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Conservation Commission Minutes 8/23/12
Becket Conservation Commission
Becket Town Hall 557 Main St.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
The Meeting is called to order at 6:34 PM.

Commissioners Present: Scott Morley, Chair; Kathy Vsetecka, Commissioner and Agent; Bud Moylan and Marty Winters, Commissioner;  Coleen Cox, Karen Karlberg and Mark Karlberg
Member absent: Richard Pryor, Vice Chair; Purr McEwen, Commissioner

  •       Approval of minutes of July 19, 2012 meeting
Mr. Winters made a motion to approve the minutes.  The motion was seconded Mr. Morley and passed unanimously.

2.      Request for Determination of Applicability Yokum Pond Association Yokum Pond Map 203 Hand pulling of Eurasian milfoil and large leaf pond weed

No one is present for the meeting.  Ms. Vsetecka notes that the Yokum Pond Association wants to continue to hand pull the Eurasian milfoil and pond weed.  Ms. Vsetecka further notes that the lake is under control.  The map shows where the pond weeds are located.  Mr. Moylan asks if residents will pull.  Ms. Vsetecka notes that they hire divers and has been very professional in the past.  The pond is only 9-10 feet deep at most.

Mr. Moylan motions for a Negative Determination of Applicability for hand pulling of Eurasian milfoil and large leaf pond weed in Yokum Pond.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Winters and passed unanimously.

3.      Request for Determination of Applicability Carol Truchan Schulte 243 Long Bow Lane West Map 214 Lot 20 Installation of a benthic barrier in Long Bow Lake

Carol Truchan Schulte is not present for the meeting.  Ms. Schulte is requesting installation of a cloth woven barrier, approximately 12 x 50 to remove invasive pond weeds from the lake in front of her house.  Ms. Schulte notes in her letter that the bottom of the lake is mucky and the barrier will be installed by Jerry Smith from Action Sports and Travel.  It will be maintained by being turned every two months and removed after two years.  Ms. Schulte would like to install the barrier as soon as possible.  Ms. Vsetecka notes that it doesn’t say how the barrier will be installed nor what materials will be used.   The maintenance schedule is also incorrect, especially for the debris build-up.  Mr. Morley notes that the letter does not state the benefit of the lake.  Mr. Moylan notes that everything will be killed, which is not conservation.  Ms. Schulte notes in the letter that the deployment of benthic barriers can be effectively used in small areas. Ms. Vsetecka explains that this has nothing to do with either point.  Mr. Winters is concerned that all wildlife will be killed (dragonflies, eggs, frogs, etc.), which he is horrified.  Mr. Moylan doesn’t see the conservation benefit for the lake and doesn’t have enough details on how the barrier will be put in.  Mr. Morley questions if this should be an RDA rather than an NOI.  Ms. Vsetecka notes that we should either go for an NOI or they need more information.  Open for public comment.  Mark Karlberg questions the percentage rate for 600 feet of the pond and suggests that more information should be provided by the applicant.  

Mr. Morley motions for a Positive Determination of Applicability and recommends that an NOI be applied for with all the detailed information included due to the lack of information and impact that will be implied on the lake bottom.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Winters and passed unanimously.

4.      Discussion and vote on changes to North Becket Village Infrastructure Project

Ms. Vsetecka notes that everything was done to the North Becket Village Infrastructure project. The review committee came back and noted that they didn’t like certain things.  The suggested some changes need to be made, which applies to the Becket Conservation Committee.  The culverts under the porous paver pathway, leading to the sitting area at the end of Main Street have been removed from the plan.  The area was redesigned allowing it to now slope downward.  The catch basin will include a drop style inlet cover.  The rest is beaches and handicap crosswalk.  Mr. Morley notes that it will now be less concentrated and therefore have less erosion.

Ms. Vsetecka motions to allow the changes to the North Becket Village Infrastructure Project as presented on June 26, 2012.  The motion is seconded by Mr. Moylan and passed unanimously.

5.      Request by John Root to sponsor a presentation of “Edible Perennial Gardening and Landscaping”

Mr. John Root is not present for the meeting.  Mr. Root phoned Mr. Morley, and then emailed more details.  Mr. Root is applying for grants and offers to present a PowerPoint presentation, “Edible Perennial Gardening and Landscaping” in Becket on a weekday evening or weekend afternoon in 2013. Mr. Root is applying to the Becket Cultural Council for funding, so the program would be free and open to the public.  Mr. Root is asking the Becket Conservation Committee for an endorsement for the event.  Mr. Morley notes that one person sent in two emails with a negative review of the program.  Mr. Morley inquires if we have the jurisdiction to decide.  Mr. Moylan believes it is out of the Becket Conservation Committee’s scope.

Mr. Moylan makes a motion not to sponsor the “Edible Perennial Gardening and Landscaping” presentation because it is not under the hospices of the Becket Conservation Commissions’ jurisdiction.  The motion is seconded by Mr. Winters and passed unanimously.

