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Whiting Reservoir Study Committee April 20, 2021

Apr 20 2021

5:00 pm Remote by Zoom

,

Holyoke Massachusetts

Notice of Committee Meeting

There will be a regular meeting of

The Whiting Reservoir Study Committee

 

Meeting to take place remotely on Zoom Meetings on Tuesday 4/20/21 5:00PM

*** Meeting can be accessed via www.zoom.us

Meeting ID: 891 9576 8113 Meeting Passcode: 516104 or by call in at 1 (646) 558-8656 with the same Meeting ID and Passcode. ***

 

Agenda:

Review and approval of minutes

Discussion with Bridge Likely and Josh Knox

Report:

Tour of WSR - Marlene
PVPC - Kate

New Business

Planning May meetings

Whiting Street Reservoir Study Committee

April 20, 2021 Meeting Minutes

In Attendance:Sue Ellen Panitch (Chair), Marlene Connor (Vice Chair), Kip Foley,
Jeff Horan, Kate Kruckemeyer, Harry Craven

Absent: Dave Moore and Terry Shepard

Guests:Elbert and Bernice Bowler, Brendan Coates

Invited Guests:Bridget Likely (Appalachian Mountain Club, (NET) and Josh Knox
(Trustees of Reservations)

Meeting called to order at 5:00 PM

1. Kate and Marlene spoke with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.
They are offering 15 hours of help to develop recreation uses.They can provide
Examples and precedents used elsewhere including environmental justice
practices.

2. Bridget Likely (New England Trail) informed that a section of the trail was
rerouted into the WSR in 2017 with a 5 year license with the HWW. This will
expire next year. The trial was moved from a section that was on RT. 141
(Easthampton Road) for safety reasons. The trail head parking is on the old
section of Rt 141 which poses a danger in crossing the highway to the east. She
envisions that a crosswalk might be the solution. Her emphasis is in providing
access for the underserved communities. She works with Mass Hire for local
Holyoke kids to work on trails during the summer.

Bridget expressed an interest in
working with all adjacent owners for the common good. Some federal funding as
well as DCR funding could be available .

3. Josh Knox (Trustees of the Reservation) The trustees own Little Mt. Tom and
the close by Dinosaur Footprints. Official access to Little Mt. Tom is through Mt.
Tom State Reservation at the Knox and Woodland trails. They have no plans for
the property at this time except to maintain it.

The Mt. Tom Partners’ group was formed about 5 years ago to discuss the quarry
and yellow gate issues. They have not met in 4 years. The group consisted of the
Trustees and The Holyoke Boys and Girls Club and other land owners. Trustees
property allows hunting where legal but no Mt. biking.

There had been constant problems with maintaining the yellow gate at the Mt. Park
bridge. HG&E was asked to help with lighting and cameras at the gate (their
property is also accessed from here) but nothing has come of it. Josh feels a new
effort to get owners together would be beneficial in getting this done.
SBA communications is a big player with the communication towers on the
mountain. There are other contractors as well, that access the summit on
different roads to maintain the many towers. WGBY(Ch 40) owns their own
transmission towers on the summit .SBA communications has spent $30,000.00 to
upgrade the yellow gate but work has stopped.

The trustees' vision in the past was to turn the ski lodge into a recreation center
and have a PVTA bus stop there. Current vision is access for hikers, recreation
uses, tourism and open spaces to serve the underserved populations, there is no
active plan at this time. They are hoping for a waiver to alter the sale of the Boys
and Girls Club property so the DCR can buy it.

The yellow gate remains a security problem for the mountain. Several security
measures were briefly discussed with funding being a major component.

4. We briefly discussed a date and time to have Robert Comeau give us a walking
tour of the WSR.

Meeting adjourned at 6:22PM

Next meeting to be held on May 4, 2021 at 5:00PM

Harry Craven


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