HAMILTON RESERVOIR ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2005
HRA MEETING REPORTS September 2005
TREASURER - Tom Sargent reported that to date $825.00 had been donated to the Save the Lake Fund. Also, paid memberships for 2005 have increased to 210.
FUND RAISING - Chair, Bev Aube reported that the Pig Roast held on August 6 at the Southbridge Polish American Club netted a profit of $1357.22. She thanked everyone who volunteered to help make the event so successful.
HRA white T-shirts ($10) are available for donations, as well as HRA blue golf shirts ($15). We can take orders for blue shirts if correct sizes not in stock - need at least 25 orders to make it cost effective – email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to order. Include your size and phone # or email address.
NEXT FUND RAISING EVENT - Poker Run - September 11, 2005 at 11 AM starts at PJs, Mashapaug Rd., Ma Holland. The goal being the best 5-card poker hand - beginning at PJ’s Bar, participants will sign up and receive their first card. The group will ride (cars OK) to 2 locations, receive a 2 cards, then back at PJ’s, riders will get their last cards and meal will be served. Prize for best hand is $100. Raffle available too. Tickets are available in advance by calling Bev at 413 245 0194 or Chris at 413 245 3666. WE NEED A COUNT so BUY YOUR TICKETS early. HRA volunteers working at the event will be in green T-shirts. The Poker Run will be advertised on the local TV channel, on the HRA website, in local papers, and notices are posted at Holland Market and around town. Please ask your friends and families – motorcycles and cars invited – all proceeds go to the Save the Lake Fund.
MEMBERSHIP - Chair, Dave Sears, reported that since the last meeting, total members went from 140 to 210. He apologized if anyone was offended by over-enthusiastic members and their efforts to increase memberships.
If you’d like to get a list of current HRA members to help sign up folks that you know have not joined, contact Dave - email@example.com - Keep in mind the purpose of using the list is for HRA membership recruitment only.
Dave also mentioned that a large percentage of Town of Holland’s tax base is generated by property on and around the water. He said that to be successful in solving the weed and erosion problems in the lake, the whole town needs to participate - especially if we expect to receive funding. Education of town residents is essential. A suggested poster contest for the Holland school kids – the subject “Why is the Hamilton Reservoir Important and what can we do to make it better”
COLAP (MA Chapter of Lake and Ponds)
Steve Anderson reported that COLAP (Congress of Lakes and Ponds) also has website. They suggest the following to help with lake preservation:
- Effective lawn care. Sharpen lawn mower blades, cut grass to 3" height, and leave clippings on lawn. Also, check with local recycling center to see if compost is available from town for use instead of chemical fertilizers.
_ Organica cesspool treatment can extend life of septic systems. The use of bleach is not helpful because it kills the microbes that make systems work.
_ Suggested was a lottery calendar drawing as a fund raising effort. Permits from the town would be needed as well as 5% to State. Other ideas: a raffle, a photo contest, pictures of the lake on a calendar, an auction.
He also reported that many lake associations attending COLAP meetings have non-profit status. He feels it is important for HRA to look into this. Significant savings in mailing costs are likely. One advantage is that gifts to a non-profit organization are fully tax deductible making it more advantageous to possible donors. HRA charges one of the lowest membership fees at $25.00. If deductible - would members pay more? Some drawbacks - we would need a lawyer and an accountant to keep detailed records and this would be expensive. Steve and Dora Metrelis agreed to work with Dave Sears. Gary Barker. member of the Holland Aqua Riders water ski club said they have recently incorporated and are investigating becoming a non-profit organization. We have contacted Tom Dillon (Aqua Riders) for more information and will be having more discussions with them. It was decided to work on this for next meeting in June 2006.
LAKE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE (LOC) - Lynn Arnold reported that LOC was made official in May.
The Lake Oversight Committee (LOC) has been working to establish its mission statement and goals. They are compiling a book of available grants, their due dates, and requirements in order to be able to apply for those monies on time with the required information in order to maximize our chances to receive them. There is tremendous competition for the available money both State and Federal and the grant writing effort has become more sophisticated. We have enlisted the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) to assist us in writing for the current grants. The LOC has also spent considerable time this summer investigating alternative ways to deal with the various weeds in the lake and working with the Town to employ Best Management Practices where possible. Meetings are the second Thursday of each month at 7:00pm in the Town Hall.
Lycott Engineering was contracted to treat Milfoil. This was done in June and was effective At the 8/31th meeting, the Board of Selectmen (BOS) voted to hire Lycott Engineering to Hydrorake approximately 14 acres of the lake on September 5th or 6th to remove the Watershield. They acknowledged the tremendous amount of work the Lake Oversight Committee (LOC) and HRA had done in investigating alternative methods and vendors. Weeds grow in cycles so chemical applications need to be done at the right time of year. Phragmites (near dam) should be treated now. Treatment for Watershield usually done in late August is now planned during the week of Sept. 12th. The BOS also acknowledged that the HRA and Selectmen had not been happy recently with Lycott’s performance. This will be a “last shot” for this particular vendor. The cost to the Town will be $5600. Lycott has warranted his work and has indicated that they will come back until we are satisfied. The launches will be closed for two days in order to allow the hydroraked debris to be dewatered prior to removal and will reopen prior to the weekend. The Selectmen then gave the LOC and HRA their approval to hire Lycott and use the existing permit the town has for him to treat the Phragmities and spot test areas of the Vallisneria. Phragmite treatment is scheduled for Sept 9 2005 (HRA is paying for this treatment) – water restrictions are as follows: no swimming, fishing during treatment; no drinking for 3 days, no irrigation for 5 days. Since the Valisneria is very difficult treat and it is late in the season, the LOC and HRA requested that we test areas before committing to the expense of that method and that vendor.
We requested that the two (2) foot drawdown begin on October 10, 2005. The Conservation Committee voted on that issue at their 9/6 meeting. The drawdown is done at a rate of two inches per day so, depending on the height of the lake at that time and the rain that occurs, the drawdown should be completed in approximately two weeks.
The Weed Watch program will continue under the oversight of the Lake Oversight Committee and HRA. The program will divide the lake into sections and records will be kept on weed samples taken and recognized on specific dates. The information will be sent to the State of Massachusetts for its historical data base. This will give us a definite measure of treatment effectiveness and whether a specific weed problem area has become worse (or better). We need one person from each basin (north and south) to head up the group. Any volunteers please contact Lynn Arnold or Chris McCooe.
If a particularly invasive weed (like the Hydrilla) is identified, a report can be made to the State and they will take care of it immediately. HRA needs one volunteer from each basin to head up this program. A sign-up sheet was circulated. Seasonal residents can sign up for this committee because samples will be taken during the summer.
The Boat Ramp Monitoring program is still planned for Spring. Sign-up sheet was circulated for volunteers. Are wash-offs on ramps feasible? The answer: will be discussed at next oversight meeting.
WEED WATCH & BOAT MONITORING TRAINING: If you would like to attend the next weed watch training, and/or Boat Monitoring training - please email Chris McCooe with your email address and/or phone number – a training date has not been scheduled, but she will contact you when she has a date. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org – be sure to include HRA in the subject line.
NEW BUSINESS – HRA suggested that the Draw Down begin October 10. This is will be presented to the Conservation Board in Holland and the dates will posted on Channel 15 and around town.
ELECTION RESULTS: President - Chris McCooe, VP Environment - Lynn Arnold, VP Safety - Dave Sears, Treasurer - Tom Sargent, Secretary - Carol Denning. Jim and Rose Kenney will again provide refreshments for meetings IN 2006.
OTHER INFORMATION: Organizing another Clean the Lake Day - we need to work with each other in our neighborhoods to prevent sediment from entering the lake. No definite plan was decided on. Any one interested in heading up a group and organizing this, contact Lynn Arnold or Chris McCooe – visit the www.hamiltonreservoir.com web site for contact information.
Jack Reed, a member of the Holland Rod & Gun Club, offered to take a copy of our minutes to their meeting to generate new members.
The HRA would like to thank Rod & Gun Club members, Jim Kosinski and Dave Fortuna, for cooking the pig at our fund raiser. The HRA pig roast was not held at the Rod & Gun Club because of liability insurance costs not because we are not members. Jack will have a discussion with them to see if we can join as an association so future fund raisers can be held at their facility.
The Board of Selectmen is looking to form a Committee to investigate Private Road options. If interested call the selectmen at the town hall (413 245 7108) or contact them via their website at email@example.com
The Opacum Land trust has a great website: www.opacumlt.org . They also sponsor lots of things in the area such as walking weekends and tours. For a complete list of walking weekends another site is: www.thelastgreenvalley.org The HRA web site will be updated w/ other educational links soon.
Mark your calendars - the next meeting of the Hamilton Reservoir Association is June 3rd.and the last meeting is August 26,2006 - 8:30 social - 9 AM meeting at Holland Elementary School. Bring your friends & neighbors. Let’s keep the momentum going.
BIG THANKS TO ALL HRA MEMBERS & VOLUNTEERS FOR FUND RAISING, WEED WATCH TRAINING, NEW MEMBERSHIP RECRUITING & WRITING TO SENATOR BREWER, ETC. – YOUR INVOLVEMENT IS APPRECIATED.
Get involved – Let’s keep
the momentum going.
Next meeting June 3, 2006
Holland Elementary School
Note: if the date above your address label does not say 2005. Your membership has not been received. HRA needs you!
HRA Membership Form – Membership Fee $25.00 per year per family
Return to: Hamilton Reservoir Association, PO Box 17, Holland, MA 01521
City: _______________________________ State ________________ Zip ___________________
Home Phone: _______________________________ Holland Phone: ______________________________
Holland Address _____________________________Email Address _______________________________
North Basin _____________________ South Basin _________________________________
Your membership DOES make a difference in preserving our lakes and all the properties surrounding them. Whether you attend our meetings or not – the HRA needs your support – more importantly our lakes deserve to remain clean, safe and enjoyable for all.
HRA Membership Form
If you would like to advertise on the HRA Web Site or in the newsletter,
please contact Chris @ Voice Mail: 800 332 0444 ext. 3160
Holland Police - General - Tel. 413-245-0117
Emergency or to report a crime
Dial 911 or 413-245-7222
Holland Town Hall
State Representative - Reed Hillman
Room 156 - State House
Boston, MA 02133 Tel. 617-722-2256
Holland Town Barn
State Senator Stephen Brewer
Room 109 B - State House
Boston, MA 02133
Dept. of Environmental Protection
436 Dwight Street
Springfield, MA 01103
Hotline for DEP 617-338-2255 or 1-800-462-0444 - Dep.firstname.lastname@example.org
PO Box 17, Holland, MA 01521
posted: June 27, 2005