29 September 2014: Irate Lake Shore Owner sends letter to DEP

I received the following email today sent by Clary Lake shore owner Jean McWilliams to Beth Callahan of the Department of Environmental Protection. Jean has every reason to be upset. We all do. One does have to wonder what the DEP is waiting for: the lake can’t get much lower.

September 29, 2014

Dear Ms. Callahan:

I am writing as a waterfront property owner on Clary Lake. I want to share my prospective as a resident on Clary Lake who has enjoyed this (previously) unspoiled lake for over 20 years. 

Jean McWilliams' water lineThis past weekend was warm and glorious and I planned to spend the weekend at our camp. Imagine my surprise when upon starting the water pump, there was no water. The first enclosed picture shows why;  the water line was fully out of the water. I have already extended the line once since the near draining of the lake. Apparently my family won’t be able to use the camp for the rest of the season, thanks to Paul Kelley’s actions.

Jack Holland's boatI’ve also attached a picture of my neighbor’s boat, high and dry as you can see. I am now 66 years old and have always planned to sell the camp in order to retire. As you can well imagine, property on Clary Lake is not exactly in demand.  So much for retirement, and again, thanks to Mr. Kelley. I am simply stunned that this situation has continued for over 3 years. The DEP has issued a water level order.  Mr. Kelley has ignored it.  He clearly does not care about the environmental, economic and recreational damage his actions have caused. I strongly urge you to enforce the water level order and insist that Mr. Kelley follow the law.  The blatant actions of this man are unacceptable and I ask that you enforce any and all regulations broken by Kelley.


Jean McWilliams


5 thoughts on “29 September 2014: Irate Lake Shore Owner sends letter to DEP

  1. George Fergusson Post author

    I understand there may be a few more irate lake shore owners writing DEP soon. A bunch of people tried to use the State boat launch this past weekend to get their boats out. They succeeded, just barely, but in once case (a friend of mine) he cracked the hull of his sail boat dragging it over the rocks to the end of the ramp.

  2. George Fergusson

    Beth Callahan responds:

    From: “Callahan, Beth”
    Date: September 30, 2014 at 2:52:13 PM EDT
    To: ‘Jean McWilliams’
    Subject: RE: Clary Lake

    Dear Jean,

    Thank you for your email describing your concerns in regard to water levels in Clary Lake. I understand that you must be frustrated by the situation; however, I can ensure you that I have noticed recent water levels. Although not officially measured, I have noticed the water level of the lake this summer at times when gathering data and also other times as I’ve driven by on my way to and from other project sites.

    Immediately following issuance, the Department’s Order was appealed to Superior Court and a number of parties also filed a separate application request for mediation. The Department was named as a party in the suit and in the requests for mediation; therefore, the Department, represented by the Office of the Maine Attorney General, is directly in involved in the mediation process. Mediation began in July and it is still ongoing pursuant to the State’s Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Service regulations. Based upon recommendation from our Assistant Attorney General in the matter, it was decided around the time that mediation began that the Department would put enforcement action on hold until an outcome through mediation was reached. Unfortunately, I just have no idea as to what or when this will be.

    Although this is the Department’s current situation and position, this does not mean to say that you have no voice and no other options. There is an alternative mechanism in Maine Statute that does not limit just the Department to initiate enforcement action. The statute also allows any littoral or riparian owner to seek enforcement action of a violation of a Water Level Order. For more information on this option, take a look at 38 M.R.S.A. § 841 (3) in Maine Statutes here: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/38/title38sec841.html. This type of enforcement action may come with its own set challenges like the Department is experiencing, and I’m definitely not trying to steer you in any sort of direction. I just wanted you to be aware that there is an enforcement mechanism outside of the Department that’s available to you, in case you are interested in learning more and if you didn’t already know.

    Again, Jean, thank you for your concerns and for your photos as well. Feel free to contact me further if you have any additional questions or concerns.

    Project Manager
    Division of Land Resource Regulation
    Maine Department of Environmental Protection
    (207) 446-1586

  3. Bill Albert

    I too have sent a letter in support of getting this situation resolved:

    From: Bill Albert [mailto:billalbert@masiello.com]
    Sent: Saturday, October 4, 2014 1:47 PM
    To: beth.callahan@maine.gov
    Subject: Maine DEP To Hold Hearing On Petition To Establish Water Level Regime For Clary Lake

    To: Beth Callahan, DEP Project Manager:

    Greetings, I own a small mobile home at 53 Hodsdon lane, Jefferson Maine, the property is on Clary Lake. I Have owned this property about 6 years. When I purchased the mobile home form a very nice 86 year old couple the lake was very nice, with no issues boating or hitting rocks. Over the past few years I have watched with sorrow the loss of loons and lake.

    This year I am concerned I will not have enough water line to pump water to the house, and I am concerned I will not be able to get my 1958 Crestliner Voyager out of the lake.

    My wife and I took the Kayak over to the boat launch and ran aground on some rocks….IN a kayak!

    Is there any hope in the near future to get this resolved? I am not as versed in this problem as some of my neighbors, but this seems like some fellow is thumbing his nose at the sate.

    Thanks you for your time, and I am hoping you can help us to keep from running into rocks.

    Bill Albert
    Director of Information Technology
    The Masiello Group

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