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Big Alum Lake Association Meeting
August 12, 2006

The meeting was called to order at 10:05 A.M.

The minutes of the July 8, 2006 were distributed and President Janet Garon asked that a reading of the minutes be waived; the minutes were approved as written. David Stevens provided the financial report as of July 30, 2006. David highlighted key expenses and reported that dues continue to be the largest source of revenue for the Association.  Following questions from BALA members, the Treasurer’s report was accepted as presented.

Committee reports followed:
* For the Boating Committee, Joel Casaubon and Matt Kibbe reported that it had been a safe and busy summer on the lake.
* For the Environmental Committee, Tammy Chase said that her committee had met twice since the July B.A.L.A. meeting. Each committee member has assumed a specific role: Paul Delacey-communication, Boo Wheaton-liaison with the Town, Bob Young-cataloging of data, Bruce Gran-fundraising and finance, Elise Casaubon and Scott Sanderson-environmental education. Tammy had spoken with Lycott and with the Town Conservation Commission regarding the new State regulations governing weed treatment and other water maintenance issues. Based on information gathered from the Town, she made a motion to appropriate two segments of monies totaling $8,200.00. The first segment of $4,600.00 would be needed by September 1, 2006. It would include $2,600 for the acceptance of Lycott Environmental’s bid to file the NOI with the Sturbridge Conservation Commission and to conduct the Wildlife Habitat Survey or the Shoreline Survey, $500.00 in State filing fees, and $1,500.00 for abutters’ notification. The second segment of $3,600.00 would be needed in the spring of 2007. This amount would cover the 2007 weed treatments. The motion to approve the appropriation of $8,200.00 carried.
Tammy said that a second environmental issue involved the development of a 40-acre parcel of land in the northwest section of the lake. Half of the lake’s watershed is in that area. Snowflake, LLC, owned by the Locontos, has proposed putting a single-family home on 12 acres of the land, but the home site is two feet from the wetlands. Concern was expressed about erosion and drainage both during and after construction. Boo Wheaton noted that we need to be aware of the thought processes behind the "slow start" of the development of the 40 acres. The Conservation Commission was planning to hold a meeting with the developer at 9:00 P.M. on August 31, 2006, and Tammy encouraged as many Big Alum residents as possible to attend.
*  Janet reported for the Fishing Committee that the State stocks the lake twice a year.
*  For the History Committee, Martha Fearing noted that she has been organizing the material and plans to continue writing this fall.
* For the Membership Committee, Tim Gresenz reported that his committee’s goal is to bring the number of dues-paying residents to 100%. In 2004, 45% of the 200 recorded lot-owners on the lake had paid dues, in 2005, 67%, and as of August 1, 2006, 68%. The committee members will follow up with those who have not paid dues by this fall and may send out a special mailing in October.

Andi Cropley reported on the BALA Bash. 147 adults’ and 26 children’s tickets had been sold. Gross receipts totaled $4,980.00 ($1,626 – tickets, $288.00 – 50/50 raffle, $3,066.00 – silent auction). Expenses, which included tents, rentals, food, invitations, tablecloths, postage, and soda/ice, totaled $2,167.52. Net proceeds for the 2006 BALA Bash were $2,812.48. Andi thanked her co-chair Jane Howlett and others who had helped organize the event. In other fund-raising matters, Janet reported that registrations for the Golf Tournament were coming in slowly.

Paul Lamarine asked that his Big Alum statistics be recorded in the minutes. As of August 1, Big Alum had 30 rafts, 43 pontoon boats, 6 deck boats, 99 motor boats, 34 personal watercraft, and 37 flagpoles.

Scott Sanderson made a motion to raise the dues for 2007 to $70.00. His reason was the increased cost of weed treatment and permitting. Discussion followed. Those opposed to the $70.00 noted that the dues had just been increased from $20.00 to $30.00 last year and that gradual increases are easier for people to accept. Robert Lebow said that people who have not paid the current dues probably will be unwilling to pay $70.00, and that we may lose some current dues-paying members as well. Scott’s motion to raise the dues to $70.00 was defeated. Joel Casaubon made a second motion to raise the dues to $50.00. Jim Field asked how much of the $35,000.00 in the CD’s is available to pay for the weed treatment and permitting. He reminded the members that $6000.00 from the treasury had been allotted last year to pay for road drainage repairs at the north end of the lake. After some discussion about the merits of raising the dues to $50.00, Joel’s motion passed.

*  For the Dam Committee, Ken Gajewski said that some residents’ walls are deteriorating. He recommended opening the dam on September 15, 2006, drawing down the water 36 inches, maintaining that level, and closing the dam no later than December 31, 2006. Matt Kibbe noted that September is one of the nicest months for boating, and suggested waiting until October 1 to open the dam. Paul Lamarine said that he couldn’t do any work on his wall last year because the water level had stayed high. Ken said that the water level goes down about one inch per day and that people could still use their boats until October 1. Paul remarked that by October 1 most boats are already out of the water. He added that people need several weeks to make arrangements to repair their walls; he had already hired his contractor. Ernie Tucker reiterated that September is a good boating month and suggested that the lower drawdown be done only every four years. Janet called for a vote on Ken’s original motion; the motion passed by a majority of affirmative votes.
* Tim Gresenz spoke for the Nominating Committee. Officers and Directors are elected for one-year terms. The slate of Directors for 2006-2007 included: Kate Alexander, Joel Casaubon, Tammy Chase, Martha Fearing, Kenneth Gajewski, Janet Garon, Tim Gresenz, Patricia Howard, Matt Kibbe, Paul Lamarine, Barbara LaRochelle, Robert Scoble, and David Stevens. The slate of Directors was unanimously approved.

The slate of Officers for 2006-2007 included: Janet Garon - President, Katherine Alexander - Vice President, David Stevens - Treasurer, Barbara LaRochelle – Recording Secretary/Clerk, Patricia Howard – Corresponding Secretary. The slate of Officers was unanimously approved.

Janet announced that Scott Sanderson was the recipient of the 2006 Friend of Big Alum Award. She thanked him for his ongoing participation on the Environmental Committee and for his maintenance of the Big Alum website.

Janet asked for volunteers to chair the 2007 Bash Committee. She noted that the Summer, 2007 meetings will be held July 7 and August 11.

Under New Business, Robert Lebow commented that the cell tower on the southeast side of Big Alum is an unsightly intrusion on the pristine look of the lake. He asked if cell towers can be camouflaged. Janet said that the tower impacts the lake less than what was originally proposed.

The meeting adjourned at 11:10 A.M.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara LaRochelle, Secretary

BALA Minutes Archives

July 8, 2006

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August 12, 2006

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July 7, 2007  

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 August 11, 2007

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July 5, 2008

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August 9, 2008

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July 11, 2009

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August 15, 2009

July 3, 2010

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