Water Quality Summary for Taylor Pond 2017

Woody Trask, July 2018

In summary, 2017 was a better than average year for water clarity although the water was slightly more colored (yellow/brown tone) than last year.

A full battery of tests (color, pH, alkalinity, conductance, phosphorus and clarity) was conducted monthly from June through September, with additional clarity readings taken by Michael Heskinen, who joined us this year as a certified water quality monitor. Thank you Michael! Phosphorus analyses of water samples taken from the surface and bottom of the pond were performed by the State of Maine Health and Environmental Testing Lab in Augusta. Surface samples showed a slight increase compared to last year but the bottom samples tested slightly lower. Just an anomaly? Who knows? We’ll see what happens in 2018. To my knowledge there were no reports of any significant algae blooms.

The readings for clarity averaged 5.55 meters (18.2 ft.) which is quite high compared to the historical average of 4.64 meters (15.2 ft.) and slightly higher than last year — a positive indicator of the health of the Pond.

The overall water quality of Taylor Pond is considered to be average compared to all Maine lakes. Barring a major environmental event that causes significant soil erosion and phosphorus rich run-off entering the pond, the water quality is expected to remain stable going forward.

The ice-out date for spring 2018 was recorded as April 23, which was 4 days later than last year and about 9 days later than the historical average. The pond froze (gradually) over the last week in December, so there was a longer period of ice cover than last year which is considered beneficial to overall water quality.

TPA $500 Grant Program

Dana Little, June 10, 2018

The grant program that provides up to $500 to eligible homeowners continues to to work to improve our pond’s health.  Both Kristi Norcross and I volunteer to run the program which begins with a LakeSmart evaluation. In 2017 I visited eight homes and this year two homes so far.  Of these evaluations, one received the distinction of being a LakeSmart property. In addition this property received $500 for its lake-friendly improvements. In the past we hired consultants to provide LakeSmart consults which cost us several thousand dollars in 2016.  Since 2017 I have provided local expertise, with certification from the Maine Lakes Society, at no cost.

A LakeSmart property award is made when a homeowner designs their land so that it keeps the lake healthy.  LakeSmart recommendations include preventing rain from directly entering the pond, planting a buffer along the shore, not cutting grass less than three inches, avoiding pesticides and fertilizers and reducing lawn sizes.  No home is perfect but I can provide recommendations to improve and instructions on how to apply for a $500 grant to help make those improvements. I can also advise you on how to stay within the requirements of Maine’s shoreland zoning law and other regulations.

To find out more about a free LakeSmart evaluation and an opportunity to receive a $500 grant call Kristi Norcross at 577-6408.  The basic requirements for receiving a grant include:

  1. An initial LakeSmart 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 and
  5. Finally to have a follow up evaluation done to ensure that the work has been done satisfactorily.

President’s Report

Taylor Pond Association continues to work for you using an allvolunteer board.  The Board has been busy this last year, working with City and State officials to ensure the continued quality of our precious resource. Here’s what’s been happening since our Annual Meeting in July of 2017:

Flooding Issues:  Over the years we have been able to create a budget surplus that we drew down this year in contracting two major engineering studies that we felt were in your best interests.  Both studies were done by Joseph McLean of Wright-Pierce engineering and provided us with the level of expertise to make wellinformed recommendations.   

We contracted for the first study to help us reduce the chance of flooding on the pond.  Mr. McLean surprised us when he determined that beaver dams control the usual water level.  He found that the Hotel Road culvert and a public road accessing the Kendall property both obstruct water flow during flooding events.  His findings will help us to reduce flooding and possibly eliminate many homes need for flood insurance. Please read the full article for more details.

