At the previous meeting for the Conservation Commission, it was agreed upon to create pull-in parking spaces at the conservation area, so cars can be seen from the road. If cars can be seen from the road, it may deter the devious behavior that has been upsetting residents in the area. This was agreed upon by both Conservation and the neighbors of Kendall Pond. New site plans have been approved for the area by the Director of Public Works, but were met with concerns by the Conservation Commission. In the new plans, the only way to enter the new cleared area will be through the existing driveway.
Town officials also recommended the idea of revisiting the stationary gate idea or replacing the logs that are currently in the parking lot. Also part of the project is the Conservation Commission allocating $2500 for this project, which some members are still unsure about. Since the police department has gotten involved on numerous occasions, some members of the Commission feel that this is a town/crime related issue and not a conservation one. The Public Works Department may also have a say in this, because of the physical changes that may have to be made going forward.
Chairman for the Commission Marge Badois said that having more visible parking from the road may help people to see that there is an area for residents to enjoy. Although this new parking lot’s goal is to deter crime from taking place, it may also be a help to attract more people to the area if it is more visible from the road.
Commission members agreed that they do not want to set a precedent of being responsible for funding crime prevention. In an extreme situation or the crime in area continues/gets worse, the town has the authority to shut the conservation area down completely. Multiple town organizations have expressed that this is the last thing they want to see happen including the Town Council, Conservation Commission, and the neighbors of the Kendall Pond conservation area. Only time will tell in which direction the town and Conservation Commission will choose to go and who will pay for the new installation of the parking area. The Commission agreed that if the new parking area draws more people to the site, they will have no problem paying the money for the project. If this is determined to be a policing issue, however, then more discussions will have to take place in order to find out who should be responsible for paying the bill.