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.
In general discussion it was also mentioned that the Erskine Pond beavers (you remember the beavers who allegedly abandoned and neglected their dam) have totally restored their dams and the ponds behind Pine Meadow are filled once again.
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.