Westmore Association Annual Meeting
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Daniel Ian Smith, President, welcomed everyone and introduced himself. Daniel recognized past board members and expressed his appreciation for the community of Westmore. He also thanked the Board for its support of all the activities. He presented a gift to the Executive Board members
Recognition of the Ladies’ Aid of the Westmore Community Church
Daniel acknowledged the Ladies’ Aid and their tremendous contribution to the Westmore community. He referred to the history of the Westmore Community Church and shared information of the early days of the Ladies’ Aid, founded in 1892. He presented the Ladies’ Aid members with individual flower, a plaque commemorating their service and a cake.
He then presented scholarships to the recipients, thanking Deb Richards her role in selecting the scholarship awardees. Olivia LaCoss, Megan Martin, Emma Strange, Ryan Streeter, were present. William Cashin, Cassie Martin, and Ian Strange could not be present but scholarships were awarded.
Following the award of scholarships dinner was enjoyed potluck style and the silent auction opened.
Call to Order and Approval of Minutes (Annual Meeting 2017)
Following dinner, the meeting was called to order at 6:50 PM. The minutes of the 2017 Annual Meeting were reviewed and approved.
The Treasurer’s report covered 2017. In addition to giving balances and expenses Bruce Tanner, Treasurer, noted two outstanding long-time expenses. The first is the WA’s ongoing partnership with Northwoods, which in 2017 included work on two hiking trails, Long Pond and the North Trail on Haystack. The State of Vermont matched the cost at 80%. The second large expenditure was updating of the Willoughby Lake Guide. Printing the guide was a one-time cost.
Other expenditures were highlighted including the following. Scholarships are always the biggest expense. This year seven scholarships were given as compared to last year (2017), when ten were given out. This was due to reduced applications. Another yearly expense is printing a new calendar. We raised the cost for the 2018 calendar and that may have contributed to the fact that sales lagged. In the past we have paid for each use of the church facilities individually. Bruce explained that we are now giving a one-time donation to the church for use of the facilities instead of paying each time. Nature by Design is yearly expense. They provide clean-up and mulch of the two town triangles. We are considering having WA members do the beautification as in the past, but as a group effort rather than a committee.
Lake Wise Program
Bruce explained the Vermont Lake Wise Program, which encourages lake shore owners to adopt best management practices. There is no cost to the property owners. Bruce explained that there is a trend toward degradation and rise in phosphorus, which the lake Wise Program hopes to ameliorate. Currently there are only three Lake Wise properties on Willoughby. The lake can become a gold award lake if 15% of lake shore owners have the award. The program provides support and encouragement to lakefront owners. Bruce asked if anyone present thinks they might qualify or wants more information to contact him. He will get them in touch with the program. Art and Bruce pla to take a boat ride around the lake and identify probable properties that might qualify and then invite the property owners to explore the Lake Wise Program. Art and Bruce offered to give anyone a boat ride to view their property from the lake.
Other Fundraising Notes
Daniel acknowledged everyone who contributed to the upgraded Willoughby Lake Guide. Art showed a T-shirt that could be a model for a fundraising item. He is working with Sandy Towns to check on this idea.
Betsy Plume thanked all for their renewed memberships. She encourages use of electronic communication. 90 people have agreed to get electronic communication. The WA is using MailChimp, an email program, to notify members of events and other news.
Arts and Entertainment
It has been a busy summer at the lake. Betsy described the upcoming hoe down, which provides instruction by the caller in several types of participatory dances. Daniel described this year’s jazz concert and its participants. Members of the WA were encouraged to participate in the summer events whenever possible.
Bruce Tanner gave the report for Katherine Busby who coordinates the Greeter Program. He reported that greeters are seeing milfoil coming out of the lake. The company who is contracted to remove milfoil is behind but active. The Greeter program plays an important part in limiting the spread of milfoil and other invasive species. Zebra mussels have been found in Lake Memphremagog and could come here soon. Art described the effect zebra mussels have had in the Great Lakes. One way to address the problem of contamination from boars is to have a wash station. Unfortunately, there are roadblocks to having one at Willoughby including space to house one, people to operate it, liability, and reasonable access to the lake from a station.
