Lake Gaston Stakeholders Minutes (Unapproved)
Deschenes called the meeting to order at 9:10 am. at the ANPC Building.
visitors were asked to introduce themselves. There were 30 Stakeholders and
visitors present (see list of attendees attached).
The minutes of
the September 22, 2005 meeting were unanimously approved as submitted by
Secretary Larry Jolly.
Prior to this
meeting, Pete Deschenes, Boyd Strain and Larry Jolly met and asked the
science team to meet and clarify some issues in the Management Plan.
reported the Governance Plan approved at the September 22, 2005 meeting
requires official action be approved by a two-thirds majority of those
voting members present. He distributed the Governance Plan signature page
that requires the Stakeholder organizationís authorized personís signature
approving the plan and committing to adhere to the plan. Those authorized
were asked to sign. Those not authorized to sign, were asked to take it to
the person so authorized and return it to Larry as soon as possible.
Deschenes discussed the Communications Plan in the absence of Communications
Plan Chairman Doug Hughes, who was unable to attend. Pete referred to page
17 of the plan and spoke about the timing of the public forums to be held.
It is planned to have a forum in each of Lake Gastonís four quadrants. They
are to be held in February and March with the locations yet to be
determined. Harrell Johnson of the RR Basin Assn. asked about the
boundaries. Pete said a person could attend any one of the meetings
regardless of their residence. The time of day and the length of the
meetings are yet to be determined. A member of the Virginia Dept. of Game
and Inland Fisheries said they usually have their meetings on Tuesday,
Wednesday or Thursday evenings from 7-9. They have found these days and
times were best suited for the interested parties. Elton Brown suggested
having one meeting on a Saturday to accommodate part-time residents. The
group will need members and volunteers to help out at the forums in order
for them to be successful. The group will need the cooperation of North
Carolina, Virginia, BASS, and US Army Corps. of Engineers as well. Early
public notification and advertising is critical to the success of the
forums. The Lake Gaston Association has been successful in notifying the
public in regard to the forums it has held. Any group participating in the
forums must be up to speed on the issues discussed at the meetings and each
group needs to have a representative present at the forum. It was suggested
the panel consist of four experts in their field at each forum and that as
many stakeholders be present at each forum as possible.
suggested that when the Chairman of the Communications Committee responds to
a letter or an article in the media, it should be done in a careful and
factual manner. The LGSB Chairman should review responses prior to
submission to the media. Judge Manning said the response should be in all
the media, not just one. Elton Brown thought it might be possible for the
Communications group and Chairman Deschenes to read any critical article or
letter published prior to it being printed. Concern was expressed about a
conflict of interest in such a situation. Boyd feels both sides of an issue
need to be given, not just one side. An editor is not required to print all
articles submitted. The Stakeholders group approves a media response to an
article or editorial if the response is approved by the Communications Chair
and the LGSB Chairman.
Advisory Group left the general meeting at this point and met in a separate
room to work out some issues to be brought before the general meeting later.
The remaining parties reviewed the funding plan and options.
break took place at this point.
funding plan dated November 8, 2005, was presented to the group for
consideration. The Stakeholders and the Lake Gaston Weed Control Council had
worked together to come up with the funding plan. Judge Manning spoke about
the five county meeting in Littleton and reminded the group that each county
had agreed to fully fund the $116,000 per county per year to help fund the
necessary cost for noxious weed control in Lake Gaston. He feels a portion
of that amount in
County should come from general revenues and the balance from the Special
Service Tax District (SSTD). The
counties would fund it from general revenues.
and Northampton would probably fund from general revenues.
needs to come to the table with more money dedicated to noxious weed
control. Elton Brown suggested writing a letter to the new governor in
Richmond impressing upon him the critical need for more money. Pete feels it
would be better to have face-to-face meetings with the powers to be in
Richmond to plead our case rather than write letters.
