Vassalboro Conservation Commission minutes 11/18/2021 6:30 pm at Vassalboro Friends Meetinghouse

Present: David Jenney, Peggy Horner, Steve Jones, Holly Weidner (Chair), Paul Mitnik

Guest: Scott Pierz, China Regional Lake Alliance (CRLA)

The purpose of today’s meeting with Scott is to understand  more about what the CRLA hopes to accomplish in 2022-3, what part of their mission directly supports conservation of water in the town of Vassalboro (they cover the 3 lakes in Vassalboro)  and open more cooperative sharing of ideas and energy around lake conservation.

Scott thanked the town of Vassalboro for its past support of CRLA projects, mostly in the form of yearly contributions toward the Courtesy Boat inspection (CBI) program ($7500 for the past few years).

Scott reviewed the current programs that have been funded and utilized by the town of China for China Lake and Three Mile Pond as well as potential programs available to Vassalboro in 2022-23. These include 1) A survey of camp roads on Webber Pond and the Vassalboro portion of the north and west side of Three Mile Pond; 2) Develop a Gravel Land Program to handle mitigation of problem camp roads; 3) Develop a Lake Smart program for Webber and Three Mile Pond. This would involve training an “evaluator” to do a voluntary audit of lake front properties at the owners request, get the word out to property owners that this service is available to them for free and help owners with accessing materials needed for mitigation; and create a demonstration project from model Lake Smart awarded homes.

A very early draft budget was reviewed for the cost of these programs.

Action: Paul Mitnik had volunteered last month to be the “evaluator” for the Lake Smart program and would be interested in the further training.

At the VCC meeting in December, the VCC will review the draft budget and possible programs to see what we might recommend to the Select board and budget committee for 2022-23;

We will also consider whether it would be better to have the CRLA line item in the town budget come under the VCC budget so that we may review and advise the town on the conservation projects.

The VCC meeting adjourned in order to attend the select board meeting to present a draft concept plan for the use of the Rte. 32 “Eagle Park” project. (See attachment for what was presented). This will be reported at our next meeting.

Minutes were approved after review by all VCC members.

Respectfully submitted, Holly Weidner