Meeting Minutes June 22, 2024

Grant opened the meeting at 10 AM by thanking Jeff Bravin and the ASD camp staff for allowing us to hold the meeting at Isola Bella the day before camp opens for campers.

 

In attendance were ~90 members which significantly exceeds the 15% quorum required to conduct business at any meeting of the association.

 

The slides presented at the meeting are posted on the TLA website (www.twinlakesorg.org).

 

Breaking news followed:

  1. The TLA received its NDDB determination letter June 14 so we can begin planning herbicide applications for milfoil and hydrilla.
  2. NEAR is conducting an entire lake aquatic plant study beginning June 24.  NEAR will conduct a similar entire lake study late summer/early fall and conduct spot checks in between to monitor herbicide treatments and monitor plant health.  

 

The 13,750-acre Schenob Brook watershed update was presented by Tim Abbott, local conservationist and John Landon co-chair of the Salisbury Land Trust. They updated the membership on the status of the 5 current conservation projects in the Twin Lakes watershed, which include Toms’ Hill, Miles Mountain, two properties adjacent to Bartholomew’s Cobble, and the Cooper Hill Conservation, a parcel which includes the 520-acre Agricultural Farmland preserve. There will be a public hearing on the watershed study being conducted by the HVA on behalf of the TLA at the end of August on Zoom.

 

Russ Conklin provided a detailed review of the TLA Lake Management plan which encompasses all three lakes. 

 

In terms of water quality, Russ reported that measurements in all 3 basins show water clarity is good, and total phosphorus is acceptable however nitrogen levels are above the target levels.  In addition, Twin Lakes is experiencing large filamentous green algae blooms, which, while not toxic, are a nuisance and are possibly the result of a rainy spring or septic input.

 

Russ then showed slides related to the location and treatment of invasive species, including curly-leaved pondweed, milfoil, and hydrilla.  The treatment plans comply with the CT DEEP permit and will occur throughout the summer.  In addition to its contracted partners, Northeast Aquatic Research (NEAR), The Pond and Lakes Connection, and SePro Corporation, the TLA solicits scientific input from other organizations including the Connecticut Agricultural Research Station (CAES) and the US Army Corps of Engineers, especially about hydrilla treatment strategies.  

 

The biggest focus is the hydrilla found in the northeast bay of East Twin at the marina and past the state launch. The TLA has purchased limno barriers to protect rare plants in the NE cove and is awaiting DEEP approval and the aquatic plant survey results to proceed with treatments.  It is expected that both milfoil and hydrilla treatments will begin in July.  Public notice be provided. 

 

Adam Mayer, a member of the faculty at Salisbury School and the TLA board, has taken on the creation and management of the marina monitor program after researching other programs in various states. Currently, the town of Salisbury employs 8 trained monitors who educate boat owners daily about best practices to clean, drain and dry. The monitors have chatted with over 300 boat owners to date, tracking last places boats have launched and educating them about places to avoid where hydrilla has been spotted.  The TLA will likely be responsible for reimbursing the town for some, if not all of the monitor costs, as this is an unbudgeted expense for the town.  

 

Grant presented the 2024 budget noting that membership fees, even though they doubled, account for less 10% of our total expenses.  The current estimated budget is in the range of $250,000-$300,000 this year.  

 

A snapshot of current account balances is as follows:  

General Fund         $193,000

Earmarked fund             $76,000

Income to date       $75,000

Expenses to date            $81,000

*These numbers do not include the town of Salisbury contributions that will be forthcoming as well as the $75,000 DEEP grant that has been awarded to the TLA. 

 

Bill Barton, executive VP, presented and explained the 4 by-laws changes proposed which were unanimously approved by the membership in attendance, including:

  1. Adding the term “watershed” in our mission statement
  2. Reducing the term for board members to 3 years from 4 years.  There are no term limits
  3. Allowing the board to appoint new officers with a Vice President title provided they are members of the current board of directors
  4. Changing spending authorization to require all expenditures above $5000 to require the approval of three elected officers (President, Senior Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) and all expenses above $25,000 be approved by the full board and included in board meeting minutes.

 

Pat Miller was recognized for her many years of service as a TLA board member and secretary.  She was presented with a plaque as a token of our appreciation.  

 

The Annual Meeting will be held on Saturday, August 3, at Isola Bella.  It will include an election of officers and new board members.  Anyone with time and a strong inclination to work on lake issues should contact Grant Bogle or Bill Barton at president@twinlakesorg.org

 

The meeting adjourned at 11:30 am.  

 

 

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