Braintree Conservation Commission
Unapproved Minutes– Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Submitted by Tom Cooch
Present: Tom Cooch, Joan Richmond-Hall, Paul Shriver
No public comment
August minutes approved
Focus area discussions:
Water – Tom read Sandy’s report on the most recent Water Quality Discussion at TRORC in September, which he attended. The list of identified projects that the State maintains online does not appear to have changed in the past two months. Tom will contact Jeff to identify the culvert projects that have already been completed and notify the DEC.
Jeff and Holly seem to be acquiring Back Roads grant money to fund many of their projects. Is there any point to the Conservation Commission applying for grant money independently? Sandy will contact the DEC and/or TRORC to see if there are funds available to conservation commissions that are not available to other town organizations.
Joan said she felt we could be taking some steps to promote best agricultural practices for farmers and other landowners. Riparian buffer zones are not being maintained along streams – cows can graze right up to the edge of the water, which leads to increased manure and fertilizer effluent into the water basin.
Possible solutions to this problem include education, enforcement of existing regulations, and possibly grant money to offset implementation costs to the property owner. Sandy will contact both DEC and TRORC and get their opinions.
Invasive Species – The information from VTRANS on the use of glyphosphate that Gerald Kinney provided has been read by Tom and Sandy, and is now in Joan’s hands. The other commission members will try to read it over the next month. Our decision as to whether or not to recommend spraying of some roadside infestations of Japanese Knotweed will be made at our November meeting. Tom and Joan will compile a list of points from all the information sources we have identified and circulate the list between the October and November meetings.
Trees: Paul has not yet been able to look over the roadside tree cutting on Brainstorm Road. Joan will be present at the next Selectboard meeting and will try to verify that this work was all done according to Town and State protocols.
Renewable Energy: Joan reported that the Planning Commission will be recommending provisional adoption of the preferred areas for soar development as per the maps provided by TRORC. A public hearing will be warned for sometime later in the fall.
Budget – There is no need to budget for more tools this year. The CC budget can revert to the $250 for training and meetings as in previous years.
Newsletter – Approval was given for sending out the next issue (#5) of the newsletter. Tom indicated he thought there might not be more issues this calendar year. Joan thought that perhaps a shorter newsletter could be used to help publicize the public hearing on solar project siting.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:42pm
Next Conservation Commission meeting:
Wed., October 25, 7pm at Town offices.