HAMILTON RESERVOIR ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER APRIL 2002


News from the Safety Committee:
In cooperation with the Holland Police Dept, the safety committee plans to obtain floating safety signs near the dam to help prevent someone from going to close to the edge and possibly over the dam. A grant application was filed for funds to procure the signs. However, recently the committee learned they will not receive this grant. The committee will soon discuss alternate means of obtaining funding for this important project.

Grant Application: 
Over the winter the town was informed that we were not awarded the state restoration and protection grant for which we applied last fall. We did apply for a $25,000 matching grant that was awarded to the town. Great news!!!. The association in conjunction with the town will be applying this spring for an additional Lake and Ponds Grant sponsored by the DPH. 

Lake Wear: 
Bob McFadden, (Membership Chairman) will be selling HRA lake wear this year. Enclosed is an informational page on the types of clothing there is available and how to order. You can get additional information on our web site.

Boat Ramp: 
The state of Massachusetts has taken charge of finishing the boat ramp on the South Lake. It will be paved, a culvert will be installed to divert water and three parking spaces will be available. There will not be any spaces available for a boat trailer however. Work should begin soon.

Volunteers Wanted: 
People who are interested in environmental issues are needed to attend local, regional, and state meetings. Many opportunities exist within our state and local areas to improve the environment around our lake. There are people at other organizations having the same problems we are. Some of these organizations are willing to share what they have learned about water testing, seeding, weeds, and how to prevent erosion. We just need to be willing to be present at meetings and bring the information back to the board and the membership. Please offer your help. Contact any member of the Board of Directors or e-mail them via our web site.

Membership Committee: 
Don't be surprised if someone is knocking on your door this spring. Bob McFadden and a dedicated group of volunteers are trying to contact new homeowners, homeowners who have never been part of the HRA and former HRA members, to explain our organization. If you know of someone that has moved into the area, please tell them about us or call Bob and he'll send a member of the committee.

Dues
Your application for membership for the year 2002 is enclosed. The Board of Directors has made a concerted effort not to raise the cost of dues. It will remain at $25.00 per family. In order to cut expenses, there are a few measures which will be taken. The newsletters are expensive to print and mail so we will cut down from four to two newsletters this year. People that have not paid dues in over two years will be dropped from the membership list and will no longer receive the newsletter. 

Decals: 
A special thanks to Jim Richardson who has made new decals with our new logo. They will be available at the June meeting and given to every family that has paid their dues. Additional decals are available for $1.00 each. These can be put on your vehicle, boat or home to show your membership in our organization.

Lake Seeding for Weeds
The town of Holland has signed a contract with Lycott for the basic seeding. This will be done in late May or early June. However Lycott will not seed the Connecticut portion of the lake and will not seed for the new weeds identified over the last few years. 

Web-site: 
Be sure to visit our web-site for current information. It's hamiltonreservoir.com. There is information on rules of the lake, dock and boating. There is a link to the aquariders ski club.

Meeting Dates: 
Saturday June 1 and Saturday August 24 are our standard meeting dates. We usually meet the first Saturday following Memorial Day and the last Saturday before Labor Day. The meeting is at 9:00 a.m. and ends around 10:30 a.m. at the Holland Elementary School on Sturbridge Road. As usual there will be a time to gather and meet your neighbor and speak with the Board from 8:30 to 9:00 before the meeting. Coffee and refreshments will be served.

Topics for June Meeting: 
We will discuss the ramp for the South Lake, plans for seeding the lake in June and anything else the membership wishes to discuss. 

Important Rules and Regulations for our Lake

For further rules and regulations check our web-site

Aqua Riders to Put in Docks
The aqua Riders water ski club is holding a fund raiser this spring. They need to purchase a new ski boat. So the group will be putting docks in the water. The plan is to spend May 11 on the north lake and May 18 on the south lake. The cost is $50 and the proceeds will go to a very worthy cause. Contact Kathy at (413) 245-6815 with your name, telephone number and your address. 

Aqua Riders Ski Club
This group is well known to everyone on our lakes. Every summer there is a wonderful ski show and all are invited. If you have a child or teen interested in learning to water ski or interested in competing this is the group for you. Adults are also needed to drive the boats and help supervise and teach the youth. They will start meeting around the end of May. Please be in touch with one of the people in the above article if you have an interest.

Safety Message from Jim McKenna VP of Safety
Hello everyone, here's hoping we all have a happy, safe, boating season this year. Chester Sergey from Wolcott, CT sent me a wonderful article about boating safety and in order to share it all with you, I have extracted some of the most important highlights in the article.

For the year 2000, the number of boating fatalities reached an all time low of 701 which amounts to 5.5 per 100,000 numbered boats. Ten years ago, the number was 924 or 7.9 per 100,000 numbered boats. A significant decline in 2000 but not good enough (Ask anyone that lost a loved one…)

Boating is becoming safer as far as fatalities go but the injuries and accidents are increasing at an alarming rate, the number of injuries requiring treatment over the last 10 years has increased from 3,967 to 4,335. The total number of boating accidents over the past 10 years was 7,740. Out of 701 boating fatalities, 519 were due to drowning and 445 of the victims were NOT wearing life jackets. With the introduction of comfortable to wear PFD's, there is little reason for any boating passengers to object to their use by adults and children alike. Out of 7,740 reported accidents, 5,157 were attributed to operator inattention, inexperience, careless or reckless operation, excessive speed and no proper lookout. Many could have been avoided by boat owners and operators simply utilizing proper safety measures. A recent study of 10,084 vessels involved in accidents showed that 3,267 of the vessels involved were Personal Watercraft (jet skis). Of those accidents 2,287 or 70% involved collision with another vessel. Operator inattention and failure to maintain a proper lookout are major players here.

By state regulation, the following persons are required to wear a type 1,2,3,4,or 5 PFD:
1. children under 12 years of age
2. persons water skiing or being towed in any manner
3. Personal Watercraft users
4. Persons aboard a canoe or kayak from Sept. 15 through May 15

The minimum age for operation of a motorboat in Massachusetts is 12 years of age, unless accompanied by a competent adult. Operation of any motorboat or personal watercraft is totally prohibited within 150 feet of shorelines being used as swimming areas.

Persons must NOT operate Personal Watercraft: Personal Watercraft operators shall:
1. if less than 16 years of age
2. during the nighttime
3. on state waters less than 75 acres
4. while towing a skier (or any person) in any manner
5. so as to unreasonably jump the wake of another boat
6. so as to weave through congested boat traffic
7. so as to cross unreasonable close to another boat 
1. wear an approved life preserver
2. Ensure that all passengers wear a PFD
3. Attach a safety lanyard to their person
4. Operate at no wake speed within 150 feet
    of shore
5. Complete basic boating safety course 
    to operate at 16 & 17 years of age


A great deal of boating safety comes down to the operator being in control of the vessel. All must be knowledgeable and alert. Owners must assure that all passengers wear a comfortable PFD particularly in smaller boats and on ALL passengers' not just children. Proper education can provide a major assist in avoiding boat accidents and or fatalities. Any new purchaser a boat should seek some form of recognized boating education, those sponsored by the American Red Cross, the states, USCG auxiliary and US Power Squadrons

Have a great summer on the lake and please make it a safe one for all concerns. Thanks in advance for your careful attention to safety.

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