First Ski of the Season

It happened today and under interesting circumstances.  Chris and Jessica from Toledo just acquired a new G23 from Boaters Choice in Brooklyn.  And where did they want to give the boat its first workout?    Clark Lake on this February 23rd. 

Andrew Lajdziak, who piloted, said the boat’s water thermometer registered 44 degrees.  He thought the reading might have been overly generous.

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Jessica and Chris are from Toledo and plan to trailer the boat to the Maumee, Irish Hill lakes, up north, and Tennessee.

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The G23 is manufactured by Correct Craft, and represents a design perfect for wake boarding and surfing. 

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Clark Lake’s Gentle Good Morning

Dawn at Clark Lake can be a special time.  This morning its specialty was gentleness and serenity.  In these photos, thanks to Jill Bentley, we have an artful reminder of it.

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Clark Lake Sewer Rates Go Up

Columbia Township Trustees have voted unanimously to raise sewer rates for Clark Lake customers by 27%.  That amounts to $33.24 per quarter.  The current residential rate of $124 per quarter will rise to $157.24.  Lake Columbia’s increase will be $18.24 per quarter; and Vineyard Lake, $18.99.

The Township points to Clark Lake’s “aging system” as the primary reason for the increase, and why the increase is greater for Clark Lake than for Lake Columbia or Vineyard Lake. 

When grinder pumps give out, they must be repaired or replaced.  The Village of Brooklyn’s DPW handles maintenance of the system.  The DPW’s Keith Kotsch notes that a new grinder pump costs $1975 and there about 715 grinder units in the Clark Lake system.  Where possible, he says, “we reinstall repaired units for seasonal homes where the use isn’t as heavy and use a newer model for year around homes.” He adds “field service for a new pump isn’t nearly as involved as repairing the older model.” “In some cases, fixing an old one costs almost as much as new one, and repair isn’t a good investment.” 

The photo below shows the older E1 model and a newer Flyght grinder.

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Heather McCutcheon, Columbia Township controller, indicates the current budget (July 2016 to June 2017) allows for 80 new units at a cost of $158,000. 

Township Supervisor Bob Elrod has said the rate increase also “takes into consideration the future needs of the system.”  What could that include?  Trustee Flip Reynold points to a couple maintenance examples.  “A couple times a year, the lift stations must be vacuumed to remove sludge.  Items like HandiWipes shouldn’t be used.  But sometimes they find their way into the system and plug it up–and must be cleaned out.  And right now the electrical junction at the Kentucky Point lift station needs replacing.”

The last rate increase took place in spring of 2015 when Clark Lake’s quarterly bill went from $118.95 to $124.   The rate increase to $157.24 takes effect in April 2017.   

Ever wonder what’s buried behind your house?  These photos, courtesy of Keith Kotsch, reveal what you can’t see above ground.

The control unit of the newer Flyght grinder is more easily accessed in place.

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This is a close up of an older E1 pump.  There are a number of working parts here–the start capacitor, run capacitor, control contacts, and heater.  Other replaceable parts include bearings.  Castings sometimes become too corroded for further use.
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Consumers Energy’s Smart Meters

Consumers Energy has replaced electric and gas meters in the Clark Lake area with new “smart meters.”  The new meters send a text message between midnight and 3 am to CE each day.  The text message tells CE how much gas and electric you used during the previous day.  That information should be available to you through Consumers’ website as well.  “This ends the need for estimated bills,” comments Consumers Energy’s Kathryn Burkholder. “You should always know where your usage stands.”

Will this cost you more?  Burkholder says “the meter technology is accurate. The manufacturer tests 100% of the meters for accuracy before they are shipped, and we also perform sample lot testing on each shipment.” 

What if your bill is higher?  “In almost every instance, a perceived higher bill is the result of a series of low estimated bills or a change in weather. When we install the new meter, a customer may get their first actual reading in months, generating a higher catch up bill.”

Consumers recommends calling their customer care center at 800-477-5050 with questions about your bill.

Sun Up, Sun Down – both Breathtaking

After an incredible sunrise over Clark Lake this morning, you might have concluded that would be it for the day.  The sunset did not disappoint as you can see in Bill Leutz’s photo.

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How did the day start at Clark Lake? Rob Thomas photographed the sunrise from his west end, north shore location.

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Clark Lake’s Special Good Morning

Presidents Day began with an incredible sunrise.  Rob Thomas caught it in the act with this awesome photo.

RobThomas sunrise 2017 02-20Rob took this photo from the north shore, west end.  From this perspective, you see Eagle Point jutting out, and the marina lights are still on at this hour.

Yesterday evening provided a preview of what was to transpire this morning, as you can see in this photo by Bill Leutz.  Bill comments “the lake was so calm you can see jet contrails reflecting from up above.”

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The Melt, Part 3

Just when it looked like the last vestige of ice had departed, nature remembered that this is still February.  A thin layer of ice reasserted itself on some areas of the lake overnight.  But that did not deter Fritz Wilger from finding open lanes as he navigated his kayak on the lake this morning–as seen in this photo by Bill Leutz.

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By 1:30 this afternoon, Bill reports the ice was gone from the east shore of Eagle Point, no doubt urged on its way by sunshine and 62 degrees.

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And Karen Menard spotted these fisherman in action today.

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At the end of the day, Bill Leutz captured this view.  The lake was so calm and clear that it reflected the jet contrails from above.

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More Melting

TB snowman 2017 02-17According to Tucker Boyers, Friday was “blacktop day” at Clark Lake.  Blacktop day?  Tucker recalls that was the phrase Loretto Baker used to describe “the first day warm enough to sit out in your driveway and drink a beer in a lawn chair!”

Today, nature continued to nudge Clark Lake toward spring. Here is Tucker’s video of the ice piling against the shoreline.

These anglers couldn’t wait for the ice to disappear completely.  Ann Swain caught him cruising along the ice at the west end with this photo taken from Hyde Road.

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On Friday, Tucker aimed his camera from South Woodlands toward the west-end boat launch.

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The Big Melt

by Bill Leutz

Yesterday’s warm front, bringing 25 mph winds, with gusts up to 40 mph, took out all the ice seen in B.J.’s Eagle Spirit One video of the eagles from last Monday.  The remaining ice parted and the lake is now open.

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The force of the waves along the outer edge of the ice shattered it, sending small chips up on the inner ice.  Only a narrow band of this shattered ice and a few small floes remain along the west shore of Eagle Point. The forecast for today (Monday) is for sun and a high of 41 degrees. A brief cool down to 29 is expected on Wednesday, but then warm weather should return, rising to near 60 degrees by next Monday. (You can always get a Clark Lake forecast on the main page of this website).

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It is beginning to look a lot like Spring!

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Clark Lake’s Eagles in Action

Recently two Clark Lake eagles visited and stayed long enough to put on an amazing show.  BJ Lyons caught them in action with his Eagle Spirit One drone.  Andrew Lajdziak edited the videos and brought it to life with a musical soundtrack. 

The eagles’ performance took place on Monday, February 6th.  Thanks to BJ and Andrew for their awesome work!

In January, this website reported on two eagles visiting the lake and titled the story “Mr. and Mrs. Eagle.”  There was a reason for that title.  To find out why it was used, please click here.