Vassalboro Conservation Commission January 13, 2022

Present: Peggy Horner, Paul Mitnik, David Jenney, Holly Weidner (chair)

Regrets: Steve Jones

1) The FY 2022-23 budget request for the VCC was discussed; we will submit $500 including the annual fee for membership into the Maine Association of Conservation Commissions.
2) China Regional Lake Alliance ( CRLA) budget proposal for the town (Holly): discussions with Scott Pierz and Mary Sabins were reviewed. The additional request will include Webber and Three Mile Pond: Best Practice Projects (BMP), Gravel Road (GRRP) survey, Lake Smart demonstration Project, Seaward Mill Stream surveillance and corrections. The VCC recommends that a member of the Webber Pond Association ( WPA) be recruited to work with CRLA on these projects. There was discussion about how the VCC might best get the word out about the opportunities for land owners around the ponds. (Pamphlets in the town office, posts on local websites). This will be taken up once the town has approved the additional funds. Discussion on how the VCC would best work with CRLA and funding these programs. It was noted that the WPA and the Three Mile Pond Association are both most likely contributing $1000 in support to these new projects.

Action: The VCC supports the CRLA budget proposal for FY 2022-23 with the additions that would benefit the water quality of the 2 other lakes not currently served by CRLA.

VCC would consider monitoring the projects that CRLA proposes that are within the town and reporting at the end of the season (around October) to the Select Board on data from those projects.

The VCC will write a summary to present to the Select Board and the Budget Committee in support of the additional funding.

3) Eagle Park: (Holly) Mary would like a statement of support from the state before committing any work towards the park. Paul says that that no permit is required for work done that is greater than 75 feet from high water mark. Also it is the Code Enforcement Officer of the town that writes up a Permit by Rule for the town to submit to the state. And usually erosion control may be needed if done near the shore land. Also there was discussion

Action: Paul will contact the Natural Resource Protection Act contact to get a statement of support. Holly will update Mary and ask her if she wants us to go ahead and get an Agreement by Rule written to send to the state.

4) Superfund site/ former Statler Paper dumpsite : (Peggy) Barb Redmond, select person, has been working with DEP on gathering information on what options the town has for getting this cleaned up. The history of this was that Statler paper bought up about 35 acres and dumped their waste into one of the quarries. They then sold it to Tree Free Fiber who went bankrupt after a year and hasn’t paid taxes on it since. The town doesn’t want to take it over because whoever owns it assumes “Primary responsible Party” and inherit any cost of cleanup. The DEP probably won’t be able to do the cleanup in the near future, if at all. They did do an overall inspection in 2003 and 2015. And plan to do another assessment in the spring. A local person has been monitoring some local wells in the area. It is not clear what contaminants are being monitored by the DEP but it is highly likely that this would be a Super Fund site.

Action: Peggy, Paul and Mary plan to accompany Barbie when the DEP goes for the next assessment.

5) Open Space /Comprehensive Planning: (Peggy) reported on what select board thinking is on working on a long term plan for the town.

Action: Continue contact and discussions with Select Board on promoting planning that promotes conservation.

6) Next VCC meeting date in February 10th (second Thursday)

Respectfully submitted, Holly Weidner (chair)