Meeting Minutes of the Select Board

 Location:  Town offices Date:  December 14, 2021
 Opened:    9:30 am Adjourned:  12:05 pm

Select Board Present: Andrea Hodson, Kathy Scott______________________________

Attendees: Police Chief Mike Tollett, Pegg Monahan, David Lord, Susan Lord, Earl Horn, Mary Day Mordecai, Barbara Watkins, Sarah and Ed Tibbetts, Alexa Thayer, Alison Weber, Ted Pearre

Agenda, Minutes – The board approved the agenda. The minutes of the previous meeting will be reviewed at the December 21 meeting.

Interim Board Organization – The SB appreciates that 5 people have raised their hand to serve and believe this is unique to Harrisville.  They then named the candidates who submitted letters of interest. The candidates include Andrew Maneval, Pegg Monahan, Seth Kallman, Mike Wilder, and Charles Michal. Following review of the submissions, the SB discussed the type of expertise most in need over the coming months and which candidates they believe are most suited to offer this given their background and experience. They reiterated the great depth of experience being offered and hope all will consider running for election in March or serving on the various town boards and committees.

Following discussion, Andrea Hodson moved to appoint Andrew Maneval as interim Select Board member. Kathy seconded. The board voted 2-0 in favor. The chair will notify all the candidates of this decision. 

Blood Hill RoadDue to the removal of the boulders and plow stakes within the Right of Way, the SB moved to lift Emergency Lane status per RSA 231:59-a on the section of Blood Hill Road near the intersection of Prospect Street. All voted in favor.

Transportation Committee – Mary Day Mordecai and members of the Transportation Committee discussed the Mason Road paving project planned for 2022, urging continued consideration of the Complete Streets guidelines as road width is finalized. The Transportation Committee discussed its ongoing research and request consideration for narrower width than exists on the section of Mason Road recently completed. The general consensus was a width of no more than 18,” allowing for shoulders of 3 ½’ on either side, and as a traffic calming measure.

Earl Horn offered to share the traffic data the committee reviewed. The committee sought input from all the neighbors, who also spoke to each other.  Mr. Horn noted the committee was not speaking for the Road Agent and that Mr. Tarr’s input may change the committee’s recommendation. In the past the Road Agent has been concerned about rutting on gravel roads and their increasing cost to maintain versus asphalt roads. He also has recommended a 20’ width to allow for safe travel by two large vehicles in opposite directions, especially during mud season.

For some residents, the asphalt is preferred for its cleaner condition and ease of walking. Others prefer dirt and recommend comparing costs and types of road materials before deciding. In general the full time residents aesthetically prefer gravel, but they are concerned about dirt’s environmental impact; seasonal residents expressed preference for a dirt road.

The TC requested time to consider the 20’ recommendation. They feel 18’ is a compromise and they don’t want to go up to 20’.  The committee would like to hear from the Road Agent directly and wonder if it makes sense to wait one year before deciding on width. They also wonder why VT went from asphalt to dirt and what the dust mitigation measures entail.  It was noted that the Warrant Article calls for paving and funding of paving of Mason Road in 2022. Any new article needs to be drafted in January.

Separately, residents raised concerns about public parking on the road and wonder if an off-road area can be designated, possibly on some of the Eversource property.

Susan and David Lord spoke in favor of paving and the wider road width, both for ease of walking and for better and grassier conditions on road shoulders. They believe it has worked well before and that the portions that have been repaved are working well. They encourage the board, Transportation Committee, and fellow residents to listen to the Road Agent, who sees the damage and understands the usefulness of the approaches taken. They also recommend hearing from the Police Chief about data related to narrower widths and speeding.

Ms. Mordecai offered to check with JB Mack at the DOT to get his input on VT ‘s experience.  Mike Tollett will get Wes’s input. The TC will return to the SB meeting December 28  at 11:00 am with whatever additional information they have.

Other business
The board acknowledged receipt of the beautiful thank you card from Hannah Jacobs Wiseman.

The SB approved the Powers Generator semi-annual Planned Maintenance Agreement.

Town Meeeting/Town Report – The board reviewed the Town Report production schedule. Board and committee heads will be asked for their annual submissions.

Kathy Scott will talk to the Road Agent to catch up on the South Road bridge and the gravel pit.

New hire cleaning staff – Ms. Hodson noted there are several candidates under consideration and she is following up on the recommendations.