In attendance: Gene Benson, Rich Bento, Hugh Budd, Margaret Fitzgerald,
Cathy Garnett, Bryan Hasbrouck, Jane Howard, Elizabeth Karpati, Ann LeRoyer,
Leslie Mayer, Sharon Stafford, Susan Wheelock.
The meeting was facilitated by Gene Benson. The minutes are by Elizabeth
Rich Bento’s report to Town Manager:
- Consultants dug some test pits 8-10 ft. deep and made deep narrow borings
which were capped for possible later use as test wells. They didn’t find
the usual impermeable clay core in the dam but may have just missed it –
the dam has held water for over a century.
- Consultants have provided a large topographic map (contour lines), labeled
"Draft." It doesn’t show the locations of the test pits and
borings, and the Arlington/Lexington border may not be shown in the right
place. (It also has the labeling of Arlington and Lexington reversed!)
- They need to dig more test pits to determine how much of the wide area is
"unsuitable material" that doesn’t contribute to the strength of
the dam – probably coal ash, which the Town dumped at Menotomy Rocks Park
in the 20’s and 30’s and may have dumped at the Res as well. Ash is not
classified as hazardous but cannot be used as "clean fill" if
removed from the Res. If stable enough, it could be left there and
landscaped with shallow-rooted plants (if that is approved by DEM).
- Could this "unsuitable material" be stabilized, e.g. with
riprap, so that it can serve as part of the dam? When the gate broke last
summer, there was erosion in this area in the short time before the gate
could be repaired.
- The low-level emergency outflow pipe into Mill Brook needs to be inspected
– the valve may be stuck.
- The area of drainage into the Res turned out to be about ½ square mile
larger than originally thought, but this does not change the flow rate
calculations in the Weston & Sampson study significantly.
- At this point we need to involve Lexington, but how to start?
Letter to Lexington ConCom, inviting them to a joint meeting with Arlington
ConCom, and/or to public meeting on Res issues? Also contact the Lexington
Selectmen, or let the Lex. ConCom inform them? Or let the communication go
from Town Manager to Town Manager? Rich Bento will talk to Mr. Farrington
- DEP cannot issue permits until the MEPA process is completed, if
one is required. But work on Res may not meet criteria for requiring a full
environmental impact review – if it does, that will be expensive. (MEPA =
Mass. Environmental Policy Act; office under Secretary Durand, director
lives in Arlington.)
- Wetlands could dry out if water is kept at 153 level and then there is
- Should there be a master plan for the whole Res area, not just the
dam? E.g. a plan to allow walking all around the Res without having to go
out on the street? What about parking – it is used by both swimmers and
walkers. Fixing the beach berm is within the DPW’s jurisdiction but a
master plan may not be – one should probably be developed in conjunction
with Parks & Rec. Start with a conceptual plan. Money may be easier to
raise if there is already a plan.
- Landscape design will be done by a subcontractor of Weston &
Sampson. The contract with W&S is for everything through the final
engineering design, with landscaping separate. The landscape architect will
come to the next Res meeting.
- The public meeting could be in about 6 weeks, but that would
conflict with the Special Town Meeting on April 9, 11, 18. Preliminary
designs should be available in mid-April. Have public meeting on Tuesday,
May 22 -- announce at Town Meeting.
- For Earth Day have a walk around the Res – more than just a bird
walk – or have two different walks, a.m./p.m. or Sat./Sun. Bryan could do
one. Have a handout with a map. Plan details at next meeting.
NEXT MEETINGS: Wednesday, March 21, 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday, April 24, 7:30 p.m.