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March 14, 2007 Meeting Minutes
Natural Resources Preservation Committee
A subcommittee of the Conservation Commission/Inland Wetlands Watercourse Agency

Minutes - Regular Meeting                                                               March 14, 2007
Melrose Schoolhouse, Route 140                                                  7:00 p.m.

I.      Attendance:  J. O’Donnell, A. Grant, G. Grant, M. Kovalcek, J. Warren
II.     Call to Order: 7:07 p.m.
III.    Agenda Additions: Report regarding Finance Committee meeting of 2/21/07. The Proposed Plan of Diverse Open Space for the Town of East Windsor created by the NRPC was distributed to NRPC members first and then copied by the Planning Department and distributed to members of the Board of Finance.
        IV.     Approval of Minutes:
                No minutes from February 14 meeting, cancelled due to weather conditions.
        V.      Continued Business
                A.  Open Space Referendum
        Albert Grant and George Grant attended Finance committee meeting as scheduled 2/21/07 and reported on the response.  A joint meeting between BOS and BOF preceded so the BOF took NRPC first on their agenda. Chairman Paul Catino said that as a citizen he supports the need for open space conservation but from a finance standpoint he could not support a referendum for funds. The BOF also felt the voters would not support any increase in spending. The suggestion was made that a ballot item could be added to poll for support among townspeople without the referendum to bond monies. NRCP should perhaps apply to have a line item put in the budget specifically for open space funding and in the future it would be considered without referendum for bonding money.
                B.  Agriculture Viability Grant
        A. Grant spoke with Laurie Whitten, Town Planner, and she is gathering information about how the grant will be paid out and needs to be administered. She will present the information at the April meeting.    
                C.  Open Space Public Information Campaign      
        Members in attendance discussed what would be next in a campaign to educate the public and landowners regarding the benefits of open space and open space planning. All agreed to assess their own sources of public information so that at the April meeting we could discuss the best ways to begin the process of creating a public dialogue about open space. J. Warren said that CT Farmland Trust may be able to help with this process as part of the Agriculture Viability Grant. Laurie Whitten will be able to clarify further how CT FT will assist with that portion of the grant. Members agreed that NRPC needs a plan for informing the public about all open space needs, separate from the resources and the agenda of the grant. The April meeting will be about administration of the grant and members’ own public information experience.                              
        VI.     New Business:  None
        VII.    Adjournment was at 8:15 p.m.