March 21, 2001  Meeting Notes


In attendance: Gene Benson, Ralph Elwell, Jane Howard, Elizabeth Karpati, Ann LeRoyer, Leslie Mayer, Susan Wheelock. David White.

The meeting was facilitated by Gene Benson. The minutes are by Elizabeth Karpati.

Gene Benson reported from Rich Bento that the landscaping plan is incomplete.

Waterproofing the berm:

  • Susan Wheelock is concerned about driving steel plates into the berm, suggests that a bituminous layer topped with sand, or a rubber liner, would be cheaper and wouldn’t disturb the vegetation.
  • Steel plates are just a possibility; the engineers would have to recommend a method for waterproofing and we would have to ask about alternatives. This is a question of what will work and how much it will cost, not a safety issue like the dam.
  • Plans would have to be shown to the Selectmen, ConCom, and Parks & Rec, maybe also the Town Manager (not necessary if work is funded from Enterprise Fund), and this committee wants to see them too!

Communication matters:

  • Lexington abutters don’t know about our activities, per Susan. Should we advertise our meetings in the Lexington paper?
  • Has there been any communication yet from our Town Manager to theirs? Gene will ask Rich Bento.
  • Jane suggested issuing a "position paper" with the Res tags this year.
  • Do we need a separate "Friends of the Res" group? Could we get participation? There are a lot of other things going on like Reeds Brook, Summer Street, Peirce School.

Planning for Public Meeting:

We have the Town Hall auditorium for May 22. When should publicity start?

  • Announce it on first day of regular Town Meeting, April 23, and/or in Vision 2020 report to TM.
  • Leslie will put together a flyer which can be included in materials for TM members.
  • Post flyer at Res, Busa’s, Robbins Library, Recreation; in schools, at Boys’ & Girls’ Club; Drake Village; supermarkets etc. which have community bulletin boards; bulletin board at Spy Pond Park.
  • Mail or distribute flyer to abutters (David White will get list).
  • Mail flyer to Lexington ConCom (David will also talk to them) & Lexington Citizens for the Environment.
  • Put announcements on Town website and listserv; on Arlington birders’ listserv; in Arlington Advocate and Lexington Minuteman.
  • Article in Advocate in early April (Ralph); item in Kelwyn Manor Park newsletter in May (Elizabeth).
  • Possibly include information in newsletter for newcomers?

Ingredients for meeting:

  • Chair/MC: Gene Benson?
  • Presentations by Rich Bento; Parks & Rec, ConCom (explain their responsibilities & the process); consultants for dam and landscaping (explain the plans, & the permits needed).
  • Leslie will talk to Joe Connelly of Parks & Rec about their role and ask them to our planning meeting.
  • Should Open Space Committee be included, or would that be too many?
  • Rich Bento should ask Town Manager if he wants to be there.
  • State Representatives and Senator should be invited
  • Display (model?) of design is needed; include consultants’ timeline.
  • "Then and now" display – maps or pictures – does anyone have pictures, old or current? Include chronology done by ConCom that was handed out at a recent Town Day.
  • Present information about the value of the Res, e.g. how many people use the swimming area, and some of the survey results; bird list like the one for Spy Pond (Elizabeth will do). "How people use the Res and how Nature uses it."
  • There should be items displayed and items to take home, e.g.a brief history/timeline with something about the value of the Res and the plans for it, and the bird list; include copies of take-home items in packet for Town Meeting members.
  • Meeting should include time for Q&A and for "milling around."
  • Be prepared for difficult questions: how did we get into this situation; cost; source of funds; flooding problems (make it clear that the Res is not responsible unless dam or gate breaks).
  • Make sure consultants consider downstream effects of changing operation of dam. (More flood storage capacity in summer if water level kept low.)

Earth Day plans involving Res:

  • Karsten Hartel will lead a bird walk at 9:30 a.m Sunday, April 22.
  • Bryan Hasbrouck will lead another walk, focusing on history & plans, that afternoon.
  • If water tower is open, have our handouts there, including notice of public meeting.

Discussion of Gene Benson’s draft of immediate goals:

  • We should have a vision for the Res and goals flowing from that vision. Complete the sentence "We value the Res for…."
  • When (for how much rain) would the gate be raised for flood control? Who would make the decision? This would have to be stated in management plan (must that be approved by the state?).
  • Additional goals mentioned:
  • Sidewalk on Lowell Street, in addition to walking path around whole Res that is accessible year-round.
  • Safe crossings.
  • Bike racks.
  • Maintenance of path.
  • "Maintenance of vegetation" should cover both landscaped and natural vegetation.
  • Policing.
  • Keep Mill Brook and feeders clean and flowing.
  • Clear lines of responsibility (Who is in charge now – DPW or Parks & Rec? For spillway it’s the DPW.)
  • Year-round access to playground.
  • Year-round access to parking area -- but would require policing for overnight parking and for partying.
  • Management plan should include traffic and pedestrian safety.
  • Connection from bikepath to Res? Or would this encourage mountain bikes? Connection from bikepath to swimming area?
  • Sign identifying the Res and where the water comes from and where it goes.
  • Tree identification signs? Sign showing the ten most likely birds?
  • Design for former "stump dump" should also include walking path & bridge over Mill Brook.


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