2021 Annual Meeting Minutes

The 2021 Annual Meeting was held virtually (via Zoom), with 41 participants  representing 30 households. 

President’s Report (Dana Little): The meeting opened at 7 pm with a 15 minute social  chat. The meeting was called to order at 7:15. Dana introduced himself and the board  and welcomed participants and noted that despite the challenge of a virtual meeting,  attendance was good. In addition to the president and board members present (Ed  Gray (treasurer), Luci Merin (secretary), Kristi Norcross, Woody Trask, Barbara Mitchell,  Donna Morin, Larry Faiman), 33 members joined the online meeting, Dana noted that  the Association meets to fulfill requirements of our nonprofit charter and remains  dedicated to protecting the quality of water and life on Taylor Pond. We had hoped to  have an in person meeting but because it would have to be indoors, this was better 

Review of TPA Activities (Dana Little)  

•TPA volunteers work throughout the year to monitor water quality, reporting data to  Lake Stewards of Maine. Archival information about water quality and is available on  the TPA website at taylorpond.org.  

•Volunteers also casually look for milfoil and other invasive plants throughout the  summer and haven’t found any.  

•The Association takes an interest in the water level of the pond, especially where  flooding is a concern. TPA’s advocacy was part of the process resulting in the new  bridge being built on Hotel Road over Taylor Brook, which will lower the flood level by an  inch. To further lower the flood level of the pond, work would need to be done where  Taylor Brook crosses the Stevens Mill extension (Kendall property). This could lower  the water level by another 12 inches requiring construction of a passive or earthen dam,  a $75,000-$100,000 project. Such a project would possibly quality for a federal grant.  The association may want to press the City of Auburn to make repairs to the Stevens  mill extension crossing. 

•TPA participates in the LakeSmart Program to encourage stewardship among property  owners on the pond. Two grants ($500 each) were made last year. Two property  evaluations has been done this year and 3 more are waiting to be done. •TPA publishes an annual newsletter and responds to inquiries from various sources. 

Secretary’s Report (Luci Merin): Minutes of the 2020 meeting were posted on the TPA  website earlier at www.taylorpond.org A motion to accept the 2020 minutes as written  was made by Dana Little, seconded by Woody Trask and was accepted unanimously. 

Treasurer’s Report(Ed Gray): 

•$35,802.21 is the current account balance. TPA has received 141 membership  renewals out of 210 invoices sent out this year. This renewal rate is excellent compared  to other associations around the state.  

•It is very helpful to the treasurer to have email addresses for dues renewals, so please  keep your up-to-date with Ed Gray edwin_gray@hotmail.com 

•Dana noted that the account balance may seem high, but could be depleted quickly if  we need to address any invasive plant issues, contribute to work related to the water  levels, such as the engineering study we commissioned several years ago at at cost of  $10,000. Even more costly—Sebago Lake spent $100,000 to address invasive plants.  

Water Quality Report (Woody Trask): 

•2020 was an average year with clarity and phosphorous readings as expected •Water clarity is excellent and had highest reading ever recorded 7 meters (23 feet) •Surface temp of water is 79 degrees, which warmer than recent averages and  hopefully won’t result in algae 

•2021 started unusually, with it being January 11 before ice fully covered pond. With Ice  Out occurring April 4, there was a very short ice cover period. According to specialists,  longer ice coverage is better for pond water quality, especially phosphorous levels.  Readings are at 12 parts per billion (PPB), which is okay, but approaching the limit of 15  PPB where algae blooms become prevalent. Residents may see some algae,  particularly in a cove where wind blows in, but there are no significant blooms to report.  (Lake Auburn has had 2 algae blooms and fish kills.) Property owners can help keep  phosphorous out of the pond by planting buffers along the shore and not using  fertilizers. 

•Questions about dark red or brown streams appearing in shallow areas 2-3 times a  year were raised. Without seeing them, it was supposed that they were the result of  disturbed sediment from storms or animals.  

Election of Board Members: By a unanimous show of hands, the following board  members were reelected to 2 year terms expiring 2023: Luci Merin, Barbara Mitchell,  Woody Trask. New Board Member Brian Cullen was nominated by Barbara Mitchell,  seconded by Woody Trask and elected unanimously to a two year term ending in 2023.  Board members Dana Little, Ed Gray, Larry Faiman, Donna Morin, Kristi Norcross, and  Bill Turner continue as board members with terms expiring 2022. Board Member Marc  Tardif retired from the Board and was thanked for his service.  

Other Business: 

•It was asked if there was interest in a Labor Day Boat Parade, since the July 4th Boat  Parade was (mostly) rained out. Members noted that Labor Day is busy with back to  school and that a lot of people take their boats out that weekend. No plans for a boat  parade. 