Dominion, and BASS need to exert their considerable influence in this matter
on behalf of Lake Gaston. Joan Blankenship with Va. Bass Federation said she
would be willing to help. Pete Deschenes suggested putting together a
Funding Team of Becky Mitchell, Harry Miller, Pete Deschenes, and Elton
Brown. Pete will talk to Chris Horton about a person from BASS to serve on
the Funding Team. Almira Papierniak of the Lake Gaston Chamber of Commerce
asked about private funding. According to John Slaton the Lake Gaston Weed
Control Council has sought such funding in the past with little or no
success, but the effort should continue.
for 2006 treatment of noxious weeds in Lake Gaston:
Army COE $100,000
(Hoped For) $1,210,000
of Dominion spoke about his initial problem in seeking more money for groups
like the Stakeholders. They are raising their shoreline management fees,
which should produce a significant amount of money to cover their increasing
costs and maybe have some money left over for community support projects.
of Dominion spoke about the increased costs necessary because of the new
relicensing agreement. He feels restoration of native aquatic weeds is a
topic more of interest to them rather than the control of noxious weeds.
introduced Lucy Allen to the group. She is a NC representative in Raleigh.
She assured the group she will fight to keep the money in the NC budget for
noxious weed control. She spoke briefly and asked for names to be given to
the governor for the Bi-State Roanoke River Basin membership.
Deschenes has emailed Lucy Allen with the names requested.)
urged all Virginia Lake Gaston Association members to contact their
urging them to appropriate more money for noxious weed control in Lake
Gaston. Becky from Virginia Beach assured the group that the money from
for noxious weed control was in their budget and would not be removed.
gave a brief report from the Technical Advisory Group. They discussed grass
carp and said
and Virginia Wildlife personnel would only agree to having 10 grass carp per
infested acre. The Stakeholders group goal is to manage and maintain an
ecologically acceptable river system. The proposal will be submitted to
Virginia and North Carolina and they hope to have a final report in
February. Boyd feels private funds will be needed to treat private property
in 2006. Judge Manning asked if the funds would be used to treat noxious
weeds and not just hydrilla- the consensus was noxious weeds.
reconvened at 12:20 following a lunch break, and introduced Bob Gunkel from
the Corps of Engineers.
Deschenes suggested the group approve the following items this
afternoon---the Funding Plan and the Management Plan.
funding plan was further discussed. An earnest attempt will be made to close
the funding gap. Any grant monies received would go to funding treatment of
private property. On a vote by raised hands to approve the Funding Plan
those in favor were 12 and opposed 0. Virginia Wildlife, North Carolina
Wildlife and Dominion Power abstained.
Advisory Group was asked again about the treatment of hydrilla or noxious
weeds. Judge Manning again said he prefers noxious weeds to hydrilla. Skip
from ANPC said he has no problem with the term. The Lake Gaston Weed Control
Council uses the term noxious weeds, not hydrilla. The cost for treatment in
2005 for private treatment was approximately $600,000. It is estimated the
cost for 2006 will be about the same.
The LGWCC can
only spend public monies for noxious weed control, not private money. The
cost to treat private property will have to be paid by the property owners.
from ANPC estimated it would cost about the same in 2006 to treat public
boat ramps, dry hydrants, critical navigational channels, & public swimming
areas. These total about 20 acres. John Slaton said he would meet with Skip
to come up with more accurate cost estimates.
stated he has a problem with noxious weeds being replaced by coontail and
still considered a vegetated acre. Considerable discussion followed.
Dominion Power has to apply for a permit for the release of a specific
number of grass carp per vegetated acre. It is estimated that private
parties have introduced approximately 1,000 grass carp into the lake. VA and
NC have agreed to 10 grass carp per infested acre. There is no way it can be
ascertained with absolute accuracy how many grass carp there are per acre in
Lake Gaston. Using accepted numbers for yearly attrition, it is estimated
there are 24,000 grass carp in Lake Gaston. Therefore it is expected there
will be an additional 6,000 in 2006. The Corps of Engineers is expected to
give some money to NC State and VA Tech to conduct a study of the number of
grass carp in the lake.
Gaston Weed Control Council wants to conduct educational programs about
noxious weeds in
Gaston for an estimated cost of $25,000. Jim Thornton said perhaps Dominion
could help with signs at marinas and boat ramps urging boaters to keep their
boats free of vegetation prior to launching and after recovery.
forgot to mention there was $20,000 in the budget for biocontrol agents and
floating mats. If LGWCC gets any money from the USACOE, it will be used for
insect research, nothing else.
balance of $650,000 will go to treat critical designated areas and $445,000
goes for herbicide treatment.
