February CFPPC Meeting Minutes

Common Fence Point Preparedness Committee (CFPPC)
Minutes – February 2, 2022 – ZOOM Meeting

Purpose: To discuss the accomplishments and next goals of CFPPC

Call to Order and Welcome: Nicole Gotovich

Attendees: Nicole Gotovich, Jim Fogarty, Jeff Prater, Donna Horan, Chuck Miksis, Kary Miksis
Nancy Nary, Jen West, Pam Rubinoff, Bob Beebe, Gerri Beebe, Linda Medeiros,
Brian Woodhead, Wenley Ferguson, Debbie Medeiros, Troy Rittenhouse, Robert Tomassone, & Ray Perry

BUSINESS:
MINUTES: Minutes from the January 12, 2022 meeting – Nicole Gotovich
Motion by Jeff Prater, seconded by Jim Fogarty, to approve the January 2022 meeting
Minutes. Minutes approved.

POSITIONS: Chair, Secretary, Communications Coordinator – Still looking for someone who is interested in filling these positions.

PRESENTATION: Brian Woodhead , Portsmouth DPW on RI Infrastructure Bank Grant addressed drainage at the CFP entrance

Brian presented on the current status of the project and future plans. In collaboration with the Resiliency Program and the grants written by Town Planner Gary Crosby reconstruction to improve the drainage at the entrance of CFP has begun. BHB engineering and East Coast Construction are involved in the project. To eliminate and/or improve flooding. 3 catch basins were installed: 2 on Anthony Road, 1 on Massasoit Ave. Water to be relocated to sand filters on the Access Road , under the railroad trestle and out toward the underpass. Two sand filters near the underpass will discharge into swale, to flow pipe near Route 24.
Total cost $276,500.00 funds for the project; State Road funds, RI Infrastructure funds, and the Town of Portsmouth. Construction costs (+/-) $230,000.00, Engineering and Storm Water Consultation $46,000.00 (+/-) .
Question was asked regarding the water still pooling in the middle of the entrance on the road. Brian explained the catch basins are relocated to move the water (pooling) to the sides of the road away from the middle.
Come summer there will be funds to repave the area near the entrance. The current patching is temporary. The improvements and drainage will need to be maintained, grass cutting to prevent phragmites return, filters cleared.

It was mentioned that the water table near the railroad trestle and entrance is high.

DISCUSSION REGARDING STORM WATER AND COLLABORATION WITH TOWN AND OTHERS:

Jeff asked what the costs for Storm Water Consultation on the Project were. Would the $40,000.00 requested, via the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, to hire an environmental consultant (to do a full scale preliminary plan for storm water management) be enough to secure a plan for CFP. Brian thought it would be a sufficient amount.

Wenley, Save the Bay, discussed the broader storm water issues . The water entering the pond on Anthony Road, the high water table on CF Blvd, the area near Massasoit Ave.
Could there be a way to collaborate with Brian Woodhead DPW and the town when addressing these issues. Integrating the Grants, town and citizens.
Brian is very busy with several projects right now but would be interested in partnering with CFP. Jeff thanked Brian “DPW does a lot with a little”.
Residents would also help out. They are both concerned with storm water and esthetics, Jeff stated. Cutting grass on swale, monitoring, etc. are areas they could assist with.

Pam , Narragansett (MyCoast) Project, suggested pictures be taken of the storm water runoff areas and be sent to MyCoast App. as well as the photos of high tides and storms. We create phragmite growth where ever there is storm water drainage and fill. When the community is seeking grants is there a way to support and relieve the DPW in a line item .
Currently Portsmouth is using a “Cash Match” system instead of “in-kind” services. It requires DPW manpower for projects. If there was a Project Manager line item the DPW would oversee the project.

The Trustees and the Town have a very good relationship. Collaborating on street drainage and storm water projects. Perhaps a comprehensive low tech drainage plan that fits into the landscape could be created.

NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) grant was suggested, funding source. They are looking for Community projects as stated in their newsletter. They award grants to non-profits. Brian has worked with them . Ask if NRCS could fund cash match grants for in-kind serves instead.

The suggestion was made to have a Trustee attend our next committee meeting.
Wenley suggested in grant proposals, perhaps the land that CFPIA owns could provide a buffer and have a monetary value assigned to it, to act as a match for future construction grants.

UPDATE ON COASTAL & ESTUARY HABITAT RESTORATION GRANT
Jeff Prater gave an update on the Grant , December 2021. They received very good feedback and learned quite a bit but we were not awarded the Grant. We will resubmit and we are more aware and knowledgeable after this experience.

