ECHO LAKE PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION
JULY 23, 2016
WELCOME: Called to order by Patti Lennon, Co-President, at 9:00 AM, with about 30 people attending.
Secretary’s Report: There was no Secretary’s Report.
Treasurer’s Report: Presented by Bill Mann, Treasurer; Attached.
Bill commented on the following Financial Highlights:
- The amount listed for the Aquatic Nuisance grant for 2016 is unusually high because it includes the first and second installments of the grant from 2015, as these were not dispersed until 2016. Usually, the first portion of the grant monies is received during the year of the grant and the second portion is received the following year after the final grant report is written and submitted to the state.
- The Color Challenge raised over $5,100, yielding about $4,200 net after expenses of $833.
- Blueberry bushes were provided at a discount to members. The $992 dollars in income was balanced by the $992 paid for the bushes ordered. This was not intended to be a fundraiser.
- Our payroll expense is $7,000 to date. We can expect another $7,000 in payroll expenses through Labor Day for the access monitors.
- Our membership numbers are down from last year and show a decline from year to year since 2014.
Motion to accept made by Jean Wilson, seconded by Engels; Accepted.
2016 Grants/Possible Dues Increase for 2017: Larry Martin thanked Cindy Swanson for writing our grant applications. Larry reported that our grants might be reduced in the future. was thanked for writing our grant applications.
Upon receipt of the Watershed grant, we also received a letter indicating that we need to take additional steps to fund our own program and not rely on this grant money.
The possibility of increasing dues was discussed but no decision was reached. Consideration was given to additional fundraising and increasing membership as solutions to increasing our income. Members volunteered to serve on two committees, “Fundraising” and “Membership.”
Suggestions were made to: look for other grants, send mailing to donate to greeter program, and sell pictures from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Access Greeter Report: Terry O’Brien first thanked Maryanne O’Brien and Pattie Lennon for their seven years of heading up the Access Greeter Program. Then he described the status of the program. Currently, we are monitoring seven days a week, twelve hours a day, two volunteer days and five paid. He named and thanked this year’s volunteer. Those present at the meeting were asked to consider volunteering another year.
This year’s activity to date as follows: 349 boats inspected — 97 kayaks, the balance fishermen. Increased use was due to day use by kayakers. Twelve plant samples were submitted to the state; three were Eurasion milfoil. In addition, after reports of milfoil in Seymour, Anne Bove of the state conducted a lake survey. No evidence of invasive plant life was found. Eleven native plants were identified in our lake.
Lake Bed Survey: Patti Lennon reported that the volunteers on the lake completed the first lake survey. No invasive aquatic species were found. In addition, after 3 boats inspected entering Lake Seymour were found to have milfoil and all three indicated that they had last been in Echo Lake, Ann Bove and two other researchers from the State of Vermont inspected 10 different areas of the lake and found no invasive plants.
We are still looking for more volunteers to survey the lake.
Presentation of Invasive & existing plants in Echo Lake: – Larry Martin presented samples of four different invasive species – Eurasion Water- Milfoil, Variable-Leaf Milfoil, Curly Leaf Pondweed, and Starry Stonewort.
Curly Leaf Pondweed was recently found in Island Pond. The plant thrives in conditions normally less habitable to native plant species. It competes with native plant life and sometimes displaces it. Curly pondweed may clog waterways, inhibiting aquatic recreation and is considered a nuisance in some areas.
Starry Stonewort was recently introduced to Vermont and has been found in Scott’s Cove near Prouty beach on Mempremagog. Scott’s Cove has a surface area of 25 acres. Twenty-four acres have been taken over by the Starry Stonewort, which creates a mat some 3 feet thick that acts as benthic barriers accumulating phytotoxins and making sediments inhospitable for plant growth. Dense mats directly impact the habitat used by native fish for spawning.
Water Quality: Peter Engels reported that the program is active, with weekly measurements. The purpose is to measure water clarity, as well as levels of phosphorous and chlorophyll. There will be 8-12 samples sent and so far the results look favorable. There have been four loons spotted on the lake, but there appears to be no nesting this year.
Color Challenge Report: Patti Lennon reported that the 2016 Color Challenge Race was a big success, raising $4,300. Thirty-one local businesses made financial as well as material donations. There was a suggestion to give recognition to these businesses by listing them on our website There were160 participants and 30 Assn. volunteers. The race will be held again in 2017.
Better Roads/Charleston Grant: Tom Wagner reported that the state awarded the Town of Charleston a grant to $20,000 toward the regrading of East Echo Lake Road to reduce runoff into the lake. The road was crowned, berms were removed on either side of the road to allow for in situ runoff, and a riprap ditch was created along the inside edge of the road. Over time the riprap ditch will require maintenance as the ditch fills with sand and gravel
Blueberry Plant Sale Report: Susan Czerepak reported that as part of the Buffers for Blue Lakes program this past spring the Association arranged with Spates Florist for a special sale of blueberry bushes. Twelve property owners participated in the program, purchasing 64 plants at a total cost of $992 and contributing 58 man-hours of work.
Lake Wise Evaluations: Susan Czerepak reported that four property owners have signed up for Lake Wise evaluations in July. Currently eight property owners have received the Lake Wise Award and three have received the Lake Wise certificate. Additional evaluations can be done at the end of August.
Nomination of Board Members and Officers: Nancy Engels proposed a slate of new Board Members and officers – Keith Gee and Susan Czerepak; proposed new Secretary, Susan Czerepak. Patti Lennon has agreed to accept a second term as Co-President.
Election of Board Members and Officers: New Board Members and Secretary were elected unanimously.
By-Laws Changes: Larry Martin presented the proposed changes to the By-Laws, which involved removal of the specified committees and replacing it with the statement that the Board will appoint committees to meet the requirements of the Association. This action is being taken to allow for the creation of whatever committees are appropriate for the activities determined to be relevant by the Board.
Motion was made by Jean Wilson to accept the by-law changes and seconded by Nancy Engels. The motion was approved for the proposed changes.
Annual Picnic Potluck – Will be held at 4:30 on Saturday, August 20th, at the Koenigsbauers’, Beams’ and Wilsons’ beach at the North End of the lake.
Other Business: – No other business was brought forward for discussion.
Meeting adjourned: At 11:00 AM:
Moment of Silence: Mike Vinton led a moment of silence in memory of Eric Stevens who, sadly, passed away on Friday, July 15th.
Submitted by: Susan Czerepak, Secretary, on August 23, 2016
Approved: As amended September 10, 2016
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