Meeting location: Fire House
Date: November 14, 2019
Members present: Jay Jacobs, Kathleen Scott, Andrea Hodson
Meeting opened: 7:00 pm. Meeting continued: 9:15 pm
Members of the public: Max Boyd, Connie Boyd, Lisa Anderson, Doug Norman, Jenn Pettis, Guy Pettis, Judy Martin, Andrew Maneval, Mary Day Mordecai, Ned Hulbert, Donna Sprague, Susan Brown, Alison Weber, Dan McBrien
Residents and Guests
– Residents of Jaquith Roadreaddressed last year’s use of Jaquith Road instead of Hancock Road by town vehicles to access and transport gravel for winter roadwork. They asked the SB to please explain in writing the town’s policy on this matter and also to express in writing under what circumstances in the future town vehicles would need to access either the town or Mr. O’Neil’s gravel pit via Jaquith Road. Residents and the board discussed the circumstances of last year, after which the SB noted it would like to include the Road Agent in this conversation. They noted they would add the item to a future meeting agenda and get back to the Jaquith Road residents with a response.
–Sargent Camp Road residentsexpressed concerns about increased traffic, especially large buses and vehicles, on the narrow road used by residents with young kids and dogs. They believe much of it is related to Sargent Camp and worry that Google Maps may send vehicles in the wrong direction rather than via Peterborough/Windy Row. The residents noted that Sargent Camp is aware and very cooperative. Residents requested that the SB place signs on the northbound and southbound sides of Route 137; e.g., no vehicle over 6 tons. The SB explained that the process for such signs restricting truck traffic must go thru Town Meeting but that the town can put up a “caution” or “slow” sign. Mr. Jacobs explained it’s also a matter of collaborating with another town but that residents could submit a petitioned article. The board suggested they draft a letter to Traffic Safety Committee which will then meet to discuss the matter.
–Broadband Committee representative Andrew Maneval requested permission from the Select Board for the committee, which already received support from the Planning Board, to proceed with the RFP. Mr. Maneval reiterated that the draft RFP does not obligate the town in any way and that the overall goal is to secure a proposal that ultimately serves the whole town. Mr. Maneval noted that Harrisville complies with the requirements of SB170 regarding degrees of service and the level of need throughout town confirmed by Consolidated Communications’ in its response to the RFI (Request for Information) about the served and underserved population throughout town. Mr. Maneval reviewed some potential scenarios related to bringing a Warrant Article, noting it may require a Special Town Meeting given the tight timeframe for assessing responses to the RFP and negotiating a contract agreement for the voters’ consideration. He laid out the realistic timetable from the committee’s perspective and the likely costs involved for issuing and advertising the RFP. The process would involve as much SB input as desired throughout. The responses to the RFP would dictate next steps, whether or not that involves communicating with bonding counsel and/or selecting and negotiating with a provider(s). Any approval or activation of any contract would be conditional on a Warrant Article. As a first step, the BB committee seeks SB review and approval of the draft RFP. The SB agreed to review and respond by next week. It also believes, should the opportunity come, that a Special Town Meeting would be the best approach to allow extra time for information sharing about all the issues.
Transportation Committee– On the crosswalk initiative, Mary Day Mordecai noted that the committee is ready for the engineer to assess the area on Main Street, near the General Store. The TC has applied to Harrisville Community Fund to help defray the cost of the engineering study but, because of the tight timeframe, the TC may need to fundraise through Common Threads. Ms. Mordecai asked if the town can accept gifts dedicated to the crosswalk or earmarked to a specific initiative. The SB noted it will ask the accountant and get back to the committee. A MAST grant still may be a possibility as well. On the School safety zone, the grant was extended until the end of May. Radar signs will be ordered soon, but exact locations for these is not yet known. On the desire to increase safety at the 137/Hancock Road intersection, the TC hopes to get a radar sign for this location and hopes to find funding, as the DOT will not pay for it.
Streetlight Committee– The SB reviewed the draft letter to the PUC and moved to sign it. The vote was 2-1 in favor with Mr. Jacobs opposed due to previously stated opposition to the cost and inefficiency of the system. The letter will go back to the Streetlight Committee to sign and then to the PUC.
Tax Collector– With the resignation of the Tax Collector, the SB will talk to the auditor about a remittal warrant. A search is underway for a replacement; the Deputy Neil Sandford will continue in the position in the meantime.
Library – The SB noted that the storm windows at the library were taken care of and the door is in the process of being repaired.
Andrea Hodson presented options for appropriating the $8,800.00 available for Municipal Aid, which must be used by the end of the year. The board discussed ideas including new stairs at the Recycling Center, blinds and/or a new outdoor signboard for town offices, fireproof file cabinets, or library improvements. Other ideas include the digitizing of property files in the Assessor’s office or other infrastructure/maintenance projects, such as a new sign at the Skatutakee spring.
Following discussion of SB office staffing, the SB moved to expand the position of the Recording Secretary, Mary Ann Noyer, to a wider scope of responsibility and to a range of a 35-40 hour work week, which would include benefits. In addition, the SB moved to adjust the hourly salary for this position to $25, effective Nov 18th. The SB and Ms. Noyer will assess the scope of work in the coming months with the goal of further shaping and defining the specific job description. All voted in favor.
At 9: 15 pm, the Select Board moved and voted unanimously in favor to continue the meeting to 10:30 am on Friday, November 15, 2019 at the town offices.
* * * * *
Meeting location: Town offices
Date: November 14, 2019
Members present: Jay Jacobs, Kathleen Scott, Andrea Hodson*
Meeting opened: 10:30 am. Meeting adjourned: 1:05 pm
(* 11:15 am arrival)
Attendees: Mike Wilder, Isabelle Jolie, Aaron Gibson, Sarah Atwood
The Select Board continued its meeting to meet with the Building Inspector, with Brown Road property owner Isabelle Jolie (Map 40 – Lot 27), and with Aaron Gibson and Sarah Atwood, occupants of an illegal structure on Ms. Jolie’s lot. The structure is situated within the side setback requirement, and is unpermitted and uninspected, violating building codes and local zoning ordinances. Town officials shared copies of the relevant regulations and further explained the reason for these regulations and why they must be complied with.
The occupants described the materials and dimensions of the shelter, its location on the property, abutting the property line of the neighbor and current provisions for septic and water. Officials explained the proper course of action for inspection and for the necessary zoning and permitting processes, all required to be met prior to any future temporary or permanent residency on the property. The property owner and tenants acknowledged the violations, that they should have approached the town first, and stated their willingness and desire to collaborate with officials in all regards. They also asked for the Select Board’s and Building Inspector’s guidance about how to do so.
Mr. Wilder explained that, as of now, it is an illegal building; it requires the submission of a building permit application, including plot plans that depict dimensions, setbacks, use, and other information related to septic and water, and that the building cannot be occupied until the proper permits are secured. Mr. Wilder noted that, once the building permit application is filed, Ms. Jolie, as property owner, and/or Mr. Gibson and Ms. Atwood, must proceed through zoning, whether for a conditional use permit from the Planning Board for an Accessory Dwelling Unit, and/or to the ZBA for setback or other zoning requirements. The Select Board and Mr. Wilder explained the possible zoning avenues that could be pursued and that it was up to the property owner and tenants as to how they want to proceed. Until such time, Mr.Wilder explained, the structure cannot be occupied or used until the necessary permits are secured.
The group then discussed potential options for a temporary living situation. The property owner offered her recreational vehicle. The board and Mr. Wilder responded that a temporary permit to live in the RV could be applied for, but that provisions for proper septic disposal and water were required. Mr. Gibson and Ms. Atwood stated they would obtain the proper application paperwork and would plan to attend the regular Select Board meeting the following Thursday.
Their hope is to buy property in New Hampshire and hopefully Harrisville, Mr. Gibson explained, as he was raised in the area and has family nearby.
The couple explained their current provisions for septic and water, including a composting toilet and two 330 gallon tanks for gray water. Mr. Wilder reiterated the health regulations requiring proper documentation for disposal and access to both. Officials agreed to give the tenants the weekend to find a place to stay and ten days to submit a building permit application. In the meantime, officials suggested the most expedient course was to allow the Building Inspector on site to identify the specific violations and to recommend a course of action.
While discussing longer term options for the subject property, the idea of creating a backlot was raised. Officials noted the applicable Planning Board regulations. Mr. Gibson was familiar with the ordinances. The property owner noted her desire to help Mr. Gibson and Ms. Atwood, and believed they will help maintain the property as a farm in the way she hopes for it to be maintained. The SB and Mr. Wilder then asked Ms. Jolie to allow Mr. Wilder onto the site as, if permission is not granted by the property owner, the town would be forced to seek an Administrative Warrant from the court for access.
Discussion returned to the possible use of the property owner’s 35-foot RV, and officials reiterated the possibility following appearance before the SB with proper documentation. Mr. Gibson stated he would like the Building Inspector to see the structure as soon as possible. Mr. Wilder noted he needs permission from Ms. Jolie and would need to know by Monday, November 18. Mr. Jacobs explained the town could pursue legal avenues but is attempting to cooperate and work through the situation collaboratively. He added the SB would allow the couple to stay through the weekend unless, upon immediate inspection by Mr. Wilder, there were any questions raised by him or potentially by the Health Officer. Following additional discussion, Ms. Jolie agreed to grant access to her property.
Again, officials reviewed the next steps for securing a temporary permit for occupancy of the RV. Mr. Wilder and the SB further noted they would furnish the couple with the relevant Planning and Zoning application paperwork as well, including contact information, and noted the meeting schedules and application filing timetables for each board.
All parties shared individual contact information. Mr. Wilder, the property owner and the couple agreed to leave the meeting and proceed directly to the subject property so Mr. Wilder could inspect the building and recommend a course of action.
The SB proceeded with additional business as follows:
Broadband RFP– The SB moved and voted unanimously in favor to approve the draft RFP from BB committee with suggested edits, including that formal submissions would be mailed via the post office and not emailed.
Addendum to SB Meeting Minutes of Oct 25th– The SB voted unanimously in favor to accept the amendments related to payroll, the tax rate and employee health benefits, as submitted by Andrea Hodson. Separately, the SB moved to approve the minutes of October 25th.
Code Enforcement– The SB moved and voted in favor to approve the building permit application for a 120 gallon propane tank for a backup generator for Mike and Sarina Wilder at 668 Chesham Road (Map 30 – Lot 57)
Municipal Aid-The SB continued discussion of potential appropriation of Municipal Aid funds. The board also raised ideas for preserving old and deteriorating town documents.
SB moved and unanimously voted in favor to approve a salary increase for the Recycling Center Coordinator to $19.25.
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the SB tentatively scheduled its last meeting of the month for Tuesday, November 26th,at 9:00 am.
Meeting adjourned at 1:05 pm.