The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host a public meeting at 7PM on Tuesday, May 25th in Council chambers to update residents and public officials on the Armed Forces Reserve Center project, and plans for a wetland mitigation site on Boardman Lane.
Construction of the training facility will destroy 1.6 acres of wetlands at the former Cucia Park. In order to obtain a permit for this under the Clean Water Act, the Corps of Engineers is purchasing 52 acres of land on Boardman Lane. Ironically, this is the same site which they originally selected for building the training facility.
In a letter to the Chair of the Conservation Commission, Jeffrey M. Hrzic, Chief of the Environmental Division of the Army, wrote, "To ensure compliance with the conditions of the permit, the Army is required to implement an Integrated Wetland Resources Stewardship Plan for the off-site mitigation parcel at Boardman Lane that addresses the protection and management of this mitigation area, in perpetuity." Much of the work will be directed at protecting and enhancing habitat for the Eastern box turtle.
The Army is required to prepare an Environmental Assessment for the acquisition of the Boardman Lane. Hrzic said that he expects no adverse negative impacts. He requested that the Conservation Commission provide comments about the plan to the Army so that any issues the Commission has can be addressed.
The Common Council, Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Conservation Commission have been invited to the meeting. The meeting is open to the public.
The full letter, a map showing the relationship of the Training Facility construction site to the Boardman Lane parcel, and a map of the Boardman Lane parcel, are available on the Westfield Residents Association website.