Lake Owassa Community Association, P.O. Box 657, Branchville, NJ 07826 Phone: (973) 948-6866 between 9 AM & 8:30 PM LOCA Email: email@example.com
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The following are the results of the recent election conducted by mail-in ballot only. We thank all those who participated in our Zoom general meeting on 8/30 and those who voted.
VOTING RESULTS – LOCA ANNUAL MEETING, 8/30/2020
1. Secretary/Treasurer Increase
2. Patrolman Increase
3. Initiation Fee Increase
4. Annual Dues Increase
5. President: Larry Putera
6. Vice President: Peg Mullins
7. BOG: Caren Berei
8. BOG: Andy Retz
Total ballots received = 147
Ballots received before 8/30/2020 = 144
Ballots received after 8/30/2020 = 3
Ballots with votes cast “FOR” all 8 items = 85
Ballots with votes cast “FOR”, “AGAINST”, or ABSTAIN = 62
Asterisk (*) = no vote
Percentages = % of the total ballots
The term of office for the President and Vice President is two years.
The term of office for members of the Board of Governors is three years.
Dues for renewal of membership in 2021 will be $280 per membership.
Initiation fee for new membership or reactivation of a revoked membership will be $1300 effective January 1, 2021.
CYANOBACTERIA ON LAKE
As our lake members know, lakes throughout New Jersey have been experiencing increased cyanobacteria blooms as a result of changing climate conditions. To protect our lake members and to keep up with latest developments on the state level, LOCA has developed a working relationship with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. The recent testing of our lake waters by the state for cyanobacteria places our lake in the "watch" category. Swimming and boating are permissible activities as long as caution is used. This means avoiding any areas where the cyanobacteria are clearly visible. Water from the lake should not be consumed (pets should not be in the lake) and the fish should not be eaten. We also advise avoiding any areas where strong odors are present since the cyanobacteria might be concentrated there lower in the water column. Please remember that lake recreational water quality conditions can change rapidly.
Also, keep in mind that the existence of cyanobacteria is a natural phenomenon in New Jersey lakes, and has existed for decades. Even back in the 1970’s, our records show that Lake Owassa experienced blooms of cyanobacteria which came and went as conditions changed. If we keep our septic systems working properly and keep nutrients from fertilizer out of our lake, we can proactively put ourselves in the best position possible to manage the cyanobacteria blooms if, when and as they arise.
The visibility of cyanobacteria in the lake has increased dramatically since Monday. We are reporting a suspected bloom to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. We recommend no swimming, no pets in the lake, and no eating fish from the lake at this time. We will update when conditions change.
We continue to learn more about the cyanobacteria, its identification, its behavior, and its effects. It manifests in many different ways: Cyanobacteria can be a blue-green scum on the lake surface; bright green paint-like slicks of scum; blue-green blobs floating below the surface, a green or yellow-green cloudy mist in the water. We verified that these colonies of microbes are all cyanobacteria by taking several samples of the lake water and analyzing the cells under a microscope.
Cyanobacteria can produce cyanotoxins. Blooms at concentrations of 80,000 cells/ml have been correlated with levels of toxins that exceed NJ standards for safe bathing. Cyanotoxins can have serious health consequences and have led to recorded deaths of animals that have drunk water with high concentrations of cyanobacteria.
Cyanobacteria, even when not producing cyanotoxins, naturally produce the less dangerous endotoxins. Some people are quite sensitive to the endotoxins and will react at concentrations well below bloom levels. The endotoxins can cause allergy-like reactions such as rashes, eye irritation, and flu-like symptoms. Washing off the lake water after swimming whenever the cyanobacteria are observed even in smaller levels is a good practice to minimize any possible adverse effects.
Mark Vogel LOCA Recreational Water Quality Maven
We have seen some cyanobacteria on the lake and are monitoring the situation. The conditions can change quickly, and we will keep the lake community informed. If anyone is in an area with paint-like green or blue-green clusters we recommend that they avoid swimming in that area. If they come in contact with the cyanobacteria, they should shower any residue off when they leave the water.
