2017 Minutes


Present:  Cheri Strenz, Bill Cunningham, Jeff Caldwell, Terry Cartright, Laura Walters, Jackson Beamer, Steve Rapp, Dave Dobyns, Ranny Akers, Dean Jackson, Darryl Sarver, Buddy Johnston, Larry Killough, David Peake, Bob Strenz

Minutes of the May 11, 2017 Board meeting were accepted as written.

President Cheri Strenz:  Cheri Strenz presented Buddy Johnston for 2016 FOCL Volunteer of the Year for work with our Events Committee. Cheri announced that Larry Moore has resigned from the board of FOCL due to personal reasons.

Organizational Development: Laura Bullard – No report.  A meeting will be held on June 1 to plan FOCL’s annual meeting.

Clean Up Report: Dave Dobyns – Clean up has started at DeHaven Park, the crew has spent several days there and are working towards Hidden Valley. 35 Roll Off Loads, 3 Tires, 30 Bags of Trash, and 1 Dock. Lots of debris on the lake on the Snowville side of the lake from the bridge to DeHaven. Dave strongly suggested we continue to search for a new barge and push boat. Next debris inspection ride is May 30th.

Financial Resources: Bill Cunningham presented the Finance Report for the period ending May 11, 2017.  The report was accepted as presented.

Environmental Resources:  Laura Walters – Habitat panting day scheduled for June 14th from the plants Pulaski County High School has been growing. Have not checked upper lake planting yet from 2016 in the Allisonia area. Planting this year will be down the lake around the state park.

Donations:  Darryl Sarver – Donations have been continuing to come in and grow the lake base for more donations. Jeff will continue to send out letters for lake residents.     

Events:  Cheri Strenz  – The 25th Anniversary Gala was a great success despite the windy weather and estimated 130 attendees. June board meeting will be held at the Isaac Walton League.      

Executive Director Report:  No Report 

Other Business: Terry Cartright inquired about more clean up in the back of Hidden Valley around the docks and public boat launch.

Meeting adjourned.


Present:  Cheri Strenz, Bill Cunningham, Jeff Caldwell, Gwynn Douglas, James & McKenzie Ulmer, Laura Walters, Cecil Doyle, Dean Jackson, John Johnson, Jeff Arnold, Laura Bullard, Dave Dobyns, David Peake, Ranny Akers, Joe Guthrie, Dave Stevenson, Michael Valach, Jackson Beamer, Steve Rapp, Laura Jacobsen

Minutes of the March 9, 2017 Board meeting were accepted as written.

President Cheri Strenz:  FOCL and Pulaski County held a Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) meeting Saturday morning April 8 at NRCC to inform the community about the SMP and ask for feedback.  Other than Board members, 26 attended.  Joe Guthrie suggested that FOCL and the County request a public SMP meeting with AEP and FERC representatives in attendance.  Jeff will work with Danny Wilson toward that end, and requested that citizens also call FERC to request a meeting.   

Cheri shared the following dates:

FOCL’S 25th Anniversary Celebration – May 7 at Nesselrod

New River Symposium – May 16 at RU’s Selu; contact Laura W. or Cheri if interested in attending

Kid’s Fishing Day – May 13

8th Grade Day – May 23 from 10-2; FOCL takes kids on pontoon rides; Michael Valach hopes to also do kayaking and paddle board instruction

June 1 – final SMP comments due to FERC

June 10 – Claytor Lake Festival with fireworks; C. L. Ambassadors are doing a boat parade that day

June 24 – Clean Up Day

Organizational Development: Laura Bullard – No report.  A meeting will be held after the 25th anniversary celebration to plan FOCL’s annual meeting.

Clean Up Report: Dave Dobyns – They have cleaned up the debris storage site so will be ready to dump roll offs.  They are getting set up to launch the push boat, and are making additions to the abutment up lake.  They hope to be in the water by the end of next week.  They might start up lake before Julia Simpkins Rd is closed this summer, which will make it hard to get debris to the storage site at Big Hole Hollow.  They will tour the lake for debris with AEP next Thursday.

Financial Resources: Bill Cunningham presented the Finance Report for the period ending April 13, 2017.  The report was accepted as presented.

