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HLWA Goals Committee

HLWA Goals


Goals Committee Chairman - Ray Fugere.  Goals Committee Members - Mike Peacock, Clare Stevens


Primary Goals


1.    To Protect Water Quality (Water Quality Committee)


       a.    Rationale:  Water quality affects quality of life, property values and recreational use of the lake for residents of Winchester and the State of Connecticut.


       b.    Actions:

               (1)     Expand lake water monitoring/testing program to minimum of four times per year; work with Town officials for funding

               (2)     Employ a limnologist to analyze water-testing data and make recommendations for future protective actions

               (3)     Provide annual reports of water-testing results and assessments of lake water quality to Town Manager, Board of Selectmen and HLWA membership

               (4)     Conduct ongoing testing of major streams flowing into the lake to determine their possible impact to lake water quality

               (5)     Work with Town and State agencies to enhance lake drainage system (replace storm drains with catch basins as prescribed in Drainage Feasibility Study-1993)

               (6)     Work with Winchester and Department of Environmental Protection officials to implement and assess invasive weed control methods (herbicide treatment, drawdowns)

               (7)     Work with the Winchester Water Level Committee to formulate a drawdown schedule

               (8)     Work with Public Works Department to assure timely sweeping of lake roads, cleaning of catch basins and other drainage receptacles

               (9)     Work with Northwest Connecticut Conservation District and Winchester’s town agencies to develop a Natural Resource Inventory

               (10)   Work with Winchester Land Trust, Conservation Commission, and Board of Selectmen regarding open space land acquisition

               (11)   Develop a plan of action for implementing the Dredging Feasibility Study, 1991

               (12)   Network with other lake associations (Winchester, Connecticut, and national) regarding water quality issues, grants and protective ordinances, regulations and legislation

               (13)   Develop a subcommittee to identify, map and monitor weed growth and presence of invasive aquatic weeds

               (14)   Conduct lake cleanup campaigns and programs such as Adopt a Catch Basin and Adopt a Road

               (15)   Disseminate environmental information through newsletter articles and

                        handouts at the Annual Meeting; initiate an educational component through the web site covering such items as Property Owners' Manual, Winsted Ordinances pertaining to Highland Lake (Dock and Mooring, Boating Regulations, P& Z Regulations, IWC Regulations)


2.    To interact with Town/State Government  (Government Relations Committee)


       a.    Rationale: Working with Town/State boards, commissions and committees enhances HLWA’s effectiveness in protecting the lake watershed/water quality; HLWA’s role is as a catalyst for Town action.


       b.    Actions:

               (1)     Monitor agendas, activities and actions of the Town; monitor the implementation and enforcement of Town ordinances, Inland Wetlands and Watercourses, Planning and Zoning and Zoning Board of Appeals Commissions regulations

               (2)     Encourage HLWA members to serve on boards, commissions and committees

               (3)     Attend and make presentations at public meetings, hearings and budget proceedings

               (4)     Consult with/lobby state legislators regarding watershed protection/open space/lake restoration funding

               (5)     Conduct research/surveys pertinent to targeted issues

               (6)     Initiate Town regulations/ordinances to protect lake watershed such as viewshed, dock and mooring regulations, boating regulations, wetlands and zoning regulations

               (7)     Work with Planning and Zoning Commission to revise the Town Plan of Conservation and Development (including revision of Highland Lake Management Plan)

               (8)     Notify Town of blight situations and blatant violations of ordinances and follow up for corrective action


3.    To maintain/increase Membership (Membership Services Committee)


       a.    Rationale:  A broader membership will enhance HLWA’s representation of all watershed property owners, broaden the pool of people to volunteer and

               develop as future leaders.


       b.    Actions:

               (1)     Send a welcoming letter to new owners soon after their arrival

               (2)     Welcoming Committee visit with “goodie bag” of information (“Who’s Who,” etc.)

               (3)     Follow up contact (phone call inviting to an activity/meeting)

               (4)     Mail annual membership dues collection letter and invoice with two

                        follow-up reminder letters

               (5)     Do “exit interviews” to determine why members choose not to renew their memberships


4.    To provide timely Communications/Education/Public Relations


       a.    Rationale:  Communication/education/public relations are important factors in enhancing membership participation, awareness of environmental information and community awareness of HLWA’s activities.


       b.    Actions:

               (1)     Publish Highland Lake News quarterly

               (2)     Enhance attractiveness of newsletter (better quality paper, some color)

               (3)     Send emails and other mailings as needed to keep lake residents informed

               (4)     Develop a “Property Owner’s Guide” with Best Management Practices for watershed property

               (5)     Develop and maintain an HLWA website

               (6)     Initiate “focus groups” to solicit information from lake residents regarding areas of concern, unmet needs, opinions, future goals and activities

               (7)     Revise and publish “Who’s Who and Where at Highland Lake” at least every five years

               (8)     Interact with newspaper reporters to cover HLWA events and activities


Secondary Goals


1.    To provide Social and Recreational opportunities


       a.    Rationale:  Social and recreational activities provide an opportunity for members to interact in a relaxed setting, enhance camaraderie and attract new members.


       b.    Actions:

               (1)     Organize and implement social functions for members throughout the year (summer picnic, Valentine’s dinner/dance, caroling, etc.)

               (2)     Organize and implement participation in Town Recreation Department sponsored functions (Penguin Plunge, Laurel Festival, etc.)


2.    To provide a variety of Fund-Raising methods


       a.    Rationale:  Fund-raising is enhanced if a variety of methods are implemented.


       b.    Actions:

               (1)     Maintain the “gift item” selection of glassware, clothing with HLWA logo, etc.

               (2)     Solicit donations for specific causes

               (3)     Develop a program for bequeathing money to HLWA in a will

               (4)     Organize and implement fund-raising activities such as wine and food tastings, dinner dances, etc.


3.    To research and write Grants (Grant-Writing Committee)


       a.    Rationale:  There are State and Federal sources of money for environmental projects that are too costly for the town or for HLWA funding through membership dues or fund-raisers.


       b.    Actions:

               (1)     Develop a Grant-Writing Committee to conduct research regarding availability of funding for specific projects such as open-space acquisition and dredging of coves

               (2)     Attend conferences to learn effective grant-writing skills; network with other associations

               (3)     Write and submit grants


4.    To provide for Public Health and Safety


       a.    Rationale:  The lake community has specific needs that must be forwarded to proper Town officials and State agencies.


       b.    Actions:

               (1)     Work with the Winchester Police Department (WPD) to continue the Neighborhood Watch Program

               (2)     Work with the WPD to maintain and enhance the effectiveness of the Marine Patrol

               (3)     Work with the Torrington Area Health District on projects such as well testing, bacterial testing of lake water or other health concerns in the watershed


5.    To maintain a record of property sales, real estate tax assessments and construction activity within the lake district


       a.    Rationale:  Provides information for identifying new member prospects and tracking the economic contribution of the lake to the Town


       b.    Actions:

               (1)     Track property transactions through town records

               (2)     Obtain/maintain lists of lake property records from Town and internet databases

               (3)     Coordinate with Town on periodic property assessment revaluations

               (4)     Advocate for equitable assessments on lake properties and in relation to other properties in town

               (5)     Obtain/maintain lists of variance and permit approvals involving lake properties


6.    To buy property to protect watershed (open space)


7.    To purchase/lease/fund/contract maintenance services (e.g., catch-basin cleaning) otherwise (or not) provided by the Town


8.    To hire professional lake management