Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes


Sutton Conservation Commission

Draft Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Present: Henry Howell, Co-Chair; Wally Baker, Co-Chair; Don Davis; Debbie Lang; Amy Highstrom; Barbara Hoffman and Bonnie Hill.

Absent: Chuck Bolduc. Bonnie sat in for Chuck.

Call to order: Henry Howell called the meeting to order at 6:34 p.m.

Previous Meeting’s Minutes: Don made a motion to approve the minutes from August 14th’s meeting, and Amy seconded. As there were no issues with the minutes, the vote was all in favor.

Financial Report:

Debbie reported that there were no expenditures in August, so the amount left in the town budget remains at 80%. The bank statement was not yet available. Henry reported that the SCC budget will be reviewed by the BOS on October 28th at 6:15 PM, with a preliminary review on October 21st at 4:30 PM. Debbie will be able to attend the one on the 21st but not the one on the 28th. Wally, who had just arrived, said we should go into the budget hearing with plans for how we are going to use our money. Wally took over running the meeting at this point. Bonnie said she just submitted 4 months of secretarial timesheets, and that the secretarial services account should be OK. The dues/publications account has only 5% left in it. A discussion ensued about ideas for how to use the money in the other accounts, including Special Projects. Mowing will need to be done, and Don said he thought that would amount to around $1000. Jerry Gagnon has mowed at Enroth and has not submitted a bill yet. That will only be around $25. Don said mowing needs to be done soon, before the fall rains. Barb asked about the gate for the Bean Quarry. Henry said the gate has already been paid for, and he is going to be getting a price from Travis Perkins for installing the gate, moving some large boulders, and dropping a large tree across the entry point for the ATVs. He talked with Travis about creating a small parking area, but this turned out to be too complicated, as the bank is very steep, loggers will need to still be able to access the area, and runoff from the parking area to Kings Hill Rd could require a culvert. Henry said the logging left a real mess there and it is not a very pleasant place to walk because of all the slash, so it is not really worth the trouble and expense to put in a parking area anyway. The other work will probably cost around $1000 and can come out of the Special Projects fund. Wally asked Amy if she needs any money for her butterfly ID project, and she said if she gets a group started it would be great to be able to supply them with butterfly ID books, and these books can cost $20 or more. She also thought it would be nice to have tee shirts made that promoted the trails, or conservation in general. Henry said if we do a “Friends of the Trails” promotion, it would be nice to give out caps. Wally suggested setting aside $1000 for books, caps, tee shirts, etc. Henry asked if we want to hire the Moose Man to give a presentation. With fees, advertising, poster printing, etc, this could cost up to $500.  Amy will ask the Moose Man’s daughter about the fee. Henry said the high school is in full swing now and has developed a whole course around building a bridge over the gulley on the Lyon Brook trail. He has talked with the consulting engineers that are doing pro-bono work for the high school. They said for an ADA-compliant bridge, it would need to span the entire width of the gulley, about 40 feet. For an engineer to sign off on the bridge, they would have to be involved with the design; it couldn’t be done by the students. A glue-lam bridge would be the simplest and would cost around $7000. A suspension bridge would be 10 times that much. Henry said the only way to justify this cost would be to make it part of an ADA accessible package, and get grant money, etc, which would be a 2-3 year process. In the meantime, it would be nice to have a smaller bridge, designed by the students. The materials for an arch bridge would cost around $1000, for a wooden bridge resting on chunks of granite. Debbie asked if the high school has a budget, and Henry said not for materials. Instead of asking for donated materials, the SCC could give them money out of our budget. Henry said we could also buy posts to use for signs for a self-guided butterfly or history trail. We are going to want to put maps on metal plaques to be mounted in the kiosks, and that could cost quite a bit. Henry will look into what the costs would be. Wally said he thought an ADA compliant bridge could be built for a lot less money, and that it could be only 20 feet long, since the code allows a certain amount of pitch.  A post in the middle would lessen the stress and reduce the amount of material needed, while still meeting code. Bonnie asked if such a bridge could still be designed by the students, and Wally said yes. Wally offered to go out to the site and draw up a plan and figure out the materials needed. He and Don will go there this weekend. Amy asked if any of our trails require maintenance with heavier tools than hand saws, and Henry said yes, he takes the ORFS, a senior citizen group, for hikes on the Lyon Brook Trail and they complain about the rocks in the trail. He would like to see them removed. Bonnie has expressed opposition to this idea in the past and does not see why a hiking trail has to be like a sidewalk. Wally suggested a compromise: maybe a little path could be made that goes around the section with the rocks. Don said if the rocks are removed, the area might become wet and would have to be filled in. Amy suggested a boardwalk. The area is 50 yards or so in length. Don said to put stakes in the ground and lay boards to make a boardwalk shouldn’t be that hard. He said to be ADA compliant there would have to be a layby every so often. Henry said he has a lot of 2 by 10 boards that were purchased last year. He said we have an Eagle Scout who is going to build a ramp of some sort after the I-beam bridge at Webb/Crowell. He suggested that SCC donate the cost of the materials for this.  Henry will cost out the project.


