In attendance: Freeland Abbott, Susan Caruso, Ralph Elwell, Cathy Garnett, Brian Hasbrouck, Jane Howard, Elizabeth Karpati, Ann LeRoyer, Laura Moore, Leslie Mayer, Lois Wainstock, David White.

The meeting was facilitated by Jane Howard. The minutes are by Elizabeth Karpati.

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, November 17, 8 p.m. Town Hall Annex, 2nd floor meeting room.

Update on draft of Consultant's Report by Freeland Abbott:

  • He isn't considering Cataldo Brook (which together with the Reservoir outflow forms Mill Brook) at all! The June 1998 flooding was due to water from Cataldo Brook, not from the Res. I.e., he is looking at the wrong watershed area. Great Meadows is included in watershed. Even the Mystic Lakes must be considered -- in a 10,000-year storm they'll rise enough to back up Mill Brook. 
  • There are [unspecified] methodological questions as well.
  • Regulatory problem: Looking at the dam in isolation because the question that was raised was about the safety of the dam.
  • Planned meeting of Richard Bento and Alan McClennen with consultant has not yet taken place (may be held next week).
  • R. Bento is making a copy of draft report, should be asked for another copy for this committee.
  • Report needs to be final by end of this year so that the Town can respond to the State. But no timeline yet for our response to the draft. The study was delayed about 4 months until the Town found money for it, delaying the original plan for community meetings in the fall.
  • What's the process? Oversight and communication = F. Abbott talking to R. Bento about it every week or two. Process for Spy Pond study was that consultant did a preliminary report, group members reviewed it, consultant tweaked it, back and forth several times. But that was a more well-defined project.
  • We need a timeline, or at least a list of steps involved (who will draft?) R. Bento should be asked about his expectations regarding a timeline.
  • Standard scope of such a study is that it must enable the Town to respond to the State. This may not provide enough information for our needs, but it is the Town that will determine when the report is acceptable (and the consultant gets paid).
Website (thanks to David White!) 
  • -- also accessible from Town's home page.
  • Contains a lot of information: issues, whom to contact, events (meetings, bird walks), dam inspection report summary, article that appeared in Advocate, topographical map, agendas and minutes.
  • Cathy Garnett will try to get a map with watershed boundary to add to website.
Bird walks:
  • Two down, two to go. Res walk led by Karsten Hartel netted 54 species, including glimpses. Only one person and NO interesting/unusual birds showed up for Spy Pond walk in unpromising weather. 
  • Remaining walks are at Res on Nov. 6 and Spy Pond on Nov. 13; they were listed in Advocate.
Res Survey by Laura Moore, Leslie Mayer, Lois Wainstock:
  • Survey got 87 responses on Town Day. Was also distributed at Peirce and Dallin Schools (to get responses from likely users of swimming area, because it wasn't ready in time to be distributed at swimming area while that was in use) and got 119 responses, i.e., maybe 20% of families with children at these schools.
  • Replies were tabulated by Leslie Mayer (separately from Town Day and from schools). Leslie produced an impressive multi-page report with graphs as well as numbers.
  • Responses confirmed that the Res is viewed as a valuable resource by many people. (Those who said yes to cutting trees may not have understood how much cutting would be involved -- more public education seems to be needed on this point.)
  • Strong sentiment against abandoning the swimming area.
  • Next step is for the survey committee to "digest and evaluate" -- try to get some patterns and conclusions. Possible uses for more concise statement of results:
  • Presentation at Nov. 10 meeting of Standing Committee?
  • Census mailing insert? (Would keep the Res question on front burner.) Needs to go to printer by end of third week of December.
  • Post on website? (with abbreviated questionnaire?)
  • Mail to respondents?
  • Get it printed in Advocate?
  • Survey did not contain questions about access or safety.
  • "Questions we ask should be worded so as to educate."
  • Jane Howard will give Richard Bento a copy of the survey results.
  • Lois W. contacted respondents who said they wanted to work on issues. 69% of them want to stay informed, but only 32% of these have e-mail. We can put interested people on mailing list; also post information on any community bulletin boards like the one at Spy Pond Park, and at the Library. Complete survey results should be put in Library.
  • Send survey results to people in Lexington, e.g. ConCom members?
Future activities:
  • Planning through June was deferred to November meeting.
  • Planning for any community or visioning meetings delayed by delay in consultant's report. 
  • Involve other interested parties in our meetings -- Recreation Dept, ConCom, Lexington people (ConCom or any others who may be interested -- Ralph Elwell can get list of people involved in building playground at Res.)? Invite Mr. Busa (owner of farm adjoining the Res)? Personal invitation from anyone who knows such people would be best. 
  • Safety concerns for both Arlington and Lexington people living near the Res have been raised by the recent fatal accident on Lowell Street. There will be a study of traffic patterns in the area. New police chief Ryan wants our help in keeping the issue alive.
NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, November 17, 8 p.m. Town Hall Annex, 2nd floor meeting room.

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