Select Board
Friday, July 5, 2024
Meeting Minutes

Select Board: Andrew Maneval, Andrea Hodson, Kathy Scott
Attendees: Mary Day Mordecai, Anne Havill

The chair opened the meeting at 9:00 am.

Agenda, Minutes of 6/28 – With additional topics, including the culvert inventory, Conservation Commission projects, and a legal update, the board approved the agenda as amended. The board deferred approval of the June 28 minutes pending potential input by Mr. Hoy on the Recycling Center discussion.

South Road Bridge Replacement – Andrea Hodson submitted the revised Dubois & King proposal for services for the Plan, Specification and Engineering phases of the South Road Bridge replacement, as well as the proposal for limited services for the construction phase.  The estimate is lower than the anticipated $100K. Ms. Hodson noted the design and RFP phase will be reimbursed by the state. The federal government will reimburse the town for construction costs.  The SB signed both proposals. The project is expected to launch late summer with the RFP anticipated to go out late Jan/early Feb 2025.

Recycling Center – The board okayed access to the RC on Sunday, 7/21 by the Old Home Days Committee for OHD rubbish disposal. Separately, the Building Inspector met with the RC Manager to confirm electrical needs to meet code. Mr. Cady will line up the electrician. Mr. Hoy is working with the Highway Dept on truck access/egress for MDS and recyclable vendors.  The board noted that, overall, the feedback from the first week of changed operations is positive. The RC Committee will meet next week and will discuss feedback, as well as suggestions for staff to wear RC t-shirts to identify themselves and possibly to move entrance sign out further.

Transportation – Regarding suggestions on improving effectiveness of the Main Street boat ramp signage, Mary Day Mordecai reported that she and the Police Chief met at the site and both feel, other than brush clearing for visibility, the signage is fine. She contacted Robert Hyslop of the DOT, who okayed any immediate need for brush clearing by the Town, but that the DOT could take care of simple pruning upon its staff’s return from vacation. The board will ask Mr. Tarr if clearing around the second boat ramp can be undertaken by the Highway Dept. Separately, the TC chair suggested installing a boat ramp sign at the Prospect Street ramp location.

On the proposal for a “Dead End” sign for Island Street, the Transportation Committee will discuss this next week at its meeting, but Ms. Mordecai thinks it may be confusing. The TC also will discuss the suggestion, and Ms. Mordecai will ask Mr. Hyslop, about adding a “2nd left” tag to the first boat ramp sign.

Regarding overgrown brush on state roads hampering visibility of traffic signs, the TC believes this is a serious problem and will conduct an assessment of problematic places and ask the DOT to take care of those. The TC also will discuss problem spots along Hancock Road and conduct an assessment of this area as well for the Highway Dept.

Correspondence to DOT re Eastside Road/Breed Road drainage – The board deferred discussion until a draft letter to the DOT is available for review.

Code Enforcement – The board approved the draft letter regarding Map 40 – Lot 60 and will await the property owner’s response.  On the separate illegal structure violation, a letter was sent by certified mail to the property owner. The board will await a response, and discussion next week. Also at its next meeting, the board will return to the junk violation cases, with the board authorizing Mr. Maneval to draft the follow up correspondence to two property owners.

Other business
-The board signed the appointment letter for Deputy Treasurer Mindy O’Donnell. Andrea Hodson will draft letters related to Scott Caswell and Randy Tarr, Jr.

-Mr. Maneval noted that the town’s culvert inventory project is mapped and synched with state data and the state map, with each culvert containing a data sheet. The board recommends a formal process be put in place for updates to the inventory, possibly with the state updating data for state roads, and the town for town roads, with assistance from SWPRC as possible. The SB will discuss with the Road Agent.

-Conservation Commission projects:  Mr. Maneval noted that the HCC has scheduled a Community Conversation for Monday, August 12 @ 6:30 at the Granite Mill regarding the Japanese Knotweed Mitigation Project. Discussion will include the town-wide problem of Japanese knotweed and small trial results, and the possibility of treatment of roadsides and private properties for interested property owners.  The best time to treat knotweed, if a formal program is approved, is the fall.

The HCC also has been discussing the serious threat to Hemlock trees from Wooly Adelgid. The HCC has identified an expert scientist on the Laricobious Beetle, which preys on the Wooly Adelgid and has been shown to be highly effective against Wooly Adelgid. The HCC has been working toward introducing and releasing the Laricobious Beetle in local hemlock groves to stem Hemlock disease. The SB will discuss jurisdiction over decision making to launch the programs.  The Harris Center is also involved.

The SB is enthusiastic to hear more about the Laricobious Beetle project to the extent it is conducted with HCC oversight, HCC funds and/or private funds, but the board is concerned about it and would like input from the HCC on whether approvals from the state are being considered, and that relevant state agencies, policies and regulations are being complied with. The SB requests a 1- or 2-page project brief outlining the problems, what has been done/researched to date and the HCC’s proposed plan.

Legal update – The board noted the Motion for Reconsideration in the matter of Cucchi v. Town of Harrisville and Pamela Worden was denied and that the NH Supreme Court decision in favor of Cucchi stands.

Defunct transmission lines – On the question of responsibility for removing nonfunctioning and unused communications wires that have been sighted around town, Andrea Hodson offered to check with the PUC on procedures. The board will provide the Road Agent with a map of the noted areas around town where the downed wires are spotted, for submission to the state.

The SB moved to approve expense reimbursement to Don Scott for postage for the Recycling Center postcard mailer in the amount of $120.79.

SB Meeting Schedule: Thursday, July 11 at 7 pm.  Draft agenda for 7/11: Draft letters for review; Village Road Project timetable; Fireworks debrief; and other business as needed.

The meeting adjourned at 10:20 am.