Daniel encouraged members to contribute ideas for activities that contribute to the community and the health of the lake. He encouraged folks to “like” the WA Facebook page and visit the WA website. Daniel is initiating some layout changes to the website in order to increase and streamline usage. Daniel also encouraged WA members to submit photos for the 2019 WA Calendar. The plan is to have it ready to be formatted by August 5thand to the press by mid to late August. He asked for input about the price. Jennifer Woolard suggested holding a contest to encourage participation. Mary Eby suggested it be spiral bound. It was noted that it is more costly to mail if spiral-bound, which would increase the price.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:40. Final bids on silent auction items were encouraged.
July 27, 2017
President Art Brooks began the meeting by calling on Mary Lou Cummings. Mary Lou announced the names of the ten scholarship students and those who were in attendance were given their $1,000 checks. Ellie Majchzak gave the Arts & Entertainment report on upcoming Westmore events. Daniel Smith announced a jazz concert at the church.
Dinner was served.
Mari Harter gave the Songadeewin grace and Art called the meeting to order at 6:50pm. Carroll said she would entertain a motion to accept the minutes as written without reading them. Mary Eby so moved, Michelle Kukla seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Bruce Tanner gave the treasurer’s report for the period January, 2016 to December 2016. We started the year off with $29,340 and ended the year with $33,704. Income included about $10,000 in memberships and $1,700 in calendar sales. Major expenses were $10,000 in scholarships, greeters pay and construction of the greeter kiosk, a gift to Friends of Vermont State Parks, beautification and trail work. For 2017, we have a net gain of $3,279. Carroll moved the treasurer’s report be accepted, Malcolm Morville seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Ray Lanier was not available to give the greeters and milfoil report but Art noted that greeters are seeing a lot of milfoil on boats leaving Willoughby. We have maps of where the milfoil beds are and urge boaters to stay away from them. The milfoil divers started on Monday, July 24. Concern was voiced about kayaks and canoes being launched at the south end where there is no one to inspect the boats.
Betsy Plume gave the membership report. She said we currently have 250 members which is about 25 members more than last year. She noted our postage expenses would be decreased if more members were willing to receive communications from the Association via e-mail.
Malcolm Morville said he stays active in keeping the web site up-to-date. The Willoughby weather station, on the Seslar’s roof, has a video camera and gives air temperature, water temperature, wind speed and direction plus rainfall. Sadly the on-line streaming of the web camera is not working. There is a You Tube problem which Gary is seeking to rectify. Photographs are being collected for the 2018 calendar and it is hoped they can be printed before people start closing up their camps.
Art noted that Betsy Plume said the Pisgah trail was in good shape. Daniel Ian Smith asked that people walk through puddles on the trails, not around them, as walking around creates a larger trail footprint which is not necessarily a good thing for the forest environment. It was noted there are trees down in the Westmore Town Forest.
Sharon Strange said the Willoughby Lake Guide had been updated over the winter and had gone to the printer in May. Proofs had still not been received but we hope to have them soon.
Art remarked that the following people were going off the Association board: himself, Carroll Guitar, Evelina Busby, Mary Lou Cummings and Phyllis Parrott. Evelina, reporting for the nominating committee, said the following members have agreed to come on the board: Abbie Gowdy-Chase, Karen Richardson, Renee Leveille, Claudia York and Daniel Ian Smith. Anne Brooks moved the nominations be accepted, Evelina seconded the motion and the motion carried. Pam Kennedy and Betsy Plume agreed to renew their membership on the board for another 3 years each.
Art Brooks then called on Louisa Dotoli to discuss the local by-laws regarding lakefront properties. The State of Vermont says that 82% of them are in fair or poor condition. Louisa noted the Westmore by-laws are available from the Town Clerk’s office and on-line. She went through the major points of concern to remind property owners of the rules and when to apply to the town zoning committee to be permitted to make changes or enhancements to lake frontage. She noted that there are Vermont regulations that are different than the Westmore regulations and those whose property fall under Act 250 are under different regulations as well. In closing, Louisa urged property owners to make themselves aware of the by-laws regarding buffer zones and natural shorelines.
Art asked if there was other business to come before the board and Diane Ledher asked about the two transfer station employees who have quit. Vince Dotoli had been at the selectboard meeting and said that although that was true, pick-ups would continue and things will be OK in the future.
Roger Canal moved that the meeting be adjourned; Bruce Wheeler seconded the motion and the motion carried. The meeting adjourned at 7:35. The Silent Auction proceeded.