THESE MINUTES ARE PRESENTED IN DRAFT FORM AND HAVE NOT
BEEN FORMALLY APPROVED BY THE ENFIELDCONSERVATION COMMISSION.
OFFICIAL COPIES OF MINUTES, WHEN APPROVED,
CAN BE OBTAINED FROM THE TOWN CLERK OR PLANNING OFFICE.
ENFIELD CONSERVATION COMMISSION
MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING
TUESDAY, JULY 12, 2011
A Regular Meeting of the Enfield Conservation Commission was called to order by Chairman LaPlante in the Enfield Room of the Enfield Town Hall, 820 Enfield Street, Enfield, Connecticut on Tuesday, July 12, 2011. The meeting was called to order at 7:10 p.m.
ROLL-CALL – Present were Commissioners Karen LaPlante, Michael Dynia, Natalie George, Joanne Kneiss (seated), Gretchen Pfeifer-Hall and Kathleen Vose. Commissioner Richard Szewczak entered at 8:00 p.m. Commissioner Timothy McGuire was absent.
There were no comments from the public.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was made by Commissioner Dynia, seconded by Commissioner George to adopt the minutes of the June 14, 2011 meeting.
The vote was 6-0-0.
There was no Executive Session.
Open Space Inventory
There was no discussion on this item.
Farms and Farmland Preservation
Commissioner George noted the home at Trinity Farm was seriously damaged in a recent fire.
Commissioner Pfeifer-Hall stated the barn survey and the July 24th hoe-down is coming up. She noted July 17th was the sign-up deadline. Discussion followed about who might be able to attend the hoe-down.
Commissioner Vose stated she received an invitation to a farm dinner from American Farmland. She noted it’s $150 per ticket, and it looks to be a very nice event.
New Applications – IWWA and Planning & Zoning Commission
Chairman LaPlante stated she has the last Notice of Actions, and those are available should anyone wish to review them. She briefly reviewed several items from Inland-Wetlands Notice of Actions and Planning & Zoning Notice of Actions:
· Permit to replace the Freshwater Pond Multi-Use Trail from Rt. 5 to the pedestrian bridge within the upland review area of Freshwater Brook. Chairman LaPlante stated she inquired as to whether a low-impact pervious surface was considered for the walkway because they’re replacing the asphalt walkway, however, the plans were already completed, and it was basically too late for them to change those plans. She noted perhaps they should send a general note to Piya Hawkes suggesting they consider low impact development things when doing these kinds of projects.
· Paramount Realty Services - 11,250 s.f. expansion to Enfield Commons Shopping Center with parking, driveway and floodplain improvements within a regulated area at 25 Hazard Ave. Chairman LaPlante noted they’re putting in a gentlemen’s warehouse, which will be attached to Bob’s Stores near the commuter lot.
· Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Inc. permit for stormwater discharge for cemetery expansion road within the upland review area at 110 North Street.
· Town of Enfield – permit to construct a truck wash with related site work within the 100 foot upland review area at the Jablonski Public Works Complex, 40 Moody Road. Chairman LaPlante stated the truck wash will be on the Lego side of the parking lot and not in the back of the complex.
· T-M Realty/Brian Delano on behalf of the American Legion – determination of permit need for utility work within the upland review area for a proposed outdoor Pavilion on land owned by the Town of Enfield and leased by the American Legion behind 566 Enfield Street
· Permitted Uses in Industrial Districts) to allow Banquet, Catering and Conference Facilities in I-1 Districts by Special Use, Town of Enfield Planning Department, applicant.
· Special Use Permit to add 8 portable classrooms in four trailers at the Harriet Beecher Stowe School located at 117 Post Office Road, in an R-33 District, Map 54, Lot 6, Capital Regional Education Council
Commissioner Dynia stated he noticed an erosion problem at the Town Farm Road project. Chairman LaPlante suggested Commissioner Dynia contact Jose Giner concerning this issue.
A motion was made by Commissioner Pfeifer-Hall, seconded by Commissioner George to forward the following letter to Mayor Scott Kaupin, Matthew Coppler, Town Manager and Raymond Warren, Director of Development Services:
“At its meetings of June 14, 2011 and July 12, 2011, acting under its responsibility to make recommendations regarding open space, the Enfield Conservation Commission (ECC) reviewed the available information on the proposed sale of Industrial Park land to Eppendorf and would like to point out the following items:
1. The ECC is pleased with the recommendations and conditions of approval in the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection letter dated May 13, 2011.
2. The ECC would like to see at least two commercial appraisals of the properties to be transferred, and the cost should be borne by the purchaser.
3. The ECC would like to see the funds from the sale of this open space land deposited into the open space fund.
4. The ECC understands any future building additions will be processed through the proper Boards and Commissions, but would like to encourage Eppendorf Real Estate Corporation to consider low impact development initiatives including water retention systems, limited impervious surfaces and green roof designs.
By vote, the Conservation Commission recommends that the Town of Enfield move forward with the proposed sale of this property.”
The vote was 6-0-0.
Connecticut Water Company – Diversion Permit Application
Chairman LaPlante stated they did get a copy of the diversion application. She noted Connecticut Water Company’s annual report lists their sources of supply, which includes their groundwater wells, the type of wells, gallons per minutes and the annual production for that year. She stated another page shows how much water they actually pumped from specific wells for the year, as well as how many hours they pumped. She pointed all the annual report information should agree with information within the application, however, she found some differences. She noted she and Commissioner George put together some comments regarding this issue.
