Current Minutes

Big Alum Lake Association
Annual Meeting
August 19, 2017

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

The minutes of the July 2017 BALA meeting, which were posted on the Web site and copies of which were available at the Annual Meeting, were accepted.

President Joel Casaubon read his report for the year. He noted the many activities that had been organized by the Recreation Committee this summer and applauded the members for their efforts. He spoke about the revisions to the BALA By-laws which had been undertaken by the By-law Committee and asked the membership to consider voting for the changes later in the meeting. He reported on a minor spill incident which had occurred at the south cove near the boat ramp. The Sturbridge Fire Department and Mass DEP had responded quickly and there is no longer any cause for concern. Finally, he said that water levels continue to be high and the overall health of the lake is good.

Joel asked if any new members were present at the meeting, but none were introduced.

Janet Garon gave the Treasurer's Report. Income had come from dues, recreation activities, donations, and weed treatment reimbursement from the Town of Sturbridge. Expenses included the annual weed treatment, and Recreation Committee reimbursements.  The Treasurer's Report was accepted.

Committee Reports:

Boating - Matt Kibbe reported that it had been a good summer with no incidents except a spill at the southeast end of the lake. He reminded members that the boating safety rules are posted on the Web site, and that boaters are responsible for the wakes that their boats make. The Boating Committee requested a budget of $80 for the purchase of buoys next year; the budget was approved.

By-Laws - Janet introduced the By-Law Committee members: Gary Galonek, Sam Gilbert, John Fearing, and Beverly Litchfield. Following the July BALA meeting, the group had met with members of the Trail and Paradise Beach Associations and had agreed to rewrite the By-law revisions to grandfather those associations' members individually as dues-paying members of the Big Alum Lake Association. Gary added that people who are "friends" of the lake may become associate members without voting privileges. In the future, there will be one (1) vote per property (per betterment). A vote to approve the By-law revisions was included in the ballot to be counted at the end of the meeting.

Dam - Ken Gajewski noted that the water level is still high even this late in the season. He said that according to the NOI which BALA has with the Town, the dam will be opened on November 1st and the water lowered 30 inches from the top of the spillway. Ken will close the dam on December 31st.

Environmental - Joel said that he and Bruce Gran had met with Solitude Lake Management to assess the weed growth in the lake and that Solitude had treated the weeds in June. A single strand of curly pond weed had been found at the boat ramp, but none had appeared elsewhere in the lake. Bruce would like to see an inspection station at the ramp where incoming boats could be checked for weeds. The State will be bringing water to houses near the boat ramp because of salt contamination from the Mass. Pike. Unfortunately, the design has already been completed and it is too late to add a wash station. Bruce provided booklets on "invasive non-native aquatic species in Massachusetts" for residents to take home. The Environmental Committee's $4500 budget for 2018 was approved. Big Alum's SECI disk reading this year was 19.5'. Last year's reading was 25'; the decrease can be attributed to large amounts of rain as well as run-off.

Fishing - Rob Scoble reported that the State stocks the lake with trout in the spring and fall.

History - John Puffer said that he continues to look for contributions from residents. He encouraged people to check the Web site for new "chapters."

Membership - Rick Predella had given Joel his report which indicated that 76% of residents had paid dues as of August 17th. Recognition of the passing of a member's daughter is posted on the Web site.

Recreation - Mari Roy thanked her committee for their work this past year. She listed the events that they had organized and said that their mission is to strengthen community ties. She noted that they still have a few events planned for the rest of the summer, including a pontoon-tie-up, the golf tournament, and a tentative bocce tournament. She requested a budget of $1550. Janet pointed out that the Association has always reimbursed committee members for all their expenses and it might be preferable not to move that amount to the checking account until it is needed. However, allocation of the $1550 budget amount was approved.

SLAC - Chuck Roy and Bruce Gran will be the 2018 SLAC representatives. Chuck noted that West Nile virus had been found in mosquitoes at Walker Pond. To a question about the mosquitoes at Big Alum, Mike Detarando said that Solitude owns a mosquito control company. Heather Carson who works for the Department of Health said that the Department continuously checks mosquitoes for viruses throughout the State. Rob Scoble noted that Central Mass. Mosquito Control will spray individual properties for free.
Fifty-one people attended the second boating course sponsored by SLAC. Next year two more classes are planned.

Nominations and Elections - Joel read the nominations from the ballot: President - Joel Casaubon, Scott Sanderson; Vice President - Mark Minnucci; Treasurer - Janet Garon; Recording Secretary/Clerk - Barbara LaRochelle; Corresponding Secretary - Marlie Liro Willer, Marnie Treitman Giss. There were no nominations from the floor.
A motion was made to accept the nominees for Vice President, Treasurer, and Recording Secretary/Clerk as there were no contests. The motion passed.
Scott Sanderson spoke about his candidacy saying that the group was fortunate in having two candidates who are both committed to the lake. His emphasis would be on bringing the community together, communication, and lake health. He said that he supported Marni Giss for corresponding secretary. Marni said that she loves living at the lake and although she has been here only one year she has become very involved in the recreation committee.
Joel said that most people know him, and hoped that they approve of what he has been doing as president for the past few years. He would like to continue in that role. He noted that Marlie had been unable to attend the meeting because she was at a wedding, but he said that the current executive team is a good one and hoped that the membership would stay the course.  Kathy Harrington asked if Marlie lives on the lake. Joel said that she is a summer resident at her father's house on Mt. Dan Road.
Gary Galonek said that the current term in office is one year. If the By-law revisions are passed, the terms will be two years.
Voting - Joel asked people to mark their ballots and to put them in the Ballot Box at the back of the room.

Old Business - Logo Up, our supplier of t-shirts, hats, bags, etc. with the BALA logo, will be having a sale November 20-27.

New Business - Ken read the annual "Paul Lamarine" report: 1 electric boat, 80 power boats, 50 pontoon boats, 8 deck boats, 35 personal water craft, 3 jet boats, 11 fishing boats, 7 sailboats, 19 PWC lifts, 5 boat lifts, 28 flag poles, and 33 rafts.

- A vote was taken to keep BALA dues at $25 for 2018.

- A vote was taken to donate $100 to St. Anne's for the use of the meeting room.

- Joel announced the Poker Run fundraiser which was being held by QQLA, South Pond's association. Details are on the BALA Web site.

- Mike Lemanski asked what the status was regarding the placement of sound barriers along the Pike. Tom Liro said that in the past, the Association had approached State representatives and senators and were told that barriers would be installed in Boston and Newton first. More recent discussion resulted in the statement that if the turnpike were there before the houses, then no barriers would be installed.

- Ann Marie Argitis offered her thanks for a great meeting and noted that there will be a legacy of good will for generations to come.

The results of the voting were:
     Joel Casaubon - President;
     Marlie Willer - Corresponding Secretary;
     the By-law revisions were approved.

The meeting adjourned at 12:05 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Barbara LaRochelle
Recording 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

| August 14, 2010 | July 2, 2011 | August 13, 2011 | July 7, 2012 | August 11, 2012 | July 6, 2013 | August 17, 2013
July 5, 2014 | August 16, 2014 | June 27, 2015 |

August 22, 2015

| July 2, 2016 | August 20. 2016 | July 1, 2017 | August 19, 2017