TLA Projects Budget Shortfall

Lake management costs have been rising dramatically while dues and donations to the Twin Lakes Association for treatment of invasive weeds have been flat to declining in recent years. This unsustainable financial path will be addressed at the TLA membership meeting June 24.

Dues, donations, and town contributions are the chief source of funds for applications that tamp down milfoil and other invasive plants. These plants would threaten recreational activity and water safety. The treatments also help keep the water clear and fun for lake-goers.

TLA dues have been $25 per year per member for decades. Meanwhile, lake treatments have gotten more expensive as the state requires increasingly sophisticated testing before granting approval. This time-consuming process is largely responsible for treatments this year expected to be later than we’d like.

A dues increase for 2024 is one item under consideration. The TLA board is also exploring ways to broaden membership and otherwise raise funds. Nearly every penny the TLA collects goes toward lake quality efforts. Other modest expenses include Twin Lakes Day and our website.

For example, the TLA will spend nearly $100,000 this year securing approvals and treating the water. In a typical year, Twin Lakes Day costs $600-$800 and the website about $200. This year, the website required a one-time upgrade costing about $800. There are also modest costs associated with environmental education efforts and beaver control. Together, the expenses that do not directly go toward lake treatment represent less than 5% of the annual budget while, we believe, improving the community in significant ways.

Half the 2023/2024 projected budget—about $50,000—will come from the town. Curtis Rand and other town officials have been generous in their support of the lakes and kicked in additional funds when possible. About $25,000 will come from dues and donations. The TLA projects a shortfall of about $25,000, which will come from the reserve. For now, the reserve is strong. But it will dwindle fast at that rate. These and other budget matters and proposals will be presented at the meeting.

Michael Nadeau, a land-care consultant, will speak at the June 24 meeting, addressing the importance of natural buffers around the water. Nadeau sits on the Sharon Energy and Environmental Commission and is a leading authority in the field of sustainable organic and ethical land care strategies. He has a master’s degree in plant and soil science from the university of Maine and is widely sought to help create attractive and sustainable environments using organic practices. He is co-founder of Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association.

The TLA website has a new home. Our new URL is Don’t worry if you type in the old URL. At least for the time being, you will be automatically redirected to the new site. The look is much the same. But we have improved functionality—at least we hope so. Give it a spin and let us know if you have problems.

More importantly, we have upgraded from our legacy hosting site and domain registrar, which served us well when the TLA website was put together nearly a decade ago but have not kept pace with modern online demands. We continue to look at technologies that will make registration, dues, donations, record keeping, and printing the annual membership roster easier.

This year’s photo contest theme is “peace.” The lakes and our natural surroundings, and the comfort of family and friends, offer peaceful moments in abundance. We are looking for great pictures of anything that makes you smile. Please describe where the photo was taken. Winning shots will be displayed on the home page of the TLA website.

This contest is open to residents, members, and visitors—in other words, everyone. We offer $50 prizes for the two best shots. Photos must have been taken within the 12 months ending Aug. 1 and submitted no later than Aug. 1. We encourage multiple entries any time between then and now. You can submit by replying to this email or by posting on Instagram using #TLAphoto23 or tagging TwinLakesAssociation.

Lake Patrols will be back this year. These patrols helped cut down on excessive noise and unsafe water activities last year. Lake patrol officers will attend the June 24 membership meeting and take questions. 

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