January 24, 2001  Meeting Notes


Attendees: Freeland Abbott, Gene Benson, Ralph Elwell, Margaret Fitzgerald, Cathy Garnett, Susan Hargrove, Brian Hasbrouck, Jane L. Howard, Ann LeRoyer, Sharon Stafford, Susan Wheelock, David White.
The meeting was facilitated by Gene Benson. The unofficial minutes are by
Brian Hasbrouck

Gene led off the meeting with a mention that Rich Bento probably would not attend. Since there were left over questions to Rich from the last meeting, Gene said he would try to send them to Rich in email. Rich did send a 1/23 status report memo to the Reservoir Committee, that was Xeroxed for attendees, which included an announcement and explanation of the Reservoir soil and test bore samplings that contractors started the week of 1/22.

David White led the presentation and discussion of the the soil sample work.  The committee was given a Reservoir map highlighted with locations of bores and test pits. Sharon reported that she had been over there and the pits had been cut, then restored.  So we assume the sampling is complete.  Susan asked whether there was a plan to do chemical (I assume contaminant) analyses to which the answer was no.  Also no date on when the analysis results would be complete.

There was a brief discussion of the "census insert" prepared by Vision2020. For some reason, they were 3500 short, so some will go out late. There was eager anticipation of the lilac color. The inserts will not be scented.

The following agenda items were sequenced, but a lengthy discussion wove around both: "alternative discussion (continued) - are there other options" and "planning - where do we go from here on issues"

Ann raised the possibility that the committee might get involve in longterm stewardship. Jane thought the Parks and Recreation Commission might sponsor it. Susan mentioned the desirability of wild flower and perennial planting.  Is some of this the DPW's job? Should there be a "friends of..." group?

On the topic of options, Susan, whose husband is an engineer, relayed his opinions about the delineation of the dam. Gene mentioned the need for the committee to watch for the planned "devegetated region". There was a long talk about this, but the consensus was to wait for the DPW and consultants report from the soil studies, so everyone will have more information.

Freeland repeated his interest in "decommisioning" the dam, and this led to a long discussion. Brian repeated Rich's claim from a previous meeting that the permitting process for decommissioning would be horrendous.  The discussion expanded to hydrological issues about the whole Mystic River watershed, including speculations about whether the "Amelia Earhart" Dam was operated correctly and whether MDC structures such as bridges were contributing to flood problems. Cathy said there is a full "H&H" study that may be completed in 5 years.

There was a planning discussion of what has come to be called "The March Public Meeting".  It was thought that required attendees would include Rich Bento and representatives from the DPW consultant, the Park & Recs Commission, and the Arlington Conservation Commission. But specifically not the Planning Department. The exact date for the meeting is determined by a preference to have it before the start of the town meeting (4/23), but not before there was a definite "tree removal" zone.  Brian raised a concern that it would take a lot of work just to schedule all these people for the same date, but Jane was confident.

Ralph asked the general question about what the purpose of the meeting would be, and there were all sorts of opinions and in the end we thought the committee would act as a "facilitator and sponsor". Gene volunteered to develop an agenda proposal. Gene will contact Rich to try to get him to the next meeting, since Rich's input is important. Gene thought the meeting could be enhanced by large display graphics - maps, charts, photos.
Sharon volunteered to help distribute flyers. There should be publicity targeted to abutters, including those in Lexington, and both the Arlington and Lexington press. On the question of whether this meeting would satisfy the Town's requirement for public notification and process the answer was no. Someone said we should try to get someone from the Lexington Conservation Commission to the meeting.

The goal is to schedule the meeting sometime in March, including the first week of April.

This meeting would probably not address eutrification or water chestnuts.  Specifically, the committee declined to organize volunteer water chestnut harvesting, and Ralph suggested that might be done by the "Earth Day Committee".



Home ] Up ]