LIVERMORE — Selectpersons Tuesday night, Jan. 5, agreed signs should be erected at the Brettuns Pond town beach area listing winter rules.

“Over the past seven or eight years during ice fishing there’d be a road plowed out to go across the pond,” Selectperson Brett Deyling said. “At some point, the rocks were moved to get shacks off the pond.”

As soon as the ice is thick enough to walk on, that area is being kept plowed all winter long, he said.

“Instead of parking in the 30 parking spaces available, they drive onto the beach,” Deyling said. “It’s tearing up the town beach.”

Saturday a camper, giant ice shack and truck were on the beach and an ATV had gone through the ice, he said.

“If the ice isn’t thick enough for an ATV, stay off of it,” he said.

Highway foreman Roger Ferland has put some larger rocks there, selectperson Scott Richmond noted.

“Someone drove around the end of the rocks we have for the boat ramp,” Deyling said. “Why wouldn’t you just use the parking spaces? It’s a resource for the town. We’re destroying it by allowing people to do that.”

Deyling said he doesn’t know how to address the parking situation. He doesn’t want to cite people in town for doing something stupid.

“It’s frustrating due to the fact it’s been happening for several years. People think it’s okay to park on the pond,” Deyling said. “I’d like to mitigate that.

“I understand it’s a hobby people look forward to in the winter,” he said. “This year especially people need something to get away to.”

The space needs to be protected, should be vegetated in the summertime, Deyling said.

“It screams of laziness to me. There’s plenty of parking there. Use it,” he said.

“Brettuns Pond Association has been aggressive and active over the years,” Association president Churchill Barton said. “We skipped the summer meeting because of COVID-19.”

A grant was obtained through the Department of Environmental Protection in 1998 to evaluate the entire watershed, look for erosion on the north and south side of the pond, he said.

“We went camp to camp, gave each owner a report on their property and what they could do to help protect the water quality,” Barton said. “We tried to handle everything with a positive approach. A lot of people pitched in.”

The enemy of the pond isn’t ice fishermen, it’s sediment washing into the pond carrying phosphorus that feeds algae, he noted.

Deyling said there were no major algae issues this summer and no trash was left on the ground.

Barton said help was received by the lake monitoring program for trash removal. People took advantage and things such as tire rims, blocks and an old rowboat were dragged up on shore from where people like to swim, he said.

People just don’t really know what is going on, Deyling said.

“That’s kind of my concern,” he said. “If there’s no way to maintain vegetation on the beach, it’s all scraped off, then it turns into an erosion issue, brings all that sediment into the pond at the beach area.”

The more grass we can keep on the beach area, less traffic, helps, Deyling added.

Selectperson Benjamin Guild, who attended the meeting via teleconference said near the cemetery a silt fence had been put out. He asked if the “Restoration area, keep off!” signs were still there.

“Yes, they work,” Deyling said.

“The pond’s nicer to swim in when you can see your feet. I think the signs are a wonderful thing,” Barton said. The vast majority of people read and heed them, he added.

“Property owners are very responsive,” Barton said. “They realize they’re protecting their investment.”

In other business, Administrative Assistant Aaron Miller said on Dec. 29 the town’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the summons filed by Michael Weaver regarding the town’s medical marijuana ordinance.

According to court documents, Weaver claims Livermore failed to post the proposed ordinance in a public, conspicuous place prior to the vote and is seeking to have it revoked. He is also seeking to have the site plan review for his medical marijuana business completed.

“The plaintiff has 21 days, maybe another week with COVID-19 to respond to the motion,” Miller said. “The town’s opposition is due in mid-January. After that, the court will decide which portion of the matter survives, which portion can go forward. It’s kind of in their hands right now.”

 

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