Lake Buel District Board Meeting December 1, 2020

Lake Buel District Board Meeting

December 1, 2020

Monterey Fire Department Pavilion, 411 Main Road, Monterey

Members present:  Peter Hagen, Kyle Pierce, Chris Hassett, Mark Amstead, & Wayne Dolby.  

Meeting was called to order by Chairman, Mr. Hagen at 6PM.

A motion was made, seconded and so voted to approve the July 16th minutes as prepared.

A motion was made, seconded and so voted to approve September 1th minutes as prepared.

Harvester – potential maintenance issues/expenses:

Mr. Amstead mentioned that he has spoken with Mr. Ziegler regarding the maintenance to the harvester and Mr. Ziegler would like to install new teeth on the harvester machine for cutting the weeds.  Mr. Amstead also mentioned that there is a leak in the fuel oil system and he will research which company to purchase the part that is needy for replacement.  Mr. Amstead stated that there’s currently one storage bin on the harvester but would like to purchase another one.  A motion was made, seconded and so voted to purchase one storage bin.  It was noted that the Board will purchase a gift certificate in the amount of $200.00 from John Andrews Restaurant for Mr. Ziegler. 

Weeds/Water Testing:  

It was noted that the Board all agreed that Mr. Zeigler had done a great job this year and the two extra weeks was a help.

Mr. Hagen mentioned that all the Board members have seen the report Ms. Shannon Poulin submitted.  Mr. Hagen also had a report on the phosphorus testing that Microbac had completed.

Beavers/Outlet Condition:

Mr. Hagen mentioned that Mr. Chris Bloom has agreed to work with the District since Mr. Ives has left.  Mr. Hagen stated that Mr. Bloom began work in late October and the first item was the three inch drawn down of the lake.  Mr. Hassett will travel through the area on his canoe to see how things are progressing.

New Business:

Mr. Hagen mentioned that he has been having conversion with the New Marlborough Planning Board regarding zoning, Mr. Hagen is hopeful that the Planning Board will established zoning for the District.

Mr. Hagen mentioned he has located a study report done in 2001 Phosphorus Operating.  The Board briefly discussed that they would like Ms. Poulin to research and teach the Board on Phosphorus.

Next meeting is scheduled for January 2, 2021 at Monterey Community Center at 6PM.

A motion was made, seconded and so voted to adjourn at 6:36PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Chretien, District Clerk

An upcoming option for Internet access

While Monterey is in the process of offering high-speed access to the Internet, and New Marlborough will offer Charter/Spectrum cable access available this spring/early summer there are a few other options, and one more literally on the horizon. (If you’re interested in Monterey’s fiber, you can get early sign-up discounts here.)

Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay. Open license from Pixabay

The existing options used to include getting a slow DSL line from Verizon, but apparently they’re not installing any new ones. For the past few years, many on the Lake have had access via their cell phones to what is now a T-Mobile cell tower. More recently Some of the Lake gets access via a Verizon tower. In both cases with a service plan you can browse the Net on your cellphone or use your cellphone as a wifi hot spot by “tethering” it. You can get better reception and sometimes special plans from the mobile companies by buying a special router designed for Internet data. The routers can be a bit pricey, and virtually all plans — even ones that tout “unlimited data” — drop you down to 2G speeds good for email and other text-based communications if you go over their monthly limit. Some of them let you purchase more data for the month, but many don’t.

Our 2 two towers: Green is T-Mobile. Red is Verizon. From Cellmapper.net.

Verizon coverage map
Verizon’s map of coverage. Red = covered (source)

T-Mobile claims to have complete 5G coverage (including 4G) (source)

If you’re going to rely on those cell towers, Ubifi.net offers the only truly unlimited data plan that I’ve found. (Chime in in the comments.) You have to buy a special industrial strength router that has the advantage of being able to get a strong signal from the AT&T tower, and it doesn’t cap your “unlimited” data. At about $300 for the router and about $100/month for the data, it is not the cheapest plan. (Last year they ran out of SIM cards for the router. They hope to have them this year. And of course the prices may change.) Also, Ting.com now has a plan that cuts in half the usual price per gigabyte for data once you’ve passed your limit, if the company lets you buy any extra data at all; the extra data costs $5/gig at Ting. You may discover better deals elsewhere. If so, please consider posting them in the comments. (Disclosure: I have friends at Ting. I’m also a customer, but have no commercial interest in them.)

Now for the new possibility. You may have heard of this Elon Musk guy. One of this projects is becoming real, or at least it’s in beta. His company, Starlink, is putting 12,000 communication satellites into orbit. With a ground antenna you’ll be able to connect to the Internet. The current plan is for the dish antenna to cost $500 to install, and the monthly fee will be $100. So, not cheap. On the other hand, early users are reporting speeds of about 100mbps (megabits per second). This is at least twice as fast as our best speed when connected to the T-Mobile cell tower. And, as far as I know, the plan is not to limit the amount of data you can use.

No word on whether you’ll be able to subscribe only for the summer months.

Also, people’s speeds will depend at least somewhat —but how much? —on the simultaneous usage by others connecting to the same satellite.

Starlink lets you sign up for the beta for free and without committing to the service, but there’s no indication of how likely it is that you’ll get onto the beta. We may well have to wait until it’s actually in production. When will that be? Ask Elon Musk.

Starlink’s download speed is one tenth of what fiber connections provide. But if and when Starlink is available, and if it actually works as promises, it should at least give us more than enough Internet connectivity for streaming and zooming, if somewhat short of providing Star Trek “Beam me up” capabilities. Whether it works as promised and makes economic sense for us is TBD.

Please use the comments to correct any errors I’ve made and to report on your own experiences. Happy connecting!

Lake Buel District Board Meeting September 1, 2020

Lake Buel District Board Meeting
July 16, 2020
Outside of 807 Mill River Southfield Road, Mill River
Members present: Peter Hagen, Kyle Pierce, Chris Hassett, Mark Amstead, & Wayne Dolby.
Meeting was called to order by Chairman, Mr. Hagen at 7PM.
A motion was made, seconded and so voted to approve the Annual Meeting minutes May 23, 2020 as prepared.
A motion was made, seconded and so voted to approve May 14th minutes as prepared.
Tax Rate:
The Board review the new tax rate of .90 per thousand set by Department of Revenue, which is an eight (8%) increase from last year rate. After the brief review and discussion a motion was made, seconded and so voted to accept the new rate of .90 per thousand.
New Business:
Ms. Shannon Poulin, Biologist appeared before the Board to review and discuss the Cyanobacteria testing done in the lake. Ms. Poulin mentioned that testing is done every other week now and in August testing will be done each week. Ms. Poulin mentioned there is some blue/green algae and a few are toxic and that they looked white hairs by the camp. Ms. Poulin also said that they are doing cell counts this year. Mr. Hassett inquired on where are the locations in the lake for the testing being taken from. Ms. Poulin mentioned that they have used the area by the docks at the camp in the past, but since the camp is closed this year they will use a boat to go out a depth of 30 feet for testing. Mr. Hagen inquired on what depth is required for testing completed. Ms. Poulin said that the testing is done about 12 feet down and a net is used to assist with the sample, then put the sample under the microscope and samples are sent to EPA for more in depth testing. Ms. Poulin mentioned that Mr. Mike Germain has order a kit for testing. Ms. Poulin mentioned that the Lake is in better condition that Lake Garfield. Mr. Hagen mentioned that the Lake is fed by springs and inquired if the Board could receive more results. Ms. Poulin said that she will continue to email the reports to Mrs. Pierce. Ms. Poulin mentioned that there is a proposal for next year to purchase a new more advance kit, which the cost can be shared with four other Lake communities. It was mentioned that Lake Garfield has purchased the testing kit and lets the Lake Buel District use at no cost. Mrs. Pierce inquired if the Board is interested in purchasing the kit with the other Lake communities. Yes the Board is interested but would like to wait to see if any grants can be obtained. The Board thanked Ms. Poulin for all the information provided.
The Board received a letter from the New Marlborough Fire Department regarding obstacles to providing emergency response to the District area. Mr. Hagen mentioned that he was asked to mention this concern at the Annual Meeting since it is a concern in some of the areas. It was mentioned that the Board/District will have the letter put on Lakebuel.org.
Mr. Amstead mentioned that the Harvester machine now has five oils booms.
Mr. Hagen mentioned that he has submitted another beaver permit to the New Marlborough Board of Health. Mr. Hagen will inquire if it is possible that Mr. Ives can spend some more time opening up the dams.
Old Business:
Weeds: Mr. Hassett mentioned that the Harvester is doing a fine job. It was mentioned that the Harvester takes two full loads of weeds away a day. Mr. Hagen mentioned that the weeds seem to be growing quicker this year
Complaints:
There has been a few complaints about loud noises from two boats with skiers that have loud speakers.
Some residents have complaints about air b & b’s and if they are allowed in the District. It was noted that there’s nothing the Board can do about air b & b’s, it’s a property owner’s decision and responsibility.

