 for directory expenses and $285.32 in 2014.  If we have it professionally printed it will cost around $600.

We don't have much left and what we do is coffee-stained.  We have about 5 or 6 t-shirts and 8-10 hats.  Bill E. suggests we sell off what we have and sell new items. If someone wants to look at our catalog and buy something, they can go to Jody's house to order.  For the past 3 years, we have averaged about $539 in clothing sales.  We need new inventory.  People can also order online and WOLA will earn a commission.  Jody offered to buy $100 worth of Koozies, so that we can sell them for $2 each.  Jody will look into offering clothing through Graphics Unlimited.

Fishing Tournament
WOLA has no related costs. The year before one child won 3 prizes.  We are not seeing much benefit in continuing this event due to lack of interest, income, and time.

Garage Sale
Bill said that we need to generate some money to keep our lake clean.  So, he said we should consider charging members a fee to participate in the annual garage sale.  Jim suggested we could ask participants for a certain percentage of their sales.  Shannon, the garage sale organizer, sees issues with either recommendation and believes participation should be a membership benefit particularly as this event will only be in its third year thus is relatively new in its reincarnation.  This issue was tabled and the event will remain status quo this year except for advertising.  WOLA will not pay for a newspaper ad, but Shannon will procure free radio advertising.  The sale will be held the first weekend in June. 

Campground Association Dues
Bill asked Scott Hartley, owner of the campground, for more money for dues for the lake.  Campers are not required to pay because they are not property owners.  If we require them to pay, we would need to add something into the bylaws, so that we can collect funds from campers.  Scott said he will ask campers for donations.  We'll see how that goes this year.                                                                                     

We will hold the WOLA dues at $30 this year but need to encourage homeowners to become members and make donations.

Sanitation Solutions
Do we want to take $5 discounts from homeowners to get a kickback from the company? Jim will research making money through service providers.

Membership Committee
Shannon suggested that we consider forming a membership committee for our association after Jim presented a letter that he wrote to gain new members. Shannon nominated Jim to head this committee, and he accepted the assignment. Jody and Shannon will be committee members.

Guest Speakers
Bill E. would like to ask John Williamson to speak about the water quality of West Otter at our spring meeting. Scott Banfield, or whoever sprays the lake, is required to be at one of our meetings...preferably the fall meeting.

Bill E. adjourned the meeting at 11:39 a.m.

West Otter Lake Association Meeting August 30th 2014

John Williamson greeted everyone at and introduced officers and board members.

Secretary's Report:
Past report

Treasurers Report:
WOLA CD.  $1,572.75
WOLA Checking.  $2434.03
Bank Account Balance.  4,006.78

Board member talked about the letter that was recently sent to membership.

Scott Banfield only covered Eurasian MILFOIL control 15-20 acres has been reduced to 7-8 acres. This must continue to be treated or it will come back. They are working on a Plant Management Update. One question was asked about Purple loosestripe is becoming a problem

John told residents that they could give him their email addresses if they would like to receive his water reports

Outlet---water quality was 70.34 good is 70
Inlet 72.47, barely over good range
Algae present at outlet ecoli 100
8-21 Secchi Disc test was bad
A resident suggested to leave 3-10 feet of uncut grass to protect lake.

Clothing Report:
John would like someone to take over clothing sales. Jody Kreuger volunteered.

A thank you to Helen Miller for keeping the directory.

From Loclnet: John Marshall reported that capacity has been doubled. No fiber yet...they are working on the issue which will quadruple capacity. Radios have been updated. Outages due to Frontier cabling. More monitoring software has been added. No one is monitoring service generally between 9 p.m. and 4 p.m. Total cost is $34.95 per month; $100 install.

11 fishers in the tournament

30 boats in the boat parade

Garage Sale: Shannon McElmurry stated that the sale will be held annually during the second weekend of June. It will be held June 12-13, 2015, from 8-4 p.m.

Sign at the boat launch

Lane 250: question about signs; they look "ridiculous." One resident complained that people speed in the area

No current action on sandbar.

