Thursday, October 5, 2023
Select Board: Andrew Maneval, Andrea Hodson, Kathy Scott
Attendees: Deborah McWethy, Dave Thompson, Stella McGregor, Patrick Gagne, Tom McGregor, Harry Wolhandler, Jeff Cady, Ralph Zingaro, Cindra Zingaro, Les LaMois
The meeting opened at 7:00 pm.
Agenda, minutes of 9/29 – With the agreed-upon additions, including updates on Community Power/Community Power Coalition of NH and the village road project, the board approved the agenda. Subsequently, the board voted 2-0 to approve the September 29 minutes with Andrea Hodson abstaining due to absence.
Friends of Russell Reservoir – South Road area residents met with the board to discuss the fall drawdown of Howe Reservoir, road drainage, water quality, parking near the Chesham Beach, and the South Road bridge. The SB will connect with the Road Agent on the timing of the reservoir dam gate opening to coincide with the Howe drawdown, and also upon notice from the state about timing of the next bridge inspection. The board also will inform the EMD and the FORR upon confirmation on an inspection date.
Andrea Hodson will reach out to the state to confirm placement on either the 2025 or 2027 state docket for funding for any needed repairs, and what is required from the town. The board noted that the temporary bridge is considered safe by the state and projected to remain safe for many years. Residents requested, if the temporary bridge is to stay, for aesthetic improvements to it. The board asked that they forward their recommendations for this.
Deb McWethy asked for the parking area, created at the time of the temporary bridge construction, to be reclaimed.
The FORR expressed concern about road salt and its effect on water quality and asked about grading of the road in certain spots to slant toward the non-pond side. They also asked about placement of an additional culvert or possible repairs around the existing culverts to augment drainage. The SB will ask the Road Agent for his recommendations.
Conservation Commission – Harry Wolhandler discussed the limited testing on private property of three different solutions to treat the invasive Japanese knotweed. The HCC would like to test at the highway barn after flowering ends. The SB and HCC Chair confirmed the Health Officer has no objection to limited testing on private property only at this time. The HCC will assess the results of the tests and make recommendations to the SB about any more expanded treatment. The SB commended the HCC for its research and work.
Emergency Management, update – EMD Jeff Cady reported that the updated Hazard Mitigation Plan is available for public review and comment. FEMA recommends a 4-week review period. Copies of the draft plan and map will be posted on the town website and available at town hall. Comments can be submitted to Jeff Cady and/or Henry Underwood at Southwest Region Planning Commission. Mr. Cady will also distribute copies to department heads and board and committee chairs.
Mr. Cady also presented the summary findings from the Safety Committee’s audits, facility repairs undertaken in 2023, and possible improvements for 2024.
-Energy and Electric Aggregation Committee (EEAC) – Andrea Hodson forwarded the Committee’s recommendation that, effective with the new Community Power rates to take effect February 1, the default plan maintain at the Granite Basic option. The SB agreed by unanimous consensus. She also shared that CPCNH now contains 43 member towns; The EEAC believes the net energy meter case may be resolved sooner than anticipated; and the Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant awards are expected to be announced soon.
-A Keene Sentinel story on the property ReValuation will be published.
Calendar and agendas – The SB will next meet Friday, Oct 20, at 9:00 am to discuss updates with the Road Agent and to prepare for the Oct 27 Department Head meeting. Following this the board will meet Friday, Oct 27, at 9 AM for updates on the 2024 budget, and updates on Eastside and South Road roadwork.
The board signed the pay warrant in the amount of $32,808.40 and the payroll warrant in the amount of $$35,520.30.
The meeting adjourned at 9:10 pm.