Meeting location: Town offices
Date: November 30, 2017
Members present: Jay Jacobs, Andrew Maneval, Jonathan Miner
Meeting opened: 6:30 pm; Meeting adjourned: 9:15 pm
Members of the public: Noel Greiner, Jeannie Eastman, Roger Eastman, Susan Lord, David Lord, Susan Holland, Russell Downing, Scott Oliver, Deirdre Oliver, Doug Walker, Patricia Colony, Chick Colony, Andrea Hodson, Les LaMois, Susan Brown, Anne Havill, Cathy Scott, Don Scott, Sarah Scott, Katrina Farmer, Seth Farmer, Jessica Raynor, Akhil Garland, Tom Weller, Sue Weller, Winston Sims, Sherry Sims, Richard Lavatori, Kathy Bollerud, Sam Banyatsky, Donna Stone, Dan Langille, Erin Langille, Lida Stinchfield, Peter Crowell, Barbara Watkins, Angela Hendrickson, Harry Wolhandler, Peggy Evans, John Evans, Beth Healy, Phil Miner, Kathryn Miner, Leslie Voiers, Michael Price, Peter Savage, Peter Crowell, Dwain Hammitt, Ranae O’Neil, Doug Gline, Carla Richardson
See below for minutes of the public meeting on street lights, which took place from 6:30 pm to approximately 8:15 pm. Following the discussion on street lights, the Select Board held its regular meeting as follows:
Documents signed or reviewed:
SB signed weekly financials in the amount of $13,947.03.
SB signed meeting minutes of November 21, 2017 and November 27, 2017.
Regarding the letter from Silas Little, the SB acknowledged receipt with thanks.
Departments, Boards and Committees:
Assessing – SB acknowledged receipt of information on DRA Courses; SB signed 2017 Equalization Municipal Assessment Data Certificate and Gravel Tax Levy Warrant in the amount of $16.00. Separately, SB requested that the Assessor provide the SB with her views and recommendations regarding the 2018 Statistical Proposal Update from M&N Assessing Services and Cross Country Appraisal Group.
Broadband Committee – Selectman Maneval noted that the Harrisville Community Fund donated $3,500.00 to the Town of Harrisville’s broadband and cell phone study, bringing the amount donated to well over the $14,000 target, thus mandating a $7,000.00 contribution from the town. SB notes this so that, when called upon to do so, Angela Hendrickson will be prepared to issue a check for those purposes.
Building Inspector – SB noted the signed building permits for Robert Cheviot of 209 Chesham Road, Scott and Deirdre Oliver of 792 Chesham Road and Brad Reedstrom of 38 Silver Road.
Conservation Commission – Harry Wolhandler met with the SB to propose revisiting the 2017 Warrant Article, that was voted down, to close the Land Conservation Trust Fund and return the money to the town’s general fund. SB recommended he speak to the HCC at its next meeting.
Historic District Commission – SB noted Meeting Minutes for November 15, 2017 and the correspondence from Selectman Maneval and Erin Hammerstedt regarding the street lights.
Library Trustees – SB noted Meeting Minutes for November 15, 2017.
Police Department – Jay Jacobs and Jon Miner requested of the Police Chief to put a speed sign on Hancock Road. Andrew Maneval agreed with the request.
Street Lights – After adjournment of the public meeting, the SB discussed next steps regarding the street lights. Russell Downing had offered to provide a photometric study regarding the output of lights given where poles are located in town. The SB agreed that this could be useful information and decided to delay any decision on the pending questions until after receipt of that information. This will provide the SB with the opportunity to consider materials submitted to it, and points made, at the public meeting. In addition, the SB reviewed certain maps, submitted by Seth Farmer, regarding support in town for various positions on the street lights.
SB acknowledged receipt of NHPDIP Investment Rate and Benefits, Executive Council Meeting Minutes for November 22, 2017, NH.GOV’s 2018 Conferences, Fall Meeting for NH Economic Development Association, New DRA Municipal Auditor and the free Closed Landfill Workshop on January 24, 2018, and information from Monadnock United Way regarding donations.
December 6 – Planning Board Training Session at 6:00 pm.
December 14 – Marc Coleman from Eversource will meet with the SB at 7:00 pm regarding electricity.
December 25 – Christmas Day
Public Meeting on Street Lights
Selectman Maneval led off by summarizing the process that has occurred since prior to last year’s Town Meeting, at Town Meeting, and up to the present. He reviewed the Select Board’s work with the Historic District Commission, Historic Harrisville and knowledgeable residents to execute a plan that both honors the Warrant Article and Amendments passed last March to appropriate $20,000 to change out the current street lights to new LED lights, and to honor the interests, particularly in the historic districts, to maintain the character and integrity of the historic landscape.
Mr. Maneval reviewed how the Historic District Commission researched the possibility of refitting the existing fixtures with new LED bulbs and concluding that it was not feasible. The HDC then looked into available historic-looking fixtures, finding one remarkably similar to many of the town’s old fixtures. The HDC, Historic Harrisville and the Select Board then met with Eversource and gained approval to use the Jamestown Radial Wave replica fixture, according to Mr. Maneval the only town in the state to do so. The next challenge became the cost to install the replica fixtures, enormously more expensive than the Affinity LED fixtures the Select Board had chosen when it put forth the Warrant Article. The $20,000 appropriated by the Town would not cover very many of the replica fixtures, Mr. Maneval noted, which led to further discussions with Historic Harrisville to explore funding opportunities for the replica lights. During the Select Board’s most recent conversation with HHI, HHI expressed its desire to wait, instead of proceeding with discussions about the replica lights. Mr. Maneval added that part of the waiting was due to the test replica light outside the red barn on Main Street, which contains the wrong test bulb.
Arriving at the intent of this public meeting, Selectman Maneval noted that the SB originally hoped to hold it as early as June of 2017, with the purpose of receiving input from residents on their preferences for locations of street lights. The Historic District Commission’s role was to select the most appropriate color temperature bulb, following the installation of three test lights and a two-month demonstration period. The HDC ultimately selected the yellower colored bulb on the test light outside the General Store, taking the option of the whiter bulb off the table. Mr. Maneval reiterated that the purpose of tonight’s meeting was still to hear from residents about their preferences for locations or removal of lights; but, also, realizing that some people were still dissatisfied with the decision-making process, the Select Board was offering residents a chance to speak about the nature of the lights in general. Selectman Maneval asked attendees to keep their comments to a minute or two and to respect the time and the order of the proceedings.
The first resident to speak was Les LaMois, who asked the Select Board to consider the impact of their decision on the lights on both current and future residents, who would live with it for fifty plus years. Mr. LaMois thanked the board for its undertaking and asked them to take the time to get it right, emphasizing he didn’t understand the rush given that the Warrant Article allowed for a December 2018 deadline for project completion.
Andrea Hodson followed Mr. LaMois, stating she had voted for the Warrant Article to support energy efficiency in town, but adding she is concerned about esthetics and how the project is being done. Ms. Hodson also asked for clarification on whether the Warrant Article vote involved the replacement of every light or if implementation could be done incrementally. Jay Jacobs responded that the Warrant Article addressed replacing the 55 street lights in place in town and that the money allocated was estimated to be adequate for that approximate number.
Chick Colony then spoke to repeat Historic Harrisville’s position, and to emphasize that it is a big issue for them. HHI formally asked for a delay so they could see what the correct light bulb looks like in the replica fixture. Since the Select Board, stated Mr. Colony, did not want to give HHI that time, Mr. Colony added that HHI’s position now is that, of the three test lights in place, HHI feels leaving the lights in town as they are is the best choice. Mr. Colony felt that in the near future the technology of LEDs would change so fast that an LED light could become available that looks exactly like what the town has now and that, though it doesn’t exist now, it could exist in five years, saving a lot of time and effort and money.
