Richmond Pond Association Annual Meeting - Draft Minutes
August 22, 2023 in Person
Welcome – On a beautiful summer evening after the attendees enjoyed a taco dinner catered by KJ Nosh and ice cream from Sweet Pea’s (4:30 to 6:30 pm), Louise welcomed them all to the annual meeting. She thanked Matt for Camp Arrow Wood hosting the picnic. Louise then introduced the board members.
Summary of Year 2023 at the Pond
Town Beach & Boat Launch– Danielle was not present but Louise did speak with her. She reports that the beach will be open thru Labor Day weekend. The Town did not hire any beach monitors but the beach has been cleaner this year. They are working on a solution for replacing the handicap access and also working with the Pittsfield Con Com regarding drainage issues in the beach parking lot.
The Town hopes to move into the new Town Hall around the 1st of October. They will be closed for a week during this transition.
Financials -This was Carl’s last annual meeting as treasurer; Laura will be assuming the position. The financial book closed the end of June. Laura relayed that 1,000 fund raising letters were sent out and that donations are coming in. There will be a detailed report at the September meeting. Expenses are below budget as the RPA has not spent money on weed management but has continued with tributary testing and cyanobacteria testing.
Kitty questioned why the RPA still has a dam maintenance fund and why Mill Town does not take full financial responsibility for the dam. This will be discussed at the September meeting.
Weed management of pond – Doreen reported that the Pond was not treated again this year partly due to not receiving the needed information from Natural Heritage to questions regarding herbicide treatment. The goal is to have new permitting for 2024 which will include weed harvesting. Linda Kay and Doreen have been working with Jim McGrath on the steps that need to be done before the permit can be applied for. One step was done which was the weed mapping of the Pond. The City of Pittsfield paid for this. The next step is to have information on the bridle shiner. We need to know the methodology that NHESP wants so that this can move forward. Kitty suggested driving to Natural Heritage’s office to get the answers to the questions that we have.
Waters (testing of beaches, tributaries, cyanobacteria) – Jonna reported that she and Carl conducted tributary testing in May and July at the inlets at Clarks Brook, Tracy Brook, Whitewood Brook and the canal. There were higher numbers of E. coli in July at the canal. This test was done after a heavy rainfall. The nutrient runoff is enhancing weed growth from the nitrogen and phosphates entering the Pond. Jonna has been looking for trends but as of yet has not identified any. Her hope is to work with the Town of Richmond and the City of Pittsfield for help with decreasing the nutrients entering the Pond. Carl relayed that each beach around the pond contracts for required weekly e-Coli testing. Any test result exceeding safe swimming levels is to be reported to Board of Health, but RPA has not learned of any related beach closings this season. LAPA has continued to test for cyanobacteria which have been below the state threshold.
RPA website & Facebook page – Bruce Whitman is managing the RPA website. He has updated the calendar and added live links. He asked if anyone had suggestions for the website to contact him and also to send pictures. There were questions on how to get on the email list.
Invasive Species Update - Miles and Holly have been working on removing purple loosestrife from around the Pond and Boy’s Club Road. This is a long range project to slow down the spread of this invasive plant. Miles discussed the proper way of removing and disposal of the plant. There was interest from attendees to help with this project. A request was made to have a picture of the plant and directions for removal and disposal placed on the RPA website.
Camp Arrow Wood 2023 Report – Matt reported that the camp doubled their enrollment from last year. They are renovating more cabins so that they can increase their capacity. The sports fields are completed. He praised the camp staff and the campers for a great year. They were able to give $140,000 in scholarships to 14 campers, 7 of which were from the Pittsfield area.
Camp Russell Summer 2023 Report – Cam was not present; no update given.
The book – A History of Richmond Pond– Carl reported that 750 books were published and 600 have been sold. Bartlett’s has been the number one selling venue. The books will continue to be sold at Bartlett’s The Bookstore in Lenox and the Shaker Mill Books in West Stockbridge.
Q&A – There were no questions at the end of the meeting.
Directors present (voting): Ken Kelly (president, independent cottages), Louise Brogan (vice president, At-Large), Carl Foote (treasurer, Branch Farm) Laura Rosenthal (assistant treasurer, South Pond Farm), Doreen Donovan (secretary, Richmond Shores), Jonna Gaberman (Whitewood), Miles Garfinkel (At-Large), Matt Linick (Camp Arrow Wood)
Ex-officio present (non-voting): Tom Potter (Richmond Conservation Commission)
Website Manager - Bruce Whitman
Alternates present: Kitty Levitan (Whitewood), Ron Veillette (Richmond Conservation Commission), Kerry Hamilton (At-Large)
Guests present: Too many to list.
Directors absent: Cam Stockton (Camp Russell)
Ex-officio absent: Jim McGrath (City of Pittsfield), Danielle Fillio (Richmond Town Administrator)
Alternates Absent: Kais Abderrahim (Camp Russell), Gordon Dinsmore (South Pond Farm), Brian Grebeldinger (Richmond Shores), Barry Kellogg (Richmond Shores), Tim Mason (independent cottages), Joe McGovern (Camp Russell), Jon Millburg (Camp Arrow Wood), Al Nardacci (independent cottages), Cricket Nardacci (Whitewood)
RPA Meeting Minutes
July 25, 2023 via Zoom
Welcome – Ken opened the meeting mentioning the amount of rain we have had and seeing floating docks under water. He introduced a new additional alternate for Whitewood – Cricket Nardacci. One additional agenda item was added, the updating of the water testing protocol & clarification of pond management roles, which will follow Updates from Town Hall, as it includes Town officials as well as RPA folks.
Approval of RPA minutes of June 27, 2023 meeting – Minutes were approved.
Updates from Town Hall – Status of Town Beach & boat launch - beach monitor, research on replacement of disabled access ramp at town beach, floating dock, boulder in Town Beach Road- Danielle was not present but Neal reported that the Town has hired two extra boat ramp monitors with a plan to assign them to the beach, for the monitor to be available for any issues. Neal has gone to the beach every weekend and notes that the beach area has been clean. The beach erosion has made it difficult to keep the handicap access ramp in place. They are looking at alternative sites for the ramp that will allow access to the water. As of this meeting, the new float was not in the water. Ken noted that the protruding boulder on Beach Rd. has been removed. Ken also questioned Neal about the care of the Porta-Potties. He noted that they were filthy. Neal knows that they are serviced on Fridays. He will have Danielle follow up with the company.
Neal also responded to an email Ken had sent to the Town asking if an herbicide had been used in Nordeen Marsh. Ken had noted dead vegetation. The Town had not done a treatment. Ken acknowledged that, after subsequent observation, he did not feel that herbicide had been used.
Updating the working draft of Beach & Tributary Testing Protocol (adding cyanobacteria details). – Ken has received material from Jim McGrath regarding testing protocols. He would like to meet with the key players from Pittsfield and Richmond to discuss and clarify the roles in beach closing decisions, posting of notices, related communications, & other pond management roles. Included in this discussion would be BOH, Jim McGrath, Selectmen and the RPA. He would like a meeting of the parties soon, likely at Town Hall.