6.      Letter from Alan Wallach, Becket Highlands re Enforcement Order.

Mr. Alan Wallach is not present for the meeting.  Mr. Morley notes the location is on Tyringham Road in reply to a planting done last year.  The driveway was in the wrong location, which Mr. Wallach had to move it.  The plantings were done and didn’t take.  Mr. Wallach sent a letter to the Becket Conservation Committee noting that “there has been over four years of natural growth at the beginning of our Tyringham Road driveway.  Two years ago, we seriously tried to institute a plan for restoration which got completely destroyed by winter snow plowing.”  Ms. Vsetecka noted that she has visited the site several times.  Mr. Moylan inquires if a picture of the location has been taken.  Ms. Vsetecka notes that there was Colts foot everywhere and the small Hemlocks planted are dead.  There seemed to be hardly any ferns planted, as originally requested.  Furthermore, Ms. Vsetecka notes that the location was supposed to be restored to its original habitat.  Tom Ryan from the State Conservation Committee went to the site and Mr. Wallach continued to write in the letter that “Tom Ryan indicated that he thinks the site is full of native plants and that the coltsfoot is not really invasive.  Tom Ryan said the site is stable.  The following vegetation growing between the driveway and the end of the woodland within 75 feet of Tyringham Road is trees: Pin Cherry, Birch, Maple, Beech, Red Oak, White Pine, Hemlock, Staghorm Sumac, Aspen and Willow; shrubs: Blackberry, Hobble Bush and Lonicera; ground cover and herbaceous layer: Colts foot, Thistle, Sarsaparilla, Wintergreen, Partridge berry, Goldenrod, White sweet clover, Daisy, Cinquefoil an grasses, sedges, clover.” Mr. Morley will take some photos of the location before a final motion is made.  Mr. Morley notes that they were looking for more diversified planting, including trees.

Mr. Morley motions to continue the Allen Wallach project once they have more information and photos are taken. The motion is seconded by Mr. Moylan and passed unanimously.

7.      Discussion of Determination of Applicability and other information re property Map 204 Lots 57 & 58.1

Ms. Coleen Cox, Ms. Karen Karlberg and Mr. Mark Karlberg are present for the meeting.  Ms. Vsetecka notes that the location is at Route 8 South and Route 20 where they are looking to put in a gas station.  Mr. Morley notes that this was in discussion three years ago on November 19, 2009 when they came before the Conservation for a clear cutting and logging.  At that time, the Committee agreed that it was not an area subject to protection under the act and the work didn’t require a Notice of Intent unless there was an area subject to protection.  Ms. Karlberg notes that clear cutting of the lots are not coinciding.  Ms. Karlberg further notes that the landowner is bringing in multitudes of fill and increasing the elevation of the property.  The Karlberg’s are having filtration problems below and the ground should be leveled.  Mr. Morley notes that he has no jurisdiction unless it impacts something down from the runoff and affects the wetlands.  Mr. Karlberg notes that the Department of Public Works has cleaned the culvert twice with silk that has come down the hillside by Becket West Road in front of the Karlberg’s driveway.  Further, it is not running down the hillside but into the road and into the culvert.  Mr. Karlberg noted that it is a DEP problem but it is also a problem for the Conservation Committee because it may be affecting the wetlands.  Ms. Vsetecka notes that they need proof that it is coming from the property and going into a wetland.  Ms. Vsetecka further notes that with any stream, it must be within 200 feet of the stream and 100 feet of the wetland for the Committee to have jurisdiction.  Mr. Morley notes that if the catch basin is catching the sand and if it isn’t making it in the wetlands than they don’t have jurisdiction.  Furthermore, Mr. Morley notes that there really needs to be a rain storm and some pictures to show impact.  Mr. Morley suggests that the Committee sends an appeal letter requesting that the owner  takes preventative measures and put silk fences up to help as barriers.  If it is not taken care of, then further action can be taken.  Ms. Vsetecka notes that if there is a rain storm to get pictures and a video camera.  A letter from the Farmington River Association sent to Coleen Cox will go on file.  

Mr. Morley motions that the Becket Conservation Committee will write a letter to Mike and Jack Convoy regarding the property Map 204 Lots 57 & 58.1 about the Becket Conservation Committee’s concerns of possible erosion and contamination of Shaw Pond head waters from the existing project construction site. The motion is seconded by Mr. Winters and passed unanimously.

8.      Administrative Business
a.      Request for special meeting Carl Nielson/Elizabeth Saunier
Ms. Vsetecka noted that the house is about to collapse.  The house sits right on the edge of a bank and rock wall.  One of the supporting beams is tipping sideways.  Apparently, now they are backing off due to the price.  The Committee does not have to do anything further at this point.

        Mr. Morley made the motion to adjourn the meeting.  The motion was seconded by Mr. Moylan and passed unanimously.  The meeting was adjourned at 7:25PM.

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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