Meeting Minutes of the Select Board

 Location:  Town offices  Date:  December 2, 2021  
 Opened:    7:00 pm Adjourned:  9:00 pm  

Select Board Members:  Andrea Hodson,  Kathy Scott­­__________________________

Attendees: Andrew Maneval, Emergency Management Director Jeff Cady, Pegg Monahan

Agenda, minutes  – The board moved to approve the agenda and the minutes of the November 23rd meeting.

Ambulance service – Chris Coates, Cheshire County Administrator, addressed the board to explain the status of the county’s purchase of Diluzio Ambulance service and what this means for Harrisville and other towns currently under contract with Diluzio.  The county has had overarching concerns about ambulance service, understaffing and challenges of volunteer-led towns’ inability to respond. A contract is anticipated to be signed in late January or early February.

With the anticipated 30% increase in cost of service, Mr. Coates recommends that the county use the CARES and ARPA money to phase in this cost increase over three years until towns can plan and budget for the adjusted cost.  The county will confirm the financials once its purchase of Diluzio and organizational issues are finalized. Mr. Coates noted the county is looking at establishing ambulance hubs throughout the region where they would partner with local EMTs, with the longer term possibility of a shared services model. The service will remain part of the existing Mutual Aid system.

Buildings update – Jeff Cady noted that the temperature in the old highway garage is holding at 40 degrees; the new snow blower is stored in the Fire Station for use as needed; the mold assessment report for the old fire station building on Harrisville Pond confirms the presence of mold. The next step is to decide if a scope of work for mold mitigation makes sense; also whether or not to test for asbestos and lead paint on the interior. Following discussion, Mr. Cady offered to get an estimate for the additional cost of this work. The board would like to consider a plan for this building in conjunction with plans for the Old Highway Garage and the main building at the Recycle Center. 

Budget preparation schedule – The board noted that the Finance Coordinator distributed year to date budgets committee and department heads who are in the process of submitting proposed budgets for 2022.  Separately Kathy Scott noted the conservation Commission is working with the lake associations to draft a warrant article for SB review pertaining to town funding for weed watching and protection against invasive species.

SB Interim Board Organization –The SB reviewed the process for appointing an interim member.  All discussions, including with candidates, will take place in public session and will include what the board is looking for and matching this to the prospective candidates. Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest by Dec 9th. The SB will open the submissions at a regular public meeting on December 14th. A decision of an appointment of a SB member by the Select Board, including whether an appointment is made at all, will be announced no later than December 21st.

Other business – Schedule of upcoming meetings: The next meeting of the Historic District Commission is Tuesday, December 14th, 7:00 pm.  The Select Board will hold a public hearing on Blood Hill next Thursday, December 9th, at 7:00 pm.   For the remainder of December the Select Board will meet on Tuesday mornings at 9:30 am – December 14th, December 21st and December 28th.

The SB acknowledged receipt of the Wetlands Dredge & Fill Application to DES for the Putnam property on Eastside Road.