•A resident asked about weeds—reed type weeds spreading and sticking out of the  water—are they beneficial? Is it okay to pull they out? No, you should not pull out 

the weeds, as this disturbs the soil and increases phosphorous in the pond. Yes,  the plants are beneficial as they produce oxygen and hold onto phosphorous.  Called “Juncus,” these are a genus of flowering plant/grass commonly know as rushes  that grow in some areas of the pond and not others. It is really abundant on the north  end of pond where the stream (Hodgkins Brook) comes in, which brings sediment into  the pond. Beaver dams in this area are good for the pond to slow the water and  sediment coming in. There are lots of weeds on the west side of the pond, but not the  east. The beach has had a lot of sand dumped in it so there is no grass there. Taylor  Pond is called a pond because plants can grow on the bottom. Bodies of water that are  too deep for plants to grow are lakes. The deepest part of pond is only 45 feet. 

•Question was asked about invasive plants and policies about removing plants before  entering water. Maine state policy is that boaters can’t transfer plants from one body of  water to another, but it is a little scary that there are so many places people can enter  water around Taylor Pond. It is up to everyone using the pond to inspect their own boat  or the boats of guests to keep invasive out. This also brought up the example of  invasive fish that were introduced by fishermen and have wiped out other species. 

•Another question was asked about banning jet skis? TPA has not gotten into that but  we can discuss if membership is concerned. At this point there don’t seem to be too  many; if the pond were ever to get a public boat launch it would likely attract more  creating a possible nuisance. Getting into it would likely be a divisive issue. Issues  typically addressed by TPA have an impact on the quality of the water and/or quality of  life on Taylor Pond.  

•That discussion raised a final question about voting. Does each household/ membership get one vote or does each person in a household get a vote? By-laws will  be checked. 

Meeting adjourned: 8 pm. Motion by Woody Trask, Seconded by Barbara Mitchell,  Passed Unanimously. 

Annual Meeting will occur 8/29/2021

Taylor Pond Association 

August 23, 2020 

Our originally planned meeting at Taylor Pond Yacht Club has been changed to a virtual Zoom meeting due to COVID-19 concerns. The meeting will commence on Sunday, August 29, 2021 at 7pm.

You should have received the link by email, it is not being included here for security reasons. If you need the link you can obtain it from any board member.

7 pm-Zoom Link Open for Chat 
7:15 pm-Official Meeting Begins

Annual Meeting Agenda
   a. Welcome
   b. Approval of 2020 Annual Meeting Minutes
        (View online on the TPA Website after 8/25/21)
   c. Review of the year
   d. Grant Program results
   e. Water Quality results
   f. Treasurer’s report 
   g. Open for questions
   h. Nominations and then election of board members

The minutes from our 2020 meeting are posted below and will need to be approved at our 2021 meeting.

The 2020 Annual Meeting was held virtually (via Zoom), with 32 participants. 

President’s Report (Dana Little): The meeting was called to order at 7:05. Dana  welcomed participants and noted that despite the challenge of a virtual meeting,  attendance was good. In addition to the president and board members present (Ed  Gray (treasurer), Luci Merin (secretary), Kristi Norcross, Woody Trask, Barbara Mitchell,  Donna Morin, Larry Faiman), 24 members joined the online meeting, Dana noted that  the Association meets to fulfill requirements of our nonprofit charter and remains  dedicated to protecting the quality of water and life on Taylor Pond.  

Secretary’s Report (Luci Merin): Minutes of the 2019 meeting were posted on the TPA  website earlier in the day at www.taylorpond.org and on screen at the meeting for  review. A motion made at the conclusion of the meeting to accept the 2019 minutes as  written was accepted unanimously. 

Treasurer’s Report(Ed Gray): $4,825 has been collected so far from 102 renewing  and new members out of 189 invoices sent out. This is a little lower return than 2019,  but this year’s membership fee was considered optional if members were struggling due  to the pandemic. With participation at over 50%, especially since we did not send  reminder invoices with the newsletter this year, our association maintains good support  from the Taylor Pond community. Current balance in the bank is $32,741.05. The  Association’s biggest expense remains the design, printing and mailing of the annual  newsletter. Additional expenses included state and federal fees, dues to Maine Lakes  Society and Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program, and water testing lab fees.  (Detail printed in TPA Newsletter.) 

Water Quality Report (Woody Trask): The water quality report revealed a generally  good, average year, with the possible concern of a warming water temperature. Ice out  was early in 2020 (April 2), 20 days earlier than 2019, but it did not yet create a high  water temperature. Average for 2020 so far is 77 degrees, while the 2019 average was  78.5 degrees. More weeks of open water are generally considered by lake scientists to  be undesirable since it results in a longer period of sunlight exposure and warming,  conditions conducive to algae growth.  