Lida Stinchfield asked the Chair if the replica light was off the table at this point, and the chair responded no, that the Jamestown fixture was an option the SB allowed HHI to come to the table with. Selectman Maneval added that the SB entertained the view that the replica lights could be appropriate in many places in the village, and potentially other places, but they knew immediately that it involved a budgetary issue. Not having considered the idea of incremental installation raised by Andrea Hodson, the SB did have the impression there was opposition to the replica lights because they produced too much light. Even now, Mr. Maneval added, the SB has left the question of the replica lights open. While summarizing that the three most obvious options are: to put in the new Affinity lights; decide where to put the replica lights and where to put Affinity lights, a question was raised by Susan Holland about Cobra heads and discussion briefly turned to the difference in terminology of Affinity lights and Cobra head lights, with clarification made by Russell Downing, who showed photographs of the traditional Cobra head fixtures as compared to the Affinity LED fixtures mounted at the store and outside the entrance to the Granite Mill on Main Street. Mr. Jacobs and Mr. Downing explained why it was misleading to call the new LED fixtures cobra heads. Mr. Maneval resumed his explanation of the third option, stating it was to do nothing.
Anne Havill asked if the issue with the test fixture outside the red barn was that it contains the wrong color bulb and not the preferred yellow colored bulb and the board confirmed yes, with Jon Miner adding that, because it is a Type V light, rather than a Type II like the Affinity fixtures, it casts light in a 360-degree pattern. When Ms. Havill asked for confirmation regarding that the replica fixture casts light out and down versus the light pattern of the Affinity fixture which is directed downward, the board referred the question to Russell Downing. Mr. Downing explained that the light from the Radial Wave fixture is cast in a 360-degree direction and goes out from the fixture as well as down, so that a lot of light is lost, whereas the Type II Affinity light just casts light in a rectangular shape down to the street, with no forward component and with a back shield. In terms of dark sky compliance, Mr. Downing added that the Radial Wave fixture does not cast light up but does cast light out.
Seth Farmer added an observation he made from the night walk that, in terms of the statement that the Affinity fixture only casts light downward, when you walk underneath it, you notice it casts a big footprint of roughly 75-80 feet in each direction from the pole. With the objective of ensuring that all information disseminated is factual, Jay Jacobs again asked Russell Downing to address the previous statement. Mr. Downing stated that the Affinity is designed to be more efficient to get more of the light to the ground. When asked by another resident if it goes out 80 feet, Mr. Downing stated he wasn’t sure about 80 feet.
Jay Jacobs asked Mary Ann Noyer, a resident of the upper floor of the General Store building where the Affinity test fixture is installed, to comment on the light from that location. Ms. Noyer responded that, as an employee of the store and resident of the building, she appreciates the light directed into the parking area, and that she also appreciates that the test light does not shine into the apartment windows the way the previous light did.
When the board was asked about the cost of the different fixtures, Selectman Miner referred the question to Doug Walker who stated that the Jamestown replica fixture costs $825 per fixture compared to $137 for the Affinity fixture which, Mr. Miner stated, is prior to the $100 rebate for each Affinity fixture. Selectman Maneval clarified that the rebate would depend on the number of Affinity fixtures the town proceeded with, and that there is no rebate for the replica fixtures. He subsequently added that any rebate is based on the total cost of the installation.
Jessica Raynor asked the general reasoning behind replacement of the lights in town. Selectman Miner responded that the town would save $5800 annually in operating costs by moving to LED for the town’s current 55 lights. Ms. Raynor asked the total cost of electricity for the town now and the board responded approximately $10,000 and rising, and that it would be reduced to about $4,000 following project completion. Mr. Miner added that about 30% of the town’s lights currently are not working, which the town nevertheless gets charged for. Jay Jacobs noted that Eversource approached the town because Eversource no longer services the old radial wave lights, that they are owned by Eversource, who now replaces any malfunctioning lights with whatever fixtures it has on hand, which is why there are so many different fixtures currently on the poles. Mr. Maneval added that, as he understands it, there would be no difference in operating costs between the Affinity and the replica fixtures, just a difference in the initial acquisition costs.
Harry Wolhandler asked the board if it would be possible to replace lights around town in general but retain the old lights in the historic district, and buy up for scrap value from Eversource the lights they are taking out and use the parts to replace lights as they go. Jay Jacobs responded only if someone wanted to put them on private poles since Eversource owns the right for placement of lights on the poles.
