Pelham - Windham News | March 9, 2012 - 9 Conservation Purchase- continued from front page
When Board of Selectmen Chairman Ed Gleason asked what recommendation the Conservation Commission had for the Selectmen, Gagnon replied that the Conservation Commission reviewed the proposal and voted in favor of the acquisition at the price of $200,000. Wendy Smigelski, 12 Lox Lane, an Officer of the Gumpas Pond Association spoke during public input. She had attended the site walk and then met with the association. At the association meeting, there were a number of concerns and recommendations. Smigelski had a letter and said she believed the items on the list had been discussed; some items would be easily fixed, while others will need more discussion, she reported the association was more than willing to compromise on some items. The following concerns were noted: 1. pedestrian traffic only; 2. allowable watercraft being canoes, kayaks, nothing larger than a small electric trolling motor, no trailers, no jet skis;
3. if a trolling motor is brought in it must be cleaned before accessing Gumpas Pond and recommend cleaning after in order to limit the transport of invasive aquatic weeds into and out of Gumpas Pond;
4. no docks, raft, beach or swimming; 5. no mooring of boats off shore or stored on shore;
6. a trash in / trash out policy; 7. if a parking area is created across the street, it shall be no more than three to four cars and street parking is limited to property owners and not Town residents accessing this pedestrian path;
8. limit the hours from dawn to dusk; 9. Town residents only identified by a vehicular sticker (perhaps even the Pelham Recycling sticker);
10. no parties or fires on the path, parking lot or private property surrounding the pond;
11. any and all improvements to that 15foot path must be after discussions and agreement with Keith and Kathy Regan, who are the property owners;
12. liability concerns must be addressed with regard to Keith and Kathy Regan and also the Pond landowners and the Gumpas Pond Association (examples of those are visitors accessing from the path and go onto someone’s property and are injured, or flip their boat, or fall off the dam);
13. no accessing of any private property along the shoreline, including the island and the dam;
14. request of a speed limit posting of 20mph along Hinds Lane;
15. request discussion on possible financial assistance with dam maintenance, repairs and state registration;
16. suggestion of dealing with the lack of toilet facilities;
17. identification and contact information for a department who landowners can contact in the event that there are violations of any and all items listed above.
Smigelski pointed out that the Gumpas
Pond Association was formed to not only control the water within Gumpas Pond, but also the maintenance of the dam and the area surrounding it, including the quality of water. The concern regarding liability was reiterated, as well as the concern for water contamination. Keith Regan, 39 Hinds Lane, said originally it was going to be a three-lot subdivision that would have access to the foot path, then went to possible further subdivision and now possible public access. He said he asked Gagnon if they could keep it to Town residents only and was told yes they could. During the site walk selectmen were asked if they could keep it to Town residents only and the response was yes. He hoped they kept their word and kept the access to Town residents only and restricted as much as possible. Gagnon said the Conservation Commission had reviewed the letter from the association and felt it was quite reasonable. He was pleased to have the
document as a starting point and found a majority easy to agree to. Gleason said that Gaydos would need to review the items that affect the Town all the while working collectively to come to a satisfactory resolution, but believe the Conservation Commission and Town could reach a satisfactory resolution on all the topics. Gaydos noted that in looking at the list it had to be kept in mind that there was another property that may, or may not share the easement and reported that it was the intent was to leave the path, at this time, as unimproved. Gaydos said he had reviewed the items and that in regard to liability concerns, he had spoken with the Town’s insurance carrier who was more than happy to give the Regans, upon the Town’s purchase of the property, a certificate of insurance saying that if someone is accessing the property (as a Town individual) and hurt themselves, the Town would hold the Regans harmless in that matter.
Gleason hoped that those things that were currently difficult to address could be taken up with the association and a resolution found. Gleason stated the intent of the hearing was not to solve those problems, but to vote whether or not the Town would proceed with the acquisition of the property. He wanted to make sure before proceeding to vote that they had the vehicle in place that would allow them to reach consensus.
