HAMILTON RESERVOIR ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2001
LAKE DRAW DOWN
The date of the draw down has changed. It will begin October 8 and should be down completely within 2 weeks as the town lets out only 2 inches per day for a total of 24 inches. The draw down is designed to help with weed control. Its design has two advantages. First it stays down until a good solid freeze and when the water is raised the ice pulls out many of the weeds. It gives property owners time to clean their beach area and manually pull out any weeds. Concerns have been raised about leaving the water down for a longer period to help preserve the property retaining walls along the water's edge. However Mr. Lyman states there is the need to raise the water to pull out the weeds before the ice thaws.
The Board of Selectmen voted to begin enforcement of an existing dock regulation. The Town will fine all dock owners $50 if their docks are not out of the lake by October 30. It's imperative that homeowners remove the docks before the lake freezes. Floating docks stuck in the ice are a hazard to anyone using the ice for recreational purposes and pose hazards when the ice melts in the spring.
LAKE WATER TESTING
The Executive Board of the HRA met with the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Health to discuss mutual aid to help the town comply with the clean beach's act. The HRA has obtained which tests must be taken. In working with the town boards the discussion entailed how often and where water should be tested. A plan should be in place for the start of next swimming season.
HAMILTON RESERVOIR DECALS
James Richardson a member of the HRA and a graphic arts teacher has graciously agreed to make decals, which will be available to HRA members next spring with our new logo.
A wonderful ski show was held the end of August on the north lake. Members are working closely with the HRA to ensure the safety of the skiers and safety regarding the jump ramp. This summer the team practiced on the north lake.
Sergeant Cheryl Farraher reported that plans are in the works to have two officers patrolling the lake every weekend for about 10 hours next summer. This year complaints were lodged by HRA members about the lack of police presence over the summer. Warnings and tickets were sent out to people who disobeyed lake laws. HRA members via telephone calls to the police dept. noted some of these infractions. The Executive Board would like to thank all those who reported problems to the police dept. for follow up.
Jim McKenna reported that the safety committee of Tony Scott, Ed Hughes met throughout the summer with Sergeant Farraher and Chief Haapakowski. He said the positive attitude and a proactive rather than reactive approach has greatly improved relations between the HRA and police dept. He noted that the police dept. received five to six telephone calls weekly from people about problems on the lake. This resulted in at least twelve verbal warnings and seven to eight citations. A citizen patrol is on the agenda for discussion with plans to implement next year. Discussion surrounds having people keep a log of repeat offenders or possibly videotape infractions. Some of the main problems surround children operating boats and jet skis. The Massachusetts law states that operators can drive at 16 with a safe boater's certificate. Otherwise everyone must be at least 18 to operate a jet ski. All HRA members are encouraged to attend town meetings in support of the police dept. as they advocate for additional funding to properly patrol the lake. Town meetings will be noted on the HRA web-site.
A vote was taken by the HRA membership and it was decided that all lake abutters will receive the January newsletter but any further newsletters will only be sent to HRA members. So for the price of $25 per household, please join when we send your 2002 renewal form in the winter newsletter.
The safety committee is presently working on a grant for a sign near the boat ramp on the north lake to warn people of the dam which is very near the boat ramp. The grant is through the U.S. Boating Assn. We are awaiting word on a $300,000 grant sent in over the summer.
Bob McFadden reports that people have been ordering from the wonderful assortment of shirts, sweatshirts and hats for sale with our new HRA logo. Information and order forms can be found on the web site.
In speaking with Mr. Lyman at our spring meeting, we learned that he has a contract to seed only the Holland area of the lake. It was noted that weeds are multiplying in the Union, CT side of the lake and floating out into the rest of the lake. The HRA Executive Committee with the approval of the membership met with Mr. Lyman and voted to spend the money to seed the CT side this year to cut down on weed growth. The seeding was very successful. A letter has been sent to the Union, CT Board of Selectmen in hopes that they will contribute to the seeding in coming years. Many commented that there seemed to be more pond lilies and celery grass but no new weeds were noted this year.
It was noted at the August meeting that there were over 70 people present at the meeting with a full membership of over 195 households. Our membership has grown very steadily over the past few years with the wonderful work done by the members. There are over 435 homes on the lake, we hope to have half the households as members. This is a very important point when asking for grant money. To say on a grant that one-half of the homes are interested enough in what happens to the lake to work within our lake association to improve property and water quality is very important to grant readers and state and local governments. As membership chairperson, Bob McFadden hopes to start a small committee next spring to go house to house and present ourselves to new homeowners. If interested, please contact him through our web site.
A special thank you was received by Dianne Tufts for the donation to the American Heart Association in memory of her husband Jim. Jim was a long-standing member of the HRA and the Treasurer for the past few years.
Remember to have your septic tank pumped on a regular basis, at least every two years for summer homes and more often for year round homes. Install water saving devices on faucets, toilets and showers. Minimize water use in the home by running dishwashers and washing machines only with full loads. Fix leaky faucets and toilets promptly. Keep heavy vehicles off of the leaching area (if you still have one). The weight leads to crushed pipes and expensive repairs. Please be mindful that any overflow will go directly into the lake and becomes a safety risk for anyone using the lake for recreation. The above paragraph was quoted for a booklet printed by the Hamilton Reservoir Association Lake Management Committee and given to all members. The booklet looks to have been printed in the late 1970's. Some problems never change.
At our August meeting, elections were held for the Executive Committee. Re-elected to office were Lynn Arnold, President, Jim McKenna, Vice President of Safety, Bob McFadden, Membership Chairperson, Carol Rodrigues, Secretary. Newly appointed into office was Pat Lynch, Vice President of Environmental Concerns and Dianne Tufts, Treasurer. If you do not have a computer, all officers can be reached by writing them at PO Box 17, Holland, MA 01521.
The Executive Board will continue to meet with the Board of Selectmen, Board of Health, Planning Board and attend town meetings over the winter. If you can help by attending some of the meetings please contact any member of the Executive Board.
We would like to thank the members that volunteered to help with some of the duties needed to keep this organization running effectively. If there is anyone who could help with the following needs over the winter please contact a member of the Executive Committee. Our wish list includes but is not limited to: writing a brief history of Holland and the Hamilton Reservoir Association that could be placed on our web site; someone willing to contact local businesses about selling advertising space in our newsletter or on our web-site; and anyone who has an interest or is willing to help with grant writing.
Our web site is www.hamiltonreservoir.com. Many thanks to member Dave Bauchiero who has updated and enhanced our site. Our goal is to update the site regularly. We will continue to enhance the site and keep you up to date with the most current information on the lake and Holland. You will find information regarding boating and dock regulations, a list of state and local officials; our past newsletters that have information that is useful, membership forms to print down and pass on, HRA lakewear forms, and lots of other information. There is a direct link to the aqua-riders and other web sites which may interest you. If you are new to the area it's a "must see" web site. There is a direct link to the Executive Committee. You may ask questions or offer information, give ideas for future speakers or just stay in touch over the winter on news from Holland.
Mark your calendar. The spring meeting will be held June 1 and the last meeting will be August 24. We look forward to seeing many old friends and some new homeowners. Social time will be held from 8:30 to 9:00. The meeting will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. and end at 10:30 a.m.