10/20/2022 CC Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Bethlehem Conservation Commission (BCC) meeting
October 20th 2022
Location: Zoom (for first 15 minutes) and in person at the Town Hall
Committee members present: Lindsay Webb, Margaret Gale, Cheryl Jensen, Vivian Winterhoff, Veronica Morris
In attendance: Ivan Ash, Rachelle Lyons, Rory Black
Lindsay called the meeting to order at 06:07pm.
A moment of silence for Marilyn Johnson who had recently passed and was one of the founding members of the BCC.
Lindsay has been posting monthly and there has been a little engagement from BCC members.
Adopt a Road/Spot
Lindsay posted information about the BCC Adopt a Road program to the BCC Facebook page on September 8th. She will post it again. BCC member engagement in this post would be appreciated.
So far 2 responses had been received claiming “spots” or roads.
Old business – Permit updates
Alteration of Terrain (AOT) permit still says it is pending NH DES review.
Lindsay still can’t find anything on One Stop about it.
Presidential Mountain Resort (PMR)
A revised supplemental shoreline permit application was received by the Town on October 11th, 2022. This is now for the entire project, as opposed to the next stage, so NH DES can issue one single document permitting work.
There was some discussion of Planning Board concerns raised around restaurant and road access, and the chaotic nature of this project.
The BCC will continue to monitor this project.
3447 Main St
The property owner has been required by NH DES to hire a wetland scientist and to apply for an after-the-fact wetland permit by December 16th 2022.
There was discussion around whether the BCC can create an awareness campaign to pre-empt cases such as these, in order to be helpful to property owners and give them a starting point for the permitting process. Many may not be aware of what is required, or even, for example, know where to find a wetlands scientist to hire.
If any BCC member wants to attend the conference, the BCC can fund their attendance. An online option is also available.
There is also an NHACC Fall Lunch & Learn Zoom series which could be of interest.
Past meeting minutes to approve
Cheryl made a motion to approve the August 11th 2022 minutes. Lindsay seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Town account balance: $985.02
Savings account balance: $15,135 and some cents.
The BCC receives 5% of land use change tax collected by the Town. Over $43,000 was collected in 2021. Based on this figure the BCC expects to receive $2,166.96.
Bethlehem Elementary School (BES) field trip funds
Money was not spent in the last 3 years, because of the Covid pandemic.
BCC members agreed for Lindsay to reach out to Sue Greenlaw to ask if they would like the BCC to sponsor a BES field trip. The amount is usually $500.
If BES does not need the funds, the money can be allocated to a different educational activity.
Draft 2023 budget
The 2022 budget as in previous years was $1,270. There was discussion around potential reduction in budget, which Veronica explained the Select Board would greatly appreciate. Even a small reduction would make a difference.
BCC members agreed to change “Conservation Field Trip” to “Conservation Education Programming” to reflect that these funds may be used not only for a BES field trip but to hold other (family-friendly) educational events for the benefit of Town residents.
It was agreed to reduce the roadside clean-up budget from $300 to $150. The total BCC budget would therefore be $1,120, reduced from $1,270.
Lindsay will redraft the proposed budget document for 2023, so BCC members can vote on it at the next meeting.
Potential New Member Introductions
Margaret introduced Ivan Ash.
Margaret made a motion to nominate Ivan Ash to become a member of the BCC for an appropriate term. Cheryl seconded. Motion unanimously passed.
Rachelle Lyons introduced herself.
Cheryl made a motion to nominate Rachelle Lyons to become a member of the BCC for an appropriate term. Margaret seconded. Motion unanimously passed.
Walking trail connecting Cleos Way to town center
Stu Woodham, a neighbor of Veronica’s on Prospect St, is interested in working with landowners to connect a trail with Cleos Way for walking into town. It would cross the Lister property (Mid Acre Farm) and a section of this trail would potentially go through the Town Forest.
There was some discussion around potential snowmobile use of the trail which is prohibited in the Town Forest.
The warrant article for the Town Forest name change will be on the agenda for next month.
Next BCC meetings
The next meetings will take place on November 17th and, if needed, on December 22nd 2022.
Cheryl made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7.45pm. Seconded by Cheryl. Meeting adjourned at 7:45pm.
Respectfully submitted by Vivian Winterhoff.