Minutes 2019

Most Recent Minutes Appear First

DRAFT MINUTES - Tuesday, April 23, 2019


RPA Business:


A quorum being present, the meeting was called to order at 5:30 pm.

The special meeting minutes from February 26, 2019 were approved unanimously.


Treasurer’s report– As of Friday, April 19, the balance of all accounts was $44,363, including $14,240 in the dam maintenance fund. Donations to date this fiscal year, two months before its end, totaled $11,715, as compared to $7,907 for the whole of the previous fiscal year. RPA has reimbursed the Town of Richmond for the ESS Group contract bill of $3,200 for the second year of the water level monitoring project.


The proposed budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year, portraying the current budget compared to actual expenditures, was shared. A motion was made and seconded to adopt the budget as presented. It was approved unanimously.


Short-term dam remediation update from Lakeside Christian Camp – Lakeside is working with the City of Pittsfield on a hazard mitigation assessment. Only minor work has been done over the winter. Flow into the Housatonic was noted as appropriate, and Lakeside is in discussion with the Commonwealth regarding an engineering report that could cost as much as $10,000.


Annual picnic - The date of July 23 was chosen for the RPA-sponsored all-town picnic at Camp Russell.


Priority Projects:


Weed Treatments - Mark shared that the treatment permit approved last year by the Conservation Commission should be good for five years. The annual report by Solitude Lake Management was prepared on November 20 and sent to Mark. This details the treatments and three weed surveys with complete observations. The October post-treatment survey found only minimal milfoil regrowth in the canal, no curly-leaf pondweed, and traces of spiny naiad along the shoreline outside the treatment area. They recommend continuing with two treatments in 2019, using Procellacor, a new product, at least for the inlet. Solitude’s Joshua Perry has been in touch with Mark to review plans. The Town of Richmond has budgeted $15,000 for weed treatment.

Lush tapegrass growth was noted to be a continuing nuisance in late summer, and a possible deeper winter drawdown was briefly discussed, though Natural Heritage is unlikely to allow this. We have no price quote yet on the proposed tapegrass “test area” treatment.


Winter project reports:


1. Goose management strategy – A summary of this plan was distributed to all participants, with attendees encouraged to visit the RPA website for further details. It was noted that some mis-information had been circulating, & this summary should help clarify aspects of the plan. John delivered a synopsis of the plan and its rationale, including steps taken to date. The egg-addling training scheduled for April 6 was cancelled due to only three people being able to attend. Four egg-addling permits have been granted to date. John suggested that the addling be limited to that done by Wild Goose Chase, given a lack of volunteers. Susan followed up with additional reasons for the plan, including E.coli contamination and nitrogenation and de-oxygenation of the water, which could lead to excessive algae growth not dissimilar from that currently affecting Stockbridge Bowl. Neal cited that the number of geese could lead to a public health problem.

Open discussion followed, with some inquiry about the effect that the herd-chasing could have on the beaver and duck populations. Michael Daley noted particularly the possible ways the presence of dogs could have on other waterfowl and mentioned that he had a petition against this plan with 300 signatures. John noted that the one or two dogs will visit for one or two hours two or three times weekly, and will always be under the control of their handler. Some concern was raised over the noise the dogs might cause, but it was asserted by several that such noise would be minimal compared to that created by campers and boaters.


2. The history of Richmond Pond – Ken shared a draft outline for this proposed book and described the progress to date. After a brief review and request for information from the camps and community associations, the following motion was made and seconded: “The RPA endorses and encourages work on the proposed collaborative book project on the history of Richmond Pond, with the understanding that the project lead entity will be the Richmond Historical Commission, with financial and logistical support provided by the Richmond Pond Association. At a later time, a financial and marketing plan will be developed and presented for consideration by the RPA. Not until that time will a financial commitment be made.” The motion was carried unanimously.


3. 2018 Annual Report - This third winter project was previously completed by Matt and was approved at the February meeting.


New Items:


Richmond Town Administrator transition plan - Mark noted that he will remain in his position as town administrator until the end of May, at which time he leaves to take the position of town administrator in Great Barrington. The Board of Selectmen will appoint a search committee for a new town administrator on April 24. The deadline for applicants is May 8, and already 12 people have applied. The Association thanked Mark for his excellent work for the Town of Richmond and for Richmond Pond.


