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Big Alum Lake Association Meeting
August 14, 2010

The meeting was called to order at 10:00 AM.  President Janet Garon asked if there were any new members, and Rick Predella of 169 Lake Road introduced himself.

The minutes of the July 3, 2010 meeting were accepted.

Roger White gave the Treasurer's report, noting that  $6250.00 had been collected in dues, and that the net income from the Bash was $2,328.83,

Committee reports were given. For the Boating & Island Maintenance Committee, Matt Kibbe said that it had been a good summer except for the fire incident on the island. Joel Casaubon and Rick Predella had disposed of the telephone poles; unfortunately there have been no leads regarding the people responsible for the vandalism. Jim Field noted that he had witnessed jet-skiers pulling skiers, and that when he spoke to police he learned that there have been changes to the towing law. Matt said that in Connecticut it is ok to tow skiers behind jet skis and that he was aware that now the law in Massachusetts permitted this as well. The State boating rules are posted on our web site and at the boat ramp. Joel said that we can contact our Senator to voice our opinion about the law. A motion was made and approved that we contact the Public Safety Commission to express our opposition to the legislation. Joel will do so.

For the Environmental Committee, Bruce Gran said that a water test of the lake showed a clarity depth of 18½ feet, a Ph of 7.4, and good water temperature. Jim Field asked that Lycott let the Association know earlier when they are planning to treat weeds in the lake.

Rob Scoble was not present to give the Fishing Committee's report, but it was noted that the lake had been stocked recently. There is a link on our web site to the State's stocking schedule.

Ken Gajewski gave the Dam Committee's report. He said that the water is down only 2½ inches at the spillway. There was some discussion about lowering the water in the fall. Bruce Gran asked if the draw-down can be 36" rather than 30" so that he can rebuild the wall on his shoreline. Further discussion was deferred until the remainder of the committee reports had been given.

Barbara LaRochelle gave the History Committee's report. A new chapter has been posted in our online history book telling the story of five Spencer boys who "discovered" Big Alum in the late 1800's. Barbara thanked the Faxon family for sharing their story. She also asked members to look at the chapter titled Cottages at Lake Pookookapog to see if they recognized any of the properties pictured and knew any tales about the cottage's past.

For the Membership Committee, Tim Gresenz said that 122 people had paid their dues as of the August meeting. Last year, 130 had paid, 140 the year before, and 146 the year before that. He and his committee will send out the membership form again to those who have not joined the Association, and they will make contact with any new owners.

A motion was made and approved to accept the treasurer's and all committees' reports.

For the Bash Committee, Tracy Murphy said that attendance was up this year to 138 with 23 children. The party generated a lot of revenue for the lake. Income from ticket sales was $1210.00 and expenses totaled $2119.17 giving a loss of $909.17, but income from cash donations, the auctions, and the raffle totaling $3238.00 resulted in net income for the day of $2328.83. Tracy thanked Janet and Bob for hosting the bash, Paul Lamarine for arranging for the catering from Karin's Kitchen, the auction team, and everyone who helped make the day such a success. He noted that Noah Lis, the musician who entertained that day, was outstanding.

Discussion about the lake draw-down resumed. Our NOI states that we will open the dam on November 1 and draw down the water 30 inches. Ken made a motion that this year we open the dam on October 15, lower the water 36 inches, and close the dam on December 31. The motion passed. Barbara will write a letter to the Conservation Commission asking for approval of this plan and noting that the Association will make the request at five year intervals only. If our plan is approved by the Conservation Commission, Pat Howard will e-mail residents that this will be the year to do any shoreline improvements. (The last 36" draw-down was in 2006.)

A vote was taken to keep the 2011 dues at $50.00. There were no material financial requests from the committee chairs.

Janet called for the election of officers and directors for 2010-2011. Paul Lamarine read the list of Directors: Janet Garon, Andi Cropley, Barbara LaRochelle, Pat Howard, Tammy Chase, Ken Gajewski, Matt Kibbe, Joel Casaubon, Tim Gresenz, Tracy Murphy, Paul Lamarine, Martha Fearing, and Rob Scoble. One vote was cast for the slate.  Paul then read the slate of Officers for 2010-2011: President - Janet Garon, Vice President - Andi Cropley, Secretary - Barbara LaRochelle, Corresponding Secretary - Pat Howard, and Treasurer - Janet Garon. Janet said that originally she had planned to step down as President and to take over as Treasurer when Roger White gave up his position. She has since agreed to continue as President for one more year. There is nothing in our by-laws that prevents her from holding both offices, but she will ask the Vice President to sign checks with her this year. One vote was cast for the slate of Officers.

Janet presented the 2010 Friend of Big Alum award to Barbara LaRochelle. Barbara has been the secretary of the Big Alum Lake Association since the 1980's, has designed and maintains the BALA Web site, and has been part of the History Committee since 2006.

Thank-you gift cards were given to Roger for serving as Treasurer and to Janet for hosting the bash at her home.

Janet appointed Andi Cropley as chairman of the Boat Parade, Tracy and Nancy Murphy as chairmen of the BALA Bash, and Kate Alexander as chairman of the new Triathlon. Kate said that the triathlon would celebrate our lake and she will plan it for next summer.

Janet read her President's Message. She commented on the continued quality of the lake, and thanked members for their support of events like the boat parade and the picnic. She encouraged people to visit the BALA web site and expressed her appreciation to the Board of Directors for all that they do for the Association.

She asked people to maintain a neighborhood watch to protect the island and the properties around the lake. Joel mentioned that he had placed a calendar on Google where people can sign up to reserve the island or view its usage. Janet asked Barbara to post a link to the Google calendar on our web site.

The 2011 BALA meetings will be held on July 2nd and August 13th.

Under Old Business, Janet reported that Jason Ricci knows that the tree that fell into the lake from his yard is his responsibility. She also asked that dog owners keep their pets in their own yards.

Paul Lamarine gave his annual lake-items report:

Motorboats - 105; Pontoon boats - 48;   Flagpoles - 37;  Personal watercraft - 37; Sailboats - 9;  Deck boats - 4 Plane - 1;  Rafts - 39;   Pink flamingo - 1
The flamingo was placed in the Argitis' yard with a note around its neck. People are encouraged to "kidnap" it, write their names on the note, and then place it in a location in their own yards where it may be "kidnapped" by someone else.

The meeting adjourned at 11:15 AM.

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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