Meeting Minutes of the Select Board

 Location:  Town offices Date:  September 24, 2021
 Opened:    9:00 am Adjourned:  11:00 am


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

Attendees: Police Chief Mike Tollett, Finance Coordinator Amy Roberts

ARPA project funding – update
Amy Roberts recommended establishing a committee to assess town needs and identify target projects for the American Rescue Plan Act funds. The committee could develop a timeline and a process for SB review and decision making. The Town has until 2024 to commit funds to specific needs and the funds must be expended by 2026. The Town also must report annually on how funds are being used. Suggested projects must be submitted to the Department of the Treasury by October 3I. One has been put forth to date: A proposal for improved emergency communications and cell service town-wide.

Andrea Hodson recommended the committee first establish a process and recommended surveying other towns on their plans.  The SB agreed this would be an ad hoc committee and subsequently moved to accept the proposal by Amy Roberts to establish a representative ad hoc committee to identify potential projects eligible for ARPA funds with Amy Roberts to steer. All voted in favor. Ms. Roberts anticipates taking two weeks to form the committee. Jay Jacobs reiterated the need for projects to fit Covid-related eligibility criteria.

Board and committee updates
The Historic District Commission is holding a public hearing on Tuesday, November 2, at 7 pm, in the Granite Mill. Topic: Updated HDC Regulations for Historic District properties.

The Committee on Arrangements / I50th Anniversary Committee is meeting Wednesday, October 27, in Granite Mill – Celebration dates are set for July 22-24, 2022.

Planning Board – The PB continues its work to synthesize the 20I4 Master Plan. To date, two subcommittees have been established. Jay Jacobs recommended the recent Town & City Magazine article on Master Plans.

Highway Department – A second coat of paving is still to come in the village on Island, Canal, lower Prospect Streets. The crew replaced a culvert on Mason Road. Separately, the board discussed the need for the rehabilitation of the bridge and guardrail by the library. This will be a proposed highway project for 2022.

Old Fire Station – Following testing, it was determined there is no lead in paint on the old Fire Station next to the Harrisville Pond boat ramp. Scraping to begin next week.

Recycle Center – Observation is under way by Conservation Commission volunteers / ambassadors. The RC Committee will begin meeting this fall. Members include Jay Jacobs, Earl Horn, Courtney Cox, Jeff Cady. They will identify goals of the recycling program, focusing on education and building use, and will share recommendations with the Conservation Commission to implement.

Town property – The SB discussed how to approach use of vacant town building space, including ideas for RFP, uses and benefits of space. Ms. Hodson will share a sample assessment matrix for consideration of proposals that are submitted to the town.

Fuel – Andrea Hodson reported on fuel quote updates. The board will explore buying its own propane tank for town offices to allow flexibility on vendor, though maintenance would fall to town. Separately, Ms. Hodson noted the Electric Aggregation Committee’s long term goal to tie Community Power into local generation.

Employee manual
Amy Roberts has reviewed the 20I0 employee manual for recommended updates. She will email the draft to the board for review.

The board addressed a resident’s request to repair a streetlight outage on Church Street and confirmed that Eversource has access to the inventory of bulbs for the historic fixtures.

Other business

Town Counsel – Attorney Silas Little has announced his retirement effective November 202I. The SB will research options for his replacement.

SB signed pay warrant in the amount of $67,88.46 and the payroll warrant in the amount of $25,319.44.

The SB signed Timber Tax Yield for the New England Forestry Foundation.

Tax Rate – The SB noted that the tax rate setting is anticipated for late October, early November.

The next Select Board meeting is Thursday, September 29, at 7:00 pm.