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October 12, 2005 Minutes
Page 1 of 1


Date:           October 12, 2005

Location:       Melrose School House, Route 140

I.      Attendance
A.      Members Present:  George Grant (Chairman), Mike Kovalcek, Barbara Smigiel, Doug Wilson (Substitute Secretary), Albert Grant, Jim O’Donnell
B.      Members Absent:  Linda Kehoe (Secretary)
C.      Guests:  None
II.     Call to Order
A.      G. Grant found that a quorum was present and called the meeting to order at 7:46 PM.
III.    Meeting Minutes
A.      Motion by B. Smigiel:  To accept meeting minutes as corrected.  Motion passed with one abstention.
IV.     Unfinished Business
A.      Membership Recruitment
1.      Motion by A. Grant:  To request that the Conservation Commission create two (2) alternate positions on the NRPC.  Discussion:  alternates would be able to fill in for the regular members, G. Grant to approach L. Kehoe about the positions. Motion passed all in favor.
B.      Bonding for Open Space
1.      Point of Information by J. O’Donnell:  What information did the BOF need regarding the bonding referendum?  Discussion:  G. Grant reported that the BOF needs specific information on the bonding cost; the BOS will need to bring the information to the BOF; can the NRPC bring the information to the BOF…; appears better to let the BOF know about our efforts; need to know the correct approach; how to get something on the BOF agenda; should we ask the BOS about going to the BOF
2.      Motion by G. Grant:  To bring the bonding question to a town meeting in the next few months.  Discussion:  how would it work to have the $5M bonding authorized?; reminder that this is only for bonding authorization; similar systems have been implemented in Glastonbury, Tolland and Suffield; general guidelines about how the bonding works would be useful – when monies would be allotted, when bonded, at what cost.  Motion passed all in favor.
3.      Motion by B. Smigiel:  To put together an informational package for the BOF and designate two members to prepare the package and present to BOF.  Discussion:  Better to do a complex version for the BOF first; must outline the cost of impact of development.  Motion passed all in favor.
4.      Appointments for informational package:  A. Grant & G. Grant volunteered.  G. Grant to get information from the Town’s bonding consultant.  D. Wilson offered to help with an electronic presentation once information is gathered.
C.      Marketing
1.      G. Grant reported that the TPL has not yet returned his call.
2.      Point of Information by A. Grant: is it possible to arrange speakers or organizations to come in and help educate people in town about open space issues?  BS has a list of organizations & will start to put a presentation together
3.      Motion by D. Wilson Amended by B. Smigiel:  To set a program coordinator who will attempt to set a calendar of speakers.  Discussion:  speaker should be included in the meeting agenda; concern about lead time; how does meeting time work?  Possible structure:  organizational meeting, then a speaker with Q&A, close meeting, possible refreshments; possible tentative agenda for the year – then fit the speakers into the agenda.  Amended motion passed all in favor.
4.      G. Grant appointed B. Smigiel as program coordinator.
D.      Open Space Plan
1.      D. Wilson reported that he now has the use of a laptop computer that can be used to bring an interactive open space map to the group, which will make it easier to meet with members of the group and add data to the plan; CAD abilities illustrated as well as ways to help set criteria for different natural resources
2.      D. Wilson distributed copies of:  the book “Town Farmland Preservation” (copies courtesy L. Whitten), a flier for an open space parcel in Willington, and the DEP Scantic River Park Plan.
3.      Discussion:  should open space plan be based on criteria or should individual properties be identified as priority open space parcels?  B. Smigiel noted that criteria buffers seem to be effective (i.e. 100 feet from a wetland); G. Grant expressed concern about identifying individual properties – owners may feel targeted by the Town; D. Wilson offered that the BOS and PZC need simple, concrete map that can be used to make open space acquisition or development review decisions; further study appears warranted
E.      Revisions to P&Z regulations
1.      D. Wilson reported that L. Whitten does not have draft regulations available for review at this time.  L.Whitten will make copies for the NRPC when they are available.  The PZC has set a meeting for October 24 to define the duties of the outside consultant.
2.      Discussion:  ways to accelerate the review of the revised regulations?  Possible:  to review regulations of other Towns; D. Wilson may be able to borrow regulations for NRPC uses from employer
F.      Terrace Escarpment Seminar
1.      D. Wilson reported that the NCCS provided GIS data for escarpments which can be added to the open space plan; escarpments should be considered as an important natural resource in our protection plans.
V.      New  Business
A.      NRPC involvement in the development review process
1.      Discussion:  ways to bring the review of development applications to the NRPC to increase the thoroughness of review; need to determine how to get the NRPC into the process.
VI.     Adjournment
A.      Motion by M. Kovalcek  to adjourn the meeting.  Motion passed all in favor.
B.      Meeting closed at 10:07 PM