Conservation Reminds Council of Change in Town Forest Oversight

The Town Council spoke with Marge Badois, chairman of the Londonderry Conservation Commission, on Monday night regarding the spraying of the Town Forest.

Councilor Jim Butler, the Council’s representative to the Heritage Commission, brought the issue to the Council after learning from Kent Allen, a volunteer working on the Town Forest, that the Commission was no longer spraying the area against invasive plants.

Butler observed, “A lot of people in town don’t understand what is happening with the spraying.”

Badois responded that there had never been a contract with the sprayer, Swamp Inc. She said they entered into an agreement with Swamp Inc., to perform services in 2015, for $5,200.

“But there was no three-year contract,” she said. “There was no five-year contract.” There was a proposal on what the company could provide in 2016, but the Commission voted not to rehire Swamp Inc., she said.

Badois pointed out that at the March 2016 Town Meeting, the town voted to relieve Conservation of responsibility for the Town Forest. Article 12 on the March 2016 warrant asked voters to approve the transfer of all supervision, management duties and responsibilities of the Town Forest from the Commission to the Town Manager.

Article 12 read: “To authorize the transfer of all supervision, management duties and responsibilities of the land surrounding the Town Common and fronting on Mammoth Road and Pillsbury Road, which is sometimes referred to as the Town Forest, from the Conservation Commission to the Town Manager, with the advice and recommendations from the Historic District/Heritage Commission, Conservation Commission and Town Council. The Article has no tax rate impact. The Council and Budget Committee voted 5-0 each to recommend the Article.”

The article passed, 1,488 to 527.

Butler asked Badois, “Have you notified the Town Manager that you will not be spraying the Town Forest?”

“He was at the meeting” when it was voted, Badois responded.

No action was taken on the Town Forest.