The first meeting of the Engineering / Infrastructure (E/I) Committee was held on November 21, 2023. It was primarily an organizational meeting and focused on developing inputs to a working list of issues and challenges that will require attention, developing a plan to capture historic engineering files and records to facilitate future reviews, and establishing roles. E/I will coordinate closely with the existing Lake Committee. The temporary Streambank Restoration Committee is a joint Lake and E/I Committee effort. In addition, cost and timing inputs to future SLSC Reserve Studies will be part of the E/I Committee's efforts.
There was discussion as to whether an open "information session" would be helpful in providing background on the design and function of the various engineered features in the community. Providing an overview of the dam construction and existing piping/spillway features is a likely first subject. In addition, the E/I Committee discussed the draft investigation plan related to the current low lake levels and will be finalizing the plan for BOD review and approval. The focus of that plan is collating a wide range of flow, lake level, underlying aquifer, precipitation, and other related information so a complete and defensible understanding of the water inputs and water losses can be created based upon actual data. Additionally, the overall condition and planned future improvements to various community infrastructure elements were discussed.
Stay tuned for the next meeting date.
Engineering / Infrastructure (E/I) Committee Charter
Somerset Lake Services Corporation
Opportunity / Challenges
Provide the community Board of Directors (BOD) with clear decision–making inputs related to
technical matters. Assure that any issue that requires engineering expertise is scoped and
managed to address potential technical decisions, options/alternatives, implementation, and
long-term costs. Actively engage with third-party engineering and/or construction resources.
There is a growing level of engineering and technical challenges facing the community, including
the 50 plus year old dam and the 30- to 40-year-old community infrastructure. This includes the
Settling Pond No. 2 culvert project, aeration system maintenance and modifications, care of the
pumphouse / Clubhouse engineering elements, the townhouse rear-slope issues, and two dams
(one high hazard) and their related challenges. As these community resources age, repairs and
upgrades are likely, some of which have very high potential costs with both community / political
and regulatory implications.
Objectives and Strategy
The Engineering / Infrastructure Committee reports to the BOD. It provides qualified technical
expertise to the SLSC teams and property management firm(s) for engineering issues in the
community. The key is informed decision-making inputs with scope and cost implications as
well as alternatives clearly identified. The objectives and purpose of the committee is to:
• Not just rely on outside engineering recommendations, but have other qualified
community engineering resources, experienced in project, technical and regulatory
matters, look critically at recommendations and costs prior to requesting BOD approvals.
• Focus on low-cost solutions and long-term planning to reduce future cost risks (and assure
that upcoming needs are incorporated into reserve cost planning).
• Give the property management firm a backstop on complex technical matters, including
scoping engineering services upfront, setting objectives that solve the problem without
• Capture historical knowledge in a retrievable manner.
• Create/maintain action lists with appropriate follow-ups and BOD reporting/decision
making to assure risks are actively managed.
• Participate in / engage with other Somerset Lake committees as necessary to support
their specific objectives and projects.
Future changes in property management personnel (with decades of institutional knowledge) are
a risk. The process of documenting what is known, historic actions taken or not taken, contacts,
contractors, and numerous other lessons from the first three plus decades of the SLSC community
will be an initial action, including the historic documentation in the Clubhouse attic.