Select Board
Friday, October 27, 2023
Meeting Minutes

Select Board:  Andrew Maneval, Kathy Scott, Andrea Hodson

Attendees:   Town Clerk Cathy Lovas, Library Director Susan Weaver, Health Officer David Belknap, Road Agent Wes Tarr, Fire Chief Wayne Derosia, Police Chief Steve LaMears, Code Enforcement Officer Mike Wilder, Cheshire County Administrator Chris Coates, Cheshire Co. Commission Jack Wozmak, Cheshire Co EMS representatives Chad Butler and Chad McMurrer, Christopher Olson from Municipal Resources, Inc., Erin Hammerstedt, Don Scott

Agenda, minutes – The SB voted in favor to approve the agenda as drafted and to approve the meeting minutes of 10/5 and 10/20.

Department Head Meeting – The SB shared updated year to date expenditures with department heads and offered individual meetings as requested for 2024 budget development. The SB confirmed they will meet Tues 11/14 at 9:00 AM with the Fire Chief, followed by the Road Agent at 10 AM, and the Police Chief as that meeting allows.

Highway Department – The Road Agent reported they are making the last yards of sand for winter road maintenance, after which Mr. Tarr will grade Eastside Road as discussed.

Following discussion on the condition of the old 2002 Mack truck, the SB moved and voted in favor to accept the recommendation from the Road Agent to keep it as a backup.

Health Officer – Mr. Belknap noted the RSV vaccine is available and recommended for those over age 60. The 4th Covid boosters from Moderna and Pfizer also are available. The Health Officer requests approval of another mobile clinic in 2024, as offered free of charge to the town this year. He will work with the office to coordinate testing of the drinking water at town hall, the Fire Dept, PD and Highway Barn, as discussed based on system repairs and improvements done in the spring.

Town Clerk – Cathy Lovas noted that water aquifers require permitting and proper signage. The fee is $.50. She added that all lakes and ponds are required to have seasonal docks only and she has been publicizing this so property owners are aware.   Separately, Cathy Lovas noted the state completed its 2023 audit of the Town Clerk’s office. She stated her gratitude for the work of Deputy Town Clerk Jillian Miner, as the state noted a “perfect audit.”

Police Department – The Police Chief reported on his findings, following a summer of study, related to reported speeding on Hancock Road. The board asked him to inform them if, and in what way, he perceives any problems and requested that he patrol especially during busier  travel times.  Separately the chief reported the hot water system needs repair and will coordinate with Jeff Cady and Andrea Hodson on this.

Cheshire Co. EMS – Representatives for Cheshire Co. discussed the status of County EMS operations and staffing in light of recently announced departures of senior leadership.  The county is working with Municipal Resources Inc. to assist with backfilling and to lead the transition with the next chief and the new deputy chief. Mr. McMurrer reported that the average response time to Harrisville for all calls to date is 11 minutes, 52 seconds. Fire and Rescue officials report no issues to date and positive feedback on level of service. County officials are embarking on 3 and 5 year planning processes, and are looking for 9 more staff to reach a total of 50. Chief Derosia is invited to reach out any time for department training needs.

Code Enforcement – Mike Wilder raised a potential home based business issue with the board that he is looking into.  He agreed with the SB on the separate code violation issue that the SB should reach out directly to the property owner.

Village Road project – The board discussed the options under consideration by the Road Work Committee for Church Street, School Street and Church Alley. The Transportation Committee is expected to meet Monday but hasn’t met specifically to discuss this project, though members have attended the Road Work Committee meetings. The committee still awaits completion of Russ Huntley’s survey anticipated early November and is updating budget estimates for the different options. A draft plan will be finalized and circulated in November.

Erin Hammerstedt shared that Historic Harrisville would be in favor of Church Alley being closed to vehicular traffic due to potential uses for their property in the area of the store and post office parking lot.  She added that HHI hopes the plan will include as much public parking as possible along Church Street and wondered if the town would consider, as it had years ago, making Church Street one way end to end.

Next steps for the SB, following recommendations of the Road Work and Transportation Committees and input from all interested parties, will be to decide whether or not to proceed with the whole project, which plan to proceed with, and the related Warrant Articles to be presented for town vote.

DOE Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant – Andrea Hodson clarified that Peterborough and Harrisville were selected for the award, but any actual award is subject to contract negotiations with the DOE. Negotiations are anticipated to take 60 days.

Recycle Center Committee update – Kathy Scott shared a preliminary proposal for modifications to the Recycling Center from consultant Ben Hoy. Suggested modifications include updates to the old RC building, and suggestions for revenue generation. The SB will meet with Mr. Hoy in a couple of weeks.

Agenda items for SB Meeting, Thursday 11/2 – Mailer with basic town information that could be mailed with tax bills; update from CPCNH; update on Eastside Road; and other business.

The meeting adjourned at 11:20 am.