ConComm Hears of Oak Hill Remediation, Gives Eagle Scout a "Go"

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(Above, sample section of remediation plan for Oak Hill area off of Washington St.)

Franklin Conservation Commission, met last Thursday evening, September 9. One of the first orders of business was to discuss an Eagle Scout’s plans to build an informational kiosk at the DelCarte property on Pleasant Street.

ConComm Chair William Batchelor inquired about the scout’s construction abilities and planned materials and was assured by the scout that his father, who had experience building decks, would be helping. Batchelor stressed that whatever the scout builds would need to be strong “We have had incidents of vandalism” on the property, so strong construction will be important, he noted.

He and the other commissioners joined in expressing appreciation for the scout’s planned efforts.

On one of the next items on the agenda, a matter of giving a remediation effort for the Villages at Oak Hill, off of Washington Street, preliminary approval, Batchelor sought to move immediately to a vote to approve but got neither motion nor second. Two commissioners asked why they were approving the measure without having an opportunity to hear the associated presentation.

Batchelor then suggested that perhaps the whole matter should be moved to a future meeting agenda but commissioners insisted that shouldn’t be the option because they only wanted to get more complete information before voting.

With that, Batchelor relented and a brief presentation commenced delivered by Andrew Thibault. He described the many issues that had run the project afoul of the commission including removal of trees and imposition of species not outlined in the original plan. In response to a commissioner question about why so many violations had occurred, Thibault speculated that there could have been a failure of communication since some of the missteps appeared to have been made by contractors and others by individual homeowners.

It was suggested that signage on site might help with long-term compliance.

In the end, the commissioner did unanimously approve of the preliminary actions and then moved on to discuss progress on the Commission’s Earth Day cleanup at DelCarte, scheduled for Saturday Oct. 16 from 9 am to noon.

Commissioner Patrick Gallagher, who had volunteered to handle some of the logistics and supply issues, said that not much had changed since the previous meeting. “The tables, chairs, and pop-up tent are all set," he said. Fellow commissioner Andrew Mazzuchelli said he had been able to speak to the store director at BigY and the Starbucks manager and that refreshments from those sources would also likely be forthcoming. “They are very into the idea of a DelCarte event,” he said.

Batchelor said he would “get back on his blog” to build interest and said he hoped to attract Town Councilors to the event, too.

The next meeting of the ConComm is September 23, at 7 pm.

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