Lake Owassa Board of Governors
In follow up to the recent e-news regarding cyanobacteria, following is additional information as compiled by Mark and Carole Vogel. Mark is the chairman of the recreational water committee.
I had noticed that the normal lake turnover has brought visible cyanobacteria clusters to the surface. I collected one sample to confirm that this really is cyanobacteria. I examined the sample under a microscope and took some pictures which are attached. The pictures show a type of cyanobacteria called anabaena. The anabaena form strings of cells with periodic heterocysts in the string. The plain green spheres are the heterocysts. Anabaena is one of the types of cyanobacteria that can produce toxins.
LOCA members, guests and renters are reminded that remote-controlled boats, airplanes and drones are not permitted to be operated on, over or in the lake. This longstanding rule was put in place to protect the safety, privacy and quiet enjoyment of the lake, and will continue to be enforced by our patrolman.
In response to the pandemic the LOCA General Membership Meeting will be held virtually on a platform such as Zoom. Voting will be exclusively through ballots mailed to voting members in advance.
There are two ways candidates for the LOCA Board of Governors can appear on the printed ballot for our August 30, 2020 meeting: through nomination by the Nominating Committee or by petition signed by 10 members. The Nominating Committee has nominated Larry Putera (H-27) for President, Peg Mullins (C-02) for Vice-President, Caren Berei (J-05) and Andy Retz (H-35) for two Members of the Board. To allow sufficient time for printing and mailing completed petitions with 10 signatures for additional nominations must arrive to the LOCA Secretary by July 24 to be included on the ballot.
LOCA Nominating Committee
NEW JERSEY CHAPTER OF THE PAJAMA PROGRAM
I am Coordinator for The New Jersey Chapter of the Pajama Program for Morris & Sussex Counties. At this time, I would like to hold a pajama drive within our community. All donations must be NEW WINTER PAJAMAS! We accept all sizes but sizes 8 through teenage/adult are the most needed. We also accept monetary donations.
You can contact me at 973-222-7922 to arrange dropping off or my picking up your donations.
Pajama Program, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes and supports a comforting bedtime routine for children affected by instability to help them thrive. Pajama Program was founded in 2001 and has delivered more than 6 million good nights for good days. Through its work with its 4,000 community partners, which are community-based organizations across the country that serve children from birth through 18 years, Pajama Program endeavors to create a world where good nights are good days for all children, everywhere.
For additional information on the program you can go to https://pajamaprogram.org/ or to the New Pajama Program Facebook page.
I am proud to volunteer with this organization. It is comforting to know I help in keeping thousands of children warm throughout our State. If you are interested in volunteering within the organization, please contact me. As we all know many organizations have been effected by the Corona virus increasing the need of donations & volunteers.
Fran Sandomeno Coordinator of Morris & Sussex Counties New Jersey Chapter, Pajama Program 241 East Shore Lake Owassa Road Newton, NJ. 07860 973-222-7922 Francine.firstname.lastname@example.org
LOCA recreational water quality report
Attached please find the results of the water testing completed on June 24. As you can see, no algae blooms were detected but the measurements for E.Coli were disappointing.
We have a significant goose population whose droppings can cause a problem. Just a reminder - when cleaning your swim float, do not push the goose droppings into the lake. Dispose of the waste offsite of the lake.
Our member population has increased over the past several months with many seasonal or weekend members finding the lake environment a safer place to socially distance and/or quarantine. Please be especially aware of your septic - when was it last pumped or repaired if necessary.
The summer season is in full swing as we head into the July 4th weekend. We encourage all members to do what they can to keep Lake Owassa as clean and as safe as possible.
Reminder: Please do not feed the deer. Some members have commented that the deer are becoming more and more unfazed by the nearness of humans.
Since deer are carriers of Lyme disease, Ehrlichosis, and Anaplasmosis it's really a bad idea to let them get too used to people and pets.