Potential construction at Lost Valley:

The City of Auburn contacted me last summer about a commercial development at Lost Valley by Kassbohrer, the manufacturer of snow-grooming equipment.  Ultimately, the manufacturer decided against the site at Lost Valley and instead chose what most would consider a more appropriate site in the industrial park off Merrow Road.  In contacting us, the City wished to know if we had projects that needed funding for phosphorus reduction.  The planned project for Lost Valley was expected to generate additional phosphorus runoff into the pond and the City was looking to offset this by funding improvements in other known phosphorousgenerating areas.  The TPA board met and had three concerns about the project:  (1) Noise generation from running heavy equipment at the site; (2) Large trucks negotiating access along Youngs Corner Road; and (3) The magnitude of phosphorus runoff.  An increase in the pond’s phosphorus could trigger serious algal overgrowth.  We turned again to Wright-Pierce Engineering, who provided us with a comprehensive analysis of the projected impact of this project.  The most important conclusion was: The information provided regarding the Phosphorus Standard does not appear to be in compliance with State regulations and the development appears to be dramatically increasing phosphorus export from the developed parcel. We believe the impact of this report helped to steer Kassbohrer to a safer site in the interests of the health of the pond.

Taylor Pond’s water quality continues to be excellent and is monitored throughout the summer by Woody Trask.  Woody uses his expertise in chemistry to provide us with timely and accurate data to protect water quality. In the past we paid over $4,000 yearly for similar services that now are provided free by Woody.  Please see his annual summary of water quality later in this newsletter.

Taylor Pond provides a rich habitat for wildlife, including fish and birds.  Annually the Maine Department of Marine Resources catches over 3000 adult alewives at the Brunswick dam and places them in our pond.  These fish spawn and the young develop over the summer in our rich waters before returning to the ocean. All summer people enjoy catching bass and during the winter large pike retrieved through holes drilled in the ice.  

Wildlife abounds on the water, surrounding wetlands and woods of Taylor Pond.  This area serves as the breeding ground and a resting spot for migratory birds.  Please read my article on “Year of the Bird” to understand the variety that can be observed.

How to Reduce the Danger of Wildfires

Highlights of the On-Site “Defensible Space” Demonstration

On June 2, about a dozen TPA members gathered on Taywood Rd. for a demonstration of how to mitigate the danger of wildfires around our properties. The demo was led by Forest Ranger Kent Nelson. Also attending and adding their expertise were Auburn Fire Chief Robert Chase, Fire Prevention Officer David O’Connell, and EMT Director Brad Chicoine. All who attended were in agreement that we learned a lot of useful information. Here are a few highlights:

  • Make sure that your street number is clearly visible from both directions.
  • Keep your roof clear of pine needles and debris; clean out gutters regularly.
  • Create defensible space (clear area free of flammable material), as much as possible, within 30 feet of your home. Any flammable vegetation, brush piles, firewood, wood chips, etc. should be moved away from your structure.
  • Care for your lawn and keep it moist.
  • Avoid having an easy path for a fire to spread between properties, such as connecting hedges or wooden fences.
  • Trim low-hanging branches (called ladder fuels) at least 10 feet above the ground.
  • Keep fire-pits, barbecue pits, grills, etc. in proper working order and away from flammable vegetation.

We also learned the proper way to cut and stack limbs and brush. Those who applied to the AFD were eligible to have their brush piles chipped and the chips removed by the MFS and AFD on June 29. Attendees also received free work gloves, saws, and loppers.

Demonstration attendees also learned some facts about local ordinances concerning private burning and fireworks, some of which surprised us. There’s some misinformation out there! Here are a few key regulations to consider:

  • Fireworks are illegal in Auburn, including on holidays such as the Fourth of July.
  • In areas without local prohibitive ordinances, out-of-state fireworks are also prohibited.
  • Private burns are allowed by permit only. Contact the Auburn Fire Department for permitting.
  • Only clean wood may be burned. Paper, cardboard and leaves are among the prohibited items.
  • A burn must be at least 50’ from any structure and at least 25’ from any road.