Environmental Resources:  Laura Walters – FOCL has applied for a kayak classes grant that would provide 325 kids (middle to high school) with kayaking instruction (about 1,000 hrs).  25th Anniversary celebration sponsorships are still needed; $5,200 has been committed or pledged; $10,000 is the target.  Army Core of Engineers’ Nationwide permits have been received for habitat projects this summer.

Donations:  Jeff Caldwell for Darryl Sarver – Donations have been received including ones in memoriam for Paul Duncan.  Donations are still ahead of 2016 year to date.   Jeff is continuing to send letters out.    

Events:  Cheri Strenz  – 25th Anniversary celebration is May 7 from  4 to 7 at Nesselrod.  Board members need to be there early on Sunday; some will go on Saturday to start setting up.  Nesselrod staff is being very helpful.  Dinner will be catered by Nesselrod. The Events Committee will meet one more time.  Invitations have been sent to 226 people; capacity is 260. They need to know how many tickets sponsors want.     

Executive Director Report:  Jeff Caldwell has changed FOCL’s mailing address to 1804 East Main St, Radford, VA  24141. 

Other Business:  Laura Walters announced that April 26 is Give Big Day and asked everyone to contact people to donate.  A grant is available for the most unique email addresses.  Michael Valach reminded the Board that the Outdoor Expo is in Radford April 22. Steve Rapp introduced Gwynn Douglas and James and McKenzie Ulmer from Back to Nature, a landscaping and construction business; they provided information about their company.  Joe Guthrie is currently working on new walking/biking trail for the County.  It will start at the old Riverlawn Elementary School, go through the Smith Farm (now owned by VOF) to the New River, continue up stream and end at the train trestle on Hazel Hollow Rd.   Joe invited anyone interested to join the committee working on the project, and requested recommendations for a boat launch for the trail.   David Peake responded that DGIF could be a source of information and funding for a boat launch.  Laura Jacobsen suggested that a partnership might be possible with the City of Radford and Radford University.

Meeting adjourned.


Present: Cheri Strenz, Bill Cunningham, Jeff Caldwell, Cecil Doyle, Dean Jackson, John Johnson, Laura Bullard, Laura Walters, Jeff Arnold, Jackson Beamer, Ranny Akers, Darryl Sarver, Dave and Joan Stevenson, Steve Rapp, Larry Killough, Chris Meade, Michael Valach, Dave Dobyns, David Peake

Minutes of the February 9, 2017 Board meeting were approved as written.

President Cheri Strenz: 25th Anniversary Gala – scheduled for May 7 at Nesselrod. Two letters to potential sponsors were distributed to Board members. It is especially important to get sponsors because there will be no charge for attendance. Monetary sponsorships only are needed since there will be no auction at the event. Sponsors will need to notify FOCL of how many tickets they want. Laura Walters has a list of sponsors from last year and asked that the same people contact sponsors this year. Speakers will be Tal Stanley and Bill Cunningham. The purpose of the event is to celebrate what FOCL has accomplished and the people who have made it possible, as well as to promote donations toward sustaining FOCL into the future. A new Legacy Fund flier is at the printer and will be made available. Cheri challenged Board members to keep track of their volunteer hours so we will know how much time volunteers actually put into FOCL.

Organizational Development: Laura Bullard Committee has not met, but has been working with the Events Committee on the 25th Anniversary. Other activities of importance include the Fall Classic Fishing Tournament scheduled for Sept 16; FOCL may be responsible for helping with parking, for drinks and to be there for weigh in. Check in will be handled by the organizers the night before (Friday). The date for the Annual Meeting is yet to be determined.

Clean Up Report: Dave Dobyns – Equipment is still being worked on but the plan is to be in the water by April 15. Need to clean up debris storage area. They will decide where to start, perhaps above the bridge if debris at DeHaven isn’t bad.

Financial Resources: Bill Cunningham presented the Finance Report for the period ending March 9, 2017. The report was accepted as presented.

Environmental Resources: Laura Walters – A pontoon boat was donated to use with habitat work. Water celery plants that will be transplanted to the lake are growing at Pulaski Co. High School.

