Conservation Commission supports FOFP RFP 5-0

I promised an expanded post from Thursday evening, so here it is.  On the evening of April 28th, we had filled the Town Hall meeting room with neighbors from all around the pond, for the Conservation Commission meeting.  We had fifteen minutes on the agenda, and by the time it was over our matter had gone over fifty minutes.

After introducing ourselves and our singular focus, the well-being of Flannagan Pond, we presented an RFP (Request for Proposal) for the spring weed control treatment of the pond.  After a fair amount of discussion the ConsCom voted to work with the Selectmen’s Office to issue the RFP immediately, either as the full RFP, or as an amendment to the RFP that has already been issued for Sandy Pond and Pine Meadow. The FOFP RFP was drafted by one of our neighbors, Patrick Hughes.

On Friday afternoon, I spoke with Robert Pontbriand, the Town Administrator, and he explained that legal counsel advised that we must issue the stand-alone RFP, since our draft exceeds 10% of the value of the original already issued by the Conservation Commission.  This extends the timeline for the entire RFP process, but it does not jeopardize our ability to mobilize the spring weed control treatment.

On Friday, FOFP provided a draft letter for review from ConsCom, to authorize removal of the dam boards to begin lowering the water level for treatment.

So we are making tremendous progress in recent weeks.  Later today, I will post a notice about a meeting at the Ayer Gun Club on Tuesday, May 3rd, to discuss the upcoming Town Meeting and our next steps.

In the meantime, thank you Terry Whalen & Michele Riggs for getting people to the meeting.  Thank you Patrick for providing related document to help reduce any administrative burden our efforts are placing on Town Hall staff.  And thank you to the Selectmen, Finance Committee, Conservation Commission and Town Hall Staff who have listened to us and rallied to make this a priority.

Regards,
Chuck

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About saveourpond

I am a lifelong resident of Ayer who lives on Flanagan's Pond.
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3 Responses to Conservation Commission supports FOFP RFP 5-0

  1. Carolyn McCreary says:

    Please come to town meeting next week – Monday May 9 (and perhaps May 10). There are 2 articles I’m strongly supporting and hope you will too: Article 31, the stormwater utility fund and Article 33, the stretch code.

    Article 33: The Stretch Code. Your vote on this will help Ayer become a green community. The Stretch Code is a set of building code requirements providing a higher standard for energy efficiency than the state’s base building code. The Stretch Code raises the required levels of insulation, sealing and other conservation measures leading to further energy efficiency. It is an amendment to the base building code that local communities must adopt to be eligible for green community status. By becoming a green community, we will lower our municipal energy costs, be able to access grant funds for more energy savings and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

    For more information see the town’s web site (ayer.ma.us) under announcements and/or come to the planning board meeting this Thursday, May 5th at 7:30 to hear a presentation.

    Article 31: stormwater utility fund.
    Why charge for stormwater?
    • Federal Regulations – Increased EPA Regulations and specific requirements the Municipal Permit
    • State Regulations – Increased Water Quality requirements statewide (TMDLS) costly compliance
    • O&M – Increased O&M requirements in permits
    • Repairs – Increased need for repairs to maintain drainage and prevent flooding
    • Mapping – updated parcel maps and drainage system
    What would the money be used for?
    • FLOOD PROTECTION
    • STORM DRAIN SYSTEM MAINTENANCE
    • EROSION CONTROL
    • DAM INPSECTIONS
    • HAZARD PROTECTION
    • NATURAL RESOURCE PROTECTION
    • PUBLIC HEALTH & SAFETY
    • STATE & FED. WATER QUALITY COMPLIANCE
    Current facts
    • 800 +/- catch basins
    • 70-80 outfalls
    • Impaired Water Bodies in Ayer requiring TMDLs
    • Nashua River already has TMDL
    • Not in compliance with existing permits/regs
    • Not able to maintain entire system
    • More permit requirements coming…
    ATM May 2008 approved initial Stormwater Bylaws

    Cost in relation to other town funds
    $2.39 M Sewer Budget
    $1.69 M Water Budget
    $0.52 M Solid Waste Budget
    Proposing $312,000 ($0.31 M) for Stormwater
    Without funding, Ayer will not be in compliance with EPA Permit Requirements and subject to significant fines

    Article 31 is ONLY for AUTHORIZATION to set up Fund
    NO FEES FORMALLY DEVELOPED YET
    Next Steps:
    • Update Assessors Maps/Correspond with GIS
    • Develop and finalize proposed fees
    • Establish abatement opportunities
    • Review and acceptance by Finance Committee/BOS
    • Bring to ATM for vote on total budget

  2. A Sportsman says:

    I hear crickets chirping.

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