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Whiting Reservoir Study Committee Meeting May 4, 2021

May 4 2021

5:30 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 5/4/21 5:30 PM

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

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87816025385?pwd=MjV6eUhKelJjMExmNHhobzJscjNYQT09

Meeting ID: 878 1602 5385 Meeting Passcode: 157460 or by call in at 1 (646) 558-8656 with the same Meeting ID and Passcode. ***

 

Agenda

 

Approval of minutes of the April 18 meeting

Report on future tour of WSR with Bob Comeau – Marlene Connor

Report on Support Work to be done by PVPC – Kate Kruckemeyer

Report on Committee Request to H G & E to meet – Sue Panitch

General Discussion of prior information received

Mt. Tom Quarry

Boys and Girls Club Property

Development of List of issues and problems reported by abutters and

Neighbors

Future uses and  plans for their properties discussed by abutters and

Neighbors

New Business

Adjournment

 

 

Whiting Reservoir Committee Meeting

May 4, 2021 - 5:00 p.m.

 

Committee Members: Sue Ellen Panitch, Marlene Connor, Kip Foley, Harry Craven, Terry Shepard, Kate Kruchemeyer, Dave Moore, Jeff Horan

Guests: Michael Curtin (HGE), Mimi Panitch

 

Agenda:

  • Approval of minutes of the April 18 meeting
  • Report on future tour of WSR with Bob Comeau – Marlene Connor
  • Report on Support Work to be done by PVPC – Kate Kruckemeyer
  • Report on Committee Request to H G & E to meet – Sue Panitch
  • General Discussion of prior information received
    • Tom Quarry
    • Boys and Girls Club Property
    • Development of List of issues and problems reported by abutters and Neighbors
    • Future uses and plans for their properties discussed by abutters and Neighbors
  • New Business
  • Adjournment

 

Meeting Notes:

Approval of minutes of the April 18 meeting – April 18, 2021 Minutes approved

 

Report on future tour of WSR with Bob Comeau – Marlene Connor

  • Tour will be Wednesday May 19 2021 from 4 PM to 6.30 PM
  • Meet at the top of the Mountain Park Access Road (which is at the intersection of Route 5 near the Castle Condominiums).

 

Report on Support Work to be done by PVPC – Kate Kruckemeyer

  • Valley Planning council can provide 6 hours of assistance this fiscal year. Currin has been speaking with Kate and Marlene. Six addional hours next year
  • Identify funding for future planning

 

Report on Committee Request to H G & E to meet – Sue Panitch

  • Sue Ellen has spoken to Jim Lavelle. Michael Curtin from HGE will be our liaison with HGE. Michael’s email is curtain@hged.com. Michael will be joining us tonight and at our next meeting to get up to speed on the committee’s work.

 

General Discussion of prior information received on Mt. Tom Quarry, the

Boys and Girls Club Property and other issues

  • Guest Mimi Panitch gave an update on these property issues:

Mt Tom Companies (Mt. Tom Quarry) was bought by Matt Donahue and Pat Kennedy for the cost of assuming liabilities. Their interest was to return to original contours through a rubble fill operation. Donahue and Kennedy said they were unaware of the State’s purchase option on the quarry property. Mt Tom Companies filed for an ANRAD under the State’s Wetland Protection Act (WPA) to determine wetland resources on the property. There is a bankruptcy filing and a state assigned trustee.

 

Discussion:

Kip: indicated that all truck traffic would be up the access road but mentioned he had no particular expertise to address these issues related to the quarry fill operation.

 

Dave: thought we should wait to hear what is resolved in the courts. He felt their would be lots of regulatory attention because of both the Bray Lake and Whiting Reservoir watersheds requiring regulatory protection.

 

Jeff: this activity could have significant impact on the Whiting reservoir and adjacent properties as well as anything the Whiting Reservoir Committee recommends. We should certainly pay attention to the proceedings related to the subject properties.

 

Kate: would be interested to hear from the Water Department on this issue.

 

Dave: Thought SBA may not be interested in talking with us. Dave had previous interaction with SBA and would not expect response. Josh Knox from Trustees thought they were important.

 

Development of a list of issues and problems reported by abutters and neighbors

  • Consider listing opportunities and concerns:
    • Opportunities with the New England Trail
    • Use Wycoff for potential opportunities for parking
    • Sale of Whiting water to the Golf Course
    • Create Abutters forum for getting owners and managers together to resolve issues and pursue beneficial opportunities as a group – The Mt Tom Partners

 

Future uses and plans for their properties discussed by abutters and neighbors

  • Consider recommending the City request funding to do a long range area plan for Mt Tom and adjacent areas including the reservoir

 

New Business

What would our public meeting look like:

  • Methods for convening Public hearing - developing a draft recommendation for public comment, need to set boundaries for meeting, open door wide to public with warning that we are listening and cannot make any promises.
  • Request input from the public
  • Report issues, opportunities, and potential recommendations
  • Whiting Reservoir Committee charge and focus
  • What are the potential sources of pollution to WSR?
  • Concerns over vandalism, graffiti and uncontrolled access through the yellow gate (Mountain Park Access Road)
  • Consider new gate just above Castle Condiminiums to be locked at night.
  • Numerous Tower maintenance personnel need access to the towers 24/7 – this is hard to control
  • Consider carded electric gate
  • Controlling and policing general area – who is responsible?
  • How much of the adjacent area do we consider?
  • What revenue generating opportunities exist?
  • Opportunity of generating revenue by placing additional conservation restrictions on the reservoir (consider West Springfield example)
  • What can we do within Chapter 97. What about under water supply regulations for reserve reservoirs or operating reservoirs
  • Selling land – necessary steps to sell land under Chapter 97 protections?
  • We were not charged to do a whole area study plan – should we recommend the City commission one?
  • Traffic including possible debris trucks related to filling quarry
  • Improve parking for recreation and trail use
  • Opportunities to seek linkage of trail systems
  • Opportunities to sell water to adjacent towns and businesses (such as Chicopee and the Wycoff Golf Course)?
  • How much assistance can PVTA (Pioneer Valley Transportation Authority) provide to our group?
  • Dave Conte mentioned when he spoke to us that some additional but limited recreational activities could occur.
  • Chlorination facility – why was this new facility undertaken at this time?
  • Why is the Whiting Reservoir dam spillway construction required - Spillway requirement is clearly a dam safety issue – possibly new regulations for dams of this size
  • Does the Water Department have some plans we are unaware of – Dave will see if he can get an answer
  • Identify sources of funding for studies and related activities
  • Consider request for CPA funds to make improvements or to fund some planning (funding for planning is more difficult under CPA)

 

Meeting Adjourned 6:25:

Minutes respectfully submitted by Jeff Horan


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