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Conservation Commission

Minutes - May 10, 2017 (Draft, subject to correction)

 

Members present: Larry Libby, Chair; Anne LaBossiere, Larissa Thomas, Linda Penkalski,  Doug Stewart

Alternate/s present: Jeff Cosulich

Alternate/s absent: Mike Jordan

Others in attendance: Carol Korty, Kerry Diskin and Antonio Blasi

Meeting was convened at the Lamoine Town Hall by Chairman Libby at 7:00 p.m.

Topics Discussed:

Commission Membership: Larry Libby informed the group that he will be stepping down from the LCC at the end of his second term on June 30, 2017. Libby's departure will also require a person to be designated as the chair as of July 1. The commission will meet before June 30th to select its new chair. Anne LaBossiere will not be continuing on the commission as of June 30. This creates two openings. There was discussion re: the process followed to obtain new members. Typically, alternate members are given the option to put their name forward for consideration to move to member status. Members were asked to reach out to people who might be interested in submitting their names for consideration to fill these vacancies.

Over the last six years, the minutes have been taken by Anne LaBossiere or Linda Penkalski. Linda mentioned she is willing to take them on five occasions but not every month. It was suggested that members rotate this task on a monthly basis after June 30th. There is not an official secretary position so this plan seems as though it merits a try.

Updates on the planned visit to the Hancock Community Gardens:

This visit will take place at 4:00 p.m. , on Wed. May 31st. More detailed information will be sent out via the town's e-mail and Facebook. It is expected that the length of this visit will be about an hour. Anne LaBossiere attended the Gardener's Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 7th. It was held on the site of the garden. Very interesting to be able to see how the group operates and to learn of the many spin offs that happen as a result of these gardens. Among them is the production of food on plots managed by a group of master gardeners which resulted in the donation of more than one and a half tons of produce to Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in 2016. The area which surrounds the fenced in gardens provides opportunities to pick blueberries, enjoy some town gatherings such as ball games, picnics  and access to hikes. LaBossiere explained to the May 7th attendees that Lamoine does not have the land or group of people yet to create a community garden. The upcoming garden visit on May 31st may plant a seed and generate an interest in keeping the concept of a public garden in mind as future planning unrolls in Lamoine re: creating community centers. There are many ways to do public gardens. In addition to suitable land, present or future access to fresh water on site is a requirement.

Michael J. Good public presentation on June 14:

Following discussion about whether to hold this presentation at the Lamoine School or at the town hall, it was decided that the school provided the best situation. Larry will check with Stu to see if the town still has someone who could videotape this presentation for later sharing over the town's website. Larissa has created a poster. Doug will make about ten copies of it to be placed at the usual spots for the public's information. Linda will post at the school and store. Larissa will post at the transfer station with Larry posting at the Ellsworth YMCA. The poster will also be given to Stu for posting on the town's website. Information about the presentation will also be given to Stu to put out via the town's e-mail.

Assignments for refreshments:

Doug...........................coffee pot, coffee, sugar and cream/milk

Linda...........................a baked goodie and juice

Jeff …..........................pretzels

Larry............................cups

Larissa..........................tea and pot to heat the water for the tea

Anne.............................nuts

Maine Coastal Communities Proposal:

Larissa Thomas had prepared a prospectus last month that we might consider submitting for consideration by the Coastal Communities Grant Program of the Maine Coastal Program, a division of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The deadline for the application was April 28, 2017. Prior to doing that, we realized that we needed to bring this matter to the select board for their consideration. This was not done because it was learned that eligibility for this grant required that an applying town have an up to date and approved comprehensive plan. Lamoine's Comprehensive Plan Committee is hard at work but realistically does not expect to have received the State of Maine's approval of the completed plan to occur until after next year's date for a grant to be submitted to the aforementioned program. That led us to consider the possibility of pairing with an abutting community which has an approved comprehension plan and would be willing to work on this grant with us. This idea would also have needed approval by the Lamoine Select Board as an initial step.

