On January 10, 2024, the Hot Springs Village POA Lakes Committee Meeting was held at the Coronado Community Center with seven committee members in attendance: Steve FitzGerald, Dwayne Shipman, Russell Grimes, Carol Dyer, Glenn Peterson, Ken Guzel, and Kyle Keeley.

Board Director Caverly’s Report to the Lakes Committee

Also in attendance was Board Director and liaison to the committee, Bruce Caverly. Updating the committee on the Board’s recent activities, Caverly thanked the Lakes Committee for their well-received semi-annual update to the HSV Board of Directors, The December 20, 2023, Board Meeting was short in duration. Caverly stated that all the positive outcomes and efforts accomplished by the POA staff in the last year are truly amazing. He highlighted the staff’s efforts to build a staff succession plan and carry that down to even deeper levels of the POA staff. Bruce also reported that the BOD is revisiting some of the approved rules & regulations for required corrections and/or updates. The Board also approved four Public Service Items. Click here to read the article.

Staff Report to the Lakes Committee

Staff attendance at the meeting consisted of Public Services Director Ken Unger, Superintendent of Streets and Sanitation Todd Noles, Common Property, Dams, and Lakes Superintendent David Harper, and Lakes Supervisor Katy Harmon.

Noles commenced the staff report by thanking the Lakes Committee for their efforts supporting him during his tenure as the HSV Lakes Superintendent as he was now transitioning over as the Superintendent of Streets and Sanitation. Introducing David Harper, Noles noted David had previously served as the POA Lakes Manager. He brings this background with him to his new Lakes Superintendent position.

Harper, an HSVPOA employee since 1985, has 19 years of experience managing fisheries. Harper said he operates an open-door policy and welcomes anyone with a question to contact him or visit him.

Unger gave the Lakes committee some insight into what is going on with the Public Services Department and mentioned the reorganization of the Department.

Acknowledging that the Lakes Committee is one of the more active and successful standing committees, Unger asked the committee to consider expanding their focus with observation and assessments of Village dams. Although unsure specifically what role the Lakes Committee would play in this effort, he said the Lakes Management team would provide more guidance.

Unger shared that the 2023 lake dredging efforts were successful, with the employees performing the work meeting the POA objectives.

Unger anticipates another “Free Dirt Friday,” This is a program initiated in 2023 that made dredging materials available to property owners, free of charge. It is anticipated the Free Dirt program will probably occur in April but stay tuned for more information. Click here to read about Free Dirt 2023.

Harmon reported that live Christmas tree donations for fish habitat are going well. Her team placed twelve small fish habitats on Lake Sophia. All fish habitat placements should be first coordinated with the Lakes Management office so the placement can be properly documented. If anyone would like to request fish habitat, please contact kharmon@hsvpoa.org.

Harmon continued her report, saying that February 1, 2024, is the date the release valves on Lakes Sophia and Maria would be closed, allowing the lakes to refill since the dredging efforts of both lakes were complete.

All of the other recreational lakes are either at or above full pool due to the recent rains.

Lakes Committee Chair Report

FitzGerald updated the committee on ongoing efforts to provide information on goose egg-addling efforts, noting that he and Scott McCord from the Common Properties, Lakes, and Wildlife Committee would be on the Golf Committee’s January 18 agenda to request assistance with goose nest reporting. McCord also plans to speak with the HSV Angler Clubs to obtain assistance in reporting the existence of goose nests.

FitzGerald has been working on a document called “HSV Lakes Water Flow.” This document will need to be reviewed by Lakes Management staff.

The committee will be starting the process of bringing on new committee members, with Carol Dyer, Pookie Dixon, and Dwayne Shipman at the end of their tenures in May.

Committee Member Comments

Ken Guzel, Lakes Committee Webmaster, said he is working on material to refresh the site. (hsvlakes.com) Topic ideas or updates should be submitted to Guzel. Unger suggested that fishing reports would be an interesting addition to the site.

Kyle Keeley updated the committee on the early efforts by himself, Russ Grimes, and Lavon Winkler to look into potential opportunities to improve fishing facility opportunities for handicapped villagers or guests. They are still in the early stages of exploring opportunities but plan to look at existing facilities in other parts of the state. Harmon said some fishing clubs had also expressed interest in supporting the effort. This group plans a sidebar soon.

Glenn Peterson reported having computer challenges with converting the Weekly Lakes Report to .pdf format, so this week, it was only distributed as an Excel spreadsheet, but he will work to resolve the conversion issue.

Report by Cheryl Dowden with information provided by the Lakes Committee

Lakes Committee Meeting January 2024 Kayaking on Lake DeSoto
Villager enjoys kayak fishing on Lake DeSoto.

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