Meeting Minutes of the Select Board

 Location:  Town offices Date:  June 11, 2020
 Opened:    7:00 pm Adjourned: 8:20 pm

Select Board Members:  Jay Jacobs, Kathy Scott, Andrea Hodson ________________________________

Attendees: Ned Hulbert, Mary Day Mordecai, Eric Masterson, Don Scott, Pamela Worden, Charles Faucher, Ryan Stone

SB moved and voted unanimously in favor to approve the Meeting Minutes of 5/29 and 6/4.

Transportation Committee – TC members met with representatives of Historic Harrisville to explore an expanded pedestrian network on Historic Harrisville property that could possibly include a crosswalk near the General Store. The TC feels the best course of action is to request Rob Hitchcock to return to assess the engineering feasibility of a slightly different location. The issue is, as of now, the project is $1,000 over budget. The TC also would like to submit to SWRP its application for a MAST grant for a radar sign on Main Street in the village to slow traffic. The MAST application also will include requested funds for a radar sign along RTE 137 near the Hancock Road intersection, a step suggested by the engineer. Following additional discussion and consensus for the TC to move forward to apply for funds for new radar and traffic-calming signage, Jay Jacobs moved that the Transportation Committee request Rob Hitchcock meet with Historic Harrisville with the anticipated expenditure of $350 in addition to the $1,000 needed to cover project costs to date. All voted in favor.

Gravel pit subcommittee – Don Scott and Eric Masterson reviewed for the SB the boundary line and buffer discussion arising in the gravel pit committee meetings. The Harris Center requests, given their significant investment in the public resource of the rail trail, that the town support its protection as a tranquil experience for visitors and maintain a 50’ buffer.  Mr. Masterson clarified that the Harris Center supports the town’s operation but hopes to continue to protect the trail as a natural resource. Mr. Masterson also requested confirmation that it’s the town’s position that the Jaquith Road access point will not be for entrance and egress from the pit. The SB confirmed this is the case as far as hauling material. The SB also confirmed the town is willing to keep a 150’ buffer along the gravel pit/Jaquith rail trail boundary, a distance of 490 feet. Mr. Masterson and the SB were in agreement on these plans.  Ryan Stone subsequently informed the SB that the report is in the works. The gravel pit committee intends to be able to post a draft a few days prior to the June 25thpublic hearing.

Electric Aggregation Committee (EAC) – Andrea Hodson shared highlights of the summit in Concord, including the EAC’s opportunity to hear about different towns’ approaches to developing a community power plan. She noted small towns have the benefit of offering a more stable customer base and thus may have more leverage for lower rates. The next step for the EAC is to obtain and evaluate data from Eversource. As New England utilities haven’t had to compete, the EAC believes this initiative will bring the issue to bear. SB further discussed the history of costs and distribution of electric power and the long term possibility of developing local power sources.

Highway Department – The SB approved the draft letter regarding stone wall and culvert issues along Blood Hill Road and moved and voted in favor to send it to the property owner.

Code Enforcement – The SB moved and voted in favor to send a letter to the Seaver Road resident regarding complaints of junk on the property.

Town e-newsletter – The SB discussed ideas and potential execution of a town hall e-newsletter to interested residents. Amy Robert distributed a template which the board will review. Concerns were raised about information overload for residents, and duplication of communication given the website, meeting minutes and updates from the various town departments in Common Threads. The board also discussed staffing related to content management and distribution but noted this would be a helpful avenue for time-sensitive information or updates from various town departments that hope to get information to residents quickly. The board will discuss further .

Worden/Faucher – The Skatutakee Road property owners attended to request an update or answer from the SB on its position related to the right of way along their parcel. The SB stated it has taken no official action on a response to their March 2ndletter, and that one will be forthcoming when possible. All agreed they hope it can be resolved amicably.

Health Officer – The SB acknowledged receipt of the water testing update from David Belknap and okays the go-ahead for further testing.