The Conservation Commission has decided that despite the Town’s preference for flat budgeting, the board wanted to develop a budget supporting its request for an increase.
The primary need for an increase stems from the town’s request for more Commission monitoring of properties, and the certified letter and associated expenses that are incurred when encroachments are monitored and people are be notified. In addition, they said that having Commission-owned GPS (Global Positioning System) equipment is needed, as presently the people doing the monitoring are using their personal equipment. The Commission expressed the sense that it should have appropriate equipment to ensure doing the job right.
The Commission also wants to discuss with Town Manager Kevin Smith the creation of a ranger position that would require additional budget funding. It was suggested that a sub-committee should be considered to work on the position and the overall commission budget proposal. Member Mike Speltz will speak to Smith about the position.
In other business at the Tuesday, July 26 meeting:
• Chairman Marge Badois asked if Speltz and Julie Christenson-Collins had gone and checked on the Nevins hazardous trees. At the June 28 Commission meeting, as reported previously by the Tri-Town Times, the Commission had been given a Bartlett Tree Company report on seven allegedly hazardous trees at The Nevins, and had voted unanimously to authorize Speltz and Christenson-Collins to visit The Nevins the next day to look at the trees and act on behalf of the Commission regarding a decision to allow the homeowner to fell them.
Speltz had pointed out that if the commission is to allow them to take down one tree, it would make sense to allow all seven to be cut down if they met the hazardous level Bartlett identified. The trees would be cut down in the buffer zone, with nothing removed from the property.
Speltz said they had made the visit, and the seven identified trees were indeed hazardous and needed to be taken down. He said the definition of a hazardous tree is twofold: the tree is structurally unsound and is a threat to life or property.
• Member Mike Noone discussed Conservation property monitoring, and said there has been an illegal encroachment on the Cooper property.
He and member Mike Byerly have been surveying and monitoring the Musquash with respect to where ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) are entering the property and to determine where gates could be installed to prevent this encroachment.
Byerly said they had covered about 50 percent of the Musquash boundary but need to complete the work before it can be determined where gates should go.
• Badois said the Commission was contacted by the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions (NHACC)to see if it would be interested in a partnership between local schools and the Conservation Commission.
The NHACC received a grant from the Horne Family Foundation to be used for a conservation and school partnership program, and is seeking to match up conservation commissions in the Merrimack Valley with local schools.
The grant provides money for a commission to identify a conservation project and then work with a local school to implement the project.
The Commission decided that Speltz would contact the Londonderry School District Curriculum Director and seek guidance about what person to contact to see if there would be any interest in the project.
• The Commission discussed a sample logo provided by Badois. The push for a new logo was new signage, but the Commission members were unenthusiastic about accepted the first suggested design. They also wanted a logo that could be used as a letterhead as well as on a sign.
After discussing the proposed logo, the board authorized Badois to seek three to five more potential logo designs from a source she had identified, where for $5, people respond to a request for a logo design.
• Badois asked if anyone knew why turtle signs have not been posted on South Road. She said two turtle signs are up on Hall Road but none appear posted on South Road. She asked that the Planning Department Office be checked for the signs and arrangements made to get them posted.
• The Commission is planning a paddle event at Scobie Pond on Aug. 13. Byerly said he plans to have people register in advance, primarily so they can have kayaks available if needed. The event will take place between 9 a.m. and noon. The event replaced a Conservation walk in August.