Lake Zoar Authority
P.O. Box 931
Southbury, CT 06488
Monroe-Newtown-Oxford-Southbury The regular meeting of the Lake Zoar Authority was held on Tuesday November 8, 2022 at 7:00 pm at the Newtown
Gary Fillion, Chairman
Bill May, Treasurer
Jerry Kozera, Vice Chairman
Chairman Gary Fillion called the meeting to order at 7:04 pm.
A motion to accept the minutes with from the September 06, 2022 minutes, was made by Mark Saksa, seconded by Barbara McWilliams; the motion was passed unanimously. The October 4, 2022 meeting was cancelled, as there was no quorum.
In attendance were 2 residents from Southbury, 4 from Newtown, 1 from Derby, 1 from Oxford, and 1 from. Shady Rest. A Newtown resident reported that last month he cited an intruder on his dock looking at his jet ski which happened to be chained. He also reported that last week he cited another jet ski driving by his dock with a flashlight shown onto his jet ski.
Correspondence and News Clippings:
Bill May, Treasurer, presented account balances, with cash on hand equaling $115,076.53. There are remaining invoices to be paid. An issue was raised regarding storage fees for the boat trailers over the summer. Alternative storage will be considered. Bill completed a comparison of the 2021 and 2022 financial report, and did not find any significant changes. A motion to accept the treasurer’s report was made by Barbara McWilliams, seconded by Frank Cavallo; the motion was passed unanimously.
Marine Patrol Report:
Marine Patrol Coordinator Dan Semosky reported that during the month of September there were 53 warnings, 2 infractions, and 5 boats towed. A majority of the warnings were for boaters not wearing PFDs and for lack of whistles on board. Whistles were handed out to those who needed them. There were 14 patrols, with Newtown performing 5, Monroe 7, Oxford 2, and Southbury 0. In mid-September there was a call to police to reporting a swimmer was struggling in the wide stretch of the lake from Oxford to Zoar beach. NUSAR and CT State Police were dispatched. The report was unfounded. Dan personally went out and swept the waterway, and there was no one in distress. Dan also reported he was able to collect a donation of 4 new life jackets from a Newtown resident.
For the month of October, there were 10 warnings, most for boaters not wearing PFD’s, since as of October 1st, boaters must wear a PFD when on a personal watercraft. There were two marine boat patrols where drivers removed much debris and towed it down to the Stevenson dam. They also tagged and tied much debris that is still waiting to be picked up by FirstLight. On October 20th, Marine Patrol performed the annual drawdown safety inspection. It was found that some trees that were previously tagged for removal were trimmed down but not removed, and some markings were removed from uncollected debris. The last patrol was completed on October 30th. The boats have been removed from the dock and shrink-wrapped for the winter. The total number of 2022 season patrols performed by town are 32 by Newtown, 33 by Monroe, 13 by Oxford, and 0 by Southbury, which includes multiple shifts every weekend form Memorial Day until Halloween.
A complaint was received in September regarding competing use of the waterway between two main jet ski courses on the lake. Both courses tow water skiers. Marine Patrol received the complaint and will make an effort to monitor the waterway during peak hours of course operation this coming season.
Several officers from Newtown attended in special recognition of Newtown Officer Felicia Figol, who worked 31 of 32 Newtown patrols this season. Felicia issued 102 written and verbal warnings, and 17 infractions – the most issued in a season since at least 2008. She promoted compliance with life jacket and jet ski safety, investigated a jet ski theft, and worked two safety spot checks at the Southbury boat launch. She greatly enhanced boating safety and education on Lake Zoar. She was honored by the LZA with an award for outstanding performance. Felicia’s comittment has set a precedent for water and boating safety expectations on Lake Zoar, and enforcement participation from member towns.
Publicity/ Public Awareness:
Water Quality / Grants Report:
Gary Fillion, Chairman, reported that the second weed treatment performed in mid-September was successful and cleared out the targeted weeds. Many trees and debris were cited during the drawdown, demonstrating a need for more aggressive debris removal. Gary will work with FirstLight on this issue as it is their responsibility to keep the channel clear. He will extend invitation for a representative to attend the December meeting. The LZA will begin keeping an online public record of all debris hazards starting next season. Due to the extensive debris removal by Marine Patrol, there is a continued need for a patrol boat with proper towing capabilities, designed for the safety of operators. A quote was received from a second weed treatment company that will reduce the cost of annual treatments. A representative will be invited to present at the December meeting. The I-84 bridge construction is still ongoing, as new decking is being applied, and construction is expected to continue for at least 8 more months.
Boats and Motors Report:
Dick Speer reported that the trim motor on the #2 boat burned out. He received a replacement quote of $400 for an aftermarket part, and $600 for a new part. An aftermarket part was ordered and installed. The #1 boat is sluggish with the tilt. It will be inspected quoted for service. Dick expressed there is current need for replacement boats that are steady and do not create wakes. Dick is coordinating a meeting to tour boats that are more effective for patrol purposes.
Barbara McWilliams reported she conferenced with FirstLight regarding grant opportunities to support the LZA in purchasing a new patrol boat. Barbara will continue working on the grant efforts during the off season. A boat purchasing committee was formed, consisting of Barbara as head of the committee, with support from commissioners Dick Speer, Bill May, and Jerry Kozera, Marine Patrol Coordinator Dan Semosky, and Patrol Driver Mike Gibbons.
A motion to adjourn was made by Bill May and seconded by Frank Cavallo. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 8:29pm.
The minutes are not considered official until approved at the next regular meeting of the Lake Zoar Authority to be held on December 6, 2022 at 7:00 pm at the Oxford Town Hall.