Richmond Pond Association

                                                    Tuesday, April 24, 2018

RPA Business:

Introductions – Two new Directors were heartily welcomed - Dan Joslyn (Camp Russell) and Rosanne Frieri (Richmond Shores).  There is also a new alternate - Joe McGovern (Camp Russell).  The board member contact list was circulated for corrections.

Minutes – Minutes of 11/28/17 were approved.

Treasurer’s report – Carl reported that as of 4/10/18, balance in all accounts is $41,252 with $12,791 in the dam maintenance fund.  All 2017 dues have been received.

Dam inspection results - John reported on key findings from the draft report of the dam inspection, conducted 8/25/17 by Schnabel Engineering.  Key findings and recommendations of the report include:

  • ·  Repair water seepage under the auxiliary spillway chute, which is under the camp’s meeting hall
  • · Reinforce the auxiliary spillway chute walls
  • · Repair/patch superficial cracks in the wingwalls of the primary spillway
  • · Repair/replace landscape retaining walls

The report also recommended developing a formal operations manual and emergency action plan.  

Although the dam is rated as "poor," the engineering firm does not believe the condition of dam is critical, provided that regular maintenance and repairs are continued.  John will keep the RPA board apprised of repair and maintenance plans, including the possibility of a more detailed analysis by the engineering firm, estimated to cost $10,000.  Ken, who had also reviewed the draft report, shared that the recommended modifications were estimated by Schnabel to cost about $225,000, which will have future implications for RPA funding support for the dam.  As a next step, John was asked to develop a draft short-term plan to remedy primary issues, with estimated costs, and share that for discussion at the next RPA meeting.  

Lakeside Christian Camp’s funding reimbursement request of $2,600 (which is 2/3 of the total inspection bill of $3,900), was approved, to be paid from the RPA dam maintenance fund.

Priority Projects:

Weed treatment planning, permitting & budgeting – Ken shared Town Manager Mark’s report - The RFQ for the 2018 weed treatment was posted in early March and responses were due by April 9th.  Two bids were received. The contract was awarded to Solitude and will be signed at the April 25th meeting of the BOS.  The contract for our 5-year NOI application process was signed by the BOS and will also be managed by Solitude.  Our current NOI expires on May 14th.  Mark believes it’s on the Con-Com agenda for May.  Solitude will treat prior to May 14th, just in case there is any delay in the approval.  Notifications to all abutters of the lake (within 100’) are being printed and packaged now.  They will go out within a week.

Weed treatments for Eurasian milfoil & curly-leaf pondweed treatments (late May/early June?); & spiny naiad, if needed, early August; amounts requested for the pond in town budget request = $20K boat ramp monitors; $15,595 town beach; $15K weed treatment contract); to be voted @ annual town meeting 5/16.  Also, potential July tape-grass treatment of a test area, to be paid for by RPA if the town allocation doesn’t cover it; cost is not yet known, as RFQ was requested late March.  The town will expend the full budget before requesting any additional RPA funding for treatments, but the NOI absorbed $3,000 of the weed treatment budget for this year, and it was unexpected.  It was recommended that a routine agenda item be added under Priority Projects – Status of the Canal.

Winter project reports:

1. Collaboration between RPA with the Richmond Consolidated School & perhaps Berkshire Audubon Sanctuaries for study of Richmond Pond.  Louise Brogan (lead), Susan Benner.  RPA expressed an interest in providing resources and collaboration with the Richmond School.  In talking with school staff, Louise learned that they have been working with Mass Audubon on a several module watershed and environmental education program for 5th graders that will conclude with a field trip to study Tracy Brook Wildlife Sanctuary or Richmond Pond.  The curriculum was shared with the RPA board.  The students plan to share their findings at the RPA annual picnic.  It was suggested & approved to provide up to $500 for student transportation for the related field trip(s).

2.  Explore possible partnership for the annual RPA picnic with Richmond Recreation Committee. Susan Benner (lead), Lucy Hoffman, Holly Stover.   Susan will follow up with the committee and meet with Camp Russell staff for details on what they could each provide.  RPA’s contract with Camp Russell for the July 24 event has been signed.   Initial promotion plan regarding advertising in Richmond Record was approved 11/28/17.

3.  Enhance the Richmond Pond map.  Susan Benner (lead), Ken Kelly.  RPA was delighted to learn that the City of Pittsfield can provide a GIS map of any size, including public & private swim areas, no-wake zones & related information.  Susan will coordinate with Jim on next steps.

4.  Write Richmond Pond Association Annual Report.   Cathy Deely (lead).  Generation of an annual report is noted in the Lake Management Plan.  The plan was shared & approved.  It is to be posted on the website & Facebook page, handed out @ the picnic, & used in fundraising.

5.  Review Richmond Open Space & Recreation Plan.  Ken Kelly (lead), Holly Stover.  Last year, the Richmond Board of Selectmen decided, rather than creating a new OSRP implementation committee, to request of each town committee, department or related non-profit to annually provide a progress report on implementation of “their” listed items.  The Richmond OSRP was therefore reviewed to identify stated RPA roles in the implementation of pond-related initiatives.  The resulting report provided status updates on all initiatives in which RPA was listed as a partner.  Highlighted are four priority initiatives.  Copies of the draft report were shared, for review & detailed discussion at the May RPA meeting.  It is anticipated that a final report will be endorsed by the RPA, shared with the Selectmen, & become a model for town departments & committees, thereby furthering implementation of the OSRP.

