Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes


Sutton Conservation Commission

Draft Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Present: Henry Howell, Co-Chair; Wally Baker, Co-Chair; Don Davis; Barbara Hoffman; Chuck Bolduc and Bonnie Hill.

Absent: Debbie Lang; Amy Highstrom. Bonnie sat in for Debbie.

Call to order: Wally Baker called the meeting to order at 6:33 p.m.

Previous Meeting’s Minutes: Wally made a motion to approve the minutes from October 9th’s meeting, and Don seconded. As there were no issues found with the minutes, the vote was unanimously in favor.

Financial Report:

Henry reported that he attended the final budget review on October 28th. The budget committee was agreeable to the request that we move money from the Expenses account into the Dues/Conferences/Publications account. They pushed back on the request to increase the amount in Special Projects from $2300 to $4000, however. Our admin account is financed by the taxpayers, and the budget committee is struggling with a tax rate increase this year. Bob DeFelice said we should look at our budget in terms of needs rather than wants, and Bob Wright said we need to be careful of “mission creep”. Henry told the committee to leave the Special Projects fund at $2300 for 2020. He said if we need extra money for trail work next year we can take it out of the Conservation Fund. This fund was set up for convenience, as we do not have to go before Town Meeting to use the money; we just need the select board’s approval. The other issue is the Capital Reserve Fund money. We are asking for $7000 and that is what will be in the warrant article. Wally asked who proposed the idea of spending out of the Conservation Fund, and Henry said it was Town Counsel and Henry himself, not the budget committee. Wally was concerned about having our share of the LUCT money reduced, as this is our only income. Don said the whole Current Use program came about in order to encourage people to give the public access to their land. He said years ago a committee studied the capital needs of the town, and money was given to the Conservation Commission in order to buy land. At that time, there were a lot of potential development projects in the works. Chuck said that if we have to take money out of the Conservation Fund next year to do what we need to do, we can point that out at next year’s budget meeting. Henry said he will look into putting the money for the Bean Quarry gate installation into an escrow account, so that it isn’t taken away at the end of the year. Wally said this can be done. He made a motion to place $2300 in an escrow account and Barb seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor. Bonnie gave a financial report on behalf of Debbie. She said the September bank statement was received and showed a withdrawal of $5000 from the Conservation Fund. This was a check paid to ASLPT for the stewardship fee for the O’Neil easement. Henry wondered about the remaining money that SCC paid for that and where it came from. Bonnie said the balance in the Conservation Fund as of the end of September was $154,681.77 and the balance in the KHR fund was $2,757.10. As for the town budget, no money was spent last month, so the budget is still at 73%. Lorri Himes told Bonnie that an error was made when crediting the Conservation Fund with the last LUCT payment. She thought the landowner had paid the whole amount of $4,350, but only $1,800.55 was paid, with the rest going into a lien. She said if the landowner does not pay the balance by year’s end, then it will need to be deducted from the Conservation Fund.  Lorri will update us before the next SCC meeting. Bonnie relayed Debbie’s request that the members vote on whether to donate the same amount of money as last year to Friends of Mt Sunapee ($50), SPNHF ($100) and the SRKG ($100). Wally made a motion to spend the same amount as last year on the donations, and Chuck seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor.


  • Invitation from Debbie Stanley of ASLPT inviting SCC to come to their annual meeting on 10/27.
  • Invitation to the ASLPT Holiday Cocktail Party on December 2nd at the New London Inn.
  • Letter from the NHACC with accompanying handbook, Trails for People and Wildlife, a guide to planning trails that allow people to enjoy nature and wildlife to thrive.

Review of Wetland Applications and Issues:

