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 [email protected]
•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.
•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.