Water clarity has been good—a 7 meter reading at the end of May was a new high over  the previous high of 6.5 meters. July clarity was 4.7 meters and August just over 5  meters. Clarity readings are taken at the deepest part of the pond (40+ feet) and  therefore not affected by wildlife and watercraft stirring up the pond bottom along the  shore. Phosphorous readings are all in line with historical averages and quality  standards.

Election of Board Members: By a unanimous show of hands, the following board  members were reelected to 2 year terms expiring 2022: Dana Little, Ed Gray, Larry  Faiman, Donna Morin, Kristi Norcross, and Bill Turner. Board Member Jan Phillips  retired from the Board and was thanked her for her service.  

Other Business: 

BettyAnn Sheats provided an update on the Taylor Brook Bridge flood mitigation.  It looks promising that the bridge project will be on the State DOT work plan and  schedule for 2021. She reiterated that the plan is still an upgrade to a bridge from  earlier discussion of a culvert, which should provide greater protection.  

Barbara Mitchell noted a high number of small, biting flies (smaller than a house  fly) on the pond surface this season, wondering what they were. No answers!  In response to a recent email sent to TPA members about swimmer safety, it was  noted that motorized watercraft are responsible for operating safely, including  maintaining NO WAKE speed until 200 feet from shore. In addition to swimmer safety,  low speed along the shoreline helps minimize disruption of the pond floor and maintain  good water quality. 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:35. 

Respectfully Submitted, 

Luci Merin, Secretary

2020 Taylor Pond Water Quality Report

by Woody Trask

An October morning on Taylor Pond

This report summarizes the findings of the 2020 water quality monitoring program for Taylor Pond in Auburn, Maine (MIDAS ID#3750). Clarity readings and samplings were conducted monthly from June through September by Woody Trask with additional clarity readings taken May through September by Michael Heskanen.

Since 2004, Taylor Pond Association has been collecting its own water samples and performing most tests. Phosphorus analyses are conducted by the DHHS Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory.

Result summary: Results were quite consistent with readings obtained for the past several years with one notable exception. A new maximum clarity reading of 7.0 meters obtained on May 30 exceeded the previous high by 0.75 meters (about 2.5 feet). The average clarity was slightly higher than last year mostly likely due to a dry summer with less runoff going into the pond.

The average 5 meter core sample phosphorus reading was up slightly from last year but was consistent with the historical average. The bottom (12 meter) phosphorus reading by contrast was much lower than last year and was well below the historical average.

Water coloration was the same as last year and close to the historic average. 

Readings for pH and alkalinity were unchanged from past years. Conductivity was slightly higher.

The average surface temperature taken at 1 meter depth was 23.3°C (73.9°F), 0.3°C (0.5°F) lower than last year and 0.4°C (0.72°F) higher than the average for the past 10 years.

 “Ice in” occurred on the 4th of December 2019 (1 day earlier than 2018) and the “ice out” date was April 2nd (3 weeks earlier  than 2019). The historical average for ice out is April 14. 

The results of this year’s monitoring are given below and in a separate DO/Temperature report.

Parameter2020Mean for Taylor Pond since 1975Historical Mean for all Maine Lakes
Color21.2521.0428
pH7.17.016.82
Alkalinity2017.111.9
Conductance, µS/cm10591.246
Total Phosphorous 5m core sample, µg/L11.0vs. 10.25 in 201910.2112
Total Phosphorousbottom grab, µg/L17.5vs. 15.25 in 201924.58(not published)
Secchi depth (meters) minimum4.2vs. 3.8 in 20191.7 (minimum ever recorded)0.5(0.9 in 2012) 
Secchi depth mean (m)5.35vs. 5.0 in 20194.704.81(5.2 in 2012)
Secchi depth max (m)7.0vs. 6.2 in 20197.0 (a new record high)15.5 (13.4 in 2012)
Trophic State (by Secchi disk)35.849.2045
Trophic State (by core Total Phosphorus)38.742.75
(not published)

Color:

Organic material that remains from dead plants and animals provides most of the water color.  Lakes drained by areas with more coniferous forests tend to be brown in color due to the slow degradation of the leaves of these trees.  Taylor Pond had a color measured at 21.25 in 2020, which is slightly higher than last year and lower than the mean for all Maine lakes of 28.  When the color is greater than 25 a lake is considered “colored” and the transparency is reduced.   

PH:

A measure of the acid-base status of the pond.  Taylor Pond had a pH of 7.1 in 2020 which is slightly higher than the mean of 6.82 for all Maine Lakes.  Acid rain caused by industrial pollutants can cause the pH in lakes to drop below 6.  This drop in pH kills off the healthy zooplankton (microscopic animals) leading to death of fish and overgrowth of algae.   The pH of Taylor Pond has been very stable over the years.

