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Conservation Commission Minutes 2/16/12
Becket Conservation Commission
Becket Town Hall 557 Main St.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The Meeting is called to order at 6:30 PM.

Commissioners Present: Richard Pryor, Vice Chair; Kathy Vsetecka, Commissioner and Agent; Bud Moylan, Marty Winters, Purr McEwen, Commissioners; Allen Orsi and Barry Fogel, Esq., Applicants; Amer Raza, Massachusetts Department of Transportation, Applicant; Marc Volk, Foresight Land Services, Applicant; Harry & Elizabeth Russell, Applicants  
Member absent: Scott Morley, Chair

  •       Approval of January 19, 2012 minutes
Mr. Moylan made a motion to approve the minutes.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Winters and passed unanimously.

2.      Continued Notice of Intent Conservation Group, Inc.  Barry Fogel, Esq.  Center Pond  Map 210 Lots 28, 30, 34  DEP #102-0372  Maintenance, repair, and improvement of Center Pond Dam

Mr. Barry Fogel notes that they were last here in September 2011 and a lot of progress has been made since then.  Mr. Allen Orsi will give a presentation summarizing some slight modifications that have been made in accordance to their discussions with the Army Corp., The National Park Service and DEP.  Mr. Fogel states that he hopes to close the hearing and that the Town of Becket takes favorable action on the notice.  Mr. Fogel gives the committee a copy of the permit issued by The Office of Dam Safety and The Department of Conservation and Recreation.  An application was filed with them and approved, subject to obtaining the other permits.  Mr. Fogel states that earlier this evening there was a public hearing on the Chapter 91 license application which was filed with the DEP last year.  The hearing was called for with a specific request in coordination with the Restoration and Preservation District to have an extended term license for 99 years to match the life-span of the dam.  The public hearing was completed and the comment period is open until the middle of March, in which they will receive the Chapter 91 license.  Mr. Fogel notes that they had site visits with The National Park Service and the Army Corp. engineers.  Ms. Liz Lacey from The National Park Service was involved as it was connected to the Wild and Scenic River Program.  Ms. Lacey expressed her views on the design elements to modify the spillways and asked for the preservation of a couple trees at the foot of the dam. The Office of Dam Safety had a difference in opinion that the two trees would need to be removed to put in a full size road.  The Office of Dam Safety communicated that under FEMA and The Office of Dam Safety’s standards that the trees would have to be removed, which opened up the process to The Army Corp. asking Mr. Fogel their last set of questions.  Mr. Fogel states that it was important to get their input to advance the 90% design plan from last fall to 90% + so the final design can be approved by The Town of Becket.  Mr. Fogel recognizes that in any Order of Conditions that there is a standard condition that if anything changes a determination can be made to require further review.  At this point, Mr. Fogel states that nothing from the other agencies is going to change the current plan, only dam structural changes.  Mr. Allen Orsi presents the details on the design.  Primary changes are based on comments from The National Park Service.  The National Park Service requested that existing stone from the demolition  be used for the two spillways instead of broken quarry stone due to the engineering properties and the stone size.  The original scouring apron was 50 feet long.  Due to the size and shape change they needed to extend 3 feet further downstream, still staying in the proposed channel walls.  Same situation in another area, originally there was 12 feet of stone, extending 3 feet as well.  Mr. Moylan inquires on what stone is currently there and what stone are they proposing to put in.  Original design stone was broken quarry stone that interlocks really well.  The proposed stone is the existing stone, more like a field stone that doesn’t interlock very well.  Due to the stone change, the aprons need to be increased by 3 feet. Mr. Orsi notes that the other change that has come out of these discussions is the water is flowing through the embankment, feeding water into the channel regardless of how low the pond gets in the summer.  Originally, they proposed 4 inline shiner pipes through the base of the spillway. Due to their requests ,  2- 1 ½ inch shiner pipes will be used instead of 4- 1 inch pipes due to clogging concerns .  The only footprint and design changes would be in the downstream channel and about 6 square feet of land under water impacts.  Mr. Moylan asks if is there were any issues with the replication area.  There were no formal inquires.  Mr. Orsi comments that on one of the site walks there was some concern with the ability of replication to be successful.  They felt that it could be replicated.  After the field visit, there were no more formal requests for changes.  Ms. Vsetecka asks if the replication area had replication guidance to be monitored and reported.  Reports are required for two years up to 75%.  The replication plan does have the plants and shrubs size as well as the seed mix.  Standard protocols will be followed for the staging area.  The fueling will be done outside of the staging area.  Plans were submitted.  Mr. Fogel and Mr. Orsi will put together an order list of various submittals and send it to Ms. Vsetecka.  Mr. Pryor opens for public discussion.  No discussion.  Public input is closed.  

Ms. McEwen makes a motion to approve the Notice of Intent for the improvements made to Center Pond Dam with Becket Standard Conditions.  The motion is seconded by Mr. Winters and passed unanimously.

3.      Request for Determination of Applicability Mass DOT Highway I-90 Westbound Resurfacing roadway and cleaning of existing drainage structures

Mr. Amer Raza proposes a resurfacing of I-90 westbound.  Mr. Raza notes that they already got a negative determination for the eastbound project last month.  For the west bound, they propose two inch micro-millings and two inch resurfacing;  improve drainage by cleaning if it is required.  Mr. Winters inquires how far they are proposing to work.  Mr. Raza notes that it is town line to town line, depending on the cost.  The goal was to complete the eastbound and now that they have more money they want to work on west- bound.  Ms. McEwen asks how far it is into the buffer zone and if it jurisdictional.  Mr. Raza explains that it is jurisdictional as there are stream crossings.  There will be nothing beyond the shoulders, no drainage work.  They will go through the four towns including Otis, Lee, Blandford and ending in Becket.  Traffic will be kept going in the eastbound  lane, closing the westbound lane.  The project will be started next year and they have three years to complete it.  The money will be distributed as needed.  Debris is removed by opening up the culverts and hauling it  away by trucks.  Straw bales will be placed around the drainage structures.  

Ms. McEwen motions  for a Negative Determination of Applicability with special condition that any work around drainage area to include appropriate fencing and straw bales with Becket Special Conditions for RDAs.  The motion is seconded by Mr. Winters and passed unanimously.

4.      Request for Determination of Applicability Mass DOT Highway I-90 Eastbound MM 15.3 to 15.5 and Westbound MM 16.4  Blasting and removal ledge and related work

Mr. Raza states there are two locations along I-90 in Becket which are safety hazards for travelers.  Location 1 is eastbound between mile marker 15.3 and 15.5.   Blasting is required to increase the catchment area and remove loose ledge.  Ms. McEwen inquires on what is jurisdictional in this area.  Mr. Raza notes that Greenwater  Pond is on the other side and is more than 100 feet away.  Ms. McEwen  notes that it is far enough away from Greenwater Pond.  All will be contained on the side of the road, not affecting pond.  For Location 2, Mr. Raza states that due to the restricted channel, water comes down and moves under I-90. The problem is when the water is flowing in a storm event, the water shoots on to route I-90.  Mr. Raza notes that no blasting will be done, only hand drilling,  There will be straw bales placed at the top and will include a steel plate to prevent anything from falling in.

Ms. McEwen motions for a Negative Determination of Applicability  for blasting and removal of ledge related work with Becket Standard Conditions. The motion was seconded by Mr. Winters and passes unanimously.

5.      Notice of Intent  Robert A. Cohen  Wade Inn Road  Map 413 Lot 24  DEP #102-0377  Construction of a gravel driveway in the buffer zone to BVW and a wetland crossing in the BVW
        Mr. Marc Volk of Foresight Land Services is in attendance and proceeds to give an overview of the project.  They are crossing a section of BVW about 30-40 feet. . Originally, Mr. Cohen bought a 125 acre lot and reviewed the driveway possibilities.  The section is on hillside with 30% grade slope.  Mr. Cohen and Mr. Volk decide there is no practical way for him to get back to the lot, especially with four intermittent stream crossings.  Mr. Cohen proceeded to purchase and reconfigure Lot 4, removing a section of the lot resulting in 191 acres.  Mr. Volk proposes to cross a wetland at the head of an intermittent stream.  The driveway is a total of 4600 feet long as proposed, almost a mile, which only crosses the BVW in one spot.  This awoids crossing the intermittent streams on the property is the only other area for the driveway. Mr. Volk notes that the top of intermittent steam ends prior to crossing A2.  The top of the BVW flows down and spreads out through skitter path.  The buffer zone is 100 foot in the jurisdictional area that they have to get through.  Mr. Volk notes that they plan to minimize the clearing.  The necessary trees are painted for removal.  The section would be cleaned out and tailings placed with 4-6 inch locked stone, which makes for a good base and ground water to pass through a clean base.  On top of the tailings a fabric will be placed with 8 inches of borrowing gravel and 4 inches of processed gravel.  There will be a 1 ½ to 1 slope when crossing the BVW.   To reduce erosion control, two rows of straw bale will be placed downstream and one row of waddles upstream .  Mr. Volk notes that as the driveway comes down the hill, prior to reaching the buffer zone, the collected water will discharge across the culvert prior to the BVW.  Same will occur on the other side of the driveway.  12  and 18 inch pipes will be used.  They are proposing replication under wetland specialist supervision.  Mr. Volk proposes that instead of wholesale excavation of that area, they will go around the trees that are there to get the elevation back.  Beyond the two culverts there will be erosion control with splash guards.  Ms. Vsetecka asks that they monitor the wetland area as they proceed with the clearing.  Ms. Vsetecka  notes that the trees have already been marked.  Mr. Volk notes that the  wetland is pretty sparse but will include the New England plant mix with a lot of seed mix of cinnamon fern and sedgemixes for vegetative cover.  The dominant species will establish and the rest will die off eventually.  They have put in 30’ spacing of red maples, 20’ spacing of service berry and 20’ spacing of silky dogwood.  Cinnamon fern fronds of at least the size found in #1 container to be planted in replication area. Replication area is 1200 feet, 980 square feet of disturbance.  Staging areas are to be outside the 100 foot buffer zone. The project will be started as soon as possible, hopefully mid-March to establish clearing for the driveway.  The driveway is proposed to be 12 foot wide, with a foot and a half on each side for the 10 inch posts and a safety clearance for the posts.  Mr. Pryor notes that there will be a lot of big construction trucks going through.  The base of the driveway is 25 feet, the top being 15 feet and 1 to 1 slopes, creating a wider construction road.  Mr. Volk notes they will clear through the wetlands, put the base of the driveway in, put in the fabric and tailings so the trucks can run back and forth on the tailings.  Culverts will go in within this process.  The site contractor is Chris Williams, Williams Excavating.   Mr. Pryor opens for public input.  No discussion.  Public input is closed.  

