Meeting Minutes of the Select Board

 Location:  Town offices Date:  September 3, 2020  
 Opened:    7:00 pm Adjourned: 9:00 pm  

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


Members of the public: Don Scott, Patrick Gagne

Upcoming Board priorities
The Select Board discussed fall/winter priority projects and lead roles of SB members. Priorities will include: Gravel Pit implementation and reclamation based on the recommendations of the Gravel Pit Committee (Kathy Scott to lead); Silver Lake parking and safety (Andrea Hodson and Kathy Scott to lead); Employee Benefits Plan, including potentially offering short- and/or long-term disability (Jay Jacobs and Andrea Hodson to lead); and the Community Power initiative (Andrea Hodson to lead).

On Silver Lake, the SB will define exactly what it has control of, coordinating with local committees and state agencies and addressing potential applicability to other water body areas around town. Members confirmed that lake load, or number of watercraft allowed, is not within the town’s governing authority. The SB continues to welcome input from the Silver Lake Association and area residents.

On employee matters, the board noted that Personnel Policies Manual will be updated this fall and that any potential changes in benefits would be part of budget discussions.

The Rain Garden at Harrisville Pond boat ramp is scheduled for construction following the paving of Brown Road. The Highway Department and Conservation Commission are collaborating on this project.

Russell Reservoir
Patrick Gagne of South Road met with the board on behalf of Russell Reservoir residents to follow up on questions related to the Howe Reservoir drawdown and repairs to the dam gate. The SB, Mr. Gagne and the Road Agent discussed the residents’ concerns, with the Road Agent explaining that the gate is working but occasionally gets plugged by the beavers, affecting the water level. Mr. Tarr keeps an eye on this and can clear the wood buildup the beavers cause. He added that, if he opens the gate now, the water level will drop further.  The normal drawdown remains on schedule for October, even if the Dam Bureau’s repairs to Howe Reservoir Dam are delayed due to budget shortfalls.  The Road Agent will work with Mr. Gagne to identify necessary tree removal on private property, as requested by DES.

Regarding repairs to the Russell Reservoir bridge abutment and wing wall, the Select Board will include this in budget planning for 2021. The every two year inspection report is scheduled for next year.

Separately, the SB will follow up with the South Road resident about culvert repair on his property which is impeding road drainage

Rules of Procedure for Historic District Commission
Anne Howe updated the SB that the HDC has completed the updating of its Rules of Procedure and would like Town Counsel to review. The SB will forward the document to Mr. Little, and thanked Anne Howe for all her work.

Resident Inquiries
Regarding the sign at the intersection of Ironnail and Brown Roads inhibiting visibility for drivers exiting Ironnail Road, the Road Agent has removed it as it no longer is needed.

The SB noted that the Sunset Beach replacement light will be at original height, not at the top of pole. Scott Stone is prepping the pole for Eversource, and Kathy Scott confirmed the Streetlight Committee will work with Eversource on bulb installation.

Rail Trail repairs
Jay Jacobs updated colleagues that he repaired poor drainage areas along the trail.  The lack of rainfall has mitigated any additional damage this summer.

Document Review
Fuel vendors – The Select Board signed the contract with Rymes for propane for the Town Library and Fire Department.  In addition, the SB moved, based on research and intrinsic continuing good service,` and voted unanimously in favor to sign with Swanzey Oil for heating oil, diesel and gasoline.

SB signed pay warrants in the amount of $223,578.19 for the week of August 28 and in the amount of $578.16 for September 3.

SB signed payroll warrant in the amount of $25,068.46.

The SB signed the Meeting Minutes of August 20, noting that the SB moved and voted unanimously in favor to authorize Andrea Hodson, on behalf of the Select Board, to sign the CARES grant application for Covid-related election expenses.

 The SB has okayed the selling of 150thCommittee merchandise items through the administrative offices at town hall as long it does not interfere with regular business.

The SB signed the MS-1, prepared by the Assessor.

Other business

The Eversource public hearing will be scheduled for September 17, 2020  at 7:00 pm.

Electric Aggregation Committee/ Community Power – Andrea Hodson noted that the Community plan description documents are being prepared for SB review and that the first Community Conversation is scheduled for September 21 from 6:30-8. Notices will go out by email and via the website.

The SB stated that, for board and committee zoom meetings, the chairperson and/or his/her designee must attend in person at town offices to facilitate remote access and meeting business.