HAMILTON RESERVOIR ASSOCIATION SPECIAL NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2004
I’d like to first welcome all the new members and thank you for joining the Hamilton Reservoir Association. We have added 25 new members since our September newsletter. Congratulations “Membership Committee” – nice job – keep them coming – thank you all.
This newsletter is a special issue to update you on some of the things the HRA has been working on since our last meeting and to let you know what some of our plans and goals are for 2004-2005.
First - we are working to increase our memberships in the HRA. More members - means more voices with the Town of Holland. I ask you to help by visiting your neighbors on the lake and other residents that may not live on the lake to join the HRA. Hamilton Reservoir is used by many more folks than just those of us who live on it. It is the biggest attraction to our town – You can use the membership form included in this newsletter or direct people to our web site at www.hamiltonreservoir.com - If membership packets are needed contact Lynn Arnold at 413 245 3447 or Pat Caron 413 245 7054.
Second - we are working on some fund raising activities to help raise funds for next years’ weed control and hopefully sediment problems. We can have fun doing it. We are asking everyone for their help, involvement and donations, Please ask your neighbors and friends. You can send your “SAVE THE LAKE FUND” donations to HRA, PO Box 17, Holland, MA 01521. See our web site or cable TV channel 15 for details of upcoming events.
Third - we recently created a group of members to go to the Town of Holland with our concerns about the future of Hamilton Reservoir and to organize a Lake Oversight Committee. – our next meeting with the town is scheduled for October 14, 2004. It is our hope that in working with the town we can raise the funding necessary to help finance Lake Maintenance in 2005 and in future years.
We understand that Hamilton Reservoir is one of the biggest assets to the Town of Holland. We will also be working with the town to apply for any available grant money. It is our intent to work with the town to find solutions that are financially reasonable and effective in preserving our lake and properties surrounding them.
Unfortunately the town has not budgeted all the money needed to thoroughly maintain the health, safety and preservation of Hamilton Reservoir. The HRA will write an article (a proposal to have a line item in town budget) to have funds for Lake Maintenance in the Town’s budget permanently.
Fourth - we will be sending out additional mailings with educational materials to members. We will also be sending out a letter written to Senator Brewer so you can sign it and send to him in hopes that his involvement will help raise grants for lake maintenance programs. His address: State House Room 109B, Boston, MA 02133.
Chris McCooe, President HRA
REPORT FROM COLAP – Chapter of Lakes and Pond Association – Massachusetts – Central Meeting October 2, 2004 was attended by a few HRA members. The next Central Mass COLAP meeting is scheduled for Saturday, November 6, 2004 at Auburn Elks, Rt. 20, Auburn, MA.
Below are some of the notes from the October 2nd meeting: Main topic was Algae Blooms.. Albert Collins from Lake Wickaboag Association, West Brookfield presented information on how they managed Algae Blooms – he stated that there are three types of Algae: Chara, Filamentous and Microcystic. Their lake was treated annually since 1999 with Copper Sulfate. He also stated that the Algae experience was better in 2004 and they had the best water clarity in years, because of more frequent treatments done at early Algae bloom periods;
They found that their Algae problems were due to the septic systems, lawn fertilizers, Phosphates from sediment and maybe just something in the lake, or maybe something flowing from another lake into theirs. The Wickaboag Lake Association recommended doing TMDL test if Algae blooms are active in your lake areas.
Lake Wickaboag Association is also doing some campaign work by educating the residents in their towns with mailings on maintenance of vegetative buffers, Cooper treatment applications and the use of barrier screens at the streams feeding the lake to hold back the bad stuff.
Quaboag/Quacum/Quasit Lake Association (North and South Pond) in the Brookfield, East Brookfield, and Sturbridge area - reported that the MA DEP closed Lake Quabog (North Pond) due to a proliferation of "deadly" microscopic algae blooms. This form of algae is deadly to humans and animals. The DEP determined that this was a very dangerous situation. Algae blooms are increasing on Massachusetts lakes and ponds. If your lakes needed testing it is recommended to do so. COLAP suggests that when treating for weeds and algae to have all invasive weeds treated.
The North Pond at Quaboag is surrounded by shallow waters, many nutrients and junk wash into North Pond unlike South Pond which is much more opened. Their association did many Cooper Sulfate treatments early in the spring and the pond was re opened. They also recommended TMDL studies done yearly – information concerning TMDL testing can be found on the Mass. DEP web site. East Brookfield Association did receive some Federal grant (a 319 grant) that helped fund some of their lake maintenance.
