Skip Navigation
This table is used for column layout.
Welcome to the website for Becket, Massachusetts

Green Community Sign

E-Government Award Receipient
Becket, Massachusetts, Town Seal

Click for Becket, MA Forecast
Conservation Commission Minutes 9/15/11
Becket Conservation Commission

September 15, 2011


The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m.

Commissioners Present: Scott Morley, Chair; Kathy Vsetecka, Agent; Purr McEwen;
Bud Moylan; Richard Pryor; Marty Winters

Others Present: Barry Fogel and Allen Orsi (for CGI Inc.), Emily Stockman (Stockman Assoc. LLC),
Graham Gurry, Paul Merrill (Lake District), Anne Shrader (Lake District), Tony Limina (Lake District), Al
Kirchner, Marc Volk, Foresight (Becket Highway), Douglas Shrader (Lake District), Mark Stinson (Mass
DEP), Jeanne Pryor (Recorder)

The Commission members and Recorder were introduced.

Approval of the August 18, 2011 meeting
Mr. Moylan made a motion to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Mr. Pryor and passed

Continued Notice of Intent Conservation Group, Inc. Barry Fogel Esq. Center Pond Dam Map210 Lots 28, 30, 34 DEP#102-0372 Maintenance, repair, and improvement of Center Pond Dam
Mr. Fogel presented an update on 3 items presented to the Conservation Commission:

-A letter from the attorney for Sandra Hoch, the owner of the property at Camp Watitoh, confirming her
approval of the replication area and Mr. Fogel will be working on a license and access agreement for
them to build and monitor it.

-A memo has been sent to the Army Corp of Engineers in response to questions that the Corp got from
the National Parks Service because of the Westfield River being a wild and scenic river and they had
questions about keeping the Center Pond Brook wet during construction so they provided answers to aseries of questions.

-A memo from Mass. DEP's wetlands group who are doing a water quality certification review and askedsome questions about the project including the alternative of drawing the pond down for the constructionrather than using a coffer dam. The memo summarizes the reasons Mr. Fogel thinks that that would not
be a good idea.

Mr. Fogel noted that, due to time needed for permitting, the construction season will begin in the fall of
next year. In response to a question, it was noted that the dam withstood Hurricane Irene quite well. Mr.
Fogel stated that the Chapter 91 application is being completed and should go to DEP in 2-3 weeks.
There will be a public hearing prompted by the request for a longer license term. The other permit is aChapter 253 permit with DCR, Office of Dam Safety. The Becket Building Department has requested thata building permit be filed by the contractor. Bidding should begin in the spring. Mr. Fogel noted that 90%
of the design is complete. Mr. Orsi reviewed the changes to the plan. Four 1” diameter pipes, 18” underthe water surface were added to the base of the primary spillway so when the pond dries up in the


summer there will still be a small amount of base flow through the spillway. They have continued with thereplication are plan and are finalizing that. Changes at the auxiliary spillway to increase capacity weredescribed so enough water would get to the spillway. A safer and better design was to go with a gravity
section wall will be used that would be free standing. There is no footprint change. A little more material
will go on the embankment side of the dam but there is negligible impact to the resource area.
Public comment was opened. Mr. Kirchner asked if preliminary work would be done in the spring and it
was stated that it would be more cost effective to begin work in the fall. Public input was then closed.
Ms. Vsetecka made a motion that we continue until the October 20th meeting with the applicant's
consent. The motion was seconded by Ms. McEwen and passed unanimously.

Amended Order of Conditions Eleanor Thomas 301 Beech Tree Lane Map 407 Lot 72DEP#102-0371 Change of daily monitoring of pond drawdown to weekly monitoring
Emily Stockman presented for Ms. Thomas. Ms. Thomas had submitted a letter to the Commission
requesting that the previously required daily monitoring for both the drawdown and the refill of her smallman-made pond be changed to a weekly monitoring. That request is being made after a successful refillthat they had this spring where she did go forward with the daily monitoring and they submitted both logsand color photographs to the Commission. Since then she spent time trying to track down someone localto take care of the work and she was unsuccessful in those attempts. An estimate ($75 per hour) andanother engineering firm were provided to her that does drawdowns in town but the price to hire them for3 additional seasons is too prohibitive for her budget. She is requesting that instead of the dailydrawdown monitoring that it be a weekly inspection with the weekly logs for both the fall of this year andthen spring and fall of 2012. In response to a question, it was noted that a temporary gauge wasconstructed and installed to monitor the weekly height of the pond. Ms. Stockman noted that in the
special conditions in two areas the Commission was specific in saying that the gate should not beadjusted at all except during refill and drawdown. Ms. Thomas requests that that be reworded to allow
her to adjust the level of the water before a major storm event. The dam was breeched during Irene soshe is in the process of having the structure evaluated by an engineer and will be coming before theCommission and DEP with notification under 310 CMR 10.61. Discussion followed on how one knows
when to level the pond for a storm event and how that would be accomplished. Ms. McEwen made a
motion that we amend the order of conditions from daily monitoring to weekly monitoring. The motion
was seconded by Mr. Pryor and passed unanimously. Discussion followed on how a procedure to adjustthe level of water before a storm would be implemented. The overall depth of the pond is greater than 6ft. The overall drawdown depth was 2.2 ft., drawing down at 3” per day. Ms. McEwen suggested that a12” drawdown would not dramatically impact the amphibian life of the pond but would account for most
storms. Discussion continued. Ms. McEwen made a motion to amend the order of conditions that under
severe weather conditions like a hurricane the homeowner be allowed to draw down her man-made pondno more than 4” per day and no more than a total of 12”. The motion was seconded by Marty and themotion passed unanimously. Ms. Stockman presented to the Committee the certified mailing slip that allabutters were notified.

