Select Board
Friday, July 28, 2023
Meeting Minutes

Select Board: Andrew Maneval, Kathy Scott, Andrea Hodson
Attendees: Fire Chief Wayne Derosia, Rescue Captain Sharon Breidt, Health Officer David Belknap, Cheshire County EMS Chief Mike Spain, Earl Horn, Judd Dexter, Steve Tarbox, Karen Coteleso, Teresa Morris, Alison Weber, Mary Day Mordecai, Ned Hulbert

Agenda – The board approved the agenda as presented.

Minutes of July 20 and July 13 – Kathy Scott noted that in discussion of Church Alley in the July 20 minutes, the road was not officially laid out but instead created by prescription, defined in the RSAs as being a road used by the public for twenty years prior to 1968. With this amendment, the board approved the July 20 minutes. Subsequently, the board approved the minutes of July 13.

Department of Energy Block Grant – Andrea Hodson noted the energy conservation grant application deadline is extended to August 21. Following discussion, Andrew Maneval moved to approve assigning application preparation and drafting of the commitment letter to the Energy & Electric Aggregation Committee, with decision making reserved for the Select Board which will primarily involve approval of the application for submission.  The EEAC is also to undertake community outreach and support and serve as liaison with Peterborough, grant partner. Andrea Hodson seconded. All voted in favor.

Eastside Road – Though not on the agenda, the SB noted due to attendance of Eastside Road property owners, that the SB has the issue of road drainage and grading in mind and will follow up on its plan, outlined in last week’s SB meeting, to at a minimum clear culverts and improve drainage along Eastside Road. The board also will revisit with the Road Agent the question of regrading. If it’s determined additional measures are needed, the SB will discuss what will be done and when with the Road Agent and property owners. The item will be on next week’s agenda. All agree on the interest in preserving the water quality in the lake and preventing runoff from entering.

Cheshire County EMS (CCEMS) – The board and Fire/Rescue officials met with CCCEMS Chief Mike Spain to hear updates on the County’s rollout of its ambulance service. Chief Spain reviewed the status of vehicles and equipment, staffing, training and back-up service, and will keep the SB posted on further developments.

During the 2nd week of August, CCEMS will coordinate with the Fire Department on requests for training, provided at no cost.   Fire Chief Wayne Derosia and Rescue Captain Sharon Breidt requested clear understanding of what level of care Harrisville will receive, and a clear understanding of the county’s response algorithm, to ensure the town continues to receive the high level of care it is used to having.

The County is currently contracted with 7 towns, including Harrisville.  The SB encouraged continued dialogue between Fire/Rescue and CCEMS.

Transportation Committee (TC) – The board heard from Transportation Committee representatives on the topic of safety along Hancock Road by Lake Skatutakee. The TC has had conversations with property owners and the police department and the executive council of the lake association. The police department is enhancing enforcement, but the committee asked the board to consider other measures such as speed tables, or No Thru Trucks signage.

At this point, the TC recommends the following for what can be done now: 1) enforce speed limit;  2) enforce no parking on the road; 3) continue use of portable radar; 4) paint yellow lines around the roads 3 sharp curves, or apply yellow reflector tabs to caution drivers about crossing over into the oncoming lane; 5) trim shrubbery which obstructs line of sight; 6) build up the shoulder in certain sections along the lake/southside of the road; and add more speed limit signs.

Following discussion, Andrew Maneval moved to authorize the Transportation Committee to look into and make recommendations regarding curve remediation, and to work with the Highway Department  on speed limit signs. All voted in favor. Ms. Mordecai noted the lake association offered to assist in promoting safe pedestrian behavior.  Andrea Hodson suggested such outreach should be town-wide and not just for Hancock Road.

Separately, the SB noted its interest in input from the Planning Board regarding oversight of the Transportation Committee and whether the committee would work more effectively as a subcommittee of the PB or under the SB as its focus has logical connections to both boards.

Beach ordinance – During discussion of the draft timeline and rollout of enforcement of existing beach ordinances, the board expressed concern that it was too accelerated, despite the fact that the topic has been addressed at several meetings. The SB believes it is tasked with carrying out votes of two town meetings to establish and enforce beach ordinances. The board agreed to incorporate the suggested edits, leave the implementation plan in draft form, write an article in Common Threads and solicit public input for consideration for implementation next summer, possibly bringing the matter to Town Meeting. The board heard additional comments from Teresa Morris and Karen Coteleso.

Operating Budget – The SB reviewed expenses and budget lines year to date.  On the highway budget, the SB will discuss with the Road Agent the idea of outsourcing culvert clearing or considering an additional hire.

Conflicts of Interest – Andrea Hodson presented her views for the record (attached) on why she doesn’t feel serving on both the SB and the Community Power Coalition of NH is a conflict of interest. She documented what the CPCNH organization is about, its standards of conduct and its board makeup, which consists of SB members from numerous towns, similar to organizations such as SWRPC, NHMA and NRRA. She asked if it makes sense for a Conflict of Interest agreement to be drafted and signed by all board members and even volunteers conducting town business.

Kathy Scott reiterated her concern that Andrea Hodson’s involvement in the different CPCNH committees was never disclosed to the Energy & Electric Aggregation Committee, the SB or the public and that there was a potential for benefit. Ms. Hodson reiterated there was no benefit.

Noting that the views on both sides had been made clear, Andrew Maneval asked whether the SB wants to consider a Conflict of Interest policy or appoint a subcommittee to make a recommendation, something for consideration by the public and for vote at Town Meeting. All agreed it would be helpful and suggested a subcommittee be established. The board will consider potential candidates and discuss at its next meeting, Thursday, August 3, at 7:00 pm.

The meeting adjourned at 11:15 am.