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January 10, 2008 Meeting Minutes
Natural Resources Preservation Committee
A subcommittee of the Conservation Commission/Inland Wetlands Watercourse Agency

Minutes - Regular Meeting       ~ Approved                                              January 10, 2008
Held in Planning Office, Town Hall
NOT Melrose Schoolhouse, Route 140                                                      7:00 p.m.

I.      Attendance:   M. Kovalcek, J. O’Donnell, J. Strempfer, J. Warren, L. Whitten absent A. Grant, G. Grant, B. Smigiel
II.     Call to Order: 7:07 p.m.
III.    Agenda Additions
Consideration of sewer service avoidance areas
Membership Renewal      
IV.     Approval of Minutes:
                        Considered typed edits of Farmland Preservation Criteria in lieu of minutes
        V.      Continued Business
Agricultural Viability Grant
L. Whitten contacted the state, requested and received 6 month extension for completion of grant requirements. Extension needed because town received funding delayed two and NRPC meetings were not held due as scheduled to extenuating circumstances. Consultant received 25% money upfront to create GIS overlays and other work associated with defining agricultural uses of land in East Windsor and work is ongoing. NRPC reviewed maps in progress several months ago and the work is outstanding.
                490 list mailer: Planning Department received 15 returned questionnaire cards mailed to 490 land holders of approximately 200. L. Whitten will create list formatted so members may call landowners or send additional mailer to follow up on requested information regarding farmland use. The information gathered is critical to creating and adopting “farm-friendly” planning and zoning regulations.
                Farmland rating criteria:  Members reviewed latest draft if criteria, made changes and clarifications.
J. Warren will update document and send new version to members who will choose a sample of land to evaluate scoring method and bring their results to Feb. 13 meeting.
        VI.     New Business:  
Town government: A. Grant and J. Warren are coordinating schedules to meet with First Selectman Denise Menard. They will review the 2008 goals of NRPC, offer supporting documentation presented to Finance Board in 2008 with an emphasis on the urgency of conservation.
Public Education: Goals for public education were part of AVG (Agricultural Viability Grant) and in keeping with long-standing goals of NRPC. The cost of a mailing to every home will be calculated and use of grant funding for such a purpose will be reviewed. L. Whitten will contact CFT (CT Farm Bureau) because NRPC has completed the work required before they can work in an advisory capacity regarding public education specific to farmland. Committee agrees that once farmland criteria is established a timetable of actions that work toward a 2008 referendum or ballot question regarding open space will be enacted at once.
        VII.    Agenda Additions (taken out of order)
Sewer Exclusion work: Planning and Zoning is in the process of considering the sewer restriction avoidance areas outline by the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA). L. Whitten provided the map and an overview of the year-long work done by WPCA. The mapping is required by the state of CT Office of Policy and Management (OPM) and can impact and derail conservation efforts by limiting areas in which best management practices and “smart growth” could be used to cluster housing, create enterprise zones and leave more conserved open space. PZC would like state officials to attend February 12 regular meeting but that meeting would not be a public hearing. NRPC members discussed the impact of sewers on conservation overall (could restrict development and is that best?) and will track ongoing work done by other East Windsor committees, including CCIWWA.
OF NOTE: Maps of surrounding towns show a much higher percentage of SEWER ALLOWANCE areas that would make those towns more competitive in attracting business and industry to enterprise zones, increasing a commercial tax base to the direct benefit of individual property owners in those towns.
Membership renewal: the question of when terms are up was discussed. J. Warren will research and take action requesting for renewal by Board of Selectman if required.

Adjournment Motion to adjourn made by J.O, seconded by M.K., All in favor no discussion. Adjourned at 9:35. 1 ½ hours dedicated to AVG, remainder of time other business.