Announcements and updates:


· Safety reminders – PFDs must be worn on paddle craft until May 15. Carl recently attended a boating safety course taught by Massachusetts Environment Police Officer Phil Smits, and asked that his suggestion be more broadly publicized that users of paddle craft and personal watercraft attach a whistle to their PFDs in order to use in case of emergency. Matt noted that boat ramp monitors this summer will be given a copy of state boating laws and training on boating safety.

· Balderdash farm functions zoning variance – Ken shared that he had met with Balderdash proprietor Christian Hansen about the proposed extension in function hours. Ken then submitted a comment letter on behalf of the RPA executive board, which was read into the record at the related hearing on April 10. Neal noted that the Selectmen will consider this matter further at their April 24 meeting.

· Website conversion – Ken reported that the new website was launched on April 22, at the same web address. The PayPal link and subscription system are not yet functional, and descriptions of the community organizations have not yet been added. Critiques and submissions of photographs were encouraged.

· Facebook page- A recent post depicting a caught and cooked trout reached 118 people, receiving 11 likes and three comments. Commentary on the page has generally concerned whether there is still ice on the pond and the status of the eagles.

· LAPA West Symposium (November 17, 2018) – Ken, Carl, and Neal attended this. Ken Wagner presented an introduction to lake management, using Laurel Lake as a primary example. He described the “three-legged stool” of lake management: technical effectiveness, affordability, and institutional acceptability, supporting a seat of four parts: prevention, early detection and rapid response, rehabilitation, and maintenance. One session addressed the permitting process for deep drawdown, weed control, and other projects.

An idea was suggested for the Town of Lenox regarding exploring a plan of bringing together all local lake associations, BRPC, and conservation committees with a facilitator to develop support for a very deep drawdown of Laurel Lake in order to kill all the zebra mussels. Based on learnings from the Symposium, RPA may also explore revisiting and updating its lake management plan, developing a watershed management plan, researching the special hunting permit process for goose control, and studying Ken Wagner’s Lake Management Resources in Massachusetts.

· COLAP Spring Conference (April 12) – Carl attended this. He learned that the Worcester area has a well-funded program with a full-time manager concentrating on wastewater management for seven lakes and a river. Might such a program be possible in the Berkshires? Amanda Mahaney of Solitude presented a review on cyanobacteria, a bloom of which shut down Stockbridge Bowl last September, mentioning causes, effects, and possible techniques for maintenance and control of such a bloom. As Mass Heritage has denied Stockbridge Bowl permission to use aquatic herbicides, there is a risk for another closure this summer, with the possibility that Richmond Pond may thus host the boating leg of the Josh Billings Triathlon again.

Zebra mussels were also mentioned. As Richmond Pond’s chemistry is favorable to the growth of zebra mussels, continuing our boat ramp monitoring program and our educational efforts regarding invasive species remain important.

· Nordeen Marsh water level study – The water level in Nordeen Marsh remains constant behind the beaver dam while the lake level fluctuates with drawdown. We are up to date with funding at $3,200 annually. This is the second year of our three-year study.

· Sewer Users Advisory Committee – Andy Kay reported that a member from Whitewood is needed for the committee. Mark noted that the Town of Richmond treasurer has discovered a $250,000 shortfall in the Sewer Enterprise Fund for bond repayment.

· Richmond Annual Town Meeting – This is scheduled for May 15, at 7:30 pm at the Richmond School. Several budget and warrant items involve the pond:

Budget line item 73 – Town Beach (lifeguard and equipment) $15,600

Budget line item 94 – Summer boat ramp monitors $20,600

Article 17 – Fire department rescue boat storage shed at boat ramp $25,000

Article 18 – Weed treatment $15,000

Article 19 – Town contribution to the goose management plan $1,250

Article 31 – New noise general bylaw

Article 34 – Transfer $9,600 to shortfall in Sewer Enterprise Account

A motion was made, seconded, and approved to endorse the above-mentioned articles.

· Partnership with Richmond School – Susan noted that the schoolchildren will not be able to make a field trip to the pond this spring due to time conflicts with MCAS testing.