Although NJ allows some fireworks to be used, LOCA prohibits fireworks aimed over our water from any LOCA property-including private docks or floats. If you see anyone shooting fireworks over or into the lake you are to call and notify the police at 973-383-1514.
LOCA encourages members to check for dead trees near your shoreline! It may be a good idea to remove them before they fall and do damage to your docks, boats, and property. It becomes a real problem when they fall into our lake as we have no equipment or expertise to remove them.
Are your 2020 stickers on ALL boats and paddleboards??? They should be on both sides of each boat. Purple stickers are to be on the small boats and paddleboards. The Yellow ones should be on boats with a motor 25 HP or greater. Violations will be issued if the Patrolman finds you are not compliant!
Reminder-when pulling tubers, water-skiers, or wake boarders-Donuts (making circles) are NOT permitted.
Have a safe, healthy summer season!
May 24, 2020
Short Term Rentals and Membership Renewal Reminder
Our e-news communications of April 15 and 18, 2020 advised of the Frankford Township Council’s enactment of Resolution 2020-035 prohibiting short term rentals of 30 days or less in an effort to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
On May 14, 2020, the Frankford Township Council passed Resolution 2020-042 rescinding the prohibition of short-term rentals of 30 days or less. The Resolution is attached for your information.
The LOCA rental policy, however, remains in effect. Rentals between Memorial Day and Labor Day must be a minimum of 7 days. Rentals outside this time period must be a minimum of 3 days. All other aspects of the rental policy remain in effect, i.e., no power boats to be used by renters, insurance requirements, etc. Please refer to the Owner/Renter’s Guide on the LOCA website.
As of this date, all LOCA activities are still postponed. If there are any changes, we will contact you via E-news. Thank you for your adherence to the social distancing and large group guidelines.
If anyone has not received the renewal packet, misplaced it, or has any questions, please contact secretary Danae Dotz at 973-948-6866 or email@example.com.
To avoid late fees, renewal deadline is May 31, 2020.
The Lake Owassa Board of Governors met on April 2nd via ZOOM and wishes to inform the lake members of LOCA’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. It appears that social distancing will be required well into the summer months. To comply with these new regulations and to keep our membership safe, all LOCA-sponsored meetings and activities are on hold until further notice. This includes the June LOCA General Meeting, the Buddy Bass Fishing Contest, Kid’s Sunny Contest, 4th of July Boat Parade, LOCA picnic, Sailboat Regatta, Golf Outing, and Wine and Cheese Party. The fish weigh stations around the lake will also be closed.
In addition, for the safety of all our members, the island will be closed and there will not be a porta-potty delivered this summer unless the public health guidelines for gatherings are changed. Use of the Community Swim Dock is also prohibited. To prevent its use, we will not be installing its ladder. We are also prohibiting boat “tie-ups” until further notice.
Please follow the state order on social distancing on your own floats, swim area, and boats.
When you use masks and gloves, be sure to dispose of them properly—not in the lake! (We have already found masks and gloves in the water!)
The Lake Patrolman will remind you of the safety for all of us when you follow simple social distancing. He has been authorized by the Board to stop and separate anyone who forgets!
Please use local stores and restaurants, and continue to follow suggested policies—stay at least 6 feet apart, wear masks, and gloves where appropriate.
Of course when things change, we will happily inform you via E-news.
The best way to understand how we will get through this will be by assuming that you have the virus and want to protect your neighbors. Lake Owassa is a lovely place for our members to sequester. Many of our members who normally would arrive later in the spring are already here. Let’s do this together and safely!
Note: Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 107 directing all residents to stay at home until further notice. The Order provides for certain exceptions, such as: obtaining essential goods and services; seeking medical attention; visiting family or close friends; reporting to work; and engaging in outdoor activities. The Order also prohibits all gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events. When in public, individuals must practice social distancing and stay at least six feet apart whenever possible, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners. The Governor’s Order further directs the closure of all non-essential businesses to the public. The list of essential and nonessential businesses can be found on the State of New Jersey website.