Alkalinity:

A measure of the capacity of the water to buffer against a change in the pH.  Taylor Pond’s alkalinity in 2020 was 20 (the same as last year) compared to a mean for all Maine lakes of 11.9.  This indicates that our pond is unlikely to have a problem with acidity.  The level of alkalinity in Taylor Pond has remained constant and is not of concern.

Conductance:

Conductance indirectly measures the relative number of dissolved ions in the water — the higher the concentration of ions the greater the conductance. Conductance is used as a rough estimate of the amount of pollutants which usually are present as ions.  Although conductance is easy to measure it is not considered highly reliable.  Taylor Pond’s conductance for 2020 was 105 compared to a historical mean of 91.2 and a mean of 46 for all Maine lakes. 

Total Phosphorous:

A phosphorus analysis provides the most reliable measure of the capacity of Taylor Pond to have an algal bloom.  Algae in Maine waters tend to be limited by the phosphorous content of the water.  If you provide enough phosphorous algae grows rapidly.  Algae cause depletion of oxygen in the water which kills animal life, colors the water green and when it dies creates unpleasant odors.  Taylor Pond’s phosphorous was done using a 5 meter core and bottom grab sampling technique.  Taylor Pond’s core sample phosphorous readings this year averaged 11.0 µg/L which is comparable to the historical mean of 10.21 and lower than the 12 reported for all Maine lakes.  In 2020 there were no 5 meter core results close to the 15 µg/L level that can initiate algal blooms.  Lakes are categorized as oligotrophic (low level of biologic productivity), mesotrophic (intermediate) or eutrophic (high biologic productivity) based on how much phosphorous they contain.  A lake with a phosphorous of less than 10 is considered oligotrophic, between 10 and 30 is considered mesotrophic and over 30 is considered eutrophic.

The bottom grab sample average of 17.5 µg/L was higher than last year’s average and lower than the historical average.

Secchi Disk:

Secchi disk readings provide the easiest method for measuring the clarity of the water.  Algae, zooplankton (microscopic animals), natural water color and suspended soil all reduce the transparency of the water.  Algae cause most of the change in transparency in Taylor Pond, but pine pollen at times is also a major contributor.  The mean transparency for 2020 was 5.35 meters, 3.5 m. higher than last year due primarily to a highest reading ever of 7.0 meters taken at the end of May. The mean for 2020 was higher than the historic average for Taylor Pond of 4.70 and higher than the historical average for all Maine lakes.

Trophic State:

This is a measure of the biologic productivity of the pond — the higher the number, the more biologically productive the lake and typically the poorer the water quality.  The scale ranges from zero to over 100.  Ponds in the range between 40 and 50 are considered mesotrophic (moderately productive).  Values greater than 50 are associated with eutrophy (high productivity) and values less than 40 are associated with oligotrophy (low productivity).  Taylor Pond measured at 35.8 by Secchi Disk readings and 38.7 by phosphorous readings (considered the most accurate).  Taylor Pond’s Trophic State as measured by the Secchi disk is lower than the state average of 45.

Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature Profiles:

The amount of dissolved oxygen is measured at the surface and at one meter depth intervals monthly throughout the summer.  Generally down to a depth of 5 meters the oxygen level remains at a high enough level to sustain all animals.  Below 5 meters the oxygen levels early in the summer are high, but as the summer progresses the oxygen levels drop to levels (below 5 ppm) unable to sustain fish and other aquatic animals. Warm water fish (such as Sunfish, Perch, Pickerel and Bass) have no difficulty in Taylor Pond because they stay near the surface where the water is well oxygenated.  Cold water fish (such as Trout and Salmon) need the deeper colder water, below 20 degrees Celsius, to thrive. By July or August, this colder, deeper water no longer contains enough oxygen for fish.  In addition to the difficulty for fish, oxygen depletion near the bottom of the pond tends to release phosphorous into the water.  This is demonstrated by the higher phosphorous levels found in the bottom grab samples by the middle of the summer. The oxygen depletion found below 4-8 meters is similar to what we have found in the past and continues to reflect the fragile state of Taylor Pond. The DO and Temperature profiles for 2020 are on a separate chart (attached).

Conclusions:

The conclusions remain essentially unchanged from last year. The water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to other Maine lakes.  The potential for an algal bloom continues to be low to moderate, with the average Phosphorus of 11.0 µg/L for 2020 being in line with the historical average.  Taylor Pond remains one of the 181 Maine lakes on the Maine Department of Environmental Protections Nonpoint Source Priority Watershed list.  This list contains those lakes considered to be threatened or impaired by nonpoint source pollution from land use activities on the surrounding watershed.  In addition the Stormwater Management Law considers Taylor Pond to be a lake “most at risk”.  

