04/22/2021 CC Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Bethlehem Conservation Commission
April 22, 2021
Present: Lindsay Webb, Cheryl Jensen, Margaret Gale, Linda Moore, Vivian Winterhoff, Nicole McGrath
Absent: Alternate Marilyn Johnson
Guest: Barry Zitser, Robert Blechl, Angel Larcom, Tammy Reardon, Jon Swan
Lindsay called the meeting to order at 6:02 pm.
Minutes to Approve. Lindsay motioned to approve the March 25, 2021 meeting minutes, Margaret seconded, 3-0-3, (3 people abstained).
March 25, 2021
Treasurer’s Report: The Town account there was no change. The balance in the savings account is $14,916.59.
3/17/2021 – Granite State Landfill LLC response to NHDES Standard Dredge & Fill Permit Application Request for More Information . Discussed at the previous meeting.
Email from Jon Swan from Save Forest Lake, about HB 177, to see if the Conservation Commission or individuals from the Conservation Commission would like to send letters of support for this bill. The bill would regulate how close landfilling can take place to a state park. It has passed the House and is now going to the Senate. There is discussion on if the commission wants to write a letter of support. Vivian motioned to write a letter of support of HB 177, Cheryl seconded the motion, motion passed 5-1 (Nicole opposed).
AHEAD Property Conservation Easement: Margaret was in contact with Rick Walling, DES visited the site on April 20th and DES was generally in agreement with the remediation plan submitted by Ray Lobdell. Margaret will update the BCC as more information becomes available.
Transfer Station Resolution on a Food Waste Diversion Program:
The food waste diversion program was discussed at a previous meeting and the BCC members wanted to get more information and see the status of the lawsuit of the Conservation Law Foundation before moving forward. Lindsay is in support of having a food waste diversion program and supporting the Transfer Station Committee, it would also be a benefit to the town. However, she has concerns about moving forward with NCES, and it is possible that we may spend time on this and nothing may come of it. The Conservation Law Foundation is suing DES for not having an up to date Solid Waste Plan, there is discussion on how that would affect the program. The BCC discussed the pros and cons of working with NCES to create a food waste diversion system. Linda is hesitant to do anything until the results of the lawsuit are known. Vivian wanted to know an approximate timeframe. Cheryl opposes this program, she is in support of a food waste diversion but she is not in favor of working with Casella. She has concerns about the lawsuit, she does not think it would be wise to get further involved with this company.
Nicole is in support of the program and thinks it would be a benefit to the community and to the environment. Vivian understands the concern given the history but supports moving forward with a food waste diversion program. Margaret is torn on the issue, she would like to see positive steps taken to reduce waste and thinks a food waste diversion would be a good step. She thinks there would be a lot of re-education to the citizens and she would prefer to not partner with Casella.
There was discussion on looking into a food waste diversion program with another party. Cheryl said we should remember that the Town has voted numerous times not to work with Casella. Linda likes the idea of exploring other options, for example working with Meadowstone, Margaret pointed out that would not likely be a Town Wide option. Lindsay called the vote, Cheryl -No, Linda- No, Nicole- Yes, Vivian – Yes, Margaret – No, Lindsay – No, motioned failed.
Lindsay said that she wanted to make it clear that the BCC is not voting against food waste diversion, there is concern about working with the entity involved and the past history. She feels there is a better way, but wanted to thank Barry for his time and for looking into this and taking the time to bring the discussion before the commission.
Linda, Lindsay, and Vivian are going to explore the Town Forest to start doing trail scouting. They plan on going out on May 2nd, if anyone is interested they can contact her, a time has not been set yet. Linda brought up the idea of inviting the Bethlehem Trails Association (BTA) to our next meeting to see if the BCC would like to explore working with them and allowing them to have biking trails on the Town Forest. The BTA came before the board previously and there was general agreement that the BCC would be interested in pursuing a partnership.
Roadside Clean-Up – Date: May 8, 10:00am (Rain/Snow Date: May 15)
Lindsay reviewed the checklist. Lindsay has a few volunteers to help with the pickup of trash bags at the end of the roadside cleanup. BES clean is going to me on May 7th, Cheryl is working with Sue Greenlaw. She may need more gloves. NCES will set aside a dumpster for the roadside clean up so we can keep track of how much trash is collected. There will not be any recycling during the pick up. Discussion on getting shirts in the future with the Just Be logo. The BCC will need to buy gloves or try to get some donated. Discussion on the set up and road assignments. Linda will bring a large folding table. Cheryl will print the sign up sheets. Bethlehem Police Department has provided a flyer about hazardous roadside trash and what not to pick up, Lindsay will print a few out. Someone will need to remind people to social distance and wear masks when necessary. BCC members should be there about 9:30am. Discussion on coordinating volunteers for picking up the trash bags once the clean up is complete. The BCC decided not to use sign up genius at this time. Cheryl will drive around to see which roads need attention.
Margaret went to the NHACC zoom meeting about maps and data and would like to discuss the wildlife action plan at the next meeting. Lindsay will see if she can get a copy of the presentation to forward to the other BCC members.
Barry commented on HB177, he pointed out that current landfills and transfer stations are exempt. Gave information on the two lawsuits regarding Conservation Law Foundation and gave an update at the status of the lawsuits. Chris McGrath wanted to tell the BCC that he was disappointed to hear that the BCC did not support the food waste diversion program. He thanked Barry for his time and effort. He also pointed out that there is currently no planning board approved commercial composting facilities in Bethlehem.
Cheryl motioned to adjoin at 7:39pm, Linda second, motion passed 6-0.
Next Meetings: 6pm (Location TBD or Zoom)
May 27, 2021
June 24, 2021
August 26, 2021