The budget was
approved pending any TAG meeting changes in January or early February. The
vote by raised hands was 13 in favor and 0 opposed.
said there is an attempt being made to put together a list of all property
owner associations and to invite them to a meeting.
The size of
the Stakeholders group was discussed briefly and most felt it was big
enough. Judge Manning said our meetings are open to the public and anyone
can attend, ask questions, and provide input. It was stated by a visitor the
private property owners are the ones who pay the taxes and they should be
made to feel welcome and to seek information.
said the Stakeholders group does not spend any money; it only makes
recommendations to the LGWCC, who actually spends the money.
said information sharing and communications is absolutely essential to the
success of this group.
spoke about the survey taken of hydrilla growth in the lake. In recent years
growth has taken place in the fall. He is glad native aquatic plants are
returning in some of the lake areas. He feels we need to use both herbicides
and grass carp.
said the LGSB accomplished a lot today. During 2006, the group would
probably meet twice--a meeting following the public forums--maybe early
April and the fall meeting after the TAG group meets. How much public money
would be available is a question. It is hoped to have the public forums
completed by the end March.
alert system and how it works as a telephone tree. The
is attempting to contact all Home Owners Association presidents and get
their phone numbers and email addresses.
of the group need to know meeting dates well in advance, so if there is a
conflict arrangements can be made for a substitute to attend.
of Dominion said the company is raising its fees to enforce the relicensing
agreement. The company feels a clear and specific plan needs to be in place
Gaston. Dominion is committed to maintaining the high level of lake quality.
They need an end product and overall steps to make the plan workable.
Dominion needs to sell its management on the plan. It must be ecologically
commented about continuing to use ANPC as a meeting place. If anyone had an
alternative suggestion, it must be convenient and be able to accommodate 35
to 40 persons.
There being no
further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:20 pm.
the Recording Secretary, Tom Winebrenner
the LGSB Secretary, Larry Jolly
LUCY ALLEN FOR THE BI-STATE RIVER GROUP; (already sent)
2: TAG GROUP
GET TOGETHER WITH JIM THORNTON TO DISCUSS A PLAN FOR THE LAKE;
3. ADD GRANTS
AS A POSSIBLE GAP CLOSURE TO THE FUNDING PLAN
5. UPDATE LGSB
MANAGEMENT PLAN WITH ALL OF THE CHANGES DISCUSSSED DURING THE MEETING WITH A
FOLLOW-UP TAG TEAM MEETING IN JANUARY OR FEBRUARY 2006.
MANAGEMENT PLAN NEEDS TO INCLUDE A VISION OF THE LAKE AFTER LGSB WORK IS
Attendees at Lake
Stakeholders Meeting, December 15, 2005
Pete Deschenes Friends of the Flotilla 93
Larry Jolly LGA
Jim Howell Lake Gaston Stripers Club
John Slaton Northampton County (alternate)
Wayne Jenkins Northampton County
Vic DiCenzo Va. Dept. Game & Inland Fisheries
Elton Brown Lake Gaston Weed Control Council
Jim Thornton Dominion Power
John Church Warren County (alternate)
Almira Papierniak Lake Gaston C of C
Harrell Johnson Roanoke River Basin Assn.
Beth Smith Board of Realtors
Rives Manning Halifax County Commissioners
Joan Blankenship Va. BASS Federation
Ulysses Ross Warren County Commissioners
Boyd Strain Lake Gaston Water Safety Council (alternate)
Becky Mitchell City of Virginia Beach
Kirk Rundle N C Wildlife Resources (alternate)
NON -VOTING ATTENDEES
Bruce Johnson Pine View Subdivision
Joe Snow USACOE
Bob Etheridge LGA (alternate)
Joe Peterson Dominion Power
Bob Lohr Lake Gaston Colony Club Assn.
Susan Shaw-Snow Lake Gaston Gazette
Lucy Allen N C General Assembly Representative
Bob Gunkel USACOE R & D Center
Christian Waters N C Wlidlife Resources Comm.
Skip Wiegersma ANPC
Moira Underwood LGA Executive Director
Harry Miller Dominion