Environmental Commission of Atlantic Highlands

Minutes of meeting of January 20, 2009, 7:00 pm in the Senior Center

Attending: Wilbur Bishof, Paul Boyd, Michael Curry, Lou Fligor (Council member), Regina Hawley-Keelan, James Krauss, Greg Pollack, Brent Sonnek-Schmelz, Fred Rast (Mayor)

Introduction. Members and attendees introduced themselves, covering their background and environmental interests. Agenda items were outlined by Paul Boyd, who led the discussion.

Earth Day. Brent Sonnek-Schmelz volunteered and was named as Chair. Regina Hawley- Keelan volunteered as Co-Chair. The date was set as April 25, 2009.

Preparations need to begin now and publicity should be developed, including a flier/poster, which Lou Fligor offered to help produce. Information and contacts regarding last year’s events will be provided to Brent by Greg Pollack and Lou Fligor.

Lenape Woods Nature Preserve. Jim Krauss volunteered and was named as Steward. Regina Hawley- Keelan volunteered as Co-Steward. Work day is scheduled for April 26, 2009.

Efforts are needed to recruit volunteers, develop publicity (jointly with Earth Day the same weekend), and select projects for the day.

An Eagle Scout project is progressing for trail building, fencing, and kiosk construction on the Bachstadt tract, which provides half the connection required between the eastern and western sections of Lenape Woods. The kiosk will be at the Gawen Road entry point.

Trailside fencing should be installed along a private property directly next to the Lenape Woods boundary at the Sears Avenue/Washington Avenue entry.

To meet the longstanding need for consolidated storage, inventory and control of Lenape Woods equipment, it was agreed to seek a concessional price for a used storage shed that Regina Hawley-Keelan had spotted at a Highway 36 supplier.

Septic capacity study. Paul Boyd is beginning to prepare a grant application under the ANJEC "Smart Growth" grant program. Deadline is March 31. The study would cover the eastern hills area, which depends on septic systems. It might assess such issues as soil absorptive capacity, nitrate infiltration, slope and lot size factors, septic replacements and conditions, etc.. It may include a survey of residents’ knowledge about septics and their maintenance, and identify public education needs.

Trail grant. A grant application was prepared by Ken Kociela and Paul Boyd and submitted to DEP. It would improve public access and provide fencing, erosion control and signage at trailheads for the Bayshore Trail at Henry Hudson Springs and Hilton Station. Also included is trail signage for Lenape Woods. The application seeks $25,000 in grant funds; Borough matching funds and in-kind work account for another $7,000 worth.

Budget. The Environmental Commission budget is set at $2,250 for 2009.

ANJEC. Commission members agreed to rejoin the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) for 2009. Paul Boyd has form and will submit.

Officers. Mayor Rast asked Paul Boyd to serve as Chair of the Commission for 2009.
Brent Sonnek-Schmelz volunteered to serve as Secretary for 2009. It was agreed that brief minutes should be submitted for each meeting.

Meetings. Members agreed to continue meeting on the third Tuesday of the month, beginning at 7:000 pm.

Minutes drafted by Brent Sonnek-Schmelz and Paul Boyd