UPDATE ON DAM REPAIRS
North Lake - A meeting was held with Don Walker and Jason Lamb of The Walker Associates (TWA) and the LSPOA Board of Directors 9/17/2014. Don Walker distributed a North Lake Project Timeline – Boil Discovered to Current and Project Timeline – Current to Estimated Completion. These documents outline the work that has been done on the North Lake Dam Project, reports that have been requested by Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), completion of those reports, with subsequent review and reply to those reports by MDEQ. The link to these two timelines are found below. In review of the Project Timeline – Boil Discovered to Current, you can see that January 29, 2014, MDEQ responded to the formal inspection findings of the North Lake Dam with a request for a Hydrology Study to be done. At that point, the Board of Directors gave TWA permission to perform the Hydrology Study and it was submitted to MDEQ April 22, 2014. MDEQ completed their review of the Hydrology Study on May 21 and then requested additional data with regards to how the Highway 98 culvert would handle a major rainfall event. This report was completed by TWA and submitted to MDEQ on June 13, 2014 with their approval of the findings June 23, 2014. Fortunately, LSPOA was not required to make any major spillway modifications, which resulted in major cost savings to LSPOA. At that point, TWA was finally able to move forward, having satisfied all of MDEQ’s requirements. At this time, they are working to finalize the scope of work, which brings us to the Project Timeline - Current to Estimated Completion. In review of this, you will discover a construction start date of March 2015. While this may be disappointing to some, it was explained to the Board of Directors that once the final scope of work can be submitted to MDEQ and gain approval and permitting, it would then be in the winter months, which is not the best time to try to do this sort of work, and could cost additional money to the association if the construction began and had to be essentially redone over and over due to bad weather conditions. In summary, it would be in the best interest of LSPOA to begin construction in March 2015. You can follow the outline that clearly shows how TWA arrives at the construction start date of March 2015. After the presentation of these documents, there were many questions asked and answered to the satisfaction of the LSPOA Board of Directors. The Board feels that The Walker Associates have worked diligently with MDEQ on the behalf of LSPOA. The board will remain dedicated to the repairs of the dam at North Lake and will be ever diligent in maintaining open communication between TWA and LSPOA homeowners in the future..
Oak Grove Lake – The repairs have begun on the Oak Grove Lake Dam. The construction is being done by Tanner Construction Company. The contract was for 100 days, so hopefully the repairs will be complete by the end of December. The boards asks, on the side of safety, that everyone stay out of the construction area during this time, with no foot traffic, four-wheelers, bicycles, etc. going across the dam.
East Lake Dam – The repairs to the East Lake Dam and valve have been made and the valve has been closed.
Assessment – While there was a great response to the assessment, there are still 109 property owners that have not paid the assessment for the repairs. This totals $318,389.00 in outstanding assessments. It is imperative that these be paid, or arrangements be made with the office, as soon as possible. Also, there are those who have made partial payments who still have outstanding balances totaling approximately $50,000.00. Remember that interest will be accruing on all unpaid balances, liens will be placed January 2, 2015, and according to the LSPOA Protective Covenants, Article III, Section 1 (c) “All annual maintenance assessments, special assessments and other fees shall be paid in full in order to maintain membership privileges and voting rights.”
The LSPOA Board of Directors will continue to update you on the repairs of the dams and the collection of the assessment. The website at www.lakeserene.org will be updated as we receive information. If you have not provided your email address to the office, please do so, as this is the quickest and most economical way of reaching you, the property owner. As always, thank you for your patience as we strive to make our dams safe and up to the standards of our state guidelines.
Lake Serene Board of Directors
September 5, 2014
Update on Oak Grove Lake Dam repairs - Tanner Construction has been awarded the bid to make the repairs to the Oak Grove Lake Dam. The formal start date is September 15, though it is felt that Tanner might begin construction earlier than that. The contract is for 100 days of work, so hopefully work will be completed around December 23!
April 24, 2014
.The purpose of the study was to determine whether the existing spillways and embankment could pass certain storm events without over topping the dam. We analyzed three events to include the 100 year storm (11 inches in 24 hours), 1/2 the 1982 PMP of 15.5 inches in 24 hours, and the current PMP of 46.8 inches in 24 hours.
