Wetlands Commission to Address Concerns Over Proposed Review Area

A proposal to expand the upland review area will get a public airing tonight during a regular meeting of the Salisbury Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission. The proposal has stirred concerns among many property owners on the shoreline and near wetlands. The property owners have submitted more than 40 questions seeking information about how the new rules would impact their ability to perform basic maintenance, including dock repairs and replacement (more on that below). The Wetlands Commission is expected to discuss these concerns publicly during the informational meeting. You may attend via Zoom. The agenda and Zoom invite can be found here. The TLA has not taken a formal position on the proposal but encourages the community to be informed.
Lake levels are high and the TLA board is inquiring with the town about how the level will be managed this year. In the past, the water gates have at times been left open too long in the spring. This brings the water level down quickly but may also contribute to extremely low levels in August. We are seeking more consistent monitoring of lake levels from the town.
A study of rare plants will be conducted in both East and West Twin Lake in mid-summer. The TLA applied for a grant from the state to fund the study. A grant of $7,875 was approved on April 22 and will pay for most of the study, which costs $10,500. In other water-quality news, the TLA board expects approval from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to begin routine treatment of invasive weeds in June.
The TLA board met on April 21 and unanimously approved adding another board position. Russ Conklin, a resident of West Twin Lake, was immediately nominated to fill that role. Russ is a long-time member of the community. His knowledge of the area, lake management, and the workings of Salisbury regulatory bodies runs deep. We look forward to his contributions. You can find his bio here.

In other matters, the board set a volunteer workday for Saturday, June 19, when we expect to organize removal of litter along Twin Lakes Road. We encourage you to make this a family affair. More information will be forthcoming. Meeting minutes are posted here.
Save the date for these special events:
— Membership meeting will be Saturday, June 19, at 10 a.m. at Isola Bella. Rain date would be Sunday, June 20. The volunteer workday will follow immediately.
— Twin Lakes Day will be Saturday, Aug. 7 at Isola Bella. Rain date would be the following day, Sunday, Aug. 8.
— The annual membership meeting will be Saturday, Aug. 7 at Isola Bella. Rain date would be the following day, Sunday, Aug. 8.

If you would like to volunteer to help organize Twin Lakes Day, please email president@twinlakesorg.org.
The Wetlands Commission unveiled a new process for reviewing and approving common activities in its review area. The process is called “a request for a declaratory ruling.” This process is intended to be less burdensome and time consuming than a formal application for a permit. On April 12, the commission dealt with seven declaratory ruling requests, all of which concerned replacing existing docks on Twin Lakes. Those who want a better understanding of this new process might wish to view a video of the Wetlands Commission’s April 12 meeting. 
The homeowners group opposing swift passage of the proposed upland review area and other provisions last week provided an update on its recent activities. The group, known as Salisbury Lakes Homeowners, urged interested parties to turn out for the Wetlands Commission meeting tonight and revealed that a petition expressing concern about the proposal has more than 525 signatures. The group has submitted two letters to the Wetlands Commission expressing concern. It has held two meetings with Curtis Rand, Salisbury First Selectman. It submitted written questions to the Wetlands Commission on April 6. The two letters and other pertinent documents can be found here. 
In Memoriam: Sue Silliman, a long-time TLA member and wife of past TLA president Jack Silliman has passed away. The family asks that donations be made in her name to the TLA. You can do that on the TLA website by clicking on the “donations” button, writing in a dollar amount, and in the notes section writing “Sue Silliman.” You can find her obituary here.

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