New Items:

Town Smoking Policy implementation, especially at boat launch & town beach - See April Richmond Record article & full policy on town website, Board of Health page.  Ken reported for Mark that the BOH is working with Peter Beckwith on the signage.  They wanted the full board to approve the language, so they will be discussing this at their next meeting.  The signage will only take 2-3 days to make once ordered.  The signs will be installed very soon (large signs at the beach and boat ramp, small signs at other town-owned properties).  Enforcement will be the responsibility of the BOH.

Boat launch parking fees research – Rosanne shared her research on parking fees charged at some boat launch parking areas in eastern MA, including in Westport.  Jim shared that Pittsfield recently studied whether to enact parking fees at Onota & Pontoosuc Lakes, but decided to retain its no parking fees approach for all of its town parks.  Ken shared Mark’s initial reaction to the idea – “This is something that has not been discussed with the BOS (first I’ve heard of it actually), so I can’t really comment other than to say that I think we are unable to charge for parking or entry because of the State Grants accepted for both the beach and boat ramp.  I wouldn’t expect to run this by our Town Counsel unless I was instructed to do so by the BOS.”  Rosanne will further explore this idea with Mark.


  • The kayak/canoe launch dock has been installed for the season at the public boat launch.
  • It was reported that people having been driving their vehicles out onto the new fishing piers at the boat launch area, & access to the 2 benches there has become difficult.  There are now 3 kiosks at the boat launch, making it look cluttered & confusing – removing one might result in a less cluttered look.
  • Nordeen Marsh water level study – The initial report dated 12/19/17 covering 9/26/17 to 11/28/17 documents lake drawdown period with no resulting de-watering of the marsh.  The second data report dated 3/27/18 covering 11/29/17 to 3/22/18 documents, “Shore Road & dam monitoring locations rebounded in sync with the completion of drawdown event.  The Wetland location maintained a stable water level throughout the entirety of the drawdown event.  All stations responded with spikes in water levels occurring during significant rainfall events.”  Backup data-monitor was installed sub-surface on 1/16/18 @ no charge.
  • Sewer Users Advisory Committee – Ken reported for Mark that the Sewer Users Advisory Committee has only met once.  He tried at least twice to organize a follow-up meeting but was unable to gather a quorum.  One additional member would help this if anyone is interested.  Rosanne shared that Tom Plainter had recently volunteered to serve on this committee.  After Town Meeting, Mark will try to convene a meeting.
  • Status of UMass pond drawdown study of Richmond Pond – Results are expected late 2018.
  • Jim reported that the planned pilot project at Onota Lake of the Geosyntech watershed management plan development software did not receive funding, so will not be happening.
  • Facebook page updates – Carl reported on photos posted & # of views, & encouraged others to post photos, as it increases activity.
  • Website updates - Ken has updated the contact list of RPA members & calendar items.  Dates of Camp Russell’s chili/chowder festival & fishing derbies will be added soon.
  • Richmond Conservation Commission perspectives – (No report)
  • Proposed Zoning Bylaw - Short-term rentals – Ken (for Mark) shared highlights & referred people to the summary on Town Website homepage; this will impact non-resident cottagers who rent out their cottage for 1-30 days.  It will be on the warrant for approval at the Annual Town Meeting on May 16.
  • Memorial Day Parade – Rosanne, who serves as chair of the parade committee, invited all to attend the parade, which starts at 8:00 am at the Firehouse & progresses to the Richmond School, where all the festivities will occur.  Deval Patrick plans to participate. 

Next meeting – May 22, 2018 – Town Hall

Directors Present:  Ken Kelly, president (independent cottages), Susan Benner, vice president (Whitewood); Carl Foote, treasurer (Branch Farm); Cathy Deely, secretary (South Pond); Rosanne Frieri (Richmond Shores); Dan Joslyn (Camp Russell); Jim McGrath (City of Pittsfield); John Mead (Lakeside Christian Camp)

Alternates Present:  Louise Brogan (Branch Farm); Linda Kay (Richmond Shores); Kitty Levitan (Whitewood); Al Nardacci (independent cottages)

Directors Absent:  Nick Martinelli (Richmond Conservation Commission); Matt Melillo (Richmond Shores); Mark Pruhenski (Richmond Town Administrator)

Alternates Absent:  Kais Abderrahim (Camp Russell); Jessica Baumgarten (South Pond Farm); Lucy Hoffman (independent/public); Jesse Kellam (Lakeside Christian Camp); Barry Kellogg (Richmond Shores); Joe McGovern (Camp Russell); John O’Brien (Branch Farm); Adam Weinberg (Richmond Conservation Commission)

Guests:  John Scorpa (Richmond Shores); Holly Stover (Founding member of RPA)

2018 Minutes of the

Richmond Pond Association