Richmond Pond Association
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
Richmond Pond Association
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Introductions – Self-introductions were made by all 15 attending.
Secretary resignation - Ken shared that Cathy Deely resigned as secretary and from the board effective 6/21. He shared some of the remarks from her letter, including – “It is with regret that I must resign from the board of the RPA. I hadn’t expected to learn as much as I have about ponds and the many faceted needs for their care - one that I look at from my home, canoe, swim in and appreciate! I have great respect for the work of the RPA volunteers. Leading the major board projects of creating the Lake Management Plan, annual reports, fundraising letters and the script for pond tours; keeping the SPF community apprised of the health and welfare of our most treasured asset and encouraging contributions as well as serving as secretary and performing board duties - were contributions and activities that I hope were helpful to RPA and SPF. However, increasing responsibilities to my family (for which I am 100% responsible) lead me to present this resignation. RPA is a vibrant organization that accomplishes so much. It was an honor to serve and I learned so much about things that I hadn't imagined I would learn about or care so much about!”
Secretary transition – Ken will meet with Cathy soon regarding records transfer. He asked for a volunteer to serve as recorder for today, or a volunteer to serve as secretary. No one volunteered for either. Ken indicated he’d try to take notes today & Susan & Carl agreed to review them for accuracy. Election for secretary (& all the other officers) will take place at our August meeting.
Minutes – The minutes of 5/22/18 were approved.
Treasurer’s report – Carl reported that the balance in all accounts is $38,178 with $10,191 in the dam maintenance fund. $360 was paid to Microbac for water testing lab fees on June 20th. One donation of $50 was received from a Richmond resident.
Summer picnic planning – Susan, again serving as lead picnic planner, provided an update on details & solicited volunteers for various tasks. She also shared that she will be out of town for the week preceding the event, so detailed preparations will need to be finalized before she leaves. Estimated attendance for the July 24 event is 150. It will again be advertised as a free event for Richmond residents (South Pond Farm residents are included). Event timing will be: Setup – 4 pm, Public arrives – 5 pm, Dinner served & beach closed – 6:15 pm, Event ends – 8 pm.
Menu will include hamburgers, hot dogs, some veggie burgers, a salad, chips, sodas & bottled water. (Dessert to be determined – cookies/ice cream?) Camp Russell will provide staff (2 lifeguards for pond swimming, 1 pontoon boat driver, 1 parking attendant & 1 parking shuttle cart driver), with RPA payment arrangements for these yet to be worked out. Volunteers are needed for many roles, & some slots were filled by volunteers at the meeting. Pontoon boats were identified (1 from Camp Russell; 1 from Leon Nesis); Carl will drive Leon’s boat; tour guides for both boats for before dinner & after dinner tours were identified (Kitty & 1 other) & Carl will provide copies of the script/notes for the boat tour guides. Louise & Lucy will handle games for children. Susan reported that Lucy has arranged student musicians similar to last year (payment arrangements to be worked out). A better sound system will be sought (by Louise, Susan, & Mark) for use for Ken’s & Dan’s remarks about RPA & Camp Russell. Camp Russell bathrooms have been completed & are working. Jim shared that the new pond map identifying swimming & no-wake areas will be ready in a week or so, so that can be displayed as well as the 2 RPA posters Lucy developed last year.
Publicity will include an ad in the July Richmond Record (Ken); email blast to RPA website subscribers (Ken); notice in the Richmond Town e-news (Mark?); fliers to Bartlett’s, Richmond Shores kiosk, boat launch kiosk (Louise); & announcements at each of the community association annual meetings/events (by their RPA representative). Copies of the RPA annual report & RPA brochures will be available at the picnic (Ken). Susan will schedule a meeting soon with Dan to firm up details on Camp Russell support, etc.
Weed treatment update – In Marks’s absence, Carl reported that weed treatment occurred on Monday, June 4, but since Solitude works directly with Mark now, Carl does not know whether a post-treatment assessment has yet been done or its results. The canal was also treated, but the boat apparently snagged a rope & was unable to traverse & treat all the way up to Town Beach Road. Carl is unaware whether an estimate for the spot-treatment of native tape weed has been received.
Status of Canal – Rosanne reported that it is quite weedy. A question was raised about whether weed pulling could be done, & Jim explained that his understanding is that invasive weeds could be pulled without a permit but pulling native weeds would require a permit. No one was present from Conservation Commission to clarify. Ken agreed to follow up with the Conservation Commission to obtain a clarification & share this back with Rosanne.
Short-term dam remediation action plan – Ken shared John’s interim action plan as emailed on May 24, & John will keep RPA posted as they progress:
Auxiliary Spillway - We are in the process of seeking bids to patch/repair the upstream retaining wall and the downstream retaining walls, and spillway chute. Based on observations over time, we believe that the seepage under the chute originates on the east upstream corner of the spillway and embankment. We are exploring inserting two or three 12"x12" concrete blocks in ground in front of the of area of concern, and back-filling with dirt. This would occur during the November draw-down.
Retaining Wall - This summer, we plan to repair the upstream and downstream landscape retaining walls with 8x8 pressure treated beams.
Primary Spillway - We are seeking bids to repoint and patch/repair the wingwalls.
RPA roles in implementation of Richmond Open Space & Recreation Plan – In Mark’s absence, Ken reported that as requested, Mark has shared our report with the Richmond Selectmen & Richmond Agent, for sharing with the Conservation Commission; Ken has been invited to attend the Tuesday, July 10th, 6 pm Richmond Board of Selectmen meeting to discuss the report & answer questions. Ken invited those present to join him at that meeting. He is unsure whether the report has yet been shared with the Pittsfield Conservation Commission.
Initiating Community Preservation Act participation? – Holly was absent, so item was tabled.
Any update items, of interest to all, from each camp & community association:
Next meeting – ANNUAL MEETING/PICNIC – 5:00 pm, Tuesday, July 24, 2018 – Camp Russell
Directors Present: Ken Kelly, president (independent cottages), Susan Benner, vice president (Whitewood); Carl Foote, treasurer (Branch Farm); Rosanne Frieri (Richmond Shores); Jim McGrath (City of Pittsfield)
Alternates Present: Jessica Baumgarten (South Pond Farm); Louise Brogan (Branch Farm); Lucy Hoffman (independent/public); Kitty Levitan (Whitewood); Al Nardacci (independent cottages)
Guests Present: Seth Pitman (Richmond Shores); Matthew Palardy (Richmond boat ramp monitor); Alan Schneit (Whitewood); Fran Schneit (Whitewood); Marvin Smith (Richmond Shores)
Directors Absent: Dan Joslyn (Camp Russell); Nick Martinelli (Richmond Conservation Commission); John Mead (Lakeside Christian Camp); Mark Pruhenski (Richmond Town Administrator)
Alternates Absent: Kais Abderrahim (Camp Russell); Don Hathaway (Lakeside Christian Camp); Linda Kay (Richmond Shores); Barry Kellogg (Richmond Shores); Joe McGovern (Camp Russell); Matt Melillo (Richmond Shores); John O’Brien (Branch Farm); Adam Weinberg (Richmond Conservation Commission)
Richmond Pond Association
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Minutes – Minutes of 4/24/18 were approved following reading of revised section on the dam inspection report submitted by Lakeside Christian Camp.
Treasurer’s report – Carl reported that as of 5/21 we have $38,461 in all accounts with $10,192 in the dam maintenance account. Since the last meeting there has been no income and we have reimbursed Lakeside Christian Camp $2,600 to help fund the recent dam inspection. $170 was also spent to print the updated brochures for our kiosk at the boat launch.
Carl presented an itemized proposed 2018-2019 fiscal year budget totaling $10,885. Projected revenue is $11,940 ($10,000 donations, $1,860 membership dues & $80 interest). Major expenses include $3,200 for year two of Nordeen Marsh water level study, $2,600 estimated additional weed treatment, $1,000 annual all-town picnic/annual meeting, $700 water quality monitoring, & up to $500 for Richmond school bus for Pond field trip. Last year’s budget was $15,355, though actual expenses are $18,086 to date, given the unanticipated expenditure of $2,600 toward the dam inspection. A discussion ensued about reduction in revenues (low participation from Richmond Shores). Following discussion, the budget was approved.
Weed treatment permitting & budgeting; date of treatment & notifications – Mark reported that no date had been set yet as the weeds are not far enough along; the Notice of Intent was renewed. When the date is set, posters will be displayed, notifications will go onto the Town website and Facebook page and he will notify RPA to communicate to subscribers & put a notice on the RPA home page. RPA has not yet received but anticipates soon an estimated cost for tapegrass treatment of a test area.
Status of Canal – Rosanne reported that it is weedy & stagnant, but one can still paddle through it. A year ago, she tried to start a task force to take an interest in the canal, but there was no interest in anyone taking the lead. A brief and general discussion followed about alternatives to maintaining a clear and healthy canal, including dredging or hydro-raking. Roseanne will study options further, including monitoring the Stockbridge Bowl deep drawdown & dredging plan which is currently stalled relating to a non-listed snail.
Short-term dam remediation action plan – No report was presented, as there was no representation from Lakeside, so this item was tabled. (NOTE - John submitted an update the next day that will be reviewed at the June meeting.)
Summer picnic planning & role of Recreation Committee – The primary purpose of the annual picnic is to raise awareness about the pond. Susan reported that she met with the Richmond Recreation Committee and that they decided not to cosponsor or provide volunteers. Estimated attendance for the July 24 event is 150. Lakeside: burgers; hire Camp Russell staff for pond-side activity; pontoon boats were identified as well as tour guides; Louise will handle kids’ games; Town of Richmond will provide lifeguards; similar music to last year will be provided (student musicians); better sound system will be sought for RPA & Camp Russell staff remarks. Looking into ice cream. Bottled water will be provided. While there was no representation today from Camp Russell, it was known that they are reconstructing the bathrooms, which will need to be ready before camp opens. Event timing will be: Setup – 4 pm, Public arrives – 5 pm, Dinner served & beach closed – 6:15 pm, Event ends – 8 pm. Susan is the lead planner; volunteers are needed for many roles.
RPA roles in implementation of Richmond Open Space & Recreation Plan & related action steps – Ken shared that the intent of this report is to comply with the expectation set by the Richmond Select Board last year that each entity charged with full or shared implementation responsibility for one or more components of the Richmond Open Space & Recreation Plan will prepare & submit an annual progress report. This requirement was set to ensure that the OSRP would remain an active guide for related implementation actions.
Mark shared that he appreciated this first of other hoped-for reports regarding Plan follow-up. A motion passed to endorse the document, with an instruction that it be shared with the Richmond Select Board and the Conservation Commissions of Richmond and Pittsfield.
Action on proposed zoning regulation of short-term rentals – Mark reported that a revised regulation passed at Annual Town Meeting and can be found on the Town website. Implementation will follow after Attorney General approval, likely in August.
Requesting an RPA page in Richmond Annual Town Report – Cathy asked whether RPA could have a page in the Report to highlight the pond as a public asset & acknowledge the investments by the Town and RPA. Mark agreed & indicated that RPA material would be due February 1, 2019.
Initiating Community Preservation Act participation – Ken reported that Holly plans to explore this with town officials & others. The City of Pittsfield just passed it. One of the four categories for State matching funds is conservation of land.
Any update items, of interest to all, from each camp & community association:
Next meeting – June 26, 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); Mark Pruhenski (Richmond Town Administrator)
Alternates Present: Jessica Baumgarten (South Pond Farm); Lucy Hoffman (independent/public); Kitty Levitan (Whitewood);
Guests Present: John Scorpa (Richmond Shores)
Directors Absent: Dan Joslyn (Camp Russell); Nick Martinelli (Richmond Conservation Commission); Jim McGrath (City of Pittsfield); John Mead (Lakeside Christian Camp); Matt Melillo (Richmond Shores)
Alternates Absent: Kais Abderrahim (Camp Russell); Louise Brogan (Branch Farm); Linda Kay (Richmond Shores); Don Hathaway (Lakeside Christian Camp); Barry Kellogg (Richmond Shores); Joe McGovern (Camp Russell); Al Nardacci (independent cottages); John O’Brien (Branch Farm); Adam Weinberg (Richmond Conservation Commission)