Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes – 1/18/18

Members Present: Alicia Flammia (Chair), John Peska (Vice Chair), Jackie Kensen, Lew Shelley, Kelli Wilson,

Alternates Present: Peter Palmiotto, Elaine Heleen

Members Absent; Laura Hayes, Gary Speed, Myra Mansouri, Cheryl Mayberry (Selectboard Representative)

Others Present: Steven Dumont (Recording Secretary)

Call to Order: Alicia Flammia, Chair, called the meeting to order at 7:32 PM.

Seating of Alternates: As a quorum of regular members was present, no seating of Alternates was required.

Review and approve minutes – December 4, 2017. Corrections; Alicia Flammia and Byron Fletcher’s names were misspelled on page 2, as was M&W soils and the Nerrie Easement. With no other corrections, Mr. Shelley made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. Mr. Peska seconded. With all in favor the minutes were approved as amended.

Public Business:

1. Mrs. Flammia did not have time to collect the correspondence or treasury report. She did have a report on some of the finances. Tom Goins asked her if she would like him to move most of the balance of the forestry account into the PDIP account to accrue better interest. Alicia agreed and it has been moved. This will be reflected on the next statements. Both the conservation and the forestry accounts are now in the PDIP. The money can be available from the PDIP account in about 48 hours if needed.

2. Correspondence: None to present, but Peter reported that he did contact the holders of the Hubbard Conservation Commission fund. He spoke with someone that explained the reasoning. Peter forgot his notes but he will write up a summary and send it out to the members. He was successful in getting the fund transferred to Alicia’s name as Chair of the Walpole Conservation Commission (WCC).

New Business:

1. Ballam Farm Monitoring: Alicia received an email from Rebecca of the Monadnock Conservancy. They cannot find the annual monitoring reports since about 2006. The WCC has minutes noting that Gary has done the monitoring in the past, though maybe not in the last couple of years. Alicia repeated the need for a record of all the easements in town, who holds the easements, the WCC’s responsibility of each easement, and where the WCC is in terms of administrative requirements for the easements. Gary has been in charge of the Ballam Farm monitoring. Alicia asked if someone else would be interested in monitoring the property. Peter asked if the WCC was responsible for monitoring that easement. It was noted that the Monadnock Conservancy has staff and volunteers and usually monitors their own easements. Lew noted that we have been doing the monitoring. Alicia restated the need for individual records of the easements. John noted it would be nice to know how many easement organizations are holding easements in town. Alicia asked if when the records are done, if that, as well as who is responsible for monitoring can be added. Peter said that it can be done. Alicia again asked if someone would take over the monitoring of Ballam Farm. Jackie stated that she would gladly do it.

2. Lew Shelley noted that there was another piece of property recently added to the High Blue Easement. Between the new parcell and the Surry town line, there are two smaller pieces of property. Lew had a question on whether or not Scoville Road was a discontinued road or it was a Class 6 road. Lew looked up old town meeting minutes from 1928 and it turns out they voted to discontinue the road in 1928. This means the road ownership goes to the abbutting properties, and that the old road could be gated. Lew would next like to go after contacting the owners of the small abbutting properties to discuss easements, with the long term goal of adding the properties to the High Blue easement. He has passed this info onto the Forest Society.

Old Business:

1. Reservoir Dam: There has been no update on engineering proposals. John noted Gary spoke with Byron Fletcher and he will get to cutting the brush as soon as he can. John asked Alicia to resend the list of engineering companies to contact for proposals.

2. Antioch University Internship: no interest yet. Laura is still considering it with her workload and schedule. The fee limit for a WCC member would be $2,000.

3. Nerrie Easement/Monadnock Conservancy: John noted to Alicia that we agreed to fund $7,500. He was unsure of whether or not the money had been dispersed. Lew did contact the Monadnock Conservancy after the meeting and Peggy Pschirrer was in attendance. Alicia will contact Annie McBride to check in.

4. Fannie Mason Feasibility Study: Lew presented a proposal to complete the feasibility study, in the amount of $850. The agreement included, among other things, assessing existing trail networks, identifying locations for a possible accessible trail, and using GPS and flagging to mark the trail locations. Lew would like to start before the beginning of Spring. Alicia asked if there were any questions. Lew discussed the layout of the property and the potential locations for new trails. With no further questions, Alicia signed the agreement for Lew to complete the feasibility study for $850.

5. Long View Forest Walk: rescheduled because of cold weather. WCC is waiting for a new date from Long View.

6. Bill Callahan Land Donation: WCC needs to hire a surveyor and have the property surveyed. DiBernado Associates has done survey work in the past for the WCC. Alicia asked if anyone had any other contacts. Steven and Lew both had suggestions of surveyors they know. Steven and Lew will forward contact info to Alicia.

Other Business:

1. Elaine noted that she has a Hooper Institute meeting coming up, and she knows they are going to ask about conservation land maps in Walpole. Elaine noted that money was approved to print more maps. Lew mentioned that land keeps on getting added to easements in Walpole. Elaine suggested that we pick a date and update the maps as of that date. Peter thinks that they can get the conservation map updated next month.

Adjournment: At 8:20 PM Kelli made a motion to adjourn the meeting. John seconded. Meeting adjourned.

Next Meeting: Monday, February 5, 2018 at 7:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted; Steven Dumont, Recording Secretary

Note: These are unapproved minutes. Corrections, if any, will be found in the minutes of February 5, 2018.

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