Andover Conservation Commission Draft (unapproved) Minutes – February 12, 2020

By Lee Wells

Present: Jerry Hersey, Alan McIntyre, Nancy Robart,  Jesse Schust, Lee Wells, Tina Cotton, Harvey Pine, Jacob McCormick. Becca Budrock, Ken Wells

Minutes: Motion made by Alan to approve the 1/15/20 minutes as amended, seconded by Nancy.  Approved by all.

Suggestion: we should have a new member orientation;, show new members current important issues: field trips to White Oak, to Bog Pond, to Proctor snow-making area, to a Beaver Deceiver. Also suggested that we open these field trips to the public so those who are interested can better understand what the Conservation Commission is doing.

Champagne Gravel Pit: notice of decision was distributed. More of our concerns have been addressed by Alteration of Terrain Permit and Wetlands Permit. Sound issues are still a concern and questions remain: will this area be submerged when the Blackwater River floods? Wetlands Permit should address this. There have been 3 – 4 public meetings over this. The Select Board and the Conservation Commission are the ones to monitor this, but we do not have the expertise to be sure of what we are looking for. Should we hire someone to help us with this, just as the old transfers station and wells in that area are monitored?

Harvey Pine, with students Jacob McCormick and Becca Budrock: Harvey Pine, Andover resident and Colby Sawyer professor who teaches three courses at Colby Sawyer in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), attended this meeting so that two of his students, currently in their second semester course in GIS, could design an independent project as part of their course work which would also serve Andover’s needs. Given the work we are doing on the wetlands ordinance, they could work on maps – a paper version for Town Hall as well as a digital version that can be uploaded and zoomed in on for people to see important features/layers. 

Important features could include allowing people to see how much land will be impacted by buffers and how much shoreline would be protected by buffers. Which platform would be best to use: Google maps, ARCGIS, QGIS? Could check to see what other towns have done, can see what other towns have done in DES one-stop. Should the buffer start at the “shore-line protection act” line and not from the river center line? Information from FEMA flood plain maps can provide important information to the town. Need to get polygon data and not line data. Our number one priority is wetlands, it would be useful to put in hard bench-marks as well.

Students will draw up an initial proposal by next week, they will address scope and deliverability of the project.  Final project will be due by April 17.

Action item: Alan will be in communication with the students and share documents with them.

Tutorial/demonstration: Jesse showed us how to navigate the DES site and use their mapping software to see maps of Andover that locate wetlands, aquifers, and other important water resources.

Wetlands Ordinance: Paul Currier and Randall Costa have volunteered to help with editing.

White Oak: no news, we are still waiting on the Governor and the Executive Council.

Bog Pond: Jesse will speak with MAB about getting in touch with Dave Jeffers. Follow up on 2016 incursion into Bog Pond. Issue of remediation: does dragging debris (stumps) out of Bog Pond do as much damage as dumping the material in? The adjacent area will be grassed over and there will be a 50’ buffer. Boundaries to be marked; good to have Lakes Region do this.  Jesse gave MAB list of data points we would need for mapping.
Action item: Jesse will contact MAB.

Newman Easement: Part of easement located in Hill has been logged, there are now water bars on that part of the property, which discourages ATV use, but they do direct water towards wetlands. Gates are not recommended, ATVs find a way around them. Would like to get scouts involved in this project. John Mazorka is the new scout master.
Action item: Alan will talk with John about getting scouts to post signs – two on each end of the easement, located high enough to not be torn down.
Action item: Jerry will call Jim McKenna to arrange purchase of sign.

Eversource update: will schedule a site visit for this spring. They are replacing wooden poles with metal poles and putting in temporary roads to complete this work.  They have been mindful of wetlands.

Beaver Deceivers:  Alan spoke with Vicky Mishcon. Without an explanation, people see the sticks and falsely assume that they aren’t working. The Beaver Deceivers direct the Beavers away from culverts, so they build their dams off to the side where they can’t damage the culvert. Skip will visit this spring. The Proctor Beaver Deceiver needs to be enlarged. Problem – there is only one person overseeing and maintaining the Deceivers. Skips needs to help us protect these investments. A Beaver Deceiver Field Trip would be a good way to educate the public about them.

Town Meeting: need to contact Town Moderator to arrange to have a table at town meeting.  Alan can do set up and be there from 11 AM to 1 PM. Lee and Nancy can cover much of the afternoon after that. We can have maps and websites up.
Action Item: Alan will contact Jon Mishcon about having a table at town meeting.

Motion made: Given that Town Meeting tends to run late the night before our monthly meeting, Jerry made a motion that we move our March meeting to the third Wednesday of the month, Alan seconded, all in favor. 
Action item: Lee will post this.

Alan is working on setting up an e-mail account for Con Com.

Tina suggested that Appendix 14 of the Master Plan: Natural Resources be on our website.

Nancy made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Jesse. All in favor.  Meeting adjourned at 9:05 PM.