Clarification: Chester files motion but, not an appeal in water system Act 250 decision.

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On Tuesday The Telegraph reported that the Town of Chester would appeal conditions of the Act 250 permit it received from the District #2 Environmental Commission on Dec. 30, 2016. This was based on what was said at two select board meetings and an interview with Town Manager David Pisha. With further information received since Tuesday, we offer this clarification.

The permit allows the town to construct a water tank, a water transmission line and a road to the tank on 139 acres off Route 103 South. The conditions that the town takes issue with place restrictions on where the town can extract gravel or otherwise disturb the area.

At the Jan. 4, 2017 Select Board meeting, Pisha told the board  town attorney Jim Carroll told him that the town could file a motion to alter the decision, file an appeal or both. Pisha said that the deadline for the motion was Jan. 16 while the appeal would have to be filed within 30 days of the decision.

At the Jan. 18 Select Board meeting, Pisha said that attorney Jim Goss was had filed a motion to alter the decision with the Act 250 commission.

In an interview on Jan. 23, Pisha said that the town would appeal and that “We want to proceed and use all of the avenues available to us.”

According to Greg Boubol, of the Natural Resources Board that administers Act 250, the filing of the motion to alter stops the clock on the time limit to appeal. Once a decision on the motion is handed down, the 30-day clock starts anew. Bouboul told The Telegraph that while there is no time limit for the decision on the motion to alter, it is usually a fairly rapid process.

At the Jan. 4 meeting, Select Board member Heather Chase said that she thought the situation was sufficiently complex to warrant the board discussing it with an attorney. According to Chase this morning, the decision to file the motion to alter was done by Pisha polling the board, but there has been no decision to file an appeal.

Board chair John DeBenedetti confirmed that the board has not yet taken action on the appeal.

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  1. Marilyn Mahusky says:

    Thank you for the clarification, Shawn. Do we know whether the polling of the Select Board occurred in open meeting? A decision of this sort, necessitating the expenditure of public funds on attorney fees, certainly should be made in open session.

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