Hello Lake St. Catherine fans,
We are posting this message and sending letters to you today to inform you about a significant budget shortfall we are projecting for 2019.
Each year, the Lake St. Catherine Association works to raise money for our seasonal projects by securing grants from the State of Vermont, the Towns of Wells & Poultney and from environmental groups. We also reach out to lake property owners and the lake community to collect membership dues and donations.
This year, we are projecting taking in $111,112 in grants, membership dues and donations, and projecting $141,273 in expenses. This will result in a $30,000+ deficit, greatly reducing our savings from approximately $70,000 to $40,000. Please see the pie charts below for the breakdown of our income and expense projections for 2019.
While we’ve been steadily increasing in both the number of members - and the total amount collected from membership dues, support from state and local governments has been decreasing. For example, in 2019, we will receive approximately $7,000 less from the State of Vermont and $5,000 less from the Town of Poultney.
As of this writing, we have 302 paid members who have made contributions from $35 to $5,000, totalling $48,600. That’s an average contribution of $161. 85 members contributed more than the base $100. Thank you to all who have contributed to help support our mission to preserve, protect and maintain Lake St. Catherine.
However, consider that there are approximately 700 properties on the lake. That means that less than half (43%) of the lake property owners are contributing to help fund our collective efforts for the lake. If these 400 potential members joined with a $100 contribution, we’d be able to cover our budget shortfall in 2019. Although we will keep trying to reach out to those 400 potential members, we realize that it’s unrealistic to think we could get every one of them all to join.
Maybe you are one of these 400, and you have decided to not support the LSCA. Maybe you don’t like that we spot treat the milfoil with herbicide each year, or maybe you have another reason. Well, as part of our milfoil control program, we also employ a very dedicated and hard-working dive team that swims down to the lake bottom to hand pull milfoil and remove it from the lake (this is called DASH, diver assisted suction harvesting). As part of our long term plan, and as we have for several years, we’ve been increasing our acres of suction harvesting and decreasing the acres of herbicide spot treatments. Support our dive team and help support the lake.
We also employ a dedicated team of young adults that work in our Greeter Program at the Lake St. Catherine boat launch. Lakes within driving distance of LSC contain invasive species that we DO NOT want to be introduced into our lake. These include: zebra mussels, spiny waterflea, starry stonewort and asian clams. The Greeters inspect boats entering and leaving LSC, educating boaters on these invasive species and how to make sure their boat or trailer does not carry an invasive hitchhiker to another lake. Support our Greeters and help support the lake.
We test the water for E coli and water clarity, we offer two free boating safety courses each season so boaters can get their license, we purchase and maintain navigation and shore line protection buoys throughout the lake, we organize the annual boat parade, we work with environmental groups to work on runoff issues around the lake, we share lake news with the community through our website and Facebook pages - and we collect membership dues and write and apply for grants to help fund all these projects.
If you love Lake St. Catherine as we do, we hope you can find at least one of these initiatives that you can support, and you’ll become a member, make an additional contribution for 2019 or make a donation.
Why are you writing to me?
This posting is an appeal to the lake community to help us reduce the projected $30,000 deficit for the 2019 season.
We will continue to spread the word about what we do for the lake and try to reach the 400 property owners that we wrote about on the previous page. They are all potential members. If you are one of them, please join us!
But, we are also appealing to our current members. Can you help us by making an additional contribution this year?
What other means does the LSCA have to raise funds other than membership dues and donations?
Last year, we wrote 4 grants to apply for funds totalling $50,000 from the Lake Champlain Basin program. Although we were not awarded any of the grants, we learned a lot about the process and we’ll be ready to apply for them again this year with a better understanding of what will be needed to earn them.
We are also searching for additional grants from other agencies and organizations that we can apply for.
Why is there such a large projected budget shortfall this year?
Our state and local government support has been declining each year. As state and local budgets decrease, these decreases get passed down to supported organizations. We mentioned some examples of these decreases on the previous page for 2019, but here are a few more: in 2016, the State of Vermont granted us $50,000. This year, it will be $27,000. In years past, the Town of Wells granted us $20,000, now it’s $12,000.
We are certainly very thankful for the continued support from the State of Vermont and the Towns of Wells and Poultney, their budget crunches have an impact on us. We need to work to raise additional funds to cover these cuts or we will not be able to maintain the standard of milfoil control that we’ve set over the past 15 years. We cannot let that happen.
Also, costs have increased.
This year, we will be using a new, highly effective and milfoil targeted herbicide called ProcellaCOR. As compared to the herbicide we have used for the past five years (Renovate), with ProcellaCOR, we’ll use 200x to 400x less herbicide, the recommended water restrictions for recreation and household use are just limited to the day of treatment and may resume the next day, and lake water may be used for irrigation after 1 week (it was 90 days) - and it will be more effective in taking out problem areas of milfoil. However, it’s more expensive.
We also want to keep our dive team in the lake, removing as much milfoil as they can throughout the season.
What can I do to help?
If you are not a member, please become one. See the below on how to do that.
If you are already a member this year, please consider making an additional contribution to us this season.
Please, spread the word about the Lake St. Catherine Association. Speak to your neighbors - ask them if they are members. Tell them about all the good work we do for the lake, and ask them to support us like you do.
Become A Member:
To become a member (or renew your membership), you can join on our website by filling out the form on our Become A Member page, using a credit card. Or, you can fill in this 2019 Membership Application and Donation Appeal form and mail it in with a check.
Make An Additional Donation In 2019:
There are a few ways you can make a donation to the LSCA. You can visit the Donation Page on our website, or click on the blue Donate button at the top of our Facebook page to make your donation by credit card. Or, you can fill in this 2019 Membership Application and Donation Appeal form and mail it in with a check.
Projected 2019 Income:
Projected 2019 Expenses:
Thank you for your continued support of the Lake St. Catherine Association.