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Deerfield gets OK to expand ConComm



Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 05, 2018

DEERFIELD – The Deerfield Conservation Commission can now expand to five members, as it had been for decades, before it was discovered the town bypassed Town Meeting approval to do so in 1985.

Voters at this week’s special town meeting unanimously granted the authority necessary for the commission to add two members.

Selectboard member Trevor McDaniel previously explained no one can find evidence indicating the expansion was duly approved at a Town Meeting 33 years ago. He said the commission reduced its membership as a result of this revelation, though it can properly add another two people now that this action has been corrected.

Earlier in the special town meeting, voters agreed to transfer from free cash $22,000 “to pay for additional landfill wells and monitoring related to regulatory requirements.” McDaniel said the state Department of Environmental Protection requires additional well installation and other improvements at at the town’s capped landfill on Lee Road.

Public Works Superintendent Kevin Scarborough explained at an Oct. 24 Selectboard meeting how the money would be used.

“Long story short, we’ve got two small depressions on the backside. We’ve filled them in in the past. It’s depressed again,” Scarborough said. “According to (state) regulations, you’re not allowed to have any depressions on your capped landfill that has the capability of withstanding, or holding, water.”

Scarborough also said ground material was stockpiled when his department milled Lee Road and it plans to utilize the material to make roadway to the backside of the site.

“We put together a plan, and the theory is to go ahead and run the roadway near the backside along … the wood line on the west side of the capped landfill, which is right next to where the depressions are. It would make it very easy to go ahead and repair those depressions, plus at the same time that gives us better access to our monitoring wells,” he explained. “That way, in the wintertime, when they have to go out and do their monitoring, they’re not trudging through the snow, they actually got a roadway they can go to.”

Voters also agreed to raise and appropriate $30,000 for a town buildings study. The Selectboard and the Capital Planning Committee have determined the study to be critical for long-term program and capital project planning and to assist the newly formed town buildings advisory committee in its deliberations. Adoption of the original article would have added the $30,000 to the $25,000 appropriated at the annual Town Meeting in April for a study of the congregational church donated to the town, though Bruce St. Peters proposed an amendment, which was accepted, to keep the two figures as separate line items.

In a prepared statement, St. Peters explained the rationale behind his motion. He said the projects have separate scopes.

The special town meeting was originally scheduled for Nov. 15 but had to be postponed because its notice incorrectly listed the meeting as scheduled for a Monday, when Nov. 15 was actually a Thursday. Also, the notice was not sent to The Recorder for publication, which is town bylaws require.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.