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THE LAKE: New Members & New Charge for Lost Lake Sewer Committee

Town Manager Mark Haddad advised Selectmen that he wanted to look for new members for Lost Lake Sewer Committee and provide a new charge to the group, stressing that it was important to do this to keep connected with state funding lists. They discussed the possibility of forming the sewer district anyway as it did not cost anything. However, if the outline of any district is changed, it would most likely affect submissions already made to several state agencies.

Committee member Angela Garger said she spent four years on the project noting, "The problem won't go away. The committee is too important, and there is too much to be done." She said she was willing to remain on the committee. Another member, Tom Orcutt, added that it was important to have at least five members working on the committee.

Former member Carol Quinn told the Board that they needed to have more involvement in the project along with the Finance Committee. She stressed that consulting companies bid on design of the sewer system. She was critical of the suggestion Selectmen Jack Petropoulos made to go back to the beginning of the process to do more testing. "That's not what they (consulting companies) were asked to do. I would have liked to have seen more support from all members of the Board. With some of the comments, who would like to be on such a committee. I didn't appreciate those comments."

Selectman Josh Degen favored more testing at the inlet to Lost Lake from Martins Pond Brook. "This will tell you definitively if phosphorous is coming from upstream and lines for the district can be drawn around what is contributing to the problem," he said.

Selectmen Chairman Stuart Schulman agreed with Quinn. "We have to make a system that is economically viable. Testing is a red herring. You can do all the testing that you want but it is not necessary. This is a matter of public health." He added that he felt that the vote against the Lost Lake Sewer proposal was 99 percent financial. "Part of the town thinks that the town would be paying too much. Part of the town thought that the town wasn't paying enough," he said. "We can do the testing. Why not and we get the same results. It's a waste of money."

Schulman said that he wanted to hear what Haddad learns from his conversation with the United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA), and to see a new charge for a committee. "This is really a town-wide issue, and it affects everyone," he said. Petropoulos added that he felt that the committee really needs a process person to get the needed answers .

In other business, the Board approved the Emergency Action Plan for Lost Lake Dam. DPW Director Tom Delaney explained that the plan, done by the firm of Ducharme & Dillis, is a response for more technical detail that the state wants added to the plan. Updates to the plan are required to be done every three years, Delaney said.

The Board gave Haddad the go ahead to put out an RFP (Request for Proposal) for Squannacook Hall following a septic design by Ross Associates. The system can accommodate a four-bedroom home or use of the structure for performing arts. The system, which would be located in front of the building, would cost about $20K, and this design would provide needed documentation for a potential buyer.

With more prospective candidates than available slots, Selectmen appointed the following seven members to the newly created Town Meeting Review Committee; Attorney Bob Collins, Berta Erickson, Greg Fishbone, Alison Eydenberg, Barry Pease, Scott Harker and Ellen Baxendale, who told the Board that she had never been to a town meeting.

The charge to the group is to evaluate the existing method of Town Meeting and explore ways to improve or change it. Town Moderator Jason Kauppi, Town Clerk Michael Bouchard and Town Manager Mark Haddad will serve as advisors to the new committee.

Groton Herald

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