Select Board Meeting
Friday, May 27, 2022
Town offices and zoom

Select Board: Andrea Hodson, Kathy Scott and Pegg Monahan
Attendees: Fire Chief Derosia, EMD Jeff Cady, Road Agent Wes Tarr, County Ambulance Representatives Chris Coates and Jack Wozmak

The Chair called the meeting to order at 9:00 am.

Agenda – With updates to the agenda, the board voted to approve as amended.

Minutes – The SB moved and voted in favor to approve the minutes of May 19 as submitted.

Recycle Center – Kathy Scott will continue to work to line up coverage for alternate RC hours for the 150th celebration weekend.

Audit of 2021 Financials – Andrea Hodson reported that the audit went very well and that a couple of recommendations may be forthcoming from the auditors in the area on processes or cybersecurity. The auditors are informed that, until the Finance Coordinator position is backfilled, Andrea Hodson will backfill these duties but will not sign any checks that are issued.

Grant deadlines – June 1 is the deadline to file the letter of intent for interest in the FEMA hazard mitigation program, a potential source of funds for new generators or for mini-split units at the library, police station and in the town clerk’s office. The deadline for the Local Equipment Grant Program, a potential source of funds for the police cruiser and signboard for the town offices or portable safety signage, is June 3.  The Fire Chief recommended a standing poster board and also an electronic billboard to replace the roadside board. The allocation cap for each town is $50,000 with a 90-10 match, the town’s portion being 10%.

Landfill Groundwater Permit – Kathy Scott will review the prior year Golder/ChemServe reports of monitoring wells at the Highway Barn. The board will request a scope of work from Wilcox & Barton for the old fire station and possible remediation for the old landfill leak.

Pay warrant – The SB signed the pay warrant in the amount of $72,315.87.

Well water contamination case at town offices/fire department –The Highway Department will haul barrels of contaminated soil to the facility in Loudon. The generator either will need replacing or the town will need to install an external fuel tank. The SB noted it will submit for grant money for a new Kohler, estimated to cost $32K. Replacement generators for the highway garage and recycle centers would cost $12K each.  The SB expressed appreciation to EMD Jeff Cady for handling the incident and working with DES to the agency’s satisfaction.

The board noted that, according to DES, “…this case constituted a reportable release of oil. Based on the actions taken by the Town, the case has been well-managed and the potential effects to the environment have been effectively mitigated through removal of the petroleum-impacted soil. As such, SRCIS would be prepared to close the case once the waste has been disposed of.”

Memorial Day Program – The SB is confirmed for attendance Sunday, May 29, for the Memorial Day ceremony at 11:00 am in Memorial Park.

Deeded property redemption request – The SB noted it has not received reclaim request from the family of the former owner. They will check in with town counsel on this.

Chesham neighborhood complaint – The SB also will discuss with town counsel the Chesham neighborhood complaint  and will draft a response to the complainants.

Police Chief Search – The board has candidate meetings confirmed for Tuesday, May 31, at 3:30 and 5:00 pm.

Speeding on Chesham Road – A resident expressed concern about ongoing speeding on Chesham Road and has requested that the speed limit be reduced to 30 mph or 35 mph. The SB would need to consult with DOT. The board noted the Police Dept will take this on through Officer Byam, who will work with the Transportation and Traffic Safety Committees.

Ambulance Service – Commissioner Chair Jack Wozmak and County Administrator Chris Coates met with the board in light of the purchase of Diluzio not coming to fruition. The SB was interested in hearing about the possibility of regional training, a regional ambulance hub, and the county’s staffing strategy.  The County anticipates opening its new hub facility on Monadnock Highway in Swanzey the first week in June. Harrisville would be served out of this location.

Cheshire would be the first county in NH, and possibly New England, to have an ambulance service.  The County is working to get vehicles fully outfitted/stocked, with the aim of officially launching in October.  County representatives noted that the available federal funds will help insulate towns from the increased costs of service and that the County has a financial model in place to project its costs for years to come. The existence of a regional hub would not lower costs for towns. The City of Keene would serve as the county’s backup ambulance service. The county is encouraging local towns to train as many as possible in emergency response to develop local resiliency. Chief Derosia spoke to the difficulty given the increased lengths of training programs and the times the training is offered.

SWRPC – The Road Agent submitted a request to SWRPC for a traffic study for Tolman Pond and Cherry Hill Roads due to increased volume. The study is scheduled for the week of June 6.

Employee manual –  The board discussed possible changes to the employee manual, including part time employee eligibility for paid time. The chair will create a matrix for colleagues to review and the board will continue discussion about whether or not policy will be changed and/or language will be revised.

Health Trust – Open enrollment forms for eligible employees are due June 17. The board will distribute information next week.

The meeting adjourned at 12:15 pm.