Campton Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes For February 8, 2012; 7pm
Members Present: Jane Kellogg, Jules Doner, Lea Stewart, Tammy Wooster
Due to the extended absence of both co-chairs, Jane proposed that we all take turns running our business meetings, with the exception of Tammy who will continue to take minutes. All agreed and Jules volunteered to lead tonight’s meeting.
Jules made a motion to approve the January 11 meeting minutes. Jane seconded the motion and all were in favor. Lea made a motion to accept the January 30th warrant article public hearing minutes. The motion was approved with one abstention.
2) Annual Report:
Jane circulated copies of the 2011 CC annual report for review. Edits were made and Jane said that any last minute additions/changes need to be made within the next couple of days since she needs to get the report in to Ann Marie.
3) Public Hearing Re-cap:
On January 30th The CC held a public hearing relative to the contributions to qualified organizations warrant article. The Select Board and several Campton residents attended. Consensus was that it was still unclear as to where all Select Board members stood in their support for the warrant article, though it seemed as though the majority of the board was supportive. It was noted that it would be helpful to know when and how the Select Board will vote on the article, and how the vote will be published in the Annual Town Report. Jane will speak with Ann Marie to try and answer these questions. It was unanimous that we would move forward with the warrant article regardless of full board support.
4) March Town Meeting Prep:
All agreed that we should meet before the March 14th town meeting to make preparations for town meeting. It was decided to move our regular March business meeting to the 21st since the current date conflicts with town meeting. Lea changed the date on the meeting room schedule and penciled in March 7th at 7:15pm as a work session date. Jane said that she had jotted down some discussion point suggestions she received from individuals after the public hearing and that we should all be thinking of what main talking points we need to make which we will fine tune at the work session. All agreed that it will be important to make clear how and why the law change came about that led us to require warrant article passage.
There was a backlog of CC mail to process. Due to a mistake in reserving the meeting room for last month’s meeting, the room was occupied and so we met briefly in the copier area and subsequently did not retrieve the mail. There was a UPS invoice for the groundwater brochure printing job which should have been paid out of our 2011 budget. Jules made a motion that we pay the bill out of our Conservation Fund as it would be unwise to stray from our 2012 budget when the year has just begun. The motion was unanimously approved. Jane will get the Invoice to Ann Marie for payment.
Four DES Forestry Notifications were opened and there was discussion of a need to follow up with the notifications on some level. Lea thought that it was important to at least visit the sites since it is unlikely that DES has the manpower to do so. Jane agreed that it would be good for us to have a sense of where and what kind of work is being done even if it’s a drive-by to ensure that the appropriate paperwork is displayed onsite. Lea offered to follow up on this and made copies of the notifications. She will consult the tax-maps in the near future to confirm the work locations, and Jules and Jane offered to accompany her on site visits.
A copy of a DES letter of complaint to Kevin Rogers dated January 4th was opened and reviewed. The complaint was relative to a failure to control erosion and sediment transport into a wetland. The CC had weighed in on this issue some time ago in the form of 2 letters detailing specific erosion control recommendations. Tammy will review recent Select Board minutes and report any new communication or developments.
Lea opened and read aloud a letter questioning procedures and siting relative to new lines for transmission of power for the proposed wind farm in Groton. The letter detailed the route the lines and new taller poles will follow, including an area by Livermore Falls in Campton. The sender of the letter was unnamed but signed as Shutters in the Dark, and asked nothing of the CC. Jane wondered whether this was related to something she had heard about a wind power group proposal to put in a substation along Rte 175 near the Holderness town line. She thought the group was to go before the Holderness Planning Board for site approval. Tammy will review Select Board minutes for any discussion of this issue.
A DOT Adopt-a-Highway program renewal packet was opened and reviewed. There seem to be new rules associated with the program including a safety checklist requirement and participant list. Jess had expressed a willingness to work on small CC projects from home, so Tammy will get the paperwork to her to complete.
Granite State Rural Water had recently requested that the CC write a support letter for renewal of EPA grant funding. Jess drafted a letter which Tammy brought to the meeting for review. All approved and the letter will be sent.
Other mail opened were newsletters from the Grafton County Conservation District and The New Hampshire Association of Natural Resource Scientists.
Mail was filed and all agreed that a future work session is needed to reorganize/consolidate CC paperwork.
Jane reported that she had recently met with PRLAC chair Max Stamp and the Environmental engineering firm slated to complete the Blair Bridge Rehabilitation. The firm asked for input relative to river concerns, and the draft of materials and structural drawings was reviewed. Jane shared a copy of the proposed plan with CC members and said that it was her understanding that the work was to be completed in two phases, the first being repair of the middle bridge abutment which would possibly begin late summer of this year at low flows.
Jane described the middle abutment as stone which sits upon wooden cribbing that is submerged under sand, debris and water. The cribbing has been impacted by erosion and flooding and there is a fear of disintegration. The plan is to stabilize the abutment and prevent water from further damaging the cribbing. To complete this work, 9 trees will be removed from the west bank of the river south of the bridge to make room for an excavator to travel to the island near the abutment.
Sandbags will used to divert the river, retaining flow on the east side so that work can be done under dry conditions. Sand and debris will be removed, reinforcing metal pylons will be pounded into the streambed around the cribbing, and the entire abutment will be encased in concrete. The encasement will not be visible after it is filled in with sand and riprap.
Questions asked by Max and Jane included how siltation will be addressed and learned that silt fencing will be used. They also raised the concern over erosion caused by the swath created by tree cutting and encouraged replanting of the trees. Also asked was what impact the work-related low flows and noise of the pylons going in will have on the experience of boaters and fisherman. The engineers responded that all abutters will be notified. Jane did not have any sense of the work timeline and said that the engineers were complimentary of the support they were receiving from the town. Tammy mentioned that there was a potential for problems if an unanticipated high flow event occurs during the work and Jules recalled that TS Irene arrived in late August. Jane will bring the draft plan to Ann Marie and the Planning Board and then leave it on the desk by the CC mail slot in case others want to review it.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm.
Next meeting March 21, 2012; 7pm