P.O. Box 931
Southbury, CT 06488
Email: [email protected]
The regular meeting of the Lake Zoar Authority was held on Tuesday, April 4, 2023 at 7:00 pm at the Oxford Town Hall.
Bill May, Treasurer
Barbara McWilliams, Chairperson
Call to Order
Chairperson Barbara McWilliams called the meeting to order at 7:10 pm.
A motion to accept the minutes from the March 7, 2023 meeting, was made by Bill May, seconded by Dick Speer; the motion was passed unanimously.
The May meeting was rescheduled to May 9, 2023.
James Galarneau and John Morin from Southbury attended with interest in filling Southbury vacancies. Timothy Glover from Oxford attended with plans to fill the Oxford vacancy. A Newtown resident attended and inquired if there will be an AED or basket on the boat. Commissioner John Down’s will look into the pricing for an AED.
Bill May, Treasurer, presented account balances, with cash on hand equaling $152,045.57. A $5,000 deposit was sent to Diamond Marine for the new boat deposit. A new boat purchase approval of up to $100,000 was approved during the March meeting. The new boat falls under this approved amount, including installation of additional equipment, with more savings if the existing boat is traded in. The boat can be traded in and the LZA can still support Algonquin Gas Transmission project with limited hours, with two boats.
A motion to bill Algonquin Gas Transmission $312.50 per hour was made by Bill May, seconded by Dick Speer, the motion was passed unanimously.
A motion to pass the treasurer’s report was made by Lesley Pires seconded by Dick Speer, the motion was passed unanimously.
Marine Patrol Report:
Marine Patrol Coordinator Dan Semosky reported that he has attended several outings with the new boating committee to search for a suitable replacement boat. He is confident the new Carolina Skiff Ultra Elite 23 will be sufficient for current marine patrol needs. Dan reports he has made the new staff schedule for this season and will distribute it. Monroe has two more additional officers who have expressed interest in participating in patrols. There are still no officers participating from the town of Southbury. Dan will have recognition of service awards ready for the June meeting in Monroe.
Publicity/ Public Awareness:
Dennis Lawler reported on enhancing the LZA webpage. Dennis is in contact with the current website host and will continue efforts to modernize the website. Commissioners agreed the website is a priority. Dennis is also working on securing outlook accounts for members and employees of the LZA needing to complete official work online. Dennis is working on pricing. Lesley Pires reported that there is interest from Great Oak Middle School in Oxford to help organize a t-shirt contest. Oxford LZA contact and local art teacher Susan Gibbons has reported great success with a Lion’s Club contest her school participated in, where the grand prize was $100. In an effort to engage the local community, Lesley will continue to develop the contest with Susan and create an online vendor account for t-shirt sales. Commissioners expressed interest in publicizing the new boat online when it is delivered.
Water Quality Monitoring Committee:
Lesley Pires and John Morin presented an estimate for water quality monitoring on Lake Zoar by WCSU’s Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program, for a total of $4100. The local public health departments have been funding testing at Kettletown State Park, Jackson’s Cove, and Eichler’s Cove for seven years, in which the LZA has published results online. A private grant has been funding nitrogen and phosphorus testing at the same sites for two years. In the interest of expanding monitoring to areas of higher priority for residents and recreational boaters on Lake Zoar, Lesley and John proposed the LZA fund additional site testing at five more prudent locations, to be determined. The five additional sites were to be tested fourteen times over seventeen weeks, from June 4 – September 24, 2023. The LZA budgeted approximately $10,000 for water quality consultation this year, but is no longer renewing that contract. Lesley requested the funding come from that budget line item. Treasurer Bill May expressed there were other additional expenses already this season, and the funding for water quality monitoring should be reduced or delayed. Lesley and John agreed to meet with WCSU and collect additional information for future presentation on site specific testing, but Lesley expressed concern that some funding was needed quickly in order to secure summer services with a university student lab. There was discussion for a special meeting on the matter. A motion to approve $2,000 of the $4,100 request for additional water quality testing on Lake Zoar by WCSU was made by Lesley Pires, seconded by Dennis Lawler, motion was passed with five of six in favor. There was discussion the special meeting was not needed. Oxford resident Tim Glover joined the water quality monitoring committee.
Weed Treatment Committee:
Barbara McWilliams, Chairperson, reported she is working on more materials and education regarding water chestnut monitoring on Lake Zoar. She reported that she has scheduled a debris survey with FirstLight to take place on April 11, 2023. She has scheduled a meeting on the lake with Pond and Lake for April 19, 2023 to assess weed treatment locations for this season. A motion to not renew services with North East Aquatic Research was made by Dick Speer, seconded by Bill May, the motion was passed unanimously.
Boats and Motors Report:
Dick Speer reported that there has been a deposit made on the new boat, and it will be delivered and ready for service by the start of this season’s patrol.
Barbara McWilliams reported that the LZA did not receive funding from the town of Southbury, but there are other grants for water quality that need to be worked on this September.
Lesley Pires presented a sign that was written for display on the sandbar in the past, which states it was from the LZA. She asked commissioners not post unapproved signs. A motion to adopt the updated bylaws presented at the March meeting was made by Lesley Pires, seconded by Bill May, the motion was passed unanimously.
Chairperson Barbara McWilliams reported she is actively encouraging the member towns to recruit more officers for marine patrols. Sh has been working with the town of Southbury and FirstLight to plan a weekend event in honor of National Boating Safety Week, May 20-26, 2023.
A motion to adjourn was made by Dick Speer and seconded by Dennis Lawler. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 8:34pm.
The minutes are not considered official until approved at the next regular meeting of the Lake Zoar Authority to be held on May 9, 2023 at 7:00 pm at the Southbury Town Hall.