Select Board Meeting
Thursday, July 7, 2022
Select Board: Andrea Hodson, Kathy Scott, Pegg Monahan
Attendees: Don Scott, Road Agent Wes Tarr, Fire Chief Wayne Derosia, Andrew Maneval, Southwest Region Planning Commission Representative Henry Underwood, Ranae O’Neil, Jon Richardson, Pam Thayer
The Chair called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.
Agenda, Minutes – The board voted in favor to approve the agenda. For the minutes of the June 24 meeting, the board requested to add acknowledgement of Harry Wolhandler’s contribution to the leave-with-pay policy discussion.
Culvert inventory and assessment project – Henry Underwood, GIS specialist and planner with Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC), presented a proposal and project agreement for Select Board review. SWRPC is offering to assist the Highway Department and town with a culvert inventory and culvert condition assessment along town roads.
At this time, the town lacks a complete digital and mappable inventory and such a project could help prioritize maintenance and repairs for paved and unpaved roads. Mr. Underwood would schedule a kickoff meeting with the Highway Department to identify areas of concern, followed by in-person assessments of all Class V roads. The data, searchable and sortable, would then be in the town’s hands for updating or for use as needed. SWRPC could start this month and anticipates a roughly 8 week timeframe for data collection.
The SB noted it supports the idea of uniform data and creation of a formalized inventory. They also reviewed sample reports and noted the information would be useful for grant applications. Mr. Underwood estimates minimal highway staff hours would be required. Following the discussion, the Select Board moved and voted unanimously in favor to accept the proposal from SWRPC and to allocate available ARPA funds for the town’s portion of the cost of the project, estimated at $3,965. Mr. Underwood will schedule the start-up meeting with the Road Agent.
150th Fireworks, insurance for parade participants, pay warrant for 150th invoices –Fireworks, Sunday July 24 – With the town fireworks scheduled to be set off from Island Cemetery, as done in previous years, the board confirmed that the vendor will work with the Fire Chief on the required contract and permit paperwork. Island Street resident Jonathan Richardson expressed his concerns about burning embers, as well as the prevalence of debris on his property, which he experienced as a result of the 2018 and 2019 fireworks. He hopes for an alternative solution to traditional fireworks and asked the board to find a different location for this year and in the future.
In response to Mr. Richardson’s request to use the northernmost drive in the cemetery, further away from his and other Island Street homes, Chief Derosia noted that the tree line is too close.
In attempting to address the concerns, the board, Fire Chief and old Home Days Committee representatives confirmed that the fire truck remains on site during the event, and a wind gauge and wind threshold are in place to monitor conditions. Fireworks will be called off if deemed unsafe. At the end of the show, the Fire Chief and vendor conduct a walk-around to check for unsafe debris. The board noted other residents had raised concerns about the effect of falling debris on water quality in the town’s lakes and ponds.
The board committed to checking with the Town’s insurer regarding liability and if the town’s policy covers potential damage to non-town property and also to exploring alternatives, such as a laser light show, other classes of fireworks or possible alternative locations. The Fire Chief and committee representatives noted other locations have been considered but no better open space location identified. Mr. Richardson offered to be part of a committee, should one be organized, to research alternatives.
Separately, the 150th committee will give the SB a list of names of the parade drivers for insurance coverage under the town’s policy.
150th budget – The SB signed the pay warrant for outstanding invoices for the 150th celebration weekend. The committee discussed that the current shortfall of roughly $4579.50 is anticipated to be made up for through sales of merchandise and associated fundraising. They also shared results of the successful fundraising event held at Cobb Hill.
Electric Aggregation Committee/Community Power – Andrew Maneval shared a proposed amendment to the Joint Powers Agreement for the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire (CPCNH). The EAC supports the amendment, proposed by CPCNH, believing it will allow the CPCNH board and its member towns to make changes to the agreement on more than an annual basis, as long as safeguards are included, and will allow the coalition time to react. Mr. Maneval noted he believes it’s a positive administrative change for the organization and requested the SB’s support as well.
Following discussion, the SB moved to approve the amendments to Article XVI, Section 2 of the Joint Powers Agreement of the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire as described below to mitigate potential sources of future risk to CPCNH.
The amended Article would read as follows: (Strike through text = deleted language; bold text = added language)
Article XVI Amendments, Successors, and Assigns…
SECTION 2. Amendments. Subject to any requirements of law or indenture authorizing the issuance of Bonds, this Agreement may be amended at any time and from time to time by a written amendment approved by at least 2/3 (two-thirds) of the votes cast at an Annual any Membership Meeting at which a quorum is present, provided that: (1) written notice of the proposed amendments are distributed to each Member at least fourteen (14) days prior to such meeting at which it is to be acted upon, (2) no amendment shall be adopted upon the dissenting vote of two or more Members totaling 50% (fifty percent) or more of the population of all Members as based upon the most recent population census, and (3) amendments to this Article XVI Section 2 and Articles XII, XIV and XV may not be amended approved at a Membership Meeting shall not be adopted unless such amendment is approved by the governing body of each Member. Attachments B and C, the Articles of Agreement and By-Laws, may be amended by a vote of at least 2/3 (two-thirds) of the votes cast by the Members at a Membership Meeting at which a quorum is present pursuant to the terms specified in Article IX of the By-Laws. Prompt written notice of the effective date of such amendment to this Agreement, the Articles of Agreement, or By-Laws, along with a copy of the amendment or amended document, shall be sent to the principal executive officers of each Member by the Chief Executive Officer or Chair of the Board.
Facilities update – Painting of the exterior of town hall will begin next week.
Staffing updates – The board reviewed and discussed edits to the job posting for a Finance Specialist. Andrea Hodson will revise. Separately, the board moved and voted unanimously in favor to offer backpay to March 2022 for Officer Zach Byam for serving as Officer-in-Charge for the Police Department.
Chesham property complaint – On the advice of the Code Enforcement Officer, the SB will send a second letter to property owners noting a 30-day deadline to take action on junk accumulation violations.
Deeded property case – This matter is still in the works with the tax collector and attorneys.
-The SB signed the Wetland Permit for beach replenishment at Chesham Beach on Russell Reservoir.
-The SB signed the pay warrant in the amount of $20,856.25
-Water test at town offices and Fire Department – The Health Officer noted the results look good, as there is a downward trend in the two chemicals related to fuel that were detected in the water at both facilities.
-Harrisville Pond Association – The HPA’s annual meeting will be held on Sunset Beach this weekend.
-The SB signed the oath of office for Les Lamois for Library Trustees.
-The SB acknowledged receipt of $532 from US Dept of Interior as part of PILT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program.
-SWRPC / Office of Planning and Development – Pegg Monahan shared that the topic focus is lack of rental housing in towns around NH and the need for zoning changes to allow for multi-residence housing.
-The SB expressed sympathy for the passing of Diana Duffy, daughter of Rand Duffy, former Fire Chief.
-The Board approved the purchase of 24 LED street bulbs at $100 total for streetlights and the Streetlight Committee request to purchase 5 new shades at a cost of $75 each. The board will revisit with the Streetlight Committee to discuss options for an LED contract transition with Eversource given the unavailability of incandescent bulbs on the market.
At 10:00 pm, the board moved to continue the meeting to 3:00 pm on Friday, July 8, 2022 at town officesto discuss police department staffing.