Past BOG Meeting Higlights
March BOG Meeting Highlights:
Amendments: Two proposed bylaw amendments were submitted by members for consideration at the May annual meeting.
The first amendment is to bring our bylaws into conformation with the opinion issued by the Office of Legislative Research and remove reference to absentee ballots. Per OLR, absentee ballots are not permitted in special taxing districts unless specifically allowed in the charter. Our charter does not allow for absentee ballots. See the OLR opinion Here.
The second amendment is to adopt Democratic Rules of Order (similar to Roberts Rules of Order, but simplified) for all meetings of the HLA. This is being suggested because presently we have no rules as to how to conduct business at our meetings, and several BOG meetings this past year were somewhat disorderly. Ex: During a contentious discussion at the beginning of the September meeting, the president declared the meeting adjourned without a motion and vote, and verbally resigned his position (which he later rescinded). Having some simple rules to follow should alleviate this type of problem in the future. See Democratic Rules of Order Here.
Committee Meetings: A member suggested that committee meetings be held at a place that is convenient to the public (Old Town Hall, Burr school, etc.,) as opposed to members' homes, and that all committee meeting schedules, agenda, and minutes be published on the website to conform with FOIA rules.
Membership/Voting Lists: A member voiced concerns that membership lists and voting lists are not accurate and should be resolved before the May Annual Meeting. See the member's statement in the March BOG meeting minutes.
Septic Pumping: Request for bids for 2023-24 fiscal year septic pumping have been sent out to six companies.
Bank Accounts: The treasurer and vice president will look into finding a bank that will offer higher interest rates than our current bank, Citizens.
Turtle Crossing Signs: The Wildlife Management Committee requested and received approval for the purchase and installation of two turtle crossing signs at each of the two causeways at a cost of $178.00.
2/17/22: Lake Committee Update - The Lake Committe has been investigating various ways that coud be used to remediate the muck that has built up on the lake bottom over many decades. The committee received preliminary proposals from two companies: The Pond and Lake Connection, our current vendor for weed control; and our former vendor, SOLitude Lake Managemnt, at the October and November meetings respectively. Discussions included the use of surface fountains, diffused air systems, nano bubblers, chemical treatments, bacteria augmentation, dredging and hydro-raking. There were some significant differences in their proposals in cost and efficacy. At the January meeting, the committee met with Mark June-Wells, PhD., and Larry Marsciano, both principal limnologists from Aquatic Ecosystem Research. Their discussions appear to cast doubt on the aeration systems with discussions centering on mechanical suction and possibly chemical muck removal. The committee plans to contact the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station for lake management guidance. To read more about the committee's work, visit the Committee Meeting Minutes (click here) or under the Member Information menu button at the top of this page.
The Aquatic Wildlife Management Committee winter newsleter is available along with previous issues (click here or on the Wildlife Committe button above)
11/8/21: Burning of Leaves Not Permitted - Per the Town of Haddam, "A permit is required to burn brush piles. Leaves, garbage or construction materials may not be burned. Haddam does not have a local ordinance concerning campfires, fire pits and open cooking. A permit is not required and fires of this type should not exceed 4' diameter and 4' in height. They must be contained in a chiminea, pit or ring. Any fire deemed to be unsafe or a nuisance by a Fire Officer or State Trooper will be extinguished. Complaints of smoke from neighbors [constitute] a nuisance." Click Here fo the Haddam Open Burning Procedure.
11/6/21: William Carson passing - We are sad to announce that Bill Carson, former long-time member of the Board of Governors and past treasurer, passed away on November 3rd. Here is a link to his obituary: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/hartfordcourant/name/william-carson-obituary?id=31277956
10/21/21: New - A new page has been added to the website. HLA committee minutes are now available in PDF format in the Committee Meeting Minutes page. Find this page under the "Member Information" tab above.
Beaver update: Protective fencing has been placed on the majority of trees at the beaches, thanks to the members of the Aquatic Wildlife Management Committee. Only one beaver has been spotted in recent weeks, however this does not mean more won't show up in coming months. Additional fencing is available to members who wish to wrap any trees on their property. CLICK HERE for information on how to wrap the trees and for the contact information to obtain fencing and possibly assistance from the AWMC.
8/30/21: Wildlife Committee From the president: I wanted to touch base with you and let everyone know we have a new Committee dedicated to aquatic wildlife and vegetation in and around Hidden Lake. Their first order of business is the informational newsletter that includes knowledge based facts regarding some of the wonderful wildlife we all have the privilege to watch and enjoy. (Click on Wildlife Committee button above)
This and any other information the Aquatic Wildlife Management Committee (AWMC) produces will be sent to association members. It will help us all to understand the benefits, precautions and lifestyles of our natural neighbors. The information provided will also be available for the taking at the drop boxes at the mailbox huts.
I would like to thank the AWMC members for their efforts.
Keha Esposito Marybeth Russo
Jill Carey Betty Barsevich
Kerri Ann Wilson Kaylee Wilson
If you happened to see any of these members, please feel free to thank them personally.
