We’ve moved to…

Our old site SaveOurPond.Wordpress.Com has been replaced with a new and improved site: Friends of Flannagan Pond dot Com.

friendsofflannaganpond.com

I trust this address will be easier for more people to remember. I have tried to archive all of the old site onto the new one and I think I have succeeded.

In the upcoming months I hope to add sections on Waterfowl, Fishing and Boating. So I will be looking for a few authors to contribute content in these areas

The new site is no longer hosted on WordPress’ server. With my own server I will have a great deal more flexibility with the back-end tech stuff that most of you don’t give a hoot about.

As I add features that you may find interesting, I’ll drop you a line.

Chuck

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11 ESV)

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11 ESV)

As 2011 winds to a close, let us take time to reflect on the goodness that has transpired over the past twelve months.

Take time to enjoy the comforts of family, home and hearth. Celebrate the good news of great joy…

Merry Christmas,

Chuck

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Flannagan Pond Article prevails at Fall Town Meeting

This is the 100th post on this blog.  I am thrilled to pass the century mark.

What better way to celebrate than with a post about another victory at Town Meeting.

Article 4 was the most contentious discussion at the meeting, in the same way Article 38 was at the Annual Town Meeting in May. The difference was that this time the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of our initiative.

Congratulations to all the citizens of Ayer and the neighbors surrounding Flannagan Pond who will share in this victory as we move into an era of Pond Stewardship in Ayer.

Special thanks go to Selectman Gary Luca who championed the Community Preservation effort on our behalf. Thanks to the many members of the Board of Selectmen, Finance Committee, Conservation Commission and Community Preservation Committee who supported this effort. I truly believe we have turned the corner in making Ayer’s Pond a priority.

Thanks so much for coming out to vote.

Chuck

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Fall Town Meeting – Oct 24 – a Call to Action

The next battle to secure funding for Flannagan Pond weed treatment is scheduled for Monday evening, October 24, 2011 at 7:00 at the Ayer/Shirley High School Auditorium.

You may recall that at the Spring 2011 Annual Town Meeting, we raised awareness of the plight of Flannagan Pond and the assembly voted to treat the pond with the passing of Article 38.

When that meeting adjourned, the FY2012 budget was out of balance. No funding source was proposed at Town Meeting.

Shortly thereafter, Selectman Gary Luca submitted a proposal to the Community Preservation Committee for allocating funds to support this initiative.  A majority of the CPC approved the proposal and it comes to a vote at the October 24th Meeting.  We have come a long way but continued success requires voters to show up to clinch a victory. Our article is the fourth of nine that are on the agenda.  The full text is posted below.

I look forward to seeing you at the High School Auditorium.

Chuck

ARTICLE 4: COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT
To see if the Town will vote to appropriate or transfer from the Community Preservation Fund FY2012 estimated annual revenues, reserve funds, or undesignated fund balance the sum of $35,000.00, more or less, for invasive vegetative control at Flannagan’s Pond (aka Fletcher’s Pond), located in the Town, and $10,000 for a study of the various dams and ponds in the Town to be administered by the Ayer Dam and Pond Management Committee; and further, to authorize the Board of Selectmen to enter into any agreements, execute any documents, or accept a deed restriction in said property, as may be necessary to effectuate the vote taken hereunder, or take any action thereon or in relation thereto.

Sponsor: Community Preservation Committee
Board of Selectmen: Recommends
Finance Committee: Recommends
Simple Majority Vote Required

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Reminder – Conservation Commission Meeting

Photo by Doug Kerr of Albany, New York (DougTone on Flickr)

This is a reminder for those of you who may be interested.  The Conservation Commission is proactively looking at possible solutions to the proliferation of Watershield and Water Lilies on Flannagan Pond.

They will be discussing this at their meeting this evening at Ayer Town Hall at 7:00.  I do not know what is on the whole agenda, or where this item is on the agenda. If I get more specific information I’ll post an update. Perhaps I’ll see you there.

Chuck

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(Water) Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts

Watershield

The Ayer Conservation Commission asked Lycott Environmental to provide a quote for adding the treatment of Watershield and White and Yellow Lilies to the existing contract that is in place for the treatment of Fanwort and Milfoil on Flannagan Pond in the Spring of 2012.

That is good news and I am thrilled that the ConsCom is proactive regarding this issue.

Lycott came back with the quote and my enthusiasm was dulled with the revelation of dollar figure.  It will cost an additional $18,800 to treat the Watershield and the Lilies. This is 60% of the figure already contracted, so it is far too large for a simple change order.

Becky has added this item to the Conservation Commission’s agenda for Thursday evening’s meeting (October 20th) this week at Ayer Town Hall. I am eager to hear what the members say. I hope to see some of you there.

Thanks again to the Commission for looking ahead on this matter.

Some of the readers may be confused by the title of the post, but I’ll bet a few of you will know what it is.  If so, pipe in on the comments.

Chuck

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Community Preservation Committee OKs request for Flannagan Pond

Bare Hill Pond in Harvard

The CPC reconvened on Wednesday evening to discuss two proposals; 1) the Town Hall Generator and 2) Flannagan Pond Weed Treatment.

First, let’s thank Selectman Gary Luca who submitted the CPA request as an ardent advocate for our mission to clean up and beautify Flannagan Pond. Selectmen Pauline Conley and Jim Fay also came out and spoke in favor of the proposal.  Thanks also to the CPC for taking so much time to discuss the merits or concerns of the proposal.

A great deal of debate took place regarding whether the proposal fit the criteria of the Community Preservation Act or the priorities set forth by a CPC plan put forth a couple years ago.  A sticky point for some folks was how this got to the CPA, mostly due to the confusing machinations inserted into the process due to our original Citizen’s Petition.

At the end of the discussion, which was at times passionate, but civil, the vote was 6-2 in favor of taking the Flannagan Pond proposal to Fall Town Meeting. I do believe there is an opening on the Community Preservation Committee. Think about it.

It is clear that the FOFP petition has turned Town Hall on it’s ear, as we have all (citizens and committee members alike) been through the wringer at multiple Selectmen’s meetings, Conservation meetings, Finance Committee meetings, CPC meetings, Town Meeting and now, on October 24th, the Fall Town Meeting. Though it is at times grueling or frustrating, I am pleased that we are making a big difference in Town and we are effectively making the care of our many ponds in Ayer a priority.

The Selectmen will be meeting on Friday morning to finalize the Fall Town Meeting warrant.  There are some very important issues that will be discussed at the Town Meeting, including the Flannagan Pond funding through this CPA article.  Mark your Calendar for the evening of October 24th and plan on a delightful gathering with your neighbors.

Chuck

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