Carl has been in contact with Valerie Bird, who is on the Richmond BOH, after tributary testing showed high E.coli levels at the inlet to the canal and at the outlet of Clark brook. He asked what their procedure is regarding beach testing and notification of high E.coli levels. She responded that she receives the beach test results every Friday and reviews them. If one exceeds 235, she will post that beach as closed, notify the state and have it re-tested the next day. Holly noted that BCC is offering a course on water quality testing.
Financial report– Laura reported we have $64,001 in all accounts as of 7/23/23. The Book Account has a balance of $6,583, which is the same balance as last month. The Dam Maintenance Account has a balance of $24,454. The increase in the Dam Maintenance Fund is due to a higher rate of interest on the CD that we recently moved the money into.
We expect our annual donation request letters to go out soon. Mailing lists are now in process. Carl and Laura are doing the transitioning as planned. We will prepare the annual report to the state and send invoices for RPA annual dues.
Project updates & other developments at the pond:
Submission of renewal of annual drawdown permit & future plans for dam repairs - Camp Arrow Wood has reapplied for the permit to perform the yearly 2-foot drawdown of the Pond. Jon relayed that a letter was sent to the abutters and the time for comments ends on August 7th.
There is no immediate plan for any repairs to the dam. The dam is inspected every six months; the phase 2 inspection will be in December 2023. Jon described the dam as being in poor condition. Jonna asked Jon to clarify what poor condition means. The dam has been in a slow state of decline but notes that there have not been any big changes over the past 3 years. The spillway is in good shape. The dam repair is part of a long range plan. They will continue to monitor for any trees that may impact the integrity of the dam.
Update on Camp Arrow Wood –– Jon reports that their camp year is going well. They are in the 2nd week of the 2nd session and there have not been any issues. They will have another session the 2nd week in August for 10 days. Louise is teaching sailing at the Camp and describes her interactions with the campers as very positive.
Update on Camp Russell – Cam was not present at this meeting. Holly has not had a response to the email she sent to Cam asking to meet for a site visit to discuss the areas at the Camp that are impacting the Pond. If she does not get a response, she will go to the BOD of the Boy & Girls Club. Tom would like to be kept updated with the progress of the work that needs to be done and is agreeable to meeting with Holly and the Boys & Girls Club staff.
Annual meeting & all-town picnic plans at Camp Arrow Wood on Tuesday, August 22 – Louise confirmed that the annual meeting and all town picnic will be August 22ndat Camp Arrow Wood from 4:30-7:30. The event will be held in the barn. Tacos and ice cream will be served. She asked for volunteers for the day and had several people volunteer. Louise would like to offer pontoon boat rides around the Pond and will check with Matt to ask if boats are able to moor at their dock.
Weed management planning update – Doreen reported that Solitude is scheduled to perform the weed mapping this month. As of this meeting there is no report. The City of Pittsfield is paying for this service.
Status of addressing invasive purple loosestrife & Phragmites (common reed) – Miles reported that the purple loose strife has not flowered so it is challenging to know all of the locations. He did remove some plants on Beach Road and Richmond Shores beach. He plans to kayak around the Pond and cut and bag any flowers he does find. Cutting will help to weaken the plant over time. Tom will follow up with Jim McGrath regarding Pittsfield’s procedure on phragmites removal. Holly will follow up with Richmond ConCom regarding their policy for hand-pulling weeds.
Cyanobacteria test results from samplings thus far– Louise shared the report from Shannon. Sampling was done on June 29th and July 6th. On July 6th one sample was taken at the surface at Louise’s dock and one sample at 35 feet in 54.2 feet of water. The cell counts are nowhere near the state’s threshold of 70,000 cells/mL. The pond at this sampling time is okay and safe.
A comparison from last year at this time - a bloom was present at 30 feet and is not present this year. The surface cell count is slightly higher than it was last year at the same time.
On June 29, 2023, one sample was taken at Louise’s dock and one sample at 30 feet in 54.6 feet of water. The temperature and dissolved oxygen levels were collected from 1 to 52 feet. This was the first sampling where a profile from the surface to the bottom was fully completed as the YSI meter bought by LAPA-West is long enough to reach the bottom of Richmond Pond. The oxygen levels are steady for the first 20 feet then decrease at 25 feet. The secchi depth was 10 feet. The temperature last year was almost the same as this year.
Recent developments around the pond (community association reports):
Richmond Shores – Doreen discussed the recent situation on the Shores that involved a semi-trailer coming into the Shores trying to get to Interprint. The truck took down electrical wires which caused an electrical surge into a resident’s home causing damage. Luckily they were home. The trucker was following GPS directions and overlooking the 2 no outlet signs. The RSCA Board has been in contact with Interprint in the past as this is not the first semi to make its way into the Shores. They have contacted Garmin which was the GPS this trucker was using to have them change their directions with the next software update.
Neal added that the Town is purchasing 2 more signs to be placed on Swamp Rd. that say this road does not lead to Interprint. Doreen asked if it would be helpful to have solar lights on the sign to draw the driver’s attention to them.
Branch Farm – Carl reported that it looks like the eagles are building a new nest in his neighbor’s yard.
Whitewood – Jonna will send an email to Whitewood residents asking for volunteers for the picnic.
South Pond Farm – Laura is seeing a full community. There was a picnic that was well attended by their residents. They do hear the camp sounds, but there have been no complaints.
Website enhancements – Bruce has done the monthly updates. He asked that we send more pictures for the website and any news from around the Pond.
Projects still needing volunteers – A volunteer is still need to manage our Facebook page.
Odds & ends:
Status of Richmond Record – Ken reported that the Richmond Record has an uncertain future. There will not be an August issue, but they are hoping to have an update on the status of the paper in the fall. Ken read part of the article in the July edition explaining their situation.
Other announcements - There were no other announcements. The meeting adjourned at 7:59 pm.
Directors present (voting): Ken Kelly (president, independent cottages), Louise Brogan (vice-president, At-Large), Carl Foote (treasurer, Branch Farm), Doreen Donovan (secretary, Richmond Shores), Jonna Gaberman (Whitewood), Miles Garfinkel (At-Large), Laura Rosenthal (Asst. Treasurer, South Pond Farm)
Ex-officio present (non-voting): Tom Potter (Richmond Conservation Commission)
Alternates present: Kerry Hamilton (At-Large), Barry Kellogg (Richmond Shores), Tim Mason (independent cottages), Jon Millburg (Camp Arrow Wood), Cricket Nardacci (Whitewood)
Guests present: Neal Pilson (Town Selectman), Bruce Wintman (Whitewood), Holly Stover, Dick Stover, Jon Adleman (Richmond Shores)
Directors absent: Matt Linick (Camp Arrow Wood), Cam Stockton (Camp Russell)
Ex-officio absent: Danielle Fillio (Richmond Town Administrator), Jim McGrath (City of Pittsfield)
Alternates Absent: Kais Abderrahim (Camp Russell), Gordon Dinsmore (South Pond Farm), Brian Grebeldinger (Richmond Shores), Kitty Levitan (Whitewood), Joe McGovern (Camp Russell), Al Nardacci (independent cottages)
RPA Meeting Minutes
June 27, 2023 via Zoom
Welcome – Ken opened the meeting, commenting on all the rain that we have been having and noting that campers are back at Camp Arrow Wood.
Approval of RPA minutes of May 23, 2023– Minutes were approved.
Any corrections to updated “public” RPA contact list: Bruce Wintman, RPA website manager, has been added to the public RPA contact list, though not a “board member,” so folks can contact him with website suggestions. Louise will email to Doreen her updated contact information.
Emergency pond contact list - Ken distributed the emergency contact list a week ago to its limited distribution – just to the 5 RPA officers, 2 camp directors, 4 community association presidents, & Richmond town administrator. This list is to facilitate emergency communication, especially after-hours & off-season, about the pond as needed. It is not intended to bypass dialing 911 in any true emergency, but as an additional resource that could be helpful in certain situations. It has been used to alert those who could quickly alert their community association residents about a matter of concern (lost child or dog, pattern of vandalism to cottages, lost or found boats that have come off their moorings or have sunk, imminent or actual flooding resulting from a dam failure or extreme storm, late night pond-disturbing noise from a specific or approximate location (a camp, a residence, town beach). A corrected list with the Whitewood president’s updated contact information will be distributed by Doreen.
Updates from Town Hall - Danielle was unable to participate in tonight’s meeting, but Ken shared her updates. The remediation of the detention basin at Camp Russell has been completed. (But Holly Stover noted that the water runoff ditch which runs from the dining hall to that detention basin needs maintenance; she would like to meet with Cam & the Camp’s maintenance person to discuss.) The Town did not work on the detention basin by Branch Farm, as it was functioning. (Holly disagreed with this & stressed that the basin needs to be cleaned & maintained.)
Status of Town Beach & boat launch: The ropes and floats are in place at the Town Beach. The hope is to have the dock in next week. All the boat monitor positions have been filled but there have not been any applicants for lifeguarding. Danielle will ask the selectman at the next BOS meeting to approve the hiring of another monitor to help with the care and upkeep of the beach. Neal Pilson plans on visiting the beach over the 4th of July holiday to survey for any damage or litter.
Storage of RPA documents in new Town Hall: Neal shared that there is space to store the RPA files at the new Town Hall, but they need to know details of the space needed. He asked us to make sure that the files to be stored are essential and necessary. Ken and Carl know that there are duplicates and will work on selecting only necessary files to be stored.
Financial report – Carl reported that we have $63,756 in all accounts as of 6/24/23. The pond history book account has a balance of $6,583 and the dam maintenance account has a balance of $24,361. Carl and Laura are working on the treasurer transition plan, as Laura will take the lead on handling the accounts and Carl will become the coach. Our next steps are to close out the fiscal year on June 30th, file the annual report with the state, prepare for the annual fund solicitation and send invoices for the RPA dues. RPA previously approved the next year’s budget, which includes the current dues structure of $400 per association and $40 per independent dwelling. Also, we approved adding $2,000 to both the dam maintenance and canal maintenance accounts. Carl also asked for us to think about changing the address for the RPA. It is currently a PO Box in Lenox, which was convenient for him and Ken. With changes coming with new board members, it may be practical to have a more convenient mailing address.
Project updates & other developments at the pond:
Updates on Camp Arrow Wood – Matt and Jon were not present. Ken had communicated with Matt and was told Camp opened its first session June 24th. They have decided not to do a July 4th fireworks show at the pond. There was not time to get a vendor and the permits. Some changes the pond communities are likely to notice while the camp season is underway are the use of its PA system & increased lighting.
Updates on Camp Russell - Cam shared that the first camp session starts July 3rd. They are at maximum capacity until the last week of August when there are a few openings. He reminded us that the public are not allowed to walk or jog through the camp during camp sessions. The Chili & Chowder Fest, an annual fund-raiser for the Camp, is July 14, 6-10 pm, and is $30 per ticket.
Weed management planning update & permitting initiatives; potentials for 2023 – Linda and Doreen have had meetings with Jim McGrath, Tom Potter, Danielle and Rob Van Der Kar for assistance with the permitting process for weed treatment & harvesting. They reported that Solitude will do the weed mapping and vegetation survey in July. Jim McGrath agreed for the City of Pittsfield to pay for this service. Solitude is still waiting for more information from Natural Heritage regarding allowable herbicide concentrations. Solitude’s Dominic had discussed using Sonar as an alternative herbicide but knows that this is much more expensive. He will give us an estimate. Linda had reached out to Dominic for an update, but as of this meeting, she had not heard back.
The Town of Richmond should hold the permit. Before the NOI can be submitted there are steps to take such as the weed mapping and a pre-determination from Natural Heritage. The bridle shiners are what we are working around.
They had discussed the possibility of a deeper draw down of the pond with Jim and Rob. But based on their experience with DEP, they are confident that this is not a possibility for weed management.
Related pond health strategies (encouraging buffer plantings, discouraging lawn fertilizers/weed killers, etc.) – Jonna discussed the importance of decreasing the nutrients entering the Pond and the effect they have on weed growth. She would like to ask Danielle to send out information to the Town residents about what they can do to help decrease the nutrients entering the watershed around the Pond.
Plans for addressing invasive purple loosestrife & Phragmites (common reed) – Miles and Holly plan on walking the shoreline from the RSCA community beach to the boat ramp to pull the purple loosestrife on Friday. Holly asked that a communication be sent out to the Shores residents notifying them of this project, as they may be walking on private property. Doreen will send out an email. Holly had not heard back from Shep Evans regarding her question about whether a permit is needed to hand-pull the weeds along the shore. Ernie will follow up with Shep.
Cyanobacteria testing – Louise reported that the first testing had to be canceled. The next Richmond Pond test is this Thursday. Ken reported that Pontoosuc Lake tested positive for toxic pond scum last year. Many ponds, including Richmond Pond, experienced pond scum late this spring, before testing could be done. There are both toxic & non-toxic types of pond scum; the former is especially dangerous for dogs.
Learnings from June 22 Conference on Protection of Lakes & Watersheds of Western MA (sponsored by LAPA-West & Lake Onota Preservation Association) – There were 30+ attendees (from Lake Onota, Pontoosuc Lake, Richmond Pond & a couple other ponds); Carl, Ken & Laura attended for RPA. Carl shared that Lake Onota uses Solitude Lake Management, like us, & has tracked their weed control efforts from 2001 to present; they did a 6-foot drawdown in 2017. In 2019, the milfoil came back & exploded in 2020. In 2021, they switched from Diquat to ProcellaCOR – a systemic treatment for milfoil – it was very successful, & in 2022 native weeds made a strong comeback. Should RPA try this? The question to be asked is, what is its impact on bridle shiners?
Ten lakes are participating in the LAPA-West managed cyanobacteria testing program, including Richmond Pond. High phosphate levels in tributaries feed weed & algae growth in our ponds; it’s important to educate landowners to reduce their use. Vegetative buffers also help, & keep geese off of lawns.
Details were shared about the state-wide boat ramp monitoring program to keep zebra mussels out of our ponds. Jim McGrath also shared plans for a boat-washing station at Onota Lake (2024) for use by all 3 Pittsfield ponds.