Annual Meeting 2018

The TPA annual meeting was held at the Taylor Pond Yacht Club on July 29, 2018 beginning at 7:00 pm. Forty-four members and 4 guests were in attendance. President Dana Little opened the meeting with greetings and a review of the agenda.
The minutes from last year’s meeting were unanimously accepted.
Review of the year’s activities: Dana remarked that the Board has been busy during the past year. Issues included:

  • Working to implement the action plan recommended by the engineering study we commissioned last year: We continue to work with the City and the State to make sure that appropriate measures are taken to help mitigate future flooding problems on the Pond.
  • Responding to a construction proposal at Lost Valley: We were made aware of a proposal by a snow-grooming machine manufacturer to build an industrial facility at Lost Valley. We engaged Joe McLean once again to do an engineering study of their proposal, which he found deficient in its phosphorous mitigation plan. There were also concerns about the potential negative effects of heavy equipment in the area, and noise and light pollution, among others. Ultimately, the company changed its plan and decided to build in the Industrial Park.

Petition to exempt watersheds: The Zoning Board had passed a special exemption of the current zoning law in order to allow the construction of the industrial building/business at Lost Valley, which is located in an agricultural zone. Barbara Mitchell researched options and prepared a petition that requests the City Council to exempt the Lake Auburn and Taylor Pond watersheds from that special exemption to the agriculture and resource protection zoning ordinance. We need at least twenty-five signatures; then, after three notices in the newspaper and written notice to abutters, the petition would go to the Planning Board and then be sent to the City Council. The cost for the petition would be $700: $400 to the City for the work they have to do to prepare for the consideration of the amendment, and $300 to the Sun Journal for the public notices in the paper.

Annual Loon Count Peter Durgin reported that on the foggy morning of July 21, he and several others participated in the Annual Loon Count sponsored by the Audubon Society. They counted seven loons, which perhaps includes three or four transients.

Email communications: Susan requested feedback from members about the number and content of emails they receive. She uses a new communication platform which makes it easier to send out notices, so the number of those has increased of late. Recently she was asked to send a notice to TPA members about an event that might be of interest but did not directly relate to Association business. Members seemed in agreement that the emails are in fact welcome, and that an occasional non-TPA note of interest would be acceptable.

Board of Directors vote: Five Board members’ terms expire this summer: Dana Little, Ed Gray, Larry Faiman, Donna Morin, and Kristi Norcross. They have all agreed to serve again and in addition, Jan Phillips has agreed to join. This slate of six directors was voted in unanimously. They join current members Susan Trask, Barbara Mitchell, Marc Tardif, Woody Trask and Bill Turner, whose terms continue until the summer of 2019. Dana remarked on the value of having a robust board with a diverse membership for best results in dealing with the various issues we face.
Water Quality: Woody Trask reported that, overall, the water quality remained excellent last summer. Michael Heskinen has been conducting frequent clarity readings in addition to Woody’s monthly analyses. This summer he has recorded the lowest phosphorous readingever!
Game Warden: Woody reported that he recently had a conversation with the local game warden. The latter stated that he has visited Taylor Pond four times this summer so far. The most violations have been the lack of boat registrations on board the boat. Many people have been able to produce the registration by going home and finding it there. The other major issue is the reports of people in canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards out at night with no lights. Some have also been informed that, in addition to life jackets, a whistle is required for all manually-powered watercraft. Secretary’s note: Maine State Regs dorequire the following:

  • A wearable PFD for every person aboard any watercraft; children 10 and under must wear one.
  • One throwable PFD for every motor-powered craft greater than 16’
  • For paddleboards: a PFD for each person, a whistle, and a light if after dark

See https://www.boat-ed.com/assets/pdf/handbook/me_handbook_entire.pdf for the complete boating regulations handbook.
Financial report Treasurer Ed Gray reports that we have approximately $26,900 in the checking account and 117current members. Most people seem to appreciate the email invoices we have been using. Please continue to update him with any changes in your address.

Questions from members

  • Is there an update on the boat launch issue? For background: Earlier this summer the owner of The Campground, where most of us launch our motorboats, complained that too many people were not contributing the $5 donated fee. There were offers from some members to take up a collection, but he does not want a donation. He seems weary of having the only “public” boat launch and may close it to all but the campers at Sunrise. He also chose not to attend a Board meeting to discuss it. If the State decides to create a public launch, then we would be very concerned about the possibility of invasive milfoil.
  • What about swimmer’s itch? On Father’s Day, those who swam at the Yacht Club beach contracted swimmers’ itch. It was also reported from near Valview Dr, but not recently. Dana said that it is caused by a parasite that needs not only a duck host, but also a snail host to survive. It is very uncomfortable, but not dangerous. Shallower water is more likely to have it. It’s a good reminder to never encourage visits by ducks!