Antonio Blasi joined the meeting at its mid-point. Larissa Thomas gave Blasi a thumbnail sketch of the prospectus she had developed and its current status. The commission raised some questions to Blasi re: our wondering if the Town of Hancock would ever be interested in partnering with Lamoine on addressing mutual areas of environmental concern. Blasi shared that he had just been elected to the Town of Hancock's Planning Board. After receiving our congratulations, he went on to say that he personally feels that this might be a possibility in the future. He also said that Hancock's Comprehensive Plan has expired, too, and he was going to suggest to Hancock's Planning Board that it might be of value for them to learn more about the process followed by the Lamoine Comprehensive Plan Committee.

Thomas mentioned that she has had phone conversations with some members of Lamoine's Comprehensive Plan Committee about some of the areas covered in her prospectus. She said that the people she spoke with said they might have some interest in incorporating some of these. The LCC felt that this collaboration with the Comprehensive Plan Committee might help lay the groundwork for the LCC to build on in its future explorations re: applying for grant monies. It was further decided that it would make the most sense for the LCC to wait for Lamoine's Comprehensive plan to be approved by the State of Maine and examine our options at that point re: what and how to pursue in the line of grants to help us work in areas relevant to our charge. The need to consult with the Lamoine Select Board was noted as required before submitting any grant application.

Update on Pinkham Park: Larry explained that this donation of a parcel of land, a small part of tax map lot 29, is still in process. Fred Stocking has drafted a letter for Erva Pinkham to review, sign and present her offer of this land to the town to be used as a picnic area. If the town opts to select this parcel, it would fall under the jurisdiction of the Lamoine Parks Commission which is chaired by Cathleen Goebel.

Samoset Conference on Recycling: Doug Stewart gave us a great overview of some of the sessions he attended. These included the “Table Sharing Program” which has been encouraged by the USDA as one means to address the waste of food. This involves designating a communal table in school cafeterias where students may put food that they don't want out for the taking of others. Apparently, this is not legal in Maine. A few Maine towns have laws re: single use bags but no specifics were presented.

He also mentioned the “Maine Gleaning Initiative” which involves finding a way to get the food that hasn't been harvested out into the food chain. This group is most active in Southern Maine. Some Hannaford stores have set up a “seconds table.”

This is Maine Compost Week. Some communities of greater size than Lamoine have set up composting bins at their transfer stations. “Echo Maine” and the University of Maine also offer information in the area of cutting back on food waste and on how to compost. Doug said that there are a lot of things out there and people willing to help. On that note, it was mentioned that it might be worthwhile for Doug to contact the Lamoine School to assess if there might be interest in composting, gardening as a part of the school's programs.

Future Public Presentations: It was suggested that a public meeting with a program presented by Aaron Dority of Frenchman Bay Conservancy might be offered in September. Another topic of interest for future public presentation would be to contact Tora Johnson at the University of Maine at Machias to see if she would be willing to do her talk on the effects of climate change. Apparently, part of her presentation includes displaying mapping done of these effects in our state thus far.

Other: Carol Korty announced that Hal Bourne, a geologist, will do a presentation on Wed. June 7th at the Lamoine Town Hall which will begin at 7:00 p.m. This program will feature the “Geology of the Lamoine Peninsula” and is being sponsored by The Friends of Lamoine.

Motions and Outcomes: A motion was made, seconded and passed to approve the minutes of the April 12 meeting as disseminated.

Follow-up Actions and Who Will Do Them: 

  1. Larry will submit dates for our perusal to select a date for the meeting whose purpose is to elect a chairman of the Lamoine Conservation Commission.
  1. Larry will check with Stu to see if there is a person available to videotape the June 14 public meeting. Larissa said she and Brian could do taping if no town employee available.
  1. Larissa will be giving Stu the poster re: the June 14 public meeting to put on the town's website and/or face book. He will also be given some info to send out via the town's e-mail.
  1. Linda will write up a brief statement to give the Ellsworth American re: the June 14 meeting.
  1. Doug will make copies of the poster for the public meeting and leave them in LCC mailbox for “poster posters” to pick up.
  1. Doug will also check with the Lamoine School about the possibility of its participation in a composting and gardening program.
  1. Anne will send Stu information to send out via the town's e-mail and to post on its facebook page to promote the May 31st garden visit.
  1. Anne will represent LCC at the Thursday, May 18th Select Board meeting for the chairs, department heads of the town's various committees.
  1. Larissa will contact Aaron Dority at FBC to see if he is available to speak at a public presentation in September.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 pm.

Minutes taken by Anne LaBossiere and approved on _______________________.