July Annual Meeting – Regular



JULY 2, 2016 10 AM

Larry Belz
Tom Haase
Charlie Krohn, Sec.
Tracy Lantis

Mike Armstrong
Paul Claus, Treasurer
Kevin Hlavac
Derald Watson, Vice Pres.

Chris Levander
Donna Uhrenholdt
Joe Wada, President
Steve Wenz


Present: Belz, Krohn, Lantis, Armstrong, Claus, Hlavac, Watson, Levander, Uhrenholdt, Wadas, Wenz

Absent: Lantis

The Ericson Lake Corporation membership met at 10 AM in the ELC building. President Joe Wadas opened the meeting and all recited the Pledge of Allegiance and Mission Statement.


Joe thanked his family for allowing him the time to do his job as president, and also thanked Adam Trompke for cutting out the metal ‘years’ that members post on their cabins. Also acknowledged were the Henns and Levanders as some of the oldest ELC members, past presidents in attendance (Gerry Henn) and the newest members in attendance. Many thanks go to the retiring board members Charlie Krohn and Tracy Lantis.

Larry Belz, Tom Haase, Josh Gompert and Jerry Schoenenberger were introduced as candidates for the board. MOTION BY VERN BUHL, SECOND BY MARY ANN HAGEDORN TO ACCEPT THE BALLOT FOR BOARD MEMBERS AS PRESENTED; MOTION CARRIED. The newly elected board members are Larry Belz, Tom Haase, Josh Gompert and Jerry Schoenenberger.

The nominees for Yard of the Year are: Merriman’s, Goldens and Schoenenbergers; Roger and Deb Merriman were voted as winners. The nominees for Volunteer of the Year are: Lori Hlavac, Cheryl Krohn and Jim Meysenburg; Cheryl Krohn was voted as Volunteer of the Year. All members present were given a ticket to win a year’s subscription to Nebraska Life magazine to highlight the Lake Ericson article in the July-August 2016 issue; Nancy Gilliland was the winner.

SECRETARY’S REPORT: Joe announced that the Lake Ericson Endowment of the Wheeler County Foundation has around $72,972; as of July 1, $2,500 will be available to use. The amount listed in the 2015 Annual Meeting minutes was incorrect. MOTION BY CHANSE LUSCOMB, SECOND BY TIM SUEY TO ACCEPT THE CORRECTED MINUTES FOR THE 2015 ANNUAL MEETING. MOTION CARRIED.

TREASURER’S REPORT:  Paul Claus gave his report showing that for the calendar year 2015, the ELC had $106,295 in income and $102,319 in expenses. Camping generated $10,748 in donations, which paid for the ELC electric bills, trash pickup and the new expense of the telephone line to hook up the computer at the dam with over $2,000 left over. After bills (except Frahm’s) are paid, there will be around $6,395 in the checking account. Frahm just completed about $9,000 of work for the ELC, including widening and armoring the shoreline at the end of the berm and armoring shoreline at the river campground, tearing tree stumps out and moving sand onto the beach. After being questioned, Paul said if anyone would like to see what is paid in the miscellaneous expenses of $10,470 should visit him at his home so he could show the computer records. Some of the items in miscellaneous include pumping outhouses, postage, ink, advertising, meat for the BBQ, repairs and gas for the mower and pickup. There are currently 89 members who have paid dues.

  • Thanks was given to all of those who respect the rules about placing your garbage way to the back of the dumpsters as a courtesy to your fellow members-it has saved money on garbage pickup. Someone has to move garbage to the back of the dumpsters if it is placed in the front. The ELC has an additional garbage dumpster parked by the boat ramp for the month of July.
  • Thanks was given to Derald and Chris Watson, who are in charge of the aluminum can recycling for the ELC. Over $221 was redeemed in 2015.





  • A round of applause was given to the Paul and Theresa Claus family who are in charge of the Avenue of Flags. Anyone can still purchase a flag and pole (with a name attached) for $150 to add to the display.
  • Cheryl Krohn explained the set-up for the golf cart parade this afternoon. Each participating cart will receive a centennial magnet, along with key chains for most patriotic, best centennial themed, and judge’s choice. Any decorated carts can also participate in the Ericson parade on Monday, July 4, following the Lake Ericson centennial float.
  • The Lake Ericson Centennial float was planned and decorated with the Centennial Committee of Lori Hlavac, LoAnn Belz, Ashley Kaiser and Donna Uhrneholdt in charge. Past ELC presidents are invited to ride on the float in the July 4 Ericson parade.
  • Joe showed the centennial t-shirts, caps, visors and polo shirts that are for sale. If anyone would like to order any of the apparel, it would take two weeks to receive.
  • The newly-installed drain tile at the south end of Stitzer Way has been working well. (The adjoining property owners repaid the ELC for its installation.) After the rain, the road is quite soft, so it will be blocked off until dry.


  • Derald Watson gave details about the carousel donation board that is still to be built and erected that lists all donors to the restoration. There were 115 donors from several states and almost $19,000 was raised.  Castings from the original carousel had been found when the lake was dredged in the early 2000s, and they will be sandblasted and painted to display by the donor board. The committee of Derald, Mary Ann Hagedorn, Dixie and Gary Laughlin, Carrie Davenport and Tim Held also received a Wheeler County Foundation grant of $600 that was used for the concrete underneath. Minor repairs are still needed on the roof, and will be completed by fall. The carousel is available to reserve (for a donation) for personal use, and three family picnics are scheduled this summer. Contact Joe Wadas or Paul Claus Jr. for more info on reservations.
  • Thank you to Fred Gerber for arranging the 2nd Annual Catch and Release Fishing Derby that was held in May. Over $1,000 was raised and given to the ELC.
  • Joe is still looking into trying to upgrade the lake road into Ericson.
  • The time capsule is being worked on, and will be buried sometime on Labor Day weekend. The board will make the final decision on when to bury, what to include and when it will be opened.
  • The Lake Ericson Centennial History book is for sale for $30 each ($5 postage to mail). Cheryl Krohn thanked all of those cabin owners for their submissions, and also to Nancy Gilliland and Larry Belz for their parts in writing the early history of the lake. Contact Cheryl to order a copy of the book. Three of Harry Conger’s daughters will be in attendance at the BBQ this evening, coming from Denver and Gothenburg. Conger was the owner and developer of the original ‘summer resort’ and carousel from 1926-1936.
  • Raffle ticket sales are going well, and the proceeds will help pay for the concrete under the carousel. There were 25 paid sponsors that are listed on the Raffle banner.
  • Thanks to the Ericson State Bank for sponsoring the 5 blow-up attractions along with the fireworks. ELC donors also sponsored part of the fireworks this year in honor of the lake’s centennial.