The Department of Fish & Wildlife encourages all to keep our lakes clean and enable us to enjoy being outdoors. The fees for fishing licenses go to support the lake management programs.
Update on educational initiatives with Richmond Consolidated School students – Louise reported that she is working with a teacher at Richmond School, on planning programs for the fall. The lessons will include learning about plant life around the Pond, which will include a field trip; funds may be needed to pay for a field trip bus. They are grateful for the pond history books donated by RPA to help with their studies.
Annual Picnic/Annual meeting – Louise is waiting to hear from Camp Arrow Wood about an August date for the picnic. She asked if there would be flexibility with the day of the week, possibly even considering a Saturday, or into September. Sentiments expressed by attendees were that these options were OK to consider. If Camp Arrow Wood is unable to accommodate, she will reach out to Cam at the Boy’s Club.
Recent developments around the pond (community association reports) –
Richmond Shores – Doreen said the roads have been graded by the Town and that Eversource will be removing dead trees near the power lines.
Branch Farm – The renovation of a cottage is progressing.
Whitewood – Jonna reported that their roads have been graded also.
South Pond Farm – No report
Website enhancements – Bruce Wintman has assumed management of the RPA website, & has already made some changes, including updating the swimming & boating safety page, archiving some items and adding live links. He asked that if anyone has pictures, comments or links that they would like to add, please send them to him.
Projects still are needing volunteers – A volunteer is still needed to manage the RPA Facebook page. Since there has not been a volunteer to serve as editor for The Richmond Record, & its remaining funds are limited, Ken was sorry to report that the July issue may be its last.
Decision on format for July 25 RPA meeting – Doreen made a motion to hold the July meeting via Zoom, which was approved.
Odds & ends:
Open water swimming safety – Ken is seeing deep-water swimmers in the Pond, unaccompanied by a boat or wearing a swimming bubble. He worries for their safety. Bruce will add a link to the RPA website about how to order swim bubbles.
Results of & plans for Pond history book marketing events – Ken has developed & shared his “how to” outline with other pond associations on how to write, fund, publish, & market a history book about their own lake community. He also set up a table & sold 4 books at the recent LAPA-West symposium.
Officer Elections - The election of RPA officers is planned for the September meeting. Ken asked for all to consider being part of RPA’s leadership team, as this will be needed for the coming year.
Town Beach Road - Miles noted a big boulder protruding from the road and worried that this could damage a car. Ken will ask Danielle if this could be removed by the Town. Miles also noted that an aluminum boat appeared to have been abandoned at the town beach area; Holly has seen that the Town removed that boat.
The meeting adjourned at 8:15 pm.
Directors present (voting): Ken Kelly (president, independent cottages), Louise Brogan (vice-president, At-Large), Carl Foote (treasurer, Branch Farm), Doreen Donovan (secretary, Richmond Shores), Jonna Gaberman (Whitewood), Miles Garfinkel (At-Large), Cam Stockton (Camp Russell)
Ex-officio present (non-voting): none present
Alternates present: Barry Kellogg (Richmond Shores)
Guests present: Linda Kay (Richmond Shores), Neal Pilson (Town Selectman), Bruce Wintman (Whitewood), Ernie Smith (Conservation Commission), Holly Stover, Dick Stover
Directors absent: Matt Linick (Camp Arrow Wood), Laura Rosenthal (Asst. Treasurer, South Pond Farm)
Ex-officio absent: Jim McGrath (City of Pittsfield), Tom Potter (Richmond Conservation Commission), Danielle Fillio (Richmond Town Administrator)
Alternates Absent: Kais Abderrahim (Camp Russell), Gordon Dinsmore (South Pond Farm), Brian Grebeldinger (Richmond Shores), Kerry Hamilton (At-Large), Kitty Levitan (Whitewood), Joe McGovern (Camp Russell), Tim Mason (independent cottages), Jon Millburg (Camp Arrow Wood), Al Nardacci (independent cottages)
RPA Meeting Minutes
May 23, 2023 via Zoom
Welcome – Ken opened the meeting by mentioning that there is a simultaneous Zoom meeting (6:30 pm start) presenting the draft Richmond/W. Stockbridge Resilient Storm Water Action and Implementation Plan. Several RPA board members are attending that, including Danielle Fillio & Jonna Gaberman. VP Louise Brogan was traveling, so couldn’t attend either.
Approval of RPA minutes of April 25 meeting – Doreen made a motion for approval of the RPA minutes of April 25, 2023. Minutes were approved.
Updated RPA contacts lists– Ken reported that the previously updated and circulated RPA board member contacts list mirrors what currently is on the RPA website. A second more private Pond Emergency Contact List, which had not been updated in recent years, has also been updated with cell numbers, and will only be shared with camp directors, community association presidents, town administrator, and the RPA officers. Its intent is to facilitate emergency communication, especially on weekends, after-hours, and off-season as needed.
Updates from Town Hall – Danielle was unable to attend tonight’s meeting. She & Ken had met by phone to discuss recent updates. Ken shared pond-related budget approvals at the May 17thAnnual Town Meeting: town beach (incl. lifeguards) $18,000; weed treatment $5,000; boat ramp monitors $5,000 (plus the $6,000 provided by the state); and $3,500 beaver control (town-wide). Remediation of Camp Russell detention basins is targeted for early June. Installation of the kayak dock will be delayed given town facilities dept. staff shortages, and road grader and other maintenance equipment breakdowns; spring road grading is wrapping up. There have still been no applications for lifeguards. Danielle asks for help in encouraging applications. If there is also no “summer helper” hired, this will impact the Town beach. Ken and Danielle also discussed the need to update the 5-year lake management plan, written in 2016 for the years 2013-2017, with comments about 2018 and 2019 plans; it’s on the RPA website. Incorporation of cyanobacteria testing and weed treatment efforts going forward are needed. This should be a collaborative project between RPA, the Town of Richmond and City of Pittsfield which would include Conservations Commissions and Boards of Health. Ken thought it would be worthwhile to ask what models other lakes are using. Neal updated attendees on the status of Perrys Peak Road and BNRC’s adjacent conserved property; mediation is continuing.
Financial report – Carl reported that as of 5/23 we have $64,359 in all accounts. The annual Directors and Officers Insurance bill was paid on 5/15. The fiscal 2022 report has been accepted by the state. Carl and Laura continue working on transitioning the treasurer’s responsibilities.
Project updates & other developments at the pond:
Camp season plans for Camp Arrow Wood – Matt reported that Camp Arrow Wood enrollment has doubled from last year. They are getting ready for their 6-week camp season. Their staff is arriving this week. The sports fields work is just about complete.Matt was exploring the idea of the Camp hosting a professionally managed fireworks display on July 4th, perhaps from a barge on the pond. He asked for feedback on this. There were questions about the noise and its impact on the wildlife and also families with dogs. Tom Potter commented on the toxic chemicals that are in fireworks and would discourage fireworks going into the water. He recommended looking at the DEP’s website to learn more about this. Might fireworks in their camp’s fields be an option? Linda suggested Bousquet as an alternate site. Camp staff will study the options.