Donation Committee: Darryl Sarver – A lot of donations have come in over this last month, thanks to letters sent out by Jeff Caldwell. Donations for 2017 are now ahead of 2015 and 2016 amounts year to date.

Events Committee: Cheri Strenz – see 25th Anniversary above.

Executive Director Report: Jeff Caldwell – Brought up the Executive Order allowing the dumping of coal waste and other mining waste into rivers and streams. Cheri will send out information she has gotten from the New River Conservancy about it. Motion was made and approved to decide via email whether to send letters of concern to appropriate agencies and individuals.

Other Business: The current SMP review process was discussed, now that FERC has issued an order extending the deadline for the review to June 15 to allow for continued work between AEP, FOCL and the County. There is also a possibility of a public hearing if enough concern is expressed to FERC. A FERC landowner hotline is available and Jeff Caldwell will share the phone number. FOCL is still waiting for the next SMP draft from AEP. Cheri expressed appreciation for Danny Wilson with the County for working with FOCL on the SMP, and for the support of the Board of Supervisions. The County is taking FOCL’s concerns seriously and has concerns of its own about the SMP. The County’s GIS person is working to clarify the Project boundary and SMP classifications. Drawdown is tentatively scheduled for this fall; TAC will be working on it. Virginia Outdoor Lovers Expo will be at Bisset Park in Radford 10-4 on Sat April 22.

The meeting was adjourned.


Present:  Cheri Strenz, Bill Cunningham, Jeff Caldwell, Laura Bullard, John Johnson, Ranny Akers, Cecil Doyle, Jackson Beamer, Steve Rapp, Darryl Sarver, David Peake, Joe Guthrie, Lars Johnson

Minutes of the January 12, 2017 Board meeting were approved as written. 

President Cheri Strenz:

Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) Review – AEP has gotten an extension until March 15, 2017.  FOCL hopes to have an opportunity to comment on the final draft.  Laura Bullard went through FOCL’s requested SMP changes sent to AEP February 1.   25th Anniversary Gala – Scheduled for Sunday, May 7, 2017 from 4-7 at Nesselrod on the New.  Events Committee will meet next week to discuss details; they are still planning on dinner and a speaker (Dr. Tal Stanley). 

Thank-you letters received by FOCL:  one from Toys for Tots; and one with a letter and a donation check from “The Claytor Lake Kids,” a group of children at the lake who donated money from items they made and sold. 

Organizational Development:  No report.

Clean Up Report:  None.

Financial Resources: Bill Cunningham presented the Finance Report for the period ending February 9, 2017.  The report was accepted as presented.

Environmental Resources:  Cheri Strenz reported for Laura Walters that the Claytor Lake State Park Ambassadors are sponsoring a boat parade on June 10, 2017 (Claytor Lake Festival day) and would like FOCL to help advertise it.   The water celery planted by Pulaski County High School for transplanting into the lake is growing.

Donation Report:  According to Darryl Sarver donations are down this year 28% compared to this time last year.  Jeff Caldwell is trying a different solicitation strategy.  January and February are usually slow donation months.  Jackson Beamer said he will be soliciting donations from home owners in Claytor Lake Estates and recommends that others canvas their neighborhoods as well for donations.

Events Committee is meeting February 16, 2017 at noon at MK’s. 

Executive Director Report:  Jeff Caldwell was approached by members of RU’s Geospacial Department about a mapping project that would produce 3-D images of the land and under the water using drones and a submarine.  It would show aquatic vegetation and the amount and type of silt on the bottom of the lake.  They would like to start next month and plan to do the whole lake. They would like it to be a continuous project for 3-4 years.  Their only need would be occasional boat transportation.  Jeff hopes to put the images on the FOCL’s website.  At Joe Guthrie’s suggestion, Jeff will explore participation by Pulaski County High School.  Jeff also brought up President Trump’s Executive Order allowing the dumping of coal waste into rivers and streams.  He would like to write a letter expressing FOCL’s concerns. It was decided that we first need to read the order and to check with the New River Conservancy for more information before writing a letter.

Meeting was adjourned.


