Harrisville Conservation Commission
Wednesday, March 19, 2024
Meeting Minutes

The Conservation Commission held a Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at Town Hall, 705 Chesham Road, to present a proposal to fund repairs to the town rail trail and to consider a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit bids from interested contractors.  The project originated through a request of the town’s volunteer Trails Group.

Attendees included Conservation Commission members Harry Wolhandler, Don Scott, Kathy Scott, and Ralph Zingaro. Members of the public attending were Earl Horn, Barbara Watkins, Don Page, and Dona Page.

The meeting opened at 7:00 pm.

The HCC reviewed the draft RFP, including a map depicting the locations of trail sections in need of repair.  These sections are on the 1.4 mile stretch between lower Main Street (across from the former train depot and current Police Station) and Brown Road. The RFP also describes the scope of work, including the need for some grading and the addition of material, and drainage improvements including trenching and culverts.  Estimated amount of material required, and section lengths, also are provided.

The HCC noted that, once approved, the RFP would immediately be issued, with bids due Monday, April 22.  The HCC Chair noted that the commission has set a cap at $20K for expenditures out of Conservation Fund for the project. Members agreed Don Scott will serve as the HCC representative helping to oversee the project.

A Trail Walk-Through is scheduled for interested bidders on Tuesday, March 26, 10:00 am beginning at the east end of the trail at Harrisville Police Station/depot/trail entrance.

Members discussed that, if the project is over budget, the Trails Group may apply to the Harrisville Community Fund, or reconsider how much material to bring in.   To date on the trail, the town spent $4800 to purchase the land and subsequently approved $5K in 2003 for gates and bars. No funds since that time have been expended.

Once a bid is awarded and a contract is agreed to, the HCC will share its recommendation with the SB.  Following discussion, Kathy Scott moved to approve the RFP as amended.  Harry Wolhandler seconded. All voted in favor.  The RFP will be sent to 3 contractors who have expressed interest, and will be posted on the town website and Municipal Association website.

Common Threads – The HCC will submit an article to Common Threads that includes a description of the Rail Trail Project and a blurb on Earth Day roadside cleanup.

The meeting adjourned at 8:03 pm.