MINUTES OF THE FRANKLIN PLANNING COMMISSION

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

HOMESTEAD DINING ROOM

 

Members Present: Clark Hubbard, David Bennion, Rolland Rainville, Jordie Fraties, Dan Larivee(arrived 7:45), Maureen Sodaro (Secretary),

Guests: Yvon Dandurand( Selectboard), Peter Magnant (Selectboard)

 

Meeting called to order at: Meeting called to order at 7:35 pm.

 

Approval of Minutes: Dave made a motion to approve the May 2018 minutes, seconded by Jordie. All approved the minutes.

 

Old Business: Clark stated that he signed off on the Gervais sketch plan, as all requirements were met.Rolland mentioned that he met with the woman who is responsible to upgrade watershed map.There are still questions regarding the brooks and other waterways.They are still unsure as to where all the waterways in the watershed go.

 

New Business:Public Hearing to review with concerned citizens and recommendation to approve the proposed amendments to the town (if they are approved).Chapter 9 of the energy plan is much more detailed than in the past, and coincides with the Regional plan.

Peter asked what was added to the Municipal Plan to meet the standards by the State of Vermont. Clark said that the state has a goal to be met by 2050, but that there is not an exact statement telling how to achieve that goal.Clark stated that there is no yearly increment set to meet the renewable standard of 90% by 2050.The RPC is not overly in favor of windmills- they would rather see solar energy.Clark said that Franklin is not a wind turbine prosperous town.

David said that as long as we have a plan on paper, we have input to the Public Service Board regarding placement of renewable energy sources.Franklin will not have the final say in a decision made by the State of Vermont, but at least the town has a say in the decision regarding placement of solar or windmill farms (screens, other coverings)

There was discussion regarding placement of 149 kw solar projects.A person can build several 149 kw projects, as long as they are not linked together on the same property or meter.(the projects must be less than 150 kw) ††The PC can also approve or disapprove small projects if they are a detriment to neighbors.There also was discussion regarding personal solar panels on properties and the advantage of the credits the electricity produces.

The Franklin Municipal plan regarding renewable energy is following the State of Vermont regulations (NRPC), yet protecting the Town of Franklin.

Dan asked Yvon and Peter if they had any concerns regarding the plan.They asked if the plan could force townspeople to change existing systems in order to meet the 90%.Clark said that no one could be forced to go renewable energy.There are no penalties for homeowners who do not make the change to renewable energy.

 

 

 

Franklin Planning Commission- p. 2

Franklin Homestead Dining Room

June 26, 2018

 

There was discussion of alternative sources such as electric heat pumps and other types of units which vary in efficiency depending on the cost of electricity to run the units.The potential for natural gas lines coming to Franklin was also discussed.Jordie asked contacted a representative, and was told such a project is a long way off.††

 

There was also discussion regarding the digesters farms are using.The State of Vermont does not currently count a digester as a form of renewable energy.Yvon thought that decision might change in the future.

There was clarification regarding percentage of weatherization improvements to homes.

Clark said that a link to Efficiency Vermont should be put on the Town Website in order to make it easier for people to get information on becoming more energy efficient.

 

Clark made a motion that the PC approves the updated draft of the Municipal Plan as written including the enhanced energy section.The plan will be moved to the Selectboard for review before a public hearing is warned.The motion was seconded by Dave.All members approved the motion.

 

Clark told the Selectboard members that in order to add a section to the Town Plan regarding the protection of the water supply to the town, there needs to be a study regarding the source of the town water.With the source(s) of the water supply currently in question, it is not possible to add a section to the Municipal plan. It was determined that there is surface water entering the supply.The question to the selectboard has to do with the sources of the surface water. Peter said that Jess Alexant is working with the State of Vermont in trying to determine sources and how best to protect the water supply.The process is moving slowly. The pros and cons ofdeep wells were also discussed.

There was discussion regarding the spring on Rollandís property, which has not been maintained and needs upgrades in order to be used for public use. Clark feels a better way to protect water sources to the town would be for the town to purchase land around water sources, rather than lease. Peter did not think it was a viable option for water users, as the system is currently self sufficient.The users are responsible to pay for the upgrades.Rolland said that currently the town leases the area around the spring on his property at $20.00 per year.There was discussion about the limitations to the system, which prevents the addition of new users.This limitation prevents potential growth in Franklin.††

Peter told the PC that the State of Vermont owns the current water supply but not the land.The Town of Franklin pays the State of Vermont for the water, which is why the state wants a meter system.We are currently paying based on estimates, not actual use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Franklin Planning Commission p. 3

Homestead Dining Room

June 26, 2018

 

Public Comments: Peter Magnant told the PC that the Selectboard has been approached by a community member regarding the evergreen tree in front of the library.It is not in good shape, and poses a hazard to the building or patrons.Replacement tree(s) could be planted in its place.The Selectboard will be discussing the issue at their next meeting.

 

Other concerns:

 

Motion to Adjourn: Clark made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:40, seconded by Dan.The meeting was adjourned at 8:40.

 

The next regular meeting of the Franklin Planning Commission will be held on

July 17, 2018 in the Homestead Dining Room.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Maureen Sodaro, Secretary

June 26, 2018

 

Minutes are not final until approved by the Planning Commission at the next regular meeting.

These minutes were approved by the Planning Commission on August 21, 2018.