TWIN LAKES ASSOCIATION MEETING
June 24, 2023
The meeting was called to order at Isola Bella at 10:00 AM by President Grant Bogle with approximately 65 members in attendance. Grant welcomed everyone and announced that no votes will be taken today but there will be items calling for a vote at our next meeting in August, so a mandated quorum must be met. He thanked the ASD for hosting today’s event and extending thanks in advance for our August meeting that will be held on Saturday, August 5th and will be followed by Twin Lakes Day.
Liz DeRosa, Development Director for ASD, pointed out a number of recent improvements to Isola Bella, thanks, in part to support from members of the lake community. This has allowed for a 63% increase in the number of campers attending each season which required renovation and expansion of some of the facilities.
Recently, the camp has encountered more incursions onto the island even though this is private property and must be secured, especially while camp is in session. While ASD has always been very generous in terms of hosting events for the TLA, we would like to remind everyone that the camp is private property, and no one is allowed onto the property without permission or for a formal TLA event.
The floor was then turned to Officer Will Veras, the Resident Trooper for Salisbury. Officer Veras indicated that there will be four retired officers patrolling the lake at various times throughout the boating season. We are grateful for the support of the town and the retired officers who patrol East Twin as we have found boaters, jet ski drivers and others are more respectful when there is a lake patrol presence on the water.
Bogle then recognized Fred Schmidt, who is responsible for regulating lake levels. Fred said a few words to the members, and he received well deserved applause as a measure of our gratitude.
A question was raised from the floor about recent algae in the water near shore on East Twin. While we have seen this type of algae before and do not believe this is the harmful cyanobacteria, we will ask the company which is monitoring water quality to test the algae in July. We will keep the membership informed if there is any risk identified in the testing.
In terms of herbicide application, Bogle explained that the TLA is still awaiting approval for the use of herbicides for the 2023 season from the DEEP. Once we have gone through all the steps of approval, we will need about two weeks to give public notice and schedule treatments. The Lake Management Committee is in frequent contact with our paid advisors and has had recent communication with the DEEP. We have been told we will get approval shortly.
Bogle presented four slides to the membership which provided an overview of the full cost of managing Twin Lakes, which is in the range of $90,000-$100,000 per year. These slides are now posted on the TLA website. The lake management expenses have been shared by the TLA and the town of Salisbury, with the town picking up between 50-70% of these costs on a year-to-year basis. While the TLA maintains healthy reserves, Bogle used this opportunity to communicate that our dues and donations fall well short of what they will need to be going forward. The cost increases are related to three issues: the use of more targeted and effective herbicides at 3X the price of the old product, the requirement to conduct ever more extensive studies of rare plants and invertebrates for permit approval by the DEEP, and finally, inflation. Yearly dues and donations to the TLA average about $18,500 per year and our costs are projected to be in the $30,000 to $40,000 per year range. Hence, the need to revisit the dues structure and also ask the community to consider increasing donations to the TLA in the years ahead. Bogle indicated that the board will bring forth a proposal at the August membership meeting, where a vote will be taken regarding dues for the 2024 season and beyond.
Comments were made regarding the need to continue to send out TLA information via regular mail along with the electronic newsletter. It was noted that some members had tried to log onto the website to pay dues but that this function did not work. Bogle explained that we had to switch hosting services due to the outdated platform we had used for the past decade. This resulted in a few days where the website was not fully functional. Bogle also indicated that the TLA will have a new URL: twinlakesorg.org. If you go to the old URL, you will automatically be transferred to the new URL.
Finally, the photo contest subject is “PEACE”. Any picture that you feel conveys Peace and was taken around the lake qualifies for entry. Directions for submission are on the website. A winner will be chosen at the end of the year and eligible to receive a $50 prize.
The Education Committee arranged for a guest lecture by Mike Nadeau, an authority in the field of sustainable organic and ethical land care strategies. His focus is to maximize wildlife habitat through native plantings along waterfront areas to improve the overall health of water, land, and wildlife. He is a published writer on ecological, sustainable, and organic land care topics. He discussed the creation of buffer zones along the shore of lakes and streams comprised of native plants. He listed off several native grasses, plants and shrubs that would be suitable for Twin Lakes but advised checking with the town before beginning any project. He is available for consultation by homeowners. Mike Nadeau’s contact information, along with other resources, will be posted in the TLA website.
The meeting adjourned at noon. As a reminder, the Annual Meeting will be held at Isola Bella beginning at 10:00 AM on Sunday, August 5. It will be followed by a picnic lunch and then Twin Lakes Day. Spread the word!