Ms. McEwen motions  to approve the Notice of Intent for Cohen Wade Inn Road site with a wetland crossing and the BVW with special conditions to include clearing of the wetland area is to be monitored by Foresight Land Services, staging areas are to be outside the 100 foot buffer zone, 30’ spacing of red maples, 20’ spacing of service berry and 20’ spacing of dogwood, cinnamon fern fronds of at least the size found in #1 container to be planted in replication area with Becket Standard Conditions.  Additional special conditions include that when they do the clearing for the BVW, that the culverts and the beginning of the driveway  can be installed.  Monitoring of the replication area:  A monitor, a botanist, biologist, wetland scientist or other individual with similar qualifications and a minimum of two years experience in wetland replacements and thoroughly versed in the WPA must be hired to supervise the construction of the replication area.  The name and phone number of the Wetland Scientist shall be filed with the Conservation Commission prior to the initiation of work.  The wetland replacement shall be performed under the guidance of the monitor with the monitor being on site during the excavation, grading and planting.  An inspection shall be conducted of the Replication/Restoration Area by the monitor at the end of the first full growing seadon.  He/she will assess the survivorship and conditions of the plants’trees, the percent vegetative cover, and the composition of the herbaceous layer.  A full report will be filed with the Conservation Commission including color photos of the area.  The report shall also contain needed recommendations for any necessary replanting and or seeding.  A second report as above shall be submitted to the Con Com at the endof the second growing season, and annually until such time as there is a 75% cover of wetland species. The motion was seconded by Ms. Vsetecka and passes unanimously.

6.      Request for Certificate of Compliance Harry C. & Elizabeth Russell  200 Goodwin Road  Map 210 Lot 23  DEP #102-0352  

        Ms. Vsetecka visited the site in December and notes that everything is established and stabilized.

Ms. McEwen motions  to issue a Certificate of Compliance to Harry C. & Elizabeth Russell  of 200 Goodwin Road.  The motion was seconded by Ms. Vsetecka and passes unanimously.

7.      Reports from Eleanor Thomas 301 Beech Tree Lane DEP #102-0371 Fall Drawdown; Restoration Monitoring

        Ms. Vsetecka notes that Ms. Thomas sent in the draw down reports and pictures to the Town of Becket.  Ms. Vsetecka sees no issues.  In regard to the restorations, Ms. Thomas suggested that the erosion controls can be removed anytime, that they stop mowing the BVW and she made note that the footbridge was removed and it should be put back.  Ms. Vsetecka  notes that the emergency repairs were completed and no action needed.

8.      Administrative Business
a.      Note from Alaries
        The Alaries were concerned about someone going through zoning to put an addition on a building.  Ms. Vsetecka researched on Pictometry and it is out of their jurisdiction.
Ms. McEwen made the motion to adjourn the meeting.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Morley and passed unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 7:29PM.

Scott Morley, Chair Date

Richard Pryor, Vice Chair Date

Kathy Vsetecka, Commissioner/Agent Date

Bud Moylan, Commissioner Date

Purr McEwen, Commissioner Date

Marty Winters, Commissioner Date

Respectfully Submitted,
Colleen Callan

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