9/13/17 – Patrolling the Pond
by: Ron DesCombes, Water Patrol Manager
Still can’t believe the weather for August, a little wet but cool temps. Not sure if this is setting us up for a cold winter or not; however, I’ll take it. Usually when the kids head back to school, the lake quiets down considerably, but lately, we have had a rash of vandalism around boat docks. I’m fairly sure this is the action of kids; they are throwing furniture off docks into the water and I had one complaint that a homeowner’s plants and trees met the same fate. Please continue to report these acts and if you see someone you do not recognize, call the Association/Water Patrol or Lotawana Police and report your concerns. If one can afford it, I would place a camera on your dock. They can be the expensive type or even a deer camera from Bass Pro for about $60.00. Recently I had complaints about Goat Hill. This area has been pretty calm for the past two seasons, but it seems watercraft are anchoring deeper into the cove and closer to boat docks. There is nothing illegal about the mooring, but the concerns are the types of music being played and questionable behavior going on in front of kids on shore. When we had problems a few years ago, I asked the homeowners who frequent Goat Hill to please police themselves and stop any behavior before it gets out of hand. This approach seemed to work, but it is coming into question again. The acts of a few can prevent others from having a pleasant time. Laura and Connie from the Lake Lotawana Association Office ran some comparison stats on citations from 2010 to the current season. In 2010 there were 101 violations written and so far this year, there have been 238 violations. Breaking this data down even farther: 150 citations for docks, 0 for Parkways, 60 for watercraft, 28 water violations, and 2 for other. Over the past eight years there have been 178 Water Enforcement Board Cases which averages out a little over 22 a season. Wish we didn’t have any, but people are people. This year there has been an increase in non-residents driving PWC’s and we had 3 PWC’s pulling a water skier….that is a first on our Pond. Suspension Point Breakdown: If the homeowner acquires 9 points, the suspension is 14 days, 12 points, the suspension is 28 days, and 15 points or more, the suspension is 12 months. The points eliminate within one year, that is from the time the suspension starts. Example: if an individual is assessed 9 points and the Water Enforcement Board hears the case on August 15, 2017, and upholds the citation, the Board awards a 14-day suspension from the lake. After the 14 days, the homeowner/family can return to full privileges; however, the points stay intact until August 15, 2018, not December 31, 2017. If you are new homeowner you are required to take an Open Book Assessment on the Rules & Regulations of Lake Lotawana. If you are one of the unfortunate individuals who has accumulated 9 points or more, you have to take a CLOSED BOOK ASSESSMENT and score 80% of the questions correctly. Hopefully, Labor Day will be quiet and peaceful. We still have great boating weather ahead, so stay safe and be thoughtful to your neighbors and friends. See ya.
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