June 18, 2001  Meeting Notes


In attendance: Freeland Abbott, Gene Benson, Ralph Elwell, Cathy Garnett, Brian Hasbrouck, Jane Howard, Elizabeth Karpati, Ann LeRoyer, Leslie Mayer, Walter Phillips, Sharon Stafford. The meeting was facilitated by Gene Benson. The minutes are by Elizabeth Karpati.

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, September 5.

Follow-up on May 22 public information meeting:

  • We have a videotape of the meeting, for possible showing on cable TV.
  • Gene Benson will e-mail all who signed the attendance sheet at the meeting, telling them how to get on our e-mail list.
  • David White has a picture of the old Mill Brook, before Colonial Village was built, for the Reservoir website.
  • Leslie Mayer brought the list of written questions and comments collected at the meeting, and these were discussed in detail. The list will be given to Rich Bento and Joe Connelly with a request for written replies where possible; also to Caryn Cove for "complaint tracking."
  • "Put the Powerpoint presentation on the website." Leslie has a copy. It will be put on with a date, and if we can get progress reports from Rich Bento, they can be added.
  • "Why ‘possibly’ bins for dog droppings – the Res needs these." If Parks & Rec puts out any bins, it would do so at the beach only, but they would be equally needed around the rest of the Res. Who would empty them – dog waste is not in the BFI contract.
  • "Need larger signage about dog leash / waste pick-up bylaw – it is seriously violated." The only sign at the beach says "No dogs allowed" – nothing about waste pick-up. Signs do no good without enforcement. Animal control officer visits on request only.
  • "Can the ‘jail-type’ chain link fence be removed?" Fence is needed around swimming area for control of admissions and because it is an "attractive hazard," and around parking area to prevent overnight parking; at most it could be replaced with a better-looking fence.
  • "Isn’t the tree stump area still there? Can the stump dump be removed permanently?" "The stump dump appears to be contributing nutrients and debris to both the Res and Mill Brook – will it be permanently removed?" Piles were partly removed but now they are again about as big as last winter, some old enough to have plants growing on them. Water chestnut harvesting will create another pile. Maybe some DPW employees have been dumping there without Rich Bento’s knowledge. Chick Abbott will speak to him about getting the piles removed.
  • "The Mill Brook channel and footpath are a mess – can re-vegetation and bank restoration with native species be completed as part of the dam improvement project and landscaping?" The Res project is not about Mill Brook.
  • "Will we see street safety improvements this summer? Lowell St. sidewalk that was already funded through CDBG? An additional crosswalk at the fence opening?"

Two curb cuts are done and crosswalk will be done; adding a streetlight is a possibility. There will be speed monitoring on Lowell Street when the swimming season begins, one week in one direction and another week in the opposite direction, and the data will be given to the Transportation Committee

  • "While we are planning for the future of the Reservoir area, it is key to include the portion of the area in Lexington as well. The Busa Farm takes up a major portion of the land in Lexington. This area currently contributes to the serenity of the Res (by being undeve-loped scenic green space), as well as possibly detracting from it (by contributing to an oversupply of nutrients in the water leading to excessive nuisance aquatic vegetation)."

"Is this farm protected from development? If no, it should be and we should work with Lexington and Arlington Land Trust to accomplish this objective."

"Have Busa Farm owners / operators been approached to explore options to reduce nutrient loading to the Reservoir? I’m sure the fertilizer applied to the farm is a significant contributor to the excessive nuisance aquatic plant growth in the Reservoir."

"One of the options would be to increase the non-tilled, no-fertilized vegetated buffers that will help filter and absorb nutrient runoff from the farm field before it reached the Reservoir." The Busa Farm is not now protected from development, but Lexington is looking at protecting it through the Community Preservation Act.

Next steps:

  • Preliminary design is supposed to be completed by August 1. Chick Abbott will check with Rich Bento about the plans – exactly where trees will be cut down, where and how wide the spillway will be, and whether we need to meet with him before our next meeting on Sept. 5, to which he is invited.
  • The consultant is talking only about the area that is going to be disturbed – how do we get improvements for the whole Res? Parks & Rec is responsible for the beach, DPW for the rest of the area, ConCom for the water, but nobody except our committee is concerned about the whole Res. We should try to get Parks & Rec "aboard" to care about the whole. (An overall plan for the Res would not be eligible for CDBG funding.)
  • Gene will update his "long-range plan" draft with all the improvement ideas we have come up with. We have talked about things like the trees, berm, footbridge, stump dump, and the threat to Busa Farm, but we have to fit all these pieces together. When we have a plan, we should present it to the Open Space Committee, which has a goal of having a management plan for every open space site.
  • Maybe we could use the Selectmen’s complaint tracking system – complain that we want an overall plan for the Res – but we should consult with Rich Bento first.


NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, September 5.

Agenda: Plan for Town Day, September 15; update on progress of plans for Res.

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