Minutes: March 12, 2008

Foster's Pond Corporation
March 12, 2008
Memorial Hall Library
7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

About 30 people attended the 2008 Annual Meeting at the Memorial Hall Library.

Steve Cotton opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m with an overview of the FPC, noting if the Corporation had met every year since it was formed in 1939, this would have been our 69th Annual Meeting.

Minutes. Secretary Janet Kenney read the minutes of the meetings of January 16, 2007, and August 18, 2007. The minutes were approved.

President's Report. Steve presented a slide show on the Corporation's achievements in 2007. The show started with the efforts to preserve Foster's Pond by controlling weeds. More than 50% of the pond was overcome by fanwort. Sonar is used to control the fanwort, but is not a permanent solution. Pictures were shown of the the pond in 2004, before treatment, and again in 2005 after Sonar treatment. Pictures showed fanwort in Dug Pond, which was treated in 2006, and the locations where fanwort returned in late 2006 in 18 acres that had previously been treated. In 2007, these areas again received Sonar treatment using an air boat. The cost in 2005 for the whole pond was $42,500; for Dug Pond in 2006, $5,750; and for the partial treatment in 2007 $16,150.

Other Lake Management Activities. Landowners on Foster's Pond have been using hydroraking for about 15-18 years. Community education is the key to dealing with the problem of algae; we need to reduce phosphates, which are contained in lawn chemicals and detergents (if you have a septic system, phosphates from detergents will get into the pond). Invasive weeds can be brought to the pond if boaters don't clean their gear; we've joined a national campaign to "stop aquatic hitchhikers". Winter drawdowns also help control weeds. The FPC has been responsible for maintenance of dam since 1939. It used to be possible to draw the pond down six feet. In the 1940’s, after a drawdown, a truck could be driven down to the main pond to remove stumps.
Drawdowns have started to be used again in 2005, 2006, and 2007, but we can only lower the pond by 18 inches.

Dam Maintenance. Since the dam was built, it has been vulnerable to overtopping as a result of the spillway not being large enough.  We've had a number of recent overtoppings. The worst was on May 14, 2006 (the Mother’s Day flood). Damage was done resulting in 2 sink holes. We hired GEI in 2006 for a thorough inspection of the dam required by the State. A huge amount of work was done in 2007 to repair the damage and make the dam safe. The area has been turned into a "pocket park" that residents and visitors can use to enjoy the pond. Special mention was made of Scott Fumicello (who was unable to attend because of flu), and he received a round of applause for all the work he has done on the dam.

Rock Island. 2003 was the 1st effort to remove debris.  On October 13, 2007, volunteers from the community and Phillips Academy cleaned almost all of the remaining debris off the island, using a rowboat pulled back and forth by a rope.

Raft. Improvements on raft had been done by Mark Florio, Gerry Fogden, and Dave Adilman. It was a popular community playground in 2007.

Election of Officers and Directors. The Nominating Committee (Sandy Minkhinen) recommended re-electing the current officers: President Steve Cotton, Vice-President Lynn Whitefield, Treasurer Dave Brown, and Secretary Janet Kenney.  A motion was seconded and approved. Directors Amy Janovsky and Marty Rabinowitz were re-elected to serve another term which will expire on December 31, 2009.

Weed Committee. Dave Adilman gave a report starting with the pond survey done in 2004, when ACT used GPS to record the 39 points from which they took vegetation samples. Most of the pond, including the channel and the main pond, was choked with fanwort. The 2005 treatment of the whole pond was very successful in elimination most of the fanwort. In 2006, 18 acres were found with re-growth, the that led to the 2007 treatment with pellets, which sink to the bottom and concentrate the Sonar at the roots of the plants. After that treatment in 2007, an assessment of the whole pond found no fanwort in the 18 acres, but some fanwort was observed in 2 acres of the main pond.  The Weed Committee has recommended hiring ACT for another survey to be done in 2008 using the same GPS locations, so we'll have a comprehensive look at what's happening to vegetation in the pond.

We also need to educate boaters about fanwort and how it can spread if cut. Since the main pond has re-occurring fanwort, Dave suggested making signs that would float in those areas to keep boaters away. Because hydroraking was done in one of those areas in the Fall of 2007, ACT used booms to keep any of the fanwort from floating away to other parts of the pond.

Treasurer's Report and Fundraising Report. Given by Marty Rabinowitz. (Dave Brown out of town).  Treasurer’s Report approved. 85 households gave a total of more than $16,000 in 2007.

New Business. Rick Keller received a round of applause for conveying land to AVIS from the newly acquired property at 7 Fosters Pond Road.

The proposed new I-93 Interchange would open up 700 acres for development, with the project finishing up in 2018.  Concerns were raised about noise and light pollution.

There's a possibility of a conservation acquisition by the Town to purchase land abutting Foster's Pond on the Willard Circle side of the pond. Amy Janovsky explained the Community Preservation Act (CPA), which could provide funding for the acquisition if it is passed.

2008 Project – Permanent sign for the dam (1/4 of the monies already raised).  Contributions for the Pond or the dam will not be used for the sign - only grants from foundations or corporations.

Open Floor – Questions were raised about the condition of Foster's Pond Road.  Since our old betterment for the road is now about 20 years old, a new one is needed if we want to resurface the road.  A resident from Glenwood Road mentioned after obtaining a betterment for water and a new road, that the road is still private, but the town plows the road.  Steve said he would send out an e-mail inviting people to serve on a committee to discuss what can be done to deal with the condition of private ways around the pond.

Motion to adjourn, seconded and approved. Meeting was adjourned at 9:00pm 

After the meeting, there was a slide show of pond photos by residents, with contributions of photos from Roberta Dell'Anno, Jim Cyrier, Jon Richards, Frances Wheeler and Arno Minkkinen. It provided a most unique view of Foster's Pond in years past and was enjoyed by all!