Maine Program: Fire Safety Susan introduced Kent Nelson of the Maine State Forest Service. Also in attendance were Auburn Fire Chief Bob Chase and Administrative Manager Sarah Hulbert.  Susan re-capped TPA’s collaboration with the Forest Service and the Auburn Fire Department, which culminated in June with a fire safety workshop and a community chipping day.
Ranger Nelson presented a slide show which educated us on how to identify and mitigate wildfire risks on our properties, and also to report on the results of the fire risk survey that was conducted around Taylor Pond last fall. The properties around Taylor Pond are identified as being in the Wildlife Urban Interface (WUI), where homes meet the forest. There are specific risk factors and recommendations for those living in the WUI.
The fall assessment included a 23-question survey of various random locations around the Pond. Some owners had requested a personal survey, which was also done. Others may request a personal survey as well.
A brief summary of results:

  • 95% of homes have only one access road
  • 35% of homes had no signs
  • 60% have less than 30 ft. of “defensible space” ; 30% have 30-70 ft.
  • 15% had a high rating for combustible fuel near the home
  • 30% rated high risk of wildfire; 65% rated moderate
  • 55%  exhibited combustible roof litter
  • Water availability was inconsistent
  • Response time: an hour or less by ranger; 45 minutes or less by helicopter

The complete report will be posted on the TPA website: www.taylorpondassociation.org.
Ranger Nelson suggested that, while some of the above issues are not easily resolved, owners could focus immediately on three actions:

  1. Work to create a “defensible space” (i.e. the area around the home available for firefighters to defend the home.
  2. Reduce the amount of shrubbery and trees that are in direct contact with your structures. Pine trees provide better potential combustion than do hardwoods.
  3. Make sure that your property is well-identified. Post 6” house numbers that are clearly visible from both directions.

Although just a few property owners participated in the free chipping day, there will be opportunities in the future to do so again. He is hoping more folks will take advantage of it. The Forest Service has just created a new system for reporting current fire danger in the State: www.mainefireweather.org
Chief Chase was questioned about the availability of water around the Pond for fighting fires. He acknowledged that Auburn does not have a tanker truck for areas that are not served with hydrants (including much of the TP shoreline). It is generally not practical to try to pump water from the lake because the equipment needs to be within 30 feet of the water in order to work. Dry hydrants can be installed, but need to be serviced regularly, are quite expensive, and are tricky to engineer properly. When asked about year-round water in order to ensure hydrant availability, he said that the issue would be wrapped into a general survey of all the rural areas of Auburn in order to supply the best overall outcomes in the most cost-effective manner.
Dana thanked Ranger Nelson and Chief Chase for their presentations and information; the audience was most appreciative. The meeting was adjourned, and the two remained for a while, fielding individual questions from members.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan Trask, Secretary

Wildfire Protection Plan

The Maine Forest Service and Auburn Fire Department prepared a comprehensive Wildfire Protection Plan for Taylor Pond.  The complete report can be found at this link.  The executive summary can be found below:

Executive Summary of the 2018 Community Wildfire Protection Plan

The goal of the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) assessment program is to evaluate a community for hazards in the event of a wildfire in the wildland urban interface (the area where homes intermingle with wildland vegetation).  The assessment also identifies the means by which any hazards found can be mitigated. The objective is to minimize the ability of fire to move between wildland and structures, thereby reducing the threat to life and property.

In 2010 the Maine Forest Service recorded 562 wildland fires, although the actual number of wildland fires could be higher.  Nearly 75% of these fires in 2010 destroyed, damaged, or threatened structures.

