Select Board
Thursday, February 2, 2023
Meeting Minutes

Select Board: Kathy Scott, Andrea Hodson, Pegg Monahan
Attendees: Earl Horn, Richard Lavatori

The meeting opened at 7:00 pm.

Agenda – With two updates to the agenda, the SB approved as modified to add a request from the Conservation Commission and an update on a hearing assistance system.

Minutes of previous meetings, 1/19 and 1/27– During discussion of the minutes of 1/19, board members disagreed about the topic related to the raising of RSA 91-A, specifically conditions for allowing non-public sessions. Kathy Scott requested to note that her intention was a request for non-public session for discussion of employment. Pegg Monahan agreed with the proposed amendment. Members voted 2-0 in favor to approve the 1/19 minutes as amended, with Andrea Hodson abstained from the vote, disagreeing with the amendment, noting that the proposal for non-public session was raised under the meeting topic of board maintenance not employment.

For the minutes of 1/27, Kathy Scott requested to add, following the Treasurer’s statement on payment for Finance Coordinator work, that the Select Board was unable to locate a written policy on compensating SB members for work done outside of SB duties but that there is evidence in budgets dating back, and evidence of payments in approved operating budgets, indicative of a policy. She added the Finance Coordinator position experienced a prolonged vacancy and the board could not agree on how to resolve the matter. Pegg Monahan and Kathy Scott voted in favor on the addendum to the 1/27 minutes. Andrea Hodson abstained.

Additional items for the 1/27 minutes: on the topic of hearing assistance technology – Kathy Scott reached out to a speech therapist to get more input on and information on best options for municipal and large gathering use; on the topic of concern about speeding on Chesham Road, it is SWRPC who will contact DOT on need for and implementation of a traffic study.

Ambulance Service – Upon the recommendation of Andrew Maneval and the agreement by DiLuzio to amend the proposed contract as requested, the SB signed and thereby executed the three year contract with DiLuzio Ambulance Service at the rate of $12,000, with a no greater than 3% increase per year over the term of the contract.

Citizen proposal to name Town Hall Conference Room after Jay Jacobs – Resident Richard Lavatori attended once again to request of the SB that the town hall meeting room be named in honor of the longtime SB member Chair. He shared his discussion with Mr. Jacobs’s  family, who support the idea as appropriate. A plaque at the entrance to the room was proposed by Mr.Lavatori and preferred by the family over other suggestions, such as a bench or other monument. Following discussion of Mr. Jacobs’s numerous contributions and influence over many years, Andrea Hodson moved to approve a plaque at the room entrance, naming the Town Hall meeting room after Jay Jacobs, Kathy Scott seconded. All voted in favor.

Town Clerk – Town Clerk Cathy Lovas noted the RSA requiring the Agricultural Commission, should it wish to continue, to meet once per year. She and the board noted members would like to continue and not disband and will meet as required.

Finance Coordinator compensation – In discussion of Finance Coordinator pay and appropriate budget line, the board concluded that allocated budget exists in the Finance Coordinator/Administrative Pay line under both 2022 and the proposed 2023 budgets. Members discussed that $13 per hour was the previous rate of pay for SB member work outside of SB member duties but applying COLA, that rate would be roughly $19 in 2022 dollars.

Kathy Scott subsequently moved to compensate Andrea Hodson for hours served until the new bookkeeper assumes the position, including training time. She further moved that the rate of pay be $19 per hour for hours worked between May 22, 2022 and December 31, 2022, and that, from January 1, 2023 to March, or until the new contractor is trained and ready to assume the position, that Ms. Hodson be paid at the market rate of $35 per hour. Pegg Monahan seconded. The vote was 2-0 with Ms. Hodson abstaining.

Ms. Hodson agreed to create two separate invoices for 2022 and 2023 hours worked.

Staffing, other – Pegg Monahan suggested budget lines and additional staffing be considered for deputy bookkeeper. The board will consider, though Andrea Hodson suggested that that this could be discussed following Town Meeting.

2023 Budget – The first Budget Hearing is next Thursday, 2/9 beginning at 7:30. The board reviewed the draft budget page by page. Andrea Hodson will input additional on utilities and fuel or update numbers as received from departments, the Planning Board and the auditor. Kathy Scott requested that more money be added to the Recycle training line. Pegg Monahan will talk to Wayne Derosia about the fire equipment maintenance line. Savings from transitioning phone service to voice over fiber will be realized in 2024.

Separately, Pegg Monahan will contact the resident interested in an alternative to traditional fireworks.

Conservation Commission request – The HCC has asked the SB to add maintenance around the new rain garden at the Harrisville Pond boat ramp to the groundskeeper’s duties. The estimated time is minimal and likely is just weed whacking. The SB agreed to talk to Mr. Tarr. The compensation would be part of the maintenance payroll.

Overall, the board noted the draft 2023 budget currently is approximately 8% over the 2022 budget.

Warrant Articles – The board will continue to review proposed road work numbers with the Road Agent; the board will confirm the exact language for the establishment of the Town Buildings Capital Reserve Fund for eligibility to apply a portion of these funds to the solar array proposal. The board also will confirm exact purposes for establishment of Church and School CR Fund.

Roadwork Committee- The committee will meet again Tuesday, Feb 7, at 7:30 AM at the highway barn.

Correspondence and other business
-The SB signed the Intent to Cut for Corwin on Route 137
-The board discussed additional changes to the bookkeeper contract.

-The board signed acknowledgement of receipt of Shoreland Permit for Macdonald, 33 Eastside Road

-The board signed the pay warrant in the amount of $130,843.41.

-On the idea of hearing assistance technology, Kathy Scott sent information to Leslie Voiers on Phonak, recommended by a speech pathologist.

The meeting adjourned at 10:00 pm.