Next meeting is scheduled for December 1, 2020 at Mr. Dolby residence 28 Corashire Road.

A motion was made, seconded and so voted to adjourn at 8:24PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Chretien, District Clerk










Lake Buel District Board Meeting July 16, 2020

Lake Buel District Board Meeting
July 16, 2020
Outside of 807 Mill River Southfield Road, Mill River
Members present: Peter Hagen, Kyle Pierce, Chris Hassett, Mark Amstead, & Wayne Dolby.
Meeting was called to order by Chairman, Mr. Hagen at 7PM.
A motion was made, seconded and so voted to approve the Annual Meeting minutes May 23, 2020 as prepared.
A motion was made, seconded and so voted to approve May 14th minutes as prepared.
Tax Rate:
The Board review the new tax rate of .90 per thousand set by Department of Revenue, which is an eight (8%) increase from last year rate. After the brief review and discussion a motion was made, seconded and so voted to accept the new rate of .90 per thousand.
New Business:
Ms. Shannon Poulin, Biologist appeared before the Board to review and discuss the Cyanobacteria testing done in the lake. Ms. Poulin mentioned that testing is done every other week now and in August testing will be done each week. Ms. Poulin mentioned there is some blue/green algae and a few are toxic and that they looked white hairs by the camp. Ms. Poulin also said that they are doing cell counts this year. Mr. Hassett inquired on where are the locations in the lake for the testing being taken from. Ms. Poulin mentioned that they have used the area by the docks at the camp in the past, but since the camp is closed this year they will use a boat to go out a depth of 30 feet for testing. Mr. Hagen inquired on what depth is required for testing completed. Ms. Poulin said that the testing is done about 12 feet down and a net is used to assist with the sample, then put the sample under the microscope and samples are sent to EPA for more in depth testing. Ms. Poulin mentioned that Mr. Mike Germain has order a kit for testing. Ms. Poulin mentioned that the Lake is in better condition that Lake Garfield. Mr. Hagen mentioned that the Lake is fed by springs and inquired if the Board could receive more results. Ms. Poulin said that she will continue to email the reports to Mrs. Pierce. Ms. Poulin mentioned that there is a proposal for next year to purchase a new more advance kit, which the cost can be shared with four other Lake communities. It was mentioned that Lake Garfield has purchased the testing kit and lets the Lake Buel District use at no cost. Mrs. Pierce inquired if the Board is interested in purchasing the kit with the other Lake communities. Yes the Board is interested but would like to wait to see if any grants can be obtained. The Board thanked Ms. Poulin for all the information provided.
The Board received a letter from the New Marlborough Fire Department regarding obstacles to providing emergency response to the District area. Mr. Hagen mentioned that he was asked to mention this concern at the Annual Meeting since it is a concern in some of the areas. It was mentioned that the Board/District will have the letter put on Lakebuel.org.
Mr. Amstead mentioned that the Harvester machine now has five oils booms.
Mr. Hagen mentioned that he has submitted another beaver permit to the New Marlborough Board of Health. Mr. Hagen will inquire if it is possible that Mr. Ives can spend some more time opening up the dams.
Old Business:
Weeds: Mr. Hassett mentioned that the Harvester is doing a fine job. It was mentioned that the Harvester takes two full loads of weeds away a day. Mr. Hagen mentioned that the weeds seem to be growing quicker this year
Complaints:
There has been a few complaints about loud noises from two boats with skiers that have loud speakers.
Some residents have complaints about air b & b’s and if they are allowed in the District. It was noted that there’s nothing the Board can do about air b & b’s, it’s a property owner’s decision and responsibility.

