Attendees: Grant Bogle, Bill Barton, Jean Bell, Jackie Blombach, Erica Cohn, Jeff Cox, Russ Conklin, Carey Fiertz, Dave Haab, Rich Haupt, Dan Kadlec and Adam Mayer
Notes from the Meeting:
- Russ Conklin shared the status of the year end reports that are required to receive our herbicide permit for 2024. The TLA will be requesting an amendment to its NDDB determination letter and 2024 herbicide permit to allow for use of an additional herbicide in East Twin specifically for hydrilla, permission to treat hydrilla in the north cove by the state boat launch which was found but left untreated in 2023 and finally, approval for use of ProcellaCOR on additional sections of West Twin to combat milfoil based upon updated rare plant surveys.
- Boat launch concerns and possible solutions were discussed which address two main objectives: Return the state boat launch to a true “car top carrier” only launch that will not allow trailers to be backed into the water and initiate a launch monitoring process at O’Hara’s that would inspect boats coming to and leaving East Twin for invasive species. A task force led by Rich Haupt has been investigating how lakes both within and outside CT conduct these programs. Curtis Rand, First Selectman, is fully engaged and helping us come up with a plan that ultimately will need approval from DEEP.
- The TLA received an earmark donation to support legal fees associated with several lake access questions. We have engaged Shipman and Goodman out of Hartford to address the questions. There are technical legal issues that will come up in any discussions with DEEP regarding lake access and the TLA needs to be on firm footing when entering these discussions.
- David Mathus gave a report on a very positive meeting held with Senator Stephen Harding here at Twin Lakes in November. Senator Harding (R) is the ranking member on the Environment Committee which oversees DEEP. He and his legislative aid spent 90 minutes on South Shore meeting with David, Grant, and Russ, learning about hydrilla and its threat to the lake ecosystem and our desire to have a more productive and proactive relationship with DEEP. Senator Harding and Maria Horn (D), our local state representative, are both fully engaged with the TLA and helping us in our interactions with DEEP.
- Jackie Blombach reported that the TLA received a grant of $25,000 from the Bates Foundation to support the Watershed Study. This is a huge boost for initiating this study and a small group from the board will work with the vendor who will conduct the study to refine the scope, reduce the cost. In addition, Jackie discussed the upcoming grant application process through DEEP. The TLA intends to submit one or more applications to the state in support of hydrilla eradication efforts.
- Jean Bell provided a comprehensive treasurer’s report which is posted below. It was discussed and unanimously agreed that the TLA needs professional tax support given the increasing amount of fund raising we are conducting which, in turn, leads to ever more complex tax and legal filings. Jean has collected the names of several firms who support not for profit organizations like the TLA. We are in the process of narrowing down the list for final selection and engagement in January.
- Erica provided an update on the latest fund-raising drive which has been very successful to date and discussed other ideas for increasing the social connections between TLA members over the winter and into the summer season. A lot of great ideas were discussed to increase the engagement with TLA members.
- It has been over 3 years since the TLA Bylaws were updated. Given the dramatic change in the type and cost of activities undertaken by the TLA to address hydrilla and overall lake health, an update to the Bylaws is warranted. Bill Barton will lead this effort and asked for input from the board. Once suggested revisions are agreed upon by the board, they will be presented to the TLA membership in June followed by a vote in August.
- Other business included a brief discussion of the purchase of Benthic Barriers by the TLA for use in specific instances where they may be effective in addressing invasive plants as well as developing a nominating committee for TLA board and officer positions in 2024.
The meeting adjourned at 6:15 pm.
12/21/2023 TLA TREASURER REPORT
BUSINESS CHECKING ACCOUNT BALANCE: $146,781.72
MONEY MARKET (EARMARKED) BALANCE:
Bates Grant $25,000.00
Legal Fees $25,000.00
W Twin $42,425.00
Int to date $ 27.83 Balance $92,452.83
CD’S NBT and Litchfield Bancorp $62,813.84
DONATIONS 2023 $52,453.00
DONATIONS Hydrilla $30,000.00
DUES 2023 $ 10,275.00
BEAVER TRAPPING $ 3,900.00
DIRECTORY $ 1,000.00
EDUCATION (Nadeau/whistles, etc) $ 244.62
GIFT CARDS $ 300.00
GEI (2022 CONSULTING) $ 1,700.00
AQUA ENVIRONMENT BAL DUE 2022 $ 27.94
NE AQUATIC June-Oct Water test $15,240.00
NE AQUATIC HYDRILLA $17,877.00
SEAPRO HYDRILLA $5,940.00
R CONKLIN REIMBURSE Hydrilla Poster $ 251.88
Ship Container $ 307.12
BRAWLEY CONSULTING $ 5,000.00
PACE LABS $ 415.00
POND AND LAKE HYDRILLA $ 15,154.00
LITTLE GREEN LIGHT $ 633.00
MISC OFFICE $ 883.43
INSURANCE MEETING JUNE $ 322.90
AD FOR JUNE MEETING $ 336.00
INSURANCE TLA DAY $ 592.54
PAYPAL FEES $ 1573.53
PHOTO CONTEST $ 100.00
TLA DAY $ 1,381.64
TLA DAY LIFEGUARD $ 150.00
WEB $ 805.00
CT Federation Lakes Dues/Don $500.00
Filing Fees US Agent and CT $155.00
TOTAL EXPENSES THRU 12/21/2023 $74,790.60