  • Street signs have been requested by Region 26 and the power company. The cost for new signs is around $2,000. We are looking for a volunteer to follow up on the signs, and find out if Wheeler County would also contribute to their cost.
  • Thanks to Terry and Linda Held (and friends) for hosting the BBQ today.
  • Brent Pickrel has taken over as the ELC’s ‘IT Director’ and the ELC’s webmaster. Thanks also to Brent for showing a slide show of ELC pictures during our meeting today.
  • Thanks to Wheeler County for spraying mosquitoes this week.
  • Larry Belz explained that the board will study both the pros and cons of the development of about 15 lots on the land east of the lake when more information is presented to them. There was only one meeting this spring when the idea was first presented to the board for discussion. It was noted that the neighboring land owner could also go ahead with the project without approval from the ELC.
  • Amy Chambers explained the upcoming non-timed 5K run/walk that will be held on Saturday, July 23. Registration by July 9 ensures you a t-shirt. For questions, call Lori Hlavac or Ashley Kaiser.
  • Larry Belz also presented an in-depth update on the berm extension. Sediment is building up due to the river slowing down when it enters the lake, and the berm extension will help to keep the dredged part of the lake free of sediment. The lake is lowered in the winter to aid in flushing as much sand as possible from the lake.  It was agreed by the board at the time of the breach repair to proceed with plans for the extension. It has not yet been done in the years since the flood because 1) the ELC had other things to take care of first, and 2) it may be submitted in a grant application to the Nebraska Environmental Trust. It will not be a huge cost, but lots of study will be done by the board. Frahm said that the lake will need dropped to complete the work.
    • Kevin Hlavac reported on the work that has been done at the beach area. Two picnic tables were donated by Steve and Becky Wenz and Willis and Michael Knake, and a new portable restroom was installed.
    • Chanse, Starla, Jade and Cody Luscomb are in the planning stages of organizing ELC Turtle Races on September 3. There will be a small entry fee to cover prizes, and it will probably be held under the carousel. Watch for more information!
    • Dignitaries have been invited to the BBQ for introduction before the raffle drawing.  See below for the Centennial Recognition that Joe Wadas will read at that time.
    • Joe has hauled over a couple of heavy-duty mats from Ord for use at the lake. More may be available.
    • Joe is checking into hydroelectric generation possibilities.
    • Joe will cut up the thermometer showing how much money was raised to fix the lake after the 2010 flood, and he will burn it sometime.


  • Paul Claus Jr. will send out emails with small projects that need done around the lake so that anyone can do them on their own time.


  • Joe read the Proclamation from the State of Nebraska:


“WHEREAS, Lake Ericson is located at the Gateway to the Sandhills in Ericson, Nebraska; and

WHEREAS, Lake Ericson was created in 1916 for the purpose of generating hydroelectric power; and

WHEREAS, the generation of hydroelectric power at Lake Ericson was discontinued in the 1970s; and

WHEREAS, Lake Ericson’s purpose evolved into a recreational lake with camping, fishing, no-wake boating, cabin rentals and year-round residents; and

WHEREAS, Lake Ericson was severely impacted by the 2010 floods; and

WHEREAS, The Ericson Lake Corporation has worked diligently to repair and restore Lake Ericson for full recreational use by the Lake Ericson community; and

WHEREAS, 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of Lake Ericson.

NOW THEREFORE, I, Pete Ricketts, Governor of the State of Nebraska, DO HEREBY PROCLAIM the 2nd day of July, 2016 as LAKE ERICSON DAY in Nebraska, and I do hereby urge all citizens to take due note of the observance.”




  • Have fun participating in the Centennial Activities that have been planned by the Centennial Committee of Lori Hlavac, LoAnn Belz, Ashley Kaiser, and Donna Uhrenholdt. On Sunday, July 3: root beer floats for sale, the golf ball tank slam, golf cart parade, a kid’s obstacle course with prizes, the Paddle Poker Run followed by a dance under the carousel with the New Old & Broke band performing. (They were joined in a couple of songs by Julie Baker, an Ericson native.)
  • Upcoming events are the Vinyl Night on July 16 at 6 PM at the carousel-bring your favorite vinyl records for Joe and Chris Wadas to play!
  • The 5K Fun Run on July 23, with registration beginning at 7:30 AM, run at 8:30 AM.
  • Turtle Races on September 3, sponsored by the Luscombs-watch for more information.


  • Don’t forget the Labor Day Auction on Sunday, September 4 at 1 PM.
  • The Fall Work Day will be held on Saturday, September 17 at 9 AM. Cedar trees on the old emergency spillway need cut down to protect the easement on the adjoining property.
  • Next board meetings will be directly after this meeting, and also on July 16 at 9:30 AM.
  • The next ANNUAL MEETING will be July 1, 2017 at 10 AM.
  • Heavy moss growth is just the natural turn-over of the lake-it is occurring earlier than normal.



  • Petska’s for the donation of the use of two outhouses for the month of July by the carousel.
  • Wheeler County for spraying mosquitoes
  • Wayne Boilesen for furnishing and setting up the sound system for the meetings.
  • Kim Reiter for the extra items needed for today’s BBQ
  • Steve and Becky Wenz and Willis and Michael Knake for the donation of picnic tables at the beach.
  • Jim Meysenburg for use of his equipment and labor for several projects around the lake.
  • All who helped with the installation of the new outhouse and fence at the beach.