Sue Weller stated she would love to see the softer bulb installed in the test fixture outside the red barn because she needs the visual in order to make a decision. When the board asked Doug Walker if one was on order and when it might be expected, Mr. Walker confirmed that it was ordered but that he hasn’t received an answer as to when it would be installed. Scott Oliver then raised the issue of how bright both test lights appear to be and asked Russell Downing or Doug Walker if lower wattage LED bulbs were possible. Mr. Downing responded that the radial wave test bulb by the red barn is a 13-watt bulb and that the lights at the store and down the hill on Main Street are both 25 watts, the lowest possible on Affinity fixtures. Scott Oliver subsequently added that the cost to run the Radial Wave would be half as much given that it’s half the wattage of the Affinity. Russell Downing responded that part of the costs is fixed, and that the two components of the electric bill include the fixed costs and the kilowatt hours. He confirmed that Mr. Oliver was correct in terms of the difference in kilowatt hours but noted that that wouldn’t cut the bill in half, but that it is cheaper.
New resident David Savage stated he and his wife bought their house in Harrisville because of the esthetics, which they hope can be maintained. He noted that, currently, one of the old fixtures shines directly in his windows and he wouldn’t mind having that light removed. Cathy Scott agreed with the concern about esthetics and asked about the number of lights that might be needed. She mentioned the Safe Streets initiative and the discussion about more or less lighting around town based on safety concerns, and wondered how that might fit into the project plan. Ms. Scott also stated she believes that, even with the replica fixture, the light will change the look of the town and she worried about urbanizing the village. She also hopes to see the yellow test bulb to assess the visual impact and wonders where and how many additional fixtures might be needed.
Selectman Maneval referred Ms. Scott’s question about Safe Streets to Sherry Sims or Barbara Watkins, both of whom sit on the Transportation Committee. Barbara Watkins responded that the Safe Streets group has not talked much about lighting, deferring to Historic Harrisville to see what they came up with. It was Ms. Watkins feeling that, while driving through town at night, she realizes that modern lights on cars are pretty bright and she feels she can see people on the road. She added that the Transportation Committee feels the biggest issue is speeding on the roads, not inadequate lighting.
Selectman Miner returned to Cathy Scott’s question about the number of lights, noting that 30% of the current lights no longer work and that number would climb if nothing were done. Mr. Maneval added that implicit in Ms. Scott’s question about Safe Streets are the questions of whether the town is concerned about one or more of the following: people walking, biking, hiking or standing around doing things in more densely populated areas, in driving areas where cars would go fast, or intersections where people want to know where they’re going for turning purposes, etc. Mr. Maneval added he was surprised that the Safe Streets group isn’t more concerned about lights and that he was hearing that for the first time.
Don Scott asked, if the current lights won’t be maintained by Eversource, could the town maintain them. Jay Jacobs responded no, the town would not maintain them. Ranae O’Neill asked for confirmation that Eversource has ended its longtime practice of taking residents’ calls regarding outages on poles and replacing bulbs by pole number and Angela Hendrickson confirmed they are no longer doing that.
Kathy Bollerud then read an excerpt of a letter from Mary Ascot of 28 Kadakit Street, marketing director of an electrical distribution company that sells LED lights, who urged the town to proceed slowly. Ms. Bollerud read the following two paragraphs:
Because I work in the industry, I’m very well aware of the incentives provided by both the state and federal government to cities and towns to convert to LED for energy savings and, ultimately, cost savings. Because of the efficiency of LED lighting, the long-term savings are real. It’s tempting to dive in and join the movement. There is a big ‘however’ though. LED technology is changing so rapidly that even the manufacturers are struggling to keep up. Fixtures that were the latest and greatest one year ago have been replaced with newer, more efficient, models. Some cities jumped right and board and replaced all their incandescent street lighting with LEDs and are now having to replace them with newer, less bright, versions due to the residents’ complaints. This decision should not be rushed.
Kathy Bollerud added that she hoped the town would proceed slowly enough to let industry catch up with the demand to protect historical accuracy and esthetics. She commended the board and the Historic District Commission for their effort and the time they’ve put in and asked the board to wait until a consensus is formed about what is best for the town.
Kathy Miner raised her concern that the town is already behind the 8-ball and offered the example of Dublin, who conducted their study 25 years ago and has experienced savings all these years. Ms. Miner spoke in favor of being proactive to save money, even if it means changing the lights again when the technology offers something better, adding that the town has no lights, or has too many nonworking lights.
