As most of you are aware, Hickory Hills Landowners, Inc. has been battling several issues over the last few years which threaten the health of both Little Hickory and the Main Hickory Hills Lake. These problems have reached a critical tipping point and threaten our ability to maintain healthy aquatic environments. The issues include but are not limited to repeated algae blooms at Little Hickory and the exponential growth of the invasive aquatic weed Fanwort in both lakes. In November 2019, as directed by the shareholders at the annual meeting, the Board of Directors contracted with the consulting firm ESS, Group, Inc. specializing in fresh water ecosystems to seek expert advice on how best to save our lake.
ESS Group is in the process of developing a five year comprehensive treatment plan to ensure the continued health of our lake. However, due to the critical nature of the exponential growth of the invasive weed Fanwort in both Little Hickory and the Main Lake and the repeated algae blooms at Little Hickory, ESS provided us with an interim report for the 2020 season so immediate, initial critical remediation actions could be taken. On February 29th the Shareholders voted to increase the maintenance fee for 2020 to implement these recommendations. We sympathize that this increase may be a hardship for some residents, especially in this difficult, unprecedented time. Unfortunately, the lake is in crisis and failure to act now will only result in further damage to the ecosystem and will escalate future costs. Action must be taken to save our lake.
The HHL Board of Directors is pleased to announce that we unanimously voted on April 8 to execute a contract with SOLitude Lake Management to implement EES Group’s recommendations for this season’s treatments. The cost of treatment for 2020 is $206,100. After the final report from ESS is received, there may be additional costs for follow up actions over the next four years in order to maintain the health of our lake. The Board will share ESS Group’s final five year report with the residents and shareholders when it is received in early 2021.
SOLitude Lake Management will begin initial treatment on April 28, 2020 with additional booster treatments as needed throughout the summer. All recreational activities (swimming and boating) on the lake will need to be suspended on the day of initial treatment and on the individual days when booster applications are applied. Do not use lake water for 90 days post application for watering gardens or lawns. You can also go to the new HHL Facebook Group, “Hickory Hills Lake Community Info”, which was formed to provide accurate up-to-date information to HHL residents. You are encouraged to join this group. If you do not currently have a FB page, go to www.facebook.com/groups/HHLCommunityInfo to create a page and become a member of the group.
Please remember that this season’s treatments are only a first step in the important process of saving our lake.
Together we can preserve the health and beauty of our most valuable asset.