Current Minutes

Big Alum Lake Association Meeting
August 15, 2009

President Janet Garon called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. The minutes of the July 11, 2009 meeting were accepted.

Roger White gave the Treasurer's report. Income since the last meeting had come from dues and the Bash.  The association has four CD's, two that will mature in 2010 and two that will mature in 2011.

Janet introduced special guest Lee Lyman of Lycott Environmental who spoke about his treatment of the lake's weeds on July 14. He said that he is preparing the paperwork for a new Notice of Intent for the Town and that he hopes that the current Order of Conditions will be extended for another three years. He noted that he had tested the leaves that fall into the lake and said that the phosphorus in the leaves is released into the lower layers of sediment. The cloudy algae in the cove behind the island is a sign of phosphorus in the water and the run-off at the north end is also contributing phosphorus to the lake. Lee said that the biggest risks to the lake come from construction and erosion.

Joel Casaubon reported for the Boating Committee that there is a new sign installed on the island. Matt Kibbe noted that the planned work on the boat ramp is moving forward.

For the Environmental Committee, Tammy reported that she had sent out an e-mail from the Sturbridge Lakes Advisory Committee describing five or six subcommittees which will need volunteers from the various lake associations. She asked members to consider volunteering.

For the Fishing Committee, Rob Scoble noted that four and five pound large mouth bass have been caught in the lake in recent weeks.

Ken Gajewski reported for the Dam Committee. He said that work on the boat launch is scheduled to begin after Labor Day. Sturbridge is offering Terry Smith and his crew use of a Town excavator and a dump truck. Although Terry will be requesting a drawdown date to accommodate his work, Ken suggested that the association vote to open the dam on November 1st as usual with the understanding that the date is subject to change. Ken also noted that some rocks have been dislodged near the dam causing sink holes. He has notified the Town. There has been no upkeep to the rock face of the dam and this is causing some erosion. Matt Kibbe will speak to Greg Morse about that.

Martha Fearing was not present to give a History Committee report, but Barbara LaRochelle asked members to visit the History pages of the Web site to see if they can identify some of the old cottages pictured there.

Tim Gresenz gave the Membership Committee's report. He said that membership in the association has declined slightly - in 2007, there were 146 dues-paying families, in 2008, 140, and in 2009, 128. Tim and his committee will contact those who have not paid and will try to encourage them to join. It was suggested that the association place a "thank-you-to-those-who-have-paid-dues" list on the Web site. Janet said that the Board will discuss that idea at a meeting in the fall.

A motion was made to accept the Treasurer's and Committees' reports. The motion passed.

Tracy Murphy reported that the Bash was a success this summer and thanked all who attended. Attendance was down a bit and the net picnic cost to the association was $719.97. Income from the 50/50 raffle, silent auction, and donations totaled $2,789.50, giving a net income for the day of $2,289.53.

Janet called for votes on specific items:

1) Lake drawdown - Ken Gajewski made a motion to have a normal drawdown, starting on November 1, lowering the water 30 inches, and maintaining that level until January 1, 2010 at which time the dam will be closed. He made the motion with the understanding that the association will go along with drawdown recommendations of Terry Smith of the Division of Fish and Game when the State undertakes repair of the boat launch. The motion passed

2) 2010 dues - Tim Gresenz made a motion to keep the dues at $50.00. Joel Casaubon suggested that, since the treasury was in good shape, we could lower the dues amount. The Pookookapoag Association had eliminated their dues for one year. Discussion about lowering the dues included questions about major expenditures such as repair of the dam, weed treatment, and already-appropriated funds ($6000.00) for fixing drainage problems at the north end of the lake. Tim's original motion passed.

3) Liability insurance - Janet asked for approval to pay $783.00 for liability insurance for the officers and directors of the association. The motion passed.

Paul Lamarine gave the Nominating Committee's report. He asked to add Tracy Murphy as a third Member-at-Large. According to Article 6, Section 1 of the association's Bylaws, the president may appoint another member at large to the Board. Janet appointed Tracy. Paul continued his report, nominating for one-year terms the following slate as the 2009-2010 BALA Board of Directors:
Joel Casaubon - Boating and Island
Tammy Chase - Environmental
Andrea Cropley
Martha Fearing - Historical, Member at Large
Kenneth Gajewski - Dam
Janet Garon
Tim Gresenz - Membership
Patricia Howard
Matt Kibbe - Boating and Island
Paul Lamarine - Member at Large
Barbara LaRochelle
Robert Scoble - Fishing
Roger White

Janet asked that one vote be cast for the slate. The slate was unanimously approved.

The Nominating Committee then nominated for one year terms the following slate as the 2009-2010 BALA Officers:
Janet Garon - President
Andrea Cropley - Vice President
Roger White - Treasurer
Barbara LaRochelle - Secretary/Clerk
Patricia Howard - Corresponding Secretary

One vote was cast to approve the slate of officers.

Janet announced that the recipient of the 2009 Friend of Big Alum Award was Corresponding Secretary, Pat Howard.

Janet asked for volunteers to chair the Earth Day, Golf Tournament, and Boat Parade committees. She then read her President's Report, thanking the Board of Directors and Officers for their continued support of the Association.

The dates of the 2010 meetings will be July 3 and August 14.

Paul Lamarine read his annual count of Big Alum items:



Pontoon boats



Personal watercraft



Deck boats

















A new category for 2010 will be "Gnomes on docks."

Under New Business, Robin Richey said that the members of the Pookookapoag Association who are seasonal residents want their sewer systems to be metered by the Town so that they will be charged by use rather than at the general rate. Robin is looking into this with the Town and wanted other residents to be aware of the Pookookapoag members' efforts and concerns.

Paul Lamarine asked for authorization to spend $100.00 for a megaphone which may be used at the Bash, boat parade, sailboat race, and other lake events. His request was approved by the membership.

The meeting adjourned at 11:19 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara LaRochelle, Secretary

BALA Minutes - Archives

July 8, 2006


August 12, 2006


July 7, 2007


 August 11, 2007 


July 5, 2008


August 9, 2008


July 11, 2009


August 15, 2009

July 3, 2010

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