Meeting Minutes of the Select Board

 Location:  Town offices Date:  July 9, 2020
 Opened:    7:00 pm Adjourned: 9:10 pm

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

Members of the public: Ned Hulbert, Mary Day Mordecai, Don Scott

Transportation Committee – Ms. Mordecai and Mr. Hulbert updated the SB that, based on Engineer Rob Hitchcock’s findings, and a meeting of the committee, Historic Harrisville and the engineer, the present plan for a crosswalk is not being acted upon right now. The group will take incremental steps as it considers a potentially larger plan for walkways in the village and on HHI property. The committee feels the investment in the engineering and feasibility work will help in the long term.

Separately, the Transportation Committee requested SB support of an application for a MAST grant to cover expenses related to pedestrian safety, including permanent radar signs on Main Street coming from the direction of Nelson and another coming from the Dublin direction. For further traffic calming, the committee also seeks a solar powered radar sign on Route 137, near the Hancock Road intersection.  The committee has received encouragement from SWRPC to apply for this grant, a portion of which they hope to use to support Trails Committee expenses for materials for trail head signage. The estimated cost for the radar signs and trail signage material is $9,000. The SB expressed support for the application. Following additional discussion, Kathy Scott moved to accept the Transportation Committee proposal to apply for the MAST grant for radar signage and trail signage in conjunction with the Trails Committee. All voted in favor.

Kathy Scott reported on her preliminary discussion with HHI’s Erin Hammerstedt about Church Street and residents’ feedback on the idea of making the road one way from the top, where it joins Main Street by the General Store. Further discussion will take place with the Traffic Safety and Transportation Committees, the Select Board and Historic Harrisville. Parking matters also will be considered.

Harrisville Pond Water Level– In response to a resident’s inquiry about the low water level, the board noted that this matter is between the DES and private dam owners. The office will reach out to DES to ascertain if additional information about water level requirements might be available.

Blood Hill Road– Akhil and Lee Garland met with the board to express frustration and anger over why further inquiry was not conducted prior to being sent an accusatory letter about Blood Hill road issues, or why they weren’t called directly. They questioned the town’s procedures following receipt of residents’ complaints. The Garlands feel this isn’t the first time they’ve been improperly accused and disrespected. They are happy to fix any problems they cause but stated they are not responsible for covering the stone wall or for damaging the culvert at the intersection of Prospect and Blood Hill Road. They felt an apology was due.

The SB apologized, stating all the comments were duly noted. Further, the SB acknowledged it could have handled the matter better, and could have asked more questions, and will call in the future. The board explained that residents don’t always want to do the communicating and reviewed how the Road Agent and SB had heard about the issues. The Garlands have offered to help the neighbor resolve the issue of the excess material. On the culvert damage, the SB will further discuss.

Signage for Island Street– In response to requests from Island Street residents to reinstall directional signage, the SB noted it will convene the Traffic Safety Committee to address. The goal is to prevent non-cemetery traffic, including visitors seeking the boat ramp or beach, from traveling into the cemetery and continually using private driveways to turn around once they realize there is no water access.

Andrea Hodson will email the Electric Aggregation Committee (EAC) update and the draft of the SB’s 150thbook submission for SB member review.

Finance – The 2020 budget update will be corrected and resent for board review; separately, the SB signed the GOFERR application for state reimbursement for Covid-related expenses.

Gravel pit – The Highway Department does not plan on entering the gravel pit until after Labor Day, and will do so for sand only for the year. This fall, the SB will discuss the timetable for pursuing an Alteration of Terrain application and beginning reclamation, and associated budget implications. The board also will prepare an RFP for surveying work for the AOT application.

Planning Board / Ordinance Review Committee – The SB hopes the committee is looking at revising existing ordinances before turning to new priorities. The board welcomes the collaboration across committees. The next ORC meeting is Monday, July 13. Andrea Hodson will share the SB’s input.

Other – Regarding residents’ or town officials’ questions about potential or perceived violations, the SB reiterated its preference that questions be brought to the SB, who will research the matter.  Such is the case for concerns raised about a home-based business and the conditions attached to the permission granted the operator.

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