The final speaker was Lee Lycott – The Filamentous and Microscystic Algae is the bluish color, slimy looking, foaming type found at the shore lines of lakes and ponds. Cooper Sulfate is a good treatment for algae, ultrasonic sound treatments and fountain type pumps can help. Dredging reduces algae but is expensive. His recommendation was to have lake areas tested.
Lycott stated that "aquatic biologists have used lake-level draw down for many years to aid in the management of invasive aquatic water plants. Literature and studies of this management technique indicates that many of these plants can be reduced by desiccation and/or freezing." Deep lake draw downs are most effective.
The lake management systems agree that effective lake management requires deep level draw-downs coupled with seeding in order to effectively reduce invasive plants from clogging the lakes and ponds.
Lycott has developed specific methodology for the successful implementation of lake-level draw down in most water bodies. Drawing the water level down at a specific rate at the proper time of year for the proper amount of time allowing organisms, turtles and amphibians, etc to migrate to deeper portions of the water body to over winter.
The meeting was opened for discussion. We collected some reference materials and shared information about HRA situation and Hamilton Reservoir. We will distribute to our members in the next newsletter.
COLAP urged that all Towns send a representative from their Conservation Committees to attend the COLAP meetings and report back to the Town Managers the various steps that should be taken in order to preserve the lakes in Massachusetts.
UPDATE from the open meeting at Town of Holland – Board of Selectmen –
A selected group of HRA members attended an open agenda meeting before the Selectmen on September 14, 2004 to discuss our concerns and made many suggestions to the board. Below are some of the agreed upon actions that came out of this presentation.
We’re meeting again with the town on October 14, 2004 and will report results in the next newsletter.
• Selectmen said they were willing to establish a Lake Oversight Committee – w/HRA representation and Town Board participation. The Selectmen would initiate the first meeting and provide some guidelines to the organization.
• Selectmen said there was no money to treat other weeds, other than Milfoil – they agreed to go back to Union and ask again for assistance
• Selectmen said they are trying to get grant money for lake maintenance –
• They have been discussing sediment removal with conservation and are finding that permits are needed because of hazardous materials in the sediment. Another thought was to widen the causeway 10 feet and store sediment material there. In this way we are not removing it – permits eliminated.
• Another weed solution – a larger drawdown with notification to residents 5 years ahead, alerting them of a deeper drawn down – allowing time for shallow well adjustments.
• Wet dredging is too expensive $2.5 million
• Selectmen said that they could not mandate people join HRA – but did agree later to look into it
• Selectmen said NO to boat stickers because the state funded the ramp.
• Selectmen indicated that the town was receiving $28,300 from state aid and $13,000 from Thames River funding – But did not indicate plans for that money or when it is expected.
• Selectmen indicated that an informal meeting between the HRA and the Selectmen is in order; without the media.
The H.R.A. agreed to:
1. Write and submit an Article requesting budgeted funds put into yearly budget for lake maintenance, weed control and sediment problems; to be presented to Selectmen prior to May meeting .
2. Write and submit an Article requesting that the Lake Oversight Committee be an official committee or board in Holland; to be presented to Selectmen prior to May meeting .
3. Research and write grants – when/if the money becomes available
4. Write letters to Senator Brewer,– “what can state do to help save Hamilton Reservoir?”
OTHER IMPORTANT DATES:
October 16, 2004, Saturday at 3 pm, at the Town Hall to discuss the Comprehensive Master Plan for Town of Holland – all residents are invited. This is a good opportunity for HRA members to be heard.
Master plans are comprehensive documents which cover all major aspects of a community: types of land, water, wildlife, development, land usage and all major areas to be considered in planning. The research, level of community involvement, and organization of the document are all strictly determined by the state and is ultimately approved only by the state. It is not something that a small town like Holland can put together by itself. It costs on average about $10,000 to produce a proper master plan.
Master plans provide the town with long term guidance about how to both structure and limit development in order to maintain the rural character of our community with in a very limited budget. Holland faces a Catch 22. With a population of approximately 2600 in the winter and approximately 5500 in the summer, a town like Holland depends on growth and yet the increasing school and road costs without the support of the State put us in a precarious position financially. A master plan for the future of this little town is vital to its continued viability. A Planning Board without a master plan is like the carpenter who shows up without a hammer to do his job. It is an embarrassment and prevents us from doing our job in the way in which we are mandated.
IMPORTANT DATES - continued
Bulk Waste Collection Day - October 23, 2004, Saturday, 9 am – 2 pm at Town Highway Garage .
Items such as tires, metals, electronics, and bulk goods (sofas, mattresses, refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc.) can be dropped off at the Town Garage, on Sturbridge Rd., Holland. There will be various fees for various items dropped off.
2005 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: October 14, 2004