The second Grant that the group is working on is the coastal restoration, dredging of the Taylor’s Point Saltmarsh. Wenley is working with; CRMC, DEM and the Army Corps of Engineers to secure the original Permit numbers from 1995. To submit this current request the original permit numbers are needed. The Army Corps of Engineers is very short staffed at this time in RI. Wenley will also be speaking to Mil Kinsella who was very involved in the original project.
The faded sign at the Taylor’s Point Mash will be replaced. There was a sharing of ideas as to what type of sign to replace it with; the same photo type, something similar to that at the Rain Garden, or a QR code.
It may take until the fall of 2022 to secure the permit numbers from CRMC, DEM and the Army Corps.

CFPIA UPDATE:
Jim Fogerty reported there was no CFPIA meeting in January 2022. Conley will be preparing a video presentation from the Board. She is working on it. Jim mentioned the post regarding “no cutting trees/shrubs on CFPIA land”. The message was also on the Community sign to educate residents both seasonal and year round individuals.

FORUMS DIRECTOR – NICOLE GOTOVICH
The Forum on nutrition was held January 26th. The presenters were; Cori Kilzi and Ashley Cotta. Topic Fitness and Nutrition.
6 individuals attended, 3 of those were new folks.

The next Forum planned is Bicycle Safety, with Police Officer Pirri, of the Portsmouth Police Department. It will be held outside, it will be for all ages, families. The targeted date is somewhere within the April School vacation.
A suggestion was made to involve a local Bicycle shop to be available to examine the bicycles if people request that.

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR:
Chris Fielding was head of Communications and moved away from CFP. Google Drive information still needs to be recovered due to deletion. We continue to look for someone to fill that position and replace Chris. Information is posted on:
CFPIA site, CFP community sign, CFP e-Newsletter, CFP Facebook, All Things Portsmouth Facebook page, Nextdoor App, Portsmouth Times, Portsmouth Patch, CFP Website page, Fliers, Invite Flyers-To Neighbors door to door.

Anyone interested can contact Nicole.

MEMBERSHIP/SWAG:
Donna Horan reported.
Donna had several suggestions this month in regard to distribution of Swag bags and meeting new residents.
Follow Real Estate listings, sales to be aware of new residents. They could be given a package as a “Welcoming Gift”
There was also the suggestion that once a new resident (or member) was located a POST CARD with pertinent CFPIA Information and contacts could be left with them.
Ask Sue Young the current Hall Manager if she would like to help out in this area. She interacts with residents as ; hostess for parties, dance instructor, e-newsletter.
Donna will look into suggestions.

REPORT ON CUTTING:
Chuck Miksis reported on his conversation with Scott Wheeler. Scott is the Newport Parks, Grounds and Forestry Superintendent in Newport. He is also the Chair of the Portsmouth volunteer Tree Commission.
Scott resides in Portsmouth and he would be happy to meet with the CFPPC committee at an upcoming meeting. He is also open to a larger community presentation to educate and inform. Scott is often in meetings on Wednesday evenings (the usual night of the CFPPC meetings). The committee agreed to consider a Tuesday evening meeting if that was more convenient for Scott.

We are considering March 1st or March 2nd. Scott will meet with the committee first then a community meeting.
Scott has spoken to Wenley about the original bushes that may have been cut at the Taylor’s Point Saltmarsh on Attleboro Ave. Wenley explained CRMC will allow “pruning” with a maintenance permit, but not the cutting down.

There was discussion of cutting in the Montaup berm area, Troy Rittenhouse mentioned cutting on the Attleboro side of Taylor’s Saltmarsh. Nancy Nary sent pictures of the area to Trustees. Cuttings have taken place at the bottom of Foxboro Ave, Greenfield Ave, and Eastern Ave. Ray Perry mentioned cutting on the water side of the park behind the brush. A Management Plan for all CFPIA land was suggested to address cutting issues.

RAY PERRY: EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PLAN
Portsmouth will have no more COVID vaccine clinics at the Raytheon Site for now. Sunday, February 6th is the last one scheduled.
Prudence Island (PI) and Island Park are considering forming a neighborhood Preparedness Committee (Prudence Island has a Neighborhood Preparedness Committee) such as ours in Common Fence Point. PI is participating in shelter management training.

Several Grants are being discussed at the February 24th town meeting at Town Hall.
One is for a Comprehensive Emergency Preparedness Plan
Another is a Drone Operations Grant (This Drone Grant has been approved and there is no other grant at this time.)

NEW ACTIONS:
A Trustee representative will be invited to one of our CFPPC meetings.
Scott Wheeler will be invited to our next CFPPC meeting. The date will be changed to a Tuesday if a Wednesday is difficult for Scott
A community information event with Scott could be scheduled .
A walk about to educate children as well was suggested.
Wenley will be working with CRMC,DEM and the Army Corps of Engineers for original permit numbers for the Taylor’s Point Marsh restoration.
The Community Sign may periodically have a reminder to not cut trees/bushes on CFPIA property

Video of this meeting is found at https://www.commonfencepoint.org/category/preparedness/