Sand Dam Reservoir Association Newsletter | April, 2019

Officers’ Updates

President

Since the last newsletter, SDRA has been busy! No matter the season there is much happening  here on Smith and Sayles Reservoir.

Thank you, Mike Benoit, for controlling the water level in our lake; Art Searle for organizing the data collected by Rico Colaluca and Hunter Dionne on water levels; Janice Baker and the committee on rewriting the SDRA by-laws; Mary O’Keeffe for compiling the fishing tournament data; Carolyn Fortuna for the newsletter, website, grant writing, etc.; Marissa Danville and Eric LaRiviere for working on our fundraiser in May; and, the effort and time that the Board donates continually.  

There is always much occuring on our lake, and so many folks make it happen. 

This leads me to think about the SDRA next events. Glocester’s 2nd Annual Earth Day Celebration Clean-Up will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2019, 9am – 1:00pm.  Everyone needs to participate to make this a success! SDRA is a sponsor and organizer for this event. The poster for Earth Day Clean-Up is attached for you to put up on your refrigerator and to share with  friends and family. Cleaning up our lake and the land that surrounds it is important to everyone.

The next event for all to get involved in is a great “FUN” night, a time to enjoy being with friends and neighbors. On May 18, 2019, from Saturday, 5:30 — 8:30 p.m.+  Bella’s Restaurant will be the setting for SDRA’s 6-course dinner with accompanying fine wine tastings led by Kevin Kitson. The entertainment will be the “Black Tie Affair” — the evening event is not to be missed. You can also help by donating items to the Silent Auction. A Poster is attached below..

SDRA’s Annual Meeting is the third Wednesday in June. This is a very important meeting, as there will be a review of the by-laws, a “reflection of the past year,” and election of officers. This is your chance to get involved.

Also, a Board majority has selected the company Solitude to do a lake survey this year in case the need for DEM application for herbicide application arise.

SDRA keeps moving on!

Judy Colaluca

Vice President

Judy Colaluca and I represented SDRA at the annual URI conference for individuals affiliated with watershed associations and land trusts, called the Land and Water Conservation Summit,  on Saturday, May 9, 2019. It was fabulous! I wrote 2 articles about it: “Wildly Fluctuating Forecasts” & Flooding — A Common Theme Of Climate Change” and “Statewide Perspectives: Siting Renewable Energy Projects Takes Collaboration.” I also attended a workshop on rain gardens and was able to brainstorm possible solutions with the presenters about “Rhode Island Stormwater Solutions.” I recommend that more SDRA members plan to attend next March, as the information presented at these workshops helps to inform the decisions we make here on Smith and Sayles Reservoir.

— Carolyn Fortuna

Secretary

As illustrated in the reports above, we are very fortunate to have such dedicated and forward-thinking individuals in key SDRA leadership positions. As I complete my 6th and final year as SDRA secretary, I continue to be impressed and humbled by the efforts of all of those serving on the board.

As we look forward to the 2019 Annual Meeting, we have an opportunity to bring new voices into leadership positions. If there is a change you would like to see, stand for office and work to make that change happen.

I hope to see you at the April 27th Earth Day community clean-up. Last year’s event was productive and fun (with an informal competition to see what brand of beer drinkers seem most likely to toss their cans out the car window).

It is an excellent way to give back to our beautiful lake community by working together to keep her clean and healthy.

– Mary O’Keeffe

Treasurer

Our treasury has been stable this past quarter, with normal operating expenses totaling right around $60 and deposits from dues of $250 and the herbicide reserve fundraiser of $1,250. Thank you to everyone who paid their dues and, if you still need to pay yours, they can be sent to SDRA at PO Box 284, Chepachet, RI 02814.

The birds are chirping. It’s a beautiful season here on the lake watching the trees grow green and the perennials pop though the ground. Soon the lake will be in full bloom. I’m excited to see what this season will bring. Thank you for your support, and don’t forget to come out to our wine dinner on May 18th!

–Marissa Danville

Director’s Update

The SDRA continually works hard at improving our lake and community.  In order to fulfill this commitment, it takes time, money, and volunteers from our Association.

Please consider volunteering at our Community Clean Up day on Saturday, April 27th 9:00am-1:00pm. Each year we pick up hundreds of pounds of litter that surrounds our lake and neighborhoods.

Bella’s Restaurant in Glendale will once again host our Annual Dinner and Wine Tasting on May 18th. It has proven to be an exceptional evening of wine, food, and dance. For additional information, please see the poster below.

Hope to see you there.

–Eric LaRiviere

Committee Updates

By-Laws

SDRA hired an attorney to assist our Association in a number of areas, one of which was to review our current by-laws to help regain our non-profit status and suggest overall  improvements. Mr. D’Olvidio’s involvement was most welcome because our by-laws, to my knowledge, have never had an official, legal review since their inception. At this time, a committee is reviewing the attorney’s work, as well as several ideas that emerged from the Board and by-laws reviewers.  Our goal is to present recommendations for membership consideration and approval at the SDRA annual meeting in June.

– Janice Baker

Bella’s Wine Dinner

Our annual wine dinner is just around the corner. Join us at Bella Restaurant for a 6-course dinner and wine tasting Saturday, May 18th from 5:30 – 8:30!

This event sold out quickly the past 2 years so get your tickets now by contacting Judy (401) 486-8414 or Eric (401) 241-4851.

Vegetarian and gluten-free options available.

If you have something you would like to donate to the silent auction, please contact Marissa Danville at mjdanville@gmail.com or (401) 632-7780. This night is sure to be a blast. I look forward to seeing you all there!

– Marissa Danville and Eric LaRiviere

Annual Earth Day Cleanup

Membership Update

We revised last year’s membership postcard on Vistaprint to reflect the dues increase from $50 to $100 and ordered #50 at a cost of $22 plus postcard postage. Marissa updated the membership list to reflect recent dues paid. Carolyn  addressed and sent them out for mailing. Marissa will keep the remaining blank postcards for future use.

— Marissa Danville and Carolyn Fortuna

Boat Greeter Program

Now that another major lawsuit has successfully demonstrated that Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup causes cancer, it is clear that we must be more mindful about the use of toxic herbicides as an approach to control invasive species in Smith and Sayles reservoir. Specifically, in relation to Navigate 2-4 D, the herbicide used last summer on our lake:

According to several sources, this herbicide has moderate acute toxicity, is a potential groundwater contaminant, possible carcinogen and probable endocrine disruptor/estrogen mimic in certain amphibians and people. 2,4-D has been shown to reduce the rate of survival in ducks and waterfowl, is toxic to some fish and causes mortality in crayfish, many mussel species and certain insects and zooplankton”(Rebecca Nystrom, Professor of Biology (retired), Member of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance Science Advisory Committee, Jamestown Post-Journal, 2017).

