Concerns over work on plan subject of meeting

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The Board of Selectmen will meet with other town officials and Brian Miller, managing principal and senior vice president of the Turner Miller Group, Wednesday to discuss concerns with work being done on the Plan of Conservation and Development. –LUKE MARSHALL
The Board of Selectmen will meet with other town officials and Brian Miller, managing principal and senior vice president of the Turner Miller Group, Wednesday to discuss concerns with work being done on the Plan of Conservation and Development. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — Officials are holding a special meeting tonight to discuss concerns raised with work being done on the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development.

The town has a contract with Brian Miller, managing principal and senior vice president of the Turner Miller Group, to revise the plan, which is a guideline for conserving and developing land in the future.

The Land Use and Open Space Committee has been working with Miller. Last Monday, Committee member Richard Minnick aired some concerns over how things are going before the Board of Selectmen.

Minnick told the board the committee isn’t satisfied with the work Miller has done thus far.

Minnick said that Miller came highly recommend to the town and that his abilities had been touted. The committee began to be displeased with the work that Miller was doing soon after it wrapped up the public portion of its work, he said.

“The committee finished its work activity, our public meetings. Input from the public was great,” Minnick said. “That was completed in September of 2011. We were supposed to have a draft of the document in November of 2011, but we received it later.”

The committee forwarded the draft to the Council of Governments for review and it came back with multiple corrections and changes, Minnick explained. It went back for a redraft and came back with more corrections.

“Summer of 2012 the committee voted that it’s not right, there are still errors in the document, and Mr. Miller assured us he was going to fix them,” Minnick said.

Minnick explained that Planning and Zoning also had a lot of changes it wanted to see made to the document and most of them were with how Miller had constructed it.

“It just wasn’t professional at all. That’s as nice as I can put it,” Minnick said.

Minnick said that the document is currently at the Council of Governments for review, but he does not foresee going to the state with this current plan.

Minnick was not pleased with either the amount or types of errors that Miller left in the document.

“Mr. Miller said that he would have every cleaned up. It’s not. There are records that still say Oxford, for example. We have data from other towns,” Minnick said.

When contacted for comment, Miller said that he thought his company had corrected the errors, but if it turns out there are any errors remaining, he will fix them.

“After we have a discussion we will work everything out. We will make whatever changes we will need to make,” Miller said. “We are certainly happy to continue working with the town.”

Minnick also raised concerns with where the money to pay Miller is going to come from. The town has already paid Miller $32,000 from the professional fees account, but Minnick questioned where the remained money should come from.

The board didn’t address the matter last week, it’s also expected to be discussed tonight.

“Even though we’re looking where to fund it from, which was the basis for this evening, I’m suggesting that we look at what the payment should be and how we proceed. If it was me, myself at home with the bill, I wouldn’t pay anything. It’s that bad,” Minnick said.

The board, along with the chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission and the past and present members of the Land Use and Open Space Committee, are scheduled to meet with Miller at 6 p.m. in Town Hall Wednesday to discuss how to move forward.