By Deb Patterson
SYRACUSE — Yearly Wawasee Property Owners Association presents the Chief Award to a person or people who it feels has worked to benefit Wawasee in lots of different ways. The list of recipients is an interesting group. This year’s recipient, like 2020, is just as interesting and unique. This year’s award was presented Saturday, Sept. 12.
Kay Young, WPOA board president, announced, “We are giving this year’s award to all the essential workers in the community. It’s not just the firemen, police and lake patrol. Those in the trenches, stocking groceries, opening offices … all to know we appreciate them.”
The plaque reads “It is with extreme appreciation that the Wawasee Property Owners Association conveys the Chief Award to all of the essential workers in our community. Each one of you is an unsung hero to us. Recognizing your unending generosity and dedication to making sure that Lake Wawasee continues to be the premier lake in all of Indiana.”
Young will be getting with Chad Jonsson, park superintendent, to arrange to have the plaque placed in the community center where everyone can see it.
The award was presented at the first in-person meeting the board has conducted since March due to COVID-19. There were 10 of the 17 board of directors in attendance with two board members participating via computer. This was also the board’s annual public meeting. Two members of the public attended.
The public meeting provides an opportunity to hear what WPOA is doing, the presentation of the Chief Award and election or re-election of board members for three-year terms. Tom Tuttle II, nominating committee, reported Steve Snyder, Beth Morris, Bill Pipp and Bill Ruddell had all agreed to continue on the board for another term. He also quickly nominated Young to continue as board president, which was just as quickly approved.
The meeting covered a variety of topics including detailed reports of the fireworks from Chris Campbell, the dam/dike conservancy formation from Bill Pipp, an update from WACF from Beth Morris, trails update from Young and lake patrol report from John Kellogg.
Among the discussion it was suggested looking into offering uniformed pier number signage. A pier company, in the past, provided signs to be mounted at the end of each pier. Many piers no longer have those signs. Kellogg stated this would make faster response to calls by the lake patrol.
Another discussion item was getting other large lake associations to join in petitioning the Department of Natural Resources requiring a boating endorsement license, as required for motorcycles. Scott Laughner, board member, stated there are a lot more inexperienced and first time boat operators on the lake and the lake is getting “less safe every year.”
Young stated it was evident many don’t seem to respect the right-of-way rules. Comments during the discussion included offering suggestions on how to implement such a license — such as a written test. Laughner noted it would also make it easier for boat owners to tell a guest no when asking to use “our toys.”
Morris, in her WACF presentation, noted less matching grant funds are being received for treatment of invasive water species. She asked if the board would consider seeking donations from WPOA members, similar to the fireworks, to help with the costs. It is estimated an additional $30,000 next year to treat invasive water species on Wawasee.
The matters discussed will be pursued among various board members.
The meeting, held in the Syracuse-Wawasee Community Center, lasted approximately two hours.