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May 3, 2016
MINUTES: MAY 3, 2016

Board Members Present:  Joe Dell’Aquila, Chairman; Scott Landgren; Peter Craine; Shawn Moore; Eric Bigelow
Board Members Absent:  Nancy Nichols; Willard Cannon


Jennifer Howald; Jake Pettes; Skip Clark; Dick Williams; Robert Cox; Karla Bigelow; Julian Votruba; James Soucy

Application Submissions

Notice of Intent – JM Soucy Contracting, Inc., Lot 4, Emerald Road.  Hearing will be May 17, 2016 at 7:15 PM.


Motion to approve amended minutes from April 19, 2016 – Motion made by Peter, seconded by Shawn; vote unanimous at 7:12 PM.

Determination of Applicability, Matthew Pearson, 20 Paddock Road – Motion to sign negative Determination made by Shawn, seconded by Eric; vote unanimous at 7:27 PM.

Motion for the Conservation Commission to commit a sum of money up to a maximum of $80,000.00 contingent upon such funding as the Conservation Commission may hold being legally available for us for that purpose made by Shawn, seconded by Eric; Scott voted no vote passed at 7:59 PM.  Roll call vote was done, Scott voted no; Peter, Eric and Shawn voted yes and Joe abstained.  Vote passed at 7:59 PM.

Motion to close meeting – Motion made by Scott, seconded by Peter; vote unanimous at 8:53 PM.


Determination of Applicability, Matthew Pearson, 20 Paddock Road
Hearing opened at 7:23 PM.  They will receive a negative determination.  This is an open lot right now.  There is an expired Order of Conditions on it – the work from the Order has been completed.  This Determination is just for the septic.  Motion to close hearing made by Peter, seconded by Scott; vote unanimous at 7:25 PM.


Open Space Committee
Joe told Karla we needed to get together with them to discuss the Open Space Plan.  The 14 points that Cindy said were needed for the plan aren’t major issues, but we need to start because 3 months is not a lot of time to complete all 14.  Peter asked if we should redo the Open space Committee, and Joe said that we didn’t disband the Committee because the plan wasn’t completed.  Joe said that he was displeased that we are being brought in at the last minute and are expected to jump through hoops now.  There will be a meeting on May 17, 2016 at 8:00 PM to address the Open Space Plan.  The Open Space plan was sent to the Board of Selectmen who never followed through.  Eric said it shouldn’t matter who sent it and that it wasn’t enough pressure to the Board of Selectmen from the Open Space Committee and he felt the ball was dropped.  Joe said he banged on doors and never got the responses and it fizzled to nothing.  Cindy Liptak needed it and Sheila filed it, but it isn’t submitted by the Board of Selectmen so it should be disclosed to the state who actually filed it.

Davis Farm, Robert Cox, Rutland Land Conservancy
The deal needs to be final in 2 days.  The Board of Selectmen assigned the Right of First Refusal to the Land Conservancy.  They need $45,000.00 and the assignment done by May 6th.  The overall goal is to protect the land and keep it as farm land.  The Board of Selectmen has given the Land Conservancy a chance to get this property.  They are looking to get a grant with a 68% reimbursement rate and are looking for the Conservation Commission to help with this.  The land would belong to the town and they are trying to facilitate the deal.  They know we have $100,000.00 and are asking for $80,000.00 from us for this property.  The money wouldn’t be needed today.  It would need to be given when they get the grant.  There would be a gap of money needed that they are looking for private donations to cover.

Joe told him that we would need two things.  The first would be a statement outlining the value of preservation.  Bob asked what he meant and Joe said the Land Conservancy needs to outline and give justification as to whether it would be more valuable to preserve it as opposed to building it.  This is not a vote for today and we would need to go to town counsel and have a hearing for public input.  Bob said that Joe knew why he was coming and that we do not need a hearing or to go to town counsel.  Joe told him that it would need to be a hearing and bob said that it didn’t.  He said he can certainly give us a narration, but that it wouldn’t be before tonight’s vote.  The other issue is that while researching the money portion of it, we have found out that the Department of Revenue is saying this money is not available for this purpose.  Bob asked why this is a problem now and that Joe represented to the Board of Selectmen that we have the $100,000.00 and not the $14,000.00 and that we may not have the money for purchasing.  Joe said we are looking into these things.  Joe explained that we are still new to this and we are trying to see how to handle this.  Joe also informed him that he was going by what he was told as far as the money being available for land acquisition and is learning now that this may not be the case.  We have 3 accounts but aren’t really sure what the limitations for use of the funds are.  Bob asked that assuming we get clearing for the $98,000.00 would the Conservation Commission allow the money to go to the Land Conservancy with the condition of the letter stating that the land is worth conserving.  Eric said that that Jackie received a letter in November about the Open Space plan and nothing has been said to us until now and we didn’t even know anything about it.  Bob said his ask is purely financial, and he can’t speak about the Open Space.  Joe said he isn’t sure that the Conservation Commission is prepared to make that vote tonight.

Bob said that if they say yes great we can add it to the minutes and if no then he gone and it is done.  Joe is concerned that it isn’t a hearing for an official vote, and Bob said we do not need to add it to a hearing.  Shawn said there are a lot of big ifs for the money if it is available, but would make a motion contingent on how the money is to be spent, as long as the vote would be legal.  

Jake asked how much acreage the town was going to net.  Bob said he wasn’t sure.  Jake asked what the perpetual gain would be and Eric said it will be deeded to the town of Rutland which would be the gain.  Dick said that it would be up to the Planning Board decides on the Open Space if it gets that far.  Bob asked Jake if he was a board member and Jake said he was a concerned citizen, which is why it should have a hearing, so that anyone concerned can attend.  

Motion was made and passed.  Skip Clark asked for a roll call vote, which Scott voted no; Peter, Eric and Shawn voted yes and Joe abstained.

Jim Soucy asked if the Conservation Commission was prepared to spend all its money on one parcel.  Joe said that we aren’t even sure we can spend the money.  Currently, between 1/3 to ½ of the land is already protected by the Wetlands Protection Act.  

Dick Williams, Rutland Heights
Dick came in to ask if there was a certified vernal pool there and let us know they are clearing the area for a field.

Solar Committee, Dick Williams, Central Tree
They are trying to move the solar field to the back of the field.  Dick asked if the Conservation Commission could do a site walk there and let the Solar Committee know if there are wetlands and if they have to file anything, because there is a part of land that may be wetlands that they want to cross.  Site walk will be scheduled for Friday.

Bylaw Discussion
        Peter is still working on this and may have something the next meeting; if not then     the meeting after.

Reviewed Mail

Respectfully Submitted,

Karen Wamback

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