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WINSTED — Problems at Highland Lake with weed treatment and the enforcement of quiet hours were discussed at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Monday, July 19 at Town Hall.
The conversation about weed treatment centered around the actions of Solitude Lake Management of Shrewsbury, Mass.
According to Mayor Candy Perez, the town awarded a contract with the company because it was the lowest bid for weed treatment services.
According to Mayor Candy Perez, the company was supposed to start its weed treatment on July 19, but its treatment was delayed to Thursday, July 22.
“It was postponed because Solitude, the company that is doing the application of the weed treatment, didn’t give information to the state in time,” Mayor Perez said. “The state has a permitting process and deadlines that all have to be met. Residents are all confused at the lake because of the posters that have gone up about the treatment, with some of the posters having the original date crossed out. People are confused by these things, but please understand this is out of the town’s control and Highland Lake Watershed Association’s (HLWA) control.”
Mayor Perez said that, during the next bidding process for weed treatment, the town will include language in its Request for Proposals about how a company should perform its tasks.
“However, at this point, we have limited time to do things and we are at the mercy of the workings of this particular company,” she said.
Mayor Perez also discussed the town’s marine patrol and how it enforces quiet hours.
“A couple of weeks ago, there was some issue with a couple of calls that happened during the night and not enough officers,” she said. “Some people at the lake are feeling that it’s very important to have the marine patrol out there, especially on Sunday nights. I think we all agree with that. Some person up there has organized a petition about the marine patrol and regulations on the lake. You will see that HLWA, in conjunction with DEEP [Department of Energy and Environmental Protection] has put up huge yellow signs on the lake about regulations.”
When asked for a copy of the petition after the meeting, Mayor Perez said that there was no formal petition, but rather she was responding to posts from residents on Facebook.
During the meeting, Mayor Perez added her criticism of current state boating regulations.
“One thing that I learned last year was that people who rent boats do not need licenses,” she said. “Regular boaters need licenses from the state. So you can go for two weeks renting a boat. The state regulations do not make any sense to me.”
Winchester Police Department body camera proposal
According to Town Manager Josh Kelly, the Winchester Police Department will be at a meeting in August with a proposal to purchase body cams for its officers.
According to Kelly, because of the state’s Police Accountability Act that passed last year, all police departments in the state are required to have body cameras for their officers.
“We have an obligation right now to be working through a myriad of research and different proposals that is coming forward to us from companies to figure out what is going to be the least expensive, and also deliver the best performance in terms of cameras,” Town Manager Kelly said. “The department wanted to do a little more digging to make sure that they will give [the board] an idea that is acceptable and reasonable.”

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