The Walled Lake Improvement Board convened on Wednesday, Sept. 28 to certify delinquent taxes, review 2011 lake treatment results and discuss how to proceed with lake treatments in 2012.
The first order of business was to certify delinquent taxes and send them back to the assessor. However, the lion’s share of the meeting was tailored to designing next year’s contract for lake management and herbicide application consultants.
“I will be preparing a request for proposal for lake management companies which will conduct a review of the lake and determine the affect of the treatments, as well as preparing documents to get quotes from herbicide and harvest contractors,” said Treasurer Brian Coburn.
Prior to Coburn setting to task, the board will be tweaking the wording of the contracts once the board’s budget framework is in place.
“We need a theoretical budget before we can go out for bids,” Chairman Dave Galloway said.
Walled Lake is located in both the city of Walled Lake and Novi. The cities jointly formed the lake improvement board to control two kinds of Eurasian watermilfoil that have infiltrated the lake.
Galloway noted that last year E. V. Mercer Beach was forced to close seven times due to concerns over E. coli. Thanks to lake treatments, the beach was not required to close at all this summer.
“Weeds stop the wave action of the water from getting to shore and then promotes still water that stays warm and it appears to be more predisposed to the natural propagation of E. coli,” Galloway said.
The herbicide Navigate attacks and kills the roots of the weeds. It was applied to 30 acres on the north end of the lake near the Walled Lake-Novi border.
The federal label on Navigate doesn’t call for people staying out of the lake during application. The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), however, requires one day out of the water when applying the herbicide to get its full benefit.
“The DNR requires one day off just so the Navigate pellets are not disturbed and so they sink to the bottom, not because of public safety,” Galloway said.
Weed harvesting was conducted on the western side of the lake along with both the south and southeast quadrants of the lake.
“Due to the late spring and high winds this year, we only did harvesting one time,” Galloway said.
Where harvesting efforts lagged, the herbicide application netted positive results and may be disseminated over a more expansive area in 2012.
“We want to increase it to 60 acres and reduce the harvesting,” Galloway said. “Eurasian milfoil was killed after application and now it’s much better on the north end. That said, now the original and natural weeds are coming back, so that’s why we need lake management, because the lake is always changing.”
Unlike prior meetings, there was no vocal opposition to the improvement board’s direction and only two people offered public comments.
“We also received letters, but after people found out how the chemicals worked, they were more supportive,” Galloway said. “The consensus was that the lake was better weed-wise than last year, but people want to see even more improvements next year.”
The Walled Lake Improvement Board will reconvene on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. in the training center of the Novi Police Department, located at 45125 W. 10 Mile Road.