Tuesday Karl and I attended the Board of Selectmen’s meeting as they discussed the entire Town Meeting Warrant, and several other things. A few articles had been winnowed out of the pending Town Meeting Warrant, so our citizen’s petition has moved up to Article 38. That is Article 38 of 38, so we’re in the show, but just barely.
We were asked to be there to address any questions that the Board may have regarding our article, so even though I equate meetings to be on par with a trip to the dentist, I was pleased that we had an opportunity to address this issue that we are all so passionate about.
Imagine my delight when Selectmen Luca suggested that the pond’s condition is critical and should not be delayed a year, because even if we prevail at Town Meeting the funds would not be available until July 1 and we would have missed the window of opportunity to treat the pond this year. If you have been reading this blog for a while and the reports contained within the Resource page, you may recall that ponds typically must be treated in May.
Then Mr. Luca made a motion to fund the cleanup this year, May 2011, from UDAG Funds*. I am paraphrasing this, but the gist of his motion was this: Provide $35,000 to Conservation Commission exclusively for the treatment of Flannagan Pond this year. He suggested leaving Article 38 in place to provide ongoing funds for subsequent years, for Flannagan Pond. He suggested the formation of a Dam Management Committee, charged with the development of a Dam Management Plan. I seem to recall him mentioning that a comprehensive pond management plan be developed and implemented for ongoing care of Flannagan Pond.
There was some debate but in the end Mr. Luca’s motion was voted in the affirmative 4-0. Funds are immediately available and the ConsCom has been instructed to get the pond treated this spring. That is awesome news. We get started a year earlier than we had expected. Spread the news. Send a link to this page to your neighbors.
Next Thursday we get to meet with the Conservation Commission. I encourage you to attend.
Many thanks to the Ayer Board of Selectmen for listening to us and for taking action. It is appreciated greatly.
*Urban Development Action Grants (UDAG) Funds were an old federal program that provided money to be loaned for various economic development projects. Though the UDAG funds had restrictions, the use of repaid funds do not have such limitations.