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At the Candlewood Lake Authority’s January 8 meeting, residents of both the Coves End Association and the Tax District of Candlewood Isle spoke about the proposed addition of up to 72 new boat slips on the west side of Candlewood Isle as well as 20 new slips near the Candlewood Isle clubhouse. Candlewood Isle residents have filed paperwork with FirstLight for the additional boat slips.  FirstLight, in turn, is seeking authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

Candlewood Isle residents that spoke pointed out that the elimination of 115 slips from the cove in 2014 left Isle residents without sufficient space for them to dock. They pointed to studies that had been conducted regarding peak lake traffic and said that the additional slips would not contribute to overcrowding.

For their part, Coves End residents acknowledged the need for additional slips, saying they had no issue with the proposed 20 slips near the clubhouse. Their concern was with the proposed 72 slips near the tennis courts. Their concerns were that the new slips would adversely impact boating safety, wildlife, and the rights of adjacent neighbors. They also called for a new boat overcrowding evaluation to be conducted as the most recent one was completed over five years ago.

CLA Chair Phyllis Schaer thanked residents from both associations for delivering their comments calmly. She said that the CLA does not make the decision on the addition of docks. She noted that the CLA had sent a letter to FERC weighing in against the current boat slip proposal. She recommended that the best way for residents to make their opinion known is to write to FERC, DEEP and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. She said that a copy of the CLA’s letter as well as the contact information for FERC, DEEP and the Department of Fish & Wildlife will be posted on the CLA website.

In other meeting news, the Candlewood Lake Marine Patrol is interviewing patrol officer candidates. The Patrol is looking to increase the patrol to 25 officers for next season.

In her Chairman’s Report, Ms. Schaer said that budget requests have been sent to the five towns surrounding the lake. Executive Director Mark Howarth said that he will be setting up budget meetings with all the towns within the next several weeks.

Mr. Howarth also said that he hopes to have the vacant Operations Manager position filled in time for the start of the new season in the spring. He also proposed reintroducing periodic meetings with the town CEOs. He said in the past one of the CEOs had usually taken the lead and hosted. He said that Sherman First Selectman Don Lowe had offered to do this if the CLA was willing. The delegates thought this was a good idea and agreed to have Mr. Howarth give Mr. Lowe the go ahead.

Director of Ecology and Environmental Education J. Neil Stalter reported that the Lake Management Plan Subcommittee will be meeting in February. He also noted that he would be meeting with FirstLight later this month to discuss 2019’s water quality data. He also said that Brookfield had agreed to contribute funds to defray the cost of the weed mapping survey the CLA had commissioned this summer. New Fairfield had also agreed to help defray the cost, provided at least two other towns agreed to contribute.

The next regular meeting of the CLA will be held Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7:30pm in Brookfield.

By Greg Slomba