In spring of 2012 I responded to a training announcement from Save the Lakes that read “Volunteer lake greeters are the first line of defense in stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species in Rhode Island fresh waters.” Since that time we have talked with hundreds of visitors to our beautiful lake, educating them about the problem of aquatic invasive species and helping them inspect their boats and remove “aquatic hitchhikers.” The SDRA Boat Greeter/Voluntary Inspection Program will be getting the list of 2019 fishing tournaments soon.

I hope you will consider joining us this season in this important, sustainable, education and outreach effort to help control the spread of invasive species in our lake.

– Mary O’Keeffe

Drawdown

Winter 2018-2019 was the year of the un-drawdown. There was simply too much precipitation to lower the water level beyond 47 inches lower than capacity. There were five days when the high temperature was at freezing or below and the lakebed exposed, but the lowest level was a mere 35 inches below capacity. See the included chart. The lake is currently refilling. The drawdown remains part of our lake management strategy and we intent to continue the practice next year.

— Art Searle

Education and Website

If you have not done so, please sign up to receive an email anytime we post a notice on our website through blog posts. Go to this home page and enroll in the right column. It’s really easy! I’ve been posting notices of meetings, for example, which are open to all members. If you are signed up to receive blog posts, you’ll get a copy of these notices as well as other information that is disseminated on behalf of the Association.

— Carolyn Fortuna

Herbicide Fundraising

The Herbicides Committee is pleased to report that a major fundraising drive this year has achieved approximately $5000 in payments and pledges!  These dollars will be added to the funds already earmarked for herbicides application. As you may recall, last year SDRA authorized herbicides application to treat 46 acres of unwanted, disruptive  milfoil. Both research and experience have taught us that follow-up treatments will likely be needed sometime in the future, and that work is not cheap. So, like the Scouts motto – “Be Prepared”  – we will have the funds in place if needed, for more than one additional treatment. Thanks to all who helped make this fundraiser such a success.

Currently this Committee is working with the Board to put in place the necessary paperwork for DEM to enable the application of herbicides this year, if deemed needed by the survey and approved by the Board.

As always, our committee hopes that other strategies underway can abate the milfoil problem sufficiently without the use of herbicides.

— Deb Silva and Cleo Monti

Non-Herbicide Fundraising

Restore America’s Estuaries: In an attempt to locate additional funding for SDRA, I attended the Webinar for “Restore America’s Estuaries: 2019 Southeast Program, Watershed Grants.” This turned out to be a program for very large grants — generally of $100,00- $500,00. Smaller grants would be for bigger scale projects that need additional funding to complete. A special category this year called “peer to peer learning” of a regional importance of around $20,000 to $50,000 would be considered for smaller funding. This program “is not interested in funding small projects,” like a $20,000 stormwater project.

After attending the webinar, I recommended to the board and to our partner, Save the Lakes, that this grant application was not a good fit for us. The grantors were really looking for big organizations/ entities with big projects. It cannot have a localized impact — it must show upstream and downstream impacts.

Rhode Island Foundation: We have some information back from RI Foundation regarding our recent grant application for swale and rain ponds — good news and bad news. I’ll give the bad news first: we did not get the grant.

But here is the good news: the reviewer said the grant as a whole was really good! She said the biggest impediment was that it was ineligible — they do not fund construction, and they considered the swale and rain ponds to be construction. That being said, she said she liked a lot about the grant and organization.

In no particular order, she said that she was impressed with the website and the organization of volunteers. The application was well-written. The Association mission was clearly stated. We had a specific series of lessons we intended to learn and that we would be able to share with other entities/ Associations. She could see the benefit of the rain and swale ponds in this way to the larger state.

With our clear grant mission and intent, it also appeared to her that SDRA has good governance through the executive board. We showed the capacity to do the type of fund-raising that would be necessary for our part of the grant activities. Moreover, our larger relationship with Save the Lakes is excellent in showing how we would “pass the baton to other Associations.”

She also had some advice for future grant writing. Because we are a small organization, it seemed, on first glance, that the benefit of the grant was quite limited. However, if we were to speak about public access, we would be able to talk about more numbers of people who would benefit, such as those that use the state boat ramp. She also said that we should try to be more specific when using consultants and to provide a scope of work — in this case, we might’ve outlined better how one landscape architect would need to do X number of hours as opposed to the landscape engineer, who would need to do Y number of hours.

As a whole, while I was disappointed in not receiving the grant on behalf of SDRA and STL, I did feel as if our research and writing was appropriate to our goals. If anyone comes across another small grant that might fund such rain and swale pond construction, please let me know. We’re not done yet, people! Thanks to each person on the committee who contributed to the grant writing process.

— Carolyn Fortuna

Nomination and Elections

All members, this is the time to think if you would like to be part the Board.

Now is the time to speak up and submit your name to the nominating committee.

Rico Colaluca 603-986-7532

Steve Hanley 401-641-4515

Janice Baker 401-578-2308

Save the Lakes

Save The Lakes is busy planning the Annual Meeting on April 23, 2019 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the Johnston Senior Center 1291 Hartford Avenue, Johnston, RI 02919.  This meeting is open to everyone concerned and interested in preserving, protecting, and improving freshwater here in Rhode Island. This year the focus is on DEM office of Water Resource staff explaining changes in the freshwater wetland regulations, answering questions, addressing our issues, and updating us about their activities. Also , we will learn learn more about the Lake Smart RI Program that is piloted here on Smith and Sayles Reservoir through SDRA. And Resident Initiative will be part of our conversations, too.

Come meet other RI waterfront residents and share solutions and ask questions about waterfront problems.

~Judy Colaluca  President, STL

SDRA Spotlight on Janice Baker

Janice has spent much time on studying, reviewing, writing and rewriting SDRA’s By-Laws.  This needs to be completed for our organization to apply for a 501(c)4 status. Janice held many meetings with her committee and with the SDRA Board.  Her persistence and dedication to excellence is commendable and a positive attribute for our organization.

Thank you, Janice, for all you do!

As SDRA moves forward, it has been and will always be my honor to serve in preserving, protecting, and improving OUR lake.

–Judy Colaluca

Sand Dam Reservoir Association Newsletter

October, 2018

www.sanddamreservoir.com

Officers’ Updates

President

Sunday, September 23 was the first day of Autumn, and summer sure did fly by this year. I am certain all families are as busy as we are here on Wood Road, putting away all the summer fun toys and cleaning up to prepare for the cold weather.

This has been a great summer! Thanks to everyone who has worked hard to keep our lake beautiful. Deb Silva and Cleo Monti worked diligently to organize and develop a Herbicide committee and a 46 acre herbicide treatment; they also have fundraising plans for the future. The Lakesmart RI Pilot Program is underway, thanks to Carolyn Fortuna. This is a program that will benefit lakefront property owners by teaching about ways that property and land can exist in harmony. A special Thank You to Mike Benoit who did a superior job keeping our lake at “perfect” level for all to enjoy. Aaron Colaluca, thanks for your contribution and the videos giving us a view of what is happening under the water- great videos. That is the way SDRA works- everyone doing something, members being respected for what they feel is right and working together for the benefit of our lake.  No one point of view is better than another. We are volunteers who are concerned citizens of our environmental community.

As I think about what SDRA’s goals are for the coming year, working together in a cooperative, respectful manner is always at the top of the list. Nothing will get accomplished without teamwork. As we reflect on our Mission Statement, we need to be sure we are continually striving to set goals  to help us attain our Mission. Some goals I am considering are:

Goal 1:  to reconnect with members of the waterfront community who have not been active lately and increase our membership;
Goal 2:  to determine the plan of attack on the invasive weeds that are presently growing in our lake;
Goal 3:  to further develop and enhance our Lakesmart RI Pilot Program,
Goal 4:  to further develop and enhance our Boat Greeters Program, and

Goal 5: to develop a method for the harvester to be used by landowners.

If you have a question or comment regarding what is happening in, on, under, or around our lake, call any Board member and ask. All questions are worth asking. Check out the SDRA website and learn more what is happening on Smith and Sayles Reservoir. The SDRA Board puts much thought and consideration into all the decisions we make. No topic is thought to be unimportant. Each Board member totally understands that we were elected to represent each member of the Association. We take our elected jobs seriously.

Sincerely,

Judy Colaluca

Vice President

The work of the lake management committee members has been constant throughout the summer and will continue, albeit in a different form, throughout the upcoming winter months. I’ve had the pleasure of joining in on several subcommittee meetings and events this past summer. I can report that we have one of the most active and invested volunteer lake association groups of any in the New England area; we’ve heard this statement frequently when we meet with the folks at RIDEM.

This summer, we’ve met monthly as a board, using the Annual Meeting as a focus for planning. We’ve had numerous boat greeter afternoons and early mornings, educating bass fishers about invasive “hitchhikers” and best practices to keep boats clean. We began our Lakesmart RI Pilot program with 2 property walks — thanks to the Theriaults and Bakers, who opened up their properties. The herbicide and non-herbicide committees have met and continued their sometimes tedious work. Our dam master has met the challenge of not only keeping our lake at a satisfactory level for summer recreation, but he’s communicated frequently with lake owners. And we’ve been so fortunate to have ongoing water testing, which provides longitudinal data for URI.

As with all social organizations, SDRA brings together individuals with different perspectives. That blending of points of view brings a richness and depth to our Association that we would not have if we were all lined up in agreement on every topic. Consensus-building is hard work, granted, but it makes us all better in the long run.

We need more people to join in to our sub-committees, too, so that voices translate into action that benefits our entire lake community. Step up and make good happen on our lake!

Cheers,

Carolyn Fortuna

Treasurer

Our treasury has been stable this past quarter, with normal operating expenses totaling right around $500 and deposits primarily from dues of $2,400. Also, at the end of June, we disbursed $9,500 for the chemical treatment. Thank you to everyone who paid their dues and, if you still need to pay yours, they can be sent to SDRA at PO Box 284, Chepachet, RI 02814.

Fundraising is a significant part of our overall budget; when it comes to caring for our lake, we need your help. We had a successful fundraising event this past April and, as we prepare for the cold weather, let’s start to think about ideas for this year. Did you enjoy Bella’s, and would you like to do it again? Is there a different type of event you would rather attend? Or perhaps we should do more than one event. Our membership is full of enthusiastic, creative people, and I’m very curious to hear your ideas to lead an event that helps to support our Association work. Feel free to send ideas or questions to mjdanville@gmail.com. Let’s make this year our best and most fun year yet!

And please feel free to share our GoFundMe page with family and friends. Its web address is www.gofundme.com/sanddamri.

Thank you!

Marissa Danville

Lake Management Committee: Goals for 2018-2019

The SDRA board decided to design the focus of this newsletter on the goals of each lake management sub-committee for the 2018-2019 year. We have asked each sub- committee chair to write up a 100 word or so comment about her/ his committee’s goals.

Here are those submissions.

Drawdown

Our spillway gate house will begin to start drawing down on Columbus Day Weekend. Please plan on having  all your boats out of the water by then. We plan on draining up to 2” per day, weather permitting.

Herbicide Committee

Hello SDRA Members,

Our goal for the year ahead is to keep the lake as immaculate as possible. We have received many compliments on how great the lake looks right now, and we wish to keep it that way.

The Herbicide team has been working diligently since early spring with the professionals at Solitude Lake Management LLC to spray the lake for milfoil. It’s in our best interest to keep our beautiful lake as pristine as possible. It takes a tremendous amount of work to accomplish this task. With only a few members on our team, we would really love to have more people join us for this huge task.

We also desperately need to have a steady stream of income to be able to spot treat the lake as necessary. We have ideas for fundraising and would appreciate more help. Please consider helping us; any amount of help would be appreciated.

Sincerely,

Deb Silva, Cleo Monti, Elaine Theriault, Janice Baker, and Jason Dionne

Keech Pond Liaison

As of this date, I have not been able to speak to John Holmes concerning what’s going on and their plan on opening up Keech Dam gatehouse. I will continue to call him, but I’m afraid it will not happen before the printing of this quarterly newspaper.

Thank you,

Rico Colaluca

Lake Management Plan

Thanks, Aaron, for providing spectacular video of the lake bottom. You provided solid evidence that we still have a milfoil problem and that we need to be vigilant in applying a variety of mitigation methods. The milfoil you showed was clearly old growth, with thick stems. As an Association, we will have more work to do. It is encouraging to see native bladderworts and common (flat stem?) pond weeds filling in the voids left by dying milfoil.

All the best,

Art Searle

Lakesmart RI Pilot Project

Over the past few months, Sand Dam Reservoir Association has been collaborating with the Maine Lakes Society, learning about their Lakesmart property plan. Our goal has been to initiate a Lakesmart RI Pilot Project based on the program that is in place across Maine.

Fast forward to late summer on Smith & Sayles Reservoir. We conducted 2 property walks. It has been a fabulous experience! The property owners and we evaluators are learning so much from each other! Our shared experiences and understandings of lake-land interfaces, stormwater runoff, fertilizer alternatives, and other approaches to landscaping have been informative and quite interesting.

Here are the 4 areas of focus when we conduct a property walk:

  1. Driveway and parking areas
  2. Structures and septic system
  3. Yard, recreation area, and footpaths
  4. Buffer and water access

We will spend the next 6 months communicating with our liaison at the Maine Lakes Society and developing our program further. We are the first site in Rhode Island to establish a Lakesmart program. Each of the other New England states is also piloting their own Lakesmart program.

Sincerely,

Carolyn Fortuna

Save the Lakes

Save The Lakes continues to work at developing programs that help local lake associations.