Anyone willing to assist the AWMC can contact Keha Esposito: email@example.com
8/30/21: From the Lake Committee A water depth gauge was recently installed near the dam and will assist the BOG and Lake Committee to regulate the water level during water draw down. Please keep a safe distance to avoid disturbing the gauge.
7/1/21: TAXES are due as of July 1. You can pay them online from the home page of this website. If not paid before August 2, a late charge is assessed at 1.5% per month, starting from July 1. According to our financial secretary (tax collector), after this year's revaluation by the Town of Haddam, our grand list has increased from $15,655,114 in 2020 to $17,601,537. In addition, members approved a 0.2 mil increase in the tax rate from 3.2 mils to 3.4 mils. The tax collector estimated that this will raise tax income from approximately $50,500 the past fiscal year to $60,500 during the current fiscal year, an increase of approximately 20%, in case you were wondering why your taxes went up. The Town of Haddam also increased their mil rate this year.
6/28/21: A Special Meeting was held to consider the adoption of proposed bylaw amendments of Sections 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 32, 34, and the repeal of section 40, which were mailed to all members. Many of the changes were grammatical, and some changes to capitalization of titles were made at the meeting. Sections 22 & 24 passed after being amended to remove wording concerning bonding of the president and recording secretary. Sections 23 and 26 did not pass as they failed to receive the required 2/3 vote. Section 25 & 30 passed with minor changes. Section 32 passed after changing the wording concerning special and annual meetings. Section 34 passed after the 30-day time was restored. Section 40 concerning the recreation building was repealed as the building was demolished and the property sold years ago. The 2021 revised bylaws will be available soon on this website.
6/28/21 Board of Governors meeting:
Septic Committee: It was reported that starting 7/1/21, 31 septic systems are scheduled to be pumped this year. Postcards have gone out to affected property owners, and they are also listed on the website under Septic Pumping.
Road Committee: There was no report from the Road Committe, but President Jay reported that Tom Woods is now the chairperson of the Road Committee.
Lake Committee: reported that the lake was treated for weeds on June 14, and the water was tested on June 22, with good results. Dave Chalifoux is the new chairperson of the Lake Committee, and Sheri Berger is a newly appointed member of the committee. President Jay stated that ropes and bouys will be installed at the beaches, hopefully before the holiday weekend. Help is requested. No Tresspassing and Fishing signs are also to be installed at the causeways.
Beautification Committee: reported the annual tag sale will be held on July 17 at 109 East Shore Drive. They are considering adding picnic tables to the beaches.
New Business: President Jay announced the new Aquatic Wildlife Management Committee, whose objective is "to learn to coexist with all of the wildlife living in and aournd our lake."
An HLA member brought up concerns about the beavers in that they continue to cause damage to trees and that they allegedly have shown aggressive behavior towards children on two separate occasions. At the annual meeting, President Jay was authorized to apply for an emergency permit to trap and euthanzie the beavers, but this permit was denied by the state. After a prolonged discussion, a motion was made by BOG member Victoria, seconded by Lloyd, to resubmit the emergency application to the state citing the new information. The motion failed on a 3-3 tie vote.
5/19/21: The Annual Meeting was held on Sunday, May 16th. The budget was approved including the 0.2 mil tax rate increase. After a lengthy discussion regarding the beavers, Association members present at the meeting voted to have the president apply for an off-season permit to have the beavers removed and euthanized by a licensed trapper. The results of the elections are as follows:
President - Jay Cassella
Vice President - Anthony Grandazzo
Recording Secretary - Jim Kearney
Treasurer - Bob Kiehm
Financial Secretary (tax collecto) - Sheri Berger
3-year Board of Governors Term - Cynthia Porriello
Continuing Board of Governors Members:
Past President - Lloyd Pearson
Victoria Nicholson - Term expires May 2022
Heather Edelson - Term expires May 2023
NEW: 3/30/21 - Transcript of the Question and Answer Session with Nick from The Pond and Lake Connection concerning lake management including drawdowns, chemical treatments, aeration, and other topics submitted by Lake Committe members and from Association members attending the November 2020 Board of Governors Meeting (ZOOM). Click Here
8/14/20: Results of the Special Meeting of the Hidden Lake Association held on Thursday, August 13, via ZOOM: Members present at the special meeting held on August 13th unanimously approved the allocation of $25,000 from the general reserve to be used for road drainage work. An estimateof $35,000 was provided by County Hill Landscape & Excavation of North Haven (CLICK HERE for the estimate). It was announced at the meeting that the contractor had lowered the estimate to $33,000 providing that alll of the work was done at one time. It is estimated that it should take 3-4 weeks to complete. The additional funds ($8,000) will come from the 2020-2021 budget that was approved by the Board of Governors on June 15th. At the time of the special meeting there were no other estimates available, although it was reported that a member is seeking a quote from another firm.
