TWIN LAKES ASSOCIATION
June 18, 2022
The meeting was called to order at 10:05 AM at Isola Bella by President Grant Bogle with approximately 40 members in attendance (on an extremely cold morning). Members were welcomed by Bogle before turning the meeting over to Bill Barton, Senior Vice President of the TLA.
Bill Barton indicated herbicide treatment has been accomplished and there is some deterioration of milfoil noted. We will need to apply for a new herbicide permit at the end of the season. Fred Schmidt is in charge of coordinating the height of the water on the lake system. Since Schmidt is unavailable during the winter months, Gordon Whitbeck of Weatogue Road will be in charge during the time Schmidt is away. Questions followed as to why lake levels have been excessively low and how we might expect better control in the future.
Russell Conklin discussed zebra mussels, often in enormous quantities around the lakes, and stated that there is little, if anything, that can be done to eradicate them, despite ongoing studies. It was strongly recommended all shafts on motors remain up out of the water when not in use to avoid the collection of mussels and deterioration of motors when a boat is docked. He recommended washing vessels and equipment once off the lake system.
Conklin stated we have been using the town harvester for weed control and the TLA is now interested in purchasing a skimmer that will reach areas such as the channel that the town harvester cannot reach at present. The skimmer is substantially smaller and shorter than the harvester currently in use. Funds from TLA members raised through targeted donations will cover the purchase price and are held in the treasury at this time. Once purchased, the plan is to donate the harvester to the town, which will assume the responsibility for maintenance, insurance, etc. and, as in the past, the lake community will pay for the hours of operation on a yearly basis.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Jean Bell indicated we have $93,566 plus $64,700 in CDs in the general fund. In terms of earmarked funds for specific projects such as the purchase of the weed harvester, the TLA has incremental funds set aside for these expenses. Taking earmarked funds out of the picture, income and expenses remain fairly steady. In addition to the TLA budget, the town of Salisbury maintains a budget for lake expenses. The TLA works closely with town officials to ensure that issues such as the cost of weed treatments, studies for the DEEP and other items are paid by the town. We appreciate the partnership and cooperative relationship with the town with regard to cost sharing.
Bogle requested the following motions: 1: Payment for water sampling expenses totaling $14,000 with the amount coming from the general fund; 2. Authorization to spend approximately $20,000 for harvester expenses from last and this year which are earmarked funds from residents on West Twin and finally, purchase of the skimmer with trailer for $112,500, once again, paid for with earmarked donations. MOTION, SECOND, UNANIMOUS for all three proposals.
First Selectman Curtis Rand, was introduced, as was Will Veras, our town police officer. It was noted the state of Connecticut altered the regulations for town constables and thus, this role was eliminated from the town budget leaving us short of patrol coverage. As a result, we now have hired two retired state police officers, Al Bison and Marc Puzzo, to assist with issues such as excessive noise and boating violations. Patrols will be conducted on weekends and holidays, when the lake is most busy. The specific patrol times will vary. If residents believe unsafe or illegal behavior is occurring, they should record as much information as possible and call the State Police barracks to report the information. Things like boat registration numbers, license plates and other means of identifying parties involved is very helpful. If a true emergency occurs, call 911.
Photo contest will occur again this year with the subject being “activities” and a newsletter that will be available on our website and keep members informed of issues we might encounter.
Thanks to the coordination of Jackie Blombach, Tim Abbott, conservationist and guest speaker from the Housatonic Valley Association, addressed the membership regarding the ecological importance of the watershed around our lake system. He recommended property owners consider the broader impact of such a simple thing as removing a shrub from their property. Will it be replaced with native plants or by an invasive, unwanted plant? Abbott stated he is willing to conduct a tour around Twin Lakes in an attempt to broaden our understanding of the water shed and how simple things can make a big difference to the health of the lake.
Following a Q & A period, the meeting closed at approximately 11:25.