Jay Jacobs then recognized Katrina Farmer. Ms. Farmer emphasized the beauty of the rural nature of the town, stating she feels 35 working lights feels like the right number to her. She raised the concern that adding more lights, particularly along Chesham road and outside the village, would lead people to think and act like the town’s roads were more like highways, akin to Route 101 in Dublin, and that speeds would increase. Ms. Farmer noted that other similarly rural towns don’t have street lights beyond their villages and high density areas. She advocated keeping the historic radial wave lights, noting that historical archives show evidence of the system’s dating to 1917 and some of the actual fixtures to prior to 1930, which is something she treasures about the town. Finally, Ms. Farmer asked what the options are from exploring doing nothing to exploring private poles to exploring having the town pay for replica lights or other options not yet considered.
Noel Greiner stated what he felt was the general consensus — for the town to take its time and explore additional options in order to maintain its historic look and value. He commended Historic Harrisville for its important input and noted that their input should be considered given that they are the largest taxpayer in town. Mr. Greiner also suggested that the town deduct payment to Eversource for the portion of the lights that do not work.
Barbara Watkins asked to speak to recount her experience standing under the test light outside the red barn during the walkaround, and trying to imagine what the village would look like with the more modern light fixtures. She encouraged the board not to rush into something that could have such a big impact, that would be very difficult and expensive to undo, and that could be a big mistake for the village.
David Lord echoed the view of others who urged taking more time and preserving the esthetics of the village and the town. He added that Historic Harrisville had received a lot of letters from people who generally shared this same view, and Mr. Lord requested entering the sentiments into the record. Jay Jacobs responded that the letters could be left with the board for review. Mr. Lord then added that the attendance in the room and views expressed also attested to the opinion of so many to implement the street light project properly.
Sam Banyatsky of Canal Street recounted his personal experience of having the street light shine through the bedroom window in an unwelcome way and shine in a way that hinders enjoyment of stargazing in the back yard in a way that was possible when the light was not functioning. Mr. Banyatsky urged caution in proceeding.
Anne Havill asked how often the lights burn out and, if they can’t be replaced, if residents are prepared for a dark town. Selectman Miner responded that it isn’t a set timeframe. Chick Colony then asked for clarification on the system and whether it’s owned by Eversource with the town responsible for payment of electricity and Eversource responsible for the maintenance. Jay Jacobs responded yes. Mr. Colony then asked if that would change if the town changed to the Affinity fixtures. Mr. Jacobs responded that the town is responsible for purchasing the fixtures and the installation and for the repairs. Once the lights are on the poles, Eversource takes possession of then and the town pays for maintenance. In addition, the town pays to keep an extra fixture on hand in the event Eversource needs to swap one out.
Seth Farmer remarked on work done in recent days by residents very interested in the history of the lights in town. He noted that Eversource records indicate the lights date to 1950 but, Mr. Farmer noted that, in the early part of the 20th century, the radial wave fixture was the only option and was a feature in towns across America. Hancock still has their fixtures as well, Mr. Farmer stated. He then presented to the board a petition with 110 signatories to save the town’s historic street lights.
The final resident to speak, Akhil Garland, asked a question about current electricity costs and hypothetical future costs in the case of the Affinity fixtures and in the case of the replica fixtures. The board referred the question to Russell Downing, who responded that, assuming dusk to dawn lighting, Eversource estimates an average of 300 hours per month. The radial 13 watt fixture would be roughly $4.90 per pole per month. The 25 watt Affinity fixture, twice the wattage, would be roughly $6.23 per pole per month, a roughly $1.20 difference. Mr. Downing clarified that this is because the fixed charge is about 80% of the total expense and the energy is about 20%. Jay Jacobs noted that the town took down about 17 street lights the last time it went through this process because of the high energy costs.
Andrew Maneval summarized that, over the course of the evening, some residents have expressed interest in seeing the correct bulb in the replica light and that that would influence their view of the solution, while others distinctly, definitively and assertively, don’t care about that light because they don’t want the wattage or style or replacement of the existing equipment anyway. He noted this for the purpose of highlighting the complexity of the issue, prior to even addressing who wants more or less light, who thinks it’s safer to have light and where the lights should be relative to the objectives of having light or not.
