Meeting Minutes of the Select Board

 Location:  Town offices Date:  March 4, 2021
 Opened:    7:00 pm Continued:  8:45 pm to 1:00 pm on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at Wells Memorial School during Town Elections

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

Attendees: Ted Braun, Don Scott, Jim Phippard, Ben Dexter, George Colony, Cathy Lovas, John Croteau, Esther Solondz, Barbara Watkins, Julia Pakradooni, Jim Putnam

Non-public session– At 7:00 pm, the Select Board moved and voted unanimously in favor to go into non-public session to talk to the prospective Police Chief about hiring terms, procedural requirements and a tentative start date. The candidate will wait to hear from the board regarding a formal appointment letter.

Wildflower garden at Brown Road / Chesham Road triangle– Esther Solondz of Brown Road proposed to the Select Board the planting of a wildflower garden on the town-owned triangle, in honor of Bob Sturgis. This project was previously intended and discussed, but not implemented. Ms. Solondz offered to design, plant and maintain the area and has discussed it with Russell Reservoir residents who are in support. She requests a one-time plowing by the town to clear the area for seeding. The board spoke unanimously in favor and will work with Ms. Solondz on the details, execution and signage.  Ms. Solondz will draft a plan for board review.

Silver Lake– The board discussed a proposed timeline for partnering with the Silver Lake Association and Stoney Beach Committee but still needs to review their report. As parking is a big part of the discussion, the SB Chair emphasized importance of Police Chief involvement in discussions.  He asked interested parties to share any new information not already submitted for consideration. Looking toward April 29 as an end date for a plan, the Board will begin more in-depth discussion during the first hour of is March 18 SB meeting. George Colony will send to the SB offices the 120-page report prepared by the committee.

60 Westside Road– Jim Phippard, representing the property owners seeking Shoreland and septic permits from DES, requested approval from the SB to construct a sewer force main under Westside Road, as well as permission for drainage improvements, including a small berm, drainage culvert under road, and a culvert within right of way, to discharge stormwater runoff into a catch basin. The property owners seek to intercept sediment from going into the lake by forming a stormwater treatment area. This project has been presented to the Select Board, Road Agent and Code Enforcement Officer previously.

The applicants need permission from the SB for DES review to proceed and for DES approval, as proposed work will partially occur within the town-owned right of way.  Following discussion, including endorsement by Kathy Scott of the measures being taken to rectify stormater sheeting across road and property and into the the lake, Jay Jacobs moved to allow work by the property owners of 60 Westside Road and their agents within the town ROW per plans submitted by Mr. Phippard. The board further moved to require that, upon completion of the project, the Town Road Agent sign off on the work, that the roadbed meets his technical specifications. The motion made and seconded, all voted in favor.  The SB will draft a letter of permission and will forward it to Mr. Phippard.

Other business
– The board discussed logistics for setting up for the election at Wells Memorial on Tuesday, March 9.

Recycle Center– This item will be discussed on Tuesday.

Citizen of the year– Also to be discussed Tuesday

Wireless proposal– Upon inquiry to the town if it is interested in leasing property for a wireless facility, the board will request more information from the company and also discuss with the Broadband / Cell committee.

The board continued the meeting to Election Day, Tuesday, March 9, at 1:00 pm at Wells Memorial School.

Continued Meeting Minutes of the Select Board

 Location:  Wells Memorial Date:  March 9, 2021
 Opened:    1:00 pm Adjourned: 4:00 pm

Attendance: Select Board Members, Kathy Scott and Andrea Hodson (Jay Jacobs, absent) Moderator, Bryan Kinsbury; Town Clerk, Lovas; Karen Coteleso

Police Chief project

1. The Board reviewed the results of a background check of its finalist candidate, which was prepared by Detective Mike Carrier. The Detective was commissioned by the Board to conduct a background check on Police Chief Driscoll’s recommendation. A second and separate background file was supplied to Chief Driscoll, which the Board does not review. Although the background check does not provide substantive information on the candidate’s past performance, it does result in a “no-flags to hire” recommendation by the Detective.

2. The Board reviewed the Town Attorney’s feedback on the drafted appointment letter, and revised the letter accordingly for the Town Attorney’s second review. The Board also added a pay increase to be effective June 1.

Action items: The Board will ask Mary Ann to find out what is the next step or requirement relative to a background check at the State level. Send revised appointment letter for legal review. And then forward the appointment offer to the finalist candidate, aiming for a start date of March 15.

Silver Lake project

1. The Board reiterated a project completion date of end-April 2021, and created a project timeline for resuming and resolving this ongoing project as follows:

  • Meeting #1, 3/18: Define the current situation and problem(s). Develop solution options.
  • Meeting #2, 3/26: Select solution(s). Identify external resources and effected homeowners to be engaged. Delegate followup action items.
  • Meeting #3, 4/01: Subsequent April meetings will be used to monitor progress and troubleshoot as needed.2. The Board identified the following partners to engage in the March meetings
  • Police Chief
  • Silver Lake Association leadership and members3. Because the problems and resolutions of the Silver L. project may be applicable to other public lakes in Harrisville, the Board also recognized others who should be informed about the project and kept abreast of findings and outcomes, and who may provide constructive input:

    Planning Board and Conservation Commission Harrisville Lake Associations and the Beach Committee

Action items: Invite Police Chief and Silver L. representatives to participate in the 3/18 meeting.

Recycle / Transfer Station project

1. The Board continued this discussion, noting that it will aim to name a Committee at its 3/26 meeting. Facilitate a Committee launch meeting on 4/1. And seek broad community engagement.

2. The Board brainstormed three areas of focus and considered nominees who could help conceptualize these elements, and develop relevant content and solutions:

  • Facilities (revisit existing layout, develop modification options, etc.)
  • Ambassador Program (along the lines envisioned by the Conservation Commission)
  • Recycling operations (industry trends, local operations, and such)Highway Department projects

    Following up on the Trails Committee request for signage placement, the Board confirmed the Trails Committee has been informed of the Road Agent’s consent to the placement of parking signage in proximity to trail heads as proposed at the Board’s meeting 3/4 — Brown Road, Skatutakee Road, and East View. Follow up is with the Trails Committee.

    Action item. The Board will ask the Road Agent to discuss plans for filling the Road Crew staffing vacancy at its administrative meeting end-month, 3/26.


    For follow up was discussion about the set up for Town Meeting this year and in future years —

    1.This year: the desirability of where to set up Town Meeting seating — in front, behind, or on the parking lot to utilize the asphalt surface. With or without a tent, and if without a tent, then the feasibility of posting a “rain date” and how to communicate a change to the “rain date” if/ as needed. The School has agreed the Town may access the School’s restrooms.

    2. And, finally, there was a preliminary discussion about scheduling Town Election hours so that the last hour does not overlap with the first hour of Town Meeting so that Election Officials can participate fully in the Town Meeting. This in turn led to conversation about the feasibility and desirability of scheduling separate dates, and moving Town Meeting to Saturday mornings (versus Tuesday night) — which due to pandemic is how both are scheduled this year. Related, the Town Clerk will scope the feasibility and desirability of administering the School Board Election.

    Board Meeting schedule

    The Board’s March meetings will be planned for Thursday, 3/18 (7pm) and Friday, 3/26 (9am)