Regular Meeting, Thursday, March 23, 2023, at 6:30 PM
Remote Participation ONLY
Meeting ID: 781 449 0827 Passcode: 123
You can dial in using your phone: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
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Attendees: Stephan Chait (Chair; SC), Lesley Pollitt (Treasurer; LP), Dov Towler (Member; DT), Mary Horne (Member; MH), Laurel Copeland (Clerk; LC), Linda Huebner (guest, LH) , Sue Kelly (guest, SK).
Unable to attend:
CALL TO ORDER at 6:31 pm
CHANGES AND/OR ADDITIONS TO AGENDA – add Saturday’s community meeting.
APPROVAL OF PREVIOUS MEETING MINUTES
Regular Meeting Minutes of March 2, 2023 were approved.
Conservation Commission Membership
SC and LC were reappointed by the Select Board on 3/21/2023.
Election of Treasurer – LP was nominated and unanimously elected.
Community meeting 3/25/203
The Select Board is holding a Community Meeting about how to use ARPA funds – $40,000 have been committed to DVfiber and $15,000 to window replacement in town office; another $190,000 are available to allocate. LP wondered if some flow-control devices could be funded. Another idea was recreating the open learning space for the school (Sandy Pentak-Cohen). LC will propose new solar system for backup power at the Community Hall; SC suggested a new well at the Hall.
Funding for Ash Trees – State and Town funds
SK’s grant proposal to help remove roadside ash trees has been funded by the State of Vermont, Dept Forest Parks & Recreation with UVM Extension “Caring For Canopy” program and the townspeople voted to put up the matching funds. The line item for the $5,000 passed on a floor vote at Town Meeting. SK met with 2 arborists and 1 (ArborClimb, Jonathan Royce) will start in about 3 weeks, starting on Collins Road. Town funds will be here July 1st. SK will talk with the 3 landowners. Chipped wood will be delivered to the Highway Department. Landowners can burn ash firewood but not sell it to another town (to reduce the spread of EAB).
JB had asked 03/02/’23 whether any of the recent treefalls (e.g., on Stark Mtn Rd) were ash trees. SK reported that she found white pine branches down but no ash trees. LP asked for clarification on the choice of Collins Road. SK explained that the most-traveled roads (Collins, Branch, and Brook) were first priority, and the largest clusters of trees (for efficiency).
Why You Should Care About Invasive Plants in Halifax. Our 6 invasive terrestrial plants are Asiatic Bittersweet, Barberry, Buckthorn, Japanese Knotweed, Phragmites, Wild (Poison) Parsnip.
Response to posting the flyer on Invasive Buckthorn – none so far. Maybe add a place to add a checkmark if you read it.
Next Steps. Leave a few at Town Office. We could take some to Saturday’s meeting. Find out if we can distribute them to the school. A mailing is possible (c. $500) funded by any who wish to donate; DT volunteered; we could put 3 2-sided flyers in one envelope with a cover letter.
Discussion of Trapping and Conservation Commission Outreach – A summary of a senate meeting was presented: Senate Resources heard invited speakers this morning. Kim Royer (Vt Fish & Wildlife) spoke at length. Protect Our Wildlife (POW) made the closing statement. Sen. McCormick expressed frustration with the VF&W agency regarding best practices for trapping. The Commission discussed concerns that our state representative has voiced pro-trapping sentiments, seemingly at odds with the majority of their constituents.
Letter of Support for BEEC Proposal entitled Beavers in Halifax and Westminster VT
– sent to LH and Patti Smith. BEEC will be working on the related grant proposal soon. LH feels optimistic that this foundation will want to fund the project.
OTHER BUSINESS – None.
HEARING OF VISITORS – None.
ADJOURNMENT at 7:25 pm.