Austin Lake has a Governmental Lake Board. A Governmental Lake Board (or GLB) is a legal entity which is designed to act on behalf of the lake property owners (note: The Austin Lake Riparian board is not a GLB). The GLB consists of County and City representatives and must have at least one lake property owner as a member.
Austin Lake's GLB was established by Portage City Council. Possible lake projects are referred by the Portage City Council to the GLB for evaluation and possible implementation. The GLB can request property assessments to pay for the projects. The GLB must follow Michigan regulations which are spelled out in Chapter 324 of the “Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.”
Austin Lake's Governmental Lake Board (GLB) consists of Brian Johnson (an Austin Lake property owner and GLB chairman). Jim Pearson (Portage City Council)., Scott McGraw (Kalamazoo County Commission) and Patricia Crowley (Drain Commissioner).
On 1-27-12 Ed Sackley (then GLB Chair) said that the "Feasibility Study Report - Feb 2011" (see below) is currently being used as the project proposal for the Austin Lake improvement project.
Update 2-10-14 by Brian Johnson: Jennifer Jermalowicz-Jones of Restorative Lake Sciences, presented the findings of the aeration project for 2013. There was an overall reduction of an additional 1.9 inches of sediment in the bay area. Core samples will be taken this summer in order to adjust the process to better the reduction rate for 2014. Previous GLB Chair, Ed Sackley, was able to get a refund of approximately $9,000 from Consumers Power for the GLB bay project. The project’s engineering costs were recouped because the electric use qualifies for a rebate.
Update 5-21-17 by Brian Johnson: On May 19, 2017 the GLB voted unanimously to extend the aeration system for a three year period. Further a recommendation was made to assess all lake residents equally and will be discussed at the next GLB meeting.
Additional note from Jim Pearson: MDEQ ordered Lake
Savers to turn off the system because the 5 year permit expired. The project
will continue after a new MDEQ permit is issued.
Update 12-12-17 by Brian Johnson: The
Austin Lake Aeration system was not able to run this summer because of
the DEQ reviewing permit requirements and lake resident questions. After
a complete review, the system was approved to continue. Although it was
too late to start the system for 2017, the assessments were set and
approved for 2017, 2018, and 2019. The GLB is investigating running
the system into 2020 with no additional cost's to the assessment roll to
operate our full three years.
The Vendors have also agreed to
work through this delay with us. I know there have been questions as to
why we paid assessments this year without the benefit of the system
operating and your GLB is committed to finding a resolution to provide
the operating time table intended at no additional cost.