GROTON -- Selectmen on Monday filled out the rosters to two land-use boards.
First, they interviewed several candidates seeking membership on a new Wetlands Bylaw Committee that is to review existing wetlands regulations and recommend changes if needed.
The issue of creating a Wetlands Review Bylaw Review Committee came to the board's attention in the aftermath of a decision by the Conservation Commission not to approve a plan by the Groton Electric Light Commission for a new office/garage complex to be located on land off Station Avenue.
Commissioners insisted at the time that there be no encroachment into a 50-foot buffer zone protecting the nearby James Brook watershed, something GELD representatives insisted could not be done without compromising needed elements of the planned building.
The GELD angle was confirmed last night as a "major factor" in the creation of the committee by board member Peter Cunningham.
At a meeting June 4, selectmen decided that the By-Law Review Committee would be made up to represent different segments of the public interest, including a member of the Board of Selectmen, one from the Conservation Commission, an at-large member, a member from one other town board or committee, a local land engineer, a local builder, and a wetlands or environmental scientist.
In appointing members to the committee Monday night, selectmen filled those positions, with Cunningham representing the board.
Also Monday, selectmen voted to reappoint Giguere to the Conservation Commission for another three-year term ending in 2015.
Board members also voted to appoint Rena Swezey and local farmer John Smigelski for similar terms. The two would replace departing members David Pitkin and William Neacy.
Monday's appointments to the Conservation Commission did not come without expression by some residents regarding the condition of the town's lakes and ponds. They urged selectmen to appoint those who were sensitive to the issues facing those homeowners living on the lakes.
Although the board acknowledged the concerns raised, Monday night's forum was deemed not the proper place for an extended discussion of the town's lakes and ponds.
* Voted to approve a charge for a new Underground Utility Study Committee among whose members will be DPW Director Thomas Delaney and GELD Director Kevin Kelly. Formation of the committee came in the wake of discussions about improving the downtown area in which removing overhead utilities and placing them beneath the ground was raised. At the time, a quote of $1 million per mile had been mentioned as the estimated cost. The new committee will be charged with coming up with a cost estimation and a plan of implementation. Aware that the downtown area was within the sensitive Historic District, selectmen suggested that a member of the Historic District Commission also be included in the committee's makeup.
* Voted to ratify the hiring of Chelmsford resident Timothy Cooper as the Police Department's latest full-time patrol officer.
* Accepted the donation of $100,000 from the Groton School presented by Headmaster Richard Commons. Although a nonprofit, the school is not obligated to pay property taxes, the institution has made it a practice to make such a donation to the town annually in thanks for the services provided.