Charlestown Township
Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC)
Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Due to Covid pandemic restrictions, the meeting was held remotely via Cisco Webex

Attendees present were:
Pete Goodman, Daniel Walker, Meg Solomon, and Veda Maany. Guests Mark Connolly, Rajat Tandon, Lisa Tull,

Pete Goodman (chair) opened the meeting at 6:00 pm.

Minutes were approved on a motion by Walker, seconded by Solomon and were approved unanimously.

Goodman reports that he received a complaint by a Pickering Crossing resident regarding noise and smells from the asphalt plant was forwarded to Linda.

Mark Connelly requested time to update EAC status of VPP grant. They are asking for a letter of support from the EAC and the BoS distinct from participation. Requesting again Charlestown township support as benefits of grant will benefit our township. Also explained that the Clean energy transition plan is not a Sierra Club project. The Idea is just to build resources; we could investigate what information we have available about our energy uses as a township. (Discussion amongst EAC members regarding this letter of support occurred later in the meeting)

Goodman finalized our budget proposal and will submit it to Linda. Increased funds towards Brightside Park riparian buffer. Our expenses from last year were minimal.

Ailanthus trees. Received some quotes – There are many Ailanthus trees along Horseshoe trail off of Rees Road- $3800 may be cost prohibitive for resident, which is just slash and treat, not removal. Maybe just the tree on directly adjacent to the trail should be cut down. Maybe township could help out. Action: Goodman will arrange with BoS

Green business award update – This year was presented to Playschool – should we advertise for next year’s Green Business Award on township website? Let’s get list and try contacting businesses again.

Action- Maany will get list and create advertisement for website

Riparian buffer project – contractor already planted the phase 2 trees to beat the rain that came. Next need to be protected with tubes- these now have wooden stakes instead of fiberglass. Not all the plants were planted. We are still trying to get witch hazel. We have 48 blueberry bushes that may also be planted using volunteer labor –

Action – get together to plant blueberry bushes – tentatively we are planning on Sunday, November 1st. – Check with Vicki Laubach and Armstrong. Post it on once we have the date. We will post it on Bulletin board at Brightside.

Mowing for phase 1 will be done after the first hard frost to preserve habitat for butterflies.

Community Education series –

consider January to aim for Solomon’s kitchen waste talk,

Action: Solomon will look into getting our own zoom account and let us know.

Buffer ordinance township/state consistency –

No update. Action Goodman will update us.

Nature News Future publications will need to be sent for BoS approval before release. Also having difficulty with software, we are using with regards to formatting- Armstrong has started a google drive- Connolly suggests using Gmail and google docs. Maybe Linda Csete has suggestions. Action: Solomon will look into a better platform.

For October 15th deadline township newsletter –

Maany submitted article on e-waste.

Armstrong also submitted Green Business award and memorial tree articles.

Wildflower seed harvesting at Brightside milkweed seeds were harvested at Brightside – Action: Armstrong and Maany will figure out best timing to make planting a community event.

Township ownership of land parcel –

no update. Action: Goodman working on it

New Turnpike Facility – There was planning commission meeting last night. It appears that turnpike plans will be approved- Goodman did point out the steep slopes make a potential erosion issue for the easement to Charlestown Oaks. Township engineer assured that erosion issue could be mitigated. Turnpike is having conversation with conservation district about how that is going to be done. There is still the legal issue about the development of the Turnpike’s industrial facility in the FR (Farm - Residential) zoning district - waiting a preliminary opinion. Final step would be going in front of BoS. Turnpike commission is offering a 20-acre conservation easement on a piece of property they won’t touch in return for disregarding recreational and tree planting requirements in our ordinances. Also, they agree to remediate old site into a natural landscape (about 3 acres). Action: we should ensure that this area meets standards. Underground fuel tanks have to be removed and soil testing has to be done. Action: Next BoS meeting will be next step for approval after addressing open questions.

Deerfield riparian buffer proposal – couple of weeks expecting to hear back from manager If we don’t hear back in a few weeks then we miss tree vitalize grant for repairing the buffer. Action: Goodman will keep communications open with Deerfield.

Clean energy transition plan – do we write our letter of support? We should check with supervisors first before proceeding. It was decided to write letter first and then submit to the BoS. Action- Goodman will draft letter and send it around for edits and review. Connolly has a template we can use.

Next scheduled meeting on Wednesday, November 11th via Cisco WebEx.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:35 pm.