Judy Colaluca

Water Testing

Another beautiful summer has passed. In June, July, and August, I collected water samples from the main test site and tributaries. Balcom Brook and Keach Brook were tested; O’Donnell Brook has not been flowing enough to get a sample.

The results from URI indicate our water is very clean. The Phosphorus, Nitrogen, Ammonia, and Chloride levels are all very low, less than half the maximum average allowable. The water clarity is excellent, as I was able to see the bottom at 2.5 meters during every test. Biweekly, I recorded water temperature, rainfall, light, and wind conditions and tested for algae.

Deb Silva, URI Watershed Volunteer

Lake Management Chair

Here’s the footage I took of the lake bottom.  I did find milfoil in the treated areas.

Please take a moment and look at what the bottom of our Lake looks like.

Video URL: https://youtu.be/H4EUO4fYzLY (copy and paste it into your browser)

Aaron Colaluca

 Sand Dam Fall Cleanup Sponsored by SDRA

We’ll be having our annual cleanup of the dam as soon as the foliage drops,  the lake bottom starts to appear, and the drawdown takes hold. At the writing of this newsletter, a date and time has yet to be determined. Keep checking your email for the fall cleanup announcement.

Sand Dam Day, 2018: At the Home of Aaron and Gina Colaluca

What a wonderful day we had to celebrate Sand Dam Day 2018! The rain clouds cleared, and the neighbors joined together from all sections of the lake for food, fun, good conversations, and networking.

Thanks to Aaron and Gina for hosting our annual gathering. It is a long-standing opportunity for members to come together in a friendly, social environment to chat outside of our regular Association business agendas and to share lake stories, observations, and history. Special guests attending this festive event were Mrs. B. and Theresa Precopio. They shared many “fun” memories from the past.

Special Recognition of a Sand Dam Reservoir Sub-Committee Chair

Mary O’Keeffe is the dedicated leader of  the Boat Greeters Program. She does an outstanding job!  Mary contacts the organizer of the fishing tournament to tell him ahead of time that our Boat Greeters team will greet the fishermen at the boat ramp. The fishermen know Mary and appear to not want to disappoint her with dirty boats. The leader of the group often asks Mary before the tournament starts,”How did we do?”

Once there was a fisherman who was late to arrive at the tournament — he said he had to stop at a car wash and wash his boat! He just didn’t want to arrive with a dirty boat.

Fishermen meet at the ramp, hoping they have a clean boat, but about 20% still have some weeds. Just think: additional weeds do not go into our lake because of the Boat Greeter program. How wonderful!  In the nine years Mary has been leading this subcommittee, only one fisherman did not want anyone to look in his boat, but his trailer could be checked. (Hmm, wonder why?) Fishermen always express appreciation to Mary for the fine job she does. They, too, do not want additional weeds in our lake.

GREAT job, Mary! Thank you for all you do to control and manage invasive weeds in Smith and Sayles Reservoir. Mary, your efforts are appreciated!

Carolyn and I have had the privilege of working at the boat ramp with Mary. Please consider joining us next year, as it is an opportunity to meet and greet others who come to enjoy our lake — and this important initiative needs many more volunteers to meet its optimal efficacy. Please contact Mary (mokeeffe@providence.edu or 401-568-2657) to volunteer and/or learn more about the program.

Sincerely,

Judy Colaluca

Non-Herbicide Committee to Meet on Thursday, August 23 — All Grantwriters Welcomed!

A brief meeting of the Sand Dam Reservoir Association Non-Herbicide Committee will take place on Thursday, August 23 at 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the home of committee chair, Carolyn Fortuna, 115 Sand Dam Road. Anyone who has experience writing grants is welcomed to attend.

The goals of the meeting are to review our winter grant writing and make a plan to move forward.

Agenda:

  1. Review idea for a steam cleaning program at the boat ramp that was presented to DEM last month. Lots of brainstorming occurred, and it seems that legislative changes would be needed to require boaters to be inspected.
  2. At the end of March, the team wrote the first draft of a grant to create swale ponds around the lake to catch road runoffs. A landscape architect looked at the grants and provided substantial feedback.
  3. At the end of January, our team wrote a grant to create our our lakesmart program. It would teach homeowners on the lake about ways that landscaping feeds nutrients into the lake and how different landscaping can serve as a barrier. We received an email that said we did not get the grant. What to do now?

Special Sand Dam Reservoir Association Newsletter

Sand Dam Reservoir Association Newsletter

January, 2018

www.sanddamreservoir.com

Dear SDRA Members,

As President of SDRA, I am extremely pleased with the number of responses to the recent SDRA ballot received from dues paying members. There is great concern about our lake, and together we can make a difference. Working together is the key. Our water in our shared lake needs to be respected — and lake neighbors need to respect each landowner’s opinion.  The elected Board is working to accomplish what is best for our lake — we will respect all opinions.

The SDRA Board, as you read below, is looking at a multi-plan approach to milfoil management. Using just the herbicide approach is only a short term and expensive control to curb our chronic problem. The suction harvester, the boat inspection program, hand harvesting, the use of Best Practice procedures to stop the use of fertilizers and composting at the water’s edge, diverting road run off, building buffer zones, and developing a Lake Smart Program are ALL important ways as we build our multi- plan approach.

I compare invasive weeds to developing cancer. To gain control, there is a need for the “bitter medicine” followed by a  multi-planned healthy approach.

Don’t use excuses for working on OUR lake — there is a job for everyone!

Call, email or text with your questions.

Your neighbor,

Judy

Overview of the Late Autumn Ballot Regarding Possible Herbicide Application

In autumn, 2017, the executive board of Sand Dam Reservoir Association, gaining input from the Lake Management Committee, sought to formulate a series of strategies to mitigate the invasive weeds in Smith & Sayles Reservoir. We hired ESS to return to our lake, survey the 184 acres, determine changes that have occurred since our last survey in 2015, and share their recommendations.

You can see that report on the Lake Management page of our Sand Dam Reservoir Association website.

The SDRA Board of Directors then sought guidance from the membership as to whether the Association should look into herbicide application as a way to mitigate invasive milfoil and other invasive species. You received a ballot with the invitation to vote whether SDRA should or should not pursue the possibility of applying herbicide treatments to invasive weeds in Smith & Sayles Reservoir. Paper ballots were due to SDRA’s Post Office Box 284 by midnight on December 31, 2017.

On Wednesday, January 3, 2018, the executive board of SDRA met and opened the ballots. The results are below.

The Ballot Results

Number of Ballots Received Ballots in Favor of Pursuing Herbicide Application Ballots Opposed to Pursuing Herbicide Application
26 21 5

Possible Courses of Action/ Next Steps

The executive board of SDRA has outlined the next series of steps, based on the results of the herbicide application ballot and also continuing the board of directors’ plans for weed mitigation, 2017-2018, which was distributed to the membership in the December, 2017 newsletter. Please note: This list is a starting place. It will be adapted, updated, and modified as we receive feedback from the SDRA members in good standing and from peer-reviewed research about weed mitigation.

