Friday, July 29, 2022
Select Board: Andrea Hodson, Kathy Scott, Pegg Monahan
Attendees: Terry Manahan
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 am.
Agenda, Minutes – The board approved the agenda. For the meeting minutes of July 14 the board wished to confirm its approval of the expense to remove the contaminated soil.
Speed limit on Chesham Road – Terry Manahan, 20 year resident, addressed the board about her concerns about excessive speeding in the stretch of Chesham Road where the speed limit is 40 mph. She has approached the DOT to request to have the speed limit reduced, and the police department to have the speed enforced. She now seeks select board support of this effort and board outreach to the DOT via a letter requesting that the speed limit be reduced to 35mph. DOT informed her that the request has to come from the SB or Police Chief. The resident noted the increased number of businesses in town, resulting in higher traffic volumes of larger vehicles, and the danger for residents and their children attempting to cross the road to access the pond. She also noted the danger for pedestrians and cyclists, and left with the board a copy of her notes for their review.
The board discussed reaching out to the Transportation Committee. Kathy Scott will draft a letter to the DOT and copy the Transportation Committee.
SB Project and committee updates
-Police Chief – At 9:28 am, per RSA 91-A3(II), the SB moved and voted in favor to enter nonpublic session to discuss next steps in the police chief search and police department staffing. At 10:04 am, the board moved and voted in favor to exit non-public session. No action taken.
The SB noted it has posted the position for Finance Specialist.
–Grant update on fire station billboard and police cruiser – Andrea Hodson noted the town will receive $11,000 in grant money for the purchase of roadside sign/billboard at Fire Station/Town Hall and to partially fund the new police cruiser. Pegg Monahan will further research sign options, explore ways to obtain community and planning board input, and ensure compliance with the town’s sign ordinance. The office seek input from the police department on paint color and logo design for discussion at the next meeting. The chair noted that the money must be spent by end of 2023.
–Culvert Inventory – The inventory being conducted by SWRPC with input from the Road Agent is in progress. The board shared the feedback from the Road Agent that traffic studies on Cherry Hill Road and Tolman Pond Road show increased volumes. The SB will discuss this, as well as gravel pit reclamation, South Road bridge, town office lot and Recycle Center lot, with the Road Agent as possible.
2021 Audit of Financial Statements – The board still awaits the 2021 financial statements from the auditors.
Legal – The Chair is scheduling an update from town counsel for the morning of August 12. Separately, upon the Tax Collector’s recommendation, the SB will ask counsel to review the bankruptcy filing claim and process related to recouping of back taxes.
Tax Collector – The Tax Collector reported that no lien notices will go out this tax period.
Employee manual – Pegg Monahan shared suggested edits, which the board discussed. The board contemplates making the changes effective January 1, 2023, once budgetary implications are ascertained.
Cybersecurity, Primex Training – The board has encouraged employees to review options for online cybersecurity and first amendment trainings offered by Primex.
Pay warrant – signed in the amount of $35,937.11.
Archiving project – Kathy Scott will explore opportunities for archiving town materials and options for collaborating with Historic Harrisville.
EAC update– Andrea Hodson noted the PUC dropped its rules, which are going to the state legislature the 2ndweek of August. The updated rules mean that the SB will submit an updated version of the Electric Aggregation Plan voted on at town meeting. This update does not require a town vote, but does require SB approval.
Ms. Hodson also noted the EAC’s recent efforts to share (via the town website Community Power page, at the committee’s 150th booth, and at town hall) information with electric customers on the sharp increase in Eversource rates, from $.19/kw to $.32, beginning August 1. Information includes resources for seeking relief, coping with the increase, and how to shop for alternatives.
The town will explore municipal options for power reduction in preparation for the 2023 Town Meeting. At the next EAC meeting, the committee will talk to representatives from Peterborough and Hancock about their energy conservation actions and the costs of these initiatives.
Correspondence and other business
The board reviewed and read aloud the congratulations Proclamation issued by the state senate and read aloud by Andrew Maneval at the 150th. The Proclamation will be framed and displayed at town offices.
Streetlight committee – The board discussed that the next step for streetlight maintenance is to explore contract with Eversource for a new rate plan and transition to LED lighting, as incandescent bulbs become obsolete.
The meeting adjourned at 11:59 am.