Vassalboro Conservation Commission meeting minutes for August 19th, Thursday
Present: Peggy Horner, David Jenney, Holly Weidner, Helen Cates Devoe
Absent: Steve Jones

1) Betsy has offered her resignation to Mary Sabin and the committee this week as she takes on a new position as City Planner for Augusta. She was a very active and knowledgeable member and leader on this commission. Her thoughtful insights and enthusiasm will be missed.

With the resignation of Betsy, we discussed what qualities would be most helpful in a replacement for the commission at this time. We particularly have a need for someone who has experience or deep interest in the area of water health and conservation (surface, pond, drinking, vernal , pollution) . But anyone who has a passion for protecting, promoting and managing  the town's natural resources  would be welcomed.
A number of names came forward and Peggy and Holly will call a few of them.

2) KLT Wildlife Habitat land: Peggy met with John Melrose and explored options for supporting KLT land stewardship and purchase of an addition to the Wildlife Habitat land in Vassalboro .As minuted last month, the VCC supports KLT in acquisition and stewardship of land in Vassalboro. This is in keeping with conserving critical wildlife habitat in perpetuity.
Possible funding sources that were excluded: Alewife income has to be approved in the budget process and TIF criteria doesn’t include purchasing land.

Noted: KLT pays taxes to the town for the land. They also usually ask towns to pay a nominal annual fee to KLT for maintenance that they provide for the lands within the towns. (usually this is around $250 ) . Vassalboro hasn’t done this as far as anyone can remember.

Proposal: The VCC wholeheartedly supports the town contributing to the care and maintenance with not just their volunteer stewards but also with around $250 /year that would be sent annually to KLT. This would help to cover some of the expenses that KLT puts into the Town of Vassalboro’s 3 KLT lands. Peggy will let John know that we will help in whatever way we can with this process and look forward to working with him on this. Peggy will follow up.

3) Webber Pond update: Bob Nadeau contacted the VCC to let us know that the Webber Pond Association annual meeting is taking place Saturday 8/14 . Although only members are allowed to attend, the VCC might be able to attend with an invitation . Frank Richards , who has been the president there for years, is stepping down and they will be electing a new president. According to the agenda , they will also be discussing the dam ownership as well as lake water levels for the fall ( an annual discussion).

Action : the VCC will reach out to the new president of the WPA and offer to work with them around conservation issues.

4) CRLA: VCC wants to continue to work with CRLA in improving the quality of the 3 lakes. We will invite Scott Pierz , president of the CRLA if he might join us to discuss his plans for conservation work on the lakes in 2022 and the funding requests to the town .

Holly to follow up.

5) Monument Park: update: Steve will continue to work with John Melrose on the delineation of the park /street/parking

6) Fish dock: The Kennebec Water district has sent us signs available to be put up that indicate that the lake is KWD and no swimming. Holly get these put up. Also signs may be needed on the dock to indicate no boat docking .

Re: invasive lake plants like milfoil: It was noted that the state regulations indicate that all tournaments need to have a person who has taken the training on inspecting boats , to inspect all boats that are entering the water for a tournament.

7) Plastics and recycling: ( Peggy) She has talked to others in the town and will be working on how to increase recycling plastics and maybe promoting more composting and recycling of other things.

8) VCS : ( Helen) she is interested in working in an outdoor gardening, food growing curriculum . She has 2 other people in Vassalboro who are interested in helping . They will start making contact at the school and see what is happening with the JMG program’s green house and garden project. Either she or Holly will attend the next school committee meeting on the third Tuesday.

9) Window Dressers: ( Holly) China is working with Vassalboro and the former will be having a build of the inside storm windows at the China school in November. Vassalboro is considering doing every other year builds with China. Holly and Cindy Ferland are the measuring team this year from Vasslaboro.

Meeting ended at 8:08 pm

Future meetings will be the third Thursday of the month so as not to conflict with the select board meetings .

Our next meeting is Sept.16th.