Meeting Minutes of the Select Board
|Location:||Town offices||Date: August 27, 2021|
|Opened:||9:00 am||Adjourned: 12:00 pm|
Select Board Members: Andrea Hodson, Kathy Scott Absent: Jay Jacobs_____________
Attendees: Beate Becker, Akhil Garland, Lee Garland, Dick Stone, Donna Stone, Gus Lerandeau from All States Construction, Wes Tarr Road Agent, Police Chief Mike Tollett, EMD Jeff Cady , Tom Andrews, Mary Marchese, Ned Hulbert, Mary Day Mordecai, Pam Thayer, Meravesther, Pete Thayer, Barbara Watkins, Alison Weber, Mark Nicholson, Fire Chief Wayne Derosia
Agenda and minutes of previous meeting
The board voted to approve the agenda and the minutes of the previous meeting.
Road projects 2021-22
The Road Agent reported that Mason Road is ready for paving in 2022 as planned. Paving will begin Tuesday in the village on lower Prospect, Canal Street and Island Street.
The board chair noted that spending on the two completed projects involved an overage of $2,700 for chip seal on Hancock Road due to more yardage on the two year project and an underspend on Mason Road of $2,200.
In preparation for the 2022 Budget and Town Meeting, the board discussed proposals to pave Mason Road and Sunset Hill Road. Different widths were discussed by the Road Agent, Mr. Lerandeau, the SB and the Transportation Committee representatives. A 20’ wide road was proposed by the Road Agent and All States for Mason Road. For Sunset Hill, they propose widths of between 18’ and 21′, depending on the section of road. Mr. Lerandeau submitted a proposal for these projects to the board.
Barbara Watkins reiterated the Transportation Committee’s work to slow down traffic on rural roads and believes the proposed road width may not be conducive to slowing traffic, particularly as the rural roads are used for walking, cycling and horseback riding. She asked for an 18’ width to encourage road sharing and roads without lines. Alison Weber noted concern by abutters about cars parked in front of their homes. She asked if one side of the road could be dedicated for walking. Regarding painting of white lines on Dublin Road, Mr. Tarr believes the state will be doing that soon. Mr. Tarr also noted the original proposed width for Mason Road was 22’ and has been reduced to 20’, and that most towns have 24’ wide roads leading to subdivisions. Mary Day Mordecai stated the committee will wait to submit a definitive once it concludes its own research, and possibly holds a Community Conversation about rural roads.
Class VI Maintenance – Blood Hill / Cobb Hill network
The board continued its discussion with abutters and with Akhil Garland, who submitted an application to maintain roads leading up to Cobb Hill. Andrea Hodson explained the application process and what the application would allow and not allow. Any new work, anything beyond basic road maintenance, requires separate approval.
Mr. Garland summarized his application, which requests authorization for maintenance on any and all Class VI roads that abut or go through property he and his wife own. The time period requested is until such time as his property is sold. Andrea Hodson proposed a 2-year timeframe for the opportunity to check in. Kathy Scott opposed a timeframe or need for renewal. The Road Agent also was comfortable with an indefinite time frame as long as the Garlands own the property. The board and Mr. Garland confirmed that in no way was this an assignment or permanent taking on of road maintenance duties.
Donna Stone spoke in favor of a 2-year timeframe to see how it goes, as did Beate Becker. When the board was asked the timeframe for all of Class VI roads in town, the chair said that would be discussed.
Ms. Hodson further stated that authorization would not include roads the Garlands don’t abut. During discussion of a requirement to post a bond to protect against any damage to town property or abutters’ property, the board was inclined to waive for this situation but to consider it for commercial (e.g., logging) use of the road. The board chair will meet with Mr. Garland Monday to finalize the details of the application.
Separately, the board noted receipt of Town Counsel correspondence confirming Class VI status of Blood Hill/Cobb Hill Roads.
Highway staffing – This update was tabled.
Facilities / Facilities Maintenance
Mr. Cady noted the state’s Emergency Action Plan was put together for Hurricane Henri and that Harrisville can adjust to it/adapt for our needs. He is working with the Finance Coordinator on a spreadsheet to keep track of expenses for materials, manpower, etc., during storms.
Mr. Cady confirmed that federal funds will reimburse the town 100% for Covid-related expenses. The state’s covid website may be reactivated for booster shots. Kathy Scott noted Harrisville currently has 4 active (not new) cases.
Mr. Cady and the Fire Chief discussed window replacement options for the Fire Department. Mr. Cady proposes replacing both office windows at a total cost of $828.10 for materials plus labor, and then for 2022 budget to include $2500 for additional windows in the bathroom and meeting room.
The safety audits have been completed for 2021 for all facilities. Mr. Cady will share with the SB the compiled findings, recommendations, and budget estimates for repairs. He proposed purchase, at roughly $200, for a janitor cabinet to store all cleaning solutions, etc. in the town offices.
On the initiative to enhance cell service and improve emergency communications capabilities, the SWRPC believes this would fall into infrastructure piece of Local Recovery Fund program. In-kind matching funds also are available from the state for repeaters/phones. Andrea Hodson noted this and other potential projects will be vetted and then selected.
150th Celebration Sign Board – The SB will talk at the end of September about putting up by the roadside billboard the sign advertising the town’s 150th celebration, scheduled for July of 2022.
Pandemic update from David Belknap
The Health Officer updated the SB that ConVal has mandated vaccines for faculty and staff. He doesn’t believe the town can mandate vaccinations for employees. SAU 29 is requiring masks.
Regarding boosters, many studies are under way, but the jury is still out on recommendations. Mr. Belknap noted third doses are available for the severely immune-compromised. He continues to strongly encourage vaccinations.
RV / Camper permit application
Erin Hammerstedt requested permission from the board to locate a camper temporarily at 15 Main Street, while her contractors ready the house for occupying during renovations. The board discussed the electrical and water hookups and waste disposal, as well as the camper’s location on the property. The SB moved and voted in favor to approve the 90-day occupation.
Fire Chief / Safety Audit
Upon review of the Fire Department audit, the Fire Chief believes the board should hire someone to keep the rear and front of building cleared of snow and ice. He also suggested the board hire for shoveling out the town offices, so that the entrances and exits are cleared prior to start of business. Chief Derosia noted the defibrillator currently at the FD should go to the Recycle Center. The board invited the Fire Chief to join their conversation with Mr. Cady when they discuss Mr. Cady’s report. The chief requested the SB set up a meeting with the town’s insurance company to review the responsibilities outlined in the safety report.
Election set-up is tentatively set for the afternoon of Friday, September 3rd. Polls are open Tuesday, 8am – 7pm, at Town Offices for the State Primary.
Budget update – DRA has notified the town that the MS-434, revised estimated revenue, should include the broadband bond payments in operating budget under long term principal and long term interest. The board approved its letter to DRA asking for them to make this change.
The SB signed the pay warrant in the amount of $150,804.96 and the payroll warrant in the amount of $32,106.82.
Fuel quotes – The Finance Coordinator shared prior year fuel usage numbers with the board. The SB will review in anticipation of receiving and reviewing quotes for 2022.
The SB September meeting schedule is as follows: Thursday, 9/2; Election Day Tuesday 9/7; Friday 9/24 at 9:00 am; and Thursday 9/30. They will not meet Thursday, 9/16
The SB signed the current use application for Mayfair Farm.
At 11:25 am, the SB moved, under RSA 91 A 3 II to enter non-public session to discuss a police investigation. The board moved and voted in favor to exit executive session at 11:45 am.
Police Department – Chief Tollett asked the board to arrange for clearing of brush around the old highway barn. Separately, Chief Tollett reminded the board about the South Road resident’s request to repair the damaged posts at the end of that road. The board chair will call Mr. LaBarre, noting it has no way of knowing who caused the damage.
Subsequently, the board moved to approve the posting of No Trespassing signs on town property, including the area above the Skatutakee Road spring.
The SB office will contact Firelight Theatre group in Peterborough regarding its event proposal in front of the General Store on Friday evening, September 24. The Police Chief is okay with the request, taking safety concerns into consideration, if the group hires police detail during the event.
Request for Yoga Instruction at Sunset Beach – For now, on the recommendation of the Beach Committee, the SB will not accept the request by a yoga instructor to teach residents and non-residents at Sunset Beach.