Taylor Pond fails to meet standards for the highest water quality due to the depletion of oxygen found at depths below 5 meters during the summer (see DO/Temp chart).  In addition, phosphorous levels remain just below the threshold of 15 which could trigger an algal bloom.  Monitoring of Taylor Pond has been conducted regularly since 1975.  During this time there has been no consistent trend in the parameters measured.  Since 2004, the years Taylor Pond has been monitored by volunteers, there have been no appreciable algae blooms.   

Because of the shallow depth of the pond (mean depth 17 feet) and low flushing rate (1.34 flushes per year, the number of times the water, on average, empties from the pond) Taylor Pond will likely always remain vulnerable to phosphorous loading and therefore algal blooms.  Because of oxygen depletion of deep water during the summer, the pond will likely never sustain a cold water fishery.  Finally, each new structure or expansion of an existing structure, whether a home, garage, driveway, road, lawn or beach, potentially increases the phosphorous loading of the pond.  

Taylor Pond continues to have many attractive qualities.  The shallow depth means that it quickly warms in the summer to provide excellent swimming close to the towns of Auburn and Lewiston.  It freezes quickly in the winter to provide skating, skiing and ice fishing during the winter.   It has an abundant bass, pickerel, and recently pike populations that thrive in its warm waters and attract people who enjoy fishing.  The Department of Marine Resources considers the pond to be prime spawning habitat for alewives and trucks adult fish above the dams on the Androscoggin River into Taylor Pond.  It has a naturally high level of biologic productivity that sustains an abundant wildlife population for all to enjoy.  It remains a place that never ceases to astound us with its beauty.  

METHODOLOGY:

Samples are collected at the deepest point in the pond.  This point has been determined previously and the historic location has been noted on maps available to the samplers along with GPS coordinates.  This spot is reached by boat and verified each time by visual triangulation or GPS reading.  In addition to visual triangulation an ultrasound depth meter is used before collecting core and grab samples.  Grab samples are taken using a Van Dorn Water Sampler.  Core samples are taken with a core sampler  home-manufactured from a 50 foot flexible PVC tube.   The method for grab samples at a specified depth and core samples are done according to the protocol of the Maine Bureau of Land and Water Quality, Division of Environmental Assessment.

COLOR:  Performed on core samples using a Hach color wheel (CO 20-100) and units are in Standard Platinum Units (SPU).

PH: Performed on core samples using a Hach Bromothymol Blue test kit for pH.

CONDUCTANCE:  Performed on core samples using a HM Digital, Inc. Model COM-100 water quality tester for EC/TDS/Temp. Conductivity is measured in uS/cm.

ALKALINITY:  Performed on core samples using a titration method with a Hach color wheel measured in milligram per liter.  

PHOSPHOROUS:  Performed on core samples and bottom grab samples.  Samples are collected in the field, refrigerated and sent to the DHHS lab by mail. Measurements are in parts per billion (ppb). The results are the average of four samples taken once a month from June to September.

SECCHI DISK:  Performed using the method taught by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program. Only certified users performed this task. Measurements of depth are in meters.

DISSOLVED OXYGEN:  Performed in the field using a YSI 550A DO meter with 50 foot probe which measures temperature and dissolved oxygen from the surface to maximum depth.  The sampler and meter is yearly certified by the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program as to method and accuracy. Measurements of dissolved oxygen are in milligrams per liter (mg/l). Water temperature is recorded at each depth tested.

TROPHIC STATE:  Carlson’s Trophic State Index (TSI) is used in these calculations.  For Secchi disk depth TSI = 60 – 14.41 x (Natural Log of Secchi disk depth in meters). For total phosphorus TSI = 14.42 x (Natural Log of total phosphorous) + 4.15.  

Woody Trask

10/23/2020

SHORELINE IMPROVEMENT GRANTS SUPPORT TAYLOR POND WATER QUALITY

It’s Summer…finally!  Whether your idea of summer on Taylor Pond includes boating, floating, paddling, fishing, sailing, or simply relaxing in a deck chair on solid ground, you count on its clean water and accessible shoreline to get the most out of every, precious summer day.  We all do.  Of all the issues on TPA agendas over the years, none is more consistent and more important than water quality.  It is no accident that our water is clear; it’s thanks to the stewardship of us all.

One of the best ways to maintain water quality is from the shore.  TPA offers help to property owners who want to make their shoreline more lake friendly.  Free property evaluations and matching grants up to $500 are available to members. Participation is completely voluntary. Property owners can opt out at any time (i.e. they are not required to implement any improvement suggestions and the property evaluation is purely educational, not regulatory). 

