SRWC minutes20070725 by 4Cf80ne


									                  Sheepscot River Watershed Council
                          DRAFT - Meeting Minutes
                               July 25, 2007
                         Windsor Town Hall, 7:00 PM

Charlie Baeder
John Blais
Tish Carr
Frank Hample
Brandon Kulik
Helen Smith

Chair’s Report:

Brandon Kulik introduced the new Council coordinator, Charlie Baeder, to the
group. Other new attendees include John Blais (pronounced “blaze”) who is the
new Watershed Project Director at Kennebec County Soil and Water
Conservation District, and Tish Carr (spelled “tish carr”) who is the new Lands
Programs Director at Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association.

Brandon explained that the last meeting of the Council occurred in January 2007
as the former Council coordinator, Laura Sewall, left the Council in March 2007.
Laura is now the executive director of the Kennebec Estuary Project, Bath.

Next Council meetings:

Wanting to return to a bimonthly meeting schedule, the group picked next
meeting dates of Thursday, September 20 and Thursday, November 15.
Normally the Council meets bimonthly on the third Wednesday of the month, but
there is a short-term conflict with holding meetings on Wednesdays because the
Cooper Mills Dam Committee (“CMDC”) in Whitefield is meeting every
Wednesday at least through the end of September and possibly into November.
Members of the Council have been attending those meetings and will continue to
through the fall.

Presentation by John Blais, Watershed Project Director, Kennebec County
Soil and Water Conservation District (KCSWCD):

John Blais was the guest speaker at this Council meeting. He introduced his
background: a B.S. in Parks Management from Unity College; several years
working for a civil and environmental engineering firm throughout Maine
managing projects and assembling environmental permit applications. This
includes having worked on the installation of the trans-Maine gas pipeline and
the permitting of numerous stream, river, and road crossings. He has also
worked for the National Park Service and the Department of Conservation.
Sheepscot River Watershed Council                                   July 25, 2007
DRAFT - Meeting Minutes                                                   Page 2

John has replaced Jennifer McLean at KCSWCD. He manages 319 projects,
grant administration, and NPS issues for the SWCD. Focused on Kennebec
County, he manages projects on the West Branch of the Sheepscot.

John emphasized that he has $12,000 in 319 funds still available to complete
projects in the Sheepscot watershed this calendar year. He cannot use them to
correct a violation site. They require a 60/40 match. He encouraged the Council
to submit projects for his consideration.

John described a Permitting / Culvert Workshop that he and the Waldo County
SWCD had organized for July 26 in Palermo. This workshop provided CEU
professional credits and was attended by about 30 people including State and
Federal agency professionals, town road commissioners, contractors and others.

Ongoing Projects:

Palermo - Brandon discussed the status of the Palermo erosion remediation
project located on the Sheepscot downstream from the IF&W fish hatchery.
Although significant study has already occurred, the project is being held up by a
number of factors, and the money that was available for the project was returned
to Trout Unlimited earlier this year. Issues involve differences of opinion on the
optimal solution to the problem, jurisdictional issues involving the nine agencies
involved, financing considerations, and the possible need for more data. This
erosion site remains a high priority of the Council and the project and next steps
will be revisited this fall.

Cooper Mills Dam – Brandon and Helen Smith reviewed the work of the
Whitefield CMDC for the Council. The warrant article that was considered at the
Whitefield town meeting to remove the dam, build a fish ladder for fish passage,
and retain an impoundment for the fire department for water storage, was
rejected by the town meeting because aspects of the project were unclear to
voters. In June 2007, the town selectmen formed a committee to consider the
issue further and develop a clearer article for a special town meeting this
November 2007, including an additional study of the hydroelectric power
potential of the site.

The CMDC is meeting every Wednesday evening at the Whitefield town office.
An RFP has been sent out to hydroelectric power consultants so that a study
might be completed by September 7. The CMDC plans to report back to the
selectmen by September 26 with its recommendations. The plan is to hold public
hearings in October and a special town meeting in November, dates to be
Sheepscot River Watershed Council                                   July 25, 2007
DRAFT - Meeting Minutes                                                   Page 3

Water Quality – Water quality monitoring programs are ongoing, and education
and community awareness of the Sheepscot River and its water quality are
ongoing priorities of the Council and will be a major focus of the new Council

New Business:

Charlie Baeder spoke about his plan to meet Council and executive committee
members over the next few months and develop ideas for grants to be pursued
this fall, as well as getting up to speed on the Council’s ongoing projects.

His background:
 Raised a New Yorker, he attended Colby College, graduating with a BA in
  Sociology and in Human Development. After college, he worked in social services
  for several years.
 He then worked in executive and management recruiting, and has owned his own
  business for the last 15 years.
 He has worked in town government, as a former treasurer of the Town of Mount
  Vernon, Maine. He is chair of the town’s budget committee and a member of the
  comprehensive plan review committee.
 Since 1999, he has also been the treasurer of the Belgrade Regional Conservation
  Alliance (BRCA), an 800-member organization that conserves land and water
  quality in the Belgrade Lakes watershed. BRCA has conserved 7,000 acres,
  including the 5,600-acre Kennebec Highlands acquired in partnership with the
  Land for Maine’s Future program. BRCA operates three water quality programs
  that prevent the spread of invasive species, reduce erosion, and employ area
  youth, in collaboration with area lake associations, towns, and Maine DEP.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00.

Respectfully submitted,
Charlie Baeder, Council Coordinator

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