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Watertown Conservation Commission

Lower Hearing Room

Wednesday, January 7, 2009



Conservation Commission Members Present: Pallotta McDermott, Martin, Bering, Rose, Taverna


Staff Present: Magoon, Collins


Members of the Public Present:  See Sign-In Form



1.                  Public Hearing ? NOI - 175 N. Beacon Street, to initiate an Aquatic Restoration Program at a small pond, Perkins School for the Blind, owner; Rich Falzone, applicant; Aquatic Control Technology, Inc, representative.


Marc Bellaud, Senior Biologist for Aquatic Control Technology, Inc and representative for the applicant, reported on the proposed pond restoration at Perkins School for the Blind.  The pond, presently, is overgrown with tree growth and button bush and is surrounded by a chain link fence.  He noted that Aquatic Control Technology has been hired to remove the growth so that ultimately access can be gained to the pond.  The project proposes to remove shoreline overgrowth of button bush and remove aquatic vegetation and organic debris with a hydro rake.  According to Bellaud, this method is effective to restore open water.  Bellaud noted that the raked button bush material will be allowed to drain along the shore and then composted at the Perkins compost area located along North Beacon Street.


A Master Plan is being prepared by VHB for extensive restoration for the pond are which will be presented in a future NOI.


The hydro raking is expected to take place in February or March before peak ground maintenance season.


Pallotta McDermott inquired about button bush.  Bellaud stated that it is a plant that creeps out and over takes 2?-3? depth ponds.  He said that the removal method proposed is a long term one which is effective for approximately 10 years.


Pallotta McDermott noted that button bush is a good food source for duck wild life.

Pallotta McDermott commented on the ugly fence surrounding the pond and was concerned about the safety and protection of the children at the Perkins School during the project.


Ric Falzone responded that the safety concern is a factor.  He reported that Perkins School wants to proceed to rake the pond to be ready for the Master Plan.  The Master Plan will propose restoring the pond area into a boating, ice-skating, smell sensation and quiet area resource.  The Master Plan will be developed with private funding.  Presently the pond is hard to find because of overgrowth.  Martin concurred.


Pallotta McDermott inquired when will theVHB Master Plan be ready.  Falzone said in spring, implementation is dependent on successful fundraising.


Bering inquired about the Maintenance Plan.  Bellaud reported that there is none since it is a one-time activity.  Pallotta McDermott inquired why the NOI was for multi years.  Bellaud explained that the time period is standard for Order of Condition period and as a contingency if the project is unable to proceed.


Bering inquired if there was a lot of drainage expected.  Bellaud did not expect so.


Martin inquired what drained into the pond.  Falzone noted that an overflow pipe and roof  runoff drains into the pond.  He noted that an 18? pipe needed repairs. 


Rose inquired if the pond was a man made pond.  Bellaud said yes.  He believed it was an enhanced flood plain area.


Taverna inquired how the hydro rake will be transported to the site.  Bellaud said that it would be brought to the site in a trailer and that it floats in the area with paddle wheels powered by diesel oil.  The hydro rake has different size rakes that take out ¼ to 1/8 yard of material.


Taverna inquired if there was risk of the hydro-rake?s diesel oil getting into the pond.  Bellaud said that they are prepared with spill booms and soaking pads on side.


Bellaud indicated that the debris material would be taken to the school composting facility located at the NW corner of the property along North Beacon.  The dewatered material will consist of woody, leaf material debris that will be separated and place in a tub along the shore.  They will not stockpile by the pond.  Only the dewatering will take place at the edge.


Pallotta McDermott inquired about the long-term management plan.  Bellaud indicated that a long term management plan will be part of a future NOI.


Steve Magoon submitted an Agent?s Report, on behalf of Hayward, dated 1/7/2009 with questions about the project (attached).  CC members felt that the questions raised by Hayward were answered in the presentation.


2.                  December Minutes ? Approved.



3.                  Old Business



Update status

Whitney Hill Report

Magoon reported that he spoke with Pallotta McDermott and Hayward about proceeding with the conservation designation to TC for consideration.  Hayward and Magoon will craft the request to be placed on TC agenda.  K&P should record the existing survey of the site.  If it does not exist, CC funds could be used for the survey.

Recycling Center/Filippello Park

Pallotta McDermott research further the issue of the relocation of  the recycling center.

Stormwater Management Standards

Rose & Hammett presented at the TC?s DPW Subcommittee to discuss the establishment of a SWAC.  Item was tabled until the January meeting. If the SWAC is approved, Rose will provide Ordinance samples for DPW. Rose reported that new Draft rules are pending for large developments.

Gore Estate

TC discussed item in Executive Session in December 2006.  No update. 

Rules and Regulations

Hammett submitted scope of services she could provide to update the rules and regulations. Staff to develop a MOU stating hourly rate, timeline, and begin/end date for signatures.

Rivers Protection Act

Options are 1) to hire a consultant to id areas under the RPA, 2) for Rose to assist in identifying the RPA areas using existing Town technology and data. Hayward to contact the PB about the RPA and its possible impact in their review process.


Pallotta submitted a letter to the new commissioner at DCR regarding the CC position and history on the GSA site.



4.                  New Business


State Funding for Open Space


Members discussed possible grant ideas for funding ? the purchase of land to relocate the recycling center off Filippello Park, the purchase of Sawins Pond.  Bering will pursue for more information.  Members are to e-mail comments and ideas to Pallotta McDermott.


Vote:  Bering moved to pursue a grant for Open Space.  Martin seconded the motion.  The motion was unanimously approved.


$12,000 in Arsenal Park Account


$12,000 remains from $15,000 from donations for Arsenal Park. Pallotta McDermott suggested that the monies could be used for landscaping, upkeep, maintenance and beautification.  She proposed a discussion for the allocation of funds.


5.                  OOC for 175 N. Beacon Street ? Perkins School Pond


Special Conditions:

·                    Dewatered cuttings produced from the hydro raking shall be taken to the Perkins School?s composting site located at the north west corner of the property along N. Beacon Street.

·                    All protection precautions will be available on site and taken to prevent vegetable diesel fuel spillage from the hydro rake.


18b, d Erosion controls, consistent with USDA Soil Conservation Service

Guidelines, and as detailed on a plan to be submitted to the Conservation Agent, e, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 36, 39, 40, 41a, 41b


Magoon announced that Collins had been promoted to Senior Planner.  Pallotta McDermott expressed appreciation for her services. 


Meeting adjourned at 9:05pm.