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Woodstock will hear Spruce Mtn. appeal
WOODSTOCK — The Woodstock Board of Appeals will meet either next Wednesday or Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Town Office to hear an appeal of a site plan permit for the Spruce Mountain Wind project.
The Woodstock Planning Board issued its approval back in January. Generally petitioners have 30 days to file an appeal. There is an issue whether the 30 days was up on February 5, 2010, or could not begin to run until the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued its own permit on October 5, 2010.
Without DEP approval, the Woodstock Planning Board site plan permit would be moot.
At least one local resident has raised issues of potential conflicts of interest between some members of the Planning Board and its decision to grant approval.
Fire Chief Geff Inman gave an update on the proposed Enhanced Mutual Aid agreement with Greenwood. He suggested a meeting with all selectmen, the two town managers and fire chiefs on January 3, 2011, with the idea of getting the proposal on the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting in March.
The agreement would ensure at least two firefighters at the station in Woodstock or Greenwood on alternating days, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., five days a week. This is a means of having an immediate response to an emergency, rather than waiting for on-call personnel to get to the station and then to the scene.
A preliminary staffing schedule has been drawn up and "It looks pretty good," according to Inman. Each town would be responsible for paying its own fire fighters, regardless of which station is crewed on a particular day.
Inman stressed that the personnel would be working while on duty. "These guys are not going to be sitting around watching television," he went on, citing the increasingly heavy state mandated paperwork and inspection requirements. During downtime, the men would be expected to continue work on upgrading their certification and training.
Town Manager Vern Maxfield reported numerous compliments on the lights on the town tree. Three lifters and many hands were involved in the lighting project. This is the first time in four years the tree has been lit. Selectman Bruce Korhonen observed that the tree is "as tall as the tree in Rockefeller Center — at least 70 feet high."
George Hayes and the Newry Fire Department were all part of the tree trimmers. Santa Claus showed up, in a fire truck, on December 3 to officially light the tree. He then was driven to Woodstock Elementary School where he ate cookies and listened to dozens of requests from local children, all of whom were good this past year.
Maxfied reported the last of the FEMA monies had been received for rebuilding the washed out Redding Road and that most of the signs on the Feeding Friendzy had been taken down.
A Public Hearing on the state of the Community Development Block Grant awarded to the Bryant Pond 4H Camp and administered by the town, was held at 6 p.m.
Sue Jennings, representing the Camp, told the public audience, of four people, that $15,942 has been spent on school programs. Students from elementary through high school, in towns from Durham to Bethel have been brought in for days of environmental education.
$14,000 has been spent on scholarships for local children, "and we still have $36,000 we can spend."
Jennings emphasised the need to educate young people, and their parents, on the dangers of invasive milfoil, a major threat to lakes and ponds all over Maine. She said the Camp and the Community Lakes Association, have applied for a technical grant, in pursuit of funding for a submersible ROV to be used in observing and mapping infestations quicker than using SCUBA divers.
Once invasive milfoil is found, it is covered with submerged black tarps, which eventually kills the plants There is about an acre in Bryant Pond covered now. Shagg Pond is horribly infested with Eurasian milfoil, according to Jennings.
The next regular selectmen's meeting is December 21 at 5 p.m.