Present:  Cheri Strenz, Bill Cunningham, Jeff Caldwell, Dave Dobyns, John Johnson, Jackson Beamer, Steve Rapp, Larry Killough, Ted Bostic, Dave & Joan Stevenson, Chris Meade, Cecil Doyle, Danny Wilson, Darryl Sarver, Andy McCready, Jim Kelly, Michael Valach, Joe Guthrie, Ward Angle, John Schutte, John Stoner, Spencer & Stephanie Regas, Randy Bandy, Troy Phillips, Arthur Cox, Dana Spraker, Chuck Brown

Minutes for November 10, 2016  Board meeting were approved as written. 

Committee Reports: 

Organizational development:  Laura Bullard presented Bylaw amendments regarding Board member term limits, President Elect position and committee chair qualifications.  Following discussion, the amendments were approved individually as presented.

Clean Up Report:  According to Dave Dobyns, clean up has been completed for the season and they are working on burning the wooden debris pile.  Total collected for the season was 192.75 roll offs, 48 tires, 410 trash bags, 11 (55) gal barrels, 14 docks, a picnic table, miscellaneous pipes and a set of metal steps.  The boat has been pulled and equipment is being winterized. The abutment above Lowman’s Ferry Bridge has been completed and will be ready to go by April.  Dave was recognized for his work.

Financial Resources:  Bill Cunningham presented the Finance Report for the period ending January 12, 2017.  The report was accepted as presented. 

Environmental Resources:  Christmas for the Fishes will be 9:30 at the State Park on January 18;  January 25 is the alternative date.  The barge request submitted to the County was denied by the Board of Supervisors.  Stabilization is needed along the bank at Lowman’s Ferry Bridge and will be done.  A pontoon boat donated by Brian Burke and Bones Harris needs work but will be very useful for habitat work. 

Donation Committee:  Darryl Sarver reported that 2016 donations were down 38% from 2015.  He encouraged everyone to talk to friends and neighbors about donating.  7% of homeowners had been donating; it is now down to 6%.   A different strategy will be implemented.  A question was raised about whether lake homeowners think Pulaski County is funding FOCL through their taxes.  It was agreed there is a need to educate residents about FOCL’s funding sources.  Jim Kelly recommended the fact sheet about Claytor Lake as a good source of information.   

Events Committee:  According to Cheri Strenz, the committee met during the first part of December and is planning a different type of Spring Splash this year with a dinner and speaker.  They would like to have all former FOCL presidents at the event.  They are planning the event around building the Legacy Fund whose purpose is to sustain FOCL during lean donation times.  May 7 is the scheduled date.

Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) Review:  Cheri provided background about the SMP and its 5-year review.  FOCL members have been meeting with APCO and have been sharing concerns about the SMP including Project boundary clarification, facilitation of erosion control, SMP implementation date, steep slope, dock sizes, shoreline stabilization, grandfathering, fees and leases.  Laura Bullard presented the Project boundary issue, asking, “Where is the actual Project boundary?  Is it still the original boundary purchased by APCO or is it the current 1850 elevation?”  She also discussed facilitating erosion control through the SMP to balance protection of resources. During discussion the opinion was expressed that FERC and APCO need to get out of local land management.  The SMP implementation date is important for grandfathering.  Steep slope restricts dock sizes to 500 square feet; and the designation of steep slope as 2:1 is incorrect.  Dave Dobyns pointed out that riprap slope specifications at 2:1 are also incorrect and need to be 1:1.  If 1:1 isn’t possible with riprap, then a bulkhead needs to be allowed.  It has been requested that approval for retaining walls on Project lands be moved to APCO Exceptions from FERC variance.  Approval for an additional 300 square feet for a single family dock may be allowed under APCO Exceptions.  During discussion it was expressed that APCO’s ability to require removal of structures can have a detrimental impact on the ability to sell property, thus impacting property values and real estate taxes.  The County misses out on revenue and residents’ ability to enjoy the lake is limited.  Andy McCready stated the County also needs to continue to press for deeper and more frequent drawdowns to deal with siltation.    It was thought that re-permitting of structures would be required if the shoreline is leased from APCO.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.