Commissioner George stated she prefers the Commission emphasize that they may be close to the maximum amount from the Scantic River wells. She feels they should force them to go back and re-examine all the wells and come up with new discharge and recharge information. She noted she would like to say that the Conservation Commission has concerns and reservations with this application for additional water. She pointed out there are at least five wells that should be recertified based on current circumstances.
Chairman LaPlante pointed out DEP isn’t looking at how much the wells can produce. She noted they already gave them the right to pump that water out, and until they hit that maximum, they can pump as much as they want. She stated they should comment on this diversion. She stated her belief they should say they are against this until they take advantage of all the other permits that they have. Commissioner George suggested adding “until all the previously authorized existing wells in Somers and Ellington are utilized and included in the daily operation of the systems”.
Chairman LaPlante stated this is basically saying they do not want them using Enfield’s wells unless it’s an emergency.
Chairman LaPlante referred to errors. She noted the application claims 50% of the diverted water is being discharged in the Somers water treatment plant, and that is untrue. Chairman LaPlante pointed out the only water going into the Somers water treatment plant is from Hazardville Water, and this was verified with the town sanitarian. She added some of the numbers did not add up, and she wants to point that out.
It was agreed copies of these comments should be sent to Somers, Ellington, East Windsor, the Scantic River Watershed, Inland-Wetlands, Planning & Zoning, the Town Council and Town Manager.
A motion was made by Commissioner Pfeifer-Hall, seconded by Commissioner George to approve this letter as amended. The vote was 7-0-0.
There was no discussion on this item.
CT River Small Grant Project Wrap-Up
Chairman LaPlante stated that project has been completed. She noted Commissioner Pfeifer-Hall wrote a press release and a picture is also available for publication in the newspaper. She stated she met with a DEP representative and was able to get boating, personal watercraft and life jacket regulations, maps, invasive species information, etc. It was noted there’s a crack on the frame of the kiosk, and Commissioner Pfeifer-Hall agreed to call the manufacturer representative regarding this problem.
Commissioner Pfeifer-Hall offered to send a thank you note to Mark Gahr expressing the Commission’s gratitude for the good job they did installing the kiosk.
Chairman LaPlante suggested the idea of this Commission sponsoring a paddle trip on the Connecticut River. She noted they could invite Town department heads and various commission members. Discussion followed about the logistics of such an undertaking.
Chairman LaPlante stated she was able to obtain illustration boards for the transit center. She noted the presentation that was recently made can be found on the Town’s website, and people are able to make comments about the design.
A motion was made by Commissioner Kneiss, seconded by Commissioner Szewczak to recess the meeting for ten minutes. The vote was 7-0-0, and the meeting stood recessed at 8:35 p.m.
Chairman LaPlante reconvened the meeting at 8:45 p.m.
Chairman LaPlante pulled up the Town’s website and showed the illustrations that were recently shown in a presentation to the Town Council. The illustrations were of the latest design for Phase I of the Intermodal Transit Center. She noted there still has to be environmental investigations, property acquisitions and remediation work.
Commissioner Vose questioned whether the Town should first learn whether or not there will be train service. Chairman LaPlante noted the first phase is for bus service.
Commissioner Kneiss stated her impression the original plan makes a lot more sense. She stated she would like people to see the original plan so they can see there’s another option. Commissioner Pfeifer-Hall suggested learning where the original concept came from.
Chairman LaPlante stated the Commission has received a renewal notice from CACIWC for the period July, 2011 to June, 2012.
A motion was made by Commissioner Dynia, seconded by Commissioner Kneiss to renew the CACIWC membership. The vote was 7-0-0.
Chairman LaPlante shared correspondence from Wesleyan University – the design and building of a sukkah, a temporary Jewish ceremonial structure that’s erected every fall. This fall the studio is working with the Audubon Center at Bent of the River in Southbury, Connecticut to create an accessible bird blind and resting pavilion as part of a trails project currently underway at this sanctuary. This institute is inquiring as to whether Enfield has any projects they might be interested in.
Discussion followed about possible projects in Enfield – a river overlook, a seating area or deck at the Donald Barnes Boat Launch.
Chairman LaPlante suggested inviting a representative to a meeting to discuss this further.
Chairman LaPlante stated she also received information from “Conservation Options for Connecticut Farmlands” and she received the May/June edition of Connecticut Wildlife Magazine.
Commissioner Dynia spoke about a land swop along the Connecticut River. He noted DEP made no comment, and Governor Malloy ended up signing it. He explained the land was purchased through the State through a preservation program, and it was supposed to be deeded as conservation land. He noted the land overlooks the river. Commissioner Szewczak added the State bought those 17 acres for $1.3 million dollars. He noted a developer has some additional land further inland which consisted of 87 acres. He stated if the assessment of these two pieces of land have close assessments, then the land swop is a done deal. He noted the developer has a banquet facility adjacent to this particular piece of land, and he will expand his business into that area.
LIAISON REPORT – ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
Commissioner Szewczak stated there wasn’t an Economic Development Commission meeting.
LIAISON REPORT – ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
Commissioner Dynia stated the Scantic River Watershed met last night. He noted they may have a full moon paddle around September 9 or 10 - a Friday or Saturday night. He noted at that meeting they approved a plan about getting directors and officials insurance and also getting liability insurance to cover hikes and cleanups.
Commissioner Dynia stated there will be a stream walk, and they have tee-shirts available.
Chairman LaPlante stated the next meeting will take place September 13, 2011.
A motion was made by Commissioner George, seconded by Commissioner Dynia to adjourn. The vote was 7-0-0, and the meeting stood adjourned at 9:36 p.m.
Gretchen Pfeifer-Hall, Secretary