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TOWNSEND — Conservation-related issues connected to Sterilite’s construction of a joint library/senior center for Townsend have been under review by the Conservation Commission.

Commission Chairman Karen Chapman said that the plantings planned for the site look like a good choice.

“I can’t wait to see the low-growing sumac,” said Commissioner Jennifer Pettit. The plant is a good ground cover, she said, and turns a brilliant shade of red in the autumn when it’s planted under the right conditions.

Members expressed concern with set-up and maintenance of the storm drainage system. The plans suggest a comprehensive maintenance schedule and show numerous catch basins and a detention basin.

“Drainage systems are required to be maintained by the owner,” said Chapman, while looking through the plans, “and that’s the town.”

“The question is, who’s going to clean these?” asked Vice Chairman John Stonefield.

The commissioners could not determine if the plans showed curbing around the outside of the parking lot. Small animals need to be allowed to exit the lot and water must drain freely to prevent icing and flooding.

“There are turtles in the detention pond,” said Pettit. “So you have turtles hiking around and nesting, not to mention water. I would request that you grade around the area or do Cape Cod curbing so that if critters get caught in there they can get out.”

Cape Cod curbing is a berm, often concrete. When used, the land slopes down to a berm that is sloped up to ground level, often with gravel for drainage behind the berm. Animals can walk up the berm and water can drain through the fill.

Commissioners will recommend that responsibility for maintenance of the stormwater drainage system be clearly determined and that the developer install Cape Cod curbing, or no curbing at all, around the perimeter of the lot. — Anne O’Connor

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