Evaluations do advise property owners on Maine’s shoreland zoning law and include customized recommendations for property improvements that will keep the pond healthy such as: 

  • Preventing rain runoff  from directly entering the pond
  • Planting a buffer along the shore 
  • Leaving grass at least three inches long when cutting
  • Avoiding pesticides and fertilizers and
  • Reducing lawn sizes

Homeowners (or road associations) who do want to apply for a matching grant (up to $500) will follow these steps: 

  1. An initial, free LakeSmart property evaluation 
  2. Make improvements as recommended in the written evaluation
  3. Provide proof of associated costs
  4. Not make changes to the property that would worsen its score 
  5. Have a follow up evaluation to ensure satisfactory work

To find out more or schedule a LakeSmart evaluation, call Kristi Norcross at 577-6408. 

Flooding Issues Revisited

By Dana Little

How to Reduce Flooding and Need for Flood Insurance on Taylor Pond

Removing obstructions to the free flow of Taylor Brook under Hotel road and Stevens Mill extension could reduce the chance of flooding on the pond.  The Taylor Pond Association hired Joseph McLean of Wright-Pierce engineering to advise us on how to prevent the flooding of so many homes from events like the 9 inches of rain we received in June of 2012.  After a year of study he presented his preliminary report at our last association meeting in August 2017.

Beaver dams and debris in the outlet have often been blamed for causing flooding.  However, Mr. McLean determined that beaver dams, located below Hotel Road, prevent water levels from dropping too low in the summer but do not cause flooding.  They block water flow most of the year, but during high water events water easily flows around, over or through the dam. Removal of any beaver dams would result in lower water levels in the pond but no decrease in flooding events.  

The Hotel Road culvert through which Taylor Brook flows on leaving Taylor Pond does restrict flow and acts like a large dam during high water events.  In 2017 we learned that the state Department of Transportation (DOT) plans to improve this culvert. DOT held a public meeting May 2nd at which I and several other members of the TPA board and pondside residents were present.  We learned that work will likely begin in 2019 and will finish by winter. TPA is working with the engineers at DOT to ensure that the project will have a sufficiently large span to reduce the chance of flooding. According to Joseph McLean’s calculations, if the current culvert (about 18 feet wide) is replaced by a 30 foot span, the high water mark in a 100 year flood would be 4.8 inches lower.

Two other sites that restrict water flow are the dam on Taylor Brook located on the Kendall property and the Stevens Mill Road extension which crosses the brook and allows access to the Kendall home.  We have spoken to the Kendalls and they plan to leave the dam alone. The Stevens Mill Road extension passes over Taylor Brook, is owned by the city and acts as a dam during high water levels. Replacement of the current bridge with a 35 foot wide bridge, in combination with improvements to the Hotel Road culvert, would lower the 100 year flood level by a total of 14.4 inches.  

One final finding of the engineering report could help reduce the estimated 100-year flood elevation by almost two feet (from 245.5 to 243.6).  For certain property owners this could eliminate the need to pay for flood insurance. To change this level, set by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), we would need to contract with Wright-Pierce or appeal to the city to work with FEMA to change the current flood maps.  With the proposed improvements to Hotel Road, the Stevens Mill extension, and estimates for 100-year flooding, we could see not only the reduced chance of flooding but also elimination of flood insurance payments for many homeowners on the pond. TPA will continue to work for homeowners on the pond to accomplish all three of these goals.  

Winter on Taylor Pond

By Joan Macri July 2016

Over the years many people have enjoyed ice sailing. Nothing quite beats sailing across the ice with the wind at your back! Peter Garcia of West Shore Road has had a sail boat for many years and in approximately 2004, TJ Thayer took it for a spin.

Well into the 1950’s many scores of local men earned money in the winter by harvesting ice. Wesley Urquhart lived on the west side of the pond and had an ice operation. The ice would be cut into huge slabs, often more than 20 inches thick, floated in channels that had been cleared to the “haul way”  where they would be pulled ashore and stored in hay in an ice house. When Peter Durgin bought his property on Waterview Road from Sumner Peck, he found debris from the ice operation including lumber, chains, belts, and pull-ups. If you boat near the edge of the property, you can still see the 12” square wooden stanchions filled with rocks that marked the entrance to the haul way. The ice was used in ice boxes throughout the community. Prices probably varied from 15 to 60 cents depending upon supply and demand as evidenced by the sign Peter Durgin discovered in the old Lake Auburn Ice Company when he was a teenager.

Winter on the pond is always special. The colder is gets, the more still the air becomes. Sheeted in crystal and white, it is a lovely image to hold onto for those hot sun-filled days of summer!

