Minutes for Public Monthly Meeting

March 12, 2009

Dining Room, Franklin Homestead


Present: Jim Cameron, Dick Benton, David Breed, Paul Stanley, Jim Dewing, Dan Larivee, Pauline Favreau, John Cote, Brendan O’Shea, Ashley Kane, Chris O’Shea, Eric Beauregard, Rolland Rainville, Lucille Rainville, Chris Smith- Fish and Wildlife, Peter Kittell, Sue Clark, and Heidi Britch-Valenta.


Cameron called the meeting to order at 7:05 P.M.


COMMUNITY SEPTICHeidi gave a brief update from Tom Clark, RCAP who was not able to attend the meeting. He has been reviewing the TMDL, and researching water testing information, on Lake Carmi. He will work with Susan Warren when she is back at work. He will make a trip to the lake when the snow has melted and walk some of the roads to get a feel for the area.

Subcommittee updates


1.     Educational Outreach - Heidi and Sue have planned the outreach event for July 4th. They will collaborate with the Franklin Fire Dept. to use their barbeque as the site for the septic outreach.  Tim Lake, Advantech distributor, will bring his demo septic unit in on a trailer. There will be literature to distribute. A request has been sent to Seventh Generation to get phosphate free samples for distribution as well.  

2.     Survey soil testing- John Cote reported that he has had phone conversations with State Engineer, Bill. Zabilowski, regarding soil suitability around the lake for multiple community septic units. Another meeting will be scheduled to gather further information and to delineate on a map the open areas that would potentially support septic areas.

3.     Fact Sheet- David, Dick and Heidi have met and are in the process of gathering information to put in a flyer and a binder for accurate septic information.



AGRICULTURAL SESSION- Aerator, cow lanes/ buffers, drainage tiling Jim Cameron started  the conversation by referring to the minutes of the Feb 7th Ag session to point out the  four most popular project ideas as determined by the group were the Aerator, Cover cropping,  buffers/ cow lanes, and tile drainage.


 Jim Dewing and Rolland Rainville shared news from conversations with Roger Rainville of the Farmer’s Watershed Alliance regarding their funding for aerator equipment. They know they will not receive funding for the full 12 aerway units. They may receive enough for 6 units but it has not been confirmed yet. It was determined that the farmers would very much like to have the ability to have an aerator for Franklin. It is something that will be pursued in the future.


Cow lanes / buffers and tiling were also discussed.


 A subcommittee will be developed with Jim Dewing, Rolland Rainville, Dan Larivee and Heidi to gather further information on the agricultural projects and to get an accurate count of agricultural land owners and acreage.   A letter will be sent out to all land large land owners to offer them a chance to participate in the program. Cameron suggested also putting a notice in the paper.  The members will review the applications and decide a direction after they see how many applications are received. It was the group’s consensus that it would be better to focus on one or two valuable projects than to try to “invent” projects to report a larger number. It was decided that the bulk of the next meeting would be dedicated to identifying the specific projects for funding.


Wagner’s farm-  Chris Smith, from Fish and Wildlife described his involvement in the CREPS project at Wagner’s that would benefit from volunteer assistance.  April 25th is probably date but May 2 is also a possibility.   1,200 trees will be planted on a 6 acre site.  A contractor has been secured to finish whatever the volunteers can not accomplish from 8:00 am to 12:00. A site visit will occur on April 13th to go over details. Other volunteers will be solicited including boy scouts, MVU environmental group, and tech center students. Lucille Rainville noted that this is the best way to develop the next generation of watershed members.


Flexincentives program- Paul Stanley and Ashley Kane gave an update on the flexincentives program which had been discussed at the Agricultural  Session. Ashley said the funding is limited for 2009. We can revisit the issue in 2010.    Paul suggested using some of the grant funds to assist the farmers with projects for this program.



STREAM ASSESSMENT- Brendan O’Shea presented a proposal to work with Ashley Kane on stream assessments and to designate future projects.  A total of 35 hours of work was proposed.

Dick Benton made a motion to designate $1,000 to Brendan O’Shea to begin the work of assessing streams. Peter Kittell seconded the motion. Motion carried.


Determining which streams will be assessed lead to much debate. It was determined that all brooks would be considered with the exception of Marsh and Dewing which have been previously assessed.  There were a few members who wished to be involved in the program and offered to learn or assist with the process, Paul Stanley, David Breed, Dick Benton, Jim Cameron, Lucille Rainville, and Heidi will provide support for the project.  This team will work with Brendan to determine which streams will be selected.


Lucille Rainville said she did not wish to participate in any project on her property on Dicky’s Brook. Brendan agreed that no projects would proceed without land owner’s permission.  Brendan will work on gathering the stream information. We must make sure the state’s tributary numbers agree with our numbers to avoid confusion. David offered to research the land owners that would need to be notified.   Heidi will contact Staci Pomeroy, Center for Clean and Clear, regarding the DMS listings.


MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION-   The discussion was postponed till next meeting.



TREASURER’S REPORT-  The treasurer’s report was given by Sue Clark and accepted by the board.



GRANT LISTINGS – Jim gave a list of grants that he was working on and asked for any input from other people to have a comprehensive listing for future reference.



COORDINATOR’S REPORT- Heidi updated the group on a few items:

Mulcher- Highgate has outlined their terms of use for the mulcher. One of the requirements was that it would only be used on public property.   


Stormwater outreach-  Sue and Heidi have been working on a Raingarden demonstration. Date will be July 18th and the site will be the Historical Society Log Cabin. This will coincide with the Franklin Historical Sites Tour to maximize visibility. Emma Melvin, of UVM ext. and Megan Moir of Clean and Clear will visit the site in April to make a design dependent upon size and amount of runoff.  A plant list will be developed and donations will be solicited from members and nurseries.


Shoreline Restoration-  Deb Perry from Regional Planning has agreed to come to the annual meeting to do a short intro to shoreline restoration presentation. Following this, she will have those interested sign up for a 2 hour session on the topic. This will be funded with a grant which regional planning will assist with.


Newsletter-  Heidi asked for clarification on what type of a newsletter the group would like to have. Consensus was that a one page flyer would be easier to circulate. It should be discussed with the Camper’s Association if it could be inserted in their newsletter. It should be distributed while septic surveys are administered. It should also be distributed through the library, and stores. Other avenues for communication include the Historical Society mailing, and the Library summer reading program flyer. Setting dates early will allow for more publicity.


Volunteer time sheets-  time sheets to track donated time and mileage were circulated for signature.


Ag Summit- a flyer was distributed for a meeting in Burlington on March 20th


3 month evaluation-  The board agreed to meet prior to the next meeting to evaluate Heidi’s  performance. Officers and Directors were invited to participate.



 The meeting adjourned at 9:00pm.  



Respectfully submitted,


Dick Benton and Heidi Britch-Valenta   






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