A year ago I sent out a notification to the public pertaining to a new change as it related to our
enforcement of Personal Watercraft / Jet Skis violations on North Pond. The change was generated
based on research that I had conducted with some State Agencies. In a nutshell the research
revealed a violation of M.G.L, Chapter 90B, Section 9A, Operating a Jet-Ski on waters of less than
75 acres was unenforceable on North Pond. The measurement of the Congamond Lake is as 477
acres which includes the acreage of North Pond, Middle Pond and South Pond together. The area
of North Pond which measures by itself 47 acres is not considered a separate or single body of
water. Therefore, making M.G.L, Chapter 90B, Section 9A, Operating a Jet-Ski on waters of less
than 75 acres unenforceable on North Pond.
I also learned that in order to prohibit Personal Watercraft / Jet Skis from North Pond a Town bylaw
would be need to be developed and approved to enforce any prohibition of Personal Watercraft
/ Jet Skis on North Pond.
Needless to say the posted change in the enforcement policy caused a controversy amongst a group
of residents from around North Pond. The biggest issue that was voiced was that it was not safe
for Personal Watercraft / Jet-Skis to be used on North Pond. Since publishing the change in our
enforcement policy I developed a by-law which I believed was fair and impartial for all citizens
utilizing North Pond with a Personal Watercraft / Jet Ski. In summary, the by-law would allow
the operation of Personal Watercraft / Jet-Ski at Headway Speed (6-mph) only on North Pond to
travel to other ponds.
Those who were in objection to the by-law that the Select Board and I were recommending offered
an amendment to the Article 22 by-law at the Annual Town meeting. A brief of the amendment
offered was to prohibit the operation of Personal Watercraft / Jet Skis on North Pond.
A discussion on both proposals took place before a vote was taken. The vote indicated that a
majority wanted the amended by-law. Therefore, this amended proposal will be sent to the
Attorney General’s Office for approval. If approved the by-law will be sent back to the Town
Clerk’s Office to be recorded. After a prescribed amount of time, which is ninety (90) days, the
by-law will become enforceable.
Until we have an official by-law in place the Officers of this Department will not be enforcing
M.G.L, Chapter 90B, Section 9A, Operating a Jet-Ski on waters of less than 75 acres, on the body
of water of the Congamond Lake known as North Pond.
The Jet-Skis prohibited sign located to the left of tunnel prior to entering North Pond from Middle
Pond has been removed. When and if the amended the by law becomes official the sign will be
Dave Ricardi, Chief of Police