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Minutes Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee August 26 2013

Regular Meeting Minutes

Monday, August 26, 2013

Middlefield Community Center

Present: Amy Poturnicki, Craig Lundell, Jim Irish, Randy Bernodas, Lucy Petrella, Darin Overton, and Edward Bailey

Absent: Daria Vander Veer, Dick Boynton, Rebecca Adams, Pete Parker, Rob Poturnicki, and Jon Brayshaw (ex officio)

Also present: Dr. Mark June-Wells (Lake Manager and Limnologist) of New England Environmental, Inc..and one member of the public.

 Amy Poturnicki called the meeting to order at 7:12. Motion to approve the agenda was made and seconded and approved unanimously. A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes of the July 22, 2013 committee meeting. After discussion the motion was approved by all attending members except for abstentions by Lucy Petrella and Darrin Overton.

Meeting was opened to public comment. None was heard.

Ed Bailey discussed Milone and MacBroom’s Lake Beseck Watershed Management Study Proposal dated August 9, 2013. The Board of Selectmen acted to approve this based on the recommendation put forward by the Ad Hoc Committee on July 22. This proposal reflects the scope that includes a storm water study, sediment analysis, watershed management recommendations and preliminary design plan. The proposal was revised at the request of the First Selectman Jon Brayshaw to add a breakdown of professional fees and additional details. The proposal was discussed among the Committee and Mark June Wells.

There was a discussion regarding an approval process for billable hours for our Lake Manager. There was general agreement that most matters concerning tasks for the Lake Manager can be discussed at the Committee’s monthly meetings but should an issue requiring timely action or response by the Lake Manager, a subcommittee consisting of Amy Poturnicki, Jim Irish and Edward Bailey would review the issue and advise, via the Committee Chairman, the office of First Selectman for approval. A motion was made and seconded to appoint said subcommittee and was unanimously approved.

Mark June Wells provided a discussion regarding lake data compilation. It is contemplated that the data could be posted on the Town web site at some point and in the meantime put into Mark June Wells digital drop box for access. Data and studies prior to 2000 (which is when the sewer system replaced septic systems close to the Lake) are not of much value, given the distorted data from sewage pollution. It was agreed that this information can be summarized for the historical record and left out of data analysis. Post 2000 data and studies are being assembled and summarized for reference, however; generally they lack consistency and quality data. After the dam project, protocols for consistent data collection will need to be established to provide useful and meaningful data. This will provide a tool to determine effectiveness of lake management decisions. It is recommended that the testing be focused on the nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the lake as the remaining lake chemistry is geologically based and is relatively consistent.

Mark June Wells discussed his contact with two academic research scientists that have done prior studies at Lake Beseck. He is inquiring with them to have collaborative efforts on future studies of lake sediments and water chemistry.

Mark June Wells reported on the meeting held with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) regarding Lake Beseck. The meeting was attended by First Selectman Jon Brayshaw & Mark June Wells (Town); Commissioner Don Esty & Rob LaFrance (DEEP); our State Senator and State Representative. He reported that Jon Brayshaw related the recreational value of the lake and the issues involving invasive plants. Funding for projects relating to the lake was not encouraging. The DEEP representatives were however enthusiastic that the Town was moving forward with the storm water study and lake management.

The subject turned to questions regarding an EPA grant and a State STEAP grant. The due dates for these grant applications are September 15 and October 1, respectively. Darin Overton offered to contact Maryann Nusomhaverstock at DEEP, who is involved with the EPA grant program, to determine what type of applications are being considered (favored). Mark June Wells said he would seek further insight on STEAP grant requirements from his contacts at the state level. It was discussed that we should work toward requesting STEAP funding for dredging, although the required package of supporting studies and preliminary plans are not complete. It was considered that we could make a bulk request (cubic yardage) covering the north and west sides of the lake, pending specifics from Milone & MacBroom study at a later date, say in six months. It was discussed that at some level the state should (needs) to take into consideration the unique situation that the lake will be drawn down to 14 feet giving an opportunity for economical dredging. Mark June Wells advised the committee that there should be consideration to dredging the deeper areas of the lake where the sediment layer is likely to be deeper than closer to the shoreline.

Ed Bailey reported that he attended the pre-bid meeting held by DEEP at the dam location on August 15th. The meeting was well attended by at least 25 different contracting companies. It was indicated that construction is now scheduled to begin afterThanksgiving. The contract calls for a 300 day construction time frame with a penalty clause. The normal annual drawdown (six feet this year) will start as usual. Once the project starts the lake level will be the responsibility of the contractor. Other issues involving the project was discussed including flood control plans and downstream evacuation plans in case of a severe weather event. Offsite staging and storage is planned by DEEP to be at the state owned boat launch off of Baileyville Road. Contactors expressed interested in finding other suitable locations near the dam for staging. Jon Brayshaw had submitted several suggestions to DEEP previously. It appears that contractors might be interested in exploring some of these locations.

A motion was made to adjourn the meeting and seconded. The committee was adjourned at 8:35 PM.

Minutes submitted on August 28th, 2013 by: 

Edward Bailey

for the Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee