Minutes of Town Meeting and Elections
Town of Harrisville
County of Cheshire
State of New Hampshire
May 22, 2021
Moderator Bryan Kingsbury opened the deliberative session on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 9:07 am at Wells Memorial School, 235 Chesham Road, Harrisville, NH, recognizing how different a year it has been for the town.
He thanked school officials and recognized town officials, including Select Board member Andrea Hodson who was unable to attend, board and committee members, and volunteers.
Mr. Kingsbury recapped the results of the March 9, 2021 elections, noting Kathy Scott, Anne Havill, Wayne Derosia, Dean Ogelby and David Robins were all re-elected to their positions.
Select Board member Kathy Scott presented the Citizen of the Year Award to all town employees for their work and commitment to keep the town operating during the pandemic.
Town Clerk Cathy Lovas then shared the history of the Boston Post Cane, traditionally given to the oldest resident in the community, and the fact that Harrisville’s original cane was recently rediscovered after a long absence. Ms. Lovas presented this year’s recipient, Jed Hollenbeck, aged 96, with a replica of the original cane, which will be encased and on display at town offices. All applauded Mr. Hollenbeck, in attendance to receive his award.
The deliberative session proceeded with Moderator Kingsbury’s review of meeting rules and procedure. He emphasized that this is the townspeople’s meeting and his role is as facilitator.
Consideration of the Warrant Articles thus began as follows:
Article 01 – Election of Town Officers
To choose all Necessary Town Officers for the year ensuing.
The following officers were nominated and elected from the floor for 1-year terms expiring 2022 unless noted otherwise:
Library Trustees– Karen Coteleso, 3-year term expiring 2024
Fence Viewers: Andrea Hodson, Jay Jacobs, Kathy Scott
Fire Wards: Wayne Derosia, Sharon Breidt, Joe Breidt, David O’Neil, Jonathan St. Peter
Surveyors of Wood and Lumber: David Kennard and Wes Tarr, Jr.
Chesham Beach Committee: Judy Jones Parker, Judy Gagne, Patrick Gagne
Recreation Committee: David O’Neil and Ranae O’Neil
Harrisville Beach Committee: Ranae O’Neil, Peter Thayer, Scott Oliver, Eric Swope
Old Home Day Committee: Cathy Buffum, Jennifer Foreman, Maria Coviello, Pam Thayer, Ranae O’Neil, Janet Selle, Susan Weller
Article 01 passed by voice vote.
Article 02 Town Zoning Ordinances [This article was voted on at the March elections.]
To see if the Town will vote to amend portions of the Harrisville Zoning Ordinances as follows:
Amendment #1 – Proposed revision to Article VI to add a new provision allowing for the possibility to place certain small structures, not occupied living spaces, closer to boundary lines.
Amendment #1 passed by ballot vote – 254 YES 57 NO
Amendment #2 – Proposed revision to Article VI and Article X to delete references to Accessory Dwelling Units given redundancy with language in Article XXIX.
Amendment #2 passed by ballot vote – 280 YES 20 NO
Amendment #3 – Proposed revision to Article XI to correct the Historic District boundary by changing the designation of Lot 61-3 to Lot 61-4.
Amendment #3 passed by ballot vote – 284 YES 20 NO
Amendment #4 – Proposed revision to amend Article XXVI by changing the term “building” to “structure” to clarify various categories of built objects.
Amendment #4 passed by ballot vote – 284 YES 20 NO
Amendment #5 – Proposed revision to Article XII Wetlands Conservation District to reflect current science, and to establish buffer zones to protect wetland functions and values. Amendment #5 passed by ballot vote – 253 YES 57 NO
Amendment #6 – Proposed removal from Article XII of references to watercourses, placing them instead in Article XXVII Floodplain Management Ordinance.
Amendment #6 passed by ballot vote –276 YES 28 NO
Article 03 Operating Budget
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $1,313, 604 for general municipal operations, and to further authorize $132,531 to come from the unassigned fund balance. This article does not include appropriations contained in special or individual articles addressed separately. [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
Mr. Jacobs moved to amend the article to read $1,309,604 as the town saved $4,000 in the Election budget by not obtaining a tent. Kathy Scott seconded. All voted in favor of the amendment as read.
In the vote on the amended Article 03, the Article passed by voice vote.
Article 04 Capital Reserve Funds
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of$105,000 to be added to the Capital Reserve Funds previously established and to allocate the sum as follows: $30,000 Road Equipment; $30,000 Roads; $20,000 Fire Equipment; $5,000 Dams; $5,000 Bridges; $5,000 Gravel Pit Operations; $5,000 Town Buildings; $5,000 Re-evaluation.[Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
The Article was moved and seconded. Article 04 passed by voice vote.
Article 05 Mason Road Reclaim
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $14,400 to reclaim and compact Mason Road from the intersection of Willard Hill Road easterly to the Dublin Town line (4,800 feet). (This section of road is to be paved in 2022 and funded in 2022.) And further to authorize $14,400 to come from general taxation. This shall be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7(VI) and will not lapse until completed or December 31, 2022, whichever is sooner.[Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
The Article was moved and seconded. Mr. Jacobs explained technical aspects of the work and why the funding for the paving portion would be voted on in 2022. Barbara Watkins expressed appreciation for consideration of multi-use interest in roads. Mr. Jacobs spoke to the Tarr family’s successful and decades-long oversight of town’s highway infrastructure. Generous applause for the Road Agent ensued.
Article 05 passed by voice vote.
Article 06 – Hancock Road Chip Seal
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $71,000 to chip seal Hancock Road from the intersection of Bonds Corner Road easterly to the intersection of Route 137 (2.5 miles). And further to authorize $50,370 to come from the unassigned fund balance, which represents the SB Highway Block Grant. The balance of $20,630 is to come from general taxation. This shall be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7(VI) and will not lapse until completed or December 31, 2022, whichever is sooner.[Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
The Article was moved and seconded. Article 06 passed by voice vote.
Article 07 – Village Paving
To see if the Town will vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $48,500 to pave Island Street, Canal Street and Prospect Street. And further to authorize $48,500 to come from general taxation. This shall be a non-lapsing appropriation per RSA 32:7(VI) and will not lapse until completed or December 31, 2022, whichever is sooner.[Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
The article was moved and seconded. Barbara Watkins asked the town to provide a shoulder for high pedestrian traffic in village, including children, as part of complete streets.
Article 07 passed by voice vote.
Article 08 – Harrisville Community Power
To see if the Town will vote to adopt the Harrisville Community Power Electric Aggregation Plan, TM-05-22-2021, which authorizes the Select Board to develop and implement Harrisville Community Power as described therein (pursuant to RSA 53-E:7). [Recommended by the Select Board. Majority vote required.]
The article was moved and seconded. Jay Jacobs spoke to the passion and dedication of Andrea Hodson and the effort and dedication of all members of the Electric Aggregation Committee to bring this plan forward. Ned Hulbert described the legislative history of the initiative and opportunity for municipalities to aggregate supply of electricity through purchase on the open market. He explained the short and longer term benefits, including cheaper rates and more options for renewable energy options, as well as the opportunity to establish a local energy reserve fund to keep rates stable and enable local investment in renewables. The Select Board would be involved throughout the process and will contract with a supplier in a way that makes the most sense for the town.
Mr. Hulbert, Andrew Maneval and technical expert Henry Herndon answered residents’ questions, including that the costs to the Town would be nothing more than the price of electricity. Participation in the plan is voluntary, with the ability for anyone to opt out at any time, and the ability of the town to terminate at any time. The committee also noted other NH towns’ efforts to embark on Community Power plans. Jay Jacobs emphasized that this is not a guarantee of lower rates but an opportunity for more choice, but the committee noted the SB will solicit bids from several vendors and won’t enter a contract unless the rates are less. While agreeing there is no guarantee, they added that, statistically, this is the case.
Several residents spoke in favor of the plan, emphasizing interest in more control, more competitive rates, more options for renewable energy sources and its fit with the Town’s Master Plan. The committee also confirmed that the infrastructure would continue to be maintained and repaired by Eversource.
Upon a call for a vote from the Moderator, Article 08 passed by voice vote.
Article 09: Petitioned Article for Fair Non-Partisan Redistricting
To see if the Town will vote to urge that the NH General Court, which is obligated to redreaw the maps of political districts within the state following the federal census, will ensure fair and effective representation of New Hampshire voters without gerrymandering. Additionally, these voters ask the Town of Harrisville to urge the NH General Court to carry out the redistricting in a fair and transparent way through public meetings, not to favor a particular political party, to include communities of interest, and to minimize multi-district seats. The record of the vote approving this article shall be transmitted by written notice from the Harrisville Select Board to Harrisville’s state legislators to inform them of the demands from their constituents within 30 days of the vote. [By petition. Majority vote required.]
Andrea Polizos explained how the redistricting process has changed since 2011 reducing the opportunity for public input or public awareness, and altering the district maps. She added that this resolution has passed in nearly all districts where proposed.
Article 09 passed by voice vote.
Article 10: Receive Report of Agents
To hear reports of agents, committees, and offices chosen and pass any vote related thereto.
Article 10 passed by voice vote.
Article 11: Business Transactions
To transact any business that may legally come before this meeting.
Article 11 passed by voice vote.
In final remarks, Town Clerk Cathy Lovas thanked the whole community for their commitment to keeping townspeople safe and healthy throughout the pandemic.
Town Meeting for May 22, 2021 adjourned at 10:25 am.
Mary Ann Noyer, Recording Secretary, for Catherine Lovas, Town Clerk
May 22, 2021
Attest: A true copy of the Minutes of the Harrisville Town Meeting held May 22, 2021.
May 22,, 2021
Attest: A true copy of the Minutes of Harrisville Town Meeting held May 22, 2021
May 22, 2021