Nobody else is doing anything about it and it's the people of Long Pond who are going to suffer by at least reduced property values, or at worst someone getting hurt. We have no choice other than to start a grassroots movement to do the right thing, or ignore it and suffer the consequences. The annual tax pales in comparison to the reduction in property values that will occur once the Pond is choked off and no longer available for recreation. The only way for the people to control the future of what happens on and to the water is to have a District run by the Proprietors of Long Pond and NOT by the municipality, State or Federal government.
It should be noted that as a District, we would qualify for Federal funding which could potentially pay for the eradication of the invasive species. This would mean the annual cost would be greatly decreased or eliminated.
The proposed budget cost to the Proprietors would be approximately .0004 percent of the property's assessed value. On a home assessed at $500,000, the annual cost would be $200 on the tax bill. Again, this is if no federal funding is procured, and most important is that any assessed taxes would be voted on by District proprietors first
The purpose of the District is to resurrect and protect this wonderful resource by using sustainable and appropriate environmental practices. The primary focus is water quality. Improving the water quality starts with invasive species eradication. If you view the video on the website, all the footage and pictures of invasive weeds are of Long Pond.
We need to collect 200 valid signatures from each Town in order to hold a Special Town Meetings in both Freetown and Lakeville to put forth a vote to accept a special act of Legislation to create the Freetown Lakeville Lake District. Once the towns vote in favor of the District, the State Senate and subsequently the Governor have to approve the District. Once the final approval is given by the Governor, the towns will call a special meeting of the Proprietors to elect the board that will run the District and to vote on accepting the budget.
We have engaged Solitude Lake Management and their experience to address the invasive weeds affecting the pond. Options include mechanical harvesting as well as herbicide treatments. For proof of effectiveness, look no further than the canal at Parkhurst Estates. Their association has been treating the canal for over 10 years with herbicides and have completely eliminated invasive weeds there.
If you are not a registered voter, please visit this site to register: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ovr/
Then, be sure to attend the special town meeting so you can vote!
We would support that however the way the State implemented the management agreement with Freetown limits what we can do, specifically limiting fees collected to boat ramp maintenance and attendant salary. The State also limits the fee to $10 at state ramps, by law. It would take 35,000 boat launches to raise the funds necessary for an initial herbicide treatment of the ponds 300+ infested acres.
For those proposing we shut the ramp down or turn the pond private, the State also mandated by law that the ramp remain open to the public
We believe the State will approve and even assist in design and setup, but at the end of the day it’s little more than a pressure washer with a collection system.
A wash station alone will not address the fact the pond is already infested.
We have, and both organizations flatly stated they will not charge their residents to fund addressing Long Pond as it is not the direct source of their water.
The water commissioner also advised “watch what you wish for”…alluding to the risk that if either city steps in, they may very well demand things we do not want, such as ‘no more power boats’ or swimming
We intend to, but as private citizens we cannot. We need to form a District to do so, and one of our first steps will be to solicit whatever funds are available from any and all sources
We have managed to raise $30K in 4 years…so in just 40 more years we’ll have enough for the initial treatment
At the end of day, fundraising is not a viable approach for the monies we need, however we are happy to continue fundraising and welcome support from the community to fund District activities
We had one…the Long Pond Association. Despite best efforts, they only managed to collect $1,000 back in 2009.
We also investigated this route…and several attorneys we approached all said it was a bad idea. Our main concern is that 1 person would be responsible for running the nonprofit, not a group. This same individual would be responsible for grant applications. That 1 person also gets to decide where that money is spent. Not you…not me…that 1 individual determines the fate of those monies and decisions. We also do believe there is any State oversight of a non-profit, unlike a District. Ultimately, we feel the best way to keep control of what happens to the pond is through the District model.
A District, which is managed by many proprietors, is subject to state oversight committee audits and the limits imposed on us by our formation legislation, and further by our own bylaws.
We are certainly not opposed to other residents forming a nonprofit in support of and/or in conjunction with the District and its goals
We talked to a significant number of residents both on the pond and off. The overwhelming majority of residents that do not live on the pond said they would vote No to District creation because they do not enjoy a direct benefit to the pond, unlike those of us with waterfront or direct access via the many neighborhoods on the pond.
We concluded the best approach was to focus on the residents with the most to gain, or lose, with respect to Long Pond health
First, this assumes the District proprietors, once formed, vote to approve a fee of any form. We feel it’s the fairest approach. In brief, $500 to a person in a $200K home is likely a steeper ask than someone living in a $750K home
Initial 1st year estimate to treat the 300+ acres is $350K IF we want to treat the entire pond that first year, primarily by herbicide.
Ultimately the District will need to decide how to spend its operating budget, in consideration of Solitude’s input (or any other company that we choose that specializes in aquatic invasive weed eradication and management)
The District committee, once formed, will identify all properties with either water frontage, deeded access, or are in a neighborhood with a benefit to Long Pond (e.g. a boat ramp, right of way, or a community beach) via maps and/or research via Town deed records
What about opting out?
SECTION 21 addresses the option for non-waterfront homes to remove exclude themselves from the District. This approach and language was taken directly from other State approved lake district legislation
We hope and encourage that the District would be run on a volunteer basis, however in the Legislation we did give the District the flexibility to pay 1 more more members as the Proprietors deem appropriate. This may be necessary to attract the most qualified person(s) for a given position.
SECTION 18. The district may, by majority vote, agree upon appropriate compensation for its officers and employees, including the committee members, in the event that the district shall include in its budget appropriations for its employees or committee members to perform duties with respect to the lakes within the district