Meeting location: Town offices
Date: December 21, 2017
Members present: Jay Jacobs, Andrew Maneval, Jonathan Miner
Meeting opened: 7:00 pm. Meeting adjourned: 9:20 pm.
Members of the public: Russell Downing, Seth Farmer, Ned Hulbert, Erin Hammerstedt, Rex Baker
Documents signed or reviewed:
SB signed weekly financials in the amount of $1,561.79.
SB signed Select Board Meeting Minutes for December 11, 2017, and minutes for both meetings on December 14, 2017.
SB acknowledged receipt of letter from Silas Little regarding the subdivision on Skatutakee Road.
SB will review Draft #2 of the budget update at next week’s meeting.
SB noted letter from Historic Harrisville regarding street lights. See below for more on this matter.
Departments, Boards and Committees:
Planning Board – SB acknowledged receipt of the December 13 Meeting Minutes.
Town Clerk – SB met with Town Clerk and Carol Knutson to discuss Deputy Town Clerk position. Ms. Massey discussed state training requirements, in-office training and the timeframe for bringing a deputy on board. Pending the Town Clerk’s further deliberation, SB stated it supports her input and recommendation for the new hire.
Trustees of the Trust Fund – SB signed authorization to transfer funds in the amount of $100,000.00 from the Employee Benefits Capital Reserve Trust Fund to be placed into the accounts established to fund retirement plans for eligible employees.
Street Lights – SB met with Russ Downing to discuss the street light project, and the purpose and objective of street lights, including the different needs on Main Street compared to side streets and the possibility that lights would not be needed on all existing poles. In his analysis of potential output in the village assuming 13 watt LED bulbs in replica light fixtures, Mr. Downing presented a chart showing output with a range of .5 foot candles to .25. The best guidelines he could find, from the Illuminating Engineering Society, are based on recommendations for college campuses and pathways through woods, and those recommendations are an average of 1 foot candle, with a minimum of .5 foot candle. Existing output from the current replica fixture with the test bulb, Mr. Downing stated, is about 1/10th of a foot candle and he believes the existing incandescent bulbs measure about the same, with output varying given the different bulbs and fixtures currently in place. Mr. Downing also presented a cost comparison. He stated that the cost per month per pole of the existing lights is $13.58 for a 105-watt incandescent. The Jamestown replica fixture with a 13 watt costs just over $4.00 and the Affinity light costs about $4.80.
Subsequently, the SB met with Erin Hammerstedt, to update the SB on discussions and action within The Historic Harrisville Executive Committee and correspondence and outreach from other parties, including Eversource and the NH Preservation Alliance. Ms. Hammerstedt also requested the status of the SB’s position and what it sees as a range of alternatives, having submitted to the SB HHI’s proposals and proposals for alternatives. She noted that, since the public meeting, some residents have expressed willingness to help cover the cost for PEMCO fixtures, depending on where they would go, and asked the process for that.
Ms. Hammerstedt restated HHI’s philosophy on preservation and the SB restated its position regarding its responsibility to all residents to light the streets, the mandate of the Warrant Article and realizing cost savings. The SB also clearly stated that the option of using, or keeping, the existing lights is off the table. The question of possibly privatizing part of the street light operation was raised and the SB responded that privatizing, and putting what is seen as a public service in private hands, was not an attractive option. Andrew Maneval noted the variety of opinions that persist on the matter but stated that money is the threshold issue and the prerequisite for moving forward. He also noted that the SB believes action should be taken and that the SB would not wait for new technology.
Regarding the PEMCO replica fixtures, Ms. Hammerstedt stated that HHI had ordered the correct test bulb for the PEMCO test fixture by the red barn, and she expects it to arrive within the next week, after which it needs to be installed. She asked the SB if it would consider the installation of PEMCO fixtures throughout the village, assuming such a scenario would be separately funded. Jay Jacobs responded that, for him, the safety of residents is paramount and he expressed concern that the PEMCo fixtures would not provide adequate light. Mr. Maneval stated his desire to see the correct test bulb in place before making that decision.
Erin Hammerstedt reiterated the range of HHI proposals, beginning with saving some or all of the existing lights until they burn out – which she subsequently clarified hinges on its being allowed by both Eversource and by the Town. The group discussed how such a scenario would or wouldn’t work, including the potential effect of uneven light patterns on the streets. Mr. Jacobs reiterated that, from the start, the SB had communicated that this was not an option. Ms. Hammerstedt then stated that, if keeping the existing fixtures was not feasible then HHI could get behind the option of PEMCO lights throughout the village and begin fundraising efforts for that. She stated, however, that HHI could never get behind Affinity lights in any part of the village or national landmark district.
Regarding the possibility of different ranges of light output in different areas, Russ Downing again showed his plot of the village, assuming PEMCO fixtures with 13 watts on each pole, which demonstrates he believes an average range of between .1 to .2 foot candles, with the light output directly underneath of about 2 foot candles. He displayed an inner circle range averaging .5 and an outer light circle averaging .25 in approximately a 15-foot diameter. AS far as Mr. Downing was concerned, such ranges worked for him for a historic district, though he added he enjoys Nelson’s lack of light. The point was also made that any design is limited to where the poles are located.
Seth Farmer spoke on behalf of residents who want to maintain the existing fixtures and don’t want the Affinity lights anywhere near them. While acknowledging that the input carries weight with the SB, Mr. Maneval responded that street lights aren’t just for the people who live there but for the benefit of everyone who walks and drives through a given area.
In laying out the non-negotiables as asked by Ned Hulbert, Andrew Maneval stated his one hard non-negotiable is budget and the second, more flexible, non-negotiable is sufficiency of light. Jay Jacobs added that the existing fixtures would not be maintained and the other board members agreed, additionally stating that privatizing was not an option. Mr. Jacobs further added that doing nothing is not an option.
Erin Hammerstedt noted that she would convey the SB’s position to the Executive Committee working group and HHI and that she would contact Jon Miner, via Angela Hendrickson, as soon as the test module arrives from PEMCO.
The SB deferred the following until next week’s meeting:
2018 Draw Down Schedule for School Payments
Brox Industries – Asphalt plant open all winter
NH PDIP – Monthly Market Review and Newsletter
Investment Rates and Benefits
NHMA – 2018 Important Dates
NHDES – Notice of Acceptance for Permit Application for 423 Chesham Road
Mascoma – Bank closing on Christmas Day
December 25 – Christmas Day
January 1 – New Year’s Day
January 15 – Martin Luther King Day (office closed)
March 13 – Town Meeting at Wells Memorial School
September 11, 2018 – Primary Elections at Town Office