How and Why to Pay Dues Now

Paying annual dues is easier than ever on the Twin Lakes Association website. It is also easy to make a separate donation in addition to paying dues. On the home page, click “Pay Dues” to pay the membership fee of $25 per person. You must be at least 18 to be a member. Click “Donate Now” for a separate contribution. Then follow the on-screen directions. You may pay with your PayPal account or enter a credit card number. As always, we also welcome paper checks sent via the U.S. Postal Service. (P.O. Box 99, Salisbury, CT, 06068.) Directions for filling out an application and mailing in dues are also on the website. To find those instructions click on “Pay Dues.”

There are many reasons to contribute to the TLA. Only fully paid members have a vote at the June and August membership meetings. Beyond that, the TLA depends on membership fees and donations to carry out its mission of caring for the lakes. The TLA is a nonprofit run by volunteers. Every penny collected from dues and donations goes toward lake management and community awareness efforts. Maintaining water quality is our top concern.
The TLA is currently focused on expanding regular water quality testing to include West Twin, which includes the purchase of a second set of sample-taking and field-testing equipment and paying fees for additional lab tests. The TLA also partners with the Town of Salisbury in securing state permits for herbicides to battle invasive weeds. Part of that requires contracting with consultants to study and map problem areas, and to write reports to support the TLA’s efforts.

We redesigned the TLA website last year, and it now has a contemporary look and is packed with information from water quality reports to boating rules to vintage photos. We installed a live webcam on the home page for community members to get a real-time view of activity on the water and be reminded of the lake’s beauty and scenery when out of town. The new site also has a virtual swap shop, which we hope will get more use this summer. On the new site you can also find an archive of this newsletter, which we launched last year. We will be sponsoring another photo contest this year and publishing the winning shots on the website.

The TLA has funded experimental sediment and silt removal from the channel to promote free flow of water and prevent excessive buildup, including invasive lily pad growth.
The TLA board has begun to update Salisbury boating rules, regulations and laws for the lakes and is actively monitoring and keeping members informed about local initiatives like the causeway project and wetlands rules rewrite. We are working to share balanced perspectives with the TLA membership on all matters that concern the lakes. We organized a clean-up day of the creek connecting East and West Twin to remove several truckloads of dead branches, trees and other overgrowth restricting water and boat passage. We have planned another spring workday this year.

The volunteer board has many other ideas to make the area sustainable and enjoyable for years to come. So please consider having all adults in your household sign-up as members paying dues individually, and then consider donating additionally so that the TLA’s budget can be funded to adequate levels to accomplish our goals.
This year’s photo contest will have a “celebrations and renunions” theme. As we look forward to widespread vaccinations and the promise of more normal gatherings let’s document some of the good times. There will be two $50 prizes for the best pictures of anything related to fun gatherings. Emphasis will be on artistry and whether the photo elicits an emotional response. Hugs, tears of joy, brilliant smiles and intergenerational connections are good; posed group photos not so much. Perhaps a festive table setting for 12. Be creative!

Photos must be submitted by July 31, 2021. The photo must have been taken during the 12-month period ending on July 31, 2021. A special prize will go to the best photo by a photographer aged 16 and under, if we receive such entries (and they are so identified). Please spread the word. This contest is open to TLA members and their friends and family. Winners will be declared at the August membership meeting.

Here is how to enter: This is an Instagram-based contest. No exceptions. You will need to open an Instagram account and follow @twinlakesassociation. You must post your photo to your Instagram account and in the caption space give it the tag #tlaphoto2021. If you are unfamiliar with Instagram, ask a child or grandchild, or reply to this email asking for help. All entries will appear on Instagram under #tlaphoto2021. Follow along all spring and summer. We encourage you to post your best shots as you take them. The best photos may be incorporated in the TLA website. So start snapping!

Obtaining a boating license this year may be a good idea. We anticipate another season of above-average traffic on the water, which may bring more of a police presence and greater enforcement of boating rules. Consider taking a Zoom training course through Connecticut Boating Certificates. The course length is eight hours, which includes a one-hour test. The cost is $150 for an individual. For groups of 11 or more the cost is $70 per person. You must be 10 or older.

Under Connecticut law, you may be licensed at 10. At that age you may operate a boat solo if the engine is under 10 horsepower. At that age, you may operate a larger vessel if accompanied by an adult aged 18 or older who has been licensed at least two years. These restrictions lift at the age of 12.

Meanwhile, you must be 12 to be a Water Ski or Inflatable Rider Observer on either a boat or a jet ski. You must be 16 to tow any skier or inflatable on either a boat or jet ski and you must be 16 to solo on a jet ski. At 10-15 years of age you can operate a Jet Ski but must be accompanied by someone who is 18 years or older who has their Certificate of Personal Watercraft Operation and is on the jet ski with you.

The causeway kerfuffle has been resolved. Jeffrey Keenan, who owns the causeway and adjacent 20 acres of land on Taconic Road, has stopped seeking permission to remove a portion of the causeway that extends into West Twin Lake. The Salisbury Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission on April 26 granted Keenan a permit to restore the gazebo at the end of the causeway. Over the next year, Keenan intends to build a footpath on his conservation land on Taconic Road. This path will be open to the public and will include walking access to the causeway but not to the gazebo. 

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