July 15, 2023
After attendees signed in and visited, Stephen Gray, MLPOA President, opened the 2023 MLPOA Annual meeting at 9:04 a.m. held at the Rindge Recreation Center on Wellington Road, Rindge NH. There were more than 76 new and current members in attendance which met the number (%) of members needed to secure a valid voting requirement for any item(s) in need of a vote.
Stephen presented a PowerPoint presentation to outline the meeting agenda and details of each agenda item. Following is an overview of the meeting for member review and the association records.
Treasurer’s Report – Doug Redfield, Treasurer, presented the Treasurer’s Report. Doug presented the associations Assets using a Pie chart and reporting our current financial status, followed by reporting the Expenses and Membership facts using bar charts. The highlights were:
● Assets: The TD Bank Checking Account, Fidelity Investment Accounts and PayPal Account totaling a healthy balance of $69,000 to support our future operating expenses was reported.
● Expenses: Lake Treatment expenses including the cost for divers, VLAP water test sample expenses, and support for the Lake Host Program were the primary noted expenses, other expenses noted were Internet/website fees, Insurance premium and Membership mailing supplies.
● Membership Numbers: Doug reported the following facts: 2021 = 110, 2022 = 98 and 2023 = 130 based on new members coming to the meeting. Attendees applauded for the growth of the membership.
● There are approximately 200 lake front property owners. Attendees were encouraged to tell their neighbors what MLPOA does and encourage them to join.
The MLPOA Board feels that due to the uncertainty of each years weed treatment that we need to have sufficient savings to financially meet our obligations to ensure the good health of the lake.
No questions were asked. A motion was made to accept the Treasurer’s report, seconded and all voted in favor to accept.
Board Updates and Presentation of Officers for 2023-2024 – Steve gave special thanks to both Lourdes Gary who has headed up the VLAP (Volunteer Lake Assessment Program) for several years and to Dale Dintaman who has served as the Lake Ecologist Coordinator for all their work and wished them well as they plan to relocate away from Rindge.
Steve introduced and proposed the new Slate of Officers and Board of Directors based on their respective terms, as follows.
William Gunther, as President, Michael Romanow, as Vice President, Douglas Redfield, as Treasurer, and Jennifer Marszalek, as Secretary and Susan Kochinskas as a new Board Member. The proposed Board of Directors was William Gunther, Michael Romanow, Douglas Redfield, Jennifer Marszalek, Don Wilson, Phil Simeone, Jack Cantin, Chris Peahl, Chris Dipre, Laureen Moran, Jane Fluharty, Susan Kochinskas, and Stephen Gray,
Steve outlined the special assignments held by board members as follows:
● Information Technology Coordinator: Jack Cantin
● Education Day Coordinator: Laureen Moran
● Lake Host Coordinator: Chris Peahl
● Lake Ecologist Coordinator: Don Wilson
● Audit Committee: Doug Redfield and Midge Romanow
● Nominating Committee: Phil Simeone, Don Wilson, William Gunther and Stephen Gray.
Acceptance of the 2022 Annual Meeting Minutes – Steve asked attendees to accept the Annual Meeting Minutes of July 16, 2022 submitted by Jen Marszalek, MLPOA Secretary. There was no further discussion.
Changes to the By-Laws – Steve outlined the proposed changes to two sections of the By-Laws.
Section 3.1 Board of Directors, change the Section updating the wording to make reference to include up to fifteen (15) members, including officers, and eliminating the terms “regular” and “alternate” giving everyone the same power and voting rights on the board.
Section 4: Dues and Assessments, changing the Section to make reference to a new Membership fee category; adding a basic dues category of $50.00 and maintaining the other four member categories of $75, $100, $250, and $500. There was no further discussion.
Vote: Steve asked for a vote to accept the three items above, it was seconded.
The members voted favorably to the new Slate of Officers and Board of Directors, acceptance of the 2022 Annual Meeting Minutes, and proposed changes to the By-Laws. A new list of the Officers and Board of Directors plus updated By-Laws will be posted on the MLPOA website for future reference.
Land Trust – Monomonac Hill Conservation Partnership Project – Steve addressed this important project that would have a serious impact to the health of the lake should action not be taken. This topic was discussed for approximately 25 minutes. Steve first recognized and thanked Todd Famous for his action to purchase the acreage which prevented its availability to be purchased by others, perhaps developers. Steve introduced two speakers to address the status of the project; Anna Wilkins Executive Director of the North County Land Trust and David Kotker, the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust and Grants Manager. They presented facts about the conservation project and asked for support. A slide show was used to state the current facts.
Anna’s presentation covered basic facts about Land Conservation.
● The Conservation group was formed 1891 to help secure land. The first parcel of land secured was a state park in NH.
● What are we doing here in Winchendon, MA? There are 210 acres that they are interested in protecting with the goal to develop walking trails, protect the land and species ecologically. In addition, protect the headwaters leading into Miller river.
David’s focus was about the Fundraising needs.
● Campaign Goal $150,000. There is about $120,000 still needed.
● The general message was to support where we live. Should individuals want to donate they can visit www.saveMonomonac.org They are hoping for our support.
● Renee Tambling, WSLA Treasurer, stated that the NH State Representatives were all very supportive of this project.
● Q: What is the time frame?