Camp season plans for Camp Russell - Cam was not present so there is no update. Ken will follow up with him.
Goose management – Laura reached out to last year’s participants with the contact information for Wild Goose Chase. She has not heard back from anyone. This will be a gap year as no one volunteered to manage the program. Nylon or fishing line barriers on docks & shorelines were suggested.Ken observed at least 6 goose families on his kayak circuit of pond (3 in canal). He counted 37 geese one evening, with many others likely nesting in the marshes with parents unable to fly yet.
Canal weed-pulling update – Doreen received a quote from Laurie of Aquatic Roots to hand-pull weeds from the bridge to the Pond. The cost quoted was $10,000. This cost is a 100% increase from the past two years. The effectiveness of the weed pulling was reviewed and concern was expressed about the expense and the minimal impact for the money, compared to other treatment options. It was felt that this money would be of better use toward the weed management program of the Pond, which would include the canal.
Other weed management efforts – Doreen and Linda reported that there has not been any movement thus far. Solitude did follow up with Natural Heritage but has not heard back regarding the use of other herbicides. Tom Potter volunteered to work with them on the permitting process, starting with the NOI. Given timing considerations, permits would be for 2024 and beyond. No weed treatments are expected this summer.
Plans for addressing invasive purple loosestrife & Phragmites (common reed) – Miles reported that he and Holly walked from the Shores to Camp Arrow Wood’s boundary and identified potential sites. They will evaluate again and make a plan to remove the purple loosestrife, which blooms in late summer. They hope that students from Richmond School will help with this project. They have not addressed the common reed yet.
Initial tributary testing results – Carl relayed that he and Jonna conducted testing of all 4 tributaries and the outflow at the dam on Monday, May 15th. Carl reported that E.coli and nitrate levels are well within acceptable levels. Phosphorus levels are highest at Tracy Brook. Jonna is researching what the upper levels should be. Whitewood had the highest nitrate levels, though still within the acceptable level. Looking at the bigger picture for weed management should include mitigating phosphorous runoff into the Pond.Jonna and Bruce attended the simultaneous storm water management plan ZOOM meeting for the Towns of Richmond and West Stockbridge. Jonna reported that the number one goal is to mitigate flooding and its impact on gravel roads. She voiced concern about the higher phosphorous numbers related to agriculture, geese and beavers. There is a grant for agricultural runoff. Alison Dixon from the HVA has experience with this. Tom works with Alison and will help to connect her to Jonna. Jonna will also follow up with Danielle. Linda voiced the need for educational program that address the actions that will help decrease phosphorous run off.
Cyanobacteria testing schedule - Ken reported that testing will begin June 15th. This will be coordinated by LAPA-West. Richmond Pond’s testing is paid for by RPA and will be done every other week on Thursday evenings. The measurement is done at the pond’s “deep hole”. Cyanobacteria is present in deep levels of the Pond. Ken will ask Jim McGrath for the City of Pittsfield’s protocol, especially what to do if test results reach concerning levels. The Boards of Health would need to be involved. Ken volunteered to create a draft summary document that would address all the pond’s “testing” efforts - beach, tributary & cyanobacteria testing.
Update on educational initiatives with Richmond Consolidated School students – Louise was not able to attend, but had indicated that there was nothing new to report. A pond history book will be donated to the school library.
Recent developments around the pond (community association reports) – Richmond Shores – Doreen relayed that the fencing at the Shores community beach is up and the dock is in the water. They are waiting for the Town to grade the roads. Linda expressed concerns about the increase in Air-B&B renters. She feels the character of the Shores is changing due to frequent short-term renters. Kerry informed her that the Town does have a by-law regarding short-term rentals and the selectmen would be the best people to hear her concerns. Ken suggested that the RSCA board might ask the Town to provide a list of homes that have registered to operate short term rentals. Linda will follow up with the Town.Branch Farm - Carl has not seen the eagles in the nest by his cottage, though the eagles are still fishing at the pond.Whitewood – Jonna has no updates to report.South Pond Farm - Laura is seeing the 2ndhomeowners returning. No other developments.
Projects still needing volunteers - Richmond Record (articles/photos/editor) - Ken will continue to write the article for the Richmond Record for a few more months. He asked for a volunteer to take this over. The Record is also looking for an editor.There are no volunteers to manage the RPA Facebook page. Linda suggested a Richmond School student, as they may be more tech-savvy.Ken shared that Bruce Wintman, of Whitewood, had volunteered & has assumed responsibility for management & enhancement of the RPA website, effective immediately. Recommended changes should be addressed to Bruce; his contact info will be on the website.
Decision on format for June 27 RPA meeting - Doreen acknowledged that the mask mandate has been lifted and it may be safer to meet in person, though most attendees seem to prefer the Zoom format. The new Town Hall will have a bigger meeting space, but this will not be available until the end of the year. The June meeting will be held by Zoom.
Odds & ends:
LAPA-West’s spring lake & pond management symposium (by Zoom) – Ken - Cyanobacteria management will be the focus. This will be via Zoom, likely as a summer meeting, but no date is yet scheduled for this meeting. Ken will also make a short presentation about developing your own pond’s history book.
Pond history book sales update – Kerry reported that 163 books remain, some of which are out with our sale vendors. She reports that the sales are in the “trickle phase,” which is to be expected.
Other announcements – Ken & others have noticed a new “guest” on the pond - a mute swan.Miles has picked up the trash & garbage on the fishing trail.Ken informed the meeting that, as reported in the Berkshire Eagle, Bartlett’s apple trees were affected by a recent frost, causing them to lose 75% of their apple crop. He encouraged people to support their store.RPA brochure has been updated & printed – for the boat launch kiosk and Bartlett’s, & pond functions (picnic/book events). Doreen will distribute.RPA summer annual meeting/picnic was mentioned. The tentative dates were 7/25 or 8/22. Camp Arrow Wood is likely not be available at either time. Further discussion was tabled until Louise returns from her trip.Meeting adjourned at 8:26 pm
Directorspresent (voting): Ken Kelly (president, independent cottages), Carl Foote (treasurer, Branch Farm), Doreen Donovan (secretary, Richmond Shores), Laura Rosenthal (Asst. Treasurer, South Pond Farm), Jonna Gaberman (Whitewood), Miles Garfinkel (At-Large), Matt Linick (Camp Arrow Wood)
Ex-officio present (non-voting): Tom Potter (Richmond Conservation Commission)
Alternates present:Kerry Hamilton (At-Large), Tim Mason (independent cottages)
Guests present: Linda Edelstein, Linda Kay (Richmond Shores), Neal Pilson (Town Selectman), Bruce Wintman (Whitewood)
Directors absent: Louise Brogan (vice-president, At-Large), Cam Stockton (Camp Russell)
Ex-officio absent: Danielle Fillio (Richmond Town Administrator), Jim McGrath (City of Pittsfield)
Alternates Absent: Kais Abderrahim (Camp Russell), Gordon Dinsmore (South Pond Farm), Brian Grebeldinger (Richmond Shores), Barry Kellogg (Richmond Shores), Kitty Levitan (Whitewood), Joe McGovern (Camp Russell), Jon Millburg (Camp Arrow Wood), Al Nardacci (independent cottages)
RPA Meeting Minutes
April 25, 2023 via Zoom
Welcome – Ken opened the meeting by asking for a moment of silence in remembrance of Pat O’Brien, a recently deceased long-time cottage resident of Branch Farm. The material distributed before the meeting included the agenda, minutes from October 25th2022, the 2022 annual report and the RPA board member contact list.
