Minutes: April 29, 2014

Foster's Pond Corporation
April 29, 2014
Memorial Hall Library
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

About 30 people attended the 2014 Annual Meeting at the Memorial Hall Library. Steve Cotton opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. with an overview of the FPC, noting this is our 75th year. A special cake was provided.

President’s Report. Steve presented a slideshow with some history of Foster’s Pond and a map of the land which is open to the public. He noted that the FPC owns part of the 56-acre Foster’s Pond Reservation off Willard Circle, as well as the Foster’s Pond Dam.

Treasurer’s Report. David Brown presented the Treasurer’s Report. He reported on income and expenses for Fiscal Year 2013. Total Income (including Dues, Contributions, Grants and Interest Income) was $14,940.53. Total expenses (including Dam Maintenance, Pond Maintenance, and General Administration) were $4,267.98. Total 2013 Assets: $52,347.35. Net Income: $10,652.55. The Treasurer's report was accepted.

Minutes. Secretary Janet Kenney moved approval of the minutes of the March 20, 2013, Annual Meeting and the August 17, 2013, Summer Meeting, as posted on the web site. The Minutes were approved.

Election of Officers and Directors.  A motion was made, seconded and approved to re-elect the following officers:  Steve Cotton (President), Marty Rabinowitz (Vice-President), Dave Brown (Treasurer), Janet Kenney (Secretary) for one-year terms ending December 31, 2014. A motion was made, seconded and approved to re-elect as Directors Amy Janovsky and Martha Russell for two-year terms ending December 31, 2015.

Special Guest. Marc Bellaud, Senior Biologist and President of Aquatic Control Technology (ACT), the Corporation’s lake management consultant. Marc presented a summary of the FPC’s 10-year efforts to manage the Pond for invasive weeds. Foster’s Pond was originally only 50 acres, but expanded when the dam was constructed in the 1850’s as is now 125 acres, with an average depth of less than 7 feet. In 2004, when ACT first surveyed the Pond’s vegetation for the Corporation, Fanwort covered 53% of the Pond. Marc noted that the fanwort was probably introduced into the Pond by someone emptying their aquarium, since fanwort is a common aquarium plant. Mechanical removal was impossible, and would only spread the weed. Our only resource was to use the one aquatic herbicide that is effective against fanwort, “Sonar”. Marc presented slides of the Channel and of the cove between the Main Pond and the Mill Reservoir, showing the results of Sonar treatment in 2005, the first time the Pond had ever been treated for invasive weeds. Since that first treatment in 2005, the Corporation has continued to survey weeds in the Pond and arrange for ACT to treat for different invasives as they have been detected. The entire Pond was treated for fanwort in 2011. Recently, like other lakes and ponds in Massachusetts, blue-green algae has become a problem. Cyanobacteria blooms are most evident in the Main Pond. Copper sulfate was used on one half of the pond in 2013, with a result of a 90% reduction of algae in only 4 days. Since Foster’s Pond is shallow, with the storm run-offs and nutrients in the sediments contributing to algae blooms. There is no easy way to manage these nutrient loads in Foster’s Pond. For future fanwort treatments, it might be possible to consider a new herbicide that has recently been allowed in Massachusetts, Flumioxazin (Clipper). Clipper is a contact herbicide, so small areas can be spot treated much more easily than with Sonar, but because it is so new, the State is putting heavy restrictions on it. It is a powder that gets mixed with water and can treat as small as ½ an acre. There are no barriers needed, and no restrictions on swimming, boating or irrigation. Marc also discussed some other herbicides, but did not recommend them for Foster’s Pond.

Dam Report. Steve reported on efforts by volunteers to repair a sinkhole that developed in the dam in April. It was caused by a small leak running through the dam. A sinkhole opened up. Steve thanked the volunteers who had dug out the sinkhole by hand to expose the source of the problem. Steve said that Scott Fumicello would be coming in with equipment to excavate the area and plug the leak with concrete, after which volunteers would be needed to complete the work.

New Business. Volunteers are needed for water clarity observations, so we can move quickly to treat for blue-green algae if a bloom develops. Volunteers are also needed to help with the 10th annual Summer Picnic. Dot Tyler, 25 Pomeroy Road, has volunteered her house this year. An E-mail will be sent out for those interested in hydro-raking.

Zero Waste Day is this Saturday. Some wildlife sightings: A river otter was seen, and a female mallard going nuts because a mink was stealing her eggs! An Snowy Egret and Great Egret were sighted. Amy Janovsky gave our newest members a copy of a bird book. Per Amy: Surveyors for the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company have been approaching Andover residents for permission to come on their land; she encouraged people to get in touch with her if they needed information.

A motion to adjourn was made, seconded and approved.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.