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What happened to the White Pond Task Force recommendations?

The Town of Concord's White Pond Task Force finished their work in December 2023 and presented to the Select Board and Town Manager on January 8, 2024. We checked in to see what happened to their recommendations and what might come next.

After a year's worth of work, the Task Force voted on and approved eight recommendations, many of which have been advocated by the previous White Pond Advisory Committee, other Town committees and by Friends of White Pond. The recommendations were:

  1. Support the deployment and maintenance of the A-pods

  2. Continue testing of water quality to assess swimming safety

  3. More attention from the Conservation Ranger program

  4. Enforce parking laws

  5. Support public outreach including signage

  6. Continue to evaluate the impact of stocking trout

  7. Support pond health through plantings and by putting trash cans and portable toilets around off-season

  8. Update the town-wide wastewater plan including a review of septic systems

Although the Task Force minutes show that five of their six members approved the final recommendations, two members of the Task Force at the last minute signed a dissenting report saying they disagreed with the water testing, parking and stocking trout recommendations. It seemed a little odd but that's what it was.

Since the Select Board's January meeting on the Task Force findings and "minority report" letter (documentation here), we hadn't heard anything else on the topic. There was an initial thought that the Select Board would vote to send the recommendations to Town staff. However, we understand that the Select Board has taken no new actions but that Town staff are aware.

The idea of the Task Force was to have a group of Concord citizens involved in White Pond planning that were not abutters to the pond. That seems to have happened. The end results look a lot like the 2021 White Pond Vision document produced by the Town's own White Pond Advisory Board. This work was mostly ignored as far as we can tell.

With a closely overlapping set of recommendations year over year from different groups, we would hope that the Select Board and Town staff will appreciate the necessary steps for the preservation of the pond, and will want to take action given the big recent investment in the Town's beach. But without a formal vote by the Select Board to adopt the recommendations, it won't be possible to really know where things are heading.

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