Lake Hiawatha

Bellingham/Blackstone Massachusetts


By Laws




Revised and Approved July, 2021


Constitution and By-Laws


Lake Hiawatha Association, Inc.


Article I

Section 1.  The name by which the non‑profit corporation shall be known is "Lake Hiawatha Association, Inc.", hereafter referred to as the "Corporation", the "Association", or "LHA".

Section 2. The location of the principal office and headquarters of the Massachusetts Corporation is to be in Bellingham/Blackstone.

Section 3.The purposes and mission for which the Corporation is formed are as follows: To promote and encourage the development of the residential colony known as Lake Hiawatha, located in the Towns of Bellingham and Blackstone in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; to improve and better the conditions of the land owners at said Lake Hiawatha: to encourage athletic exercises and amusements, including boating, fishing and bathing; to develop and maintain beaches; to safeguard and protect the interests of the members and the land owners; to establish and maintain a place for holding meetings and social activities; to purchase, lease, hold, sell, convey, or otherwise acquire or dispose of real and personal property necessary or proper as prescribed by a legal vote at a properly called meeting; and in connection therewith to do anything permissible under Chapter 180 of the General Laws, and, these purposes shall include the right to apply for a license to sell alcoholic beverages.


Article II


Section 1. The membership of the Corporation is restricted to landowners or renters of dwellings at Lake Hiawatha as defined in Article II, Section 2, with the exception of five (5) additional Bellingham or Blackstone residents who may be granted membership if approved by the LHA Board of Directors. Any member in good standing has full voting rights.

Section 2. All persons owning or renting on any of the following streets shall constitute the current membership area and shall be eligible for Membership: Lakeshore Drive, Bernier Lane, Andrew Street, Indian Run Road, Pelletier Drive, Marszalkowski Street, Scott Hill, Marcel Lane, St. Germain Avenue, Cranberry Meadow, Saumur Lane, Spruce Street, Dube Avenue, Chestnut Street, Rockland Circle, Pheasant Hill Road, Quail Run, Partridge Trail, Rogers Street, Birch Tree Lane, Buffy Road, Quick River, Bucky Drive, Grand Way, Mohawk Street, and Bellingham Road (to #81).

Membership will not be extended to any address having as its primary purpose the operation of a business enterprise.

Section 3. In order to vote at the Bi-Annual Meeting or at any general meeting, a member of the Association must be present at said meeting, have paid his/her dues in full at time of the meeting, be at least 18 years of age. A maximum of one (1) vote per paid membership is allowed

Section 4. New members shall be proposed for admission at any time by paying dues for the current year. The Board of Directors reserve the right, with a majority vote and just cause, to refuse membership to any applicant .

Section 5. The annual dues of the Association shall be ratified at a business meeting of the membership by a simple majority vote.

Section 6. Members one year in arrears in dues will lose their membership and must pay the current dues to be reinstated.

Section 7. All members have the responsibility to follow the rules and regulations of the LHA, which include adherence to the Massachusetts Guide to Boating Laws and Responsibilities (particularly the wearing of life vests for minors), “Catch and Release”fishing policy as prescribed by Massachusetts Fish & Game Agency, and all other federal, state and local environmental and wildlife regulations. Members also accept full responsibility for their guests to follow all rules and regulations. Non-adherence to regulations stated above could result in revocation of membership.


Article III

Section 1. The Biannual Meeting of the Corporation shall be held in of June of said year. Election of officers will take place at this meeting. Notification of this meeting will appear in the May addition of the L.H.A. newsletter (email and website version). A member interested in running for an office, may submit intentions in writing anytime after by the April general meeting. A slate of known candidates will be published in the May newsletter, along with the election announcement. A declared candidate need not be present at the June meeting to run for election.  Voting will be facilitated via paper ballot. Written ballot will be kept in the possession of the Secretary of the Corporation for a period of sixty (60) days and properly disposed of at the end of said period. Any member has the right to examine said ballots while in the possession of the Secretary. Paper ballots will be counted and tallied by two (2) officers of the Corporation at the Annual Meeting and results promptly announced at said meeting. A motion will be made to accept the results of the election. Once seconded and passed, election is final and newly-elected officers are officially installed.

Section 2. A minimum of 6 (six) meetings of the Corporation shall be held annually.

Section 3. The Executive Board or Board of Directors may call a special meeting whenever they deem reasonable, necessary and prudent.

Section 4. The presence of seven (7) members shall constitute a quorum for any meeting.

Article III (continued)

Section 5. Robert's Rule of Order shall be the authority on Parliamentary Procedure for all general, biannual and special meetings of the LHA:

a. Opening of the meeting by the President or assigned representative.

b. The doorkeeper assigned by the President verifies the attendance of all members in good standing.

c. Roll call of officers and members, and determination of quorum. The roll call of all officers shall be made at every meeting.

d. Introduction of newly elected members and admission of new members.

e. Reading and acceptance of minutes of previous meeting.

f. Reading of communications, notices, bills.

g. Reports of standing committees.

h. Treasurer's report.

i. Unfinished business.

j. New business.

k. Remarks in the interest of the corporation.

1. Adjournment

Article IV

Section 1. The officers of the corporation shall be as follows: a President, a Vice‑President, a Secretary, a Treasurer; and a Board of five (5) or seven (7) Directors.

Section 2. The officers shall be elected from and by the membership at the biannual meeting of the Corporation as prescribed above (Article III, Section 1), and shall serve for two years, until their re-election or the election of their successors.

Section 3. Vacancies occurring in said offices shall be filled by the Board of Directors.