Loca E-news October 3, 2019
RE: Additional Email Addresses
In view of recent events and our need as the Board of Governors to contact our membership, we are interested to know if you would like to add additional email addresses to our contact list. These email addresses are used solely for communication purposes regarding lake conditions and are not added to the directory or any other communication venue.
If any adult family member who regularly uses the lake and wants to receive the alerts or e-news directly, please include those email addresses in a reply to this email. Thank you
REMINDER:EFFECTIVE THIS SEASON, NO SWIM FLOATS WITH METAL BARRELS OR
EXPOSED STYROFOAM ARE ALLOWED ON THE LAKE!
NO-WAKE ZONE NEAR INLET OF LAKE
A small portion of the lake near the inlet has been designated as a “No-Wake Fish Habitat Protection Zone.” A white buoy will be placed in the lake at the start of that zone. The Board of Governors has considered designating this area a No-Wake Zone for a number of years because of the narrowness of the lake in that area, the difficulty in making a turn with a skier or tuber in tow without getting too close to swimfloats, and the heavy erosion from waves that takes place in that narrow part of the lake. With the recent recommendation of the Electrofishing Study to better manage our fishery by sinking structure and encouraging lilypad growth in a part of the lake that would not conflict with swimming and boating, it was determined that the inlet portion of the lake was the best location. Making this small portion of the lake a No-Wake Zone will have little impact on our lake members, since most water skiers and tubers already make the turn before they reach that area of the lake. And as in the Cove, motorboats and all other watercraft (along with fishermen) may continue to enjoy this part of the lake so long as the No-Wake rule is respected.
The Board of Governors thanks you for your cooperation in our efforts to improve our fishery and to make our lake safer.
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL LOCA MEMBERS ABOUT “FOREIGN” BOATS
No boat, kayak, canoe or paddleboard may be placed on Lake Owassa unless it is owned by the LOCA member and has both the Area Number and current Annual Sticker on the boat.No renters or guests are ever permitted to place their watercraft on Lake Owassa.This rule protects our lake from invasive organisms and plants that can infect and harm our lake for everyone.Despite our constant reminders, some LOCA members have been permitting renters and guests to bring their boats to the lake.This violation of our Bylaws cannot continue.Any LOCA members who permit renters or guests to place their boats on Lake Owassa may have their lake privileges and membership suspended or revoked.The LOCA Board of Governors, to protect our lake for everyone, is now compelled to enforce a zero tolerance policy for this violation.
Thank you for helping to keep our lake clean, safe and pollution free.
LOCA MEMBERS PLEASE READ THIS FILE: A HOMEOWNERS GUIDE TO SEPTIC SYSTEMS
As we approach a new summer on the lake, the LOCA Board of Governors wants to advise all LOCA members of the rules regarding large inflatable toys, floats and rafts.With all of the new and large devices for sale on the market, the LOCA Board does not want someone to unknowingly purchase an oversized inflatable device that is not permitted on our lake.
1.The maximum size of any inflatable toy, raft, chair or float is 144 square feet.The inflatable device should also not sit higher in the water than the typical or average swim float or raft (approximately 3 feet).
2.All inflatable devices (other than the traditional inflatable devices used for tubing) must always remain in front of one=s own property and inside the line of swim floats.No inflatable device may be anchored to the bottom of the lake.
3.No inflatable devices can remain in the lake overnight.All inflatable devices must be removed from the lake by dusk (1/2 hour after sunset).They must be brought onshore or safely placed on one=s dock.They cannot be stored on top of a swim float.
4.Because inflatable toys are not permanently anchored in the lake, a LOCA sticker will not be required at this time.However, guests or renters are not permitted to bring their own inflatable toys to the lake; inflatable devices on the lake must be owned by the LOCA member.We do not want our lake to be infected with invasive species or nuisance growths.
