Conservation Commission Minutes

Date:  Thursday January 25, 2018 (01/25/18)

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Additional Documents:

WCC Meeting Minutes - January 25, 2018

Meeting was called to order at 7:05 pm & adjourned at 9:10 pm.
Attending: Heather Shand, Howard Beach, Jeff Pelton, Tina Wood, Roy Burton, Harry Temple

Minutes from November 17 meeting approved.

Town Plan Revisions -
Per Hal Wilkins request, the WCC reviewed sections of the Town Plan and submitted recommendations for changes and/or updates.

WCC Description -
Per Hal Wilkins request, the WCC will submit the following description for the Town Plan/Report:
“The Weathersfield Conservation Commission serves the town by promoting environmental education and stewardship. We do this work by identifying the Town’s natural resources and advising the Town’s leadership and residents about protecting and preserving them.”

Treasurer’s Report –
Roy provided an update on available funds to the WCC. He will confirm the process needed for any spending out of the Conservation Fund which may need Selectboard Approval.

Proposed budget for next fiscal year: $500

Conservation Fund: $1623.42
On hand in account: $237.60
New deposit into account*: $11.00

* donations from December 2017 WCC program with Andrea Shortsleeve

Update on Inclusion of Groundwater Concerns in Town Documents -
Howard was able to communicate with the VT DEC. The head of the department believes some type of state protection of specific identified areas of groundwater in Weathersfield is viable and he is excited to have the department work on it. The State does suggest designating potential areas for a sewage treatment plant(s) in case they are needed in the future.

Before the State can step in, wording needs to be updated in the Town Plan and Zoning Regulations. There is a tight deadline with getting this done as the Town Plan should be finalized. The WCC came up with some wording that may satisfy this requirement if it can be added to the Town Plan.

Update on Town Forest Recreation Planning -
Consultants from SE Group were hired and are leading the planning process. Ed Morris has created a Steering Committee, which includes himself, Jeff Pelton and other Weathersfield residents. A visioning survey to be filled out by town residents has been sent out and can be accessed directly by clicking here: Town Visioning Survey

Or to read more information and take the survey, go to www.VtTownForest.org then clicking on the button, Take the Public Visioning Survey.

There was a snowshoe hike with the Steering Committee and the consultants in January followed by a public meeting that same evening. 13 people attended the meeting.

Update on Tri-Town Recreation Planning Grant -
The first organizational meeting was held. More information to come.

Other/New Business -

• The Compass School has requested project suggestions for their February break and in May. Hal asked the WCC for suggestions. Regarding the Town Forest, Roy suggested that no trail work be done until we have established access. If this is acquired by May, Jeff and Harry could bring their chainsaws and work with the kids from the Compass School in May. The WCC does not have any suggestions for their February break.

• There was suggestion to pursue possible access to the wetland near the transfer station. Who currently owns what land and would be possible to develop some type of access?

• Due to budgetary constraints, we will revisit the photo contest in the Fall.

Upcoming Events and Meetings -

The American Martin Comes Back
February 8 at 7pm– NewsBank Conference Center, Chester, VT
$7/$10 donation
For more information: https://www.nature-museum.org/upcoming-events/2018/2/8/chris-bernier-talk

The Art and Science of Animal Tracking
February 10 from 9-11:30am – Private Residence in Andover, VT
For more information: https://www.nature-museum.org/upcoming-events/2018/2/10/wildlife-tracking-chris-bernier

Next WCC meeting:
February 22, 2018, 7pm, Martin Hall

Respectfully Submitted,

Heather Shand