Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes


Sutton Conservation Commission

Draft Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Present: Henry Howell, Chair; Barbara Hoffman; Don Davis; Chuck Bolduc; Lynn Wittman; Wally Baker; Debbie Lang; and Bonnie Hill.

Absent: Jim Morris.

Members of the public present: Tom Schamberg.


Call to order: Chairman Henry Howell called the meeting to order at 6:32 pm.


Previous Meeting’s Minutes:  The minutes from the last meeting on August 10th were unanimously approved.

Financial Report:

Debbie sent out a financial report before the meeting. In August, $395 was spent on ads for Trail Work Day. We have spent $3,032 year-to-date out of our budget of $7,612. A LUCT payment of $2500 was credited to the Conservation Fund, which had a balance of $169,560.95 at the end of August. The King Hill Fund had a balance of $2,062.64.  The Capital Reserve is at $57,581.34.

Trail Maintenance and Development

Trails Advisory Committee Report

>Mowing at KHR

Chuck said that Dave Carey is available to mow KHR at the end of September, and this will cost between $2K and $3K. Chuck said the SCC usually pays half of the mowing costs from the KHR fund and half from Special Projects or the Conservation Fund.  It was decided that $1,000 would be taken from the KHR fund for mowing, with the rest coming from elsewhere. Chuck said there is also excavator work at KHR that should really be done this season because of trail conditions. Having gotten the members’ OK on the mowing, Chuck said he would contact Dave Carey.


>KHR Donation System

We have not yet heard whether the BOS has accepted the SCC’s proposal for a donation system.


Appointment 6:45PM:  Polly Crocker, to discuss a Watershed Based Plan for Kezar Lake

Polly Crocker introduced herself and said she has a background in storm water management. She is working with the KLPA on a grant application for writing a watershed based plan (WBP) for Kezar Lake, which will address issues such as erosion problems, hot spots of pollution, and water quality improvement projects. The WBP is a required first step before grants can be applied for to implement the work required to fix the lake’s problems. She is seeking a letter of support from the SCC to attach to the grant application, along with supporting letters from the BOS and NHLakes. Henry asked what the sources of possible pollution are, and Lynn said that a survey will be done of the entire watershed to determine that. She said someone will have to be hired to do it, and NHLakes will help with that. Debbie asked about the cost of writing the WBP, and Polly said she is requesting a grant for $50K. Wally asked if this would support things like identifying problem culverts and then applying for money to fix them, and Polly said yes. She said we can even apply for grants to do trail maintenance, if washouts on the trails are impacting the watershed. Chuck asked what company is writing the plan, and Polly said there will be a competitive bidding process, handled by the state. Lynn read the draft letter of support out load for the members’ information. Henry asked if the members approved of him signing the letter of support, and all agreed. He said he would sign it and send it to Polly. The grant application deadline is 9/16.


Appointment 7:00PM:  Tom Paul and Aaron Flewelling, to discuss snowmobiling access at KHR

Tom  feels that not allowing the Sutton Ridgerunners (SRR) to snowmobile on the trails at KHR is a slap in the face. He felt that we can compromise on a way to benefit other users of KHR, and gave the podium to Aaron, president of SRR. Aaron said they’ve been looking for ways to open up other trails. He said he knows there is some concern for the private landowners. Aaron said they get grant money from the state for trail work, though they missed the deadline this year, and he said they have volunteers for trail work. Henry asked if anyone in SRR had an excavator or a backhoe, and the answer was yes.

Wally said we had talked about opening Trail 3 (Brillig’s Run) last time, and he drew up a draft agreement which he read to the group. It said the SCC hereby gives permission to the SRR to use Trail 3 as a one-way access to King Hill, returning via Tom’s Trail. The SRR agrees in turn to police the trail and keep riders from going off the trail, and to work with the SCC on maintaining other KHR trails, providing mechanical assistance. The specific areas will be stated and reviewed later. The trails will be opened on a one-year trial basis. Signage will be put up for the benefit of property owners and skiers. Tom said the SRR can get free signage from the state.

Henry passed out a document to the group that he drew up, with a map showing areas that need culvert repairs and tree removal, as well as the pruning back of saplings. There are three major culvert repairs needed on the Hominy Pot trail, including maintenance that the SRR agreed to do when they first got permission to use that trail and never did. These repairs require excavator work, crushed stone application, and the replacement of old clogged culverts with water bars. Henry said this will be a one-year experiment, and it is very important that the riders stay on the designated trails. Trail 3 is very close to the neighbors’ land. Chuck said trails 1 and 2 are the best back country ski trails, and the club must make sure that snowmobiles stay off them. Aaron and Chuck will walk the areas that need work and will forward what the club agrees to do to Barb, who will incorporate that into Wally’s draft agreement  for review at the next meeting.


Review of Wetlands Applications and issues



Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues:



New Business


Draft SCC budget for 2023 – Debbie had previously sent out the draft 2023 admin budget that was received from Elly. It contained a 10% COLA salary increase for secretarial services, and 5% increases in the other categories except for Special Projects, which remained flat at $4,000.


Tree-cutting by Eversource – Henry said we need to put Eversource on the agenda for the meeting in October, at 7:00. They are removing power poles along Route 103 from Warner to Bradford, and all the way up to I-89. A lot of these poles are in the woods in Sutton. Henry has received a letter from them with a map showing wetlands, and he will send these out to the commission before the meeting.


Old Business


Update on Low Salt Road issue – Debbie reported that a letter was sent by the BOS to Douglas King of the NHDOT stating that the BOS, Police Chief, Fire Chief and Rescue Chief are requesting that the section of Rt.114 from Jolly Farm Rd. to Watkins Av. be designated a low salt roadway.  Letters of support from the school board and the SCC were attached.  The state acknowledged receipt of the letter and said they will reply soon with the next steps.

Preparation for November 9th SCC meeting – The original plan for a forum has had to be modified, and there may be a site walk at KHR for the public to attend and have their questions answered before the meeting. Henry will continue to work with Chuck and Don on this. He said we need to start advertising by early October. He thinks we should be able to use Town Hall, which can hold 90 people. Lynn will work on the advertising, and will put a notice in the KLPA newsletter.


Horse Beach Parking plan update – Wally met with Peter Blakeman about this. The parking lot is owned by the North Sutton Improvement Society (NSIS), and Heidi Thoma, the president, issued a statement asking everyone to work together on this project. Wally said putting down loads of gravel is not a long term solution, and he has asked Peter for a long term plan. This could cost $50K or $60K, and would require a Town Meeting warrant article. He said for safety, the parking lot plan should eliminate the need to back out onto the state road.  Don asked where the water would go, and Wally said the lot would be pitched towards the back, away from the lake. Henry asked who would write the warrant article. Wally said he plans to talk with Elly about how we can legally work with the NSIS. He showed us some engineering drawings of parking lot plans involving approximately 40 spaces. The spaces are largely on Kezar Lake Natural Area (KLNA) land, which caused some consternation among the SCC members. Wally said we could start with one plan for the Horse Beach lot and do another later for KLNA. He said some work does need to be done before winter (pulling out timbers) if we want Adam to plow the KLNA lot. Lynn said there could be money coming as a result of the Watershed Based Plan that could go towards this project. Chuck said he objected to sacrificing conservation land to fix other people’s problems, namely the inability of the NSIS to take care of its own property, and the cheapness of people who refuse to park at the State Park, which has ample parking. The admission fee is only $4 and is free for Sutton residents and seniors. Henry suggested this information be put on a sign at the beach. Wally said he would come up with a plan just for Horse Beach.


Report from property subcommittee – Barb said that the property in question had already been sold before the committee even met.




  • Email from Elly Philips notifying SCC about the 2023 budget process.
  • Email from Pat Tivnan with photo showing water level at beaver dam at the Putnam bridge at KHR has mysteriously dropped. But now the water level is back up to where it was. Wally didn’t talk to Gerry Putnam about the dam, but he said we could ask Adam about hiring a trapper to take care of the situation on our end of the bridge.
  • NHACC August eNews, announcing date for annual meeting and conference, info about public outreach, news about efforts by other ConComs, training (funding for source water conservation, invasive plant management), grant opportunities (Moose Plate, Fish & Wildlife, New England Grassroots, T-Mobile, Wharton Trust) and more.
  • Email from NHACC announcing the fall Lunch & Learn series. Upcoming topics include Learning about LIDAR, Agroforestry Practices in the Northeast.
  • Invitation from UNH Extension to a free program, “Invasive Plant Conversation for Conservation Commissions” in Durham on September 23rd from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.
  • 2022 Food Guide from Merrimack County Extension
  • Lakeside, quarterly publication of NH Lakes, Summer 2022 issue, with article about HB 1066 addressing cyanobacteria problem, and more.
  • Email exchanges between Henry Howell and Steven Lamonde of Antioch University regarding Sutton’s iNaturalist project. Henry said this project will help us to inventory Sutton’s natural resources.


Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.

Next Meeting:  Wednesday, October 12th, 2022, at 6:30 PM, at Sutton Town Hall.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary