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Minutes, Spring Meeting

JPA Association - May 21, 2016

The Spring Meeting of the Joe's Pond Association was called to order by President Tom Dente on May 21, 2016, at 10:03 a.m.. There was a larger than normal attendance, perhaps due to the exceptionally mild, sunny weather. President Dente made some announcements before reports were read. First, he thanked Pam and Joe Hebert, who were not present, for opening and preparing the pavilion for today's meeting; he then announced there would be a tag sale at the pavilion on July 10 and anyone interested in having a table should contact Dee McKown [802-684-3900]. He also said he would like members to consider honoring long-time members such as Homer Fitts, who sold his cottage recently, and Don Walker, who his cottage over to daughter Michelle, after being at the pond over 50 years. Both Homer and Don have served JPA in many capacities over the years, and Tom suggested making them members emeritus. The group agreed; Michelle Parker offered to make a plaque that could be displayed at the pavilion with names added as needed as approved by the Board of Directors and meet the criteria. Tom asked for a vote on whether to establish an emeritus member honoring policy, and it was unanimously agreed to do so.

Secretary's and treasurer's reports were read and accepted without comment. After George Anderson's very brief treasurer's report, Andy Rudin asked him if he could possibly train Don Sherwood to be equally brief.

Jane Brown gave a brief Ice-Out Contest report and introduced the winner of the 2016 contest, Pamela Swift, from Barre. President Dente presented Pamela with a certificate and a check in the amount of $5,297.

Susan Bouchard announced there will be a new activity this year, a Sunfish class sailboat race on July 17, with a rain date of August 14th. She urged sailors to contact her for singles or doubles races, and asked anyone who has a boat but does not wish to race consider letting someone else use the boat. She can be reached at 802-563-2716. Tom reminded the sailors from years ago they are not too old to race again, and urged them to get out their boats.

Another new event being resurrected from a few years ago is the pig roast on August 13. Bill Keach and Michelle Parker have agreed to oversee this event, and although Bill said he wasn't certain of the menu, Michelle assured everyone the meal would be the same as before. Michelle has tickets, call her at 802-229-8565.

Ray Rouleau explained that the Richers, who have done our Joe's Pond signs for several years, have sold their property and are moving away, so he will be taking care of the signs for the foreseeable future. There have been several changes this year, most of which have been taken care of by Ray.

Pam Hebert was not at the meeting, but Tom reported for her that greeting will begin on Fathers's Day and end on Labor Day. One Greeter had brush-up training before the season begins. The biennial inspection was not done last year as planned, so it will be done this August. Results will be published on the website and in next year's newsletter.

Henretta Splain announced she is having an inspection done of her property to find out how to better control runoff from her sloping property into the pond. She invited anyone interested to be join them at her house during the inspection.

Larry reported work on the tennis courts will begin the week of May 22, weather permitting. He said there has been a request for one court to be striped for pickle ball, and that will add $400 to the cost. The courts will be useable even though they are being worked on, and work should be finished quickly. He said new barrels for the cookers will be done this summer.

Sam Lewis went into detail to explain that Cabot has initiated a new Flood Plain Map as of May, 2013, based on original mapping done in 1985. He said since listing his property for sale he has discovered his property may be inaccurately designated as being in a flood plain area. His efforts to locate reliable information regarding the 100 year flood record have been unsuccessful. He has contacted state agencies and Green Mountain Power Corp., with no concrete evidence. The present map used by Cabot has inaccurate property addresses, adding to the confusion. Sam advised property owners to try to find out if they are in a designated flood plain. Danville does not have mapping done yet, but Sam said it is inevitable that they will. It is incumbent on the property owner to prove or disprove the mapping, and to do this, it seems the only reliable method is for the property to be surveyed to establish a home's elevation. Tom Morgan stated that if a home is in a location that might be flooded, it would be prudent to purchase flood insurance regardless of the mapping.

There was some discussion of when property around the lake was flooded and how high the water has been in the past. Sam thought there might be 15-20 properties within the Cabot established flood plain. Andy Rudin suggested contacting the Army Corps of Engineers. Although the dam in West Danville can better control water level than years ago, the Public Service Board has ruled a narrow margin of fluctuation must be maintained; however, Tom Dente said if an unusual weather event is expected, the water can be lowered more than the PSB normally allows. Tom thanked Sam for his research and bringing this issue to the members.

Ron Gauthier reported all Rail-Trail signage is up and the trail between St. Johnsbury and West Danville is officially open. He said there will be a Grand Opening ceremony on Thursday, June 23, with celebrants starting in St. Johnsbury at 9 a.m. and arriving at West Danville Beach around 10 a.m. There will be more on that later. He also warned there have been bear sightings on the trail in the St. Johnsbury and Danville areas. Someone asked Ron if there was a time frame for the Rail Trail to be completed, and his response was, "I hope I live to see it." He said sections at the north end are being worked on but there will need to be a great deal more money raised to complete the project.

Henretta Splain described the July 3rd Spirits of Vermont event saying there will be new brewers attending and two caterers offering a variety of food for the event.

Sue LaGue invited Cabot voters to sign a petition asking that the Cabot School budget items be by Australian ballot. She said the school portion of town meeting is held on Monday night, before the regular Tuesday town meeting, and only 50 or so people routinely show up to vote. Anyone who is away at that time is unable to vote. Being on Australian ballot would mean more people would have the opportunity to vote.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jane Brown, Secretary