Minutes of Town Meeting and Elections
Town of Harrisville
County of Cheshire
State of New Hampshire
March 10, 2020
NH State Law RSA 669:1 mandates that all towns shall hold an election annually for the election of town officers on the second Tuesday of March. Therefore, on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at 11:00 am, Moderator Bryan Kingsbury opened the polls and Town Meeting at Wells Memorial School, 235 Chesham Road, Harrisville, New Hampshire.
Registered voters cast their ballots between the hours of 11:00 am and 7:00 pm.
At 7:00 pm, following a motion and unanimous vote, Moderator Kingsbury opened the deliberative session of Town Meeting.Mr. Kingsburythanked school officials, introduced the Town Clerk and Select Board Boards. In addition, he recognized State Representative Craig Thompson, Police and Fire Chiefs, various town departments, the ballot clerks, and the many board and committee volunteers.
The Moderator announced that the 150thanniversary of the town’s incorporation will be celebrated July 24th-26thand that a Sesquicentennial Committee meeting, open to the public, is planned for Tuesday, April 21stat 6:00 pm at the Granite Mill. Mr. Kingsbury then introduced Select Board Chair Jay Jacobs to present the 2019 Citizen of the Year Award.
Prior to introducing the Citizen of the Year, Mr. Jacobs asked everyone to recognize the passing of lifelong Harrisville resident and longtime Highway Department employee Donald Keough. Mr. Jacobs also recognized Mr. Keough’s daughter, Holly Jackson.
Next, Mr. Jacobs described the many civic and social contributions of longtime resident Anne Howe, whose town service, beginning with her work with Historic Harrisville Archives, membership and chairmanship of the Planning Board to, most recently, her contributions to the Historic District Commission, particularly with the Historic building Inventory Project. Anne Howe’s keen interest in history, and Harrisville’s history in particular, combined with her organizational skills and thorough attention to detail have benefitted the town greatly. In addition, through her interest in, and support of, Monadnock at Home, Anne helped enable older Harrisville residents to stay in their homes. Following the purchase of her property on Mason Road/Number 4 Hill, she has worked to conserve this land, beautifully preserving scenic vistas of Mount Monadnock for all to enjoy, likely forever. Finally, Mr. Jacobs noted her extremely generous, caring nature. For all of this, Mr. Jacobs noted, we honor Anne Howe the 2019 Citizen of the Year.
At 7:10 pm, with the last voter through the polls, Mr. Kingsbury entertained a motion to close the polls. All voted in favor. Subsequently, Mr. Philip Miner entertained a motion to close the Harrisville School District polls. This motion was seconded and, again, the townspeople voted unanimously in favor.
Moderator Kingsbury retook the podium to explain the rules of the deliberative session and how voting, questions, and discussion would proceed. Mr. Kingsbury emphasized this was the townspeople’s meeting and he was there to help facilitate. Registered voters only, unless agreed upon. Questions should be addressed to the Moderator, who would then call on the appropriate person to respond. Following discussion, vote would be called.
Beginning with the Warrant Articles, Mr. Kingsbury began as follows:
Article 01: Election of Town Officers
To choose all Necessary Town Officers for the year ensuing.
Beginning with officers elected from the floor, Moderator Kingsbury requested motions from the Select Board. For all of the following positions and offices, the Select Board moved to accept the slates as written and to move them to a positive vote: The Harrisville Beach Committee, Chesham Beach Committee, Fence Viewers, Fire Wards, Library Trustee, Old Home Day Committee, Recreation Committee and Surveyors of Wood and Lumber. Upon the call to vote by the Moderator on this motion, the townspeople voted unanimously in favor to accept all Board and Committee slates as written. Officers elected from the floor were as follows:
Harrisville Beach Committee– Scott Oliver, Peter Thayer, Eric Swope – 1-year terms expire 2021
Chesham Beach Committee-Judy Jones-Parker, Judy Gagne, Patrick Gagne – 1-year terms expire 2021
Fence Viewers– Harrisville Select Board – 1-year term expires 2021
Fire Wards– Wayne Derosia, Sharon Breidt, Joe Breidt, Russell Driscoll, Randy Tarr, Jr. – 1-year terms expire 2021
Library Trustee – Michael Price – 3-year term expires 2023
Old Home Day Committee– Catherine Buffum, Jennifer Foreman, Maria Coviello, Pamela Thayer, Ranae O’Neil, Janet Selle, Susan Weller – 1-year terms expire 2021
Recreation Committee– Ranae O’Neil and David O’Neil – 1-year term expires 2021
Surveyors of Wood and Lumber– David Kennard and Wesley Tarr, Jr. – 1-year term expires 2021
Article 01 PASSED by voice vote.
As Article 02 was voted on by ballot in the booths, Moderator Kingsbury moved on to address Article 03. (Please see below.) Following here are the ballot vote results of:
Article 02, Town Zoning Ordinances. To see if the Town will vote to amend portions of the Harrisville Zoning Ordinances as follows:
Amendment #1 – Proposed revision to the definition of Dwelling in Article XXVI to make consistent with the State Building Code definition, and to further clarify what constitutes “cooking”. Amendment #1 passed by ballot vote – 215 YES 19 NO
Amendment #2 – Proposed revision to the definition of Structures in Article XXVI to better distinguish between permanent and temporary structures. Amendment #2 passed by ballot vote – 208 YES 28 NO
Amendment #3 – Proposed revision to the definition of Signs in Article XXVI to make consistent with the proposed changes in Article XVII Signs. Amendment #3 passed by ballot vote – 200 YES 21 NO
Amendment #4 – Proposed revision to the definition of Impervious Cover in Article XXVI to align this definition with proposed amendments to Section 4.1.14 for allowable impervious cover on a lot.Amendment #4 passed by ballot vote – 186 YES 35 NO
Amendment #5 – Proposed amendment to Section 4.1.14 to increase the allowable amount of impervious cover, consistent with state regulations. Amendment #5 passed by ballot vote – 168 YES 42 NO
Amendment #6 – Proposed deletion to Section 20.1.3 regarding special exception approval for wireless communication facilities since Article XIX was rewritten and adopted at Town Meeting 2019, rendering this section inapplicable and unnecessary. Amendment #6 passed by ballot vote – 184 YES 15 NO
Amendment #7 – Proposed revision to the Purpose Statement in Article XXIX-Accessory Dwelling Units to make reference to the Master Plan and to make consistent with state law. Amendment #7 passed by ballot vote – 185 YES 27 NO
Amendment #8 – Proposed revision to amend Article XVII-Signs by adding a Purpose Statement and otherwise revising to bring into compliance with case law on signs, to delete all references to “advertising” and to renumber provisions accordingly. Amendment #8 passed by ballot vote – 184 YES 21 NO
Amendment #9 – Proposed addition of Article XXX regulating Solar Energy systems to accommodate such systems in appropriate locations and to decrease dependence on fossil fuels. Amendment #9 passed by ballot vote – 193 YES 19 NO
Moderator Kingsbury read aloud the following:
Article 03: Broadband Infrastructure Bond
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $1,596,375 (gross budget) for a broadband infrastructure improvement project in the Town (the “Project”); to authorize $896,375 of such sum to be raised through the issuance of bonds or notes in accordance with the Municipal Finance Act (RSA Chapter 33); to authorize $700,000 of such sum to be accepted from a broadband provider on such terms and conditions as will be approved by the Select Board; to authorize the Select Board to issue and negotiate such bonds or notes and to determine the date, maturities, interest rate, and other details of such bonds or notes; and to authorize the Select Board to apply for and accept any federal, state, or private funds that may become available in respect of the Project. [Recommended by the Select Board. Two-thirds ballot vote required.]
Mr. Kingsbury explained that the article would be voted on by separate paper ballot over the course of one hour following presentation and discussion. The Select Board moved to accept the article as read. Mr. Jacobs then introduced Andrew Maneval, Broadband Committee Chair, to describe the proposed project. Mr. Maneval summarized the approved project in Chesterfield, NH to bring fiber to every house and business and the subsequent interest of Harrisville to do the same. The town issued a Request for Information followed by a Request for Proposals, which resulted in six responses. Following input from the committee, the Select Board and the town, the appropriate documents were prepared, including a proposed contract with Consolidated Communications, the Warrant Article, and the supporting informational materials.
Mr. Maneval explained that Consolidated would build, install and maintain the infrastructure and that high speed internet service to every house and business would be available within approximately one year, if approved. In addition, Consolidated would offer free fiber service to town facilities. Mr. Maneval explained the financial aspects, including that the bond would be fully paid off by Consolidated through a $10 monthly subscriber fee for interested customers. There would be no cost to the town, other than to secure the bond. Mr. Maneval explained the reasons the board and committee believe it’s a great opportunity for the town, beginning with the chance to improve the poor internet service that currently exists. Customers who want to keep their existing plans and service are under no obligation to upgrade. Benefits are seen for students, businesses, emergency services, recreation, and the library, among other interests.
Mr. Maneval then introduced Rob Koester, Senior Vice President for Product Management for Consolidated. Using slides, Mr. Koester explained how a fiber network operates and how Harrisville’s network would be constructed. He also discussed the reliability and service speeds of fiber compared to existing copper networks. He noted that the fiber strands would be laid over the copper wires. If funding became available from the Bond Bank in July, Consolidated would immediately begin stringing, followed by splicing to homes. In the meantime, equipment would be ordered and mapping done by network engineers. He anticipates that customers would start being turned up by the end of this year and that 99% of interested customers would have no upfront costs; there would only be a cost if Consolidated had to put conduit underground. Mr. Koester shared sample price plans, comparable to those offered around the state.
Questions from residents surrounded monthly costs and whether or not they could wait to sign up, which Mr. Koester assured they could. He also explained that the size of the wire would vary but would be strung along the existing cable. Accompanying dorm-refrigerator sized cabinets would be placed in certain locations as well.
Anne Havill asked, if the town will own the infrastructure, who guarantees it will be maintained. Mr. Maneval explained that, under the contract, Consolidated is obligated to maintain it. The contract gives the town the opportunity, should there be any default or insolvency, to proceed with another provider or to pursue other avenues. One resident asked about whether Consolidated would have enough backhaul to handle all the new fiber subscribers and how Consolidated could support 1Gigabit speeds for both upload and downloads. Mr. Koester explained the network architecture it uses and how it would work. He further explained that fiber technology is either on or it’s off and it requires power. He explained that battery backups are available from Consolidated and that power could also be maintained through a generator in the event of a power outage.
In response to a question from Julie Armbrust about how the bond would be paid, Mr. Maneval explained that 30 days prior to the principal and interest being due on each bond payment, Consolidated would pay this amount to the Town. He confirmed that the bond and the contract both had terms of 20 years. When asked what would happen if Consolidated could no longer pay, Mr. Maneval explained that 1) the infrastructure in place would offer the town collateral and the ability to find another Internet Service Provider; 2) typically, an insolvency would not occur for a regulated company like Consolidated that has much oversight; and 3) the town would own the assets and the contractual ability to recover certain amounts. While nothing is 100% free of risk, Mr. Maneval believes the proposed contract to be very close to that. Mr. Koester added to this that other companies would likely come in and take over where the project was left off and that fiber networks are extremely valuable as assets.
Consolidated noted that it would offer seasonal residents the opportunity to put their plans on temporary hold for $7 per month. Mr. Koester also noted that high-speed internet could be obtained without phone service.
At 8:05 pm, the townspeople proceeded to line up to vote, placing their paper ballots in the ballot box at the podium. Voting remained open until 9:05 pm, while the Moderator continued with the business of the meeting.
[As announced later, Article 03 passed by ballot vote 133 YES to 3 NO]
Article 04: Operating Budget
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $1,256,470 for general municipal operations, and to further authorize $80,000 to come from the unassigned fund balance. This article does not include appropriations contained in special or individual articles addressed separately. [Recommended by the Select Board. Two-thirds ballot vote required.]
Mr. Jacobs moved to accept the article as read. Subsequently, he reviewed the highlights of the proposed budget and how it compared to last year’s, including the tax rate calculations. In response to a question about the difference in allocations for heating fuel, as compared to expenditures and concern that not enough was being budgeted, Mr. Jacobs explained that certain years, heating costs are allocated to different lines and that in the past few years fuel bills for the various facilities sometimes were allocated to different departments. One resident asked about the increase in the Code Enforcement stipend. Mr. Jacobs noted it reflects the amount of increased activity undertaken by the Building Inspector over the past few years. Mr. Jacobs also explained the increase for Emergency Management Director pay, given the change of officials in that position.
Cindy Stone moved to amend Article 04 to increase the line item 4140-003 from $8,672, to $10,000 to allow for an increase in ballot clerk pay. She explained the duties and responsibilities involved in these positions The bottom line would thus be $1,257,798. The move to amend was seconded. During discussion, it was clarified that, during 2020, there would be four total elections, which accounts for the higher election budgets every four years. Andrea Hodson noted that the proposed budget does include a 2% Cost of Living Increase for employees. She also confirmed that this is an hourly rate. On the call for a vote, the amendment was approved by voice vote.
The Moderator read the amended Article 04 as follows:
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $1,257,798 for general municipal operations, and to further authorize $80,000 to come from the unassigned fund balance. This article does not include appropriations contained in special or individual articles addressed separately.
Article 04, as amended, passed by voice vote.
Mr. Kingsbury announced that 19 minutes remained for voting on Article 03, Broadband. He then read aloud Article 05.
Article 05: Purchase of gravel Pit, Map 10 – Lot 31, Jaquith Road
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate $100,000 for the acquisition of a gravel operation located at Map 10 – Lot 31, Jaquith Road, for the purpose of merging this parcel with the adjacent, town-owned operation to secure aggregate road material for highway improvements and maintenance. And to further authorize the withdrawal of $95,000 from the Land Capital Reserve Fund and to raise $5,000 from general taxation. [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
Kathy Scott moved to accept the article as written. She then explained, using slides on the projection screen, the physical description of the Eastview parcel and how it would fit with the existing town gravel operation on the adjacent lot, purchased by the town in 1963. She explained the requirements the Town would be obligated to meet under state regulations, related to Alteration of Terrain Permits (AOT) for excavation, reviewed by the DES. It is estimated that 36,000 yards of aggregate are available in addition to another 10,000 along the boundary of the town operation and . Ms. Scott also explained the state requirements for reclamation of excavated land for future use, under RSA 155-E.
The town when approached, evaluated the value of the land and annual expenditures of the town for the purchase of road material from outside suppliers. In 2018, for example, the town spent roughly $50,000 for road material it did not have on hand.
At this time, Philip Miner took the podium to announce the results of the school election as follows:
SAU 29 HARRISVILLE SCHOOL ELECTION RESULTS – MARCH 10, 2020
School Board Member 3 year term
Melody Moschan 225 declared elected
Moderator 1 year term
Philip H Miner 219 declared elected
District Clerk 1 year term
Bonnie Willette 231 declared elected
Kathryn Miner 222 declared elected
Mr. Miner then entertained a motion from the floor to recess the Harrisville School Board Meeting to March 9, 2021 at 6:00 pm. All voted in favor.
Resuming discussion of Article 05, Sherry Sims took the podium. A member of the Planning Board from 2006-2018, Ms. Sims discussed the history of the O’Neil Gravel Pit on Jaquith Road and the history of their permitting and conditions granted. She noted the lot is in the Residential and Agricultural District, and that one of the conditions was that excavation be in compliance with 155 E, including a detailed Reclamation plan. She explained that additional conditions were created to protect neighbors; e.g., hours of operation, buffers and access off Hancock Road. The Planning Board required that the operation not cause a diminution in area property or change the character of the neighborhood. Ms. Sims added that the O’Neils subsequently received two extensions on their permit with limited duration of excavation. She expressed concern that, with town purchase, the Planning Board can no longer regulate its use and wondered who would. She claims passing the warrant article would authorize a commercial operation in a residential neighborhood and she asked the townspeople if they would welcome such an operation in their neighborhood.
Neighbor Lisa Anderson spoke on behalf of residents surrounding the operations. Using photos of the neighborhood, she described the homes and proximity of homes to the operation. She spoke to the noise heard from equipment. She stated an environmental assessment has not been completed and such an assessment would consider the aquifer, wildlife and wetlands. Ms. Anderson also reviewed RSA 155-E and the fact that provisions within this RSA were not addressed in the proposed Warrant Article. She noted that municipalities are not held to the same standards as private operators. She noted the noise concerns, including from the sifter and rock crusher. She reiterated the importance of protecting the aquifer. She asked if it was worth saving $15,00 per year at the expense of residents’ rights, quality of life, and peace of mind. She encouraged voters to vote no given the lack of permitting process through the Planning Board.
As it was 9:05 pm, the Moderator entertained a motion to close the balloting on the Broadband article. The ballot clerks began counting of the votes.
Resuming discussion on the Gravel Pit, resident Margaret Ziegler agreed the cost was not worth the benefit.
Select Board member Kathy Scott responded that the cost of the purchase would be recouped in roughly a year and a half. She added that RSA 155-E is quite specific in its requirements and that the town needs to abide by these. Ms. Scott added the needs of the town for the road material and how much could be saved. She emphasized this was not a commercial venture, but a town venture. She noted that the noise heard in 2018 was due to the unusual circumstances of the town’s urgent need for road material following the August 2018 storm. In ordinary circumstances, the town can control the hours of operation; further, the town commits to using Hancock Road for entrance and egress, thus avoiding town vehicular traffic on Jaquith Road.
Additional discussion surrounded whether the existing buffer between the current O’Neil operation and neighboring properties would be maintained. Mr. Jacobs noted this area was not factored into the calculations of available material, as it was a condition of approval of the permit granted to the O’Neils. The Road Agent used the maps on the screen to describe the areas where topsoil had been added and where reclaiming on the town-owned operation had been done and would continue when operations were completed. Mr. Jacobs added that the focus of the Warrant Article was the purchase of the land only and that plans for management and reclamation would ensue. The next article on the Warrant, if passed, would establish a Capital Reserve Fund for this purpose. He added that RSA 155-E is overseen at the state by experts in the area of gravel operations.
Ned Hulbert, a current member of the Planning Board, asked if the reclamation plan which is part of the O’Neil’s permit conditions would be followed. Mr. Tarr noted that the area along Jaquith Road up to the walking trail will remain as is. He believes, when the work is completed, it’s possible two homes could go in there. He also noted there is no water draining from the sections being excavated. Mr. Hulbert asked, given that he had noted at least intent by the Select Board at earlier meetings discussing this opportunity to hear neighbors’ input, if the Warrant Article could be amended to reflect Select Board accountability to the public for specific criteria of concern to the neighbors – for example, traffic and noise – either through building a berm up, or other ideas for operating plans. He proposed something along the lines of the Board’s commitment, within three months to receive input on the areas of contention
Ms. Scott offered specific language from RSA 155-E:4-a about operational standards to which the town would be held, including:
- No excavation shall be permitted below road level within 50 feet of the right of way of any public highway as defined in RSA 229:1 unless such excavation is for the purpose of said highway.
II. No excavation shall be permitted within 50 feet of the boundary of a disapproving abutter, within 150 feet of any dwelling which either existed or for which a building permit has been issued at the time the excavation is commenced.
II-a. No excavation shall be permitted within 75 feet of any great pond, navigable river, or any other standing body of water 10 acres or more in area or within 25 feet of any other stream, river or brook which normally flows throughout the year, or any naturally occurring standing body of water less than 10 acres, prime wetland as designated in accordance with RSA 482-A:15, I or any other wetland greater than 5 acres in area as defined by the department of environmental services.
III. Vegetation shall be maintained or provided within the peripheral areas required by paragraphs I and II.
IV. Drainage shall be maintained so as to prevent the accumulation of free-standing water for prolonged periods. Excavation practices which result in continued siltation of surface waters or any degradation of water quality of any public or private water supplies are prohibited.
V. No fuels, lubricants, or other toxic or polluting materials shall be stored on-site unless in compliance with state laws or rules pertaining to such materials.
VI. Where temporary slopes will exceed a grade of 1:1, a fence or other suitable barricade shall be erected to warn of danger or limit access to the site.
VII. Prior to the removal of topsoil or other overburden material from any land area that has not yet been excavated, the excavator shall file a reclamation bond or other security as prescribed by the regulator, sufficient to secure the reclamation of the land area to be excavated.
VIII. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to supersede or preempt applicable environmental standards or permit requirements contained in other state laws, and no exemption under this chapter shall be construed as an exemption from any other state statute.
Ms. Scott emphasized that the town cannot pollute and that the proposal is for town use and is not a commercial venture. She also noted that the regulations looked to by the Planning Board in its review are the same RSA 155E regulations that the Select Board must abide by.
Mr. Hulbert returned to what he called “the trust issue,” reiterating the request for public accountability. Andrea Hodson stated that she agreed about the importance of accountability and offered that possibly an amendment could involve the establishment of a committee of representatives of governing bodies and residents. She also noted the following Warrant Article establishing the Capital Reserve Fund to pay for a plan to shape the best approach and create a plan that endures over time with future boards.
Another Eastview resident asked what the tax loss would be if the town could not collect on that piece of property. The Select Board responded this amount was $628 on the assessed value of $61,000. Barbara Watkins also requested that some sort of document be created to establish a guaranteed commitment to neighbors.
Erik Anderson spoke to state that the initial approval for excavation was for removal of 19,000 cubic yards of material and that the project would end in 2015. Now the town’s plan is further removal 100,000 yards through 2040. Reclamation has not been discussed, nor a plan. He also stated that any private purchaser of this property who wanted to operate a gravel pit would have to go to the Planning Board for approval. Further, Mr. Anderson stated, without an appraisal or in his opinion due diligence other than the purchase price presented to the board by the landowner, he does not believe the land is worth the purchase price for land he sees as without value in its current state. In the same way he feels he has supported other residents’ projects throughout town, he now urged residents to help his neighborhood in its time of need and to vote no on the gravel pit.
Andrea Hodson returned to Seth Farmer’s earlier question to the board about its reason for pursuing this. She noted the recent Common Threads article, where this was explained. She also noted the yardage that would be sourced at today’s market prices would equal from $360,000 to $650,000 depending on the material. Considering the town’s annual needs now and in the future, the board felt the cost would be more than recouped by a wide margin.
Charles Michal referred to the fact that the town was acquiring its own rights to gravel and would save a substantial amount each year. Wes Tarr confirmed that 7500 to 8000 yards of material is needed annually. He offered additional figures on the town’s annual needs and what it costs to purchase material we don’t own. According to the Road Agent, each year we lose 2” of material on our gravel roads. Mr. Michal agreed on the value to the town of assuring possibly 20 years of gravel material but disagreed about the savings in the next few years to the town’s operating budget.
Laurence Saunders spoke as a real estate agent. He asked how long this 5-acre parcel has been a gravel pit. Kathy Scott responded since 1963. He separately asked if the south-facing slope could offer the possibility of solar panels and asked the board to look at the proposal in a larger lens, not just at the financial numbers.
Winston Sims asked if there had been an appraisal, on what assumptions was it based. Jay Jacobs noted the board was interested in this land for a number of years. He explained the history of the interest and how the O’Neils approached the board, and approached with a firm price. The board then went out and had tests done on the soil, all except one of which met DOT standards for material. Mr. Jacobs further explained the calculations of available material and that these more than cover the cost of the property. The town will remain self-sufficient and the Highway Department budget reasonable.
Andrea Hodson added that the assessed value is based on the land itself, the surface. The board was also considering the value of what lies underneath. Kathy Scott added the additional value in the driveway cuts, site design for location of a building and a well and the overall value of this parcel in this neighborhood. It is felt to be a very desirable piece of land.
At this point, Moderator Kingsbury interrupted the discussion to announce the results of Article 03 Broadband. Article 03 passed by ballot vote 133 to 3.
Marcia Caswell of Venable Road acknowledged the need for gravel but recognized the emotion surrounding the discussion. She confirmed that the operation would be for the town, and not commercial. She then asked how often the Highway Department works in the pit. Mr. Tarr noted it varies but, at the busiest time of year, maybe for a week, 6 ½ – 7 hours a day approximately.
Andrew Maneval commented that the property could be a nice location for a public park someday or for another foreseen purpose. He then moved to amend the Warrant Article as follows: that the SB will create a representative committee of citizens and town officers to study the uses, and conditions of use,of the acquired property before any operations are commenced on the acquired property with a report of the committee’s findings to be submitted at a public hearing prior to any commencement of activity’’. The motion was seconded.
During discussion, Lisa Anderson wondered if the town was putting the cart before the horse by buying the property before hearing the committee’s findings. Seth Farmer asked the same question and also asked the Road Agent what the difference would be in noise levels . Mr. Tarr noted there is no savings to blasting large rock and that noise would from engines running and backup alarms. Les LaMois then spoke to urge a vote on the article as presented rather than amended. Charles Michal viewed the amendment as finding middle ground and as such could support it. Mr. Hulbert also supported the amendment and thanked Mr. Maneval.
The amendment was reread by the Recording Secretary as follows: that the SB will create a representative committee of citizens and town officers to study the uses, and conditions of use,of the acquired property before any operations are commenced on the acquired property, with a report of the committee’s findings to be submitted at a public hearing prior to any commencement of activity.’’
The amendment to Article 05 passed by a show of hands.
Mr. Kingsbury then read the entire Article 05, as amended, as follows: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate $100,000 for the acquisition of a gravel operation located at Map 10 – Lot 31, Jaquith Road, for the purpose of merging this parcel with the adjacent, town-owned operation to secure aggregate road material for highway improvements and maintenance. And to further authorize the withdrawal of $95,000 from the Land Capital Reserve Fund and to raise $5,000 from general taxation. And that the SB will create a representative committee of citizens and town officers to study the uses, and conditions of use,of the acquired property before any operations are commenced on the acquired property, with a report of the committee’s findings to be submitted at a public hearing prior to any commencement of activity.’’
During further discussion, Mr. Maneval clarified that his amendment presupposed the purchase of the property but that a gathering of input on the conditions of use would be addressed publicly. Julie Armbrust expressed she believed it was putting the cart before the horse and that a 5-acre parcel next to an existing gravel put was not worth the purchase price of $100,000. Andrea Hodson responded noted that a committee might come together and figure out how to consider how to manage the property well, but the intent of the article is to purchase the aggregate material. Kathy Scott added that the purpose is to merge the purchased parcel with the existing operation next to it. She returned to the requirements for the Alteration of Terrain permit to expand the excavation beyond what was originally approved for this parcel. The committee could also help with the AOT process and requirements.
Erin Hammerstedt asked if the property had been put on the open market and if it would be available to the town if the purchase weren’t acted on now. Mr. Jacobs explained the owners offered the Town the right of first refusal and understood the board would take the decision to Town Meeting. He added he believes it’s an opportunity for the town that needs to be decided on right away. Ms. Hammerstedt considered that the risk might be greater if the town did not buy it now.
Sarah Scott requested confirmation that the nature of the property would not change, just the property would be changing hands. The board confirmed this is the case. Max Boyd, a neighbor, reflected on the emotion of the matter noting how the neighbors feel the ground rules can change every few years. As a neighbor in the area, he would feel more comfortable if the Town owns it and is not using it for profit. He supports town versus private ownership.
With no further questions, Mr. Kingsbury reread amended Article 05 once again as follows: To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate $100,000 for the acquisition of a gravel operation located at Map 10 – Lot 31, Jaquith Road, for the purpose of merging this parcel with the adjacent, town-owned operation to secure aggregate road material for highway improvements and maintenance. And to further authorize the withdrawal of $95,000 from the Land Capital Reserve Fund and to raise $5,000 from general taxation. And that the SB will create a representative committee of citizens and town officers to study the uses, and conditions of use,of the acquired property before any operations are commenced on the acquired property, with a report of the committee’s findings to be submitted at a public hearing prior to any commencement of activity.’’ The Moderator called for a vote. Following a voice vote without a clear result, Mr. Kingsbury asked for a show of hands.
Article 05, as amended, passed by a show of hands.
Article 06: Capital Reserve Fund for Gravel Pit Operations
To see if the Town will vote to establish a Capital Reserve Fund for gravel pit operations: “Gravel Pit Management and Reclamation.”[Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
Kathy Scott moved to accept as written and read. She explained the board’s commitment to develop a management and reclamation plan. Calling for a vote on Article 06, Mr. Kingsbury noted that:
Article 06 passed by voice vote.
Article 07: Purchase of Highway Grader
To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $313,747 to purchase a new, 2020 John Deere Grader for the purpose of road maintenance. And to authorize the withdrawal of $313,747 from the Road Equipment Capital Reserve Fund. And to further authorize the Select Board to dispose of the 1988 grader, estimated to have a trade-in value of $20,000. [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
Mr. Jacobs moved to accept the article as read and written. The Road Agent explained the condition of the current grader, 32 years old, and the fact that it’s time. Katherine Upton of Brown Road confirmed that it falls apart, as she has found pieces of it near her home.
Article 07 passed by voice vote.
Article 08: Rebuild of Willard Hill, Mason Road, Brown Road
To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $249,000 to rebuild Willard Hill Road in its entirety, Mason Road from the intersection of Willard Hill westerly to Number 4 Hill, and Brown Road from Chesham Road, easterly, a distance of 1,320 feet. And to further authorize the withdrawal of $65,000 from the Roads Capital Reserve Fund created for that purpose and further authorize $50,000 to come from the unassigned fund balance. The balance of $134,000 is to come from general taxation. This will be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7(VI) and will not lapse until the project is completed or December 31, 2021, whichever is sooner. [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
Andrea Hodson moved to accept the article as written. She reiterated the town’s commitment to maintain roads and that these are the proposed projects for 2020. The Board will consult with the Transportation Committee about the project before commencing.
Article 08 passed by voice vote.
Article 09: Repair or Replace Highway Truck
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $40,000 to repair or replace the 2000 MACK dump truck and to further authorize the withdrawal of $40,000 from the Road Equipment Capital Reserve Fund for that purpose. This will be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7(VI) and will not lapse until December 31, 2021. [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.] Jay Jacobs moved to accept the article as written and read.
Mr. Tarr confirmed the truck is rusting out and may not pass inspection because of the condition of the frame. He explained the options of purchasing a new one versus repairing. Both options are available.
Article 09 passed by voice vote.
Article 10: Fund Capital Reserves
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $110,000 to be added to the Capital Reserve Funds previously established and to allocate the sum as follows: $30,000 – Roads; $20,000 – Road Equipment; $20,000 – Fire Equipment; $10,000 – Town Buildings; $10,000 – Bridges; $10,000 – Dams; $5,000 – Police Equipment; $5,000 – Gravel Pit Operations.[Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
Andrea Hodson moved to accept as written. Constance Boyd asked if Gravel Pit Operations was the correct wording or if it should read in line with Article 06. Mr. Jacobs thus moved to amend Article 10 to read “$5,000 Gravel Pit Management and Reclamation.” The Moderator called a vote on the amendment. The amendment passed as proposed. As there was no discussion, he reread the amended article in its entirety and called for a vote.
Article 10, as amended, passed by voice vote.
Article 11: Lake Skatutakee Dam Repair Contribution
To see if the town will vote to raise and appropriate $20,000 for the purpose of repairing the Lake Skatutakee Dam, which was damaged in August 2018 in the torrential rain storm. And further to allocate $20,000 from the Town’s general fund balance for this purpose. The total cost of repair is approximately $60,000, $40,000 of which has been raised through donations from Lake Skatutakee Association members, Harrisville Conservation Commission, Historic Harrisville, and others. The Town’s contribution of $20,000 from the general fund balance will be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7(VI) and will not lapse until the project is completed or December 31, 2021, whichever is sooner. [By petition. Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.] Kathy Scott moved to accept as written and read.
Noel Greiner spoke to the association’s need to repair the dam, built in 1937, following damage to the gate and pedestal from the August 2018 storm. He spoke to how the whole town benefits from this body of water and the state requirements for maintenance, done by volunteers and through donations of association members. In 1990, the association spent $35,000 on repairs. In 2013, they funded $70,000 in repairs through member contributions. Now they need help and are calling on the town. They need $60,000 and have raised $40,000 already, so the request to the town is for the remaining $20,000. He noted the assessed value of properties around the lake is $22 million, so he believes it’s a worthwhile investment and encouraged voters to support. As there was no further discussion, the Moderator called the vote.
Article 11 passed by voice vote.
Article 12: Conservation Fund Reimbursement
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate $5,000 to reimburse the Conservation Fund for the town contribution toward the Harris Center purchase of a 17-acre parcel along the south side of the Eastview Rail Trail. And to further authorize the withdrawal of $5,000 from the Land Conservation Capital Reserve Fund. [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
Kathy Scott moved to amend the article to add the words “for this purpose” to the end of the article. The amendment passed by voice vote. Harry Wolhandler then explained the reason for the request to transfer these funds and the purposes of the two funds, the Conservation Fund and the Land Capital Reserve Fund. He noted that, sometimes, land comes up for conservation at unplanned-for opportunities and, in this case, the HCC used money from the fund to which it had immediate access and now hopes to transfer these funds back into the Conservation Fund.
Article 12 passed by voice vote.
Article 13: Acceptance of Unanticipated Money
To see if the Town will vote to adopt the provisions of RSA 31:95-b, which provide that “any town or village district at an annual meeting may adopt an article authorizing, indefinitely until specific rescission of such authority, the board of selectmen or board of commissioners to apply for, accept from the state, federal, or other governmental unit or a private source which becomes available during the fiscal year.” Further, shall the town adopt these provisions. [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.] Kathy Scott moved to accept as written.
Andrea Hodson explained that this is an administrative exercise to allow the Select Board to accept money it has not anticipated, in this case to facilitate the collecting and spending of funds for the 150thcelebration. Julie Armbrust was concerned that the words “Town of Harrisville” are not in the Article. Ms. Hodson explained that this was the wording the Department of Revenue Administration gave to the Select Board. Ms. Armbrust requested to add these words. Cathy Lovas read aloud the RSA and the board confirmed it was adopting the provisions of the RSA. Ms. Armbrust was satisfied. The Moderator reread the Article aloud and called for a vote.
Article 13 passed by voice vote.
Article 14: Receive Report of Agents
To hear reports of agents, committees, and offices chosen and pass any vote related thereto.
Article 14 passed by voice vote.
Article 15: Business Transactions
To transact any business that may legally come before this meeting.
Article 15 passed by voice vote.
At 11:00 pm, the Moderator moved to adjourn the deliberative session of Town Meetingso that votes could be tallied. All voted in favor.
Following the vote count, the results of the March 10, 2020 Elections were read aloud by the Town Clerk as follows:
RESULTS OF ELECTIONS BY OFFICIAL BALLOT
TOTAL VOTES CAST: 242
Selectman 3 year term
Jay Jacobs 189 declared elected
Richard Jackson 47
Town Treasurer 1 year term
Anne Havill 234 declared elected
Moderator 2 year term
Bryan Kingsbury 235 declared elected
Town Clerk 3 year term
Cathy Lovas 239 declared elected
Fire Chief 1 year term
Wayne Derosia Jr 207 declared elected
Trustee of Trust Funds 3 year term
Ranae O’Neil 232 declared elected
Board of Cemetery Trustees3 year term
Julie Lord 232 declared elected
Supervisor of the Checklist 6 year term
Beth Healy 232 declared elected
Supervisor of the Checklist 4 year term
Anne Havill 234 declared elected
Mary Ann Noyer, Recording Secretary, for Catherine Lovas, Town Clerk
March 10, 2020
Attest: A true copy of the Minutes of the Harrisville Town Meeting held March 10, 2020.
Mary Ann Noyer, Recording Secretary
March 30, 2020
March 30, 2020
Attest: A true copy of the Minutes of Harrisville Town Meeting held March 10, 2020
March 30, 2020