Kathy Bollerud clarified that she had signed the petition because she wants the town to stop action until the correct replica light can be seen, and that she hopes for an alternate bulb that is not yet available, not because she is opposed to the replica housing forever. Mr. Maneval indicated he understood and that waiting for the technology to catch up could be an ambitious and potentially time-consuming goal.
Chairman Jacobs then turned to the issue of the location of street lights, reminding attendees that the whole project started out as an assessment of the 55 lights the town currently has. The purpose of the meeting was to receive input from residents on their preferences for removing or adding lights at certain locations. The board, he continued, has to weigh its job of providing adequate light for safety reasons, while balancing the sentiments of the whole town in their given neighborhoods. Selectman Miner added that the discussion was always about 55 lights or fewer, not adding more lights. He reviewed the locations of most of the current poles and noted Brown Road as a possible area where lights could be removed.
In addressing Selectman Miner’s comment about the board’s intention not to add more light, Seth Farmer stated, from his observation and the use of Charles Michal’s light meter on the night walk, that any of the choices for new fixtures being considered are approximately three times brighter or more, thus causing more light, whether or not there are more fixtures. Another resident added that could just mean fewer fixtures.
Anne Havill commented that, in her opinion, a lot of the lights on Brown Road could be removed, recommending keeping two lights at the intersection of Chesham and Breed Road, keeping two lights at Wells Memorial School and Brown Road, and otherwise removing the four or more that do not currently work. Cathy Scott noted that it’s hard for her to know how to assess whether more or less light would be beneficial without seeing the yellow test bulb in the replica fixture or knowing exactly how to quantify how much light is coming out of the fixtures.
Asked by the board to comment, Doug Walker described the extensive research he did to help find a fixture that was as close as possible to what the town has now and that the Jamestown Radial Wave satisfies that.
Returning to the subject of where residents would prefer or not prefer to have lights, Chick Colony stated that was a difficult question to answer because the overall intensity of the new lights is so much greater than what the town has now. He relayed the story of Francestown, where residents contested their new lights and the town subsequently removed half of them, noting that if the Select Board decided to go with the Affinity lights, they may only need about half the number. Mr. Colony added his concern about areas in the village with a heavy concentration of poles.
Russell Downing confirmed that replacing one new 25 watt Affinity light for one incandescent bulb would result in a lot more light, but that there are ways of planning out and calculating and that the manufacturers have helped other towns do that. But, he added, from what he was hearing he didn’t think the Affinity fixture would be that popular in the village and he could see going with possibly 12-15 Jamestown radial fixtures in the village and maybe using the Affinity further out along Brown Road or at intersections in Chesham. Don Scott asked what the desired level of lumens is in a pedestrian area. Mr. Downing responded that the industry term is foot candles and, around the village, it would be one foot candle. When Mr. Scott asked Mr. Downing what level is there now, Mr. Downing said it’s hard to measure because, with the Jamestown fixture, the light drops off significantly and, if you have less lumens to start with, it’s going to drop off quicker.
Doug Walker described the different light patterns emanating from each test fixture and wanted to make people aware that the replica fixture does offer the option of a back shield to control the light distribution. As a final comment, Mr. Walker requested that the town, no matter what decision it makes, ask for the original fixtures back from Eversource for inventory for the town.
The board then requested comments regarding retention or removal of lights and Ranae O’Neil spoke in favor of keeping the light on Prospect Street at the top of the hill by her home. Akhil Garland asked that the last light on Prospect Street, across from the old bath house, be removed and his neighbors concurred.
Katrina Farmer then produced a map, prepared by concerned citizens, depicting color coding of residents who do not want the new Affinity light on or near their property. When Mr. Maneval asked what the colors mean, Ms. Farmer stated that red means no Affinity fixture, the green shows non-taxpaying property and no color means the person was out of town or unreachable or possibly another position or not necessarily for or against. The yellow squares depict locations of street lights which, Ms. Farmer stated, she hoped matched the Select Board’s map. Seth Farmer added that the map includes the residents’ preference that there be no Affinity fixtures on Main Street.
Don Scott offered that he is familiar with doing photometric plans for areas. The plans help engineer where and how many lights are wanted depending on the number of foot candles desired in a given location. He offered that the town could do the same thing to reach the desired solution and he recommended it. Jay Jacobs mentioned it made a lot of sense.
