LAON ANNUAL MEETING MINUTES JULY 8, 2017
Sal Girifalco, LAON President, welcomed a group of about 55 individuals to the Annual meeting held at Norway Town Hall from 1:30 to 3:00 pm He introduced the new Town Manager, Dennis Lajoie, who spoke briefly to the group about the town’s support for the important work LAON does in protecting our lakes.
Sal reported that email usage has increased over the past year and encouraged anyone who had not received an email from LAON to provide their email address information as we are trying to increase our communications efforts on topics related to healthy lakes, and reduce postage costs thru increased use of email.
Sal introduced the LAON Board members and reviewed the agenda.
A special thanks was given to all of our sponsors. See the website for the complete listing of these sponsors and when you visit them, please thank them for their support of LAON!
Tom Webster presented the Treasurer’s report and emphasized the ever increasing demand for resources (people and financial) to maintain and expand our current level of services. We started the year with $44,119.32. Last year we received approximately $16,000 in membership dues, and so far this year we have received about $11,000. Tom encouraged people to pay their dues when they receive the first LAON mailing in late Spring/early Summer so that we can save on the cost of a second mailing to lake property owners who did not respond to the first mailing. We are ahead a bit on sponsorships compared to 2016. The Town of Norway supported us with $9000. The Town handles the processing of payroll payments to Courtesy Boat Inspectors with the balance of the $9000 going to the LAON general fund). We have been awarded a state grant of $2,000 to support our CBI program (we have received one payment, with another expected in August). Amazon Smile receipts have increased a little bit, but the potential is much higher. People were urged to use it since it does not cost anything. Only about 1/3 of lakefront property owners are contributors to LAON’s efforts to protect the lakes (encourage your neighbors to join!). Greatest expenditures will be for water quality testing, CBI, and watershed survey/remediation work. We have set aside $9000 for emergency remediation. It is estimated that one day of removal of milfoil, for example, costs $1000 so our goal is to be in a position to respond quickly to any emergency.
Phil Lamoureux updated the group on the Courtesy Boat Inspection Program (now in its third year) Our three paid inspectors provide coverage at Lake Penn on Monday-Friday from 7-10 am and from 4-7 pm and on weekends and holidays from 7 am-7 pm. For the 2017 season to date, the inspectors have logged 288 hours with 604 boats inspected, with 136 of these not from Lake Penn. Boats licensed in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New York are of particular concern due to the high concentration of lakes with invasive plants. Two non-invasive plants have been found so far this year. All statistics related to CBI are submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection in Augusta including boat registration numbers. Reception to the CBI program has been quite positive. A suggestion was made from the audience to post a sign at the causeway on Crockett Ridge Road encouraging them to go to the boat landing for courtesy boat inspection.
Sal recognized Arell Nankervis for her efforts in organizing the recent BOAT PARADE on Lake Penn It was suggested that we advertise future parades via the LAON email mailing list in addition to the posting on Facebook.
Sal also recognized Cherlyn Gates who has been managing the LAON Facebook page this past year (since volunteering to do so at last year’s annual meeting).
Sal gave an update on LAON’s work in the area of Water Quality. During 2016 there were increased phosphorus levels in both Hobbs and North Ponds. Phosphorus is the enemy of our lakes since it is what algae live on. Not only does algae interfere with lake usage while it is growing, but when it dies it sinks to the bottom and consumes oxygen as it decomposes. There were reduced levels of dissolved oxygen in the three deep water lakes. There was more chlorophyll in North Pond which indicates the presence of algae. We do water quality testing once a month/five times a season. This is what is driving our watershed efforts. An audience member expressed concern about the amount of runoff from the DOT during winter months from snow plows.
Sal acknowledged Lise Dietrich for responding to his email for someone to lead the efforts tackling the yellow iris issue. Since Lise was unable to attend the meeting, Sal presented the approach Lise has developed to address this invasive plant issue: identifying locations; containment; elimination and monitoring. She has assembled a team of volunteers to help with this: Peter Kaurup, Lil Van Order, Myron Kassaraba, Jim O’Brien, Mark McGovern, Cindy Reedy, Bob McMunn, Mary McMunn, Mike Dietrich, Peter Tousley, Cherylyn Gates and Tom Curtis. We knew about 4 sites, and Lise’s team has found 2 additional sites, with a bit more of the lake still needing to be surveyed. Containment will occur later this year.
Sal updated the group on the North Pond Watershed Project. This survey was done in 2016 and we have since developed a high level remediation plan and applied for a 319 grant for North Pond from the State Department of Environmental Protection (NOTE: both Lake Penn and North Pond are classified as “threatened” and as such are eligible for grants). Since this is a complicated, long term effort we are learning from the work on North Pond. Our long term plan is to survey all 4 of our lakes. Information on Best Management Practices (BMP) for managing property in a watershed is posted on LAON’s website. We plan to have workshops on the best ways to manage property for healthy lakes.
Good news from the Lakes was highlighted. There was the boat parade on Lake Penn. CBI has been well received. We have more involvement from volunteers. Watershed planning has been well received by property owners. Town support continues for LAON. Monies from Amazon Smile continue to increase (Amazon shoppers should use http:/smile.amazon.com/ch/30-0034585) Increased support is enabling greater work on prevention!
Susan Jacoby gave an update on OUTREACH. LAON rack cards will be available at the Chamber of Commerce office, the Town kiosk on Main Street and in the realtor packets for new lakefront homeowners. Everyone is encouraged to talk with their neighbors about LAON membership. Susan presented two upcoming volunteer opportunities. We are looking for someone to represent LAON at the second annual Food Festival on Saturday, August 12. On Sunday, August 20 beginning at 8am the Enid Dullea Length of the Lake Swim will take place on Lake Penn. This event, a 2.5 mile swim is being sponsored by the Western Foothills Land Trust who will donate proceeds for the $20 registration fees to LAON. At last year’s annual meeting a suggestion was made to sell LAON logo shirts. We heard you and acted upon this. Pat Daniels talked about t-shirts and golf shirts….noting that our Town Manager had just ordered a LAON t-shirt and encouraged everyone to consider ordering a shirt. For those who were not ready to order a shirt at the meeting, please visit the LAON website for order information.
The slate of officers was presented and all incumbents were unanimously reelected! Individuals who are interested in becoming a director should contact Sal as additional directors would be helpful in addressing the many priorities facing LAON.
Two landowners on Sand Pond (Wayne Sanborn and Steve Bond) raised the issue of water coming off the Sodom Road and Frost Hill and the problem with culverts. Sal has contacted Jim Tibbits in the Highway Dept. and he, along with Jean Silverman from the Board, have visited the area in question. Michelle Windsor from the Soil and Conservation has been advised of this issue as well. A meeting with all parties will be convened to see how this problem area can be addressed. It was especially problematic with the recent heavy rains.
The meeting adjourned….and many people stayed to order LAON shirts!
LAON Board Secretary