GROTON -- The Sargisson Beach Committee met on April 16, still confident in plans to have the little beach ready for public use when warm weather arrives.
Plans proceeded to spruce up Sargisson Beach for the season with only minor cleanup duties needed for which members were seeking volunteers.
In addition, with remaining funds from a $15,000 appropriation made in 2013, members hoped to spend up to $500 on new signage informing visitors what is and is not allowed. Signs are expected to be erected at the entrance to the beach area, the parking lot and on the beach.
This year, boat docks that had been present in past years, will return and a park ranger hired part time to patrol the area.
Due to budget restraints, lifeguards will not be available again this year so that anyone using the beach will do so at their own risk.
Plans to make official the opening of the beach for public use was put on hold when a request for $76,000 from the town to fund lifeguards and pay for swimming and boating lessons from the Lowell YMCA as in past years, was dropped from the town's fiscal 2015 budget to make room for unexpected costs involving the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District.
Town Manager Mark Haddad had to make the cut, among others, to cover the town's share of a $1.9 million shortfall in the schools' own fiscal 2015 budget.
A request from the Community Preservation Committee for $170,500 to be paid in three installments and earmarked for erosion-control efforts at the beach remains on the list of appropriations to be considered at spring Town Meeting.
Most of the money would be used to restore a retaining wall at the beach.
Open for the last few years but not officially supervised, Sargisson Beach has been prey to the elements. Rain washing down from the roadway turned trails and stairways into streams leaving dry washes filled with stones after drying up.
Some of those problems have been addressed.
The Sargisson Beach Committee was established by selectmen in September and charged with exploring ways it could take over maintenance of the beach with the aim of having it at some point officially reopened to the public.
With an unofficial target date of Memorial Day for the beach opening, members hoped to complete spring cleaning before then. Work will include raking leaves, removing brush and fallen branches, and removing tree trunks cut down earlier in the season.
Located on the Knops Pond portion of Lost Lake, the water surrounding Sargisson Beach had been invaded by non-native weeds, but an effort to rid Lost Lake of the intrusive plants using chemicals has further opened up the pond for public use.
Setting May 17 as the cleanup date, volunteers will be needed and if anyone is interested in helping out, they can contact committee Chairman Andrew Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.