A: September is when the majority of funds should be available, and
then the project should reach a conclusion in June 2024.
● Q: Are there other pieces of land to protect?
A: Absolutely. Eyes on other parcels of land in Ashburnham, MA and
● Q: Is there access to maps regarding this projects?
A: Yes, there is reference to the project and maps on the WLSA
website site and FaceBook page per Renee Tambling, WSLA Treasurer.
● Bill Gunther proposed that the MLPOA donate $5,000 to this Land Trust – Monomonac Hill Conservation Partnership Project (matching the WSLA donation). This was seconded, Steve Gray asked for a vote and all in attendance voted to make a $5,000 donation.
● It was encouraged that individuals would consider making a donation.
Steve thanked Anna and David for their time to present the project facts.
Loons in NH supported by the Loon Preservation Society – Susan Kochinskas gave a status of our lake loon active.
* Once again this June, there was a nesting Loon on Commodore Island with two signs posted stating not to use the island. Many sightings have been made of the family of Loons.
* Jack Cantin proposed a motion that our association make a donation to “The Loon Preservation Society” again this year. Last year, MLPOA gave a donation. It was proposed to make a $250.00 donation, it was seconded. Steve asked for a vote to make the donation. All were in favor of making a 2023 donation.
MLPOA Weed Treatment Activities –
Milfoil Weed Treatment – Bill Gunther spoke about the NH Environment Service and gave an update of the health of the lake. Due to the little amount of Milfoil Weeds found at the tested locations in the lake, there will not be a need to treat the lake, however, there will be divers used to locate and pull out weeds found in the LaChance Road cove.
Renee Tambling, WSLA Treasurer, reported that the state of MA does not provide any financial support through grants to help with their weed treatment efforts. [NH provides Grant money if requested.] In 2022, WSLA treated only 10 acres from the 40 acres treated in past years. For more MA information, email Renee at WSLATreasurer@gmail.com or refer to the Water Quality page on their website www.WSLA.us.
Lake Host Program – Chris Peahl presented an update about the Lake Host program. This is a very valuable program to help control weeds coming into the lake.
Troy Vento and Beji August’s have been hired to share the duties and time needed to monitor the boat activities coming and going from the lake at The North of the Border boat ramp. A photo of both was shown as part of the presentation. Program highlights: NHDES, NH Lakes and local property owners join to promote clean lake water and the preservation of invasive species (plant & animal). This action is the first line of defense in keeping lakes free of invasive plants. Boat inspections and use of the “clean, drain & dry” method is practiced. The Winchendon Springs Lake Association also contributes to help fund the expense needed for this program. The Hours of operation are: Friday 3:00-6:00 pm., Saturday & Sunday 9:00 am-4:00 pm.
VLAP (Volunteer Lake Assessment Program) – Steve addressed the need for and highlights of this program. A group of volunteers work together to test and report on the health of the lake. Several tests are completed throughout spring and summer every year. This program is essential to monitoring the condition of water quality and control of weed activity in the lake. NHDES representatives check the lake as well by kayaking around the lake in the spring. This is an effective and on-going effort to ensure healthy lake waters.
Lake Education Day – Once again, we held an Education Day for Rindge 5th graders to learn about the lake environment and water quality. A dozen boats were captained by resident volunteers to take out the children, chaperones, teachers and Limnologist staff from NHDES for the morning activities. This was a very successful event and enjoyed by all who participated. Thanks to Laureen Moran for organizing this event.
Cyanobacteria – Steve reported that Kate Langley Hastings of NHDES was unable to attend the meeting. However, she sent a 30 minute video that gave an overview of the health of lakes in NH and how to detect and report the blue-green algae-growth generally found floating on the top of the water.
Due to the little amount of Cyanobacteria found in our lake there have been few warning notices issued for Lake Monomonac from NHDES.
All can help care for the lake by reporting such weed or bloom growth so action can take place. If you see Cyanobacteria, report and limit your water activities. *When in doubt – Stay Out!*
All property owners can access the Current Beach Advisories Map or the NHDES Cyanobacteria Page using www.DES.nh.gov/healthy-swimming-mapper to learn about the current status of the lake.
Other Upcoming Events –
MLSA Pancake Breakfast reminder – Steve mentioned that MLSA would be serving breakfast on Commodore’s Island on Sunday, July 17th 8:00-10:00 a.m.
If not postponed due to the weather. (Postponed to Sunday, July 23rd.)
The 5th Annual WSLA Golf Tournament will be held on September 9th at the Westminster Country Club. Golf, carts and meals are included. Registration paperwork was made available. Refer to the www.WSLA.us website for details.
Stay tuned for future updates about ordering your 2024 MLPOA Calendars. Sales benefit our association and help you stay current with lake activities.
Door Prizes – Two door prizes were raffled; first, a large Boat Tube with tow rope and pump donated from the Boat Store and the second, a $250.00 Gift Certificate from Atlas.
No new business was discussed.
Closing Comments – Bill Gunther offered closing comments, thanked Steve Gray for all his efforts as president during the past two years, talked briefly of the plans to continue along the path to protect and support the health of our lake and thanked all for their attendance and support of the MLPOA.
The 2023 MLPOA Annual Meeting was adjourned at 11:06 a.m.
Jen Marszalek, MLPOA Secretary