[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Suffield 5-27-1965 (Ch. 14, Art. IV, of the 1987 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established for the Town a Conservation Commission for the development and conservation of natural resources, including water resources, within the territorial limits of the Town. The Conservation Commission shall consist of seven regular members and two alternate members all of whom shall be appointed as provided in the Town Charter. Each regular and alternate member of the Conservation Commission shall be a resident elector of the Town holding no salaried municipal office. No regular or alternate member of the Conservation Commission shall receive any compensation for his services, but necessary expenses, incurred in the performance of his official duties, shall be reimbursed.
The Conservation Commission shall conduct researches into the utilization and possible utilization of land areas of the Town and may coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes, and may advertise, prepare and distribute books, maps, plans and pamphlets as necessary for its purposes. It shall keep an index of all open areas, publicly or privately owned, including open marshlands, swamps and other wetlands, for the purpose of obtaining information on the proper use of such areas, and may from time to time recommend to the Planning and Zoning Commission plans and programs for the development and use of such areas, which include the acquisition of conservation easements. It may acquire land in the name of the Town for any of its purposes as set out in this article. It shall keep records of its meetings and activities and shall make an annual report to the Board of Selectmen, which report shall be published in the annual report of the Town. It may receive gifts in the name of the Town for any of its purposes and shall administer the same for such purposes subject to the terms of the gift. It may exchange information with the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection. It may request the Commissioner to assign technical personnel to it for assistance in planning its overall program and for coordinating state and local conservation activities. It may in the name of the Town apply for state and federal grants for the advancement of its purposes.
The Conservation Commission in the name of the Town may, after a vote of the Town Meeting duly warned and held and approving the same, by purchase, condemnation, gift, devise, lease or otherwise, acquire any land in any area designated as an area of open space land on any plan of development of the Town adopted by the Planning and Zoning Commission or any easements, interests, or rights therein and enter into covenants and agreements with owners of such open space land or interests therein to maintain, improve, protect, limit the future use of or otherwise conserve such open space land. As used in this section, "land," "lands" and "open space land" shall be defined as set forth in § 7-131d of the General Statutes.
Any member of the Conservation Commission may be removed by the Board of Selectmen for cause, but upon request of such member, such removal shall become effective only after a public hearing.
Within 30 days after the appointment of the members of the Conservation Commission they shall meet, organize and from among the regular members of the Commission elect a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson and a Clerk. Thereafter annually during the month in which the original Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Clerk were elected as provided herein, the Conservation Commission shall elect from among its regular members a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson, and a Clerk. Alternate members of the Conservation Commission shall not participate in any election of officers of the Conservation Commission. In all other matters, when a regular member of the Conservation Commission is unable to act because of absence, illness, or disqualification, he/she shall notify the Chairperson who shall forthwith designate one of the alternate members to serve in the place of such regular member, and such alternate member shall thereupon exercise all the powers and duties of such regular member until the absence, illness, or disqualification of the regular member shall have been terminated.
The Conservation Commission shall fix the time and the place of its regular meetings, and may hold such special meetings as may from time to time be required. The Conservation Commission shall prepare an annual budget and may request an annual appropriation as provided by law. The Conservation Commission may, within the limits of appropriations made for the purpose by the Town, employ clerical and technical assistance or consultants. The presence of three regular members or, in the absence of proper designation of an alternate or alternates as provided by the terms of this article, the presence of four regular and alternate members shall constitute a quorum. No resolution or vote except a vote to adjourn or to fix the time and place of its next meeting shall be adopted by fewer than three affirmative votes.
The Conservation Commission is hereby designated as the agency of the Town to implement the provisions of Section 7(c) of Public Act No. 155 of the 1972 General Assembly (commonly known as "An Act Concerning Inland Wetlands and Watercourses"), as the same may be amended from time to time. The Conservation Commission is hereby further designated as the agent of the Town to effectuate the provisions of Section 7(b) of the Act, as the same may be amended from time to time; provided, however, that no such acquisition of wetlands or watercourses or any interest therein shall be consummated until the same shall have been approved by a vote of a Town Meeting, duly warned and held for such purpose.
Editor's Note: See Connecticut General Statutes § 22a-42.