Winter 2008 – Getting Ready for Summer


Most of the visible work of the Lake Fairlee Association takes place in the summer. The divers start work in mid May. Their first task is invariably repairing our boats and equipment. Within a few days they are out on the lake, assessing the extent of milfoil growth and planning their next few weeks work. Until June 22nd we are not allowed by our permits to use suction harvesting nor bottom barriers because of the disruption of the native fish habitat. So for the first weeks the divers concentrate on hand-pulling milfoil in areas which are unsuitable for suction or barriers.

During the summer the divers can be seen daily on the lake, and volunteers greeting (and educating) boaters at the ramp on weekends. And there is always our summer membership meeting and barbecue, which will be on July 12th this year!

But work proceeds behind the scenes in the cold months. In November our Grant Completion Report must be filed with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. Vermont provides a significant (but declining) portion of our revenue. We are required to document to them in some detail just what we have done and how we have paid for it. HERE is a portion of the report we filed in November, which provides a grant reviewer’s insight into what we do.

Early in the year we have to make our application for support from the three towns that border on Lake Fairlee. Thetford, Fairlee, and West Fairlee have contributed public funds each year. Besides providing them with copies of the report to the State, we give each town a SUMMARY, which later becomes part of the Town Report of each.

In February we prepare our application for funding from the State of Vermont. The Department of Environmental Conservation has funded our milfoil eradication efforts each year, but growing competition for dwindling funds makes this ever more important. The job necessarily involves a bit of conjuring, because we are predicting program costs based on salaries that have not been negotiated and equipment and repair costs that cannot be forseen. Of course we rely on our experience and good judgment, but only time will tell what actually will transpire this summer. The State will let us know sometime in May about funds that will be disbursed, half this summer and half next spring!

Winter 2008 Newsflakes

Each winter the Lake Fairlee Association publishes its offseason newsletter, Newsflakes. This year we have decided to publish it online, to save paper and postage. We hope this is not inconvenient for you.

This issue contains a story by trustee Sandy Dion about damage done to houses on the lake by a freak late August thunderstorm this summer. It also has a fascinating piece about the early history of summer camping, a first person account by the daughter of the founder of Camp Passumpsic. Click HERE to read it.