5.And please remember that inflatable boats, canoes or kayaks, as with all watercraft, require a sticker before they can be placed on the lake, and trampolines are never permitted on the lake.
Thank you for your cooperation and please have a wonderful and safe summer on the lake.
THE LOCA STORE
The LOCA store has gone online! You can go to the Loca Store tab on the website or Click HERE or go to https://lakeowassa.itemorder.com to shop for the latest Lake Owassa apparel and goods! Like any store, our designs and options will be changing from month to month and year to year, so please check back often for new items and designs!
Please, be conscious of these regulations when operating any motor boat, sail boat, canoe, kayak, or stand up paddle board! Also, remember each of these need to have on their LOCA Area sticker and yearly sticker!
All people (members, guests, and renters), ages 16 through 69, MUST have a valid 2019 NJ State Fishing License to fish in Lake Owassa.
Only boats registered to proprietary members and having proper LOCA stickers are allowed on LOCA waters.
No family members, guests, or renters are allowed to bring their own boats, kayaks, canoes, paddle boards and put them in the lake.
SWIM FLOATS & RAFTS
Before you put your swim float/ raft in this year, please make sure your LOCA area number is visible on the raft/swim float.
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THE "NICE RED/WHITE STICKER"!! You can paint it on or buy letters/numbers at Lowes/Home Depot. We just need to identify your swim float/raft, if it drifts away and we need to notify you.
We have had a number of floats that drifted away during the last season, and there is one that we need to locate it's home this Spring. Thank you in advance for your help. Ted Roman (Patrolman) 973-570-3786
Anyone wishing to have a bonfire/campfire needs to call the NJ Forest Fire Service and obtain the proper permits. These are free and are issued monthly. You may request as many months as you want at the same time. Each month has a different permit number. Either the day before or day of your bonfire you need to call and inform them. They will then have it on record in case anyone calls in that there is an unauthorized fire. The number to call for permits is: 973-786-6350. The permit will contain the number to inform them of your fire.
Reminder to our LOCA Members: No Motorized watercraft are to be on the lake after dusk, which is 1/2 hour after sunset!!
Please, check the daily sunset times and adhere to this By-Law. See page 16 of our By-Laws for detailed operating times.
Thank You-The Board of Governors
IMPORTANT NOTICE!!! Other lakes in the area have been invaded by the Water Chestnut which can wreak havoc on the lake environment and balance of nature on a lake. There is a presentation under the LOCA WATER & SEPTIC tab or Click Here for complete information and photos on detection and advice on what to do and who to contact if you see it on the lake.
If there are any documents on this website in PDF format, you would need to have Adobe Reader installed on your computer. If you don't have it, please download and install Adobe Reader and try viewing the document again. This is a free download.
Check the Fishing Club tab for lots of updated information! The latest LOCA newsletters are now under the Minutes & Newsletters tab (password required).
The Sussex County Website has information on many topics such as West Nile Virus & Mosquito Control. Click Here to go to their website News Page.
IF YOU ARE A LOCA MEMBER AND HAVE A CHARITY, WALK-A-THON, SOMETHING TO BUY/SELL (e.g. BOAT, ETC.), OR SOMETHING FOR OTHER MEMBERS TO BE AWARE OF, ADD IT TO THE MEMBER NETWORK page. CLICK HERE TO EMAIL METHE INFORMATION TO BE ADDED.
If you have any suggestions on how to improve the website or wish to add photos, committee news, events, etc., you can either email or fax me the information at (845) 610-3179 - please provide your name and phone number on the email/fax in case I need to contact you to clarify or ask questions about any submissions. I hope you will enjoy using the website. Sincerely, Gordon Shehab
You will need the user ID and password only for the Minutes & Newsletters, Member Comments, andPhone Contacts pages. The ID and password are the same that were on the old website. If you have forgotten them,click here to email meand I will provide them to you upon verification of your LOCA membership.
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