Friday, November 24, 2006

With Rain, Dam is Opened Again

Just received another call from the caretaker of the dam, Fuddy. He had closed the gate of the dam earlier in the week down to one inch. Today he opened the gate back to 8 inches to get rid of yesterday's rain. But most importantly we are already up to where we should be for this time of year. Yes! Already up to where we should be this time of year!

Some may say we are still too low but if you take a look there are a few reasons to keep it down... docks legs are in the water at King's Campground (not good with freezing weather ahead, water flowing from the watershed quickly brings us up (it was flowing like a brook down the hill from Lake Manchaug Camping to the lake), my neighbor is just one of many going through the hearing process to clean up their beach area, and others are still repairing walls and docks, and we use lake level drawdown to reduce the aquatic weed growth.

Remember that here at Manchaug Pond, one inch of rain brings us up 10 inches with the run-off from the watershed. Fuddy reports using the same system this year as they have for 23 years. He reports the lake went up 6 inches with just this last rainfall on Thanksgiving. If he hadn't opened it, the water level would have come up a foot plus. Further, Fuddy reports we have had 4 1/2 inches in 2 weeks. If he hadn't opened the gate, we would have come up about 4 feet!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dams in the News: A Sutton Dam No One Wants!

No, it is not Manchaug Pond's dam, not Steven's, not Tucker's, not Singletary's, not Ramshorn's.... Can you name it, do you know where it is?

Does it look familiar at all?

How about from this angle?

How about the flow from the other side of the road?

Give up!?!

It's called SINGING DAM, and it is located on the Blackstone River in the Wilkinsonville section of Sutton and is the future site of the Sutton 300's Tricentennial Park.

The park design has been long completed and is posted on the site and in Manchaug center.

Construction of the 5 acre park is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2005.

What? 2005? It's 2006 now, going on 2007! What's the hold up?

Well, Sutton Selectman report that the $$ is all there for the Park: $$ from the Blackstone River Valley Corridor Commission Heritage Partnership Program has been long spent on the design. $$ has been secured to fund construction through the Mass Highway Dept. Transportation Enhancement Program. Further, DEP reports Blackstone National Golf Course is providing $26,250 in funds directly to the Town of Sutton for use in the design and construction of the proposed Tricentennial Park (as part of a DEP penalty to golf course for taking too much water out of the course's 5 wells to irrigate the course without telling DEP.) The park is reported to "include picnic tables, historic markers, interpretive signs, a trail, canoe portage, public art, and a reflective area".

Sounds nice and the project is well funded!

So what's the hold-up?

Well, the dam. The company across the street owns it and doesn't want the liability. A Sutton Selectman tells the MPA that the town doesn't want ownership either, so the Town of Sutton has asked State Rep. Jennifer Callahan to press the state to take over ownership. We'll see how long this goes on....

Friday, November 17, 2006

Water Level - Dam Open Now for Aquatic Life

This photo was taken today of the water coming out of our dam here on Manchaug - specifically out the new gate. Why is the dam open when we are still low? Well, the state is requiring the dam owner maintain a flow to "support the aquatic life" downstream. Fuddy got the call from the engineer in Maine earlier this week saying he should open the gate a bit.

Further Fuddy does report that the waterlevel is coming up nicely with all this rain and run-off from the watershed. He has seen the level come up 2 1/2 inches from one day's rain. Course we new that looking at the rain gauges!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

An MPA Clean up TODAY!

Just a reminder to put on those MPA sweatshirts and head to the shore with your gloves and garbage bags this morning!

The MPA 1st VP will be in Area 1 and 2 heading things up and a big orange Town of Sutton truck will be parked roadside to hall it away.

The President is working this morning at the real job and regrets he can't make it!

I'll be hitting the computer typing the Committee minutes to the Watershed District Committee's last meeting, sending out two notices - one for the next Board of Director's Meeting and the other for the rescheduled Water District info meeting and photocopying handouts. Tomorrow, I update you on a call the MPA received from Sutton Selectman Mike Chizy and his concerns for another dam in Sutton.

Friday, November 10, 2006

MPA Meeting Rescheduled to Dec. 14

Last night the MPA had to cancel the informational meeting set to discuss and update all parties on the formation of the Watershed District. Why cancel? A power outage hit the village of Manchaug and the shores of Manchaug Pond both the Sutton and Douglas sides which lasted from just after 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The MPA President spoke directly with National Grid workers who were on site minutes after the outage hit. They expected the outage to last about a half hour so the meeting was not cancelled. As the clocked ticked, darkness set in and members came from far and wide - throughout Central Massachusetts, and as far RI - gathering in the parking lot.

The meeting has been rescheduled to Thursday evening, December 14th, same location. All will receive a notice in the mail.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Real Estate Tax Credit for Persons Age 65 + (known as the Circuit Breaker Credit)

Have you heard about the Circuit Breaker Credit? Get money back because of the property taxes you have paid. My neighbor, who found out about it only this year, filed for the last three years and received a check totaling over $2,000.

Who qualifies? Well, you need to be over 65 years old; made less than $ 46,000 if you file as single, $58,000 as head of a household, and $70,000 if married filing jointly; and your assessed property value is no more than $684,000. You also need to file a state tax return in Mass.

The tax relief program was started in 2001 but if you haven't taken advantage of it you are allowed to file back three years.

Check out the link to see if you qualify! You can get up to $870 for 2006 alone!

Monday, November 06, 2006

VP Organizes Cleanup for Nov. 11th

Mark that calendar again! You are needed and bring a friend!

This Saturday, November 11th our 1st Vice President is spearheading a cleanup for the north end of the lake - that stretch of shoreline in Area 1 and 2 which collects a lot of debris from the wind and wave action across the lake. The Town of Sutton is providing a town dump truck and 15 "Pay-as-you-Throw trash bags (33 gallons each bag) for the effort. Volunteers should report between 9 a.m. and noon.

In other areas around the lake, if you would like to clean up your bit of the shoreline, the rubbish collected can be brought to the town truck in Area 1 or to the boat ramp for afternoon pick up.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

MPA Sets Public Forum on District for Nov. 9th

The Manchaug Pond Association will hold an open forum for all to attend to discuss the creation of a watershed district for Manchaug Pond. The public meeting, Thursday, November 9th, will be held at 7:30 p.m. at St. Anne's Church Hall at 31 Main St. Manchaug. Attorney Walter Jabs Jr. and the MPA will provide information, taking questions and soliciting your input, on this important issue concerning our lake.

Draft documents will be available at the meeting, including the proposed District Act, the bylaws and inital meeting warrant and budget. The legislative process to create the district will be explained as well as how the district will operate.

A letter notifying those who would be interested in attending has gone out to all abutters along the lake shore, all property owners with water rights, all MPA members past and present including renters, and other supporters.

Special thanks to the member who donated the paper and envelops for this mailing :))


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