Amended Order of Conditions Town of Becket Highway Dept. Various locations including
Plumb Road, Wade Inn Road and Brooker Hill Road DEP#102-0341 Road maintenance and
Marc Volk (Foresight Land Services) noted that Becket has a generic order of conditions currently for
doing various jobs in the town. This is an amendment to the NOI to include the proposed work items.

-Brooker Hill - a complete repaving; it is in the Heritage area but work to be done is within the paved area-Wade Inn Rd - 2.4 mi. of full depth pavement reclamation within the roadway.
-Plumb Rd - widening Plumb Rd; one 70' long section has bvw along it and he thinks the roadway can be

kicked over to the other side of the bvw so they can obtain the 20' width that they are looking for.


They are also asking for a 3 year extension on the Order of Conditions that expires 9/23/11. Mr. Stinson
explained the extension process. In response to a question, Mr. Volk noted that all work is being done
within the roadway and they are required to put down erosion controls. He also noted that the onlyprojects, other than maintenance, they got to are Quarry Rd. and County Rd. so far under the original
request. Mr. Morley made a motion to amend the orders to include Plumb Rd., Wade Inn Rd., and
Brooker Hill Rd. with the repair work presented in the letter dated August 31, 2011. The motion was
seconded by Ms. McEwen and passed; Ms. Vsetecka abstained.

Extension of Oder of Conditions Town of Becket Highway Dept. Various locations
DEP#102-0341 Road maintenance and improvement
Mr. Morely made a motion to extend the Order of Conditions to 9/22/2014. The motion was seconded byMs. McEwen and passed unanimously.

Continued Certificate of Compliance Graham and Holly Gurry 225 East Shore Rd. Map 211 Lot
109 DEP#102-0339
Mr. Gurry introduced himself. Ms. Vsetecka noted that this came up at the last meeting and theCommission had questions. He had put in sandbags which were not on the plan and the Commissionhad asked what the bags were made of, if they would break and what they were filled with. Mr. Gurry
explained the project. He noted that the stone used during placement be on the edges of the concreteplank. That aspect of the project was completed in November 2009. The following spring the vastmajority of the stone had been spewed out of the area in some cases exposing and undermining theconcrete plank. He picked up the stone and decided to use sandbags to keep the stones in place. All
summer long the stones have remained in tact despite some of the severe wave action that they get. The
sandbags used are polypropylene material, 140 x 140 lbs. tencil strength, 1600 hour UV rating. An
example of the bag was shown to the Commission. Twenty bags are in place. Washed concrete sand
was used. He anticipates that a total of 40 bags will be needed. The bags were placed on top of the 11/2” angular stones. Bud noted that he did not follow the Order of Conditions by adding sandbags.
Discussion followed on the possibility of amending the order. The life expectancy of the bags wasdiscussed. Mr. Stinson asked if this serves the same function of what was originally approved. Mr.
Morley stated that no one anticipated this problem so this is a solution to a problem that wasn't
anticipated. The stones get washed away. In response to a question, Mr. Morley noted that the stones
are in land under water and the applicant wants to put sandbags on top of the stones that are alreadythere. He is not adding any more land under water. The strength and proposed placement of the bagswas discussed. Mr. Gurry was shown the original plan, was asked to draw in the sandbags on the plan
and did so. Ms. McEwen made a motion that we amend the Order of Conditions to allow for
approximately 40 bags of washed sand to be placed on top of the already approved perimeter stone andthat no additional land under water will be affected as shown on the plan and that an annual inspection is
done of the sandbags and that if any deterioration is found that the Commission be notified. The motion
was seconded by Mr. Pryor and passed unanimously. When the sandbags have been placed and theproject is done, the applicant should contact the Commission so that a site visit can be done.

Administrative Business
The Notice-Only permits due 9/27 regarding Hurricane Irene were discussed. Copies are in the office.
Alan Wallach's plantings on Tyringham Rd. were discussed. Mr. Morley noted the plantings were
minimal. A site visit is needed before the October meeting. Site visit on Rudd Pond needed.


 Respectfully submitted,
Ms. McEwen made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Morley and
passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 7:52 p.m.


Jeanne W. Pryor, Recorder

Scott Morley, Chair

Kathy Vsetecka, Commissioner/Agent

Purr McEwen, Commissioner

Bud Moylan, Commissioner

Richard Pryor, Commissioner

Marty Winters, Commissioner


Virtual Towns & Schools Website