Approval of RPA minutes of October 25th meeting – Doreen asked for a motion to approve the October 25th meeting minutes. Minutes approved.
Approval of RPA Annual Report 2022- Doreen asked for a motion to approve the RPA’s 2022 annual report; it is posted on the RPA website & will be included in the Town of Richmond annual report. Report approved.
Updates to the RPA’s contact list - Ken asked for the list to be reviewed and if there are any updates to let Doreen know. He is also in the process of updating the emergency contact list.
Updates from Town Hall – Danielle reported that the Baby Town Meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 1st at 6:00 pm, and the Annual Town Meeting is scheduled for 7:30 pm, Saturday, May 17th. The Town has hired 4 boat launch pond monitors and is extending the duration of their employment to start 2 weeks before Memorial Day and continue until 2 weeks after Labor Day. The kayak launch dock at the boat launch is scheduled to be put in. She is still advertising for lifeguards, but has no applicants yet. The town beach floating dock that was destroyed by vandals last summer is being rebuilt, with plans for it to be in the water this season.
Danielle has emailed Joe McGovern, the director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires, to coordinate a date to begin the remediation of the detention basins at Camp Russell. She has not heard back from him. She would like to have this project completed before camp starts; otherwise, it will again be delayed until after the camp season ends. Ken will also reach out to Joe to try to expedite the project.
Neal reported that the Town Hall/Library construction is on schedule with the goal to be finished by the end of the year. Good weather this winter has helped to move the project along. They have been waiting for the generator to arrive.
Danielle reported that the Town of Richmond’s administrative hours have changed. The Town Hall will be open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 8am to 4pm and Thursday from 8am to 6pm. They will be closed on Fridays. They will re-evaluate this in September.
Financial report– Carl presented the budget for the coming fiscal year. A motion was made to approve the budget. The budget was approved.
Carl and Laura have been meeting to bring Laura up to speed on the RPA accounting process. They have been to Berkshire Bank to add Laura to all the bank accounts. Two CDs were renewed on March 1st for 6 months at a 4.65% rate. This is much better than the 0.1% our CD money had been earning!
The annual fiscal report was filed to the state of Massachusetts last October which was due on November 15th. In the past it is reviewed by the state, then made available on the Mass.gov/charities website. Carl recently checked the status and has found that the state is still processing the paper filing. He has since found that the state now has an online system for filing, the preferred method. Carl has re-filed online and that is in the final stages waiting for Ken’s electronic signature.
Carl and Laura are discussing changing the fiscal year now ending on June 30th to the calendar year ending December 31st. The treasurer would then close the books after Dec. 31st and then file the reports to the federal and the state. This amended timing will help with planning and budgeting for the next year’s projects, and would allow real contracts to be signed with vendors earlier in the spring to get on their work schedules. Carl recommended that the process of changing the fiscal year should be coached by an attorney to make sure it is done correctly. Ken asked Danielle if this would be an issue with the Town if the fiscal year did change. She did not think there would be any issues.
RPA participation in the Awarding Committee for the Anita Chapman Scholarship Fund - Jan Hartford, manager of the scholarship fund, proposed the RPA to be one of the 5 civic associations on the awarding committee. The Anita Chapman Scholarship Fund awards scholarships each year to Richmondstudents. As a committee, they manage the funds. The actual selections are done by a separate Awarding Committee made up of representatives from 5 community organizations. In the past, the Community Health Association has been a member of this committee, but now needs to be replaced as it is no longer an entity. Jan was asking if the Pond Association would like to take its place.
The commitment is one person (can be any board member) who can attend one meeting and help select the recipients of the scholarships. This year she expects there will be 14 scholarships to award. Applications are read and rated. The committee will determine the amounts to be awarded so the Awarding Committee does not have to worry about that. The committee will meet during the day on May 8th at Jan’s house.
A motion was made for the RPA to be a sponsoring organization for the scholarship fund. The motion was approved. Jonna volunteered to represent the RPA on the Awarding Committee.
Project updates and other developments at the Pond
Goose management plan assessment results & possible plan development for 2023 – Laura reported that the survey she sent out to the 2022 participants resulted in mixed responses. With her transition to the assistant treasurer role, Laura had asked for a volunteer to fill the role as the liaison for goose management. There were no volunteers. This will result in a gap year. Dick Stover asked if Laura could give the vendor contact information to the communities that were still interested in goose management. She will do this.
Weed Management – Doreen and Linda reported that there has been little progress regarding a weed management program for 2023. Solitude has reached out to Natural Heritage with suggestions of alternate herbicides for the management of curly-leaf pond weed and Eurasian water milfoil and asking for the threshold of each. There has been no response from Solitude or Natural Heritage as of this meeting. Jim McGrath has been involved with the conversations with Solitude and Natural Heritage. Linda felt that having a contract with Solitude to help with permitting and weed mapping would be helpful. Tom Potter will reach out to the Pittsfield Conservation Commission to discuss weed management.
Doreen will contact Laurie Rock to explore scheduling a weed pulling session for the canal. The area would be from the bridge to the Pond. Linda relayed that she has been told that the City of Pittsfielddoes not need a permit for hand pulling of weeds and this may be a possible treatment for the Pittsfieldside of the Pond. Holly Stover will follow up with Pittsfield ConCom to see if this is their policy.
Beach, tributary and cyanobacteria testing update; updating of protocol – Carl and Jonna will be doing the tributary testing and will schedule a time to begin the testing. LAPA-West coordinates the cyanobacteria testing; Ken will follow up with them for the start date. Louise has volunteered the use of her boat; Ken’s will serve as backup boat. Ken is still working on updating the working draft of the water testing protocol. E.coli testing is expected to be done weekly by contracted vendors at all of the camp, community & town beaches.
Camp seasons for Camp Russell and Camp Arrow Wood - While Cam and Matt were not present for this meeting, Ken reported that Camp Russell’s camp season is July 3rdthru August 24th. Camp Arrow Wood’s season is June 24ththrough August 13th.
Community Association Reports - Ken asked for an update from each of the community associations about any news that may be of interest to the RPA. Doreen reported that the Richmond Shores roads are the biggest issue, and that she had sent an email to the Shores residents asking them to do the water run-off survey from the Town. Carl reported that the gate to Branch Farm opens on May 1st. Branch Farm properties are owned by long-term families. One of their cottages is being replaced. Jonna reported that the presidents of the Whitewood Association and Richmond Shores Association have met to discuss a plan to ask the Town for more financial assistance with their roads. She also reported that a new family has moved into the Benners’ former home. Laura reported that there are no major changes at South Pond; there has been no turnover in owners and maintenance is being done to all the buildings.