The results of modeling these rainfall events are shown in the report; however, I will summarize them below as follows:
1. 100 year event (11") - This event will place the water level in the Lake approximately one (1) foot below the top of the dam.
2. 1/2 PMP (15.5") - This rainfall amount would place the water level in the Lake about 0.1 feet below the top of the dam.
3. Current PMP (46.8") - This event shows the dam being over topped by about 1.1 feet.
The study basically reinforces the fact that the emergency spillway in will pass the 15.5" of rainfall in order to pass the 15.5 " rainfall. The spillway, as constructed, will pass this event.
The Walker Associates has forwarded this for final review by MDEQ. In addition, it is our contention that our anticipated scope of work for this dam is only to design a filtration/seepage system below the downstream toe to handle the under seepage from the lake and to minimize migration of soil particles. We do not believe this constitutes a major modification to the dam.
The Walker Associates will await MDEQ's review and coordinate a meeting with them after they have had appropriate time to consider the information inthe report.
March 21, 2014
Don Walker indicated that the hydrology study is being conducted on the North Lake at this time and based on the current schedule, hope to have it completed in two weeks.
As to the questions regarding the burning of Oak Grove Lake vegetation and what we could do if we did not burn it off, we are currently investigating what would be best. We have a call in to the Mississippi State extension office to see if they can offer any suggestions.
March 20, 2014
The 2014 LSPOA Annual Meeting was held at the clubhouse. Peggy Moore welcomed everyone and Bobby Wilson gave the opening prayer and blessed the food. A good crowd came and enjoyed a catfish dinner catered by Main Street Cafe. After the dinner, Peggy called the meeting to order. There was a motion to dispense with the reading of the 2013 minutes, the motion was seconded, and all were in favor.
Pat Douglas came and gave the Annual Financial Report. She asked if there were any questions regarding the financial report. There being none, there was a motion made that the financial report be accepted, the motion was seconded, and all were in favor with none opposed. Pat also mentioned that at this point, there has been $304,977.50 collected in assessments. She also reported that the LSPOA v. TESI lawsuit had been settled and LSPOA had received $250,000.00 which would be deposited into the depreciation fund, bring the depreciation fund to $387,830.40.
There were $118.00 in donations to the fire department this year.
Peggy then came and gave the President's report. She thanked the membership for their patience and support during a very difficult couple of years. The LSPOA has faced many challenges, but they are being addressed. She reported that the clubhouse had received some repairs to the decking, facer boards, roof, etc. and the office had gotten new flooring and shelving. The beaches have received a facelift this year, getting reworked with some fresh new sand. The Women's Club graciously placed tinting on the french doors and the windows of the clubhouse, which cuts down on a lot of the heat and glare of the summer sun, but still allows the beautiful lake view. The clubhouse also acquired 115 white folding wedding-type chairs, which were greatly needed. There are plans for new signage for the common areas, which will be provided by JMH Graphics. The tennis courts are being removed at no cost to the association, and the area will be sodded.
Bobby Wilson then came to give the election results. He began by thanking all who ran, the existing board members, and the board members who previously served the LSPOA. He then announced that Charles Anderson, Larry Moore, and Jonathan Williams were elected to the LSPOA Board of Directors.
Sandra Anding, President of the Lake Serene Women's Club spoke to the membership about the Women's Club. She told everyone that they met once a month at a local restaurant to visit and discuss Lake Serene. She reported that the Women's Club purchased the tinting for the windows and french doors at the clubhouse. She also reminded them to begin putting items back for the garage sale for April 2015.
Peggy then reported that all of the valves are open on the lakes. Due to the heavy rainfall, the East Lake repairs have still not been made, so the lake levels will have to go back down in order to put the valve in and finish the repairs that were started prior to the rainy weather. She reported that the Oak Grove Lake status was that the scope of work for the repairs are being finalized, the money is coming in for the assessments, and once the scope of work has been completed, the bids will be invited and with good timing the work can begin toward the end of summer. The North Lake must be kept at the water level required by MDEQ. The hydrology study is being conducted on the North Lake, as required by MDEQ.
