I. Mission Statement
The Rail Trail Advisory Committee provides a mechanism for the Town to examine the issues in converting an existing rail line in Berlin to a recreational path.
- Should have regular public presentations during the course of their review to publicize their inquiry and to regularly solicit input from the public;
- Should identify and address the many questions and concerns that residents of Berlin have about the rail trail;
- Should seek information as to the actual experience of communities with existing rail trails and document that information; and
- Should consider alternatives to the rail trail, including for example the placement of some or all of it on alternate routes (e.g. the Ross Dam).
The Committee shall develop a balanced report with a discussion of the pros/cons of the conversion and recommendations for the issues which must be addressed.
II. Issues for Consideration
The Town must come to a consensus on the many issues before the rail trail conversion can proceed. These issues include, but are not limited to:
Physical Design Issues
- Interface and Integration with existing public ways
- Buffers to affected abutters
- Access and Parking
- Need for any facilities (e.g. lighting, crossings, bathrooms)
- Conceptual design of the path: dimensions of the path and materials used to construct the path.
- Abutters concerns; security, privacy, property values, mitigation
- Environmental issues; wetlands, wildlife, soil contamination
- Safety concerns; police, fire
- Allow dogs or horses.
- Funding; how the design and construction will be paid for, what costs to the town
- Ongoing maintenance and costs (e.g. police coverage and trash pickup).
III. Membership and Operation
The Rail Trail Committee shall have 5 at-large members and a Board of Selectmen liaison. All appointments shall be indefinite, until the Board of Selectmen feels the mission of the Committee has been achieved, or that the membership needs to be changed in order to keep the work progressing. A member of the Board of Selectmen shall chair the Committee until a Chair has been elected from the membership of the Committee. A clerk shall also be elected to ensure that all meetings are properly posted and minutes of each meeting are kept. Minutes of the Committee shall be prepared and posted. The committee shall be in compliance with the Open Meeting Law, Public Records Law and the Conflict of Interest Law.
May 3, 2016 – ATM Art. 38 vote to establish committee (2nd of 3-night ATM)
June 27, 2016 – Description approved by Board of Selectmen
|Selectman Liaison||Thomas Andrew|