Lida Stinchfield stated she was encouraged by the possibility of adding a shield to the replica fixture and asked if the lights could be placed lower on the poles. Both the board and Russ Downing confirmed that Eversource would not allow lights at a lower elevation.
Andrew Maneval spoke to the board’s obligation and challenge to carry out the Warrant Article for new street lights while balancing the varied interests in how to go about doing so. To the idea of phasing them in, Jay Jacobs stated it may or may not be doable with the ordering and installation procedures, and that lost savings of $5,500 per year for the town and lost opportunities for the rebate shouldn’t, and can’t be, ignored by a board responsible for managing the town’s budget where all items matter.
Doug Walker raised the idea of relocating the test fixture outside the mill building entrance to the intersection of Seaver and Chesham Roads, where the bright bulb would not be in the historic district and could be of safety benefit in that location. Andrew Maneval responded that the board would consider it. Jay Jacobs added that it was one of the locations targeted for another light, along with the intersection of Willard Hill and Main Street.
Harry Wolhandler asked if there was any reason why the town couldn’t put the replica lights in the historic district and the Affinity fixtures elsewhere in town for safety. Seth Farmer interjected that most of the lights are in the historic district and that, by his count with Historic Harrisville when mapping, all but 8 lights are in historic districts. Jay Jacobs responded that 34 of the 54 lights are in the historic district. Andrew Maneval, stating that the idea of phasing was worth considering, wondered if putting in a few of the Affinity fixtures with the yellow colored bulb approved by the Historic District Commission, assuming the rebate was granted, would be an inexpensive test of what people fear as far as brightness or esthetics. Once the town experienced that, the town could potentially phase backwards and from there could begin strategic replacement.
Akhil Garland asked if raising private money to supplement the cost of the replica lights, assuming these were preferred, was legally an option for the town. Andrew Maneval responded that the whole process had been entered into with the town’s approving a $20,000 expenditure. After questions arose about different types of lights, the board realized there might be other ways than expected to spend that money but the funds were not available, and the board couldn’t expect the town to provide them, which is why the Select Board approached Historic Harrisville. Ultimately, Mr. Maneval added, one entity has to be responsible for overseeing and maintaining the project. When the board didn’t hear back anything other than let’s wait, Mr. Maneval stated, the board wondered if that meant let’s wait until there are better bulbs available, or let’s wait until we can see the correct one in the replica test fixture or let’s wait forever. Akhil Garland then thanked the board for all its time and expressed appreciation for all the board is doing.
Chick Colony requested that the light between the Harris storehouse and the Fairpoint building be reinstalled, as well the one outside the Harrisville Inn, as they had been taken out when they shouldn’t have been. He added he believes Historic Harrisville is currently paying for the one by the telecom building, which he and Linda Willett put in. He also noted that, by the old firehouse and the boat landing, there is a blue mercury arc light that no one seems to own and it should go. Jay Jacobs noted there are several mystery lights in town.
Doug Gline agreed with Don Scott about professionally engineering a design to determine what, and where, fixtures are needed with the lowest LED wattage and intensity possible. Cathy Scott seconded Mr. Gline’s suggestion and responded to Mr. Maneval that she believed the $20,000 approved at Town Meeting wasn’t necessarily to purchase the lights and that the process was still under way to determine the best approach. She added that being able to visualize through computer graphics on a design would help inform the process, and she would prefer not to put something up and then be sorry for it. Ms. Scott added she didn’t believe cost was as much of an issue as making the wrong decision now.
Following Ms. Scott’s comments, Chairman Jacobs stated the public meeting on the street lights was adjourned and thanked residents for their comments. When asked what happens next, Mr. Jacobs stated that at some point the board would make a decision and determine what is the correct path to take based on the Warrant Article. When asked when that might happen, Mr. Maneval stated the board may take some time to reflect on all the input or may discuss it at their regular meeting beginning now. The board wasn’t sure when an actual decision would be made given that their December 7 meeting is cancelled. The Chair and the board stated they have received the message from attendees requesting that they take their time.
The SB then continued with its regular meeting. See above for those minutes.