Vassalboro Conservation Commission (VCC) minutes for April 14th meeting held on ZOOM

Present: Peggy Horner, David Jenney, Holly Weidner (chair), Amy Davidoff (guest)
Regrets: Steve Jones and Paul Mitnik

1) China Regional Lake Alliance ( CRLA) programs for Webber Pond and 3 Mile Pond: Holly reached out to Mary Sabin, Town Manager, to clarify what part of the proposal the select board would support and what part did they not support. Because it was a split decision, they decided to split the difference between $7k and $11.5 k and came up with $9k. Holly spoke or emailed chair and 2 other members of the Vassalboro Budget Committee to clarify the involvement of VCC this year in 4 projects exclusively involving Webber Pond and 3 Mile Pond totaling $4,500. The summary statement of the VCC proposal was sent to the chair. The Budget Committee had not discussed this item and had voted not to bring in outside groups to present budget items.

Action: Make contact with the Webber Pond Association and the Three Mile Pond Association presidents and members so that they are aware of the potential programs that will be available to them if these projects are passed at town meeting.

2) Trout Pool still hasn’t completed re- vegetation around excavation site: Holly spoke with Mary who thought that the culvert project was completed and suggested that VCC talk with Gene who oversaw this. Three adjacent landowners would like to see restoration of the vegetation including trees be completed soon.

Action: Paul will review the DEP and grant contracts and permits and discuss with Mary.

3) Recycling Committee proposal: We reviewed a brief history of the town’s relationship with Municipal Review Committee (MRC). Amy has been meeting with various interested and affected parties as well as exploring options for infrastructure grants. There is some initial support from the Select board to start up this committee as well as at least 2 people in town to join the committee. David pointed out that the Strategic Plan 2006 says that the town will create a Recycling Committee composed of 8 members. Mary attends the MRC meetings for the town.
There needs to be a clear mission for the recycling committee (see March 2022 minutes). Whether or not it will be an ad-hoc committee or a standing committee is up to the Select Board. There will be a public MRC meeting coming up next week. VCC will try to attend.

Action: Amy will put together a draft proposal of the mission of the proposed Vassalboro Recycling Committee including looking at funding sources for the town’s cost to build an transfer station infrastructure that reflects the town’s future solid waste disposal plans. She and Peggy will attend the next Select Board meeting on 4/28 to make this request.

4) Solar Array Ordinance Committee proposal: Holly spoke to Mary about the VCC being supportive of starting a committee and to consider creating a pathway for holding solar array owners responsible for disposal /decommissioning. Mary said that they are waiting to see what legislation is present at the state level in this regard before developing a policy at the town level.

5) PFAS: the current list of the lands in Vassalboro that had permits for sludge spreading, were sent to Mary and recommended to forward to the select board. The VCC is available to the board if they have further questions. Meanwhile, the VCC will continue to monitor the situation.

6) Eagle Park: Paul reported to the Eagle park subcommittee that he has completed the Permit By Rule (PBR). There may not need to be a permit for the Picnic pavilion if it is more than 100 feet from the high water mark. A site plan sketch was reviewed with Steve and Holly. Because the driveway is considered a “change of use”, the town may need to get a permit from the DOT.

Action: The final application will be submitted to the town chief executive officer who approves the permit. Paul will check with the DOT about getting a permit for the driveway and parking lot.
Our next meeting is the second Thursday of May, May 12 at 6:30 pm at the Vassalboro Meetinghouse S. Stanley Hill Rd.
Respectfully submitted, Holly Weidner (chair)