Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes – 9/10/18

Minutes for the Regular Meeting of the

Walpole Conservation Commission

September 10, 2018

Members Present:

Alicia Flammia (Chair), John Peska (Vice Chair), Steven Dumont, Lewis Shelley, Jackie Kensen, Laura Hayes

Alternates Present:

Myra Mansouri, Elaine Heleen, Gary Speed

Members Absent:

Duncan Watson, Peter Palmiotto, Kelli Wilson

Others Present:

Cheryl Mayberry (Selectboard Representatives)

Call to Order: Alicia called the meeting to order at 7:29 PM.

Seating of Alternates: No seating of alternates required.

Review and approve minutes – August 6, 2018. No corrections were noted. Lew voted to approve the minutes as written. John seconded. All in favor.

Public Business:

1. Treasury: The Conservation fund has a balance of $9,175.34 and the PDIP account a balance $96,234.14. The Forestry account has a balance of $2,270.04 and the PDIP account $58,839.25. The trust fund accounts were passed around.

2. Correspondence:

a. Monadnock Conservancy (MC) is having their 29th celebration at the Hill Top Golf Course in Peterborough.

b. Email from Rebecca at the MC. At the Nelson Town Forest there is a minor issue. In the 2017 monitoring visit, a steward went out and noticed toys, a cooler and a few more items on the town forest land. Also a minor use of a 4 wheeler. Gary mentioned it is an ongoing problem with an abutter. There was a camping/drinking area. The steward is going out November of this year and was wondering if anyone had been out there recently. Gary thinks the use will continue unless there are fines involved. Alicia will forward the email from the MC when she gets it and if anyone has time to go with them it would be appreciated.

c. Correspondence in relation to the Donald Wood property. John is waiting on guidelines from Stacy C. at the MC and he will write a letter in support of the project. The selectboard has written a letter of support. Lew will hand deliver the letter.

d. Fuss & O’Neill Contract: $500 retainer has been paid. On Aug. 24th the WCC received another proposal for $22,280.00. This includes a survey, engineering evaluation, inspection report, dam breach analysis and an emergency action plan. It does not include any actual work on the dam. Once the report comes, the town and WCC will know what needs to be done, as well as approximate costs. The selectboard has paid the proposal and is asking the WCC to reimburse them. The money will come out of the Forestry fund. John made a motion to reimburse the Town of Walpole $22,280.00. Steven seconded. All in favor.

New Business:

1. John would like to discuss how funds are transferred. At the last meeting the WCC approved paying EE Houghton and Peter Rhodes from the Forestry accounts. There was only about $2,200.00 in the forestry account. John realized this and asked the bank to move $5,000.00 out of the PDIP Forestry account into the main forestry account. John mentioned that he was uncomfortable doing this on his own. He mentioned the $22,280.00 that was just approved, and that it will require another transfer. He would like to see a motion where the commission approves the transfer. Elaine suggested it become part of the initial motion. Alicia asked to amend the motion that John made to include the PDIP transfer. Motion was amended. John mentioned that there will be one more invoice from Houghton for the remainder of the clearing.

Old Business:

1. Peter Rhodes invoice: Invoice has been paid. Gary spoke with him and told him the check is in the mail. The invoice had been previously approved but for unknown reasons the check was not sent.

2. Chip Wood property letter – already discussed.

3. Great Brook Farm/MC: Stacy came last meeting to ask the WCC to contribute $10,000 for phase 2 of the conservation of Peter Graves property. John brought forward the idea of capping the WCC’s contributions for projects like this to 1 or 1 ½ percent of what is in or conservation fund. This would save money for a future project that may need large funds. Alicia stated that she read the last minutes and noted we donated $17,000 for phase 1 of the project. She asked if there was additional land being conserved. Steven noted that it is an additional 60 acres. Lew mentioned that Peter, when he was a member of the WCC, was against the WCC donating money to pay people to conserve their land and we are now being asked to donate money to fund his easement.  Lew also mentioned that if we cap contributions, it may handicap us in the future. John stated that it could be a general guideline. Alicia would like language that would allow us to be flexible. Alicia noted that the amounts we are being asked to contribute vary quite a bit. John noted that it can be different if it is farmland vs. other types of properties. Further discussion on donating the amount asked tabled until next meeting.

4. Reservoir Dam work: covered already.

5. Walpole Easement Database: No update from Laura, she is getting married in a month and has been busy.

6. Fannie Mason Feasibility Study: Lew has been walking and doing better. He will update the WCC in November. Should have the work done Oct. 15th.

7. Bill Callahan Land Survey: Paperwork is still being processed. No update. Lew thinks there was an email from Bill referencing some adjacent land and trails. Alicia will dig through her emails because she remembers something as well.

8. Great Brook/Boggy Meadow: Alicia found her notes and will work on the wording for the letter and have a draft for the next meeting.

9. Town Conservation Maps: No update from Peter. John will see him in the following week and will ask.

10. Walker Road Property: D&C is moving ahead to resubmit their original proposal. They are asking the Planning Board for a request for a public hearing. The handshake agreement with D&C to purchase the property from them is void.

11. WCC Appointments: Kelli is now an alternate member.

Other Business:

1. John revisited whether or not we would like to change the meeting time to 7:00 PM. Gary mentioned it always used to be 7:00 but was changed to help Tom Beaudry with his farming operations. There was no motion to move the meeting time to 7:00.

2. Lew reminded all that the annual NHACC meeting is coming up November 3rd and you need to register soon. Alicia noted that there is also a Cheshire County Conservation Commission Potluck at Stonewall Farm.

3. Alicia will not be attending the October meeting. John may also not be attending the meeting.

Adjournment: At 8:27 John made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Jackie seconded. Meeting adjourned.

Next Meeting: Monday, October 1, 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 October 1, 2018.

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