Lake Zoar Authority
P.O. Box 931
Southbury, CT 06488
The regular meeting of the Lake Zoar Authority was held on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 at 7:00 pm at the Southbury Town Hall, 501 Main Street, Southbury, CT 06488.
Gary Fillion, Chairman
Bill May, Treasurer
Lesley Pires, Secretary
Bill May, Treasurer, called the meeting to order at 7:15pm.
A motion to accept the minutes as read from the August 2, 2021 minutes was made by Dick Speer, seconded by Bill May; the motion was passed unanimously.
Correspondence and News Clippings:
Bill May, Treasurer, presented account balances, with total funds equaling $178,245.20. Bill reported that the new CIRMA insurance agents recognized that the LZA loss and liability for the last 5 years was $0, and are currently preparing a final offer. The new policy will start October 1, 2021. A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report was made by Barbara McWilliams, seconded by Dick Speer; the motion was passed unanimously.
Marine Patrol Report:
Dan Semosky, Marine Patrol Coordinator, reported that during the month of August, there were 52 enforcement actions, including 3 no wake zone violations at the I-84 bridge construction zone, several for lack of PFD’s, some for lack of a safe boating certificate, and some for no lights. There was a domestic violence call on 8/29 and patrol responded to the area but could not locate the couple. There was one sunken boat request in August and marine patrol towed the boat to lakeside marina. After heavy storms on September 1, garbage from the Housatonic river floated into Lake Zoar, including logs and garbage cans. The water was very murky and there were areas with rapid currents. A sailboat that capsized on September 2 near the Stevenson Damn was rescued by the Monroe and Oxford police. On September 2, an advisory notice was issued by the LZA regarding dangers due to the strong currents. Over the following days, marine patrol officers were able to remove some debris, and high currents at the Shepaug damn helped to flush garbage out. However, after the Stevenson damn flood gates were closed, the water backed up over the weekend of September 4. The patrol officers again worked to remove logs and parts of docks with nails. On September 4, a second advisory notice for boaters was issued, due to the current and garbage floating just under the surface. The I-84 construction zone was an area with high currents, and the “no wake zone” floats blew down to the Stevenson damn. They were manually retrieved and returned. However, the floats now say “channel closed,” due to more intensive operations while a steel beam is erected across the channel. One patrol boat is now docked in Newtown, so that there is one boat north and one south of the construction site at all times. The channel will be closed from Tuesday, September 7, through Friday, September 10. It will be open for the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, September 11 and 12. It will then be closed again Monday, September 13, through Friday, September 17.
During the first week of September, marine patrol responded to a report that there was a jumper off the Stevenson damn on Sunday, September 5. The claim was unfounded, as officers reviewed camera footage from FirstLight at Rocky River, there were no reported missing people, and no one was found in Lake Housatonic. On Monday, September 6, LZA Oxford police ticketed a fisherman who was fishing right below the spillways of the Shepaug damn. There was a sunken boat request that day as well, and marine patrol towed the boat to lakeside marina.
The scheduled patrols have ended for the 2021 season. The patrols are within budget, so there will be remaining patrols as needed, while weather and budget still permit.
Publicity/ Public Awareness:
The LZA website has a technical glitch and was not able to be updated succinctly. The programmer is working on repairs still. The treasurer will make contact regarding payment. The LZA Facebook page was the primary source for timely announcements in August.
Water Quality / Grants Report:
Chairman Gary Fillion reported that Eichler’s Cove cyanobacteria microcystin toxin levels were over the EPA and CT DPH limits of 8ppm on August 11 (8.746ppm) and 25 (10.844ppm)... The public health departments are responsible for closing public beaches. The levels returned to normal by August 25 (5.984) and were much lower on August 31 (0.392). There was one annual weed treatment performed this season, and depending on the results of the follow up survey, the second may be skipped. There is no date yet for the annual draw down that occurs between October and December. When the CT DEEP/FIRMA directs FirstLight on the matter, it will be announced. The water temperature in Lake Zoar is now 68-69 degrees Fahrenheit.
Boats and Motors Report:
Dick Speer reported that the second boat needs cockpit flood lights replaced, and it will be upgraded to LED’s. Some existing lights also need to be adjusted to proper voltage. New graphics are planned for the patrol boats to read “Lake Zoar Authority 1” or “2”, and will be applied shortly.
Barbara McWilliams of Southbury was appointed by the Southbury Republican Party as the newest commissioner on the LZA, with a term ending in January 2022.
Gary Fillion nominated Jerry Kozera for Vice Chairman; seconded by Bill May, elected unanimously.
A motion to adjourn was made by Dick Speer, seconded by Bill May, the motion was passed unanimously. Bill May adjourned the meeting at 7:54.
Lesley Pires, Secretary
The minutes are not considered official until approved at the next regular meeting of the Lake Zoar Authority to be held on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 7:00 pm at the Monroe Town Hall.