MINUTES OF MEETING
LAKE ST. CATHERINE CONSERVATION FUND, Inc.
Date & time: August 1, 2020, 10:00 AM
Format: Due to COVID-19, held on line; the meeting was recorded and then posted on YouTube, the LSCCF website and the LSCCF Facebook page. The meeting was recorded in one take and, due to technical difficulties, certain portions (Jennifer Jones’ voiceover on aeration and bioaugmentation, Bob Short’s report on the harvesting program, and a message of support from State Senator Brian Collamere) were added afterwards. The full meeting can be seen at https://youtu.be/497zHbTELhA.
Board members: Robin Barley, David Emmons, Michael Marine, Rick Newell, Tina Peterson, and Sue Ritchie
Welcome: Following some very brief welcoming remarks, Vice President Michael Marine turned the microphone over to President David Emmons who gave a broad strokes description of the “state of the lake” by showing a video he had recorded out on his boat.
President’s Report: Emmons then outlined key developments including the latest on the LSCCF applications to the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for permits to install an expanded aeration system in Little lake and to introduce enzymes to accelerate muck reduction. He also laid out plans to carry out a dredging program in the northwest corner of Little Lake.
Planned Meeting with the Lake St Catherine Association (LSCA) Board: Rick Newell described the work he has done with Jerremy Jones, a LSCA board member, to organize a meeting between the two boards with DEC representatives and lake scientists to explore possible approaches to address the excess vegetation and muck problems in Little Lake. This meeting will take place on-line on August 25 and will be posted shortly thereafter for the members of both organizations to see.
Presentation by Dr. Jennifer Jones: This ten-minute slide show outlines how aeration and bioaugmentation work and how these approaches can help restore Little Lake.
Harvesting Committee Report: Bob Short gave a short, concise summary of how the harvesting program is organized and what results it has had in maintaining navigational channels in Little Lake to allow residents and visitors to enjoy its beauty.
Treasurer’s Report: Tina Peterson presented a chart showing the breakdown in income and expenses for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 (July 1 – June 30). The harvesting program was the Fund’s major expense in this period. She also reported that, in accordance with the by-laws, an audit has been successfully conducted on the Fund’s books covering the previous fiscal year (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019). No discrepancies were noted. Peterson also provided a slide showing the Fund’s planned income and expenditures for the 2020-2021 year. She noted that the Fund is currently conducting a challenge appeal to raise funds with a target of $20,000. She explained that without success in this fundraising effort, the Fund will not be in a position to implement the dredging project. On membership, she noted a drop in total members thus far this year and she urged all members to encourage their neighbors and friends to go to the Fund website to join up.
Voting: Since this meeting had to be held on-line and recorded, the voting that normally takes place at a Fund Annual Meeting must be conducted differently this year. Robin Barley outlined the procedures in place for voting on the minutes for the 2019 Annual Meeting, the new slate of directors for this year, the nominees for president and vice president, and the 2020-2021 budget. She also provided some background on two new candidates to join the Board: Owen Thomas and Jeff Somple. Shortly after the annual meeting video was posted, Tina Peterson sent all eligible members an email with a link to the voting page. The voting will stay open through Friday, August 14.
Questions from the Members: Michael Marine reported that despite sending out a message asking for questions, none had been received yet. He let everyone know that the Board is always open to questions, ideally through the Fund’s website.
Closing Remarks and Thank You to Former Directors: David Emmons expressed his excitement about the positive momentum he sees in the Fund’s activities. He also voiced the Board’s thanks to three former directors who are standing down this year: Paul Albas, Tyler Manning and Dennis Stark.
Messages of Support: David Emmons played messages of support from the Wells Select Board and State Senator Brian Collamere.
Adjournment: Michael Marine closed the meeting with words of thanks to the Fund members, and all residents and officials of Wells. He stressed the importance of solving the problems of Little Lake for the future of the Town of Wells. He also described the new level of dialogue and cooperation between the Fund and the LSCA board and the Vermont DEC. The turning of this new page bodes well for the collective effort to restore Little Lake to its former glory.