7/4/20:Results of the June 29th Election Meeting held via ZOOM:
President: Jay Cassella
Vice President: Dale Fiore
Secretary: Lori-Ann Hoberman
Treasurer: Robert Kiehm
Financial Secretary: Sheri Berger
3-year Board of Governors Term: Heather Edelson (Term expires 2023)
Continuing on the Board of Governors is Lloyd Pearson (past president), Cynthia Poriello (term expires 2021), and Victoria Nicholson (term expires 2022).
7/3/20: President's July 2020 Newsletter (Click Here)
(Note: opinions expressed in the President's Newsletter do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Board of Governors.)
Beavers: Several beavers have taken up residence in a lodge located on the shore at West Cove near Hidden Lake Road. Nearby neightbors have complained that the beavers have been felling some trees and shrubs over the last few months. The Board of Governors has decided to take up this subject at the Annual Meeting scheduled for May 17th. It is hoped that the semi-annual lowering of the lake in Octboer may force the beavers out of their lodge and cause them to relocate. The only other solution, if we want to remove the beavers, is to hire a licensed trapper between December 1st and March 31st. We have been told that relocating beavers is not an option, so if they don't leave on their own, they will have to be trapped and exterminated. In the meantime, to protect your property, here are several links to explore:
Beaver Lodge in West Cove
New Storage Shed: A new storage shed was installed during the fall to store various items used in the maintenance of the lake and beaches. The shed measures 14' x 20' and is located on West Shore Drive on Association property.
New Storage Shed
The Members Only Pages are password protected. The following pages listed under the Members Only tab on the menu bar are password protected: Minutes, Annual Meeting, Taxes, Lake Report, Septic Pumping, and Safe Deposit Box Documents. The password has not changed and a username is no longer required. HLA members and residents who do not have the password to access these pages, please CONTACT US. In your email, please include the property owner name, property address, and your name and address. Upon verification that you are an HLA member, we will email you the password to access these pages.
CAES Survey: The 2018 Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station survey of Hidden Lake weeds is available on the CAES website link. A copy of the reports for both 2018 and 2005 in PDF format is available for download from this site. CAES 2018 Survey
7/1/18: Contact Form/Boat Sticker Request (click here)
All HLA members' boats on the lake must be registered with the Association.The purpose of the registration is to monitor boats on the lake and at our beaches. Boats left on our beaches that do not have a sticker attached are subject to removal by the Association. Click on the link above to obtain additional copies, which can be mailed to HLA, PO Box 401, Higganum CT 06441. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
The septic pumping list for the year July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022 is now available on the Septic Pumping page. Each homeowner is required by ordinance to have their tank pumped once every four years on the schedule determined by the Association. This scheduled pumping is paid for by the Association. Homeowners due to have their tanks pumped this year will receive a postcard in July notifying them to contact Cahill Septic Service to make arrangements. Failure to comply could result in a fine of $25 per day after June 30, 2022.
Boats on HLA Beaches
From our Bylaws: Section 44. Only such owners not in possession of lake shore frontage may moor their boats at these beaches. Persons who are not owners of property or lessees of cottages by the Season or month, shall not keep a boat on the lake or store it on the land for use on the lake periodically. All boats at the beach or on the lake must have a Hidden Lake Association registration sticker attached.
Concerning motors on the lake
Reminder: Motorized recreational vehicles, including snowmobiles, jetskis, or boats, kayaks, canoes, etc. not permitted on the lake except that small vessels may use an electric trolling motor with a maximum of 55 ft-lbs of torque, powered only by a sealed battery, and must be registered with DMV and display the registration numbers, date sticker, and also the HLA sticker on the bow. The lake itself is owned by the Hidden Lake Association, Inc., and use of the lake by members of the association is subject to the bylaws. Please read below:
Section 41-A. The propelling of boats or other recreational vehicles (year-round) on Hidden Lake by a gasoline engine, Diesel engine, a steam engine, an alcohol engine, a kerosene engine, whether of portable type or built in, is prohibited.
The use of electric trolling motors is permitted, with a maximum of 55 lb. thrust and the Battery accompanying the electric motor must be a sealed cell system. This shall not prohibit the use by the Association of any power engine in a utility boat or a police boat.
A reminder that dogs and other pets are not permitted on the beach at any time, per our bylaws.
There have been reported incidents of non-members accessing the lake with kayaks, canoes, and boats brought in by car or truck. Besides the fact that these people are tresspassing on our lake, these incidents increase the risk of our lake becoming contaminated with invasive weeds such as Eurasian milfoil. Invasive weeds can take over a lake in a short period of time and are difficult and expensive to eradicate. If you witness an occurrence, try to obtain the registration number, vehicle description, and location, and notify the State Police that there are tresspassers on the lake (the lake is posted against tresspassing). We advise against confronting the violators yourself, based upon past experiences of some lake members. We would appreciate it if you would also notify the Association via the email link at the bottom of this page. Thanks for your help.
The Hidden Lake Association Board of Governors Meets monthly on the last Monday of the month (except May and December), 6:30 pm at the at the Old Town Hall, Field Park Road, Haddam. Meetings are subject to cancellation or date changes depending upon BOG members' availability to meet a quorum. If you would like to bring a matter before a meeting, or are interested in the time and date of a meeting, CONTACT US.