Meeting location: Town offices
Date: April 11, 2019
Members present: Jay Jacobs, Kathy Scott, Andrea Hodson
Meeting opened: 7:00 pm; Meeting adjourned: 9:45 pm
Members of the public: Rosemary Cifrino, Harry Wolhandler, Allan Saari, Katherine Upton, Erik Johnson
Departments, Boards and Committees:
Conservation Commission – Harry Wolhandler updated the SB on three items: 1) He noted that on Saturday, April 20, two days prior to Earth Day, the commission is sponsoring a garbage pickup; 2) Secondly, Mr. Wolhandler noted that the HCC voted to donate $5,000.00 from the Conservation Fund in support of the Harris Center’s purchase of a 17-acre parcel along the Eastview Rail Trail, which will fill the gap in the Center’s large sanctuary. Jay Jacobs stated that, though he understands the conservation value, he had hoped the HCC would reserve its Conservation Fund money, which is taxpayer money, for a more important and significant undertaking; and 3) Mr. Wolhandler described the rain garden project being designed by 3 Keene State students in conjunction with the HCC to mitigate storm water runoff into Harrisville Pond and erosion of the boat ramp. Plans are expected to be complete in May. The HCC will discuss with abutters and have a preliminary conversation with the Road Agent. Separately, in anticipation of heavier rainfalls due to climate change, the group also discussed general ideas for runoff mitigation and diversions, with the hope of educating homeowners and raising awareness of possible infiltration methods on individual properties.
Highway Department – Road Agent reported that no additional bids for paving work on Hancock Road have been submitted or are available. Based on this, on the scheduling timeframe, and on economics and efficiency, the SB moved and unanimously voted in favor to accept the bid of Mitchell Sand & Gravel for $63.55 per to or $130,277.50. Separately, the SB confirmed with the Road Agent that the Hancock Road project is on schedule and expected to begin in late May.
Historic Harrisville – SB moved and voted in favor to nominate Jay Jacobs as liaison to Historic Harrisville.
Safety Committee– Following discussions with the SB, Jeff Cady committed to continuing in his role as head of the Safety Committee for the time being. Separately, the SB voted to approve the upgrade to the Assessor’s work station in the amount of $538.00.
Treasurer– Andrea Hodson noted the Treasurer is on track to close first quarter financials.
Brown Road – Katherine Upton and Erik Johnson, residents of Brown Road, attended to report on the poor condition of the paved portion of Brown Road and requested that the SB appropriate money in the 2020 budget to repave that section. The SB noted that this has been on the Road Agent’s priority list but that other roads were designated by the SB for maintenance work because of the heavier traffic they experience. SB will consider and discuss the current condition with Road Agent and ask him to check on the nearby culvert as well. Ms. Upton also asked about the maintenance or removal policy for dead trees and asked if the SB could do anything about the many dying and dead ash trees along that same section of Brown Road. The SB stated that the Highway Department checks the trees along all roads for potentially hazardous conditions but, if they are not on town property or in the right of way, trimming and/or removal is more difficult. SB will ask the Road Agent to take a look.
At 7:30 pm, per RSA 91-A:3,II(a), the SB moved and voted unanimously in favor to enter into executive session to discuss a case with the Welfare Officer. During the executive session, the SB moved and voted unanimously in favor to seal the minutes.
Allan Saari asked the SB about three matters: 1) a request to add a streetlight in front of his home on Nelson Road; 2) how the Police Chief is paid when located at the Fire Station; and 3) if the SB is giving further thought to regionalizing policing through the County Sherriff’s office. On the streetlight request, the SB noted the additional installation was not likely but would be looked into. About employee payroll, the SB noted the Police Chief’s pay comes from his salary and not from two departments for the same hours. In response to Mr. Saari’s request about outsourcing policing to the County Sherriff, the SB enumerated the many benefits of having a community police presence, and highlighted the years of good work performed by the current police force. Though acknowledging it is more expensive than outsourcing and thanking Mr. Saari for his research into the option, the SB stated it continues to believe maintaining our own police department is what’s best for the town. Separately, Mr. Saari voiced frustration with the brevity of the SB meeting minutes.
South Road bridge – SB will review engineering report.