Educational initiatives with Richmond Consolidated School students - Louise has been in contact with the 4th grade teacher, who is excited to work with the RPA and have her students learn more about the Pond. The hope is to make this a hands-on learning opportunity. Tom has worked on a program with the 5thgrade in his position with the Housatonic Valley Association. He suggested that HVA may be a resource for her, along with Mass Audubon. Ken would like to donate a History of Richmond Pond book to the school library, & potentially to each student in an entire classroom of students, if they’re studying the Pond. Louise will discuss this at her next meeting with them.
Pond history book sales to date & marketing plan going forward – Carl shared that of the 750 books purchased, there are only 150 remaining. The book remains for sale at Bartlett’s, Balderdash, Shaker Mill Books, & The Bookstore in Lenox.
Updating the RPA website- Ken & Bruce Wintman have been in communication about this project. They will meet soon to discuss the editing process & transitioning the website’s management to Bruce.
Projects still needing volunteers- Ken will write the Richmond Pond Update article for the Richmond Recordthrough the summer but after that he asked for a volunteer to take over. He reported that the editor of the Richmond Record is stepping down after the summer, so her position will also need to be filled. Holly and Miles will meet to make a plan for removing the invasive purple loosestrife around the Pond. A volunteer is still needed to manage the Facebook page.
Decision on format for May 23rdRPA meeting - Doreen recommended that continuing to meet by Zoom worked best for most of the participants. It was approved that the next meeting will be held by Zoom.
Odds & ends:
LAPA-West’s lake & pond management symposium: There is no date yet set for the spring symposium, but it will be held via Zoom. The meeting will focus on cyanobacteria management. Ken will also present a brief session on the process the RPA used to write, publish & market the History of Richmond Pond book, encouraging others to do likewise.
Trout stocking - The pond has already been stocked twice this year with trout.
Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm.
Directors present (voting): Ken Kelly (president, independent cottages), Louise Brogan (vice-president, At-Large), Carl Foote (treasurer, Branch Farm), Doreen Donovan (secretary, Richmond Shores), Laura Rosenthal (assistant treasurer, South Pond Farm), Jonna Gaberman (Whitewood), Miles Garfinkel (At-Large)
Ex-officio present (non-voting): Danielle Fillio (Richmond Town Administrator), Tom Potter (Richmond Conservation Commission)
Alternates present: Gordon Dinsmore (South Pond Farm)
Guests present: Jan Hartford (Anita Chapman Scholarship Fund), Linda Kay (Richmond Shores), Holly Stover, Dick Stover, Faye Lessner, Neal Pilson (Town Selectman)
Directors absent: Matt Linick (Camp Arrow Wood), Cam Stockton (Camp Russell)
Ex-officio absent: Jim McGrath (City of Pittsfield)
Alternates Absent: Kais Abderrahim (Camp Russell), Brian Grebeldinger (Richmond Shores), Kerry Hamilton (At-Large), Barry Kellogg (Richmond Shores), Kitty Levitan (Whitewood), Tim Mason (independent cottages), Joe McGovern (Camp Russell), Jon Millburg (Camp Arrow Wood), Al Nardacci (independent cottages)
RPA Meeting Minutes
October 25, 2022 via Zoom
Welcome – Ken opened the meeting by acknowledging Louise Brogan, our new VP, as she was unable to attend last month. He observed that most boats have been taken out for the season, most docks have been removed, and seasonal cottages are buttoning up for the winter. This is the final RPA meeting of the calendar year, but the RPA has work to be done over the winter. This meeting will shape how much the RPA can accomplish both off-season and in 2023.
The material distributed before the meeting included the agenda and a list of the tasks that are in addition to what the officers perform. As this list is reviewed, the hope is that all will volunteer for one or more of the projects and tasks listed. Ken reminded the attendees that the RPA is only effective at preserving the pond if we all pull together to help the officers by sharing a piece of the workload.
Approval of RPA minutes of September 20 meeting – Doreen asked for a motion to approve the September 20th meeting minutes. Minutes approved.
Approval of proposed meeting dates, times & locations for 2023: Doreen listed the dates for next year’s meetings. The dates for the meetings are; 4/25, 5/23, 6/27, 7/25, 8/22, 9/26 and 10/24, all Tuesdays at 7 pm. A motion was made and approved to have the first meeting in April by Zoom and then evaluate our options for the year. She will schedule the dates at the Town Hall in case the meetings change to in-person.
Updates from Town Hall – Danielle reported that she has been in contact with the maintenance person for Camp Russell to coordinate a date to begin the remediation of the detention basins. Cam will also follow up with this.
The town beach vehicle gates were locked for the season at end of September. Pedestrians can still access the beach.
Danielle will discuss at the next BOS meeting whether the Town will continue to participate in the goose management program.
The tree that is leaning over town beach road may need to have a tree company come in to remove it. She will check with the Town’s highway manager.
Danielle discussed the importance for her to be updated on the status of weed management permitting and the vendors as the plan evolves, especially if the Town is the holder of the permit;
The Town has applied for an MVP grant. The grant’s focus is developing a storm management plan for roads and properties in Richmond. The first step is a survey for Town residents to take to gather information that will help with the development of a plan. The survey is available in the Town’s newsletter and can also be done at the Town’s library. Ken will send the link to the survey to RPA website subscribers. Once the survey is completed, the Town will report the results to the public.
Financial report– Carl reported that as of 10/24/22, there is $62,222 in all accounts. This includes $20,062 in the Dam Maintenance account, $6,037 in the History Book account, and $2,036 in the Canal Maintenance account. All dues have been paid and all invoices for Goose Management have been paid. The annual financial report has been prepared, edited and mailed to the state, and the federal filing is now completed. Laura and Carl had a first meeting to review the current accounting procedures. The history book project has about 200 books in inventory which could add up to $4,000 to that account.
Pond history book sales to date & marketing plan going forward – Ken discussed that the RPA purchased 750 books and have received payment for 519 books sold. A total of 31 free books were donated (free of charge) to libraries, book sponsors, and donors of $200 or more in this year’s annual fund-raising solicitation. There are 200 books left. Ken and Kerry have 157 of these, and the other 43 books are out at our vendors, for sale.
Seven sponsors donated a total of $2,413, and the RPA put up $6,000 in “front money” to enable payment of initial publishing costs before book sale revenue started coming in. Our income from books sales to date is $10,096, plus the donation of $2,413 from books sponsors, for revenues of $12,509. Publishing expenses of $12,151 and marketing expenses of $301, total $12,452, for a net income to date of $37. The RPA’s up-front funding of $6,000 is now fully recovered, so we have a net revenue of $37, with the potential to add another $3,000 to $4,000 when the remaining inventory is sold.
While book sales have slowed down, as expected, four of our six sale venues continue to sell the books. (Hancock Shaker Village & Arrowhead close for the winter). Marketing plans include using Richmond Record& Local Yokel to encourage holiday gift purchases, and selling the book at the spring LAPA-West symposium.
Project updates & other developments at the pond:
Weed Management- Linda, Doreen, Carl and Jim McGrath attended a Zoom meeting with Dominick of Solitude to discuss 2023 options. At this meeting Jim requested that Dominic follow up with Natural Heritage for clarification on why there was a change in decreasing Diquat quantity and their new stance on the bridle shiners. He will also ask about the timing of treatment and the areas affected by the shiners.
