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Lamoine Conservation Commission Minutes August 10, 2005 - (Draft, Subject to Change)

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 .

Present: Carol Korty, Tom Spruce, Fred Stocking, Lynda Tadema-Wielandt, Donna Theall, and alternates Bob Pulver and Donna Thorburn.

Also present: Dexter Bellows, Willem Brutsaert, Mike Garrett, Ken Smith

The meeting was broadcast over closed circuit cable

Fred Stocking, Chair, suggested we go directly to item 3, Freshwater Initiative

•  Freshwater Initiative – Review of Presentation. The turnout was great. The presentation was very well attended. Fred Stocking believes that Tom Walsh's article in the Ellsworth American was accurate, although not necessarily positive. A lot of information was given, now we need to decide what we will do with it. Fred mentioned that John Peckenham would like to have continuing assessments of wells next year as well.

John Wuorinen wants to hear more about the percentage of 1) surface area covered by gravel pits in Lamoine. Did the report include in its percentage potential areas that could be developed for gravel extraction. It stated that 26% of the ground above the aquifer is being mined; and 2) we might consider having “No salt” areas for Lamoine's roads to protect our watershed.

Carol Korty urged the Planning Board to stipulate that all new applications for extraction include a requirement for a water measurement at the time of application, and the applicant be held to that level during the entire three years of the permit. Otherwise, as the surface is lowered, the water table will also go down. Simply maintaining a 5' cover of gravel above the water is inadequate, as the water table tends to lower as the surface gravel is removed. Gravel pit operators hire hydrogeologists to take these measurements, and the Planning Board ought to hire its own. This would prevent any danger of the pits being excavated below the water table as it continues to drop. Suggests that we strengthen our ordinances to match the State's.

Blunt's Pond mining should stop now. Operator Gooding just received another three year renewal. John Wuorinen mentioned that Blunt's Pond used to cover 65 acres. It now covers 10 acres.

Fred mentioned that our grants require that we move forward. So our obligations are not done. What can we responsibly do to make use of what we've learned to advance public policy? The Maine Community Foundation, which gave us a grant for the study, specifically states that we must work together with Hancock and Ellsworth.

Fred Stocking introduced Dexter Bellows who is the Chair of the Selectmen from Hancock. He said Hancock had established an Aquifer Protection Overlay Zone. The Town identified gravel extraction areas on the aquifer and 300' within the boundaries. Uses permitted are residential, commercial, industrial and exist independently of the aquifer overlay. They do have an industrial zone on the aquifer – Washington Junction, and pre-existing commercial areas along Rte. 1.

Activity along the Aquifer Protection Overlay Zone requires Planning Board involvement and a groundwater impact analysis – e.g., a print shop or gas station. Ron or Ruth Franzius, Chair and Secretary of the Hancock Planning Board, can tell us if they have rejected any applications.

Technical reviews, when the Planning Board deems them necessary, are paid for by the applicant. The technical person is selected by the Planning Board and reports to the Planning Board. This review requirement has been used on occasion.

Hancock has no water company. Some sources are considered public. Hancock Heights Trailer Park is on the aquifer and pumps water from the aquifer for all the trailers. Also on the aquifer are White Birches Motel and golf course.

Willem Brutsaert suggests that it would be very valuable to establish a base figure. It would be good to know the water quality over time of a one acre lot residence in a relatively congested development. He asked if there was an area in Lamoine that had an established development of one acre lots. Perhaps we could obtain information, if possible, from homeowners regarding well water analyses over a period of time.

John Wuorinen said that living material on the surface up to a depth of 18” provides a filter for acid rain and other unmentionables; therefore, restoration quality of the gravel pits is very important.

Mike Garrett said the Lamoine Planning Board was working on a glossary to define language of restoration requirements, among others. He said it would include State language that requires a detailed plan for restoration of gravel pits. Carol Korty asked if trees are required or only grass. Mike said trees are not required in the existing restoration plan.

The CEO visits once a year to check the water table, not for reclamation inspection.

Fred Stocking mentioned that the abandoned pits need to be reclaimed and was told that Lamoine has 5 or 6 abandoned pits that need to be restored.

John Peckenham and his crew plan to do follow-up water testing. Perhaps the University would fund it. Hancock was asked if they wanted to participate, and Dexter said he would have to check with the Selectmen.

Willem Brutsaert was asked for suggestions. It would be helpful to have past data, which the State may have on shallow water pits. Hancock has an area called Settler's Landing for which they may be data on water quality.

Dexter gave the LCC a map of Hancock with the Aquifer Protection Overlay Zone and Hancock's ordinances. Fred will look at these to see if Lamoine can establish the same protections.

Cold Spring may be a good source of data as they have been monitored for many years. John Holt is the president. Bob Pulver to inquire.

The Commission decided to continue work on the Freshwater Initiative on several fronts:

•  Get the history of gravel pits in Lamoine.

•  Review existing body of documents that may yield water testing data.

•  Locate information on tests performed when landfill was capped.

•  Work on funding follow-up testing of wells.

•  Perform one-acre zoning review.

•  Continue relationship with Hancock and Ellsworth.

•  Listening to concerns of those attending. There were none.

•  Planning Board and Selectfolk concerns. There were none.

•  Report of the Recycling Committee. No report was available.

•  Planning September “Trash Talk III.” It will be held during our regular meeting on September 14. Donna Theall will prepare a write-up on the upcoming talk presented by Victor Horton.

2. Minutes of the May 11 meeting were read by Fred Stocking. Voted on and approved as corrected, 5 to 0.

A brief meeting will take place on August 23rd at 4p.m to vote on expenditure of grant monies before the end of the month. A quorum was requested and obtained. A full working session was requested on August 30 th in order to meet with Rod and Ruth Franzius from Hancock and Michele Gagnon from Ellsworth to discuss how our towns can cooperate to protect our aquifer.

The meeting adjourned at 8:52 .

Reviewed and accepted by the Lamoine Conservation Commission on ________________ by a vote of ____ to ____.

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Fred Stocking, Chair