The Harrisville Planning Board held a special meeting at the town office building located on Chesham Road on Wednesday January 3, 2018.
Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm.
Members present: Sherry Sims, Ned Hulbert, Ryan Stone Alternate, Andrew Maneval Selectman, Heri Tryba, Noel Greiner Alternate, Courtney Cox
Members absent: Jonathan Miner Selectman Alternate, Lisa Marie Anderson Alternate, Craig Thompson Alternate, Pete Thayer Alternate
Voting Members: Voting members are Sherry Sims, Ned Hulbert, Andrew Maneval, Heri Tryba and Courtney Cox
Agenda Prep for 1l10/18: Members reviewed the minutes of the December 13 meeting to debrief and to get direction for the agenda for the regular meeting on January 10. The Co-Chairs had provided a draft agenda that also included a few items of new business: upcoming voluntary mergers, recommended next steps on 137 gravel excavation.
2018 budget: Ms. Sims and Mr. Hulbert had discussed the budget with the Selectboard on December 14 and communicated to the PB that most items were approved by the SB. The SB did not approve the fee for a consultant to help with the Transportation committee; the $5/vehicle tax was deferred for further discussion.
CIP – Master Plan Infrastructure: Mr. Tryba summarized the thoughts behind a requesting authority at Town Meeting for the PB to take a lead role in creating CIP infrastructure plans discussed in the Master Plan. This would be for items going ahead at least 6 years, as specified by RSA 674:5. The discussion revolved around what the PB had historically, though not recently, done in helping pull together the town CIP budget. Some feeling existed that the PB had already been doing much of this, implying the authority had already been approved. Mr. Maneval also wondered whether this might bring to PB into more of a budgetary role than it wanted. “Be careful what you wish for,” he cautioned. This will be discussed further on the 10th and the PB will make a decision whether to pursue the topic further.
Route 137 excavation: Ms. Sims had spoken with Atty. Steve Buckley of NHMA for advice about what role the Planning Board had or should have in the work being done/planned on the former Ervin property on Route 137. He suggested that the PB plan written communication with the current owners stating that the Board expects full compliance with RSA 155-E. Specific areas to be cleared up are whether a new permit is needed or not, what operations standards are being followed, details of the reclamation plan that must be approved by the PB, and the mandating of a reclamation bond. He had suggested that it would be a good idea to get Harrisville’s Town Attorney involved also. It is a complicated statute and the subject property is large, so the Planning Board needs to be sure it acts in accordance with the statute. Ms. Sims agreed to talk with Town Attorney Silas Little the next day to get some answers about the proposed timber and gravel operation/permits. She will also work with Atty. Little to craft a letter to Hillsboro Associates, the new property owner.
PB Annual Organizational Review: Board members discussed the Board’s strengths and areas to improve. Generally, members felt the Board is good with regulatory business, time management of meetings, discussing often complicated issues well and with civility. Members tend to do their homework and come to the meetings prepared. They felt the co-chairs were hard-working and effective.
Most everyone questioned the wisdom of undertaking too many larger items. It’s intimidating and exhausting. The Board also needs to keep in mind that the next year will have a mostly new Board, which will need to form itself and learn the ropes. They need to be selective with projects and initiatives to take only what they can handle. The Board needs to spend more time actually planning. Also, updates have been constant and inefficient. New membership is always needed. The Board also needs to concentrate more on working with the Selectboard on various issues of concern to both boards and to the town.
Meeting adjourned at 9 pm.