OBSERVER CORP REPORT
Goshen Board of Selectmen meeting June 27, 2017
Weed Control on Four Lakes in Goshen
A standing-room-only crowd of residents on Tuesday night heard the Board of Selectmen reiterate its support of a plan to use herbicide to control weeds in Tyler Lake and West Side Pond. More than 30 residents who live near the two bodies of water, as well as residents of Woodridge Lake and Dog Pond – where weeds also are a problem,– filled the Town Hall meeting room for a discussion with the board.
Selectmen Present were: Steve Romano, Bob Valentine, Dexter Kinsella, and First Selectman’s Aide, Lucille Page.
Bob Valentine asked to change the agenda to cover the Lake issue first.
He gave back ground information and reviewed how the Town received a petition to act on issues at Tyler Lake and shortly afterward a commission of all four Lakes was formed. Since then West Side Pond and Tyler have become 501c3’s and Dog Pond manages their own organization.
The Woodridge Lake Conservancy, which favors chemical-free treatment of weeds, presented their view. The Conservancy is opposed to the applications because Woodridge Lake is fed by water from Tyler Lake, and Tyler Lake is fed by water from West Side Pond.
First Selectman Robert P. Valentine said the board still backs bids by the Tyler Lake Protective Association and Friends of West Side Pond to gain state Department of Energy and Environmental
Protection approval to use herbicide on weeds. “We’re getting farther than we’ve ever been with managing our lakes, and it has always been the policy of the board to support lake initiatives in various ways and not dictate what should be done,” Valentine said. “Our intent is to be supportive. That’s what we’d like to continue to do.” Bob Valentine added that they do not make the application, it is up to the individual lakes and the State makes the final decision. He did send a letter in support after a detailed and lengthy assessment.
Judy Fraden spoke on behalf of The Woodridge Lake Conservancy and her husband, Russ who could not attend. Fraden is one of seven board members whose Mission is to maintain the water bodies through natural means. Over two hundred residents have signed a pledge to support their effort. They are a 501c4. She said that 73% of their water comes from Tyler Lake and they are concerned about the following three issues:
1- The herbicide treatment is not a one-time magic bullet and needs to be treated again and again. It can kill the vegetation but there is risk of bacteria that become algae.
2- The risk involved is greater than the results. There is no guarantee it will not be harmful long term.
3- The water shed area feeds into the Waterbury drinking water.
Bottom line ”we do not believe it is worth the risk”
Chris Sander of Friends of West Side Pond responded that they are following a process prescribed by law. “We have many of the same concerns that you have” and have gone through a lengthy process. We have met with DEEP Have a limnologist and a broad range of professionals looking into the issue. After careful consideration we now seek approval for treatment.
Michelle Fitzpatrick of Tyler Lake added that they too have followed every guideline from the DEEP and have applied for a permit to utilize herbicides. They probably will not get it this year. They are working with the DEEP and the Waterbury Water system and the State Health Department .
Mark Harris of Tyler Lake explained the work of the limnologist and recommendations made to use Sonar, the only herbicide to control the milfoil . “It’s the most accepted form of herbicide for lake use,” Harris said of the chemical, “It will dissipate so quickly that it will never reach Woodridge Lake. ” It has been approved in systems that utilize the water, and said the herbicide that would be applied in the lake wouldn’t affect Woodridge Lake.