  • National Drive Electric Week has an event on Saturday, Sept 14th at City Plaza in Concord, 8:30 to 1 PM.
  • The NHACC is having their annual meeting and conference on Saturday, November 2nd at the Pembroke Academy. Reimbursement is available for SCC members.
  • UNH Extension is offering “Speaking for Wildlife” training on October 25th from 1 to 4 PM at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness. They train volunteers to deliver public presentations and nature walks on a variety of wildlife and natural resources topics. Henry has used this training to speak to some local senior groups. It is also suitable for lake association meetings.

Review of Wetland Applications and Issues:

  • None.

Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues:

  • Copy of a DES “Confirmation of Complete Forestry Notification” letter (File #2019-02507) to L. and B. Harper, T/L# 05-973-179, Pound Rd.
  • Copy of a DES “Incomplete Forestry Notification” letter (File #2019-02578) to S. and C. Bobella, T/L# 08-574-166, Poor Farm Rd. The notification form submitted was outdated and invalid. Don said there is a lot of beaver activity there and water over the road. Amy said they are already logging that area. Since there is a forester involved (Eric Oxman) and Anita Blakeman lives nearby, it was decided that we wouldn’t worry about this.

Old business

Discussion about the Top Ten List for the NHDOT’s paving project on I-89. 

Chuck emailed the members a copy of the responses he sent to DOT to their questionnaire. He said he had contacted Adam Hurst and he offered to contact Fish & Game and Ken Milender. Barb made a motion that Chuck contact F&G and Ken on the SCC’s behalf, and Debbie seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor.  Debbie reported that Pete Savickas attended his first meeting of the Warner River LAC and got some extremely helpful information from Ken Milender, who is an engineer who helped Warner create their Top Ten list. Warner almost missed out on $195,000 before Ken helped them, and he is willing to help Sutton, pro bono. Debbie distributed copies of the Warner Aquatic Mitigation Priority List spreadsheet, which contains columns for ARM categories, priority projects, and their rationales. Henry pointed out that the money is for the town, but it is up to the SCC to come up with the list. Debbie said yes, Ken said that the SCC needs to lead this effort. Don asked if we should invite Ken to one of our meetings, and Wally said yes, and the road agent (Adam) should be invited also. He said Steve Bagley had made a prioritized list of culverts to be replaced, and Adam should have that list. Henry read aloud a notice from the InterTown Record about vegetation control under the powerlines. Barb said this is not an issue that would be covered by ARM funds. Barb is familiar with wetland mitigation from her work with DES, and she explained how this works: if the DOT is able to complete their paving project without disturbing any wetlands, then there will be no mitigation money. If they do disturb wetlands, but they don’t like any of our Top Ten List projects, then they will place the mitigation money in the ARM fund. Wally asked if temporary staging counted as disturbing wetlands, and Barb said she didn’t think so. Barb said that since Chuck is really involved in this, maybe we should table the discussion until the next meeting, when he is present.

Kezar Lake parking area review and “maintenance easement” requirements – Wally said that a maintenance agreement between the town and the NSIS has been in place for a few months, but work is being held up because of a legal issue. There is a problem with using town money for repairs on private property. This is in discussion with town counsel.

Strategic Action Plan – Barb reported that the BOS read the plan and said it was very comprehensive, and they deferred it to the Planning Board.  Barb will email out the plan to the members of the PB, and Debbie will get her a 20-minute slot for the presentation of the plan on the agenda for the next PB meeting.

New Business

Discuss scheduling a presentation by NH Lakes on their “Lake Smart” program Henry said they have a new machine that can measure things in your lake, and they will come and give presentations. He said the lake association people are the ones we really need to reach. Debbie said she already contacted them and we had decided to do this next summer, as it needs to be scheduled well in advance. All we need to do is choose a date and a topic. They have several topics: invasive plants, water quality, etc. Henry said the annual meetings of the lake associations are when you would get the most people to come. Wally thought there would be no trouble getting people to come out for this. Don suggested early summer, after Memorial Day, and that both lake associations should be asked what topic they would like to hear about. It was decided to do it in June and invite both lake associations. Debbie will contact the appropriate people.

Butterfly ID Group – Amy asked whether this is something that should come under the auspices of SCC, or should she do it as a private individual. Henry said she can set up the program at KRHS and just let the SCC know. Amy said she is talking about something different – a group that would meet once a month at the library, book club-style, and would use the Sutton trails for excursions. She has already talked with the librarian. Wally said it should be done through SCC, so we can sponsor it. Henry said the SCC can help with expenses. Amy sees it as a primarily Sutton-based group. Henry made a motion that the SCC sponsor Amy’s monthly butterfly ID group, and Wally seconded.  The vote was unanimously in favor.

Sign for kiosks – Don came up with a sign to be posted in the kiosks at all the trailheads, and passed it around for the members to look at. It will be printed on legal-sized cardstock and laminated, and will be bright yellow or orange.

Adjournment: Barb made a motion to adjourn, and Wally seconded.The meeting was adjourned at 8:09 PM.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, October 9th, 2019, at 6:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary