Meeting will seek input regarding cleanliness, safety of Sunrise Lake
MIDDLETON — A concerned resident is calling on community members to take a closer look at one of the community's biggest assets, Sunrise Lake.
The first Sunrise Lake Summit will be held Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Old Town Hall along King's Highway.
John Mullen, a former selectman and state representative who lives along Shore Drive, said the forum is open to all — those who live here year-round, seasonal residents and visitors.
"Sunrise Lake is a major resource to the Town of Middleton and we need to continue as a community to keep it as clean and safe for all. Although our lake is in pretty good shape we do have some issues that we need to address," Mullen wrote in an e-mail invitation.
"I've gotten a good response, but I don't know how many will come," Mullen said.
Louise Bourdeau, who moved to South Carolina but summers on Fox Road, said she'd be interested in listening to how fellow property owners and visitors plan to protect the lake — especially cleaning up the diapers, empty bait containers and trash they found at the fishing site.
"I really love this lake — it's beautiful and I want it to stay that way," Bourdeau said.
On Friday, she enjoyed watching her grandsons, Robert Mitchell, 6, and his brother, Matthew Savoie, 9, both of Farmington, fish along Route 153. They all had concerns about keeping the lake safe for all.
Mullen suggested discussing the ongoing battle against invasive, exotic aquatic plants, such as Milfoil, as well as addressing concerns about boating safety, the impact of the state Shoreland Protection Act, wildlife issues and how to keep the water clean.
Mullen said he joined a group of a dozen volunteers who monitor the lake for invasive plants and serve as "weed watchers" on behalf of the Conservation Commission.
During town meeting in March, residents overwhelmingly agreed to add $10,000 to the fund to fight exotic weed growth while accepting $2,400 in grant money. This money paid to treat the water and for divers to remove invasive plants this summer.
"The town has been very supportive of Milfoil mitigation," Mullen said. "People are concerned about results - which is good."
After state Department of Environmental Services officials used global positioning systems to locate the "Milfoil hotspots" Monday, Mullen said divers will return to focus on those areas in the end of September.
Mullen said another issue is how the Sunrise Lake Village District — which includes property owners around the lake — must find a new group to maintain the dam as the contract with the state Dam Bureau — part of the Department of Environmental Services — is expiring in 2014 due to a change in law. The state will continue to monitor and inspect dams, he said.
Residents in the district must pay an additional tax to cover the ongoing bond payments to replace the dam and to maintain the lake.
Mullen said some residents are concerned about how some boaters operate dangerously or drive too fast around the shallow lake which is full of kayaks, swimmers and rocks.