Minutes of the TLA Board meeting February 24, 2021
Attendees: Grant Bogle, President; Bill Barton, Senior Vice President; Jean Bell, Treasurer, Susan Knight, Membership; Carey Fiertz, Immediate Past President, and Directors: Jackie Blombach, Jeff Bravin, Terry Cohen, Rich Haupt, Dan Kadlec, Blake Morrison, Eric Stoer and Danny Vogus. Not present: Pat Miller, Justin Meyer and Dave Haab.
Guests: Jeffrey Keenan, Russ Conklin and Tim Abbott
Meeting called to order at 7 pm.
Causeway Update: Mr. Keenan and Mr. Abbott updated the board on the causeway project initially proposed by Mr. Keenan and ongoing discussions with the Nature Conservancy (TNC). He shared with the board recent correspondence between Mr. Keenan and TNC which will be archived on the TLA website along with the previous documents.
Mr. Keenan indicated that TNC had just communicated to him that removal of any portion of the causeway would be impermissible given the Conservation Easement conveyed to the TNC by the original grantor. Given this determination from TNC, Mr. Keenan said he will cease any further discussions about altering the length of the causeway. However, he has formally requested approval from TNC to remove and/or rebuild the gazebo with the option to reconstruct a structure of equal size at an unspecified later date, to install a shallow grade gravel ramp at the end of the causeway to allow for offloading of weed harvesting material, and finally, the installation of a nature trail along the western shoreline of the property looping back to the main parking area. Mr. Keenan plans to open the nature trail and the causeway to the public for the enjoyment of the natural beauty. The TNC replied in writing that they agree Mr. Keenan has the right to do these things under the terms of the Conservation Easement and has given provisional approval subject to continued review of the plans by TNC and receipt of appropriate local regulatory approvals. In further discussion, Mr. Keenan indicated that the TLA, on behalf of West Twin property owners, would have access to the causeway for removal of debris from weed harvesting and other lake maintenance activities given that this is a challenge for the landowners on West Twin today.
The TLA board thanked Mr. Keenan and Mr. Abbott for their voluntary update to the board and complimented them for their offer to allow the TLA access to the causeway for debris removal from the West Twin and for working to provide the community with access to the property on an ongoing basis for nature walks. At that point, Mr. Keenan and Mr. Abbott left the meeting and the TLA board discussed the proposed plans that Mr. Keenan will submit to the town for approval. After deliberation, the TLA board voted unanimously to support Mr. Keenan’s permit application to the Salisbury Inland Wetlands Commission and will draft a short letter stating such to accompany his application.
Channel Hydro-raking Demonstration Project: Several years ago, the TLA membership voted to support debris and weed removal in the channel leading to the damn at the exit of West Twin. These funds were never used. The lake management committee has been working with the landowners on West Twin to coordinate hydro-raking in late spring in front of numerous properties to save money and streamline the permitting process. In addition to this privately funded project, a request was made for the TLA to support a pilot project at the entrance to the channel to assess the impact of hydro-raking in terms enhancing overall usability and access to this portion of the lake. This work must be fully permitted by the IWC to proceed. A motion was made and seconded for the TLA to spend up to $5000 to support this pilot project, subject to approval by the IWC. The motion passed unanimously.
Water Quality Testing: Each year, the water quality in East Twin is assessed six times from May through October and these samples are analyzed and tracked over time to assess the health of the lake. AER, the company who analyzes this data, writes the reports and advised the TLA on overall lake management, has advised us that we should be conducting similar testing in West Twin. Water quality testing had been done in West Twin until 2011 and then it was stopped. At our last meeting in January where AER reviewed the 2020 water quality report (now posted on the TLA website), it was agreed that we would investigate the cost of testing equipment and come back to the board with a proposal for review. The cost of testing equipment, identical to that used on East Twin, is approximately $4000 and is a one-time purchase. The testing will run about $1000 per season. A motion was made and seconded to authorize the purchase of the testing equipment and to arrange for the sample testing at the same lab that does this work for East Twin. Russ Conklin has kindly volunteered to collect the samples on West Twin.
Salisbury Boating Ordinance Update: A committee of board members and interested lake property owners met over the past month to discuss what changes need to be considered to update the Twin Lakes specific Salisbury boating ordinances. The town ordinances were put into place on January 4, 1962 and have not been updated since. The committee met and developed numerous suggested updates to the ordinances. Many are minor and simply focus on updating the wording in terms of the definition of watercraft. Others, however, may be more significant and address issues of concern to lake residents regarding excessive noise, reckless driving, and so forth. The board provided good feedback to the committee. The next step will be to finalize our recommendations and begin discussions with the town. Rest assured that we will fully inform the TLA membership about the proposed updates to the regulations and that the review and approval process will take quite a bit of time. More to come.
Inland Wetlands Commission Meeting: Russ Conklin informed the board that there will be an information session of proposed revisions to the IWC regulations that will affect lake owners this coming Monday, March 1. A notice will be sent to the TLA membership alerting them to this important meeting.