“The buffer is to remain undisturbed during construction and as long as the permit is in effect but vegetation removal is allowed within this buffer if necessary, to accommodate the intended use and only if permitted by shoreland zoning regulations. Any variation requires approval of Wilton Code Enforcement Officer.”
Board Member James Parker said that this should not be an issue since the area is not a shoreland zone and none of the poles would be erected in the highlighted wetland areas.
“Have you considered any of the vernal pools in that area that you’ll be working in?” board member Lisa Small asked representatives of NECEC present in-person and over Zoom.
Environmental Scientist James P. Morin said he didn’t believe there were any vernal pools in that area.
NECEC representatives were asked by the board to clarify vegetation control stipulations.
“You’re asking us to give you blanket approval forever and ever of the use of herbicide based on the fact that the (Department of Environmental Protection) is giving you, even though our ordinance states that any use of herbicides or pesticides must be approved by the Planning Board at any time, which I would interpret you need to come to us when you want to use herbicide on the property, on the land,” Parker said.
Attorney Matt Manahan, representing NECEC, said because the ordinance is worded as “any time” as opposed to “every time,” that NECEC would only be required to notify the Planning Board when there would be a change in the use of an herbicide.
Morin confirmed that NECEC would use a third-party company that would follow rules and regulations governed by the state for vegetation control.
The NECEC written response to the town’s ordinance states, “CMP uses a selective herbicide program to treat areas once every four years to maintain this early successional stage of vegetation in its corridors. Herbicide usage will comply with all requirements and standards established by the Maine Board of Pesticides Control. NECEC LLC will not apply herbicides aerially for the control of vegetation.”
Code Enforcement Officer Charlie Lavin said he notified the abutters to the corridor’s proposed perimeter in Wilton and has yet to receive any feedback or concerns.
Residents may attend the March 4 Planning Board meeting at 7 p.m. via Zoom or in person at the town office to provide comments on the proposed corridor site.
In other business, the board approved Franklin Community Health Network’s business use application to lease the building at 75 Allen Street for Beal University to establish a satellite nursing school.
Beal University President Sheryl DeWalt said there are a number of students who have been commuting from the Franklin County area to Bangor for courses who will be able to use the satellite school. She said the first enrollment period will open in May, as long as the program achieves its accreditation in time.
The board also approved Mountain Side Power Sports owner Dan Daigle’s request to sell tractor implements and Bobcat loaders.