Respectfully submitted by Cheryl Krohn, Recording Secretary



Shotgun: Dixie Laughlin Cabela’s BBQ Set: Jerry and Sandi Kleine

$50 Shopko gift card: Mike Douglas 55” TV: Tim Held

Starving Stallion gift certificate:  Mindy Edwards $300 Walmart gift certificate: Steve Krohn

Cup Set from Dry Creek Western Store:  Greg Markham Tablet Computer: Dan Tiedtke

Amounts raised over the weekend were: BBQ: $1,642; Poker Run: $890; Golf Ball Tank Slam: $254; Root Beer Floats: $188; the band: $244; apparel sales: over $500; 1st place float in the Ericson parade: $75. The raffle brought in between $6,000 and $7,000.  


As President of the Ericson Lake Corporation Board of Directors, I would like to welcome all of you who are here to celebrate the centennial of Lake Ericson. Some, like the Conger family members have come from some distance for this milestone. These families have documented what times were like at Lake Ericson in years past in our newly printed Lake Ericson: A Centennial History book.

I would also like to especially thank our invited guests who include members of the Lower Loup Natural Resources District-either staff or board members; our County Commissioners-Jack Poulsen, Mark Landgren and Jess Plugge; the Division of Dam Safety of the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources; the Loup Valleys Rural Public Power District; the Nebraska Environmental Trust; the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission; State Senator Kate Sullivan, Tom Briese, who may be our next State Senator; and, ANYONE who has helped us up to this point who has enabled us to celebrate this day! (Not all of these special guests were in attendance.)

Our Lower Loup NRD was the sponsor of the Nebraska Environmental Trust grants that we had received through the years and they also sponsored the Section 319 grant of over $382,000 from the Nebraska Resources Development Fund, besides giving the ELC over $51,000 for flood damage repair and $15,000 to help purchase an electronic monitoring system for running the dam gates. This listing of the NRD’s monetary help is by no means complete. We received two grants from the Nebraska Environmental Trust totaling over one million dollars that was spent on the shoreline and berm.

If any of you have read the early history of the Lake Ericson that is documented in our just-released Centennial History Book, you will find the name Harry Conger front and center.  He, with his father, James, ran the Lake Ericson Summer Resort from 1926 through 1936. Their families were also instrumental in keeping this resort going and proved to be invaluable help in documenting the Conger history in our book. We are honored to have some of the Conger Family descendants here celebrating with us today.

They include three of Harry Conger’s 4 daughters: Sharon Smith and Frosty Bennett, both of Denver; and Ruth Krumbach of York. These ladies are some of those who were fortunate enough to have ridden on the original carousel and remember riding on the horses after the carousel was dismantled. We welcome you and hope you enjoy seeing the continued success of the resort that your family had so much to do with.

I would also like to thank everyone who has donated to the Lake Ericson Endowment in the Wheeler County Foundation-the interest generated from this on-going account that was started with a generous donation by Bev and Wayne Buller will help with ELC projects well into the future!

After 100 years, this lake and this lake community are still existing and even thriving, despite some very difficult times-like the recent flood of 2010. Thank you also to all of those people who continue to support the Ericson Lake Corporation by their dues and support of work-days, raffles and most of all, their time.

The history of Lake Ericson has been documented as best as we can from the time Mr. Stitzer, Mr. Francke, Mr. Offill, and Mr. Pothast-whose names are on our street signs today- got permission to dam the Cedar River to generate electricity and create a ‘summer resort’ in 1916 to the present.  This history book is available from Cheryl Krohn at her cabin on The Boulevard-right down the street-there’s a sign posted where the book is for sale.

Again, thank you all for your part in keeping this ‘summer resort’ alive and well through these 100 years, and thank you for coming! Enjoy the fireworks!