Meeting Minutes of the Select Board

Location: Town offices  Date: September 17, 2020  
Opened:    7:00 pm Adjourned: 9:00 pm  

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

Public Hearing – Eversource
Eversource regional arborist Dane D’Arcangelo presented the company’s proposal for tree trimming and removal of hazardous limbs and trees from the following scenic roads: Brown, MacVeagh, Number 4 Hill, Seaver, Mason and Venable. The proposal is part of Eversource’s routine maintenance to prevent outages and road hazards and requires permission from the town and property owners to both trim and remove. The work would be completed by year-end. The Select Board agreed with the importance of such maintenance and raised no objections or concerns. As there were no questions from the public, the board subsequently moved and voted unanimously in favor of Eversource’s work request.

Rain Garden at Harrisville Boat Ramp
The board noted that the Conservation Commission project to foster stormwater management and improve water filtration from runoff is anticipated to be completed by the week of September 21. The Road Agent and Conservation Commission will discuss possible stone fencing for vehicle protection.

The Purple Heart Trail / Request to designate Harrisville a Purple Heart Town
Kevin Willette, a member of the Order of the Purple Heart, met with the SB to request its participation in the Purple Heart Trail program. The Purple Heart Trail is a symbolic route of roads, highways, bridges or monuments, marked by signage at a location of a town’s choosing, to honor the sacrifice of Purple Heart recipients and honor all veterans. A proclamation can accompany this gesture and formalize a town’s participation. Mr. Willette shared a template proclamation as well as information about other NH towns who have joined (13 to date), how signs are obtained, and their cost. He also noted that August 7th is nationally recognized as Purple Heart Day. The board can edit the proclamation to its satisfaction and determine how, or if, any formal ceremony would occur to announce the honor.

Following brief comments, Kathy Scott moved to accept the proclamation regarding town participation in the Purple Heart Trail program. Jay Jacobs seconded. The vote was 2-0 in favor with Andrea Hodson abstaining on the feeling that she did not have enough information on the matter. The SB will review the proclamation and edit as appropriate for Harrisville and return the agreed-upon document to the Purple Heart Trail organization.

60 Westside Road (Map 73 – Lot 16)
Property owners Ed Moura and Sharman Howe, and their representatives from Cardinal Surveying and Brickstone Land Use Consultants, met with the SB to present a conceptual plan and ascertain approvals needed to install a new septic and rebuild the existing home. Prior to the discussion, SB members had visited the site, where conditions of the existing septic design combined with poor road drainage are problematic. Given the situation, DES had encouraged the property owners to speak to the town prior to applying for state approvals. The issues discussed included the town right of way, whether owned or not, into which the proposed septic system would encroach. The board noted that, should the state approve the design, an easement could be requested of the SB, such that the zoning approval process could proceed. The board will investigate the deed specifications for the road layout, as will Cardinal Surveying.

The SB stated its need to see a specific site plan. On DES approval, Mr. Buschbaum of Cardinal Surveying stated he will inquire of DES whether a conditional approval could be granted. The SB added that the town Health Officer also would need to review the proposal. The Road Agent would work with the designers on any culvert installations. Engineer Jim Phippard of Brickstone will draft a formal plan with cross-sections that addresses drainage issues, and the group will reconvene when specific plans are ready for review.

Driveway permit application, 180 Main Street (Map 30 – Lot 38-1)
The SB discussed the request to install a parking area off Skatutakee Road across from the old highway barn. Concerns were raised about the town-owned right of way and the believed presence of a vernal pool and wetlands. The board will respond to the applicant within the required 60 days.

Electricity contract and EAC/Community Power
The board reviewed the information related to electricity quotes. Though Standard Power offers a slight discount on a 2-year contract, 6.6 cents per kilowatt hour versus 6.868/kWh for 1 year, Ms. Hodson recommends signing the 1-year contract so as not to encumber the town. Following discussion, the board moved and voted unanimously in favor to accept the 1-year plan from Standard Power at a rate of 6.868 cents per kilowatt hour.

Separately, Ms. Hodson noted the Public Utilities Commission has been taking comments from utilities on the Community Power initiative but there has been no public meeting to discuss rules. Community Power NH hopes to incorporate in October and 80+ individual towns are looking to get signatures on a letter to the PUC. Following discussion, the SB moved to approved signing of the draft letter by Harrisville’s Energy Aggregation Committee, noting its full support of the EAC. All voted in favor.

The Beach and Streetlight Committees will meet about replacement of the light at Sunset Beach.

The SB will discuss at its next meeting the possible broadening of employee benefits to include short and/or long-term disability, dental and vision. The board will get input from employees.

Zoom meetings – The SB reiterated its concern of all-remote meetings where no committee members are present at town offices. Mr. Jacobs stated that if a board/committee chair or a designee is not on site, or cannot be, that the meeting should be canceled.

Chip sealing for roads – The SB discussed the prepay option and budget considerations for chip sealing of roads by All States Asphalt with the work guaranteed at the same price for 2021. Subsequently, the SB moved to prepay All-States for chip sealing in 2021 in the amount of $58,000 to guarantee the same price. All voted in favor.

SB signed pay warrants in the amount of $159,739.60 and $2,646.30.

SB signed the Meeting Minutes for September 3, 2020