Meeting Minutes of the Select Board

 Location:  Town offices Date:  October 26, 2021  
 Opened:    2:00 pm Adjourned:  4:00 pm  

Select Board Members:  Andrea Hodson, Jay Jacobs, Kathy Scott­­________________ ___

Attendees: Police Chief Mike Tollett

Agenda and minutes – The SB approved the agenda and the October 14th meeting minutes.

PD update – The Police Chief updated the board on recent department activity and training. He discussed with the SB the timing of drafting and submitting warrant articles and department budgets. Chief Tollett confirmed coverage for Halloween Trick or Treating on Sunday from 5-7.

On repairs to the old highway garage, the Police Chief requested to keep it heated at a low temperature through coldest months this winter until more permanent arrangements are made for building use. The board and chief discussed the cost and the recommendations for cost savings and needs; perhaps a section of the building can remain heated to keep the cruiser thawed. Chief Tollett and Jeff Cady will obtain estimates for installation of a new oil tank, fuel oil for the next few months, as well as an estimate for retrofitting floors with mats/pads or heated surface. They will bring a proposal to the board.

Separately, Chief Tollett noted that the speed radar sign on Route 137 likely will need to be moved due to terrain obstruction. Following discussion of the traffic/vehicle count on Main Street, Jay Jacobs requested that the Planning Board and/or Transportation Committee  to assemble in one place all the traffic data collected.  The Police Chief will coordinate this with the Transportation Committee and SWRPC.

Blood Hill Road – The SB acknowledged receipt of the letter from Dick and Donna Stone requesting a map of the layout of the town-owned right of way along Blood Hill Road. The board discussed scheduling a public hearing to declare emergency lane status to clear the right of way and will send a follow up letter to the Stones.

Finance / tax rate – The SB reviewed the preliminary tax rate of $5.11 set by DRA. Following discussion and agreement to apply $22,000, instead of the previously planned $15,000, from the fund balance, the SB unanimously moved to approve a 2021 tax rate of $5.08. All voted in favor.

ARPA funds – SB reviewed the letter from the County and the agreement contract for receipt of funds through the American Recovery Program Act. Following discussion, the SB signed the contract.

Finance / Bookkeeping – Andrea Hodson noted that the auditor recommended the town reclassify its broadband infrastructure as an asset on the town books. He feels the public private partnership is in line with General accounting standards for doing so. All agreed.

New highway truck – The Road Agent is researching replacement of the Highway Dept. truck per the warrant article approved at town meeting. The board discussed the option of leasing v. buying a new vehicle.  They will explore further with Mr. Tarr.

Finance / Town Meeting 2022 – Amy Roberts submitted a proposed schedule for budget preparation. The board held a big picture discussion of potential projects with budgetary impact, including bridge and road repair, road survey/layout research, culvert work, rent/sale of town property, capital reserves; and archiving of information.

Rise in electric rates – The Community Power group still awaits rulemaking by the PUC. The board will discuss updating the array at town offices and consider adding an array at another town property.

Other business
Regarding the resident’s request for a memorial marker site, the Chair will respond in writing.

HHI request for temporary space to store church pews – The SB board approved temporary storage at the old highway barn.

The Eversource alert on the planned maintenance outage will be posted on the town website.

The SB signed the pay warrant in the amount of $10,507,52 and signed the payroll warrant for October 18 in the amount of $24,921. 86 and for October 4 in the amount of $32,846.06.