There was a question about whether heavy vegetation in the Oak Grove Lake can be burned off. Larry informed them that the fire marshall said that due to all of the structure surrounding the lake, i.e., boats, piers, seawalls, that they would not do this. Someone asked that if all the homeowners cleaned out 20' or so around the edges of the property line, would they do it then, and Larry said he would check on it.
A member asked if people could pay the full amount of the assessment and not break it down, would it help to get the repairs done quicker. Bobby explained that the money was not the holdup on the repairs because we had to get the scope of work complete, the bid process complete, and by the time all of that was done, we would probably have most or all of the money collected.
A member requested the board check on a possible problem with the Backwater sewer lagoon effluent draining into East Lake. The board will check into this.
A member asked if the valves will remain open all summer. Peggy said that the valves would remain open until the repairs on East Lake have been complete and that hopefully with good weather, we could have water in the lakes this summer.
Door prizes were awarded. Freddy Stephens won the free pavilion rental, Pete Edwards won the free clubhouse rental, and Charles and Mary Johnson won the free LSPOA membership for 2015.
There being no further questions or business, there was a motion to adjourn, the motion was seconded, and the 2014 LSPOA Annual Meeting was adjourned.
March 20, 2014
To view the Oak Grove Lake Dam boring log, click here.
March 6, 2014
The board of directors met with Don Walker and his associates today to discuss the results of a meeting with MDEQ regarding some concept design changes to the Oak Grove Lake Dam as well as the necessity of a hydrology study for the North Lake Dam. It was decided that MDEQ would accept the design change where the area of Buccaneer Drive that traverses the dam would not have to be elevated after all. This will same the association some repair expense in the long run, and a little bit of good news. On another note, the MDEQ will require the hydrology study on North Lake dam, so that will be an added expense but it will help make the final decisions as to the design and repairs of the North Lake spillway area. The hydrology study will be done in the next couple of weeks and turned in to MDEQ for their approval. Once this is accomplished, then Walker Associates can complete the design for repairs on North Lake and move in that direction.
The Oak Grove Lake Hyrology Study can be read by clicking here.
February 12, 2014
LSPOA Board Meeting 2/11/2014 Highlights
Whitney Southwell from Insurance Associates of Hattiesburg came to speak to the board about Loss Assessment. She provided information and suggestions to the board to assist them in the upcoming assessment letter to the property owners of Lake Serene. An insurance adjustor will also be consulted prior to the mailout of the assessment statements and letters for further suggestions for the letter.
Don Walker was present to speak with the board about the next steps in the process of repair of the dams. The letter in response to the Formal Inspection of the North Lake Dam was reviewed and discussed with Mr. Walker. To read that letter, click here. After Mr. Walker speaks with MDEQ about a couple of outstanding issues concerning North Lake and Oak Grove Lake dams, then he will proceed with a job proposal sheet in order to provide a scope of work to prospective bidders. This all should happen within the next 30 to 45 days. Once the bids are invited, then the board will give the contractors approximately three weeks to provide their bids to be considered. The contractor will be considered by not only the board, but by the engineer's recommendations as well. The contractors must be bonded and insured. Mr. Walker will closely oversee all of the repairs to the dams.
As mentioned above, the board of directors is working on an assessment letter to go along with the assessment statement. It was voted to have due dates of April 1, May 1, and June 1 in order to ensure that those LSPOA property owners who wish to, have an opportunity to file claims with their insurance company for loss of use. During this time of billing and collecting the assessment funds, plans for repair, bids, and other details will be finalized so that repairs can begin as soon as possible. With good weather, Mr. Walker said that contractors should be able to finish the repairs in 120 to 160 days.
The minutes from the January board meeting were approved.
There was discussion on the East Lake repairs and the contractor is prepared to finish the repairs and place the valve once the weather clears.
There was discussion regarding the Annual Meeting on March 20, 2014. The board voted to have Main Street cater the Annual Meeting and the menu will include a catfish dinner. The dinner will begin at 6:30 and the Annual Meeting will begin at 7:30. The ballots and RSVP for catfish dinner will mailed out by February 20. If you plan to come to the dinner, please RSVP. The door prizes this year will be a year's free membership for 2015, a free rental of the clubhouse, and a free rental of the pavilion.