Real Estate on Taylor Pond

By Barbara Mitchell, July 2015 

Taylor Pond, which once was a summer destination for local residents, has come to have more and more year round houses over the years.  People have often asked me what percentage of properties have seasonal  homes and what percentage  are year round.  So I decided to see what I could find out. Although this is not 100% accurate (since some houses deemed “year round” are not really used year round and a few deemed “seasonal” may be lived in year round), of the approximately 228 properties on the water or with deeded access to the water, about 148 are year round, 68 are seasonal and 12 are pieces of land only that might be buildable. That would put the percentage of year round homes on the pond at approximately 64%. In the past 5 years, 19 properties have sold through the Multiple Listing Service with the help of realtors at an average sale price of $332,000 for year round homes, $170,000 for seasonal properties and $130,000 for land only. Three new year round homes have been built, several have been improved or converted to year round, and a handful of others likely have been sold by owners or transferred to family members. The sale price of homes on the pond did dip when the housing bubble burst in 2008, but not as much as prices in the area overall.  Because the supply of properties on the pond is limited and the demand for waterfront property right here in town is always there, properties have continued to sell well.  Because Taylor Pond tends to be somewhat of a “local” waterfront community rather than a “destination” lake, prices tend to remain lower than some of the other (especially larger) waterfront communities, but have still been fairly steady.  “Out-of-staters” that buy on the pond often have a tie to the area through family, Bates College, etc. The more expensive the property, the longer it often takes to sell,  while the smaller seasonal camps often sell quickly with buyers frequently converting them to year round homes. Of course, conversions are subject to numerous complicated zoning ordinances, both state and local.  The most well-known ordinance relating to non-conforming waterfront property expansion is likely to change later this year.  New nonconforming structure expansion provisions have been enacted by the Maine Legislature and are contained within the proposed rulemaking to amend the Department of Environmental Protection Chapter 1000.  Once that has been done, Auburn will most likely adopt the same guidelines shortly after. For years, expansion has been limited to less than 30% of the floor area and volume (whichever was less) over the lifetime of the structure (since the ordinances went into effect in 1989) and height limitations based upon the distance of the structure from the shoreline. Under the new standards, a nonconforming structure would be able to be expanded up to 30% of the footprint (including decks) of the structure or up to a certain established limit (based on setback from the shoreline), whichever is greater, without regard to volume.  Structure height is also limited, much as it was with the previous expansion provisions, except that the new language allows the structure height to be either the established height limit or the height of the existing structure, whichever is greater. These new regulations simplify the calculations and may be less restrictive for some properties and more restrictive for others. Of course there are many other complicated guidelines that must be adhered to when building, rebuilding or expanding on the water, so it is important to check with the city before making any plans or buying or selling property on the pond to be sure you understand what can and cannot be done to the property.  Auburn City Planners are very helpful in assisting residents make the most of their properties within the guidelines to preserve the water quality and, therefore, the value of everyone’s property on the pond. (For more specifics regarding current shoreland zoning ordinances you can go to:  www.maine.gov/dep/land/slz/citizenguide.pdf One other thing to take into consideration in buying, selling, or expanding a property on the water is flood insurance.  If the structure is in a flood zone as determined by FEMA, a lender will require flood insurance if there will be any type of mortgage or home equity loan on the property.  So, just because the current property owner does not pay for flood insurance, this does not mean that a new owner won’t be required to because previous owner may no longer have a mortgage on the property.

Update on Flood Mitigation Efforts

By Marc Tardiff, July 2015

Past flood events around the Pond, and concern for future recurrences have been the subject of much discussion amongst Taylor Pond residents for many years. The annual TPA newsletter has included articles on the subject in each of its last three editions. This year’s article is meant to serve as an update on current efforts to mitigate the problem. Readers interested in having some background information on the subject can visit the TPA website to peruse the related articles from previous editions of the newsletter. Any meaningful remedial work will be expensive, which means securing funding will be the largest hurdle. The board is involved in ongoing discussions with city staff regarding the issue. The current thought is that we should pursue several funding alternatives which might include a FEMA grant or a Clean Water related fund. Last year, Maine citizens voted in favor of a $50,000,000 ballot question regarding “The General Fund Bond for Clean Water and Safe Communities”. Eligible recipients for this program include 501(c) (3) entities like TPA, and municipalities like Auburn. City staff are presently reviewing the application process. The initial feedback we’ve received from the DEP is that there’s a reasonable chance of being awarded a grant from this fund. In the case of Taylor Pond, the prime consideration for grant approval is the public safety risk associated with the potential for public sewer and private septic systems to comingle with lake water as the result of a flood event. Additional benefits from flood mitigation could be realized from increased property values and reduced flood insurance costs.

Wind

By Dana and Kay Little, July 2015

Who has seen the wind? / Neither you nor I: / But when the trees bow down their heads. / The wind is passing by. –Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

The weeping willow outside my window, roots firm in the waterlogged soil, bends and sweeps away from the north wind.  A wind from the south brings warmth. Upturned leaves of red maples announce a coming storm.  As I dig in my garden, a steady breeze keeps the black flies away.  Leaves scuttle across the water and pile up on the beach, giving me mulch for blueberry bushes.   A northeast winter wind brings piling snow.  We can’t see it but we feel its effects.  And living here, there are so many things to learn about the wind.

