Minutes: April 12, 2010

Foster's Pond Corporation
April 12, 2010
Memorial Hall Library
7:15 p.m. to 8:50 p.m.

About 50 people attended the 2010 Annual Meeting at the Memorial Hall Library.

Steve Cotton opened the meeting at 7:15pm with an overview of  the FPC, noting that if the Corporation had meet every year since it was founded in 1939, this would have been our 71st Annual Meeting. [To view the slides that were shown at the meeting, click here.]

President’s Report.  Steve reported that the Andover Conservation Commission had extended the Order of Conditions under which we manage the Pond.  The OOC now expires January 4, 2013.  We are responsible for the entire “Integrated Lake Management Program” to protect the Pond.  He showed a map of the Pond with the first vegetation survey we did in 2004, using 50 data points, with fanwort covering most of the Pond. Four years after the first treatment, our 2009 survey, using the same data points, showed fanwort is back, but we have only small amounts.  But new in 2009, we found Spiny Naiad.  The integrated Lake Management Program includes: –

  • control nutrients in the Pond that feed algae.  Everyone should use no- or low-phosphate products for washing dishes, fertilizing gardens, etc.
  • stop aquatic hitchhikers.  Don’t dump aquarium plants (fanwort is one), and make sure boats and gear are cleaned before they are transferred to the Pond from another water body.
  • hydroraking. Eight shorelines were raked in 2009.
  • yearly drawdown on the pond (this is our 5th year) reduces the risk of overtopping in the Spring, and also kills shoreline weeds. 

On dam maintenance, Steve showed slides on how the dam survived the heavy rains in mid-March.  The Pond came up 24 inches overnight, and a small sinkhole developed.  But that sinkhole grew bigger in the storm two weeks later.

Election of Officers and Directors.  A motion was made, seconded and approved to keep the existing officers:

President:  Steve Cotton
Vice-President: Lynne Whitefield
Treasurer: David Brown
Secretary: Janet Kenney

On a motion made, seconded and approved the following Directors were elected with terms ending December 31, 2011:  Amy Janovski and  Marty Rabinowitz.

Weed Committee Report.  Weed Committee Chairman Dave Adilman explained the 2009 Survey, conducted by Geosyntec.  Fanwort covered 1/9th as much of the Pond as it did in 2004 (when it covered more than half the Pond).  There are now 30 species of native plants (versus 18 in 2004), so the Pond is getting healthier and more diverse.  But Spiny Naiad showed up for the 1st time, both in the Main Pond and the Channel.  There’s not enough fanwort yet for us to treat the Pond with Sonar in 2010, but we need to control the spread of Spiny Naiad in 2010.  The recommended herbicide to treat that is  Diquat.   The preliminary cost estimate for treating Spiny Naiad is $4,500.  

Steve introduced Mark Bellaud, Senior Biologist at Aquatic Control Technology, which has served for many years as the Corporation’s lake management consultant and performed the fanwort treatments beginning in 2005.  Mark explained the risks, toxicity and exposure limits associated with Diquat.  He said that diquat is probably the most widely used aquatic herbicide in Massachusetts and New England and is approved for use near shallow drinking water wells.  He said that it is a fast-acting liquid causing the plant to die in 14 days.  It is quickly absorbed by the plant and neutralized by sediments, and it is out of the water in 3-5 days.  He said that Spiny Naiad is an annual, so it is important to kill it just after it starts to grow but before it can drop seeds.  A survey will be done in late June to verify where the Spiny Naiad is growing, with treatment on or about July 15th.

Road Committee Report.  Road Committee Chairman Jim Cyrier reported that Foster’s Pond and Pomeroy  Roads are on track to be paved.  In April 2009 a warrant article was submitted for Town Meeting, but it was withdrawn when Town Counsel said that first a new by-law was needed.  The new by-law was passed at the 2009 Town Meeting, but it did not take effect until the Attorney General approved it in January, 2010.  The cost would be $54,000 to pave the two roads.  The cost to each individual homeowner would be $1,400 to $1,500 or $75.00 - $80.00 a year, plus interest, for 20 years. There are 32 parcels that would benefit from the paving, with 80% of the owners signing a petition to have the roads paved.

Dam Report.  Steve reported that after the rains of March 29-30,2010,  the small sinkhole that had developed in the first storm grew to 2½  feet deep.  In addition, when the water level dropped back down and revealed the concrete crest of the spillway, two holes were found – one was 2 feet deep and the other 1 foot deep.  He said our engineer had conducted an inspection on April 2 and issued a report specifying the repair work that must be done.  Steve said some emergency work to fill the sinkhole temporarily had already been performed, but that the specifications call for digging out a portion of the dam around the sinkhole and filling with new materials.  He said that the water level of the Pond must, per the engineer’s recommendation, be kept low well into Summer until the work is completed.  He said the engineer’s report, along with notification that the Pond level must be kept low, has been sent to the Conservation Commission, the Chief of Police, the Office of Dam Safety, and MassWildlife.

Treasurer’s Report.  Dave Brown reported funds available at the beginning of 2009 were $27,577 (monies are divided between a checking account and a money market account).  The year finished with $37,949, a net gain of $10,662.  He reported that last year 62 families had contributed a total of $10,303 to the Corporation, and that as of tonight, 22 households had paid dues for 2010.  The Treasurer’s Report will be posted on the Fosters Pond Corporation web site.  A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report was made, seconded and approved.

Fundraising Report.  Fundraising Committee Chairman Marty Rabinowitz said that our expenses are dam maintenance (including engineering services, materials, and brush removal), weed control (including consulting services and treatments), and a small amount for corporate fees, postage, and the like.  We do receive grants to help.  He said that the Corporation tries to avoid raising money just for a crisis, but instead asks members of the community to contribute $250 per household annually, so that we have the funds to do work on the dam and to pay for major weed treatments as needed.  All donors who contributed to the Corporation in 2009 will be listed on the web site. And, after the 2010 fundraising appeal goes out in the next few weeks, a new list of 2010 contributors will be posted.

Old Business.  Steve Cotton explained the proposal by the Conservation Commission for the Town to acquire 5 acres (2 lots) on Willard Circle. A small parking area will give better access to Foster’s Pond for older, younger, and mobility-impaired visitors, who now have to walk in on the Goldsmith Woodlands nearly a mile to reach the shoreline.  Although some people have suggested that these lots might be used for launching a canoe, Steve pointed out that you’d have to carry it for 300 feet or more, whereas you only have to walk about 35 feet to launch a canoe at the dam.

Steve noted that Frances Foster originally owned the land the Town wants to acquire (along with several other parcels in the Willard Circle area) and gave it to the Foster’s Pond Corporation in the 1940s.  The FPC then gave the land to the Foster’s Pond Improvement Association, which kept 9 acres and sold the rest to various FPIA members.  If the Town votes to acquire the two lots sought by the Conservation Commission, the FPIA has voted to make its 9 acres open to the public, by donating that land to a trust or back to the Foster’s Pond Corporation.

New Business.  New postings are needed to warn fishermen about mercury content of fish (Jim Cyrier).  Volunteer work is needed on the dam for repairs and brush removal.  We need help with the summer picnic, including a host for the 6th annual Pond-Wide Grill-Out and assistance with set-up.

A slide show consisting of pictures from members was shown and enjoyed.

A motion to adjourn was made, seconded and approved.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.