Next meeting is scheduled for December 1, 2020 at Mr. Dolby residence 28 Corashire Road.

A motion was made, seconded and so voted to adjourn at 8:24PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Chretien, District Clerk










Better internet is coming, but Monterey residents need to act

Internet availability, or the lack thereof, has been a frequent topic of discussion and in many cases, angst, over the last decade.  Even with the AT&T cell tower offering interim relief, those of us who use it for data have seen a pronounced degradation over holiday weekends due peak demand.  Fortunately, there is progress being made.  For homes in New Marlborough, the town has entered into an agreement with Spectrum and work is underway. The targeted go live date is in the first half of 2021.

For residents on the other side of the lake in Monterey, the log jam between the State and Fiber Connect (FC) has been broken and the State will release about $1.1 million to FC to wire 96% of the town with fiber optic lines PROVIDED 51% of the Monterey households commit now.  Without that commitment, the State will not release the funding and FC will not move forward.  Furthermore, since FC has already wired a significant portion of Monterey, no other company will likely enter the market.

As of July, 2020 FC had received commitments from 39%.  If you are interested in true broadband and have not contacted FC about your interest, you may want to do so now. In addition, FC is offering some very attractive installation discounts if you commit now.

Even if you don’t see the need personally for broadband access,  it is fair to say your property values will be adversely impacted by the lack of broadband availability.  https://www.fiberconnect.website/

Notice from New Marlborough Fire Dept 07/13/2020 (copy) original form in media

New Marlborough Volunteer Fire Department

July 13, 2020

To: The Lake Buel Association

The New Marlborough Volunteer Fire Department is reporting that the conditions of privately owned dirt roads around Lake Buel present obstacles to providing emergency response. The New Marlborough Volunteer Fire Department will continue to respond to every emergency reported to the 911 Emergency Dispatch Center, however addressing the following obstacles would improve our ability to provide effective response.

The very many low hanging tree branches present an obstacle to quickly reaching the scene of your emergency. We suggest that a professional tree company be hired as this appears to be beyond the scope of what each homeowner can reasonably address.  While we recognize this would involve an expense, it would provide additional protection for your properties and possibly save lives.  There are two professional tree companies located in New Marlborough and many others in our area.

Another obstacle the Fire Department requests you consider is that the conditions of these roads present obstacles for fire trucks to navigate. We certainly are not suggesting anything that would alter the rural character of your roads, and can offer to meet with your representatives for a walking tour to discuss what could reasonably and unobtrusively be done.

Another issue is that not all homes currently have a 911 sign which allows us to immediately confirm the address of their emergency. This is easy to implement, by having each homeowner order an approved sign from the Town’s 911 Coordinator Dave Herrick, by calling 413 229-8795 or 413 229-2663, the cost is a modest $20.00. Please be aware that Town bylaw Requires that every home have this sign or a suitable equivalent.

Our last request is that all homes which have an alarm system which automatically calls 9“ issue a KnoxBox to allow access when no one is home, note that this is also required by Town bylaw. These are ordered through knoshomebox.com.

Certainly feel free to contact me with questions on any of the above, my cell phone is 413 644-5324 or by email at rdvorchik@yahoo.com.

 

Sincerely,

 

Bob Dvorchik, Assistant Chief

New Marlborough Volunteer Fire Department

 

 

Annual Lake Buel District Board Meeting 05/23/2020

MINUTES OF THE
ANNUAL LAKE BUEL RESTORATION/PRESERVATION DISTRICT MEETING
FISCAL YEAR JULY 1, 2020 TO JUNE 30, 2021
MAY 23 2020

The meeting was brought to order by Peter Hagen at 10:00 AM with 152% of the District area represented. In attendance: Prudential Committee members Peter Hagen, Mark Amstead, Kyle Pierce, Chris Hassett, and Wayne Dolby. Mr. Hagen thanked few residents for attending. Mr. Hagen mentioned that he was asked from the New Marlborough Fire Department to remind the residents that the access to areas in the District has poor conditions, so please beware of them. A voter also mentioned that there has been issues with plowing in the winter and residents couldn’t access their property, which is a hazard.