Planned Herbicide Application as Weed Mitigation Effort

  • Form an herbicide application fundraising committee that is separate from the board
  • Appoint a fundraising committee chair who informs the board about fundraising progress
  • Survey membership for fundraising ideas and suggestions for involving more members in weed mitigation
  • Update the GoFundMe site to reflect possible herbicide applicationI
  • Get bids from all licensed herbicide applicators in the Chepachet, RI region
  • Review ESS report for the optimum time to apply herbicides and other mitigation recommendations
  • Protect no-herbicide zones as requested by abutting property owners
  • Make a follow-up plan for continued weed mitigation after tentative herbicide treatment
  • Respect  dues-paying members who do not wish to have herbicide treatment adjacent to their property

Planned Non-Herbicide Weed Mitigation Efforts

  • Continue to comply with DEM regulations regarding drawdown
  • Form a non-herbicide application fundraising committee that is separate from the board
  • Appoint a fundraising committee chair who informs the board about fundraising progress
  • Survey membership for fundraising ideas and suggestions for involving more members in weed mitigation
  • Plan for funds to support the suction harvester use
  • Expand boat greeter program so more boaters who launch from the ramp are educated about spreading invasive weeds
  • Write an early spring letter that emphasises low nutrient, low runoff yard maintenance to inhibit milfoil growth.
  • Pursue a lake-based buffer program in conjunction with DEM
  • Plan hand harvesting community events
  • Research costs of hiring RI-based professional divers
  • Respect dues-paying members who do wish to have herbicide treatment adjacent to their property

SDRA Dinner and Wine Tasting at Bella’s is a Huge Success

On Saturday, April 8, 160 friends of Sand Dam Reservoir Association (SDRA) gathered at Bella’s Restaurant in Pascoag, Rhode Island to share a meal, sample a selection of fine wines, and dance the night away. What a fun night it was! And it was the most profitable fundraiser that we at SDRA have ever held. Thanks so much to everyone who contributed to this fabulous event.

The well-lit room was filled with round tables at which 10 or 11 guests were seated. As the board planned the event over the past few months, we never hoped we would get such a turnout! Sarah, the banquet coordinator at Bella’s, was so helpful as our guest list expanded. We appreciate everything she and the large Bella’s staff did that evening to make us feel so welcomed.

SDRA President Judy Colaluca welcomed the large crowd and expressed her gratitude to all present for their contributions toward our suction harvester.

The six course Wine Dinner menu as selected by Bella chefs began with bruschetta and was followed by a garden salad. Next was a delicious penne with a pink vodka sauce. Then two entree dishes came: first, chicken Marsala; second, filet of sole piccata. The dessert was a decadent finish of tiramisu.

While the dinner was fabulous, the wine selection was even better! Wines were paired and selected by Kevin Kitson of Christy’s Liquors. We began with a La Lucca sparkling rose (appetizer course) and moved to Hangtime chardonnay (salad course). Next came a Meiomi pinot noir (pasta course), followed by a Federalist bourbon barrel aged zinfandel (poultry course). A Santa Margherita pinto grigio (fish course) and Rumchata (dessert course) concluded the wine presentations.

Christy’s Liquors has kindly extended the offer of cases of wines that we enjoyed at the SDRA fundraiser into next week. Wines can be ordered at 401.568.1111; be sure to mention the Sand Dam Reservoir Association fundraiser. Prices per bottle range from $8.99 to $20.99; case prices are available.

We can’t thank Kevin enough for his helpful hints as we planned the fundraiser as well as his extensive generosity in donating his time and spirits so that SDRA could have a successful event. Thanks, Kevin. Your new building being erected in Chepachet will be a welcome addition to the town center.

The Silent Auction has become a staple element in our SDRA fundraising, thanks to the artistic design of SDRA board member, Marissa Danville. Some of the donations for the Silent Auction included two handcrafted coat racks, a clean living basket, a movie night basket, a Twirl Blowout gift certificate, a Mindful Bodyworks Massage gift certificate, a maple syrup basket, a bird lovers tote, a Happy Easter basket, a boat fire extinguisher, Frederickson Farm gift certificates, a bird house, a Victorian Mother’s Day basket, a Taste of Northern RI basket, a Milwaukee drill, a terrarium, a Paul Mitchell basket, an under cabinet lighting kit, a memory basket, a Mapleville Farm assortment, bunnies, a NH maple delight basket… and more!

Music was provided by  Black Tie Affair, whose band composition included some Searle family members. Guests crowded the dance floor once the dinner service was complete and danced until late in the evening. We extend many thanks to the Searle family, who donated the musical entertainment on behalf of SDRA.

A 50/50 raffle got lots of interest and was expertly run by Aaron Colaluca. Aaron’s customer service background certainly was shining at the event!

Special thanks to Eric Lariviere for all his hard work organizing this outstanding event and to the Colaluca, Sirois, Searle, and Danville families for encouraging so many of their family members to join in the fun.

May Wine Tasting Event to Benefit SDRA: Another Fundraising Success

On May 20, 2016, Sand Dam Reservoir Association held its second wine tasting fundraiser, this time at the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery in Chepachet. More than 60 people attended the event to support the Association, sample the excellent wines on offer, and enjoy the camaraderie.

There was much more than just wine tasting on this evening!  Four huge tables of appetizers dotted the room. The fare included a hot buffalo cream cheese appetizer, a selection of homemade calzones, fresh mozzarella and tomato skewers, a selection of cheeses, refrigerator lemon squares, brownies, and a nachos/ dip/chips station, among many, many other items.  The entire food selection was donated by very generous SDRA members and guests.

The 50/50 raffle drew a lot of interest, as did a new activity, a Silent Auction. Organized by SDRA Board Member Marissa Danville, the items up for bid included, among others, a collection of beach toys, books for summer reading, accessories for the fisherman in the family, a boat fire extinguisher, a crocheted blanket, a terrarium, and two baskets of wine. Local merchants such as Inland Marine, Kitson’s Liquors, Fredrickson Farms, Smithfield Plumbing, and the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery contributed items to the Silent Auction. Items that drew particular interest were a coat rack, recycled and handcrafted by SDRA Board Member, Eric Lariviere, and a garden implement basket, assembled by SDRA Board Member, Art Searle.

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The Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery is reminiscent of coffee houses of days gone by, with its multiple level seating, sofas, tall tables, and cedar post-and-beam decor. Local musician John Rodgers added to the wonderful atmosphere as he played the guitar and piano and entertained the audience with his melodic voice. We thank the Purple Cat’s owner, Dan, for sponsoring John at the SDRA event.