Nominations for President---Bill Essman
Jim Sudarek was nominated but did not accept
Joan and Don Harris declined
Many others were nominated but declined
John Williamson is retiring from the board.

Bill Essman accepted his nomination and is our new president.

Ron Grisez is our new vice-president.

Board Members:
Alice Bond stepping down. Has taken care of food for meetings.
Jodi Kreuger accepted nomination for board and will handle food for meetings.
Clint Spencer accepted nomination for board.

Bob Baker is filling in for Fred Nelson and will stay on for a new term.

John Crowley and Jim Sudarek are new board members.

The campground owner only pays $30. Some residents believe he should pay more.

A resident wants to know why we have such low membership. Bill Essman suggested creating a membership committee. Shannon McElmurry concurred.

New Business:
50/50 winner shared $105 with the association.

42 people attended the meeting.

Motion to adjourn by Don Harris; seconded Terri Edgar

Board Meeting, 22 March 2014

WOLA Board Meeting

March 22, 2014

Held At Ron & Marge Grisez @  9am


Present: Bill Roberts, Terry Edgar, Mark Henshaw, Ron Grisez, Alice Bond, John Williamson, Bill Esseman, Rae Easterday and Mickie Hutchinson


Mickie welcomed everyone to the first meeting of 2014


Moment of silence for Fred

Secretaries Report-non-Secretary did not show up


Treasurer Report-discussion on Bill learning that the WOL association Fed ID is different at the bank as than one for the state.  Upon further investigation he found   supposedly the WOLA was dissolved n 1982.  Mickie had researched old minutes and could not find meeting minutes for 1982.  There was no mention in 1981 or 1983.  Bill gave each officer a Certificate of Existence furnished to him by the state. Bill updated us about what LOCL Net was doing to update our service. Service is very slow here on the lake.   Checking Acct balance-$843.23 and CD $1572.40 Voted on and passed Terry/Ron


OLD BUSINESS: Mickie talked about Lake 102 and John also added to report

LARE Grant-Bill said that he received and email that we were granted the grant with exceptions.  Nothing official yet received.  Signs-John has signs.  Bill mentioned that he was only able to find one of the 4 bouy’s that are on the lake.  We discussed that Sanitation Solutions was not picking up garbage on the west side of the lake and was discourteous to those who called in. Mark found that Republic Service offered garbage service at a lesser rate that Sanitation Solutions.  It was brought up about the amount of trash at the trailer park.  John offered to call the owner about getting it taken care of.  Owner-Gary Lallo-260-710-4727


NEW BUSINESS: The need to find a replacement for Fred.  Mickie notified the board that her house is on the market and that she would not be an officer in the fall if she was still here. It was discussed that any items found washed up on the shoreline to notify John Sutton and he would post items on the website.  Also all paid members to the WOLA may advertise items for sale on the website as a perk.  We set the date for the Fishing Tournament as June 14th from 9-11am.  The cost to enter will remain $5 and be split between the two winners.  We will meet at the boat launch and everyone will start the tournament at the same time and registration money must be turned in before the start of the event.  The Garage Sale will be held the last weekend in June 27th-29th.  Mickie will try to contact Shannon.

The Helen Miller Boat Parade will be held on July 4th at 6pm. August event-we would like to offer some sort of event in August- Updated phone directory-Alice will contact Helen and offered to donate paper.  Mickie offered to donate ink. Campground-should the campground be paying more dues?  We would be unable to enforce.  Mickie is working on article for Spring newsletter  “Why West Otter Lake?”  To explain why supporting the WOLA is so important for us to keep our lake clean and a place you want to come to for recreation.  It will mention the amount of association dues and offer that those who do not wish to be members would consider a donation of some kind.  LAKE Fair-Mickie has written several place asking for grants or scholarships and ILMS is interested-but has not give an definitive answer yet as to how much they are willing to offer. Terry offered to look into possibly getting a kayak donated; Ron will contact Bass Pro and Mickie will contact her daughter who works at Bass Pro for raffle items.  We will have a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction at the Spring meeting.  The Raffle winner will be drawn at the August Event-Water gate to Pigeon creek-who is the watcher of the gate to Pigeon Creek?  (John & Bob Ledgerwood)


WATER REPORT-John passed the first report for the season and a couple items were high-


Meeting adjourned 10:59  Terry/Alice (next meeting-Mickie will notify by email)

Board Meeting 12 October 2013

West Otter Lake Board Meeting
October 12, 2013 @ 9 AM

Mickie Hutchinson welcomed everyone at 9:06AM.