Article 1. To bring in their nominations and votes for the election of District Moderator for a term of one year. Voted – Unanimous, Peter Hagen

Article 2. To see if the District will vote to accept the minutes of the previous Annual Meeting held on May 25, 2019. Voted – Unanimous

Article 3. To see if the District will vote to accept the Report of the Treasurer for the Fiscal Year 2019 (July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020) YTD. Voted – Unanimous

Article 4. To bring in their nominations for the election of the following officers:

Prudential Committee Nominees
a. District Clerk for one year Katherine Chretien
b. District Treasurer for one year Katherine Chretien
c. Prudential Committee: one member for three years Wayne Dolby
(incumbent)

Voted – Unanimous

Article 5. Motion to see if the District will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $ 93,156.14
for the purposes constituting proposed expenses of the District for Fiscal Year 2021.
Mr. Hagen mentioned that the proposed budget is just an increase of $833.34 from last year budget, since the board decided to keep the budget down. A voter questioned is the harvester going to come closer to their property. Mr. Hagen stated that the machine operator is trying his best and if there is any problems to contact one of the board members. The board knows that weeds are an issue by resident’s docks. After the brief discussion a motion was made, seconded and so voted to unanimously approve the FY21 budget as presented.

Article 6. To see if the District will vote to authorize the Prudential Committee to borrow such sums as may be necessary in anticipation of tax receipts for the Fiscal Year 2021, and to issue District Notes therefore as provided under the Special Act. Voted – Unanimous

Article 7. To see if the District will vote to authorize the Prudential Committee to accept gifts from proprietors or any other entity for the benefit of the District. Voted – Unanimous

Article 8. To see if the District will vote to transfer from Free Cash $3,000.00 (three thousand dollars) to the Equipment Replacement/Repair Stabilization Account. Voted – Unanimous

Article 9. To transact any other business that may come before the meeting.
A voter asked on what the status is on the beavers. Mr. Hagen mentioned that the beavers are an ongoing issue and they have a person working on the beavers continually.

Motion to adjourn the Fiscal Year 2020 Annual District Meeting at 10:14AM. Unanimous

Respectfully submitted,

Kathy Chretien, LBD

Lake Buel District Board Meeting 05/14/2020

Lake Buel District Board Meeting
May 14, 2020
Outside of 28 Seven Arts Road, Monterey

Members present: Peter Hagen, Kyle Pierce, Chris Hassett, Mark Amstead, & Wayne Dolby.
Meeting was called to order by Chairman, Mr. Hagen at 6PM.
A motion was made, seconded and so voted to approve January 2nd minutes as prepared.
Old Business:
Mr. Amstead mentioned that the Harvester is ready to go and if receive permission from the Board it will launch on Monday, May 18th. Mr. Amstead said that Mr. Ziegler looked into two companies for parts for the harvester. Alpha Boats couldn’t get the parts. After the brief discussion a motion was made, seconded and so voted to have the Harvester begin work on the 18th of May.
Mr. Amstead also mentioned that the wooden boards have been inserted in the dam but in additional repairs will be needed.
Mr. Amstead will explore some more about the dam clean out with O’Brien.
Mr. Hagen mentioned that he has called 90% of the residents in Gibson Grove regarding sending in their proxies in which most of them done. Mr. Hagen also said some of the residents didn’t receive their warrant packages and some of the residents didn’t know what he was speaking about.
New Business:

Mrs. Pierce mentioned that Mr. Hassett sent out an email on guidelines for boating and she is willingly to make copies if any residents need the guidelines.

A motion was made, seconded and so voted to send a donation to the Monterey Fire Department for use of the pavilion for the Annual Meeting.

Next meeting is scheduled for May 23, 2020 at the Monterey Fire Department for the Annual Meeting.