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The wine tasting evening allowed friends of Sand Dam Reservoir Association to relax and socialize for a few hours. Conversations in the tasting room wine bar and in the quiet nooks made the Purple Cat Vineyard and Winery a delightful gathering place for the Association’s members and guests and a great way to welcome the high season in New England.

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Thank you to all who participated and contributed to a very successful evening. A special shout-out goes to Ashley Hawkes, who has offered significant public relations help to us for both our wine tasting fundraisers this year.  The Colaluca extended family contributed from the beginning to the end of the event with advanced planning, ticket sales, room set up, yummy food, and cleaning tasks. And we designate SDRA member Brian Sirois for the “Most Tickets Sold Award”—- thanks, Brian, for spreading the word and being such an integral part of our Association!

It is the caring and dedication by all our members and our network of concerned citizens that helps us implement our comprehensive Lake Management Plan for Smith and Sayles Reservoir. We continue to address nuisance weed growth at the lake, and fundraisers like this help our Lake Management Committee to guide the SDRA Board in efforts to improve water quality. Our major goal, to provide sensible and long-term solutions for improving water conditions at the lake, benefits everyone who enjoys the recreational opportunities available on Smith & Sayles while also protecting and improving fish and wildlife habitats.  We came one step closer to our goal on this May evening, thanks to our active membership.

Mulberry Vineyards Wine Tasting on September 25

Mulberrry Vineyards Flyer SDRA

 

Help support Sand Dam Reservoir Association’s endeavors to reduce invasive weeds on our lake.  It will be a fun evening of good appetizers, conversation, and — of course! — wine.  Come along and share in the fun, just as the foliage begins to turn. Check out Mulberry Vineyards at their website here.

Reserve your place by contacting c4tuna31@gmail.com or ashleyhopkins8@live.com

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Annual Meeting 2014 Minutes

SAND DAM RESERVOIR ASSOCIATION

ANNUAL MEETING

JUNE 27, 2014

Meeting minutes

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. at the Glocester Senior Center by Ray Theriault, SDRA President.  There were 27 people in attendance; a quorum was present.

I. OPENING REMARKS – Ray Theriault, President

·         President began with opening remarks, welcoming those in attendance, apologizing for the late start (the building was locked upon arrival), and thanking members for their patience.

·         President expressed appreciation and thanks to the Board members, the Committee heads and the general membership for their participation and support over the past year. SDRA is one of the most successful lake organizations due to the work and support provided by all the members.

·         All those in attendance were asked to introduce themselves.

·         A special welcome was extended to new homeowners Dennis and Marissa Danville who have purchased the house formerly owned by Ernie and Brenda LaFazia.

·         President expressed his deep gratitude to Ernie LaFazia for his valuable contributions to the SDRA.  Rico Colaluca read  a greeting and fond farewell provided by Ernie LaFazia (who is no longer a resident of Glocester)

·         President mentioned that it has been a busy year for SDRA

·         President stated that SDRA board will increase efforts towards transparency in an effort to keep all members apprised of important developments.

II. SECRETARY’S REPORT – Mary O’Keeffe, Secretary

·         Secretary provided a summary of the meetings that have taken place since the last annual meeting (held June 26th, 2013).

o   Planning board meeting Wed, Sept 26th 2013

o   Lake Management Committee meeting Wed, Nov 20th  2013

o   Board meeting Thur, March 6th 2014

o   Board members met with DEM re: Dam Violations on March 22nd

o   Trash pick-up May 3rd  (DEM volunteer time and activity reports were distributed to participants with a request to return completed reports to the SDRA secretary)

o   Monti Milfoil Mat project – several attempts

o   Board meeting Wed, May 21st 2014

·         Secretary noted that meeting minutes have been posted to the SDRA website.

v  A motion to approve the secretary’s report was made and seconded.  All present voted in favor of the motion.

III. TREASURER’S REPORT – Toni Hayes

·         Treasurer provided a summary of expenses and income.

A motion to approve the treasurer’s report was made and seconded.  All present voted in favor of the motion.

IV. OLD BUSINESS

Ø  Lake Management Plan – Ray Theriault

o   Drawdown – Judy Colaluca  – Judy thanked her committee members for their efforts. Special thanks to Art Searle for drawdown committee report. Drawdown team was introduced. Art Searle explained the purpose of the drawdown to manage the milfoil. The drawdown report will be posted to website.

o   Chemicals – Ray Theriault – Ray reviewed the SDRA history with chemicals and SDRA members varied opinions about the use of chemicals.

§  Ray described non-chemical efforts to control milfoil such as the Monti milfoil mat project. These non-chemical methods can be cost effective if we do it ourselves.

§  We’ve got some milfoil spots that Art Searle identified and circulated to SDRA Board members.

§  Ray mentioned weed-pulling effort – July 13th and July 20th for weed-pulling party. July 13th noon start time – details to follow.

§  Bob Bedard mentioned cardboard on ice to mark weeds in winter and when ice melts it smothers weedbed.

§  Sam Hawkes mentioned a friend on Angel Rd. who is a diver and may be interested in helping out.

o   Dam Spillway – Dave Morin

§  Drawdown to about 57 inches through December until Keech Pond released water. With this we were at about 46 inches through March. Lake filled up in about 1 ½ weeks.  26 times Dave had to modify gate. Currently at maximum level.  Thanks to Bertha Bedard for calling Dave when the water level gets high and starts spilling over from Keech.

o   Boat Ramp Inspections – Mary O’Keeffe

§  We’ve been at the boat launch for 3 tournaments so far, with a 4th scheduled for tomorrow. Five volunteers so far – Inspected about 40 boats.

§  Ron Baker is also performing courtesy inspections on an ad-hoc basis.

§  Remaining summer tournaments – 4 in July, 2 in August, 4 in September. Welcome volunteers, provide on-the-job training. Tournament dates are listed on the SDRA Website.

Ø  Education – Carolyn Fortuna

§  Carolyn gave a brief history of the background of the education committee.

§  Carolyn showed members artifacts that have been submitted to illustrate some significant historical events related to the lake.

Ø  DEM Dam Violation – Ray Theriault

§  Ray provided overview of Dam Violation and efforts to address the violation.

§  Town worked with SDRA Board to help remediate problems identified in violation report.

§  Bob Fairbanks was engineer retained to help SDRA address the problem. Cost for engineering services and subsequent report was $1125.00.  He wrote a report and DEM accepted it, thus the lien on the Dam was lifted. Ray mentioned that members worked together to ensure that proper attention was paid to the violation. Efforts now should be to move from reactive to proactive stage to prevent future violations.

Ø  Monti Milfoil Mat Project – Ray Theriault

§  First attempt was not successful, but learned from it.

§  Second attempt was successful – it appears to need a little adjustment. Ray’s son Kyle will work to adjust it this coming weekend. Cost was $103.23.

Ø  O’Donnell Property – Judy Colaluca

§  Property has been sold to Mark Bard, Stoneybrook farm LLC. Plans to sell the home on 102 and a separate parcel and then put in a road and build a summer home.