During the five year period between 2006 and 2010  the Maine Forest Service recorded 1,235 wildland fires in the Southern District (which encompasses Auburn ME) burning an estimated total area of 1,043.41 acres.  Examples of historic wildfire suppression costs in Maine communities include: Allagash (1992, $522,855.96); Garfield Plt (1991, $305,593.83); Baileyville (1998, $286,668.43); Freeport (1991, $271,035.00); Dixfield (2002, $90,338.59); Milo (2002, $76,795.21); Bucksport (2001, $68,650.00); Northport (2001, $67,957.80); and Centerville (2006, $35,703.14).

During the assessment, 20 structural and 4 vegetative sites were evaluated within the wildland urban interface area.  The assessment focused on such issues as building materials, defensible space, access, road signage, and water availability.  Methodology and detailed results of the assessment are found in the main body of this report. Overall, the structures assessed within Taylor Pond had an average score that falls into the ‘moderate’ risk category with some high and some low risk.

Inadequate defensible space and flammable vegetation inside defensible space are the greatest source of Taylor Pond’s elevated risk.  Factors including low water availability, quality of access roads, and signage contribute to this risk.  This report contains recommendations to rectify the identified issues, along with suggestions for building materials, low-flammable plants, and guidelines for the safe placement of firewood and fuel storage tanks for existing and development areas.

The factors contributing to increased fire risk in the wildland urban interface found within Taylor Pond area can be lessened by following the strategies outlined in this report, “decreasing the risk of catastrophic fire and loss of life and property.”

To see the complete report go to this link.

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.  

Annual Meeting 2017

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 susantrask@roadrunner.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:

  1. Creating a 30’ span at the Hotel Rd. site and
  2. Improving the bridge at the Kendall driveway or
  3. Improving the dam at the Kendall property

The Wright-Pierce study recommended that we should:

  1. Improve Hotel Rd. to larger span
  2. Coordinate with the Kendalls to improve the driveway bridge or dam
  3. 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.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Trask, Secretary

TPA Grant Program Still Alive and Well!

By Susan Trask

Most of our readers know that the Taylor Pond Association has been consulting with property owners and awarding grant monies toward lake-friendly improvements. Last year we took a break as we re-evaluated our procedures and streamlined the process. We’re glad to report that the grant program is up and running once again, and it’s simpler than ever.

Board president Dana Little and member Kristi Norcross have been trained as LakeSmart evaluators, which means that we will no long need to use outside consultants to advise property owners as to the best practices to employ when improving their property. Keeping our program entirely in-house will both expedite the process and save the Association some money.

Because one of TPA’s main goals is to educate residents about ways that they can help ensure the health and beauty of our lake, we offer grants to those who wish to make improvements to their watershed properties. Here’s how the program works:

  1. You must be a TPA member. Road associations who apply must have at least 50% of the residents be members.
  2. Call Kristi Norcross (577-6408) or email her (knorcross@roadrunner.com ) with your interest in making improvements to your lakeside property.
  3. Kristi will set up an appointment at a mutually convenient time for Dana or her to visit your property to discuss the improvements you wish to make. After your discussion they will write up a report of the suggested improvements.
  4. Complete any or all of the work recommended, saving all invoices. You may also count personal work, so keep track of any man-hours you expend. You do not need to complete all the items recommended. The items you do complete should comply with the best practices outlined in the report.
  5. Alert Kristi that the project has been completed. Either she or Dana will come by to view the work that’s been done and write up a summary.
  6. Submit your invoices and other records to Kristi.
  7. The Board will determine if the work done complies with the best-practice standards outlined. If it does, a matching grant of up to $500 will be awarded. (In other words, $1000 or more would need to be expended in order to receive the full $500.)
  8. Note: If the follow-up evaluation reveals that steps have been taken that are not in the best interests of the lake, the Board reserves the right to deny the grant request. To avoid having this happen, be sure to consult with Dana or Kristi before making any changes that are not in the original recommendations.

Important note: Even if you do not plan to apply for the matching grant, TPA will provide the initial consultation and recommendations for you at no cost to you. How can you go wrong?? There are no strings attached and no requirements at the outset other than a desire to learn about good lakeside stewardship.