Minutes: January 13, 2004

Foster's Pond Corporation
January 13, 2004
South School Cafeteria, Andover
7:00p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

About 40 area residents braved bone-chilling weather to attend the meeting.  Dues of $5.00 were collected for 2004.  Steve Cotton read from the bylaws regarding the main purpose of the Corporation.  Everyone introduced themselves, and minutes of the September 9, 2003 meeting were read by Janet Kenney.  David Brown read the Treasurer’s Report, noting a starting balance of $1,058.83.  He stated that $38.00 was due for taxes and $465.00 owed to Scott Fumicello for work on the dam, leaving a balance of $555.83.   Steve announced that the Andover Village Improvement Society (AVIS) is now a member of the FPC.

DAM COMMITTEE Chairman Paul Ross, distributed a report on the condition of the dam.  On November 22, 2003, 10 volunteers cleaned out 5 cubic yards of brush.  Issues to be addressed:   grouting needs to be redone, spillway is leaking, poison ivy, culvert is partially blocked, leaks around the sluiceway, Quinn’s trees in the water, and the need for ground cover to the left of the spillway.  Paul also spelled out an agenda for further action, starting with a Spring clean-up which will also take on the repointing and grouting of the downstream rock face. 

Paul also discussed the possibility of repairing the stop-log portions of the sluice gate, which would be the first step towards allowing a limited Winter drawdown of approximately 12 to 18 inches.  Such a drawdown, if approved by the Town’s Conservation Commission and the State’s Office of Dam Safety, might have a beneficial effect on shoreside weed control, as well as reducing the likelihood of “overtopping” of the dam during Spring snow melts.  Paul stressed that the question of a drawdown required further study.
WEED COMMITTEE Co-Chairmen Mark Florio and Dave Adilman distributed a report reviewing weed control alternatives.  The report briefly summarized information they had amassed.  They noted that using a weed harvester would cost $350 to $600 per acre; Winter drawdown affects areas close to shore; Sonar costs $200 to $600 per acre; dredging 2 feet of sediment can cost $16,000 to $32,000 per acre; and using grass carp is currently not allowed by state of Massachusetts.  They suggested that members review a chart prepared by Aquatic Control Technology, which lists control techniques and their costs.  The chart is on the FPC web site. 

The Committee recommended undertaking an assessment of the Pond’s vegetation – a study of the plant species and densities taken along three transects.  Both co-chairmen stressed that this study, which requires expertise in aquatic vegetation, is essential for determining what control methods will work, and for obtaining permits for almost any new method.  The cost of such a study, which would be performed this Summer, would be $1,250.00. 

In response, the Corporation members voted unanimously to seek a $50.00 contribution from every household in the Pond area in order to have the funds for this study, work on the dam, and related expenses.  Both co-chairmen recommended that the Corporation, using volunteers, undertake a watershed survey and water quality analysis. 

THE POINT.  Dick Tyler requested the Corporation to consider selling the Point, a small spit which abuts the Tyler property at the end of Pomeroy Road.  The Point was once used by Corporation members as a wading beach, but the sand has washed away.  The Point, approximately 6,000 square feet in area, has an assessed value of $6,700 (taxes $58.00).  The consensus, after discussion, was that the Point has little present or future importance for the Corporation.  The members voted unanimously to authorize the Corporation Officers to review the advisability and mechanics of a sale, to negotiate with the Tylers, and to make a recommendation to the membership.

COMMUNITY SAFETY.  Kemper Mazzarelli spoke about incidents of vandalism and harassment that have plagued a number of residents.  Other residents described specific incidents.  For example, Dick Tyler described three incidents in which mirrors were deliberately broken off cars parked in his driveway.  Becci Backman described sitting at home while a window was smashed by a stick-wielding vandal.  Other incidents were described as well.  All were attributed to a particular individual residing on the Pond.   The consensus was that the Andover police are not doing enough to deal with a problem that has victimized some of the Pond’s most vulnerable residents.  The members voted unanimously to establish a Community Safety Committee to represent the Corporation in dealing with Town officials and others in bringing this problem under control.  Steve Cotton appointed Kemper Mazzarelli to chair the new committee.

Next meeting:  May 11, 2004.