Members Present: John Peska, Jackie Kensen, Lew Shelley, France Menk, Cheryl Mayberry, Selectboard Representative, Jean Kobeski, Recording Secretary
Members Absent:Alicia Flammia, Steven Dumont, Laura Hayes
Alternates Present: Gary Speed, Peter Palmiotto
Visitor: Kara Dexter
Call to Order: John called the meeting to order at 7:36 p.m. at the Walpole Town Hall
Review and Approval of Minutes: Lew moved; France seconded, and all approved acceptance of the August 3, 2020, minutes.
Correspondence: No report
Treasury: Forestry Account – $31,076.23
Conservation Account – $142,722.14
Walker Road Account -$3,363.71
Fanny Mason – unavailable at meeting (posted in an email from Alicia)
New Business: Cheryl stated that the WCC hasn’t spent any conservation money. At the next meeting there should be a discussion of how the money can be used, i.e. trail maps, tools for trail work. The money does not carry over, and the Selectboard and department heads are now discussing next year’s budget, to be completed in December.
Rapid assessments are complete, but invoices for those have not been received.
Old Business: France asked if there could be easier access to the river at Walker Road. There have been complaints that it is too difficult to walk kayaks down to the river from the gate. Only vehicles for agricultural purposes and the Walpole Fire Department are permitted to use the road. Cheryl reported complaints to the Selectboard that camping is not permitted, and she referred the commission to the Selectboard August 13 minutes for the their discussion of this topic. The Selectboard wants to know the length of the Gowdy’s haying agreement and the rationale for the no camping policy for Walker Road. They will invite Alicia to attend a Selectboard meeting to discuss this topic.
Lew asked how to communicate WCC decisions to the people who have concerns. An article could be submitted to the Clarion. John stated he believes that a comprehensive plan for camping, tail hiking, kayaking, and boating is needed. He believes an holistic approach would alleviate this problem. He suggests having a meeting including the WCC, fire department, rescue squad, Dept. of Public Works, Selectboard, and community members to discuss the property and create standing policies, rules, and regulations for the community.
Other Business: Lew was asked by the state to do an annual report monitoring the Galloway easement at the Mill Pond. Jackie volunteered to do that.
Lew had a meeting a few weeks ago to discuss the rail trail from Keene to Bellows Falls. Representatives from the Snowmobile Club and Bellows Falls, Lew, Andy Westover, and Ken Wilton discussed its multi-purpose use, though no ATVs could use the trail, per state regulations. Snowmobiles only are allowed. They discussed how to get around Hubbard Farm. Grant money from the Monadnock Conservancy has been secured to improve the trail.
Gary and Jackie reported that they visited the LaRoche property and spoke with Mrs. LaRoche, who showed them the construction underway of the the bridge across Mad Brook. Both reported they were impressed with the work and said the bridge is very solid.
Kara volunteered to mark trees when the group is ready to do so. She also stated that she still has a huge pile of trash to take out of of the area across route 12 from Aubuchon. She has contacted the police department to unlock the gate so she can get a truck down there but has not heard back. Cheryl said she would make arrangements for Kara.
Adjournment: Gary moved; France seconded, and all voted to adjourn the meeting at 8:40.
The next meeting will be on October 5, 2020, in Town Hall.
Jean Kobeski, Recording Secretary
*** These minutes are in draft form until approved by the Commission in October.