Minutes of Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Committee May 12 2015
Lake Beseck Ad Hoc Advisory Committee Special Meeting
Tuesday May 12, 2015
Middlefield Community Center
1. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:15pm by Amy Poturnicki.
2. Members Present
Randy Bernotas, Amy Poturnicki, Richard Boynton, James Irish, Daria Vander Veer, Edward Bailey. Jon Brayshaw joined the meeting at 7:25pm
3. Approval of Agenda
Motion to approve the agenda of 5/12/15 made by Randy Bernotas and seconded by Ed Bailey. Motion carried unanimously.
4. Approval of March 30, 2015 Minutes
Motion to approve the minutes of the March 30, 2015 meeting, without changes, made by Amy Poturnicki and seconded by Ed Bailey. Motion carried unanimously (one abstention).
5. Public Comment
No member of the public were in attendance.
6. Chairman’s Report
On Earth day, the Committee had a good presence with a soil scientist from CT Ag Station who discussed environmentally friendly options when caring for lawns and gardens that will help to protect the lake. Amy demonstrated rain barrels, dog waste receptacle, and handed out informational brochures. Storm drain stencils were also on display as well as a sign up sheet for the upcoming awareness project.
On April 26, Ed represented the Committee (and the WPCA) at the Coginchaug Area Transition event “Spring into our Future” at the Federated Church. He reported that the event generated a lot of interest in the dog waste septic systems (Doggie Dooley) and rain barrels; the emphasis was on how to make the area more sustainable. Ed spoke on the strategies for limiting dog waste. He felt the outreach was worthwhile. Amy thanked him for stepping in and helping with this effort.
April 30 was the lake cleanup event; the stenciling project (June 13) will include several local groups including the boy scouts. An outreach brochure is in the works as well as stenciling kits for project participants.
May 4, CT DEEP fisheries came out and surveyed the lake; unofficial results were consistent with the fall findings, with a variety of breeds found. This is good news for the lake’s recovery.
The town budget passed last night, which included the reinstatement of $10,000 in funds that was initially decreased from the capitol account for lake projects.
May 21, 7:00pm is the next Lake Beseck Association meeting at the Community Center. Amy asked members to attend so LBA members can be more aware of the committee’s existence.
Amy Poturnicki took an underwater video of the lake. Water clarity was good, the beach area appeared free of invasive weeds, some unidentified weeds were observed past the swim area, there was also some plant growth coming out of the water. Other plant life included what looked like cattails growing along the perimeter of the lake and heavily at the south end. Mark June-Wells is going to see if he can identify the current plants and will report back on Friday. Mark thinks these plants could be buttonbush and cattails growing in various spots around the lake. Ed Bailey also mentioned seeing an unfamiliar plant with three spikes or leaves. Amy suggested they may be cattails. Amy indicated that we need to go back out on the lake and try lifting up the dead terrestrial materials lying on the bottom of the lake; it’s possible they could be holding back the invasives like a benthic barrier, which would be a good thing. Committee members also agreed that removing the terrestrials before the lake refilled would have cut down on the amount of dead, slimy material.
Jon Brayshaw noted that he believes Chuck Lee is now in charge of the grants program and has been taken off lakes. Amy Poturnicki will check into this.
7. Selectmen’s Report
The budget has been the main project, along with ongoing discussions about the Lake Shore Drive project (repairing the culvert under the road). That project has been worked out but has not been put out to bid. Jon Brayshaw mentioned that Buddy Altobello may be working on getting the town some funding for the project.
James Irish asked about the planned timing of the project; Jon and Ed indicated the proposed retention pools that the Committee was considering are not currently in the plan. James Irish recommended these be included in the plan. The Committee discussed possible options for creating ways to slow down the water flow and cause the sediment to drop out. Ed Bailey mentioned that the budget does include capital funding to pay for environmental analysis; he recommended the committee ask Brian Curtis to do some analysis so that the work can be included in the town’s project of repairing the culvert.
Jon Brayshaw recommended that the Committee work together with Parks & Rec to ensure that the beach area receives proper attention and care. He mentioned it’s not clear who is taking responsibility for the beach area. The Committee discussed options for the lake area and its maintenance.
Storm drain stencils: Amy Poturnicki showed the Committee the stencils that are ready to be used. The project is June 13th; eight kits will be handed out (four people per kit). One person is responsible for safety and traffic control; two people stencil; and one person will be responsible for quality control. T-shirts will be given to participants. Amy demonstrated the materials and procedures for stenciling.
Amy also showed the Committee some brochures from the EPA that discuss stormwater runoff and pollution. Ed Bailey said the town can handle the printing of the brochures on plain paper. Different methods of distribution the flyers were discussed; the boy scouts can carry them to hand out to interested passersby, or they can be handed out door-to-door, or a mailer can go out.
Pet Waste: Amy demonstrated the different containers for pet waste and for bags. Amy mentioned the idea of a kiosk, and/or a bench, at the intersection of Lake Shore/Lake Road and Algonquin, so people can sit and read about the happenings in the lake area. James Irish mentioned that any kiosk would have to not block drivers’ view up Algonquin. Vandalism is also a concern. Other options for locations to put up signage and/or announcements were discussed. The Committee also discussed likely locations for pet bag stations, signs, and/or mailings to raise awareness about animal waste and its effects on the lake.
Amy indicated the committee needs to decide on specific next steps for outreach. There are still plenty of people living in the lake area who are unaware of the committee’s existence and who don’t know about the issues. Amy appointed a subcommittee to create a mailing for the committee to approve.
Amy Poturnicki handed out literature on soil testing from the CT Agricultural Station and brochures about rain barrels and described to committee members how they work. Randy Bernotas mentioned he could probably procure a large number of appropriate barrels.
Amy Poturnicki handed out additional literature about green lawn care and stormwater runoff issues. Ed Bailey discussed the challenges of tracking how often people are having their septic systems cleaned or inspected, and possible ordinances that could monitor such activity.
Amy Poturnicki mentioned the recommendation from Milone & McBroom to determine the source of the fecal chloroform in the lake. Lee Vito knows of a lab in Old Saybrook that can test the nature of the contaminants to determine whether the waste is animal or human, and Amy indicated Lee will follow up on that question.
Motion to adjourn made by Ed Bailey and seconded by Amy Poturnicki. Motion carried unanimously.
Minutes respectfully submitted by Daria Vander Veer and Amy Poturnicki