The slide at the beach area will be painted this week once the rain clears and the board is looking into a couple of people to fix the beach areas prior to spring/summer.
Many people living on the Oak Grove Lake had asked about burning off the grass and weeds that have grown in the lake bed. After checking into this, the fire marshall would not agree to do this because of the many structures in the lake such as piers, seawalls, etc.
February 7, 2014
At the request of MEDQ, North Lake valve has been opened in order to maintain the level of North Lake as mandated. It should not go lower than it was originally, but it has to be maintained at or near the level that they have marked out on the valve tower. Click here to read the letter from MDEQ concerning their recommendations for North Lake after their review of the Formal Inspection.
The Ski Lake Valve has been opened, but only to accommodate the water from East Lake after the rain as well as the water that is being release from North Lake. There should not be any appreciable notice in a change in level for the Ski Lake.
The East Lake repairs are underway, and should be completed as soon as there is a stretch of good weather, according to the contractor.
We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your patience in this process.
The assessment to repair the dams that was voted on February 4 passed with 64% of the vote. After the February board meeting you will receive a letter and/or statement for the assessment.
Go ahead and mark your calendars...the 2014 LSPOA Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, March 20, 2014 at the clubhouse. Names on the ballot for board members include Norma Gillis, Larry Moore, John Muma, Angela Neuman, Cathy Williams, and Jonathan Williams.
December 30, 2013
If you would like to read the Report of Dam Inspection, Lake Serene North Lake, click HERE.
As you know, the ballots for the vote on the assessment have been mailed. You can either vote by proxy or vote at the meeting scheduled February 4, 2013 at 6:30 at Heritage Methodist Church sanctuary. If you vote by proxy, please remember to sign and date your ballot for it to be counted. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the office.
December 2, 2013
EAST LAKE DAM
The valve is scheduled to be removed from the East Lake this week to be rebuilt. This will likely take two weeks. When it is brought back to reinstall, the actual dam work will be done at that time. Hopefully, by the end of this month or the first couple of weeks of January, the work will be finished on East Lake Dam.
In the meantime, the valves for Stump Lake and Ski Lake will be closed this week. Depending on rainfall, the Ski Lake may have to be reopened, depending on levels needed to do the repairs, but hopefully it will not need to be.
NORTH LAKE DAM
As per an email from Walker and Associates today, they are currently completing the "Formal Inspection Checklist" as required by MDEQ for formal inspections. The survey work and field inspection has been completed. A draft copy of the formal inspection report should be ready for the board's review next week. Once they have reviewed the draft copy, it can then be finalized and submitted to MDEQ. It will likely take MDEQ a few weeks to review and comment on the formal inspection report and recommendations for repair. That will likely put this in a middle to end of January time frame on knowing what will be required prior to placing the dam back in service.
November 13, 2013
There was a meeting of the LSPOA membership last night at Heritage United Methodist Church. There was approximately 300 property owners in attendance. Peggy Moore called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone and thanked Heritage United Methodist Church for allowing LSPOA to use their beautiful sanctuary for this meeting.
Don Walker, Engineer for Walker and Associates, who is overseeing the planned repairs and inspections for the Lake Serene dams addressed the group. He began by discussing North Lake Dam. He said that on October 16, during a routine owner's inspection of the dam, there was a sand boil noted at the toe of the spillway. He was called in to look and in turn, as North Lake is a high hazard dam, he called Mississippi DEQ. At the request of MDEQ, the valve was opened on North Lake and lowered to its present level. At that point, MDEQ required that LSPOA have a formal inpection of the North Lake Dam completed with a deadline of December 1, 2013. To date, Walker and Associates have conducted surveys of the North Lake Dam and its structures (concrete spillway, aprons, and facing) and has researched archived records related to the dam dating back to 1978. He mentioned that there was records showing underseepage from the North Lake Dam all they way back in 1978. In 1985, a walkthrough inpsection by DEQ revealed underseepage as well. In 1987, the spillway caved in with subsequent repairs by the association. In 2009, a formal inspection done by Engineering Plus did not reveaL any issues with the dam. He said that his feeling was that this was underseepage and that their hope was to work with MDEQ and put a filtration system in place. At this time, however, it was too early to tell exactly what would have to be done and this is just his feelings on this at this time and he would not more specifically once the final inpsection report is complete and then what MDEQ recommends/requires as far as repair.
He also gave the information on the Oak Grove Lake Dam again. Please refer to the Engineer's Estimate for a detailed report on the repairs to be done to Oak Grove Lake Dam.
Peggy then thanked Don and spoke to the membership, outlining the following:
Lake Serene Property Owners Association has received estimates of costs on the repairs of the East Lake Dam, North Lake Dam, and Oak Grove Lake Dam. The estimates total $1,647.395.00 which is broken down into an assessment of $2921.00 per lot. If you owned multiple lots prior to December 31, 2010 then you will only receive one assessment. Those who acquired multiple lots after that date will be assessed for each lot, as per the LSPOA Protective Covenants. With the information in hand on the costs, LSPOA board members have looked at every option available to us for assistance with the monies from federal, state, and local funds with no money promised to date.
Work cannot begin on Oak Grove Lake dam or North Lake dam until this is voted on and the money collected, if the assessment is passed. The longer it takes to collect the money, the longer it will take to get the repairs done.
Per the procedure outlined in the covenants, the board of directors has assessed each lot $2921.00 and a vote will be tentatively be held Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at a location to be determined to vote for this assessment. A written formal notice will be mailed to each member the last week of December 2013, giving the required 30 days or more notice of vote.
It was mentioned that throughout the history of Lake Serene, that there has been one assessment years ago in the amount of $100. Since that time, there have been three valves replaced, two spillways repaired, along with other property improvements without any special assessment being asked for. It was also pointed out that LSPOA Dues are some of the lowest association dues in our area.
Bobby Wilson also spoke ot the membership, outlining the Protective Covenants regarding Special Assessments and voting on Special Assessments by the membership. You are encouraged to read and review the Protective Covenants. You can find the protective covenants here. Article 4 Section 4 and Section 5 directly speak to the assessments and vote.
After a session of questions and answers, Pat Douglas spoke to the group, stating that she had lived in Lake Serene for 38 years, that she felt it was a wonderful community with amenities like no other association has or will have. She urged everyone there to come together and get this assessment passed so we could make these repairs and get water back in the lakes of Lake Serene, as it should be.
Peggy thanked everyone for coming to the meeting and the meeting was adjourned.
November 13, 2013
The property at 137 Buccaneer Drive was purchased today by LSPOA at the recommendation of Mississippi Department of Equality Dvision of Dam Safety. The emergency spillway is located on this property and it was felt that in order to preserve that emergency spillway and prevent future problems with the Oak Grove Lake Dam that it was in the best interest of LSPOA to purchase this property. The house, which was damaged by the February 10 tornado will be demolished in the future and there is a possibilty that the new common property will be a site for a boat ramp for Oak Grove Lake.
November 1, 2013
The renovations to the Lake Serene Clubhouse office have been completed! Thank you for your patience during this past week.
North Lake Update - Don Walker and his associates met with the board of directors October 28 to bring the board up to date on the findings of the sand boil at the foot of the spillway. After conducting a few studies and tests, they are still uncertain as to where the sand boil is originating, although they do have a few ideas. In the meantime, Mississippi DEQ Division of Dam Safety has ordered a formal inspection of North Lake dam, which is due by December 1. This inspection was due in 2014 originally, but in light of recent events, they have requested it be done now. This will help determine not only if there are other problems with North Lake Dam, but hopefully the source of the sand boil. Don Walker and Associates will be conducting the formal inspection.
The board was informed that MDEQ has ordered the level of the lake be kept at its present level until the source of the sand boil can be determined and repairs made. Mr. Walker feels this could be several months. The sand boil has not stopped, but MDEQ has determined the level of the lake to be safe and it will not need to be lowered any further AT THIS POINT. If this changes you will be informed.
East Lake Dam - The plans to repair East Lake Dam are still in place. The water level is going down and has to be at a certain level to access the drainage pipe, and as of yesterday, it had not reached that point. Hopefully, this will be soon.
Timeline of North Lake Dam sand boil..to follow, please click on date links.