Taylor Pond Association Annual Meeting
August 6, 2017
Approximately 40 people attended the meeting held at the Taylor Pond Yacht Club.
President Dana opened the meeting by introducing the board members in attendance.
Minutes The minutes from last summer’s annual meeting were accepted.
LakeSmart Program and TPA Grants Dana reported that he and Kristi had met with Maggie Shannon and became certified as LakeSmart evaluators. Dana has done 7 evaluations so far. The purpose of the evaluations is to help keep the lake healthy by educating property owners as to best management practices. The most important way to do that is to slow down the water that runs into the pond, which carries phosphorous and promotes algae growth. Commendations for a “LakeSmart” property are awarded with a sign. Dana awarded the sign to Susan and Woody Trask for their recent evaluation. Dana noted that the “evaluators” do not report any potential issues to any local or state authorities. The program is designed for education only and is entirely private.
Homeowners can request an evaluation anytime, but especially if they plan to do some upgrading to the outside of their properties. Dana (or Kristi) can make suggestions for best-practice improvements that can then qualify for a TPA grant of up to $500. See the recent newsletter for more information, or call Kristi at 577-6408 or Dana at 784-1908.
Water Quality Woody Trask reported that the water quality was great year last year. So far this year it is at high end of the normal range. Phosphorous levels are also good so far. July has been a dry month, so there hasn’t been much run-off. Woody does a full battery of tests every month and then completes clarity readings in between times. Dana noted that our lake is considered at risk because of its shallow depth and dense population. There is no oxygen at the bottom during the summer, which is why Taylor Pond cannot support cold water fish such as trout or salmon. This year Michael Heskanen, a new property owner on the pond, has become certified to assist with the clarity readings.
Newsletter Dana thanked Susan and Joan Macri for their work in putting the newsletter together.
Nominations for Board Board members serve 2-year terms, and we have staggered terms in order to provide continuity. Up for re-election were Susan Trask, Marc Tardif and Barbara Mitchell. Woody Trask had volunteered to stand, and Bill Turner also volunteered at the meeting. The entire slate was elected unanimously.
Fire Safety Meeting Susan reminded the attendees that the Auburn Fire Department, Maine Forest Service, and Auburn officials will host a community discussion on August 22 at 6:00 at City Hall. Joan Macri reported that the new City Manager has put $40,000 of his budget to study fire safety at the NE side of the pond. Since there is an urban- wildlife interface around the pond, the Maine Forest Service has an interest. The City no longer has a tanker truck, so any homes without nearby hydrants are at risk during a fire event. Joan suggested that as many as possible attend this meeting and show your support.
In other business, the Doyons said that they have recently “rescued” several items floating in the pond and wondered what to do with them. If you notify Susan Trask at email@example.com of any items you’ve recovered, she can put the word out to the Membership. Susan also noted that a small kayak was recovered floating upside down that afternoon (August 6). It’s currently on the Trask’s dock. If anyone knows of someone missing one, contact her.
Presentation by Joe McClean, Wright-Pierce Engineering
Joe gave a slide presentation that detailed the studies that he has led under contract with the TPA. The task was to determine how best to deal with extended flooding such as we experienced six years ago. The study focused on Taylor Brook between the outlet of the pond and the Kendall property. The brook meanders around until it gets to the culverts under Hotel Rd, forms a more definite channel as it travels behind the Granit Mill Estates and then goes under a bridge (driveway, really) and over a dam at the Kendall property on Stevens Mills Rd.
He began the study by collecting all the information from previous studies, including FEMA. He then proceeded to:
- Evaluate infrastructure
- Assess stream form and function
- Conduct a hydrologic analysis
- Make recommendations
The stream is an undefined channel from the outlet to the culverts. The two different types of vegetation above and below the culverts are evidence of man-made interventions over time. A 1935 city map shows a “fish screen” followed by a one foot drop at the present culvert site. This fish screen functioned effectively as a dam. There are water and sewer lines that go over and around the culverts. Another prominent feature is the beaver dams that are currently located behind Granite Mills Estates. The study found that those dams are keeping the present water level in the pond where it is. Without them, the water level would be a foot lower. Joe remarked that the beaver are “doing their job” to maintain current levels.
In dealing with a flood event, the major issue is getting the water out as soon as possible. The updated flood model from FEMA puts the 100-year flood level at 245.5’ (about 2 feet below where they had it recently). However, according to Joe, the FEMA analysis ignores the Taylor Pond Storage volume (i.e. the amount of water the pond can handle because of its volume). He believes there would not be enough water during a 100 year storm to raise the pond 8 feet.
The study concluded that we could make a significant improvement in the amount of time flood waters clear by:
- Creating a 30’ span at the Hotel Rd. site and
- Improving the bridge at the Kendall driveway or
- Improving the dam at the Kendall property
The Wright-Pierce study recommended that we should:
- Improve Hotel Rd. to larger span
- Coordinate with the Kendalls to improve the driveway bridge or dam
- Coordinate with Auburn and FEMA to revise Flood Mapping (this affects flood insurance)
The City of Auburn was making plans to replace the culverts at Hotel Rd. when they upgraded the road next year, and had received grant monies from the State to do that. They had planned to install a 20’ arch, which the Wright-Pierce study deemed inadequate. However, the City was only recently notified by the State DOT that they plan to replace the culverts in 2019. As a result, the project will move to another level of funding and public input.
Dana noted that this may become a political issue. We may need to organize and go to a DOT meeting in order to have input into the improvements made.
There were many questions about FEMA, flood insurance, and beavers, which Joe fielded.
Dana thanked Joe for the excellent presentation. Joe said that he would be willing to continue working with us and the City as the plans go forward.
The meeting was adjourned, and neighbors enjoyed light refreshments and conversation.
Susan Trask, Secretary