Selectman Bill McDevitt suggested it might be a good idea, so the residents could feel better, if the Selectmen indicated by consensus that they agreed with the spirit of the letter. Selectman Hal Lynde was pleased to see the letter and felt it was well thought out. After he reviewed the items and questioned how limitations could be put on the right- of-way if there was another property that could access it, Smigelski said it was not currently an issue because the President of the Association purchased the other lot. She didn’t feel the association was looking to the Selectmen to solve that problem; they understood it wasn’t the Town’s liability. They were seeking assistance and looking for everyone to be ‘on the same page.’ She said they had a great deal of liability generally by people that came to visit. She agreed with the selectmen that they would like something in writing given that boards change over the years. She said it was much easier for people who visit if they knew the rules prior to going to the place and emphasized that she didn’t foresee a great deal of issues, but the association just wanted to make sure the foundation was set so they didn’t. Selectman Doug Viger said when Gagnon brought this type of purchase in front of selectmen, they got excited because they saw an opportunity to connect the conservation land. He said they understood and respected the opinions of the people on the pond and saw the impact of what would happen if the Town didn’t purchase the land. He felt this was a work in progress and the more things they could identify would eliminate more problems in the future. He also felt they could work together to establish the conservation land and limit the access to the pond. When Lynde asked if the intent was to limit the access on
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the easement to pedestrian traffic, Smigelski answered yes. She said people had it written into their easement as pedestrian traffic, but people visiting would try to fit whatever they could into the area. Gleason thanked the association for their efforts to work on this project and said it demonstrated a willingness to work with the Town. He felt the proposed acquisition was a win-win situation; it would provide additional facilities for the taxpayers and Town’s people and collaboratively working with the association, improvements could be made in the area. He also applauded the efforts of the Conservation Commission. When Gleason asked if it was still the recommendation of the Conservation Commission that the Selectmen approve the purchase of the land, Gagnon indicated they were in favor of the land acquisition. McDevitt moved to support the spirit in which the letter was written and would make every effort, within constraints discussed, to accommodate that letter. Lynde seconded and the motion carried 4-0. Lynde then moved to acquire the land on behalf of the Town for conservation purposes and McDevitt seconded. This motion also passed unanimously. Gagnon said the Conservation Commission will ask a surveyor to provide the cost for finding the 15 foot easement once they purchase the property. Once they know where the easement is, they can stake out the parking area. After that time (late April to May) they could have a discussion how they would proceed.
Outdoors Charlie Chalk with A Look At Some
Freshwater Fishing Policy Changes
NH Administrative freshwater fishing rule changes that took effect on January 1: • While anglers are being guided, as defined in RSA 207:1 XII and XIII, and taking freshwater fish by trolling, the number of lines being used for angling must not exceed the total legal number of lines allowed (two per angler), excluding the guide(s). For example, if a guide is taking two clients trolling, the group may fish with up to four lines.
• On the Connecticut River, the daily bag limit for black bass from January 1 to March 31 is now two fish, of which only one bass may be greater than 16 inches. In New Hampshire/Massachusetts border waters, the daily bag limit for black bass from ice-in to ice-out is now two fish, of which only one bass may be greater than 16 inches. • In Dublin Lake (Dublin), the daily bag limit for trout increases from three to five fish.
• Perch Pond (Lisbon) is no longer a designated trout pond, so general fishing regulations now apply: no closed season; ice fishing allowed, with a two-trout bag limit through the ice.
Charlie Chalk can be reached at email@example.com
Voters Asked to Support Fire Department Warrant Article
by Barbara O’Brien Despite the fact that the Windham Fire Department is not receiving the federal grant it had hoped to garner this year, firefighters, as well as selectmen are still asking voters to support the warrant article (#10) when they go to the polls next month. Town officials are emphasizing that a “yes” vote for Article 10 will not cost taxpayers a cent. At this point, since the fire department will not be getting the grant, anyway, the warrant article will become null and void. The only purpose of voting “yes” at this point would be to show support for the acquisition of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) in the future. “I’m obviously disappointed that we didn’t get the
grant,” Fire Chief Tom McPherson said. “But we will be reapplying again later this year.” When the 2012 Town Warrant was put together, McPherson had yet to be notified that Windham would not be getting the
95 percent ($203,300) U.S. Department of Homeland Security Grant. The new equipment is something that is already needed by the Windham Fire Department, McPherson said, and, at some point, “grant or no grant” the SCBA equipment will need to be purchased. The last time new breathing apparatus was bought for the fire department was in 2002. Federal regulations have changed since that time, McPherson explained. “If residents approve the warrant article, it could be used to convince the grant committee to change its mind,” Selectman Roger Hohenberger said, referring to a future application for the federal money. During the board meeting on February 13, selectmen
voted unanimously (5 to 0) to support the passage of warrant article 10. Voters will have their say on Tuesday, March 13. The polls, located at Windham High School, will be open to voters from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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