The Conservation Commission meets on the second Thursday of every month at 7pm. The most recent meeting was held on October 8th. There was no September meeting. Here is a summary of the discussion from October 8th:
The CT Land Conservation Council recently announced that State matching grant monies are going to be made available to Connecticut towns for open space preservation, most likely in January. The towns can identify and rank open land parcels and submit applications for the grant money, which will be awarded in 2010.
The Open Space Committee of the Conservation Commission decided to meet in light of the impending grant money announcement, as well as several recently received letters of intent from landowners who would like to protect their properties from future development. The Committee will walk the lands and use an established ranking system to prioritize the parcels for potential preservation.
Signs are being created for several City preserves to increase their visibility and use. The Baldwin furniture company is in the process of making the signs.
The Middletown trail guide is being updated. Commission member Eric Mosher is in the process of collecting GPS (global positioning) data on all the existing properties in the trail guide, as well as some newly acquired properties such as the Wilcox and Brock properties. Eric expects to have all the GPS data collected within the next month or so, then the Commission will have the opportunity provide input on the format for the revised trail guide. The new guide will contain more accurate maps. The current trail guide is available online at: http://www.middletownplanning.com/documents/MdtnTrailGuide.pdf
Matt Dodge of the City's Planning Department has been submitting hiking trail information to the WalkCT website developed by CT Forest and Parks Association. This is another online location where people can find information about Middletown's hiking trails.
Matt Dodge reported that the City is planning for a stormwater drainage renovation and erosion control project at City Yard as well as a vegetated buffer to dissuade goose activity at Butternut Pond in Butternut Hollow, off of West Street, with assistance from the Connecticut River Coastal Conservation District. The plan, which is for a Supplemental Environmental Project being conducted and paid for by a local contractor and the City in lieu of a fine for water quality violations at another City location , will need to be approved by the CT Department of Environment Protection once it is complete.
Matt Dodge informed the Commission that the Planning, Conservation, and Development Department (PCD) is applying for a $200,000 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Cleanup Grant to address contamination at the former Remington Rand property. The ultimate goal for the site is to promote a "green-building incubator" for small businesses in the North End of Middletown to promote economic development and help create "green" jobs.
Commission members continue to contribute articles on a monthly basis to the local Chronicle and Middletown Press. Recent articles covered pet waste pick-up, and the fall harvest bounty of local farm stands. Future topics were discussed - watch the local papers for upcoming articles.
The Commission asked Planning Department staff for an update on the Mellili Plaza parking lot plans, in particular, whether the Commission's recommendations concerning water quality treatment/protection had been incorporated in the final plans.
The Commission decided to invite a representative of the Public Works Department to come to the next Conservation Commission meeting to discuss the status of the Middletown landfill cap and review the water quality monitoring data from the landfill.
The Commission asked Planning Department staff whether any response had been received from the Economic Development Committee concerning a letter the Commission sent about the proposals submitted for development of Maromas parcels that addressed: 1) the need to maintain public access and the ecological integrity of the land, and 2) the need to take into serious and thorough consideration all public comments obtained during the many informational sessions held prior to sending out the Request for Proposals.