I am writing to let you know that this blog is being retired and the site will come down at the end of the September.
We have come a long way in creating awareness for the precious water resources that abound in our little town, yet I know there is much work to be done. I will continue to push for improving all the ponds in Ayer in the upcoming years. At the time I am writing this, I plan to continue serving on the Pond and Dam Committee for the foreseeable future.
I appreciate the passion that this blog has generated among townspeople and I look forward to seeing you on the water.
If you still want to read my rants, follow me on Defiant Wellness, where I have been writing for the past two years about health, nutrition, and fitness. Flannagan Pond isn’t the only body in town that needed a makeover.
Thanks for making FOFP a force for change. God Bless You.
It has been a while since I’ve contributed to this blog.
First let me begin by stating there is no plan for treatment of Flannagan Pond this year (Summer of 2014). We had successfully lobbied for funding for two years of treatment and that has been done. There are no funds set aside for further weed treatment of Flannagan Pond.
If you are one of those who prefer to call it Fletcher Pond, good for you. But, there are still no funds.
However, there is good news for the long term. The Annual Town Meeting gave unanimous support for funding a Comprehensive Pond Management Plan that will be looking at most of the connected ponds in the Town of Ayer. The plan will address a multitude of issues, including storm water, vegetation and weed management, fishing and wildlife, boating and recreation.
When this plan is completed, The Conservation Commission, Pond and Dam Committee and the Recreation Committee will be armed with sufficient information to be in a position to argue for an annual Pond Management Operating Budget. Such a budget would make pond maintenance an ongoing process, rather than one subject to the whims of political issues.
This post is an overview of the first Dam and Pond Management Committee Meeting that took place at the Ayer Town Hall on January 30th at 7:00 p.m.
The meeting commenced with everyone going around the table and introducing themselves.
Town Administrator, Robert Pontbriand has been charged by the Board of Selectmen to provide administrative assistance and to help facilitate things as the committee gets up to speed.
In addition to Mr. Pontbriand, the board consists of Fire Chief Bob Pedrazzi, DPW Superintendent Dan Nason (and whoever succeeds him after March 16th), and Conservation Commissioner Warren Ball. Citizen members include Chairman Don Rzasa, Clerk Michele Riggs and Member Marina Giovannini. Laurie Nehring is on deck as an alternate.
The Citizen appointments are staggered, with Don Rzasa’s term being 3 years; Marina Giovannini two years; Michele Riggs one year.
As stated in the meeting outline: “The Ayer Board of Selectmen’s general charge of the Committee was for the Committee to create an inventory of the Town’s dams and ponds; assess their conditions and maintenance needs; and compile a Dam and Pond Management Plan for the Town to address these needs/issues.”
[Note: The Town has appropriated $10,000 to Committee for these tasks.]
In general discussion it was mentioned that the contract with Lycott Environmental for the treatment of Flannagan Pond is still in effect, so as soon weather permits, that treatment will take place. The targeted timeframe is April or May, weather permitting. Year One treatment is funded by UDAG; Year Two is funded by CPC.
In general discussion the high water level of the ponds was discussed. Two boards were removed from the dam on East Main Street in November, yet the water level has only dropped about 4-6 inches, instead of 18 inches. Chief Pedrazzi said that in past years beavers have dammed up the water under Central Avenue. This will have to be investigated when weather permits access to the culvert. A substantial drawdown is necessary for the effective treatment of the pond.
At this time, the Committee’s meeting schedule is to meet every two weeks until the ball is rolling, then perhaps go monthly. They are targeting the second and fourth Monday of every month. The next two meetings will be February 13th and 27th.
The first order of business when the committee reconvenes will be to review the inventory of all the dams and all the documentation they will have accumulated over these two weeks.
On Monday, January 30th, at 7:00 PM, the newly formed Dam and Pond Committee will have their kick-off meeting at the Ayer Town Hall.
At this time, I believe the Committee is made up of the following people: Town Administrator Robert Pontbriand, Fire Chief Bob Pedrazzi, DPW Superintendent Dan Nason, Conservation Commissioner Warren Ball, Citizen members include Marina Giovanini, Don Rzasa and Michele Riggs.
Laurie Nehring, who you may know from her efforts with P.A.C.E. has been appointed as an alternate member.
Thank you all for your commitment to the health and well-being of our ponds and waterways.
To all the Friends of Flannagan Pond who have worked so hard over the past year and a half, let’s encourage this team by showing up on Monday evening.
A key element of the FOFP presentation to the Board of Selectmen on April 5th, was the need for a Dam Management Committee and a Comprehensive Pond Management Plan for all the ponds in Ayer.
At the April 19th meeting, Selectman Luca moved to fund such a committee and to perform Spring 2011 weed treatment of Flannagan Pond, to be funded from UDAG Funds.
Well this evening the BOS voted to actually form such a committee; the Dam and Pond Management Committee. It will consist of the Fire Chief, DPW Chief, a delegate from the BOS and ConsCom and three citizen members. If I am mistaken regarding the specific makeup of the committee, I will correct it when I have more accurate information.
That is excellent news. Another excellent bit of news is that one of our neighbors is the very first appointment to the Committee. Don Rzasa, one of our Flannagan Pond neighbors is not just a pond abutter, but he is experienced in dam management having done such as an engineer in the paper industry. We are blessed to have such expertise, which is vital to our interests, in our ranks. Congrats Don and thank you so very much for stepping forward.
(Notice there are no boards on top of the Hoover Dam.)