Current Minutes

Big Alum Lake Association Meeting
July 1, 2017

The meeting was called to order at 10:00 AM.

The minutes of the August 20, 2016 meeting, copies of which were available at the meeting and which had been posted on the Big Alum Website, were accepted.

Janet Garon gave the Treasurer's Report.  Income included 2016 dues , 2017 dues, the 2016 Wine and Beer Tasting, advertising, interest, and deposit of a stale-dated check.
Expenses included printing of the 2016 and 2017 meeting notices, postage, PO Box rental, 2017 purchase of buoys, membership decals, the Wine and Beer Tasting, the Ugly Sweater event, the Baba Karaoke event, donations to meeting venues, and filing of the State Annual Report.  The Savings account balance and the total balances of the CDs were given.  The Treasurer's Report was accepted.

President Joel Casaubon asked if any new members were present; Mark and Barbara Smith introduced themselves and said that they had purchased the Field house on Lake Road.

Committee Reports:

Boating - Matt Kibbe reported that the buoys are in place - yellow are hazard buoys and orange mark the slalom course. He asked that jet skiers and tubers stay away from the orange buoys to avoid cutting them loose. He noted that the Sturbridge Police have a new Zodiak boat with a 175 hp engine, which allows them to patrol at night, so he advised residents to use bow and stern lights on when boating in the evening. Also, he said that Massachusetts Law states that boaters are responsible for their wakes, and asked residents to inform their guests of the State and local boating rules. To a question about how close fishermen are allowed to come to shore, Matt said that there are no restrictions.
Debbie Weber reported that an empty green rowboat had been floating along the Mt. Dan shoreline and that it has been pulled to the Daley property.
Chuck Roy announced that a second Boating Safety Course is scheduled for July 29, 2017 at the Sturbridge Host.

Dam - Ken Gajewski said that the dam is in good shape. The lake is full and has been since mid-May.

Environmental - Bruce Gran was not present, so Joel reported that the lake had been treated for nuisance weeds on June 19th. Solitude Lake Management will come back to spot check for weed growth and Joel suggested that if any residents are having problems near their properties to let him or Bruce know.

Fishing - Rob Scoble said that the lake had been stocked in the spring and will be again in the fall. Trout fishing was great this spring.

History - Joel noted that John Puffer is still looking for old pictures and information that residents would like to share. Joel said that Scott Phipps had found a 1923 depth sounding chart of the lake; it was on the front table for anyone interested in looking at it.

Membership - Rick Predella reported that membership was off to a good start this summer. He introduced his committee: Tom Clark, Mari Roy, Dave Bellerose, Jamie Skowyra, Laura Elisson, Barbara Hitchcock, and Peg Predella and noted the areas of the lake for which each is responsible: He distributed BALA stickers to paid members who were present.
To a question about why the dues had been reduced to $25.00 this year, Joel said that for the last couple of years, the Town of Sturbridge has used some of its Betterment Funds to help lake associations pay for weed treatments. Big Alum has benefited from this so BALA is able to reduce the dues for 2017.

Recreation - Mari Roy introduced her committee: Liz Detarando, Kathy Harrington, Barbara Hitchcock, Taylor Nelson, Marion Reilly, and Marnie Treitman. During the winter, the group had planned an Ugly Sweater party and the BALA at Baba event. For the summer, they have organized the Pontoon tie-ups, the Boat Parade and lighting of the lake (July 2), a kayak breakfast, and the BALA Gala (August 4). On August 12, they hope to hold a golf outing - 9 holes at Hemlock Golf Course on Holland Road. The group will post details on Facebook, on the Web site, and by e-mail.

By-Laws - Janet Garon said that there has been a change in demographics at the lake since 2013 when the By-laws were last revised. Therefore a committee had been formed to review the "mission statement" and the membership and voting sections of the document. Committee members included Janet, John Fearing, Gary Galonek, Sam Gilbert, Beverly Litchfield, and Chuck Roy.
Janet explained the recommendations of the committee:
The "mission statement" will reflect the objective and purpose stated in Article I of the By-laws.
Article III - Membership -Voting membership (Full Membership) shall be by permanent or seasonal waterfront properties and each property will get one (1) vote. Multiple waterfront properties owned by a common single owner will be allowed one (1) vote per property. "Associations" or other common areas (eg: Trail Road Assoc., Paradise Lane Assoc., Italian Club), used by members that own property on the water, will be allowed one (1) vote. It is the recommendation of the committee that the vote goes to the property instead of to individual members. The members of these in-common associations, also known as Associate Members, will be eligible to participate in all BALA activities and to receive any financial discounts provided on BALA activities.
Article IV - Voting - At times when a paper ballot is to be used, it is the recommendation of the committee to allow provision for absentee ballots. The absentee ballot will be available on the Big Alum Web site where it may be downloaded, completed, and returned to the Clerk before the scheduled meeting. There will be no proxy voting. Beverly Litchfield encouraged members to continue to go to the BALA meetings and use the absentee ballots only when they were away or otherwise unable to attend.
Janet said that she will present the updated and revised By-laws at the August annual meeting when there will be an "all or nothing" vote on them. Until that vote, the old by-laws will be in effect.

SLAC - Joel said that he will be stepping down from SLAC next year and that Chuck Roy will be taking his place. He noted that the Boating Safety courses are sponsored by SLAC. Mike Detarando asked about the possibility of a "boat-wash" at the State ramp, but Joel said that it would require a Ranger to supervise. The DOT is studying water running off the Pike from Draper Woods. Mark Minnucci said that he is looking into this and will report on the matter when he learns more.
SLAC will be taking water samples and testing for clarity and oxygen levels on July 30th.

Old Business - Joel said that our lake logo is still available at LogoUp where people may purchase t-shirts, hats, bags, etc. A link to LogoUp is on the Web site.

New Business - Barbara Hitchcock noted the passing of Linda DeMaio, Robert and Nancy Allan's daughter.

Joel reminded members to check the web site for Lost and Found items and for ads for businesses that are posted on the site.

To a question about how many properties are seasonal, Ken replied that last year he estimated about 65.

The meeting adjourned at 11:00 AM.
Respectfully submitted,
Barbara LaRochelle

BALA Minutes - Archives

July 8, 2006


August 12, 2006


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 August 11, 2007 


July 5, 2008


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July 11, 2009


August 15, 2009

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