Members present: Bill Essman, Alice Bond, Len Brown, Mark Henshaw, John Williamson, Mickie Hutchinson, Bill Roberts

We greeted new board members: Len Brown, Shannon McElmurry, Bill Essman

Old minutes were read and approved. 

WOL Treasurer's report; $1572.05 in our CD and$724. 83 in checking with a total of $2296.88 of total assets.

John Williamson gave a lake water report. He reported that he has not done a recent water test. John informed the board that Bob Glick is the new Vice-president of Water Quality for the Steuben County Lake Council. Mr. Glick reported the e coli measurement in our lake on Aug. 22 was terrible according to John. He and John presume that it may be , in part, due to the runoff of a local farm. 

On Oct. 7, John W. and Helen Miller learned that our ditch tax will be increasing from $5 to $7. 25. permits are okay, but we need ann approval from the state. DNR land and water needs snagged.

Old Business: No one has heard from Jim Szudarek, but Mickie reported that she heard a law on jake brakes on Hwy. 20 has been passed.

Bobbi Finnwell has had a heart attack, but she is out of the hospital now and doing better. She MAY still handle our August activity.

New Business: Mickie shared some results of DNR activities. This is funded by a lare grant. Mickie said that we need a new sign  showing the 10 MPH speed limit. The DNR will pay for that.

Alice Bond suggested that Jodi Kreuger might be interested in heading up our Welcome Committee. 

Bill Essman reported there was some violence among some neighbors at the trailer court. There was a thief who lived who has since been kicked out by the trailer court owner whose name is Gary Lallow. His number is 260-710-4727.

Mickie said that members are being sought for the 101 Lakes Trust. They help rehabilitate and promote lands. Do we want to be a member? The cost will be $40 to the association. Alice commented that we should wait to join due to our current available funds.

Bill Roberts discussed the Lare grants to treat 21 acres of our lake for weeds. In an email to Bill, Scott Banfield asked if we would have $5-6,000 for our Lare grant. Bill said we could possibly afford $3,500 for 20% of a Lare grant. Bill will apply for the grant in January with a determination expected in March. 

Mickie researched the overall results of our past fundraisers. Mickie would like to apply for a Lare grant to try to hold a Lake Fair once again. She said that, historically, that has been our most successful fundraiser. 

There will be a 2014 Fall Lakes Forum on Saturday, October 26, 2013, at Lake Missionary Church at 9 AM. This event is free and will cover the natural  history of the Northeast Lake region, water quality, the importance of native plants to our local ecology, and best practices for lakeside homeowners.

We have 91 association members. Many of us wonder why we don't have more members. Alice suggested we put a blurb about joining the association on all outgoing correspondence.  Len suggested we also inquire as to why people don't join and support our association.

John will look into having a speed limit sign posted on the lake. He added that we need a volunteer to maintain our buoys. Bill Essman volunteered to take on this responsibility with some assistance from Mickie.

Bill E. inquired if we should ask the trailer court owner to pay more than $30 in dues. Mickie said we will address this at the spring meeting.

Mickie adjourned the meeting at 10:30 AM

Meeting Minutes


Annual Meeting

August 31, 2013 @ 9am

Present-John Williamson, Mickie Hutchinson, Fred Nelson, Ron Grisez, Alice Bond, Rae Easterday, Terry Edgar, Len Brown, Bill Roberts and Mark Henshaw


John Williamson welcomed everyone at 9:07


Guest Speaker-Al Marshall from Locl net.  Al spoke of the different problems they were experiencing and what Locl net has done to address said problems.  That they would be increasing service after the summer season was over. Also that the office had moved to 2oo W.


Elections: President-Mickie Hutchinson; VP-John Williamson; Secretary-Shannon McElmurray and Treasurer-Bill Roberts.  2 members at large-Len Brown stayed on and Bill Essman came on board.

Len and Bill’s terms will be up in 2016.


OLD BUSINESS-Jim Szudarek addressed the forum about a few items of interest.  1st -about the amount of new wells being drilled for farm use.  2nd-light pollution; 3. New home going up on west side of lake with no silt fence to protect the lake from run off 4. The bill in congress passed about the jake brake use here on 20.  Jim will forward information to the WOLA bd and we can follow up on getting the signs a=installed and enforced.  Mickie mentioned she had contacted the DNR about the 10mph sign for the public boat access.  Don LeFevra commented on 2 kids hanging around on the hill.


  Guest speaker-Scott Banfield.  Scott brought samples of Curley Leaf Pond Weed and Eurasian Milfoil.  He explained how they spray and what they spray for.  He passed out a survey that he will compile this winter and will forward results to the WOLA Bd.  There is an upcoming meeting in Sept addressing weed spraying for 2014.  It was asked if the Hammond ditch Tax could be used to dredge out the mouth where the water runs into the lake.  We were told we should call the county surveyor’s office.


NEW BUSINESS-John and Nancy Sutton new webmaster;.  Fall Forum will Oct 27th @ Lake Missionary  Church; Audit Report-Fred Nelson reported that an audit of the Treasurer’s books was completed and there were no discrepancies found; Another geese roundup was being scheduled to remove geese from the lake temporarily; Boat Paarade- 27 boats participated; Asked folks to think about an August activity to be held on the lake.


John thanked different folks for their contribution to help with various opportunities serving the WOLA.  Helen Miller for the directory, Don Hartley for use of office for WOLA board meetings and Shannon McElmurry for organizing the garage sale and newsletter. Also to all who donated items for the silent auction.  Thanks were given to John for water testing that he performs.


A 50/50 raffle was held and won by Bobby Finwell.  She kept her $5 investment and donated the rest of the money back to the treasury.


Meeting adjourned at 10:57.


Mickie Hutchinson

Board Meeting   6 July 2013

9 am @WOL Campground Community Room         July 6 2013    

 Present: John Williamson, Fred Nelson, Terry Edgar, Bill Roberts & Mickie Hutchinson

Guest presenter: Shannon McElmurray

 Shannon is chairing the first WOLA lake wide garage sale to be held July 18th-20th.  Hereafter to be held the last weekend in June.  Shannon is preparing a letter to go out in the mail in regards to garage sale and wanted more input from the board.  She will include an article about where some of the lake due monies are spent.  She will mention the upcoming  Annual election where there are 3 seats to be filled. She will be mailing the letters on Monday the 8th.  She will use the backside of the boat parade banner to advertise the garage sale to be posted on the LMC Church property. The board approved reimbursing Shannon for supplies needed to advertise the garage sale..  13 signs have been purchased and will be temporarily attached to the Crime Watch sign posts to advertise the garage sale.  Mickie will furnish the stapler and staples

 Secretaries Report=read by Mickie voted on and passed

 Treasurer’s Report-Read by Bill voted on and passed.  Bill informed us the we will have to cash in the CD to pay our portion of the last lake spraying.  Cd $1571.84  & Ck $1530.14

 Old Business-Boat parade was successful with 27 participants.  The audit of the books should take place the first part of August.  Minutes from the Spring meeting and the meeting after the fishing tournament were given to Shannon to pass on to Jon Sutton our new webmaster.  John Williamson reported that the SLCL has moved their offices into the Community Center building.  Mickie is going to ck with Aardvard sign about a new banner advertising the Fishing Tournament on one side and the Garage sale sign on the other.

 New Business-It was suggested holding an August avtivity on the lake.  Due to lack of time it will be tabled until next year.  Elections:  There are 2 vacant seats on the board and the Secretaries seat is open.  Mickie has agreed to become president if there is no other willing to take the seat. 

Mickie brought up about fundraising-trying to come up with ideas of raising more money.  We will revisit this after the Annual meeting.  

 Meeting adjourned at 11am

Next meeting is the Annual meeting on August 31st




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