Meeting Vassalboro Conservation Commission
Minutes of March 15, 2012 Meeting
Present: Mary Ellen Johnston, Holly Weidner, Paul Mitnik, David Jenney,

The meeting began at 7:00. We talked about the election of Commission Officers. Mary Ellen agreed to continue as chair for another year. Paul volunteered to be secretary for one year. Holly suggested that Conservation Commission (CC) member seek volunteers that could be expert advisors to the Board on specific issues without being on the Board, since we have been having difficulty finding additional members. We mentioned trying to get two more members on the Board.

Paul suggested forming committees to meet on specific projects to get more community involvement in the CC and as a more efficient way of getting things done. Committees for trails, open space, and Kennebec River Boat Launch were mentioned. Paul suggested having two public events per year such as the Kennebec boat ride or a hike on one of the trails in Vassalboro.

Mary Ellen presented the CC annual report for review for the Town annual report. Someone suggested putting in the Kennebec canoe trip sponsored by the CC last summer.

We discussed doing an inventory for open space in Vassalboro but would call it conserved lands rather than open space. We will look at what other towns have done initially. Mary Ellen already has a lot of information on this. The following was suggested as open space categories

Paul discussed a grant that he applied for from the New England Grass Roots Environmental Fund for the boat launch project for up to $1000. The grant would be for engineering a new boat launch site plan that would allow the carry-in boat launch to be handicap access. This is the next step needed to apply for additional grants to build the facility. He said that he should know within the next week about the status of the grant.

Holly discussed the sidewalk / pedestrian committee project for bike lanes and sidewalks in East Vassalboro village. The report by Sebago Technics recommended widths of five feet and two feet for sidewalks and bicycle lanes, respectively. Dan Stewart of DOT, the state bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, said that a total width of ten feet is required. We all thought that a ten foot easement would be difficult to sell to the affected property owners in East Vassalboro village. Holly said that she would contact Dan again to see on the feasibility of the seven foot easement suggested by Sebago. The meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted
Paul Mitnik, Secretary