Environmental Commission Meeting Minutes 04/27/2010

Burchfield Nature and Arts Center
2001 Union Road, West Seneca                                                  Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 7:00 PM

  1. CALL TO ORDER - 7:03 PM

    Present: Rick Rutkowski (RR), Gary Oosterhoudt (GO), Evelyn Hicks (EH), AI Kerner
    (AK), George Rocky (GR), Dave Monolopolus (OM), Sheila Meegan (SM)
    Absent: Paula Olma, Joyce Mallette

    1. The February 2010 meeting minutes were distributed, reviewed, and accepted
    (AK), second (EH) - SM will have minutes posted on the Town's web site.

    2. Treasurer's report: not available, because the Treasurer (JM) is absent from the
    meeting. AK reports that T shirts and golf shirts have not yet been procured.
    Treasurer's report is expected at next month's meeting.

    3. Reappointments to the Commission - new members (GR, OM) have been
    appointed, existing members have been reappointed to the Commission. Les
    Loucks and Ferrol Webb are no longer Commission members.

    4. Office Space - the WSEC would like to acquire office space at the Burchfield
    Center, if available - If available, we will discontinue pursuit of office space at the
    Southgate Plaza

    1. Hi View Terrace - SM has no new information re: the WQIP grant award that the Town
    submitted for this Project (for sanitary sewer connection) - she will follow up with the
    Town's grant writer (Connie Miner) conceming that matter.

    2. Leydecker Rd. Access Point - AK advised that the pUblic access sign has been installed
    at the Creek Access Point. Hoping to do some cleanup of ditch area when the weather
    cooperates and intend to install additional informational signage at the site.

    3. Oxbow Property - on March 24, a reception was held for the Jacobs family at the
    Burchfield Center in honor of their land donation to the Town ofW. Seneca .,..the
    Protecting West Seneca's Natural Heritage booklet was distributed - special thanks to
    the Market in the Square for providing refreshments.

    On April 22, (Earth Day) EH, RR, OM assisted Riverkeeper and ERIE student volunteers in efforts to
    remove invasive species and to plant vegetation in the oxbow. This event was a great success. 23
    volunteers cleared knotweed, planted 2 gardens on berm to mark Town Property. Cleared knotweed
    on 3 sites in meadow. Planted silky dogwood at one site (around buttonwood tree), planted various
    plants at one other site, cleared knotweed in thicket of trees at third site. Also, cut willow branches
    from a fallen tree which were then planted nearby and seem to have taken hold.
    Working on developing a long term management plan for the oxbow property. DEC wants to have a
    meeting sometime next week to further discuss. There is a lot of thick knotweed that will not be able
    to be dug out and will probably have to be treated with an herbicide. DEC wishes to discuss.
    We (WS Env. Comm.) should plan a day in May/June to visit the site, especially since we are the
    stewards of the property. Everyone on WS Env. Comm. should be familiar with the site.
    4. Library Display - photos of the oxbow, poster to be put into the library on May 1.

    5. Town ofWS Solar energy projects - RR reports that the contractor advised that solar
    panels have been installed at the Town highway garage, the Town hall and at the
    Senior Center. Contractor had provided photos, which will be added to the library

    New Business
    • Parcel at East and West Rd and Orchard Park Rd - grant Application $25,000.00 for butterfly
    houses, etc. - Sheila Meegan to report. Interest also in Town owned Parcel at Orchard Park
    Rd near Ridge Rd - Public Access
    • Parcel at Borden Rd and Clinton St - Conservation easement?
    • 1200 East and West Rd - letter from the WS Environmental Commission to be drafted with the
    intent to send to New York State requesting that they transfer ownership of the site to the Town
    of West Seneca.
    • Federal Dept of Energy/Erie County grant - the commission members are in favor of the grant
    being executed as originally intended. Concerning the Erie County Department of Energy
    Grant - $2.9M allocated to County for Energy initiatives. Legislature approved allocation of
    funds for energy projects and recycling initiatives, specifically the food composting start-up
    program. County Executive re-appropriated all funds to energy improvements to the Rath
    Bldg., cutting the other projects and resulting in the termination of two County workers in the
    DEP. One additional employee is likely to be terminated, also. Several people on the Erie
    Co. Env. Comm want to take action opposing this move. Rick R may be able to shed more
    light on this, but we need to discuss.
    • Houghton College property: EH went to the DEC on Friday, April 16, spoke with Steve Doleski
    (Permits Officer) and Chuck Rosenburg - no paperwork available re: Houghton College
    Campus, but I was advised that DEC is sending a five-page letter to the lead agency (WS
    Planning Board). We can get a copy of letter from WS Town Clerk when it is received. DEC
    advised of a possible wetland on the campus proper. Also advised of a question with Native
    American and other artifacts and historical significance of site. Most troubling is the problem
    with sewer dist 13, under consent order from DEC. EH also spoke with Drew Reilley of Wendel
    Duscherer on 4/26. Drew advised that there may be a Positive Declaration of significance on
    the site (under SEQR), requiring an EIS which is a more comprehensive review of
    environmental factors concerning the development of the site. This would be a possible "next
    step" in the SEQR process.
    • Edbauer Construction - on Clinton Street across from CHS, next to the Roofer's Union.
    Project has turned into a much larger project than originally stated. Not appropriate to the site
    - should be relocated, possibly to OakGrove property on Mineral Springs Rd. 20 acres for
    sale - where WalMart was to go. Review letter sent to Planning Board - need to discuss next

    Upcoming Events
    1. Thursday, April 29, 2010 - Need someone to attend Buffalo River Restoration Projects 6
    . - 8 pm at the Old First Ward Community Center. 62 Republic St., Bflo. Someone from
    WS Env. Comm. should try to attend.
    2. EPA is looking for comments on Bflo River Dredging - due soon, information online.
    Meeting adjourned - 9:00 P.M.