NOTES FROM THE
ECHO LAKE PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING, JULY 27, 2013
The meeting was held at the Engles residence and was called to order by Tom Wagner, President, at 10:20 AM.
Approximately 50 people were in attendance.
Board Members present: Tom Wagner, President; Bill Mann, Treasurer; John Simsarian; Maryanne O’Brien; Diane Anderson
New Board Members elected at the Annual Meeting present: Jeffrey Fernandez, Patti Lennon, Nancy Tessier, Mike Vinton
New Board Member elected at the Annual Meeting not present: Carroll Silloway
The following took place:
1) Introductions: Everyone present introduced themselves.
2) Treasurer’s Report: Bill Mann, Treasurer, distributed a Financial Highlights statement and made the following comments:
The Charleston Town Grant went from $800 to $1,000.
The Milfoil Grant was not funded by the state this year due to inadequate state funds.
The hours of paid monitors/greeters at the access were increased this year.
The Watershed Grant, which is usually $10,000, is only $4,000 this year due to Federal sequestration. (Discussion took place regarding the impact of the decreased grant funding.)
Donations have increased.
The Liability Insurance has doubled from $250 to $500 because the minimum cost has increased.
The Association financial status is alright for this year, but could be problematic in subsequent years.
3) 501 (c)3 Status: Tom Wagner reported that the work on this “non-profit” status is in process.
4) Septic Social Report: Tom Wagner reported that this educational event regarding septic systems took place on July 19 and was well attended with over 40 people participating. It was necessary to split into two sessions. Two septic systems were viewed: one on Seymour Lake and the system at Tom and Amy Wagner’s house. Tom was thanked by those in attendance for his leadership with this project.
5) Vermont Loon Recovery Project: Eric Hanson from the Vermont Loon Recovery Project reported on the history of the loon project and the importance on maintaining shoreline with a buffer of grown in vegetation. He also spoke about the importance of woody debris in the lake as part of maintaining an ecosystem. Echo Lake had a failed loon nest site this year. He displayed the two eggs that had been abandoned. Overall, he reported that the loon project has been successful and the state loon population has increased.
6) Access/Greeter Monitoring: Maryanne O’Brien reported that in an effort to keep Echo Lake free of invasive vegetation the Association employs two greeters for a total of 60 hours per week. There are five volunteers. Coverage at the boat access takes place from Memorial weekend to mid-September. Effort is made to have coverage from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Any plant material that is intercepted from boats or trailers is documented. She reported that Echo is still free of invasive aquatic plants. She urged that everyone should be watching for milfoil and should be educating guests who bring boats to the lake. She indicated that there is a need for more volunteers and asked people to contact her if they wish to volunteer.
7) Lay Monitoring: Peggy Stevens reported that volunteers are doing aquatic surveying of the lake to identify plants growing in the lake and to particularly look for milfoil. She indicated that native plant growth is good for the health of the lake, however, it is very important to identify milfoil. Milfoil can grow up to 15 to 20 feet in depth. She asked for people to volunteer to be aquatic surveyors and to take on a section of the lake to survey. She also asked for everyone to monitor their own shorelines. If anyone has questions about a plant she can be called at 723-5951.
8) Water Quality: Peter Engles reported that he and Mike Vinton are monitoring the water quality and take water samples every week. Chlorophyll and phosphorus are measured by the state. Echo Lake is 2nd only to Maidstone for the best water quality. Seymour Lake has a problem with lawns going to the lake and, therefore, has a problem with phosphorus.
9) Lake Wise Program: Tom Wagner reported that the state will be surveying lake shoreland and is looking for property owners to volunteer for their property to be reviewed. They will be looking at structures and driveways on the property and how the shoreline is maintained. The goal is to have at least 15% of the properties on the lake meet the standards. He indicated that he should be contacted if people want to volunteer.
10) Buffers for Blue Lakes: Tom Wagner reported that this project is to encourage people to plant blueberry bushes along the lakeshore to increase the buffer zone. Some reimbursement is available to the property owner for the bushes.
11) Smelt/Fish Survey: George Thompson reported that the lake has been stocked with 1,000 lake trout, rainbow trout are reproducing, small mouth bass are in the lake. He said that fishing has been good. He reported that he has been working on the reintroduction of smelt into the lake for six years, however, he has not brought eggs to the lake for the last two years. Smelt is an important food source for the larger trout and there are beginning to be indications that smelt are again in the lake.
12) Election of New Board Members and Officers: The following slate of new board members and officers was proposed:
New Members: Jeffrey Fernandez, Patti Lennon, Carroll Silloway, Nancy Tessier, Mike Vinton.
Officers: President: Tom Wagner; Vice President: Patti Lennon; Treasurer: Bill Mann; Secretary: John Simsarian.
A motion was made and seconded to cast one ballot for the above. The motion was passed unanimously.
13) Other Business:
Shoreland Protection Legislation: Tom Wagner announced that there will be a Public Hearing on Shoreland Bill H526 at the Eastside Restaurant on August 9 at 1:30 PM. Tom encouraged members to support this legislation and to attend the public hearing.
Echo Lake Road Race: Patti Lennon announced that the annual Echo Lake Road Race will take place on August 24 and encouraged people to participate.
14) Northwoods Stewardship Center: Jayson Benoit from the Center gave a brief overview of the programs operated including: Land Stewardship, Education Programs (150 school programs, 60 adult workshops, 7 summer and winter camps), Summer Conservation Corp. (hires 60 local youth), Forest Stewardship Institute, Demonstration Forestry, maintaining of ski trails. Nancy Engles was recognized for her years on the Board of Directors and her role as President of the Northwoods Stewardship Center Board.
The Annual Meeting adjourned at 12 noon and a potluck lunch followed the meeting.
John Simsarian, Secretary
August 22, 2013
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