· Trash at the boat launch area & fishing trail - Concerns were raised about the increasing amount of trash left at the boat launch area, much of which is recyclables. A recycling container was suggested for the boat launch. Additional volunteers will assist in periodically monitoring & cleaning up the fishing trail.


Next meeting: Tuesday, May 21, 5:30 pm, Richmond Town Hall (the third Tuesday of the month to avoid proximity to Memorial Day).


The meeting was adjourned at 7:00 pm.


Directors present: Ken Kelly (president, independent cottages), Susan Benner (vice president, Whitewood), Matthew Palardy (secretary, at-large), Rosanne Frieri (Richmond Shores), Dan Joslyn (Camp Russell), John Mead (Lakeside Christian Camp), Mark Pruhenski (Richmond Town Administrator), Laura Rosenthal (South Pond Farm)

Alternates present: Louise Brogan (Branch Farm), Linda Kay (Richmond Shores), Barry Kellogg (Richmond Shores), Kitty Levitan (Whitewood), Al Nardacci (independent cottages), John O’Brien (Branch Farm)

Guests present: Michael Daly (Richmond Shores), Cathy Deely (South Pond Farm), Brian Grebeldinger (Richmond Shores), Thomas Grizey (Richmond Shores), Al Hanson (Richmond Select Board), Sally Kellogg (Richmond Shores), Neal Pilson (Richmond Select Board), Jennifer Sabino (Richmond Shores), Susan Sabino (Richmond Shores), Craig Swinson (public), Christine Thomson (Richmond Shores), and several others who were not included on the sign-in sheet


Directors absent: Carl Foote (treasurer, Branch Farm),  Nick Martinelli (Richmond Conservation Commission), Jim McGrath (City of Pittsfield)

Alternates absent: Kais Abderrahim (Camp Russell), Jessica Baumgarten (South Pond Farm), Miles Garfinkel (Richmond Shores), Lucy Hoffman (public), Joe McGovern (Camp Russell), Matt Melillo (Richmond Shores), Adam Weinberg (Richmond Conservation Commission)



Minutes of Special Meeting - February 26, 2019


Call to Order: 5:30 pm


RPA Business:


1. Minutes for the regular meeting of October 23, 2018 were unanimously approved.


2. The 2018 annual report was unanimously approved.


3. Treasurer’s report – Ken (for Carl) – As of today, balance in all accounts was $47,475, including the $14,248 in the dam maintenance fund.  While our budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 won't be presented & approved until later this spring, we can afford the proposed RPA financial commitment outlined in the Goose Management Plan budget that will shortly be explained, especially as the Town of Richmond proposed budget for 2019 again includes the funding for weed management & boat ramp monitors.


Priority Projects:


All-Pond Goose Management Plan – Discussion of draft & approval – John outlined how the plan was developed, walking attendees through the plan and its financial parameters. Referring to our goose management plan, he noted conversations with other lake and pond associations about this issue and how different solutions would be needed for the specific situation of Richmond Pond.


Eric and border collie Skye of Wild Goose Chase NE were introduced to share their experiences elsewhere. Eric noted that he uses farm-based border collies due to their strong herding instinct and their weaker bite. He and Skye provided a brief demonstration of herd-chasing, a tactic they use to control geese at country clubs, school facilities, and the public lands of numerous municipalities. He noted marked reduction in flocks of 200-300 geese over periods of 2-3 years, but that Richmond Pond was difficult to assess due to the number of marshes, and that he anticipated returning in future years.


An open conversation followed, in which Ken raised the possibility of feeding the geese contraceptives, to which Kris replied that he had used this method at Niagara Falls Airport. Kris also commented that he had used bio-acoustics for goose control there, but that this was not likely feasible on Richmond Pond. Ken and Jim spoke about Pontoosuc Lake Association volunteers harassing geese and addling eggs in their nesting sites on the islands in Pontoosuc Lake. Eric mentioned that no permit was necessary for the harassment of geese, but that permits for addling eggs were the responsibility of the owner of the property on which the geese nested. Property owners are also responsible for keeping & reporting data, and Ken floated the idea that the RPA collect and report all data on the behalf of the property owners.


A list of property owners on whose land geese may nest had been developed, including: the Town of Richmond, the Boys & Girls Club, Lakeside Christian Camp, Richmond Shores property owners, InterPrint, the Levy property (the former Camp Marion White), CSX, the owner of the strip of land between Balderdash Cellars Winery and InterPrint, and the owner of Mud Pond (off of Tamarack Road near the Pittsfield Airport). Ken noted that the Massachusetts Audubon Society was not be amenable to harassment or addling efforts at Tracy Brook Wildlife Sanctuary.


Sue brought up the idea of using natural barriers such as fencing or shrubbery. Peter discouraged fencing due to experiences at the public beach. Ron noted that native plants used as barriers require no special permit, but other habitat modifications might. Kitty brought up the idea of grass treatment, but this is not listed on the state’s approved list of control methods.


At the end of the conversation, the following motion was raised:


"Motion to approve the 2/21/19 all-pond goose management plan, including budget provisions as follows - The contract with Wild Goose Chase NE will be signed by & operationally managed by Lakeside Christian Camp, with the understanding that RPA commits to cover 50% of the maximum contract cost of $12,480.  Contract language will specify that billings are to be sent to Treasurer, Richmond Pond Association, PO Box 447, Lenox, MA 01240, with a copy to Lakeside Christian Camp.  Pending reimbursement to RPA by the 5 PIPOs (primary impact property owners) of their 10% each contribution, RPA will also cover the other 50% of the contract cost, so that bills from Wild Goose Chase NE can be paid in a timely fashion."


Susan proposed an amendment (which was not seconded), making this motion contingent on all five PIPOs committing to pay. Ken commented that this would likely postpone plan implementation until 2020. Susan withdrew her motion. Paul noted before voting that some RSCA members are not partial to contracting with Wild Goose Chase. Ken asked for a sense of those present, including those not on the RPA board, whether they supported the plan; all did. 


The initial motion was approved unanimously by the RPA board.


Announcements/updates:


· Richmond Pond History Project update (winter project) – Ken reported that he’d communicated with Gloria Morse, chairperson of Richmond Historical Commission, & met with her after she’d already done some research & writing; they then merged their 2 draft outlines (see handout).  Holly Stover & Gloria are writing additional segments; Ken will provide items lifted from the website; Matt has volunteered to research & write some “missing pieces.”  The Historical Commission has assumed leadership for the project, with RPA in a support role. Printing costs & purchase price have yet to be determined, though a possible printer that specializes in small runs has been identified; more details to be provided at April RPA meeting.


· Stockbridge Bowl & related developments – Ken shared that he’d provided a letter to Will Laidlaw, president of Stockbridge Bowl Association, outlining our successful experience with aquatic herbicides, which was shared by the SBA with Stockbridge Conservation Commission at their 1/22/19 hearing on the matter. SBA has subsequently appealed ConCom’s decision to prohibit use of herbicides there. Berkshire County League of Sportsmen has publicly expressed their opposition to herbicides in Stockbridge Bowl (their letter was forwarded from Jim McGrath). The RPA exec board considered responding to the League of Sportsmen, but does not plan to comment further publicly. Matt raised the idea of a letter to the court in the case of litigation, but this was deemed unnecessary in the light of previous correspondence.


· Spring pond re-fill plan – John noted that refill has already started as of mid-February, with the pond already nearly full, to be completely full by April 1.


· Lake Garfield cyanobacteria (Blue-green) monitoring plan – Ken reported that Friends of Lake Garfield has committed to buying a hand-held fluorometer & hiring staff to monitor these bacteria real-time weekly, June-September. Other local lakes have been invited to participate. When we know more, including cost, we may participate in this effort. 


· Website - Ken reported expense of $504.26 for 3-year contract, with discounts, for updated GoDaddy URL renewal & software with SSL security feature, on which he will re-build the RPA website, before the April meeting; content suggestions & photos are welcome.


· Summer picnic – Susan noted a need to firm up date of all-town summer picnic (6/25 or 7/23) at the April RPA meeting.


· Town Administrator update – Ken noted plans for Mark Pruhenski to become joint town administrator for both Richmond & W. Stockbridge.


Any update items, of interest to all, from each camp & community association

· Susan noted that language in Richmond’s proposed regulation on the public use of buildings (including the boat ramp) banning dogs was still present in the draft she had seen before the School Committee. Ken commented that he’d discussed this concern with Mark, who clarified that the boat ramp was included in the draft regulation in error, & would be removed; dogs will be allowed at the boat ramp.


Adjournment: 7:00 pm


Next meeting – Tuesday, April 23, 2019 – Town Hall (first regularly scheduled meeting of 2019)


Directors Present:  Ken Kelly, president (independent cottages), Susan Benner, vice president (Whitewood); Matthew Palardy, secretary (independent/public); Rosanne Frieri (Richmond Shores); Jim McGrath (City of Pittsfield); John Mead (Lakeside Christian Camp)

Alternates Present: Kitty Levitan (Whitewood); Laura Rosenthal (South Pond Farm); John O’Brien (Branch Farm)

Guests Present: Peter Beckwith (Dir. of Public Works, Town of Richmond); Paul Brown (Richmond Shores); Miles Garfinkel (Richmond Shores); Christian Hanson (Balderdash Cellars Winery); Eric Johnson (Wild Goose Chase NE; with his dog Skye); Kris Keane (Pittsfield Airport); Paula & Stevan Patterson (Richmond Shores); Tom Sakshaug (Pittsfield Airport Commission and Conservation Commission); Daniel Scorpa (Richmond Conservation Commission); Rob Van Der Kar (Pittsfield Conservation Agent); Ron Veillette (Richmond Conservation Commission)


Directors Absent: Carl Foote, treasurer (Branch Farm); Jessica Baumgarten (South Pond Farm); Dan Joslyn (Camp Russell); Nick Martinelli (Richmond Conservation Commission); Mark Pruhenski (Richmond Town Administrator)

Alternates Absent:  Kais Abderrahim (Camp Russell); Louise Brogan (Branch Farm); Lucy Hoffman (independent/public); Linda Kay (Richmond Shores); Barry Kellogg (Richmond Shores); Joe McGovern (Camp Russell); Matt Melillo (Richmond Shores); Al Nardacci (independent cottages); Adam Weinberg (Richmond Conservation Commission)

The Goose Problem

The primary topic for the February meeting was to review and approve an all-pond goose management plan.

Find out more

Minutes 2018

Meeting on October 23, 2018

RPA Business:


Quorum; Meeting called to order at 5:30 pm. New alternate for South Pond Farm, Laura Rosenthal, was introduced.


Minutes - 9/25/18 minutes unanimously approved.


Meeting schedule for 2019 – Dates would be 4/23, 5/21, 6/25, 7/23, 8/27, 9/24 & 10/22. The third Thursday was chosen for May due to members possibly being out of town for the Memorial Day holiday. Also, the June or July date might be the picnic, but to be discussed later. All dates were available at Richmond Town Hall, and the meeting dates were unanimously approved.


Treasurer’s report – Carl reported that balance in all accounts is $45,044, including $14,214 in the dam maintenance fund.  We have received $8,570 in individual donations to date, compared to the $7,900 we received in donations throughout all of 2017. He also recommended that we vote to approve committing funds to pay for year #3 of the ESS Group water level monitoring contract with the Town of Richmond, for $3,200, so that the Town could approve a 2-year contract for the remainder of the 3-year project, knowing that the funding is committed from RPA. (Year #2 cost of $3,200 has already been committed, with this spring’s approval of our 2018-19 annual budget.)  Mark indicates that he will bill the Association as the Town gets billed in order to avoid accounting difficulties due to the Town’s fiscal year. The measure was approved unanimously.


Priority Projects:


Weeds – update on tape grass options – Carl reported that Brea (one of Solitude’s biologists) performed the year end survey on October 1st.  She noted, as Carl had mentioned previously, that there was an overwhelming amount of growth of tapegrass. This has historically been a non-target species, however with the amount of growth this season, perhaps this is something that should be targeted in future seasons.  Other than that, things seemed to be in good shape. She didn’t note any re-growth of treated non-native species (Milfoil, curly-leaf pondweed), which is an encouraging sign. There were a few other native species present such as coontail, thin-leaf pondweed species, and some elodea. A more detailed Year-End Report, which will elaborate on everything above, is expected in November as she is still finishing up field work.


Status of Canal & Solitude’s hydro-raking webinar – Carl and Ken have viewed this webinar & have shared it with Rosanne, who will share this with other Richmond Shores residents. The estimated cost for this is between $40,000 and $50,000, not including removal of debris to off-site disposal.


Update on short-term dam remediation action plan & costs – John reported repairs are proceeding as reported last month.  The front right corner auxiliary spillway will be repaired during the drawdown. If seepage does not stop, an engineer will be consulted. He indicated that he’s not submitting a funding request to RPA at this time, but expects needing help next year with the planned installation of rip-rap along the earthen part of the dam which has eroded from wave action.


New Items:


Dam water level management proposal from Housatonic Valley Association – John shared that Michele Craddish & Kate Benson of Mass Fish & Game, Division of Ecological Restoration, and Dennis Regan of Housatonic Valley Assn. met yesterday with John at Lakeside (Carl & Ken also attended) to propose the adoption of a dam management guidance document (water release plan) that would stabilize outflow into the main headwater creek of the Southwest Branch of the Housatonic River, in the interest of preserving natural conditions for flora & fauna living in the creek. Unlike several other artificially dammed lakes in the Berkshires, Richmond Pond has already been managing outflow during drawdown and refill to gradually adjust permitted lake levels, thereby preventing sudden gushes or a dry streambed, while maintaining recreational pond levels during the summer season. The goal of their proposal is to as much as possible mimic natural rainfall impacts on the stream.


Mass Fish & Game will install a water level gauge shortly below the dam, collect a year’s worth of data, & also study the pond level data that RPA is sharing with them from the ESS Group monitoring program. With regard to water quality, they shared data from their own 2017 & 2018 samplings of water for E. coli at many points along the Southwest Branch; the six readings in 2017 at the dam were so low (2 to 21.6) that they discontinued sampling at the dam for 2018!  Michele also mentioned that there’s a MA dam & seawall program that can provide partial funding for dam repairs or removals. It requires a 25% match. She will send related information about it to John.


Development of all-pond goose management strategy – Steven, John – In Steven’s absence, Laura read the entire 10/8/18 proposal to Steven Schnoll (South Pond Farm) from Eric Johnson of Wild Goose Chase NE, utilizing trained border collies.  Fees would be $65 per half hour with most visits in the 2-hour range ($260), with likely several visits/week.  There would be two components - Spring to discourage nesting, with an option 1 and option 2, and summer to haze, chase (herd-chase) families/flocks of geese.  A power boat & kayak would have to be provided by the client.


Other factors relating to goose control were mentioned by others:


  • Most nesting is in inaccessible marshes.
  • Inability of adults to fly during molting season (while goslings are young); shoreline fencing &/or thick shoreline vegetation buffers keep birds off grass during this period.
  • Don’t have lawns – having a lawn invites the geese onto it & to Richmond Pond.
  • Hunting, with limited pond access, is unlikely to have a major impact.  There are 2 seasons; Canada goose bag limit = 15 daily in early season 9/4 to 9/21; bag limit = 3 daily in regular season 10/10 to 11/24 & 12/3 to 12/13.
  • Liquid goose repellents made from non-toxic grape extracts, fencing systems, and predator decoys were also discussed, but goose strobe lights were discouraged.
  • A cost-sharing plan would have to be developed, likely involving both camps, the community associations, the town and RPA.


Carl stressed the need for a pond-wide goose-control plan, & there appeared to be support for RPA to contribute something toward the effort. A concern was expressed about how much financial support RPA should provide, given the pending possible costs of dam repair, also noting that some areas of the pond have thus far been minimally impacted (Whitewood & Branch Farm).


Identification of winter projects & staffing of project teams – It was determined that goose control and management should be a winter priority. John, Sue, Laura, and Matt agreed to form a group, chaired by John, to study this issue and make recommendations to the board at an RPA meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 8. An educational component will be considered, and community organizations and the Richmond Conservation Commission will be asked for input.


Keeping all W. Mass. lakes healthy (Stockbridge Bowl algae bloom, etc.) – Carl reported that he expects this will be addressed at the LAPA-West Symposium.


Capturing the history of the dam, canal, town beach, weed treatment, the camps, etc. & collaboration with Richmond Library history project, Richmond Historical Commission & others – Ken shared his initial outreach to Gloria Morse (Historical Commission) & Candy Mountain (Library). Ken and Matt will research these areas, involving other individuals, & prepare drafts for spring review.


Development of annual report 2018 – Matt volunteered to do this.


Announcements/updates:


  • LAPA-West Symposium – Saturday, November 17, 8:45 am to 1:20 pm @ BCC (free) – All are welcome to attend.  (NOTE – Because of facilities issues at BCC, the Symposium has been relocated to the Zion Lutheran Church, 74 First St., Pittsfield.)
  • Update from Josh Billings Committee – Ken reported that after the Josh, Patty Spector met with the Selectmen to solicit feedback, as did Lou Oggiani with RPA. Josh Committee held their evaluation meeting & more kudos to Town of Richmond & RPA for our extensive cooperation. They intend to return to Stockbridge Bowl, but want to fine-tune their Richmond Pond back-up plan in the case of future need.
  • Winter draw-down plan (starts November 1st) – John has been in touch with Jim on this and is awaiting the City permit. He advised an email to website subscribers, some of whom still have boats on the water. Refill will start in mid-February, with the pond to be full by April 1.
  • Collaboration between RPA with Richmond Consolidated School & Berkshire Audubon Sanctuaries for study of Richmond Pond - Susan will talk to Don about property access through Whitewood. Mark will write the Town’s insurer about potential liability to property owners.
  • Sewer Users Advisory Committee – Mark reported that the committee is working with town treasurer to develop a plan to address the sewer enterprise fund shortfall. He has advised that the committee deal with the shortfall gradually over time rather than asking for a significant amount up front.
  • Upcoming Special Town meeting Tuesday, October 30, 6:00 pm, Town Hall.
  • Farm function zoning bylaw amendment concerning the need for a permit for amplified sound between 10 am & 11 pm.
  • 11th annual Pancake Breakfast, Sat., Nov. 17, 7-10 am, Richmond Congregational Church, 1515 State Road, $5 adults; $3 age 10 & under, to benefit Richmond Food & Fuel Fund.
  • Tracy Brook Wildlife Sanctuary update – Richmond DPW has installed barrier posts between parking pull-off & beaver pond for safety reasons.
  • Facebook page & website updates – Carl posted several photos, with mixed results.  Ken posted a notice about lake draw-down & Josh photos on home page& also posted last month’s bylaws change.
  • Richmond Conservation Commission perspectives – Mark reported that money has been set aside for 50 years to buy conservation land, but that has never been acted upon. The commission is now considering a purchase.


Any update items, of interest to all, from each camp & community association


  • Branch Farm will be closing its access gate on November 1.

Meeting adjourned 7:00 pm.


Next meeting – Tuesday, January 8, 2018 – Town Hall (to review first draft of a pond-wide goose management plan).  NOTE - This was subsequently postponed to February.


Directors Present:  Ken Kelly, president (independent cottages), Susan Benner, vice president (Whitewood); Carl Foote, treasurer (Branch Farm); Matthew Palardy, secretary (independent/public); John Mead (Lakeside Christian Camp); Mark Pruhenski (Richmond Town Administrator)

Alternates Present: Laura Rosenthal (South Pond Farm)

Guests Present: Neal Pilson (Richmond Board of Selectmen);


Directors Absent:  Jessica Baumgarten (South Pond Farm); Rosanne Frieri (Richmond Shores); Dan Joslyn (Camp Russell); Nick Martinelli (Richmond Conservation Commission); Jim McGrath (City of Pittsfield)

Alternates Absent:  Kais Abderrahim (Camp Russell); Louise Brogan (Branch Farm); Lucy Hoffman (independent/public); Linda Kay (Richmond Shores); Barry Kellogg (Richmond Shores); Kitty Levitan (Whitewood); Joe McGovern (Camp Russell); Matt Melillo (Richmond Shores); Al Nardacci (independent cottages); John O’Brien (Branch Farm); Adam Weinberg (Richmond Conservation Commission)



NOTE - An electronic copy of the minutes of a specific previous meeting may be provided by email in response to an email request to the RPA Secretary.

Additional Minutes

Minutes for the other meetings in 2018, as well as previous year meeting minutes, will be added to this page at a later time.