Harrisville Conservation Commission
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Meeting Minutes

The Harrisville Conservation Commission held a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at the town offices, 705 Chesham Road.

Members present: Harry Wolhandler, Les LaMois, Kathy Scott, Earl Horn, Diana Shonk, Don Scott

Members of the public: Winston Sims

Members approved the agenda as proposed.

RC Ambassador program – HCC members held a lengthy discussion on the role of HCC members in an Ambassador Program to support the newly formed Recycle Center Committee. The idea of the Ambassador Program came out of discussions within both the HCC and the Select Board as to how the HCC can dovetail with the newly formed Recycle Center Committee, whose purpose is to brainstorm and implement facility improvements. Kathy Scott explained that DES requires any volunteers to be trained by the RC Coordinator, and to be trained to assist at an individual task. 

Members then discussed the timing and the best ways to assist. They wondered if it makes sense to begin their efforts before the RC Committee has initiated its work. During discussion, members agreed that education of visitors should be a priority, given problems with bin contamination, which results in otherwise recyclable materials ending up in a landfill. Kathy Scott spoke to the information received from MDS and, by extension, MDS’s vendors, regarding contamination. The Chair asked for more specifics to aid the HCC in any ambassadorial role.

Members also agreed that visual props, to exhibit to residents what is and isn’t acceptable as a recyclable, would be much more effective than posters with text.

On the idea of bringing back the drop and take table, members were generally not in favor of the HCC’s involvement with that.

For the HCC’s next meeting, Earl Horn offered to research and bring back examples of helpful visuals and handouts from other towns. Kathy Scott will get more specifics on DES’s guidelines. Don Scott will bring in “Recycling Dos and Don’ts.” Winston Sims suggested including visuals of what happens with clean goods/usable recyclables.  Members all consider visuals and handouts to be the two most important steps to take, at least initially.

Common Threads deadline– The HCC will draft a brief thank you to residents for the Ice Cream Social. A longer article about the Ambassador Program will follow in the subsequent issue.

Boat ramp/lake activity– Members discussed increased numbers of visitors to the lakes and increased parking at lakes and boat ramps. Kathy Scott asked anyone observing unusual activity to report it to the Select Board.

Reports of other boards and committees
Select Board – The SB is working on prioritizing projects that affect the 2022 budget.

Planning Board – A subcommittee has formed to update the Master Plan. The group will initially prepare a synopsis of the document with the goal of wider community engagement.

Historic District Commission – The HDC is completing its property inventory project including a new photo collection; the revisions to HDC regulations is nearly complete; and the HDC recently approved Harrisville Designs’ application for solar panels on the roof of the mill building.

Trails Committee – Earl Horn reported that trail maps are available through town offices and the library; the signs for parking and the trails are nearly complete and nearly all installed.

Historic Harrisville – Les LaMois noted that readying the mill for Harrisville Designs’ movement of its spinning operations back into the building has been an HHI priority.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.