If you stand on the shore facing into the wind, the water from the pond is pushed towards you and is slightly deeper where you stand. This oscillation in the water level is called a seiche.  And in summer, the wind acts primarily on the surface, causing the seiche to push warm water towards you, giving you a deeper layer of warm water.  If the wind is at your back however, the seiche will take away warm surface water, making your swim colder than usual. Any time the wind blows it creates turbulence in the water.  This creates spirals which rotate in opposite directions.  These spirals travel in parallel lines in the direction of the wind and are called Langmuir rotations.  Where two spirals meet they are up-welling on one side and down-welling on the other side.  Heavy particles collect on the up-welling side; buoyant particles (foam, bits of plants, etc.) on the down-welling side, creating lines on the surface of the water like small streams.  The water between the lines may form smoother areas, creating surface patterns that shift with the wind.

At times, we also see foam on beaches.  It’s typically a light tan, has an earthy or fishy smell, and dissipates quickly when the wind dies.   Decaying plants in the water release natural compounds that function like surfactants in the same manner as soap. Then, when wind agitates the water, we see the formation of large bubbles.  Excess phosphates in the water form runoff or soap can also cause foam which will be white, have a perfume type odor and persist after the wind dies.   On windy days, the foam I find on my beach has always been composed of natural substances and indicates only that we have a biologically productive pond.

One of the most reliable winds on the pond is the sea breeze that comes off the ocean on warm summer days.  Sun heats up land faster than water causing air over the ocean to be cooler than over the land.  In summer, all along the coast of Maine, warmer air over land rises, and cool ocean air rushes in to fill the void—a sea breeze, also called an onshore wind.  On Taylor Pond, starting about 2:00 PM, this sea breeze blows from Crescent Beach on the south end up to Lapham Brook at the north.  On hot summer days a strong sea breeze often appears; then, waters at Crescent Beach can be as smooth as glass for the swimmers, and at the north end you see sailing classes battling foot-high waves.  The same day, the same pond, two entirely different experiences.

Zephyr winds form in the same manner as the sea breeze but are formed right on Taylor Pond. Fetch describes the longest distance wind can travel across the water unimpeded by land.  Taylor Pond is roughly 4000 by 9400 feet measuring east to west and then north to south. When sailing on Taylor Pond, keep away from shore so that fetch is maximized to increase your speed.  Hills and trees obstruct the flow of wind, often cutting sailing speed in half.  Winds on the pond can be fickle and shift 90 to 180 degrees at a moment’s notice, dumping unwary sailors into the water. A sailor reads the wind on the water’s surface.  Waves on the Pond form perpendicular to the direction of the wind.  A set of waves from a new direction mean the wind will change direction even before the waves reach your boat.   Ripples on the surface changing to small wavelets, indicate a stronger wind.

In summer, on a sunny day, when the winds blow mostly from the southeast, the cove where I live on the southwest corner of the Pond is protected from the wind.  The water may be as smooth as glass here, but a hundred yards out there will be visible ripples in the water.  To catch the wind, I have to get my sailboat to those ripples.  And farther out, looking at the waves and knowing the Beaufort Scale, I can estimate the speed of the wind.   The table below describes part of the Beaufort Scale.  When speaking of wind speed over water we usually speak of knots with one knot being equivalent to approximately 1.15 miles per hour.

BeaufortNumber Description Wind Speed (in Knots) Lake Condition Land Condition
0 Calm 0-0.6 Flat Smoke rises vertically
1 Light Air 0.6-3 Ripples without crests Smoke moves in wind direction, leaves do not move
2 Light Breeze 3-6.4 Small wavelets, crests not breaking Wind felt on exposed skin, leaves rustle.
3 Gentle Breeze 6.4-10.6 Large wavelets, crests begin to break, scattered whitecaps Leaves and small twigs constantly moving, light flags extended
4 Moderate Breeze 10.6-15.5 Small waves with breaking crests, frequent whitecaps Dust and loose paper raised, small branches begin to move.
5 Fresh Breeze 15.5-21 Moderate waves, many white caps, small amounts of spray Branches of moderate size move, small trees in leaf begin to sway.
6 Strong Breeze 21-26.9 Long waves form, white foam crests frequent, airborne spray present Large branches in motion, whistling heard in overhead wires.

The scale continues on to 12, which indicates hurricane force winds, over 63 knots.  For sailing I am reluctant to go over 5, for canoeing I generally will not leave shore if the number exceeds 2, and for kayaking, 6.  For most people, long rolling waves, white caps and spray in the air signal the need to stay on shore and simply enjoy the wind blowing in their face.

Feel it, smell it, taste it, Wait for it, dread it, fight it. Ride it, embrace it, thank it, Who can ignore the wind on Taylor Pond? Neither you nor I.