A motion was made, seconded and so voted to adjourn at 7:05PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Chretien, District Clerk

Lake Buel District Board Meeting 1/02/2020

Lake Buel District Board Meeting
January 2, 2020
28 Corashire Road, New Marlborough

Members present: Peter Hagen, Kyle Pierce, Chris Hassett, Mark Amstead, & Wayne Dolby.
Meeting was called to order by Chairman, Mr. Hagen at 4:20PM.
A motion was made, seconded and so voted to approve November 19th minutes as amended.
Old Business:
Audit: LBD Treasurer mentioned that Mr. Thomas Scanlon’s office has completed the audit and will attend a future meeting to explain his findings. A motion was made, seconded and so voted to pay the auditor out of the reserve fund once the bill is received.
Harvester/Maintenance/Weeds:
Mr. Amstead mentioned that Mr. Gary O’Brien’s crew began the permitted clean-up of outlet stream debris last week.
The Board discussed that they would like the harvester to start one week early in the 2020 season (May 18th).
Mission Statement: Mr. Hassett reviewed the Lake Buel District and its Board Members (Prudential Committee), Duties, Responsibilities and Powers they have as spelled out in Bylaws of The Lake Buel Restoration Preservation District. A printed copy of such was supplied to each Board Member. With this review and discussion it was deemed that a Mission Statement for the Prudential Committee was not needed.
New Business:

The Board discussed potential future remedies to manage weeds and silt, since it’s not known what the remedies may be. They proposed a reasonable amount ($20,000.00) be budgeted for five years to the Annual Warrant in order to be prepared if a solution is found.

Mr. Hagen will complete the cover letter for the Annual Warrant package, also to be included is a note asking for email addresses.

The Board reviewed and discuss Article #5 General Government and set the budget amounts with an increase of $1,833.34. Articles #6-8 & 10 will remain the same as the previous year. A new Article #9 will be added in the amount of $20,000 for a weed/silt removal account.

Next meeting is scheduled for May 14th at 6PM, Mrs. Pierce residence – Seven Arts Road, Monterey.

A motion was made, seconded and so voted to adjourn at 5:33PM and enter into executive session.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Chretien, District Clerk

Lake Buel District Board Meeting 11/19/19

Lake Buel District Board Meeting
November 19, 2019
28 Corashire Road, New Marlborough

Members present: Peter Hagen, Kyle Pierce, Chris Hassett, Mark Amstead, & Wayne Dolby.
Meeting was called to order by Chairman, Mr. Hagen at 7PM.
A motion was made, seconded and so voted to approve August 17th minutes as amended.
Old Business:
Email list: Mr. Hagen presented an email list that Mrs. Ginny Hyde has been working on, but more email addresses are needed for the Monterey side of the lake. The Board decided to put a notice in the tax bills requesting email addresses.
Audit: LBD Treasurer mentioned that Mr. Thomas Scanlon has contact her but hasn’t schedule a date, and she’ll reach out to Mr. Scanlon if no contact has been received from him by next week.
Harvester/Maintenance/Weeds:
The Board discussed the level of the lake which is still high – Mr. Hagen will contact Mr. Eric Ives.
Mr. Amstead meet with Mr. Gary O’Brien and Mr. Chuck Wyman regarding the debris clean up. Mr. Amstead mentioned that the dam is blocked with shrubs and muck. Mr. Amstead also said that Mr. O’Brien labor is $45.00 an hour times 5 guys and will use 2 ton dump trucks to remove the debris.
The Board discussed that it was a good idea to have the harvester on the lake later in the season.
Mission: The Board discussed a mission for the Harvester operations, Mr. Hassett will compose a mission statement.
Water Testing: Mrs. Pierce mentioned that Ms. Shannon Poulin has not been paid for the testing done, and she is owed for 8.5 hours. The Board would like to receive the weekly results and where the area is that is tested. A motion was made, seconded and so voted to pay Ms. Poulin for the 8.5 hours.

New Business:

Mrs. Pierce mentioned that the Town of Monterey wanted support for a grant that they are applying for, to repair the old stone dam behind the library. Mrs. Pierce also stated that the grant needed to be submitted so she signed the grant applicant on behalf of the Board.

The Board review the bank accounts balance and noticed that the new bank is giving great interest.
The Board began to discuss what they could possibly use free cash for on the upcoming annual warrant.
The Board discussed that they are very happy with the work Mr. David Ziegler has done for the District. A motion was made, seconded and so vote to purchase a gift certificate to the Old Mill Inn.
Next meeting is scheduled for January 2nd at 4PM, Mr. Dolby residence – 28 Corashire Road.

A motion was made, seconded and so voted to adjourn at 7:32PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Kathy Chretien, District Clerk