Conservation Commission Minutes 9/23/2021 6:30-7:15 pm held on ZOOM
Present: Peggy Horner, David Jenney, Paul Mitnik, Holly Weidner
Absent: Steve Jones (report was submitted), Helen Cates Devoe

1) We welcomed Paul Mitnik who would like to join the VCC. His main interests are in water quality, Lake Smart promotion /advising particularly for Webber Pond and to continue progress on the carry- in boat launch to the Kennebec River. The VCC will recommend to the select board that Paul be made a member of the VCC to fill the term of Betsy Poulin ending June 2023.

2) CRLA: update: Scott Pierz, president of the CRLA, sent us a copy of the draft CRLA budget with which we will familiarize ourselves before he joins us for the November meeting to discuss his plans for conservation work on the lakes in 2022 and the funding requests to the town.

3) Fish dock: The KWD has given us some signs to place near the fishing dock at China Lake outlet stream. Action: Holly will involve public works (who will be taking the dock in and out each year) and owners of the boat house.

4) Transfer Station opportunities for Recycling/Composting: Peggy met with George Hammar and spoke with Select Board Member Chris French to learn the history of the transfer station, what has been done in the past, and ideas for the future to make it more efficient for improving recycling and possibly adding food composting. Her impression is that a lot of work needs to be done to inform town people about waste management options and their true costs – both financial, health, and environmental.

Action: Peggy will meet with Irene Belanger, retired Select Board Member from China, who has been very involved in China’s transfer station, recycling, and waste management issues.  Peggy also plans to meet with Mary Sabins to get her perspective on where the town is with the MRC contract and ways to improve the Transfer Station and recycling/composting options under current budget restraints.

5) Rte. 32 town tax acquired property: Mary Sabin has asked if the VCC would develop a design for creating public roadside picnic and stream access for fishing. As much as possible would be done within the town and then present a budget to the town for completing the project.

Action: Paul, Holly and Steve will to meet to work on this; goal is to present a concept with rough costs to select board by November.  

6) Wild trout update: (Steve) The Fish pool was dug back out, Sept 8th. Steve Jones and Jim Foster hired an excavator to complete the job that the town wasn’t willing to do.  This pool which flows into Webber Pond had supported native trout prior to the culvert work that was done last year. Steve also noted that the town replaced no vegetation that was removed from doing there culvert / bridge work.  This is a requirement when work like this is completed. 

Action: VCC will continue to look into who is responsible for paying for the excavation and replacing the vegetation.

7) A member of the Webber Pond Association brought to our attention that members of that group are considering asking the IF&W to stock trout again in the lake. Action: We will wait until the WPA board makes a decision and then see if they need any informational assistance from the VCC.

8) Maine Association of Conservation Commissions annual meeting is Oct 16. Peggy will attend and bring back ideas, news.

9) Next meeting: Oct 21st at 6:30 pm on ZOOM.