Section 4. Any officer or committee chairman, who absents himself /herself from three consecutive scheduled meetings, unless excused, shall have his/her office declared vacant. A new officer will be appointed by the Board of Directors to fill this vacancy until new elections are held at the annual meeting.

 Article V

Section 1. The President shall preside at all meetings as the Executive Officer of the Corporation; as such, the President's signature shall be affixed to the minutes of all meetings as approved by the members; all contracts and other financial documents of the Corporation shall be cosigned by the President and the Treasurer. Additional duties of the President may include, but are not limited to:

·         formation and oversight of all Committees and Sub-Committees

·          advertise Legal Notices as necessary

·         coordination of all fundraising activities

·         coordination of  all Lake maintenance efforts

·         responsible for management of all assets of the Corporation

·         interact with State and Town officials/boards (both Bellingham and
Blackstone) on matters pertinent to the wellbeing of the Lake and
its environs

·         ensure that all legal obligations of the Corporation are met

·         oversee and direct weir management (schedule drawdowns, ensure
proper maintenance of the dam and spillway areas, etc.)

·         ensure adherence to Corporation By-Laws at all meeting and
elections; oversee biannual  elections

·         Attend majority of meetings of the Corporation.

Section 2. The Vice-President shall assume the President's duties under conditions such as absence, illness, or death. The Vice-President, in conjunction with the Secretary, shall record notes at membership meetings that will be become part of the monthly newsletter which will be posted on the Lake Hiawatha website, mailed or distributed to the membership. Additional duties of the Vice President may include, but are not limited to:

·         assist the President wherever necessary in ensuring adherence to
Corporation By-Laws and facilitation of all activities of the Corporation

·         assist in the performance of all duties stated in Article V, Section1
(Duties of the President) as requested by the President; assume those duties if the

President is unavailable for any reason (as stated above)

·         assist President with the election process as needed (preparing and presenting slate of candidates, counting of ballots, etc.)

·         ensure that all legal obligations of the Corporation are met

·         attend majority of meetings of the Corporation.

Section 3. The Secretary shall keep a record of all proceedings at regular and special meetings of the Corporation, and also at all meetings of the Board of Directors; the Secretary shall have charge of the correspondence and shall keep a record of all members. Additional duties of the Secretary may include, but are not limited to:

            *  retain paper ballots for a period of 60 days
                  following Biannual Meeting elections as prescribed in By-Laws

            *  assist President in the election process as needed (counting of
                  ballots, etc.)

·         maintain meeting minutes and forwarding information in a timely
fashion to the members

·         attend majority of meetings of the Corporation.

Section 4. The Treasurer shall receive all monies of the Corporation from whatever source; shall pay all bills as approved by the Board of Directors and by the members; shall keep an account of all receipts and expenses; shall sign all contracts and other financial documents with the President; and shall receive from the Secretary all membership dues collected by said Secretary. The Treasurer shall be a member of all committees involving financial aspects of the Corporation. Additional duties of the Treasure may include, but are not limited to:

·         assist President in the election process as needed (counting of
ballots, etc.)

·         ensure payment of all State and Town (both Bellingham and
                  Blackstone) taxes and fees

·         collect and deposit all member dues

·         prepare and present a Treasurer's Report containing bank balances,
expenditures and revenue since previous meeting. A Treasurer's Report will be

presented at each general meeting.

·         attend majority of meetings of the Corporation.

Section 5. The Board of Directors shall have general supervision over the activities of the Corporation and shall be available to attend all scheduled general, biannual and special meetings of the Corporation. Additionally, Board members will actively participate in activities/events and serve on Committees whenever possible. Board members will appoint ”Wardens of the Lake” annually and “Keepers of the Keys”.

Section 6. Wardens shall be appointed annually by, and serve at the direction of, the Board of Directors. Their duties shall include:

·         checking for boat stickers on water craft, and requesting that non-members vacate the lake.

·         checking membership list at beach, and requesting that non-members vacate the beach area.

·         reporting any suspicious or unruly behaviors to the Bellingham or Blackstone police respectively; not engaging in arguments or escalating a situation

·         reminding members of Massachusetts Rules and Regulations on boating, particularly when it comes to wearing life preservers for minors

·         follow the direction of the Board of Directors to ensure that legal process is followed to protect the interests of the Corporation.

·         provide contact information so that members can report issues as they occur.

·         attend majority of the meetings of the Corporation.

Section 7. Keepers of the Keys shall be designated by the Board of Directors. Gates at Marcel Lane boat ramp, the double gate at the main beach, the gate at the dam, and the hatch at the weir shall be kept locked at all times. The small gate at the beach shall be locked at the discretion of the Board. Keepers of the Keys shall be LHA President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Lake Wardens and will be accessible to the best of their abilities to allow member access to LHA facilities. Locks (or lock tumblers) shall be changed periodically to ensure integrity of the lock system.


Article VI

Section 1. Any or all of these Bylaws may be updated, repealed or amended or other Bylaws may be adopted at any regular or special meeting of the corporation, provided notice of said intended action has been mailed to all members within 15 days preceding said meeting.

Section 1. The use of gasoline‑propelled engines is prohibited on Lake Hiawatha. L.H.A. members should own all watercraft to decrease the chance of introducing invasive nonindigenous species such as (milfoil) to the lake.

Section 2. All gas or propane operated devices are prohibited from operation on/in Lake Hiawatha throughout the year. This shall include the use of any gas powered remote controlled hobby devices or winter recreational vehicles/machinery.


Revised: September, 2017

Revised:  June 7, 2009

Revised: Dec 5, 2004

March 1, 1995

Sept. 14, 1969

Dec. 4, 1961