Select Board
Thursday, May 11, 2023
Meeting Minutes

Select Board: Andrew Maneval, Kathy Scott, Andrea Hodson
Attendees: Michael Spain, Chief, CCEMS; Chad Butler, Deputy Chief, Cheshire County EMS; Sarah Cannell, Marketing and EMT, CCEMS; Sheryl Trombly, Finance Director, Cheshire County; Chris Coates, Cheshire County Administrator; Graham Gitchell, Deputy Chief, Westmoreland Fire/Rescue; Harry Nelson, Chief, Westmoreland Fire/Rescue; Michael Branley, Swanzey Town Administrator; Wayne Derosia, Harrisville Fire Chief; Jeff Cady, Harrisville EMD; Don Scott and Les LaMois, residents

The meeting opened at 7:00 pm.

Agenda and minutes – The board approved the agenda. With the additional notation that Erin Hammerstedt is a member of the Church and School Street road work committee, the board approved the minutes of 4/28 and subsequently the minutes of 5/4.

Ambulance service – The SB heard from Cheshire Co. EMS and county officials on updates to their staffing, vehicles and equipment since they opened their doors. The board also heard positive testimonials from Westmoreland Fire and Rescue Department since they signed on with the County. The county noted the prices are the same as those proposed in January, though they would be pro-rated for the first year. The increase in the 3rd year is due to the end of ARPA funding which defrays the costs in the first two years.  The board and county discussed the possibility of a contract term of more or less than 3 years.

Swanzey Town Administrator Michael Branley invited the SB, along with other towns who had contracted with DiLuzio, and other ambulance providers, to a May 23 meeting in Swanzey to discuss options for ambulance service. Rescue, Inc., a private provider who has taken on a portion of DiLuzio customers, will be on hand to offer information. Swanzey hopes the meeting will benefit all affected parties, who may also want to consider developing a regional solution.

Following a motion and second to accept a conditional proposal from the County, SB member Kathy Scott and Chief Derosia requested that the board wait until after the meeting in Swanzey to hear from Rescue, Inc. and the Harrisville Fire Company, so that a decision would be made after consideration of all available proposals and information.  Andrea Hodson spoke to the goals the County EMS has achieved since it launched, its nearby location and stable financial condition. Andrew Maneval noted the impressive presentation and expressed concern about the lack of a contract in place for ambulance service for the town.

Following discussion, the SB withdrew the motion and agreed to postpone its decision until the May 26 meeting; in the interim, the SB will obtain final details on a proposal and pricing from the County.

RFP for Solar Project – With agreement on an edit to make explicit that site visits must be done with a town official/employee, the SB moved and voted in favor to approve the RFP for issuance Friday, May 12. Bids will be due June 7 and opened at the SB meeting on June 8.

Facilities update – Jeff Cady noted the external fuel tank installation for the generator outside the Fire Dept is under way. Bids came in for new fencing at the Recycle Center with the most reasonable from Cheshire Fence. The existing gates will remain. For the Town Clerk and PD mini-splits, the board authorized Mr. Cady to choose from among the bids received.

Legal updates – Mr. Maneval shared with the board that Mr. Cucchi filed an appeal of the Superior Court decision in favor of the town. Costs for legal representation will be split between the town and the other defendant; on the complaint to the PUC against Eversource, Mr. Maneval the anticipated next step is an order from the PUC.

Chesham junk cases – Mr. Maneval noted that counsel is preparing the draft to proceed with legal action. The SB will send a copy of these meeting minutes to the property owners to inform them where the town stands.

Testimony on Sanctuary City bill – Mr. Maneval noted that, following the hearing in Concord, the bill was undergoing amendment; however, he expects that the ultimate legislation expected to pass and to be signed by the Governor would negate the 2017 Town Meeting vote.

SB upcoming meetings – The board will not meet Thursday, May 18. The next meeting will be Friday, May 26, at 9:00 am, when the board will open the road paving bids, issue its vote on ambulance service and meet with department heads. To allow time to address its big projects, the SB will hold a workshop meeting on Tuesday, May 30, at 9:00 am.

Recycle Center Committee, update – Kathy Scott noted the RCC is working through DES’s Permit by Notification (PBN) requirements to understand any changes that might need to be made to the existing permit or approvals that may be necessary for any changes in facility activity; the committee is also drafting a job description for an overseer position for review by the SB.

Common Threads – Kathy Scott will draft the SB update for the upcoming issue.

Sunset Beach – The SB will invite the Beach committee in to discuss beach stickers and lights.

The SB signed a tax abatement in the amount of $19.04.

The SB signed the pay warrant in the amount of $30,933.12.

The meeting adjourned at 9:15 pm.