§  Glocester Land Trust will not be purchasing the land as had been previously reported to the Board.

Ø  Keech Pond – Sharon and Ernie Heon

§  John Holmes reports a problem with milfoil on Keech Pond. Keech was not able to do enough of a drawdown to freeze the milfoil this past winter.

§  Elaine mentioned that DEM and/or Army Corps of Engineers may need to be involved in milfoil control efforts by Keech Pond Association.

§  SDRA would like to be considered a partner in Keech Pond Association’s efforts, since these efforts have implications for our lake management plan.

§  Some discussion of the need to develop a clear plan for coordinating and partnering with Keech Pond Association.

§  Ernie suggested doing our own survey of Keech before approaching the Keech Pond association.

Ø  Hydroelectric – Rico Colaluca

§   $7-12,000/year savings to town/transfer station energy bills if project could get off the ground, but engineering appears to be too expensive/complicated.

§   Rico confirmed that the Town Council is aware that SDRA has not approved anything related to hydro on SDR to date.

Ø  Fund Raising – Ray Theriault

§  Ray asked for volunteers to direct fundraising

§  Rico mentioned that Keech Pond Association has over $200,000 in their treasury, and noted the different organizational structure (deeded land owners are required to pay membership in Keech Pond Association)

Ø  Water Testing – Deb Silva

§  Deb described her procedure. Three times a year she takes water and chlorophyll samples from the 3 main tributaries (O’Donnell, Keech, and Balcom brooks). Weekly measures include recording temperature, and secchi dish measure of water clarity

§  She estimates spending about 1 hour per week on water quality monitoring.

§   Cost of Water Quality Monitoring has been paid by an anonymous donor.  The base monitoring (which has been paid by the donor) includes testing 2 tributaries. In the past SDRA has approved payment of $100 extra to allow testing of the 3rd main tributary.

§  Elaine mentioned that this expense should be a line item on SDRA Financial reports. Though SDR does not pay this bill, it is still part of the cost for maintaining the Lake and the Lake Management Plan.

v  A motion to approve allocation of $100 to pay Watershed Watch for testing the 3rd tributary was made and seconded.  All present voted in favor of the motion.

Ø  Website – Carolyn Fortuna

§  Carolyn described the website and asked if members would like to pay $18/year (or less if it can be obtained for a several year agreement) to obtain a user-friendly url.

§  Rico Colaluca agreed to ask Bill D’Agostino to remove the SDRA Facebook page.

§  SDRA members expressed gratitude to Carolyn Fortuna and Steve Hanley for their efforts in creating an excellent SDRA web presence.

v  A motion to approve allocation of $18/year (or a higher initial payment for a lower overall-cost multi-year agreement) to pay for a user-friendly url website address was made and seconded.  All present voted in favor of the motion.

Ø  Sunshine – Carolyn Fortuna

§  Carolyn asked people to let her know about events/people to be celebrated or remembered.

Ø  Save the lakes – Judy Colaluca

§  Judy had to leave the meeting early to attend to an important family matter. Ray Theriault reviewed the STL goose management education program.

Ø  Sand Dam Day – Ray Theriault

§  Cathy and Steve Hopkins and Roberta Paine will host this year. Saturday -August 16th, 9:00 am-11:00 – 80 Evelyn Way (off Keech Dam Road)

§  Bring breakfast dish or brunch item.

§  RSVP 949-1727 or hopkinsgrn@verizon.net

V. NEW BUSINESS

Ø  Nominations and Elections – Rico Colaluca

·         Rico and Steve Hanley volunteered to serve on nominating committee for next year.

A motioned was made and seconded to appoint Rico Colaluca and Steve Hanley to next years’ nominating committee. All present voted in favor of the motion.

A motion was made that a single ballot be cast for the SDRA Board: Art Searle, Director (3 year appointment), Bob Bedard, Director (2 years remaining on 3 year appointment [replacement for Ernie LaFazia]), Dave Morin, Director (2 years remaining on 3 year appointment), Ray Theriault, President (1 year appointment), Judy Colaluca, Vice President (1 year appointment), Carolyn Fortuna, Treasurer (1 year appointment), Mary O’Keeffe, Secretary (1 year appointment). The motion was seconded and all present voted in favor of the motion

VI. MEETING ADJOURNED AT 9:05PM

Meeting Minutes 25 September 2013

 

Sand Dam Reservoir Association

September 25, 2013

Glocester Senior Center, 7:00

Planning meeting (board, committee heads, and SDRA members invited to attend)

 SDRA members present: Ron Baker, Janice Baker, Bert Bedard, Bob Bedard, Judy Colaluca, Rico Colaluca, Carolyn Fortuna, Ernie Heon, Ernie LaFazia, David Morin, Mary O’Keeffe, Art Searle, Elaine Theriault, and Ray Theriault

President Ray Theriault began with comments relative to the purpose of tonight’s meeting.

  • Promotion of different ideas
  • Concerns of SDRA members

Ray suggested that we follow the agenda from the 6/26/13 meeting

I. Lake management plan

  • Ray identified key elements of  lake management plan
    • Have lake analyzed every year by professionals
      • Analysis of weeds, analysis of funds

Mary O’Keeffe mentioned potential conflict of interest in having Aquatic Control Technologies (ACT) perform the analysis since ACT performs the chemical treatments

      • Ray mentioned that decision about analysis needs to take limited SDRA budget into account.
      • Ray asked: We know our lake – do we need to pay someone to perform the analysis?
      • Ernie LaFazia mentioned ESS for analysis.  Ray responded that ESS is a very expensive option.
      • Art Searle asked what the $400 SDRA paid to ACT got us – Ray replied the weed analysis.  Art said that DEM requires an annual report to support our lake management plan. Ray asked if we are the only lake that DEM requires to do analysis for the drawdown. Art confirmed that DEM requires analysis for drawdown, and Ray argued that this is not fair if other lakes don’t need the analysis.  Art said that DEM permitting requires a report – it was due last June.
      • Judy Colaluca noted that DEM doesn’t currently have person doing permitting.
      • Discussion of whether or not ACT provided written or verbal report of analysis that our lake didn’t need treatment this year
      • Ernie LaFazia and Ray noted that we are having problems with ACT. They did not provide reports as promised. They didn’t return phone calls. Extreme measures had to be taken to get report and to get refund of $ given at beginning of summer.
      • Question was raised about whether or not other lakes are having problems with ACT.  Can we identify other options for analysis. Judy said she could get this information.
      • Ray said that he would provide a letter to Art documenting the ACT analysis for 2013 so that we’d have what we need for DEM to perform our drawdown.
      • Ernie LaFazia was told by ACT that analysis would be provided within a week. He emailed ACT 11-12 times, called multiple times, and ACT never provided the analysis.
      • Janice Baker asked about option for assessments less than annually.
      • Ernie LaFazia noted that our drawdown is to 54 inches now, which is why we need the analysis for DEM
      • Art Searle noted that we are in the 1st year of a 5 year requirement for analysis.  Ray noted that some lakes (e.g., Keech) don’t need/get DEM permitting for drawdown.
      • Judy noted that depth is compromised given that weeds are serving as compost and people are bringing in sand – this has implications for lake quality.
      • Ernie LaFazia said that based on his secchi disk water quality monitoring, lake clarity has never been better – others present noted that the lake seems to be less pristine that previous years.
      • Elaine Theriault suggested appealing the DEM requirement for annual testing.
      • Art Searle noted that lake clarity is affected by inflow from Keech, and that the south end is cloudier as a result from the inflow.
      • Janice Baker asked the Lake Management Plan committee to come together to do groundwork so that we are prepared to have a meaningful discussion come spring.
    • Drawdown/Dam/Spillway report:

Dave Morin said that drawdown will begin on Saturday, Oct 12th

      • Mary will send an email around to inform residents that drawdown will begin on Oct 12th . Residents will be asked to make sure that boats are out in advance and inform neighbors of the drawdown.
      • Two inches per day is the recommendation.  Thus it will be about 27 days for 54 inch drawdown.
    • Chemical/Water Testing report:

 Ernie LaFazia noted that no chemical treatments were performed this year.

      • ACT was supposed to do a second analysis this year, but this has not yet been completed
      • Ernie says lake is cleanest he’s seen it since 1993.
      • Ray asked if we could save money if we took samples to a testing laboratory directly rather than going through the URI Watershed Watch.  The general consensus was that it would be more costly for SDRA to do the testing.
      • We are billed $400 per year for water testing by URI watershed watch. An anonymous resident paid the $400 bill last year.
      • Elaine recommends that this $400 gift be noted in the treasurer’s report so that if the URI watershed Watch bill is not paid anonymously in future years SDRA is aware and responsible. Ernie LaFazia will follow-up to make sure that the bill is sent to SDRA.
      • Thanks to Ernie LaFazia we have received a grant from the state to help defer costs of water testing.
      • Ernie is looking for a volunteer so that he can step down as the primary SDRA water monitor.  He’d like to retire from this duty. Deb and Miles Silva help, but he could use more support.
    • Boat ramp inspections:
      • The boat greeter program has gone well this year. Mary estimated that we were able to perform inspections for more than half of all fishing tournaments during the summer 2013 season.
      • At last tournament on 9/19/13 representatives from Governor Chafee, Senator Whitehouse, and Representative Langevin’s office visited to observe the program “in action” – at the invitation of Judy Colaluca in her role as STL president.
      • Mary has spoken with Mr. Moscarelli, science teacher at Ponaganset, and will work to coordinate a school visit to encourage high-school students to volunteer at the boat ramp.
      • Dave Morin mentioned the boyscouts, and Judy confirmed that she had contacted local boyscout leaders to encourage participation in the voluntary boat launch inspection program.
      • Carolyn Fortuna mentioned that, while visiting friends in Maine, she learned about a lake that got a small grant to pay high-school  students to work the boat launch.  She suggested we pursue that for our lake.
      • Bob Bedard suggested that RI fisherman might be willing to help with this. Judy confirmed that STL can coordinate with local fishing organizations.
      • Carolyn mentioned that funding may be available through environmental education and sustainability sources. We may be able to can dovetail this with AP Environmental Science instructor (Moscarelli) at Ponaganset High School.
    • Education/Website
      • Carolyn Fortuna reported that the last few years have been devoted to establishing our web presence.
      • 2012 focus was on documenting the wildlife on the lake. Carolyn mentioned website documentation of the return of wildlife coinciding with the water level increasing in the spring.
      • Carolyn noted that many people view the SDRA education website, not just local residents.
      • Ray asked about ease of access. SDRA members would like to be able to Google ‘Sand Dam Reservoir Association’ in order to get to the website. Establishing a user-friendly domain name is a desirable next step.
      • Carolyn mentioned the wordpress mechanism.  Ray said that an easy access site is a priority. There was discussion of what the domain name should be, and consensus was that it should include Sand Dam Reservoir Association. Rico said that a domain name shouldn’t cost more than $10-20 per year. Carolyn agreed to investigate the cost of getting a domain name.
      • Carolyn distributed an overview of items represented on a website and asked members to consider what pages we should have to get started.
      • Art said that Carolyn can apply a domain name for a Google site – he said that he would show Carolyn how to apply for a domain name off an existing Google site –    Carolyn was under the impression that couldn’t be done.  Art said that he had done it and would show her how.
      • Carolyn emphasized that the executive board would need to provide content for the website so that her voice is not the only presence on the website.
    • Keech Pond report
      • Ernie Heon reported that Keech Pond plans to dump water on October 14th.
      • Dave Morin provided Keech opening and closing dates from last year and discussed the impact on water levels of our lake. He noted that Keech Association President John Holmes is a model of effective communication.
    • Hydroelectric report
      • Rico and Judy Colaluca have been attending all hydroelectric planning meetings. SDRA has not committed to anything.  Ray confirmed that SDRA needs to approve any hydroelectric plan for Smith and Sayles. A number of sites are being evaluated for the hydroelectric station.
    • Fundraising:
      • Ray reported that we’ve got about $16,000 in budget.  Last year we made $2,500 from Don White fundraiser.  Assembly theater is good venue (343 seating capacity). Ray would like to bring in Erika Van Pelt ( local singer who was on American Idol). Bert Bedard has a family/friend  who has a relationship with Van Pelt and said she’d give Ray contact info.
      • Ray wants to raise the bar and bring in a more high profile performer to potentially raise more money.
    • Sunshine:
      • Ernie LaFazia invited those present to inform him of members of the SDRA community who would benefit from a sunshine intervention.
    • Save the Lakes:
      • Judy Colaluca continues her important efforts on behalf of freshwater resources in the state. As mentioned earlier, she invited VIPs from the Governor, Senator Whitehouse, and Representative Langevin’s office to observe the boat launch inspection program.  She continues to pursue various avenues to increase awareness and support for the protection of freshwater resources.

 

    • Sand Dam Day:
      • Ray noted that the request for volunteers to host Sand Dam Day should go out prior to the annual meeting.
      • Mary agreed to send out a request for volunteers, as well as a request for nominees for board positions, well in advance of the annual meeting.
    • New Business:
      • Ray noted that there are many rumors circulating about the fate of the O’Donnell property. These include a 50+ unit, over 55y/o condo community, or alternatively a plan for 3 residences. Ernie LaFazia said that he had contacts at Lusi construction and would try to get reliable information regarding plans for the property.  Ray said that we should be concerned that nobody is looking into protecting the interests of the SDRA when planning to develop the property.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.