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December 8, 2003
Chichester Conservation Commission
12/08/03 Meeting Minutes
7:00, Chichester Grange Hall

Present:  Jeff Andrews, Gordon Jones, Bob Mann, Walter Sanborn, and Deb Soule   

Minutes from last month were unanimously approved.

Noteworthy mail consisted of a letter from the Chichester Fire Rescue in support of 2 accesses to a development for safety purposes (relating to the proposed Connemara Drive subdivision) and a Wetlands Bureau letter regarding the same issue.

Land Protection Subcommittee (LPS)
The LPS met the previous Monday. It was agreed that the books and other references currently owned by the commission would be maintained as a lending library by the LPS. The LPS will send out letters at the end of this month to interested landowners (from the Dijit Taylor presentation in November) inviting further participation. The group will also pursue other funding sources for purchasing easements and land.  

Barbara Frangione’s land donation to school district
Nothing new on this topic.

Obtaining greater land use change tax proceeds
Bob and Walter stated that the remaining 50% of the land use change tax proceeds are supposed to be voted on at town meeting to determine how they should be used. If nothing is voted on, the money goes into the general fund.  Bob sent a memo to the Selectmen to ask for the 50% the commission receives for a conservation fund as agreed by the town during a past town meeting.  After much discussion on whether this was a good year to ask for more of the proceeds (given the economy and town reassessment (tax bills)), Bob motioned for the commission to discuss with the Selectmen the idea of increasing the current proceeds to the conservation fund from 50% to 75%. If the Selectmen are in favor, the commission will ask for a warrant article to the same effect.  Bob will see if the commission can meet with the Selectmen next week.

Sanborn Cray Conservation Area access project
Currently this plan is on hold – awaiting the outcome of the possible town purchase of the adjacent Shaw lot, which is adjacent to it. This lot would provide better access.  Jeff will speak to the Shaws about a purchase price.

Master Plan Update
Bob created a draft natural resource section for the master plan update.  Walter will take the final version to the committee for inclusion in the next plan. The next meeting of the committee is December 17th. Preliminary results from the master plan survey were discussed. The responses clearly indicated the desire by the town to maintain the rural character of the town.

Scenic Roads – Blackman Property
Bob and Walter researched Scenic roads and found section 231:157-8. Jeff spoke to the Blackmans about their concerns for this road and will discuss them with the Selectmen.

Goals for CCC
The goals were reviewed to see what progress has been made:
1) Baseline water quality monitoring of Marsh Pond.
Deb stated that we are signed up with the Volunteer Lake Assessment Program (VLAP) offered by NHDES and will receive training in the spring.
2) Coordinating with the Planning Board on environmentally related rules.
The group agreed to look into aquifer protection. Deb will arrange for a presentation by the source water protection program at the next meeting.
3) Seeking funds for purchasing (or gaining donations of) conservation land and/or easements.
        The land protection subcommittee is actively working on this goal.
4) Coordinating with the Master Plan Committee on the natural resource section of the Master Plan.
        This is in process.
5) Beginning the process of designating prime wetlands.
Deb will arrange for a presentation on this topic by a Wetlands Board representative at the February 2004 CCC meeting.
6) Developing the CCC’s section of the capital improvement program.
        Jeff drafted a letter and the group reviewed it during the meeting.
7) Implementing the Sanborn Cray Conservation Area management plan.
Currently the group is waiting to see if the town will purchase the adjacent Shaw lot, which would provide better access to this lot.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:15.

Upcoming Meetings
01/05 @ 7:00 in Selectmen’s conference room– Land Protection Subcommittee

01/12 @ 7:00 in Selectmen’s conference room – Regular CCC meeting including source water protection presentation by Sarah Pillsbury – NHDES Water Supply Engineering Bureau

02/02 @ 7:00 in Selectmen’s conference room– Land Protection Subcommittee

02/09 @ 7:00 in Selectmen’s conference room – Regular CCC meeting including presentation on designating prime wetlands by Sandy Crystall – NHDES Wetlands Bureau

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15 PM.

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