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Conservation Commission Minutes 10/18/12
Becket Conservation Commission
Town Hall 557 Main Rd. Becket, MA
Thursday October 18, 2012
6:30 PM

The Meeting is called to order at 6:33 PM.

Commissioners Present: Scott Morley, Chair; Vice Chair; Kathy Vsetecka,        Commissioner and Agent; Bud Moylan; Marty Winters; Purr McEwen

Member Absent: Richard Pryor

  • Approval of minutes of the September 20, 2012
Bud motioned to approve, Marty seconded, all approved
  • Request for Determination of Applicability  Eleanor Thomas 301 Beech Tree Lane  Map 407  Lots 72 and 73  Repairing existing cabin within the buffer zone to a bordering vegetated wetlands and bank.
Emily Stockman of Stockman Associates representing.  A past enforcement order had taken place on work being done on a pond which then required a restoration that occurred a couple of years ago. Later an NOI was filed for a yearly drawdown continuing with an emergency certification. Today she is here to present a cabin repair. There is an existing cabin within buffer zone to the bank of the pond and nearby wetlands.  Work needs to be done on the deck that surrounds the cabin which will require minimal excavation with a small drilling apparatus that will minimize disturbance. Two inch pilings will be put in. They will refloor the deck as well as remove the siding to inspect for any structural frame work that needs to be attended to.  The machinery is limited to equipment that is like a walk behind gas engine the size of a lawn tractor. The access to the area is two existing foot bridges.  There are straw waddles between the cabin and the forested wetlands and to define area define a work area towards the pond. A bobcat might be necessary should there be difficulties with the footings.  Temporary stock piles will be used and will be removed daily, taken to the dumpster which will be located in the driveway. The footprint will remain the same. John Amato, president of Becket Woods stated that the association has no problem with this project.

Ms. McEwen motioned for a Negative DOA with Becket Standard Conditions and the additional conditions that any equipment be stored overnight outside the limit of work near the dumpster and no building materials be left overnight in the limit of work, Seconded by Mr. Winters, all in favor.

  • Notice of Intent  JH Maxymillian Inc.  Rte 20  Map 202  Installation of a temporary gravel driveway between Rte 20 and I-90 for emergency repairs of I-90   DEP # 102-385
Mathew Puntin from JH Maxymillian representing.  The approximately 200 foot, one-way driveway will provide temporary access between MASS I-90 and Jacob’s Ladder Road while they remove ledge. MASS DOT is on board with this. This is Buffer Zone work only. DEP comments were received without any comments.  The project involves the installation of erosion controls between the work and resource area using silt fence and straw wattles. There is a steep slide slope so there will be a good amount of fill brought in with steel sheeting to support it, construct the access road and when the project is completed they will work their way put removing everything.  There is one tree right in the middle of the driveway that will need to be removed which will be replaced with a 4-6” native hardwood tree. Seed which will consist of a roadside mix, native wetland plants, will be laid out. At the bottom of the driveway they will be a stone rip rap swale to help control the run-off. There will not be any paving. The deadline for completion is nine months. There was a concern about the site being restored to its original state and it was suggested it can be put as a condition to have a contractor present.   Before pictures have been take to ensure it is restored to its original state.

Mr. Morley motioned to approve with Becket Standard Conditions and that pre-construction site conditions are recorded and at the restoration of the area a qualified engineer confirms the site was restored to a reasonable facsimile of its original condition, the tree that is removed be replaced by a 4-6” diameter maple, seconded by McEwen, all in favor.

  • Request for Determination of Applicability  David Mac Williams/Green Water Pond Association  Pulling of large leaf pond weed in designated areas
Mr. MacWilliams not present. Ms. Vsetecka explained that the milfoil was already hand pulled but some of the large-leafed pond weed is intertwining with the milfoil so that the milfoil cannot be pulled without pulling the pond weed.  There are places where it is so thick that it is crowding out the native plants. He is also requesting the cutting of phragmitis and loose-stripe.

Ms. Vsetcka motioned for a Negative Determination, Ms. McEwen seconded, all in favor.

  • Request for Determination of Applicability  Town of Becket  Map 206  Resurfacing of existing path between Main and High Streets
Shannon Boomsa, White Engineering representing. The Town is looking to repair the path between Main Street and High Street. They may have to pull out some cracked asphalt and lay a new surface over it.  There will be no increase in impervious area and there are no concerns about the erosion which are still up on both roads.

Scott motioned for Negative DOA with Becket Standard Conditions, seconded by Purr, all in favor.

  • Letter regarding DEP reviews of Notice of Intents
This is regarding the new procedures put forth by DEP whereby a DEP number is to be supplied within one business day. In addition, Commissions may close a hearing prior to the submittal of any conditions.  Becket and Lee would like to write a letter asking for a reversal of this new procedure to be submitted to DEP and MACC and gather the support of other Commissions in the area.

  • Administrative Business
  • Sherwood Forest is doing another dam repair and they are asking for a site visit on
Monday the 29th at 9:00 am.
  • Sherwood Forest is doing another dam repair and they are asking for a site visit on
Monday the 29th at 9:00 am.
  • All future site visits will now have to be recorded so keep Kathy informed.
8.  Public Input
Colleen O’Conner brought questions before the BCC about the missing Certificate of Compliance (C of C), use of salt and improper disposal of cleaning products by the Becket Elementary School.  She read from previous BCC minutes and showed photographs of salt or something that looks like salt on a roadway.  Ms. O’Conner reviewed the many ways she has tried to get answers to her questions.  She is concerned that these practices are polluting her well and the river.  She also believes the age of the school septic system has been misrepresented in the project documentation.

The BCC discussed jurisdictional areas and what could be done about the missing C of C.  The BCC decided to ask the DEP for guidance about the missing C of C and to get back to Ms. O’Conner.  The BCC also suggested that getting time and dated photographs of any infractions taking place would help with enforcement.  They also suggested the location of the photos needs to be easily verifiable.  A C of C for the school has not been requested or issued at this time and Ms. Vsetecka will contact the school letting them know they still need to do this to get the Order removed from the deed.  It was also stressed that the OOC has expired and no further action can be taken.

The other issue was when she dug on her property looking for a septic pipe.  The school septic system is about 50 years old and it is located near the river with a line going under the road and through her yard.  She stated that she never found the pipe but that the school sued her for breaking the pipe.  Also, that the school came on her property and dug a big hole and found a cracked pipe with no water in it.  It was noted that both parties were in violation for not coming before the Commission as they were digging within 20 feet of the river front.  She also was concerned that raw sewage was going into the river from this system.  Mr. Morley tried to explain that an existing septic system is not within Conservation’s jurisdiction without any documented evidence that sewage is flowing into the river.  Mr. Moylan called for a point of order stating that this was not in our jurisdiction.  Ms. O’Conner stated that a detailed inspection/test of the existing septic system was never completed as part of the original project.  Ms. Vsetecka was able to find an engineering report showing inspection/test results of the septic system.  The report showed that the system was inspected and tested and no failures were found.  Ms. O’Conner wants to come in and review the entire file.  Ms. Vsetecka explained the procedure for reviewing files at town hall and will have the file available for her.

Mr. Amato wanted to go on record complimenting Ms. Vsetecka for her guidance and help and how functional the Commission performs.  He also wanted more information on the weeds in a Becket Wood’s Pond and was directed to Ms. McEwen or Mercedes Gallagher.

Mr. Morley motioned to adjourn, Ms. McEwen seconded, all in favor.  Meeting closed 7:40 PM.


Scott Morley, Chair  Date

Kathy Vsetecka, Commissioner/Agent Date

Bud Moylan, Commissioner Date

Purr McEwen, Commissioner Date

Marty Winters, Commissioner Date

Respectfully Submitted,
Martie Martin

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