Jim will handle the permitting and the hope is weed harvesting, hand pulling of weeds and herbicides will all be in an amended permit through the Con Com which would enable us to have a flexible weed management plan for the Pond. The permit for Richmond needs to be renewed by May 2023. Pittsfield’s Con Com just renewed their permit for a year. Jim will ask about amending this to add in weed harvesting and hand pulling.
Solitude did not conduct a weed mapping this year. This is important to have this done yearly to be able to make a plan for treatment.
Beach, tributary and cyanobacteria testing update; updating of protocol – Carl met with Jonna and Bruce to review the tributary testing procedures and plan on doing the next tests in 2023 when the weather warms up. LAPA West does the cyanobacteria testing every other week and the RPA provides the boat.
Ken is still working on updating the working draft of the water testing protocol, merging several components. This will include E.coli testing at the beaches and tributaries along with cyanobacteria testing. Once the draft is completed, it will be circulated for corrections and approvals by the various responsible parties. He is also working on a pond-related emergency contact list.
Goose management plan assessment results & possible plan development for 2023 – Laura reported that she sent out a survey to the 2022 participants to the program. She has heard back from four of them. A summary of the feedback includes: 1) Do more chasing rather than less, and include egg addling at the beginning of the season, 2) Keep the program as is, 3) Keep the program as is but add decoys on the property, and 4) Would prefer not to participate next season.
Identification of volunteers for most RPA tasks:
Ken stated that the coming year will be one of restructuring, in part to spread the workload more evenly across all board members of the RPA, as well as other volunteers. Two “task lists” were shared in advance with all board members and with all 82 subscribers to the RPA website. The two lists, Pond Management Tasks and Marketing & Communication Tasks are in addition to the tasks that the RPA by-laws assign to each of the officers. He stressed that each of the officers already has a full workload and most of us are volunteers.
The lists were shared on the Zoom screen and Ken asked for volunteers for each task. Any tasks, for which no one volunteers, could well be tasks that don’t get performed. He encouraged members to share if they are “maybe interested” in stepping in to prevent a task from being scratched off the RPA’s list next year, although potential volunteers would need to know more about the work entailed first.
See the two separate lists (at end of these minutes) with volunteers noted.
Identification of winter projects:
Doreen will do the annual report which needs to be submitted to the Town in February.
Weed management permitting and plan will be ongoing, with Linda and Doreen
Ken will update the water testing protocol.
Louise will reach out to area schools to develop educational projects utilizing the Pond.
Odds & ends:
Pond drawdown plans – Matt reported that the drawdown begins November 1st, and will go down 1 or 2” a day until 2 feet is reached. Refill is in spring, bringing up to normal level by April 1st.
LAPA-West’s lakes & ponds management symposium: The symposium was deferred until spring. Ken will be doing a presentation on his experience with writing a book about the Pond.
Carl kayaked the lake on October 23rd and saw 3 power boats still at docks.
Bruce is working on signage for boating safety that will be displayed at the boat ramp.
Louise will follow up about remediation of the drainage swale at Branch Farm.
Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 8:30
Directors present (voting): Ken Kelly (president, independent cottages), Louise Brogan (vice-president, At-Large), Carl Foote (treasurer, Branch Farm), Doreen Donovan (secretary, Richmond Shores), Laura Rosenthal (Asst. Treasurer, South Pond Farm), Jonna Gaberman (Whitewood), Miles Garfinkel (At-Large), Matt Linick (Camp Arrow Wood), Cam Stockton (Camp Russell)
Ex-officio present (non-voting): Danielle Fillio (Richmond Town Administrator)
Alternates present: None
Guests present: Linda Kay (Richmond Shores), Bruce Wintman (Whitewood), Holly Stover
Directors absent: None
Ex-officio absent: Jim McGrath (City of Pittsfield), Tom Potter (Richmond Conservation Commission)
Alternates Absent: Kais Abderrahim (Camp Russell), Gordon Dinsmore (South Pond Farm), Brian Grebeldinger (Richmond Shores), Kerry Hamilton (At-Large), Barry Kellogg (Richmond Shores), Kitty Levitan (Whitewood), Tim Mason (independent cottages), Jon Millburg (Camp Arrow Wood), Al Nardacci (independent cottages), Joe McGovern (Camp Russell), Ron Veillette (Richmond Conservation Commission)
Pond Management Tasks Assigned (at 10/25/22 RPA Meeting)
1. Manage the weed management program, including related collaboration with the Town Administrator & weed treatment vendor(s) - Linda and Doreen
2. Assist with the weed management program - Jim McGrath & Danielle
3. Study & implement strategies to control invasive plants (purple loosestrife, phragmites australis (common reed), others, (possibly as school project) – Holly & Miles
4. Manage the tributary testing program (4 tributaries & the outflow at the dam), including taking samples & driving samples (on ice) to the Lee testing lab & maintaining related historical records. Communicating results to others as appropriate - Louise, Jonna & Bruce
5. Assist with tributary water testing program (access to a boat by one of the two tributary testers is helpful but not required) - Louise, Jonna & Bruce
6. Provide twice-monthly boat rides for the LAPA-West cyanobacteria tester (summer only; requires boat) – Louise with Ken & Don assisting
7. Develop an updated merged water testing & related communications protocol (beaches, tributaries, & cyanobacteria) & solicit endorsements from all involved parties - Ken, Louise, Jonna & Bruce
8. Manage the Canada goose management program - No volunteers
9. Monitor & maintain the public shoreline fishing trail beyond town beach - Miles
Marketing & Communication Tasks Assigned (at 10/25/22 RPA Meeting)
1. Manage the RPA website, including keeping it updated (posting minutes, updates, etc.) – Bruce, Ken assists with transition
2. Serve as “backup” RPA website manager, with access password & editing instructions – Bruce, initially
3. Manage the RPA website’s subscriber list (now 86 members) & send out twice monthly email communications to that list (RPA meeting reminders, notices that the most recent minutes have been posted, & occasional special notices such as pond closings) - Doreen
4. Manage the RPA Facebook page - No volunteers
5. Update, print & distribute the RPA brochures (to boat launch kiosk holder & Bartlett’s) - Doreen
6. Maintain the RPA kiosk at the public boat launch - Doreen
7. Write a monthly Richmond Pond Update column, with photos, for the Richmond Record (April to November) - No volunteers; Ken will continue for a few more months
8. Manage the RPA Zoom account & serve as host for RPA meetings conducted by Zoom. Carl
9. Plan & coordinate the annual RPA meeting & picnic - Louise
10. Maintain RPA’s non-financial historical records (hard copy &/or electronic) - see separate list of project files) – Maintenance of these files may be split by function. Holly suggested they be stored in the new Town Library
11. Manage ongoing marketing for the book - A History of Richmond Pond - Kerry
12. Maintain & share with a select few a more private list of emergency contacts (cell numbers preferred) around the pond (both camps, the 4 community associations, key town officials, etc.) -Ken
13. Develop & support an educational outreach initiative to engage local school students with pond management - Holly & Louise