Harrisville Conservation Commission
Wednesday, October 6, 202I
Meeting Minutes

The Harrisville Conservation Commission held a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, October 6, 202I at town offices and via zoom.
Members present: Harry Wolhandler, Don Scott, Kathy Scott, Earl Horn, Diana Shonk
Members absent: Les LaMois
Members of the public:  Winston Sims

Agenda and minutes – The HCC moved and voted in favor to approve the agenda as well as the minutes of the September meeting.

Budget – Mr. Wolhandler reviewed the status of the HCC’s budget concerning 2021 spending as of the end of the 3rdquarter. He noted that the remainder of any rain garden project expenses will come out of the Conservation Fund, should that be the decision of the commission.

Annual NHACC Conference – The date of this year’s conference, to be held virtually, is Saturday, November 6. Members moved and voted in favor that all interested in going should notify the Chair know and the HCC will cover the cost at $35 per attendee.

Subsequently, the Chair moved to approve payment of the NHACC annual membership dues in the amount of $250. Kathy Scott seconded. All voted in favor.

RC Ambassador Program – Members shared their observations from HCC volunteer time at the Recycle Center and agreed to await the recommended next steps from the Recycle Committee, anticipated to launch in the next 3 weeks.  It is believed the Recycle Committee is interested in both overall facility improvements as well as assuring that container bins remain uncontaminated with nonrecyclables or unclean items. The HCC is ready to support the committee’s recommendations as and when they are formed and discussed that the focus of their support should be on signage, educational outreach, focus on kids, the importance of breaking down boxes and sorting prior to visiting the facility, and safe queuing and traffic flow. Earl Horn noted the RC Committee will consider this and other issues, including the observations from the ambassadors.

HCC Projects for 202I-22
Members discussed projects for the coming year, including: Finishing the Rain Garden signage, crafting interpretive signage for trails (on November agenda); Water runoff management (it was noted the Rain Garden is working very well and functioning as expected), including continuing educational outreach to homeowners; addressing knotweed (The HCC will return this item to the project list but is not sure if any action will be taken.); Weedwatcher training; recruiting more Lake Hosts;  and wildlife protection. Kathy Scott proposed outreach to residents on protecting against bear invasions and the safe feeding of birds.

Trails Committee – Members discussed ideas for signage. Earl Horn will reach out to Brett Thelen of the Harris Center and former HCC member Andrea Polizos to ask them to attend an upcoming HCC meeting to discuss ideas for brochure content.  Earl recommended the North Pond trail as the pilot trail for signage given its interesting variety of vegetation.

Wetlands Permit by Notification  (PBN) – The HCC Chair, on a vote of approval by members, signed a Wetlands PBN for a property owner on Eastside Road seeking to replenish an existing beach. This is allowed every six years – up to I0 yards of sand – according to the state regulations.

Select Board – Kathy Scott noted the Public Waters Advisory Board officials visited the Silver Lake and Skatutakee Lake boat ramps to assess current conditions.

HDC – The Historic District Commission will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, November 2, at 7pm at Granite Mill to hear feedback on new draft regulations for historic district properties.

Old Fire Station – Cleanup and rehabilitation of the old Fire Station is under way as a potential rental property. The SB is evaluating options.

The meeting adjourned at 8:25 pm.