Chuck Bolduc’s update on NHDOT “Top Ten” list re: I-89 repaving – Chuck drafted out a list of aquatic mitigation priorities and handed out copies. In the “Infrastructure Improvements” category, he listed out culverts whose replacement would meet as many needs as possible, for example, a culvert where the road is overtopped and fish cannot pass through. He met with Adam Hurst, the road agent, and Adam said he doesn’t have anything very big on his radar. He’s been busy getting up to speed, and doesn’t have any priority projects scoped out. He wants to pave Shaker Street soon, so any culverts there would be of interest. He said he would support us. Wally pointed out that one of the higher priority culvert areas on the list is on Rt 114, which is a state road. He suggested swapping in Shaker Street, since that is a town road. Chuck said this stuff is really just a wish list, and is not priced out, since we do not have the time or resources for that. Wally said if we know the size of the exiting culvert, we can get a standard estimate for the replacement cost (for example, going from a 12 inch to an 18 inch culvert). Chuck said maybe we can contact Fish & Game about those culverts on the state road. In the category of land protection, Chuck doesn’t have anything yet, and would welcome our input. This would include land containing wetlands, corridors, etc. Someone mentioned the remaining parcel around Russell Pond, which is for sale for $99,000. Wally suggested looking at the Strategic Action Plan map for areas of wetlands and seeking to buy easements. Don said the second culvert in, on the Penacook Path, could be added to the list, as it cannot handle the passage of heavy equipment, which would keep us from being able to conduct a timber harvest there. He also mentioned the old valve house at KHR, which is being washed out. Chuck said maybe the latter could qualify under the category of Stream and Streambank Restoration, since the silt from an old building is getting washed into the wetland. Henry said the Horse Beach parking area affects a lot of wetlands. Chuck said he was thinking about the idea of turning it into a parking lot with pervious pavement. Henry said there would need to be a catch basin to receive the runoff from where cars were parked, because of the pollutants. Wally suggested a parking area with a rain garden buffer and granite curbing. Don said we need to determine how many people can be safely accommodated at Horse Beach, and only provide parking for that many cars. Chuck summarized what he has so far: Shaker St culverts, Russell Pond parcel, KHR riparian restoration, and state culverts on 114. Henry said he would give Chuck more info about culverts that flood, including one on Camp Kemah Rd that floods every year because it doesn’t have a big enough ditch. Wally asked about beaver control; North Road has come close to being flooded by beaver activity. Chuck said he asked Adam about beaver deceivers and Adam said they hadn’t had any luck with them. Chuck did not find any mention of them in the ARM documentation. Henry said dam removal is one of the qualifying items, and we do have some large dams in Sutton. He wondered whether the construction of fish ladders would be supported. Chuck said it’s more about restoration to a natural state. We agreed to pull the prioritized list together at our next meeting, and Wally said he would write up a proposal for Horse Beach.

Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues:

  • L. Caron, T/L# 09-040-226, Baker Road, 25 acres out of 150, logger is the owner. The map shows extensive wetlands that are also highly ranked habitat. Henry will call the owner and alert him to the potential wetlands impact.

Old business

Horse Beach parking issues – KLNA, KLPA & NSIS update – Wally said he still hasn’t heard anything back about the maintenance agreement.

Sutton’s tax-deeded properties: next steps – Elly has not gotten back to Bonnie about this, so maybe there is nothing more to be done.

King Hill mowing – Chuck spoke to Dave Carey and Dave was all set to do it, but he did not get up there in time. If conditions improve, he will try to do it, but it looks like this may not get done this year. When the time comes to pay, Wally suggested that we take half of the money out of the KHR fund and half out of the Conservation Fund, just to show the town that we are using that fund.

NH Lakes Presentation – Bonnie reported that Debbie contacted NH Lakes about getting someone to do a presentation in June. They said they would most likely have someone available, but they don’t schedule that far in advance. They asked that we check back with them in February.

Strategic Action Plan Presentation – Barb reported that the Planning Board was supposed to have discussed the plan at their meeting last night. They want the SCC to meet with their Master Plan group. Barb said maybe we can have them come to our next meeting. She said Debbie talked with the ASLPT people about doing a presentation with us about the Strategic Plan. We will need to wait to do that until meeting with the Master Plan group and getting input from the Planning Board.

New Business

NHACC Annual Meeting report Henry was the sole SCC representative at this event on November 2nd. He said the keynote talk was on balancing economic development with natural resources, and how to integrate these competing interests. He attended a workshop on wildlife corridors and habitat fragmentation, and said we need to look to the Fish & Game Wildlife Action Plan for guidance.

Easement monitoring of the Wells conservation land Bonnie said this is the only property that the SCC holds the easement on, and it is supposed to be monitored every three years. It was last done in December of 2015. She volunteered to do it and will try to get it done by year’s end.

Trail Maintenance and Development

Bean Quarry Gate Update – Henry brought the gate up to the Bean Quarry with his truck, and we have a bid for $1300 to install it, but that contractor has not yet gotten back to Henry, so he is doubtful about this getting done by year’s end. It will cost additional money to have the large boulders moved into place.

ORFS Hike – Henry led a hike last month on the KHR trails for the ORFS (Outdoor Recreation for Seniors) group from the Council on Aging (COA), and he brought in a picture of the group, which numbered around 30 people.

Large tree fallen on KHR Hominy Pot trail – Henry said there are trees down on other trails as well, including the Lefferts trail, which is a mess. He has been working on an enormous fallen tree at KHR, and said it is too difficult for us to handle all of this tree work. Wally suggested hiring someone to do it, and Don suggested Danny Partridge. Wally said he would contact him. Don made a motion to spend up to $750 out of the Special Projects account on a tree removal expert to take care of downed trees at KHR, and Wally seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor. Wally said this is something that we may need to budget for every year, maybe allocating $1000 per year. It is something that could come out of the Conservation Fund.

Henry said we can use GPS info to get the exact position of the trees that need cutting.


Changed meeting time – Barb asked if we could start our meetings at 5:30 instead of 6:30, and those present agreed that this would be worth considering at our next meeting.

Signs for KHR – Don brought in a whole bunch of yellow signs that had been stored by Charlie Whittemore. They say, essentially, “Private Property beyond this point. Do not trespass” and can be installed along the edge of the ski trails at KHR.

Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 PM.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, December 11th, 2019, at 6:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary