Meeting location: Town offices
Date: June 8, 2017
Members present: Jay Jacobs, Andrew Maneval, Jonathan Miner
Meeting opened: 7:00 pm; Meeting adjourned: 9:40 pm
Members of the public – Noel Greiner, Christine Destrempes, Grace Levergood and Tim Carney of the NHDES Dam Bureau, Erin Hammerstedt, Kathy Bollerud, Don Scott, Kathy Scott, Scott Oliver, Doug Walker, Les LaMois, Doug Miller, Diane Miller, Seth Farmer, Katrina Farmer, Barbara Watkins, Jack Davis, Sarah Kossayda, Jane Skantze from Cheshire Medical Center, Lee Garland, Akhil Garland
Report on Dam Projects:
Tim Carney and Grace Levergood of the NHDES Dam Bureau presented an overview of the completed and upcoming repair work on four of Harrisville’s dams, submitting photographs and descriptions of the work to the Selectmen’s Office and to Andrew Maneval as Emergency Management Director. Tim Carney noted that the Seaver Reservoir project was complete, with ongoing monitoring. The rehabilitation project at Silver Lake involves the installation of safety railings, the leveling of the embankment and the removal of the gatehouse because it is no longer used and it obstructs the needed railings. SB requests that Angela Hendrickson please forward copies of the minutes to the individual lake associations affected by the upcoming work. Tim Carney noted that the NHDES website includes information about the projects. He also noted that given the increased recreational use of the waters during the summer, work wouldn’t begin work until late in the season. When asked about the type of railings at Silver Lake, Mr. Carney noted that certain design specifications are required depending upon the measurements of the drop off and that a split rail fence could be used along Seaver Road.
At Howe Reservoir, the bureau will evaluate the access way through the woods on a private parcel for the safety of its crew, as well as evaluate the condition of the dam.
At Child’s Bog, the bureau will replace two abutments, assess the gate mechanism and inspect the concrete slab. The bureau will have to drain to the bottom but will build a coffer dam to create a bypass flow. Work will be done in winter, with the draw down beginning at the end of August. The Dam Bureau is working with NH Fish and Game, which handles the movement of fish and Mr. Carney added that the overall look of the dam would not change, the boulders would remain, a rail would be installed around the gate with no fencing across. Barbara Watkins commended the bureau on the work done to date and noted that, prior to 1991, the dam had been drawn down annually in winter. Mr. Carney confirmed the spillway would remain untouched and that the dam would be refilled in the spring. He also noted a required public hearing would be noticed and held prior to the draw down and that the bureau will coordinate with the Road Agent given the proximity of the abutments to Rosemary Trail.
For Chesham Pond, the bureau is in the early stages of evaluating the condition, noting the potential need to construct core granite walls and a grass earth embankment. The timing of this work has not been determined, given the need to coordinate with the DOT.
Street Light Project:
In light of Warrant Article 03 passed and amended at Town Meeting to replace existing street lights with more energy-efficient LED lights and fixtures and the request from the SB to report back within two weeks with recommendations for alternatives, Erin Hammerstedt, representing Historic Harrisville and interested residents, presented the following: background on and objectives of the project; inventory of existing lights; and estimated costs of different lighting options based on usage, delivery of service, and distribution. Ms. Hammerstedt also cited historical data on the installation of the current fixtures based on information she received from Eversource and from Historic Harrisville archives, and emphasized the importance of preserving the historic character of the town, which has six historic districts. She provided maps of the districts and locations of the lights, stating she believes 50 of the lights are located in Harrisville’s historic districts. The maps delineated which lights are working and which are currently not functioning, as well as the locations of lights with older versus those with more recent fixtures.
The options Ms. Hammerstedt offered ranged from doing nothing to replacing and repairing some lights, to restoring and retrofitting select fixtures to be more energy-efficient (an option proposed by the Historic District Commission), to the option of complete replacement of Eversource poles. Ms. Hammerstedt briefly noted pros and cons of each option from her perspective, citing costs, shorter versus longer-term solutions, and the goal of finding a solution that meets historic and town-wide needs. Regarding total replacement LED, which is what the Warrant Article stated, she noted that Eversource stated there are fixture options to choose from, the potential rebates are calculated based on fixture costs and projected energy savings. When asked by Andrew Maneval if she had a sense of the different costs of the various fixture options, Ms. Hammerstedt responded that she had not looked at the costs yet but noted that the cost difference could be substantial.
In discussing the option of lighting streets only at designated night time hours, that option, according to Ms. Hammerstedt, was possible with a variety of the proposed retro-fitting versus restoring or replacing alternatives. Eversource is checking on the ability of the night time only lighting with incandescents. She noted the high cost, probably the highest project cost, of replacing Eversource’s poles with the Town’s own.
It was confirmed by the SB that residents will have opportunity to weigh in on where they would or would not want light. Andrew Maneval stated it has always been the plan of the SB to determine whether there would be fewer lights and where they would go, based on the views of residents.
Jon Miner and Erin Hammstedt confirmed that the rebate funding from Eversource, only available for approved LED fixtures, is available until those funds are depleted, with possible replenishment each year. Ms. Hammerstedt noted that historic-looking fixtures probably wouldn’t qualify for the rebate. Providing information on energy consumption, LED replacement, she stated, would provide an energy savings of 74% while the midnight service option on incandescent lights would provide energy savings of approximately 54%. The numbers are based on Eversource’s rate plans, not projected savings for the town, though Eversource does project a 50% savings or more for transition to LED. There was a discrepancy in Erin Hammerstedt’s calculations of energy savings to the town of $3,300 per year and Jon Miner’s previously provided calculations of $6,700 per year savings. They agreed to review those estimates at a separate time. To achieve the energy efficient outdoor lighting rate, the town has to switch all of its lights to LED. Any combination of lighting options would not provide that savings. Maintenance costs also vary based on the fixtures and type of lighting selected.
Ms. Hammerstedt stated she hopes a solution can be achieved that weighs historic integrity (authenticity) and historic character (the general atmosphere and feel). She noted her concern about the quantity of light emanating from the fixtures, though she noted it would be more directed. Andrew Maneval added the LED fixtures would emanate considerably less light pollution than exists now.
When asked by Jay Jacobs what her recommendation is, Ms. Hammerstedt stated they would need more information about the option to repair existing lights and that the HDC continues to research the restore and retrofit option, which Ms. Hammerstedt would like to advance as well as the LED replacement option. Ms. Hammerstedt requested another couple of weeks for further focused research.
One resident asked how the Town knows Eversource owns the light fixture beyond the pole, other than the fact that they tell us so. He stated the lights were put up in 1915 and there is a good chance the town originally owed them, asking if the ownership was ever transferred. Jay Jacobs questioned whether the lights date to 1915. Seth Farmer stated his concern about preserving the historic nature of the town.
Speaking for the Historic District Commission, Doug Walker explained they’re looking to the fullest extent into the possibility of restoring and retrofitting. Andrew Maneval asked Mr. Walker, in light of the Amendment to the Warrant Article as presented by the HDC, if the HDC had discussed a schedule and process, asking when the SB might be presented with the HDC’s recommendations. Doug Walker stated the group, held to certain legislative constraints, is researching suppliers and the process pursued by other towns with comparable concerns. Mr. Maneval stated his interest in hearing the HDC’s recommendations should it propose concrete options and a specific timeline, in the interest of not wanting the process to go on indefinitely and in maintaining the spirit of the Warrant Article. Showing the photo of the town at night submitted by Erin Hammstedt, Mr. Maneval noted the light pollution of the photographed lights and stated the reason the SB leaned towards the new cobra-style LED fixture was to eliminate the pollution of the old in favor of a more directed and less noticeable light. Mr. Walker subsequently stated the HDC is attempting to confirm which historic-looking fixtures would be acceptable under Eversource’s program.
Jay Jacobs stated his concern that the project and the process were being stalled and Ms. Hammerstedt and residents stated that was not the case, that they want to do it right. Mr. Maneval again asked Doug Walker when the HDC would next meet to discuss the questions raised and confirm a process and timeline. The HDC stated it needs to sit down with Eversource.
Mr. Maneval added the need to hear from the town as a whole and that it is the input of the whole town, not just those in the room, that the SB will base its actions on, in light of the Warrant Article. Erin Hammerstedt and the group will return next week with their findings.
Documents signed and reviewed:
SB signed weekly financials in the amount of $8,053.46.
SB signed both copies of the Selectmen Meeting Minutes for June 1, 2017.
SB signed the Agreement for American Thunder Fireworks (prices will stay the same from RS Fireworks) and noted Risk Management Services Bulletin for Fireworks.
Regarding the email from David Kennard about road signs, SB approved the placement of two “Dead End” signs, one on Bidewee Road and another on Sunset Hill Road, to prevent tractor trailers and other vehicles from attempting to travel through. On this same matter, SB noted the email from Audrey and Bob Wiita regarding the need for signs. The Road Agent has spoken to the residents.
SB reviewed and signed the contract from Standard Power, noting the approximately three cents per kilowatt hour of savings over existing Eversource pricing.
Departments, Boards and Committees:
Building Inspector – Regarding damage to the railroad bed and trail, Mike Wilder notified the SB he will block off the trail to vehicles and post signs regarding proper use.
SB requests that the Building Inspector visit the house on Dion Grove where work is currently under way to ensure all proper permits and approvals have been obtained.
Conservation Commission – SB noted agenda of June 7 meeting. SB also noted email from Les LaMois about review of permits. SB noted that the issue was discussed at the Conservation Commission meeting. SB requests that Angela Hendrickson, from now on, by email on a weekly basis, distribute to all Board Chairs a list of all building permit applications in process.
SB acknowledged email from John Cucchi regarding Winston Sims.
SB acknowledged email from Winston Sims regarding the home-based business of Jonathan St. Peter. It is the SB’s position that all issues were addressed by the ZBA.
Fire Department – SB received the quote from Rymes for the Fire Department heater but could not make a decision without the comparable information from Ciardelli.
Old Home Day – SB noted that SWRPC would like to plan a temporary pop-up Complete Streets demonstration in the village to showcase ideas for pedestrian safety. SB has no issue with the request.
Police Department – SB noted the proposal and pricing for the oil tank from Ciardelli but seeks quotes from other providers.
SB noted that the Police Chief addressed Asplundh regarding the necessary presence of flaggers while they work.
Broadband – Andrew Maneval shared with the SB a draft RFP, as prepared by the Broadband Committee, to solicit bids for a broadband/cell phone study as approved by the Warrant Article at Town Meeting. Mr. Maneval moved to approve the draft RFP as a form in the event sufficient private funds are raised as provided in the Warrant Article. Jonathan Miner seconded. All voted in favor.
Road Safety – Within 2-3 weeks, the SB will authorize the painting of a single yellow line on Hancock and Bonds Corner Roads to slow traffic. SB requests that Angela Hendrickson post a notice of this fact in the Post Office, requesting that anyone wishing to discuss the matter should attend the upcoming SB meeting. A copy of this same notice will be posted on the website.
Paychex – SB acknowledged receipt of Paychex’s credit card services information.
Regarding going to bi-weekly paychecks for town employees, Andrew Maneval moved to take this matter off the table. Jonathan Miner moved to amend the motion to revisit the issue during the next budget review process. All voted in favor to table the matter until the next budget review period.
Cheshire Medical – Jane Skantze, a representative of Cheshire Medical, attended with resident and employee Sarah Kossayda to ask the SB to adopt a tobacco free recreation policy to prevent smoking in recreational areas, particularly those frequented by children. Cheshire Medical noted the effectiveness of the policy, in its view, and its adoption by other towns. Cheshire Medical pays for the signage. Andrew Maneval moved to adopt the tobacoo-free policy. Jonathan Miner seconded. All voted in favor. SB requested three signs for the Town Beach, Russell Reservoir beach and another location to be determined.
NHDES – SB noted the letter regarding Historic Harrisville’s new PWS ID# for the NH Public Drinking Water Supply Inventory Database.
Southwestern Community Services – SB acknowledged receipt of the thank you letter.
June 13 – At 10:00 am, the four eligible town employees will meet with John Hancock regarding retirement savings options. SB asks Angela Hendrickson to contact Dean Ogelby to request his arrival at 9:30. John Miner will arrive at that time as well.
July 3 – Town Fireworks (rain date of July 10)
July 7-10 – Old Home Days