LAWNA Newsletter October 2009

 

Many of you have asked for Updates, much has been happening making it difficult for timely communication…don't miss out 2nd to last paragraph with regard to cutting brush the size of my middle finger:)

News & Progress in the Lake Auburn Watershed.

Reported illicit activity near the Whitman Spring Road (WSR) trail may have been curbed by random installation of remote Predator Trail Cams.  Please keep us updated of any observed suspicious activity (after you call the Auburn Police Dept.)!  NOTE: The North Auburn entrance to the WSR is closed due to logging operations taking place in this area.  You can still access the trails from the South entrance and abutting land owners can continue to enjoy access from their properties!

Auburn City Councilors have sent a clear message to the Lake Auburn
Watershed Protection Commission (LAWPC).  The message: We would like more direct input to your 1993 organization.  The result: Ward 1 Councilor Mike Farrell has been appointed to the Commission and has attended his first meeting in that capacity last Tuesday.  Replacing Councilor Farrell on the Auburn Water District (AWD) board of Trustees is Auburn Councilor Ray Berube.  Thank you and to all those who volunteer to be on these mostly thankless committees.

RECREATION: The 1992 City of Auburn discontinuance of the WSR (AKA Spring Road) DID NOT leave a public easement for recreation.  This means the Spring Road trail is now private property (with some private easements) so be thankful for the continued permission by LAWPC to allow noninvasive recreation in this area.  Recent plans for a Southern link trail from the privately owned boat launch (Route 4) to the Park Avenue area was cut from this year's State funding programs.  Long range goals and the Comprehensive Plan update recommends keeping public access to Lake Auburn, a Great Pond, (with Colonial rights to fish & fowl) open to the people.  LAWNA, our lake association, as well as many other recreational and civic groups recommends these lands, trails & access points remain in PUBLIC control, yet recent and past legal documents continue to erode the public option.  Snowmobile & Equine groups watch out, you're next on the hit list!

Free Loam program is on its third year of operation.  The Lake Auburn watershed community has collectively transformed thousands of square feet of erodible soils to vegetation, grass and gardens, thanks to this program.  Along with the FREE loam comes some advice on erosion control measures, including tips on how to get your projects done with respect to the environment and permitting requirements.  Visit www.auburnwatershed.org for information about this program for property owners in the direct Lake Auburn watershed. "Septic Systems and Source Water Protection: What Works?" by the Maine Water Utilities Association and others was heavily attended this past week. Valuable information to support the amendment of Auburn's 36 inch septic ordinance was heard by our community officials (8 in attendance from L/A) in charge of regulating septic systems in the LA watershed overlay District…I chuckled when one keynote speaker from the Maine Association of Site Evaluators (MASE) said "AVOID USING WASTEWATER RULES AS A PLANNING AND ZONING TOOL"

The Ghost of Lucius Packard, a prominent North Auburn Resident in the late 1800s, early 1900s has been seen in these parts lately!  He is haunting those who do not want to share the lands and trails in this area of north & west Auburn.  Packard who owned much land and many businesses owned the Mineral Spring Company, which built the Spring House, the Mineral Spring Hotel replaced by the Spring Hotel and the Spring House Road.  Many historic roads in west and North Auburn still exist today as trails and private easements do exist, making the water authorities quite concerned.  So concerned those Water District employees have been caught on surveillance video ripping up friendly recreational signage and hiring expensive attorneys to insure their (1993) organization gains and keeps complete control.

Just last Tuesday, at the regular LAWPC meeting, some Commissioner's requested that brush (the size of my middle finger) not be removed from any trails or Row's pending title examination by their attorneys.  ON THAT SAME DAY A LOGGING OUTFIT HIRED BY LAWPC, CLOSED THE WSR (north end) AND BEGAN RIPPING UP LARGE AREAS OF VEGETATION (MUD now as it is raining)! INCLUDING 80 FOOT TREES ON THESE OVERGROWN TRAILS, WITH WHAT APPEARS TO BE POOR TIMING REGARDING THIS (egocentric) REQUEST.     Where is the water quality issue guys?  Why are you spending so much of the water-rate payer's money in studies, actions and legal fees that do not pertain to critical water quality issues?  Here is a word that goes back to 1558!  NEIGHBORLY One entry found. Main Entry: neigh·bor·ly  Pronunciation: \-le\ Function: adjective Date: 1558 : of, relating to, or characteristic of congenial neighbors; especially : friendly <a neighborly welcome>synonyms see amicable

Lastly, for those of you with a high esteem and regard for our Country and the Stars & Stripes, visit www.auburnmaine.org to see how you can support City Hall's Flag project!

Dan Bilodeau
President, Lake Auburn Watershed neighborhood Association (LAWNA)
www.auburnwatershed.org
Email:  dan@auburnwatershed.org

 

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