Sutton Conservation Commission (SCC)

DRAFT Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Present: Dan Sundquist, Chair; Don Davis; Jane Williamson; Henry Howell; Chris Ashton; Debbie Lang; Barbara Hoffman and Bonnie Hill, secretary.   Absent:  Chuck Bolduc, Wally Baker.  Debbie sat in for Chuck.

Members of the public present: Diane Landon.

Appointments: 7:00 PM Jen McCourt of McCourt Engineering Associates, PLLC.

 

Call to order: Dan Sundquist called the meeting to order at 6:35 p.m.

 

Previous Meeting’s Minutes: A motion was made by Don and seconded by Deb to approve the minutes of September 13th, 2017, and they were approved unanimously.

 

Financial Report:

The town budget report shows about 78% of the money left in the town account. There has been no money spent on supplies yet, and Henry has not yet submitted his expenses for the KHR work, which are on the order of $300. Dan says there is $500 allocated for conferences, and he urged people to attend the NHACC conference on November 4th. He said there is also reimbursement for mileage. Don asked about mowing, and mentioned Peter Stanley. When the KHR fund is exhausted, the money for mowing KHR will have to come from the town budget. Dan will ask Betsy whom to contact about the mowing. Henry said he would like to be able to pay someone for routing some signs, and we also need kiosks at some trailheads. He said the hay field at Russell Pond needs a better gate, and some fencing is needed along the road. Chris suggested a breakaway gate post in case a vehicle hits it. Dan will be meeting soon with the town budget committee and he asked if he should ask for an increase in our allocation. Henry said that in the long term he would like some money for work on an ADA-compliant trail, which would require a bulldozer, sand and gravel, etc. Don asked how much bog bridges cost, and Henry said $25 or $30 apiece. Don said there are needs at Webb/Crowell for them, and we may also need to do some draining there. Deb asked whether we should budget money for a consultant to help with updating the strategic plan, and Dan replied that we already have one, as that is his own field of expertise. Dan said that he would ask for an additional $500 at the budget meeting.

 

Correspondence:

  • Postcard from NHACC regarding their conference on Saturday, November 4th, at Pembroke Academy.
  • Postcard from ASLPT regarding their 30th Annual Meeting, Sunday, October 22nd at 3 PM at the New London Historical Society.
  • Invitation to Dan from ASLPT to walk the land at Russell Pond for easement monitoring. Deb, Don and Bonnie expressed interest in going along.

 

Review of Wetland Applications and Issues:

  • See below.

 

Review of Intents to Cut and Logging Issues:

  • None

Appointment

Jen McCourt representing Freeman Boynton III re: wetlands permit – Jen provided handouts explaining the project, and said that the DES relies upon conservation commissions to be their eyes and ears. This wetlands application involves the construction of a fire pond which is being done per state regulations. There is a driveway that has to cross the wetlands, so it is designed to be on the berm of the pond, at the narrowest part of the wetlands. According to DES, this can’t be an “expedited” permit; it has to be “minimum impact”. There is about 17,000 square feet of upland disturbance, and 7,000 of pond in the wetlands. Don asked, when the site was scouted, if flowage was detected, and Jen said yes, leaving the culvert on route 114. Don asked how long the pond will take to refill, and Jen replied that it depends upon the time of year. There is good drainage from the ski area. Barbara asked if the pond will do the same thing as the wetland with respect to water filtration. Jen’s answer was yes, and that some studies have shown that ponds can do a better job of it. Dan summed this up as the conversion of a flat forested wetland to a fire pond with a driveway conforming to the slope of the pond. Jen has designed it to be simple and easy to maintain. Dan sees it as a well-designed project, and said it should lead to an increase in the diversity of the habitat because of the pond. Chris asked about cattails, and Jen said there are other species that support more diversity such as low shrubs, etc. Henry asked about salt use, and Jen said that salt shouldn’t be used on a gravel road. Henry moved a motion that Dan be authorized to sign the permit on behalf of the board, and Deb seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor, and Dan signed the permit.

Jen needs to apply to the planning board for two conditional use permits, and one requires the SCC’s approval. She needs a conditional use permit for the driveway and the bumpout for impacting the wetlands. Henry moved a motion to appoint Dan to send a letter to the planning board that the SCC has reviewed the application and it meets the criteria for approval. Jane seconded, and the vote was unanimously in favor. Dan asked Jen if her firm would be interested in future work on the Kezar Lake Natural Area, and she gave him her business card.

New Business

Kezar Lake Natural Area: Proposed site plan– Regarding the title issue, Dan found out that Bob DeFelice’s attorney, Mike Chiarella, gave the OK on the title. The town’s attorney will consult with Chiarella about this. Dan brought in a color-coded, scale-drawn site plan for the board to review, and proposed to present this plan at meetings with DOT and DES. He is going to arrange a meeting with DOT in Enfield, with Don, Wally and Jane in attendance. The meeting with DES will include Don, Jane and Barbara. The site plan shows 10 or 11 head-in parking spaces along the road across from the beach. Dan showed on the plan the best location for a kiosk to provide educational info and shelter the lake host. He envisions a 12 ft by 12 ft pavilion, and it has to be 55 feet back from the center line of the road. Jane asked about angled parking in front of Smiley’s Grove, and Dan said the state would never let it happen. Deb asked about using the parking lot at the state park, and Dan replied that he’d like to try this plan out first. DOT may object to having people back out onto the state highway, and DES may object to the impervious surface. Barb asked about creating a pervious surface, and Dan replied that that would be very appropriate, though very expensive. He thought maybe we could get money from the state for it, though, if it could be considered a demo project. Don brought up winter parking, and Dan said we need to talk with NSIS and KLPA. Jane talked about a small piece of land belonging to KLPA and said maybe the lake host kiosk could be there. She said don’t forget that we have a large parking area available at the state park. She asked if we should be talking to Jeffrey Rose (of DRED), and Don said that Mike Houseman would be the guy to talk to. Don asked if anyone has taken a car count on a busy day.

 

SCC Properties and SRK Greenway Reports

KHR – Henry said that there was a dedication ceremony last year for the bridge, and he asked if there should be another one for the new bridge. The consensus was that there should be. He said that the “Gene’s Walk” trail needs to be extended. It goes up to the vernal pool, and there is another 300 feet or so needed. Swamp boards are needed over two areas, and the trail needs some clearing.  He’d like to do some trail work this Saturday at 9:30, and several people, including Dan (with chainsaw and cart), Don, Jane and Bonnie, said they would participate.

Miscellaneous

ASLPT Advisory Committee Report– Don reported that the ASLPT is going to have a program on Thursday, November 16th at the Red Barn, in Wilmot, on the 2015 Wildlife Action Plan.  The speakers will be Amanda Stone and Haley Andreozzi of the UNH Cooperative Extension .

Adjournment: There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:03 PM.

The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017, at 6:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Hill, Secretary