Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 1/10/19

Selectboard Present:  Peggy Pschirrer (Chair); Steven Dalessio; Cheryl Mayberry.


CALL TO ORDER:  Mrs. Pschirrer called this Selectboard meeting to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall. Mr. Ernie Vose was present.



Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Accounts Payable check register in the amount of $181,772.83  for checks issued January 11, 2019.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved. The above amount includes a payment in the amount of $65,195.50 to Primex and $22,509.01 to Granite State Minerals. 



Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending January 11, 2019, in the amount of $28,835.81 for checks issued January 11, 2019, and the electronic fund transfer for the 941 Employer Taxes in the amount of $5,952.81. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.



North Walpole Election Moderators and Ballot Clerks: Town of Walpole Election Moderator, Ernie Vose, advised the Selectboard of the retirement of North Walpole’s Assistant Election Moderator, Herbert Werden. Mr. Vose recommended that two people be appointed Assistant Moderators in North Walpole in order to divide the 7 AM – 7 PM polling time. This would divide the time into two shifts as is done in Walpole. Mr. Werden and Mr. Vose are in the process of identifying people in North Walpole who might be interested in filling the positions. The Selectboard encouraged Mr. Vose to fill these positions by March, 2019. Currently, enough voters live in North Walpole to warrant a separate polling site.



Mr. Dalessio moved to enter into a Non-Public Selectboard Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II (c) to discuss reputations. Ms. Mayberry seconded the motion and, on a roll call vote with Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved at 6:45 PM.


The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 6:55 PM.



Walpole Town Meeting Warrant Articles Moderator: Mr. Vose advised the Selectboard that the Warrant Articles Moderator for the annual Town Meeting, Mr. William Houghton, is retiring. Mr. Houghton has also retired as the Town’s Fire Warden. Mr. Vose has asked Mrs. Lucy Weber to fill in as the Warrant Articles Moderator for the March, 2019 Town Meeting. She has agreed to do so. Ms. Mayberry suggested that perhaps the role could be rotated between people on different years which would relieve pressure on those who may have scheduling conflicts on the day of the annual Town Meeting.



STAFF MINUTES – December 20, 2018: Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Staff Meeting of December 20, 2018 as submitted. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the Minutes were approved.


SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES – January 3, 2019: Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of January 3, 2019 as submitted.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved. Mr. Delessio abstained due to his absence due to illness at this meeting.


NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD MINUTES – January 3, 2019:  Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Non-Public Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of January 3, 2019 as submitted.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved. The minutes remain sealed. Mr. Delessio abstained.



The Selectboard received and reviewed Minutes of the following meetings:       

 Walpole Fire District – November 14, 2018;
 Walpole Fire District – December 12, 2018;
 Walpole Conservation Commission – December 3, 2018; 
 North Walpole Village District Commissioners’ Public Hearing for Application – December 18, 2018;
 North Walpole Village District Commissioners’ Meeting – December 27, 2018;
 Walpole Planning Board – January 8, 2019.



MAP and LOT #027-003-000: Ms. Mayberry moved to grant a Property Tax Refund for Map and Lot #027-003-000 for the amount of $40.63. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessioand Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved. The refund is due to an overpayment of taxes. 



Letter to Jeanette Clark: Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the letter Mrs. Pschirrer drafted to Mrs. Clark suggesting Mrs. Clark fill out the Property Tax Abatement form that was sent to her so the Selectboard can consider her abatement request. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.


12 Westminster St. – Former Westberg Estate Properties Update: Mrs. Pschirrer will finish writing the grant to the DES for the Brownsfield remediation project next week. The Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2019. Notices of the hearing have been posted. Walpole has received two letters from the DES approving Walpole’s application for the Covenant Grant. In one letter, the DES stated that, if Walpole receives the $500,000 Covenant Grant, the DES will give Walpole $100,000. Steve Rickerich of Ransom Consulting has been writing the scientific portion of the grant application which describes the nature of the contamination and the three potential ways to correct the problem. Walpole has selected the option that removes all the soils. The other two options would not address the contamination sufficiently. 

Walpole Planning Board 2019 Warrant Articles: Ms. Mayberry requested clarification on the change made to Article 3. Mr. Dalessio explained that the prior warrant, which prevented the building of another recycling center unless the center was licensed by the Town, was deemed unenforceable under the Ruggiero court decision. This new Article 3 therefore reverses that unenforceable zoning regulation and clarifies zoning regulations that will apply to future recycling center applications.


2019 Town of Walpole Proposed Budget: Mr. Dalessio expressed some concern regarding the Workers’ Compensation rate in the proposed budget. He suggested that it remain as it is in order to avoid a spike in next year’s budget. A letter from the Town’s insurance company indicated that this year’s rate reflected a healthy pool of participants. Next year’s rate might not remain the same. Both Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry agreed with Mr. Dalessio to leave the Workers’ Compensation at the original $40,000 level.



Savings Bank of Walpole Request re: Concerts on the Green: Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Saving Bank of Walpole’s annual request to allow the continuation of the Summer Concerts on the Green as the Bank has done in the past. Seconded by Ms. Mayberry. With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.


Street Lights: Mrs. Pschirrer reported that several people had called the Town Hall expressing concern regarding the town’s non-functioning street lights. Mrs. Downing stated that Mr. Mike Rau, the Road Agent, advises citizens to go to the Liberty Utility website and fill out an online form that initiates service calls by Liberty. The form asks for the pole number of the non-functioning street light; that number is posted on each light pole. Mr. Rau has found that submission of this online form by citizens receives a quicker response from Liberty Utility than his requests for service calls. Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry suggested these instructions be published in The Clarion. In the meantime, the Selectboard strongly encourages citizens to wear bright, lightly-colored clothes when walking on roads without shoulders or to put reflective tape on their coats and on their dogs’ collars or leashes when walking at sunset or later. 


Correspondence: Mrs. Pschirrer acknowledged receipt of a card from Ms. Kathy DePasquale of Middle Street thanking the Selectboard Office for its help in their application for a Veterans’ Tax Credit.



Ms. Mayberry moved to enter into a Non-Public Selectboard Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (a) personnel and (c) reputations. Mrs. Pschirrer seconded the motion and, on a roll call vote with Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved at 7:26 PM.


Ms. Mayberry moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of January 3, 2019 be sealed. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.


The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:40 PM.



Fall Mountain Regional School Budget Meeting: Ms. Mayberry attended the Fall Mountain Regional School Budget meeting held earlier in the evening. She reported that the tax increase for Walpole will be $.74, if the first Warrant Article is passed and an additional $.12, if the second Warrant Article is passed, leading to a total increase of $.86 per $1,000 for Walpole. Mr. Dalessio asked what Charlestown’s increase totaled. Ms. Mayberry reported that Charlestown’s increase would be $.51, if the first Warrant Article passes, plus another $.29, if the second article passes, giving Charlestown a total increase of $.80 per thousand. The reason for these increases is due to the Teachers’ Agreement that was passed last year and the Union’s Support Staff Agreement which was passed this year in Article 2. Ms. Mayberry noted that the default budget was $31,048,858 and that the proposed budget was $31,224,800 representing a total increase of $175,942. Mr. Dalessio said the increase seemed high. Ms. Mayberry said there had been no push-back on the increase because all the contractual agreements that caused the increase in budget had been covered by other line items. Ms. Mayberry did ask the School Board about the $150,000 increase to the Vocational Educational line item which seemed high. She learned that it too was attributable to the Teachers’ Contractual Agreements that were pre-approved from last year’s Warrant Article.


Warrant Article #8 for School District: Ms. Mayberry reviewed the Warrant Article #8 which asks voters to “…authorize, indefinitely, until rescinded and retained in a year’s unassigned general funds, an amount not to exceed in any fiscal year 2.5% of the current fiscal year’s net assessment.” Ms. Mayberry noted this ended up being 0 last year. She said many questions were then asked about the Capital Reserves, the apportionment formula and how the money is spent. People were particularly interested in learning when appropriations for improving the schools’ security measures would be made. They were told that additional work needed to be completed before schools would be eligible to apply for grant funding. Ms. Mayberry also noted that the deliberative hearing for the School Board’s Warrant Articles is scheduled for February 6, 2019. All the materials for the School District Articles and their appropriations will be available online. 


Petition Warrant: Ms. Mayberry read the Petition Article which asks the District to “…raise and appropriate the sum of $30,000 for the purpose of hiring a qualified, non-partisan, third-party firm to conduct a study of the feasibility and sustainability of the withdrawal of one or more pre-existing districts from the cooperative school district.” When asked which district encompassed the “or more” clause, Ms. Mayberry was informed that this wording was left intentionally vague in order to allow districts to withdraw should they decide to do so. Mr. Dalessio thought the Petition Article was particularly timely because it would require Walpole to decide, once and for all, whether it is better for the Town to have its own school or to belong to the School District. Such a decision would need to be made by a future Warrant Article. Several people at the Budget Meeting questioned the sufficiency of $30,000 to make an adequate assessment of this issue. Mrs. Pschirrer asked if a timeframe had been put on the completion of the study. No time frame had been discussed. The Article only stated that the study would be completed under the provisions of RSA 195:25. Furthermore, the primary intent of the Article was to see if the Charlestown voters would approve the formation of a Withdrawal Committee. If they did, only then would the Fall Mountain District contribute $30,000 towards the total cost of hiring a facilitator. Mrs. Pschirrer then asked if the School Board indicated interest in proceeding with the study if Charlestown voted against it. Ms. Mayberry replied that the wording of the Warrant implied the District probably would not proceed if Charlestown voted against it. The School Board would probably make a final decision in a non-public Executive Session.



Ms. Mayberry moved to recess this Selectboard meeting.  The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved at 7:52 PM.


The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 8:22 PM.



Town of Walpole Annual Report Preparation: Mrs. Sarah Downing noted that the Town of Walpole Annual Report is due on March 5, 2019. Departments need to get their reports in by January 18, 2019.



Ms. Pschirrer moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry. With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.


Respectfully submitted,

Beth Colley, Recording Secretary Pro Tempore          

Hooper Trustees Meeting Minutes – 1/10/19

So sad to hear that Eloise Clark is retiring but s long and healthy retirement is certainly her due! – Lil


Hooper Trustees Present:  Peggy Pschirrer (Chair); Steven Dalessio; Cheryl Mayberry


CALL TO ORDER:  Mrs. Pschirrer called this Hooper Trustees meeting to order at 7:52 PM.



HOOPER TRUSTEES MEETING – January 3, 2019:  Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Hooper Trustees meeting of January 3, 2019, as submitted.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved. Mr. Dalessio recused himself since he was not present due to illness.



Replacement of Hooper Institute Director: Ms. Mayberry attended the recent Hooper Institute meeting and reported that Mrs. Eloise Clark, Director of Hooper Institute, announced her intention to retire at the end of this school year. Mrs. Pschirrer stated that the process of finding a replacement was the responsibility of the Hooper Trustees. The Trustees need a formal notice of resignation from Mrs. Clark as well as a job description of the director’s position in order to proceed with a job search. Mr. Dalessio suggested this might be a good opportunity to explore a restructuring of the Hooper Institute and Hooper Education program. Separating the two entities would allow the Institute to focus on a more global vision for raising larger amounts of money including outreach to corporate sponsors while allowing the Education Committee to focus its efforts on hiring educators and developing programs. Mrs. Pschirrer read aloud the Hooper Institute’s Bylaws regarding the process to be followed in finding a director. In 2015, the Hooper Institute and the Hooper Trustees agreed that the Hooper Institute Committee would act as Hooper’s Board of Directors. As such, the search for a new Director will include the Hooper Trustees, the Hooper Institute/Board of Directors and a representative from the school. Mrs. Pschirrer then suggested that the first task of the next director should be the development of a strategic plan that looks at the future direction of the Institute as well as the current funding mechanisms. Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio provided a brief history of the complex relationship between the Town, the Institute and its various committees and the scholarship funds. The meeting then concluded with the recommendation that a Search Committee for a new director be formed. 


Ms. Mayberry moved to adjourn this Hooper Trustees meeting.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio and, with all in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 8:22 PM.


Respectfully submitted,

Beth Colley, Recording Secretary Pro Tempore


Clarion Deadline – 1/22/19

Months go fast, and I am now working on your February issue of THE WALPOLE CLARION. The deadline for your inputs is now just a week away – Tuesday, January 22. I continue to receive comments that people anxiously look forward to their CLARION the beginning of each month, so if you have something you wish to share with the community – an upcoming event, past accomplishment, human interest story, advertisement, etc. – please get it to me.

And, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your continued submissions and support, yours, RAY, Publisher

Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 1/3/19

Selectboard Present:  Peggy Pschirrer (Chair); Cheryl Mayberry; (Absent: Steven Dalessio).


CALL TO ORDER:  Mrs. Pschirrer called this Selectboard meeting to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  Mrs. Pschirrer welcomed Mrs. Beth Colley as Recording Secretary Pro Tempore who is standing in, temporarily, for Ms. Regina Borden. No members of the public were in attendance.



Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Accounts Payable check register in the amount of $76,639.80 for checks issued January 4, 2019.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved. The above amount includes a payment in the amount of $40,484.82 to the Health Trust. 



Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending January 4, 2019, in the amount of $24,754.78 for checks issued January 4, 2019, and the electronic fund transfer for the 941 Employer Taxes in the amount of $4,988.41. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.



SELECTBOARD MEETING  December 27, 2018: Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of December 27, 2018, as submitted.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved.


NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION  December 27, 2018:  Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Non-Public Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of December 27, 2018, as submitted.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved. The minutes remain sealed.



The Selectboard received and reviewed Minutes of the following meetings:       

 Walpole Planning Board Meeting – December 11, 2018 

Mrs. Pschirrer noted the wording of the Planning Board Warrant is different from the wording normally used in warrant articles. The Planning Board will need to change the wording of its Warrant to read “To see if the Town will vote…” in order to conform to the wording of the other Warrants that will be voted on at the Town Annual Meeting in March, 2019;

 North Walpole Village District Commissioners’ Meeting – December 11, 2018;
 North Walpole Village District Commissioners’ Meeting – December 18, 2018

Ms. Mayberry noted the appointment of a new commissioner, Mrs. Colburn, to the North Walpole Village District.



Westberg Estate Properties Closing Update: Mrs. Pschirrer reported that a Quit Claim Deed for the properties formerly owned by the Estate of Nils Westberg and now owned by the Town of Walpole, NH was recorded at 10:21 AM on January 3, 2019 in the Cheshire County Registry of Deeds. The final closing documents have been received and saved in the Town records. The Quit Claim Deed transfers ownership of two tracts of land to the Town of Walpole and a Right-of-Way that eventually will be transferred to the Walpole Foundation. Originally, the Right-of-Way was used to access the Westberg Property at the back of the lot which is land-locked; but now the Right-of-Way runs alongside a number of apartments and businesses. As part of the deliberations regarding the acquisition of this property, the owners and residents of the apartments and businesses repeatedly asked that the Town change the legal designation of the Right-of-Way to a driveway so the property can be closed to through-traffic. Once the legal designation of the property is changed and made part of the deed for the Griswold House, it will be posted as “Not a Thru-Way”.


Westberg Estate Properties re: Brownfields Project: Mrs. Pschirrer reported that the Notice of Public Hearing regarding the Proposed Brownfields Cleanup Grant for Map 20 Lots 65 and 66, the former Central Plating site formerly owned by the Nils Westberg Estate, has been prepared. The public hearing will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 6:00 pm in the Selectboard Office at the Walpole Town Hall, 34 Elm Street, Walpole, NH. The Notice of Public Hearing has been posted in The Walpolean, The Keene Sentinel, and on the Walpole Town website. Copies of these notices will be submitted with the grant at the end of January.


2019 Town of Walpole Proposed Budget: Mr. Rich Kreissle printed out 2019 Town Budgets and sent e-copies to the Selectboard. Mrs. Pschirrer noted that no changes had been made to the Budget since their last review on December 10, 2018. Ms. Mayberry noted that Mr. Dalessio had recommended a few more cuts be made to the budget because he felt the total percent increase needed to be further reduced. Mrs. Pschirrer noted that all items proposed in the Warrant Articles that will be added to the budget, aside from the $400,000 proposed for items covered by the Unassigned Fund Balance, totaled $191,177.67. The total proposed budget comes to $4,086,328.67. Per Ms. Mayberry, this reflected a 4.7% increase from last year. Following this review and several other prior reviews, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry concluded that few additional cuts could be found in this year’s budget that would significantly reduce the total percent increase.


Warrant Article for Walpole Police Vehicle: Mrs. Pschirrer reviewed the Warrant Article proposing the raising and appropriation of $32,000 to purchase a vehicle for the Walpole Police Department. Mr. Tom Goins is currently working with Mascoma Bank to draw up a promissory note for $32,000 at a fixed interest rate of 2.95% for 3 years with fixed payments of $10,666.67 per year. As part of this agreement, the bank requires a letter of qualification from the town’s attorney indicating the Town’s status as a non-for-profit, tax-exempt municipality in accordance with the Municipal Finance Act (RSA:33). Mr. Hockensmith will prepare this letter upon his return on January 4, 2019. 


Warrant Article for Walpole Police Department Capitol Reserve Fund Account: Ms. Mayberry requested confirmation that the Warrant Article proposing the raising and appropriation of $15,000 for the Walpole Police Department Capitol Reserve Fund Account is to bring that account back up to $45,000 for the acquisition of cruisers and equipment. Mrs. Pschirrer confirmed that was the intent of the Warrant Article. 


Walpole Highway Department Fleet: Ms. Mayberry asked if the purchase of a truck for the Highway Department would be included in next year’s budget. Mrs. Pschirrer indicated that the Town is in the process of purchasing a truck this year and would need to do so again next year because the fleet is wearing out. Next year’s truck will be purchased through a loan because 2020 will also be the last year for paying for the loader, the fees for which total $56,000 per year. 


Budget Line Items Payable to the County: In reviewing other items listed in the budget, Ms. Mayberry noted the increasing financial pressure placed on New Hampshire towns in subsidizing state and county budgets. Mrs. Pschirrer noted that Walpole sent a check in December to Cheshire County for over $1.7 million. Walpole’s share of the County budget had an increase of $300,000 from last year. Much of that increase was due to the construction of the Maplewood Nursing Center that has commenced.

Posting and Public Hearing of 2019 Town of Walpole Budget: Mrs. Pschirrer said the Public Hearing for the Budget will be February 7, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. All directors of Walpole Town Departments should plan on attending. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the public hearing.  An overview of the budget will be given by Mrs. Pschirrer and the Warrant Articles are explained. The public will have opportunity to comment on the budget and the articles.


Houghton Brook Bridge: Mrs. Pschirrer noted that the NH Department of Environmental Services has red-listed several old bridges in the Town, one of which is the Houghton Brook Bridge that is located on a dead-end road. The Town has been trying to get a permit from the DES to repair the bridge. Since a wetland exists on one side of the bridge, the DES has suggested the installation of a fish-ladder along-side the bridge. Recently the DES also decided that the Town needs to submit a new plan that demolishes the old bridge and replaces it with a new one. Doing so would triple the cost of the project. Because the bridge has almost no traffic and is not a through-way, local engineers who have been working with the Town have said that replacing the culverts and various other items would repair the bridge sufficiently. Brian Vincent, an engineer working with the Town, and Mike Rau, the Road Agent, will be attending an upcoming meeting with NH DES to convince the DES of the sufficiency of the less-costly repairs to the bridge which the DES had approved earlier. 



Citizen’s Report from Cheshire Turnpike: Mrs. Pschirrer stated that citizens’ comments and complaints are welcomed by the Selectboard. However, people should identify themselves when making requests of the Selectboard so that issues can be resolved as satisfactorily as possible for all parties involved. An anonymous Citizen’s Report was recently submitted to the Selectboard complaining of the noise made by heavily-loaded trucks that are part of a business located on Old Cheshire Turnpike. Mrs. Pschirrer noted that it is a long-standing, permissible business in Walpole and operating heavy trucks is the source of the business’s livelihood. Weight limits for roads are posted in the Town in the Spring when there are frost-heaves. Alstead Center Road is currently posted because it is in danger of a collapsing culvert. Repairs on that road will begin this month.



Ms. Mayberry moved to enter into a Non-Public Selectboard Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II (a). Mrs. Pschirrer seconded the motion and, on a roll call vote with Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved at 7:05 PM.


The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:07 p.m.



Ms. Mayberry moved to recess this Selectboard meeting.  The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved at 7:07 PM.


The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:25 PM.


Ms. Mayberry moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 7:25 PM.


Respectfully submitted,

Beth Colley, Recording Secretary Pro Tempore  

Hooper Trustees Meeting Minutes – 1/3/19

Hooper Trustees Present:  Peggy Pschirrer (Chair); Cheryl Mayberry; (Absent: Steven Dalessio).


CALL TO ORDER: Mrs. Pschirrer called this Hooper Trustees meeting to order at 7:07 PM.



Hooper Trustees Meeting  December 27, 2018: Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Hooper Trustees meeting of December 27, 2018, as submitted.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved.



Hooper History:  Mrs. Pschirrer provided a brief history of the Hooper Trust and Scholarship programs to Beth Colley, a new resident of Walpole.


Hooper Institute Committee Meeting: Ms. Mayberry noted that an email from Mrs. Eloise Clark, Director of the Hooper Institute, stated that the Hooper Institute Committee Meeting will be held on January 8, 2019 in the Walpole Town Hall. Mrs. Pschirrer noted that, with the retirement of several committee members, new members were needed and that the bylaws should be reviewed. Hooper Institute Committee meetings are held on the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. 


Hooper Scholarship Committee Meeting: Mrs. Pschirrer attended a January 2, 2019 meeting of the Hooper Scholarship Committee. Scholarships covering second semester studies were approved for the six recipients of the first-semester awards for the 2018-2019 academic year. All current scholarship recipients are surpassing the scholarships grade point average requirement. When the Hooper Education Trust and the Scholarship Trust were merged, the interest accrued on the Scholarship Trust was kept separate. It now totals $114,000. After deducting the current awards, the total Scholarship Trust interest will be about $98,000 which will keep the fund running for at least two years. Additionally, the Hooper Scholarship Committee is exploring ways to raise more money for scholarships. 



Ms. Mayberry moved to adjourn this Hooper Trustees meeting.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 7:25 PM. 


Respectfully submitted,

Beth Colley, Recording Secretary Pro Tempore


Town of Walpole Staff Meeting – 12/20/18

Selectboard Present:Peggy Pschirrer (Chair); Steven Dalessio; Cheryl Mayberry

Staff Present:Sarah Downing (Manager of Administration); Rich Kreissle (Manager of Finance); Justin Cassarino(Recreation Department Director) Chief Michael Paquette (Police Chief); Paul Clark (Highway Department); Justine Fafara (Librarian); Paul Colburn and Benjamin Hoy (Recycling Department); Eloise Clark (Hooper InstituteDirector)

Excused:Mike Rau (Road Agent) and Sandra Smith (Town Clerk and Tax Collector)


CALL TO ORDER:  Mrs. Pschirrer called this Staff Meeting to order at 5:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  She advised this meeting is being recorded.

Mrs. Pschirrer welcomed Ben Hoy, who will be the new director of the Recycling Center. The group will be saying farewell to Paul Colburn who is retiring after 13 years of service to the Town. There is a celebratory cake in honor of Paul’s retirement. 

For this meeting, the format will be changed.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked the group what their challenges were for this past year and what would be the challenges in 2019.


Recycling Department:  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if Paul Colburn could tell the group what would be different for him and the department in 2019. Mr. Colburn thanked Mrs. Pschirrer for the cake. The biggest difficulty that the department experienced last year and will be experiencing this coming year and most likely years to come is going to be markets. There was a downturn several years ago. This situation is not going to change overnight. There are going to be issues of pipeline, with demand being low and supply being high. Mixed paper has low demand and brings low to no revenue. On a positive note, Walpole has low volume for this type of recyclable. The big commodity is cardboard which Walpole does have in supply. Mr. Colburn hopes to have a contract in place by the end of the year for cardboard. Mr. Colburn predicts there will be changes in markets. The new baler will be helpful with meeting new market demands.

Mr. Hoy thought his new challenge would be getting to know and accommodate the public and staff members. He is soaking in all the new information about the Recycling Center. He thanked the Board for his new job. It is very exciting to be part of the Town of Walpole.

Mrs. Pschirrer asked Mr. Colburn what his future plans were. Mr. Colburn is going to expand his home this coming summer with the help of a carpenter friend. And, he’s going to build a pick-up truck from the ground-up.  Mr. Colburn also plans on traveling to Iceland sometime soon.

Mr. Dalessio commented that Ben Hoy will be a good asset to the Town and we shall progress forward.


Recreation Department:  Mrs. Pschirrer asked Mr. Justin Cassarino how things went for him this year. Mr. Cassarino said they had a very, very good year. There were a lot of new programs. A lot of people enjoying the pool. Adult Nights were a huge success. The challenges were that people want improvements very quickly and all at once. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to accomplish this. Mr. Cassarino is hoping that improvements can start small and then build. Mr. Cassarino explained pickleball. It is similar to tennis with smaller paddles and nets. It’s a very popular game and there is a demand for courts. 

Other upcoming family events include the Daddy and Me Dance and the Mommy and Me Movie Night. Sponsorships with local business are being developed. Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. D’Alessio agreed that demand for programming is growing quickly. Mr. Dalessio felt the numbers supports investment. Mr. Cassarino agreed with Mrs. Pschirrer that the Recreation Committee is very supportive and involved.


Police Department:  Chief Paquette thanked Mr. Colburn for his years of service to the Town. He felt that Recycling Center had improved with professionalizing several areas. Chief Paquette felt that Mr. Hoy will now help move the Recycling Center to another level of improvement. 

The biggest challenge in the past year for the Police Department was obtaining their new hire. It took 18 months to find an officer. Then the recruit had to graduate from the academy. Following this is field training (FTO) with seasoned officers. The new officer must learn how to deal with people. There are several hundred items that an officer must demonstrate proficiency in order to work independently. It is a very demanding schedule for the supervisor with planning, documentation and follow-up. This created challenges for scheduling group firearm and strike strip trainings.

It’s been a busy year with over 200 arrests this past year which is the highest yearly recorded amount for Walpole. There is a tremendous amount of paperwork that goes with processing arrests.

Mrs. Pschirrer wondered since the drug epidemic is highlighted in the media, were there any deaths due to drug overdoses in Walpole over the past year.  Chief Paquette said there were several overdoes. State statistics are showing a decline in drug related deaths due the use of Narcan. There had been 3 deaths over an 18-month period. There are additional deaths that are under investigation. Mr. Dalessio and Chief Paquette agreed it takes many man hours conducting these investigations. Chief Paquette explained how the court process can be challenging with submitting paperwork. 

Mr. Dalessio asked if drugs and alcohol continue to the largest problem. Chief Paquette said it was drugs with less issues dealing with alcohol. There has been a spike in juvenile and child abuse issues along with embezzlement cases this year. Everything larger cities deal with, the local police deal with in a smaller volume.

Mrs. Pschirrer asked Chief Paquette if we should expect to see these trends continue into 2019. He agreed that the drug issues will continue with many of the stops being “pass-throughs” which are vehicles driving through Walpole on their way to some other destination. The police train many hours in order to be prepared for that one moment when they may need to take action. Chief Paquette thanked the Board for allowing the Police Department the time to train.


Highway Department: Mrs. Pschirrer asked Mr. Paul Clark what challenges the Highway Department experienced. Mr. Clark felt that the challenge was providing safety for highway workers. Mr. Clark referenced that accident in which Ken Thompson was seriously hurt. The Highway Department was doing everything right and it was an uncontrollable situation. Changes have been made with new LED signs which have received positive comment from the public. Another change has been the use of cones and one-way road signs instead of flaggers. Drivers are slowing down since they must think of what to do in these situations. There are still drivers going too fast. However, the group is watching each others’ backs to make sure they’re safe. 

Mr. Dalessio mentioned that new headgear is now available that allows a flagger to hit a button to send a vibration to the ear muffs of coworkers’ headgear to warn them of possible danger. Mr. Clark told of another incident where the flaggers were ignored on Main Street in North Walpole.

Mrs. Pschirrer gave an update regarding Ken Thompson’s recovery from the accident that occurred in late August. Mr. Thompson recently stopped by to visit the Highway and Police Departments. It will be some time before Mr. Thompson can return to work due to hismultiple injuries. Sick Pool Leave was discussed with how to donate additional time.


Hooper Institute: Mrs. Eloise Clark reported that the Institute had a great year. The challenge in the past year had been the shifting population in the High School Program. There will be adjustments made in the coming year. The challenge for 2019 will be rebuilding the Hooper Institute Committee. There has been some attrition and new members are needed. Mrs. Pschirrer agreed that students’ interests are changing.  Mrs. Clark stated that students have limitations on where and when they are willing to work.


Library: Mrs. Pschirrer commented that the Library had an exciting year. Mrs. Fafara reported that they had reached their fundraising goal. The challenge was keeping everyone engaged. The challenge for the upcoming year is going to be the construction to renovate the library. Mrs. Pschirrer explained how the library is an independent institute with payroll being the one item that the Town administers. Mrs. Pschirrer asked Mrs. Fafara how much money was raised. Mrs. Fafara said that $450,000 was raised in the past year. Another opportunity came up which was to add movable stack shelving on a rail system that would hold a majority of the Library’s books.  This system would make the library more handicapped accessible since the shelving can be moved. It also increases the capacity of books that can be stored. They are applying for a number of grants to fund the purchase. Mr. Dalessio agreed with Mrs. Fafara that “it will happen”. 


Finance: Mr. Kreissle said that on a broad perspective, helping managers with understanding how certain events will affect their budget and how it will show in a budget has been a challenge. The compromised general fund account in July and resolving that issue was also a challenge. It’s taken several months of follow-up to settle. More recently, due to the delay setting a tax rate, the challenge has been cash management in order to pay the $1.7 million Cheshire County tax bill. The bill was approximately $300,000 more than last year. When the Town has excess funds, they are swept into PDIP. Although the town could have tapped PDIP funds to pay the county tax bill, by using cash management, the Town was able to keep funds in PDIP which creates interest revenue for the Town. Another challenge will be the updating of the AccuFund program which will change how W2s and 1099 forms are produced. In 2019, another change will be the adding of a benefit time module to AccuFund. Mr. Kreissle said that the hiring of Mrs. Jodi Daigle, the Water and Sewer Clerk, has been beneficial since prompt, quarterly water and sewer payments help with meeting monthly payment obligations for the Town. Mrs. Daigle also recently assisted Mr. Kreissle with processing payables. There had been software issues with his computer. It was a learning experience for both of them.


Selectboard Office: Per Mrs. Downing, one area of change was increased property tax abatement requests. It took many months to respond to all the requests which were four times more than the prior year. This area may be a challenge in 2019 since several early requests have been submitted which is unusual. There were challenges in July with the General Fund compromise, along with modem and business line phone issues. At this time, we also lost our long-time custodian Gerry Brady, who is missed. The current challenge is being the recording secretary while Regina Borden is on medical leave. On a positive note, Brad Nash will become a full-time custodian in 2019. His job responsibilities will include cleaning office spaces and bathrooms at the Police Department and the Recycling Center.


Water and Sewer: Mr. Dalessio chimed in that the Water and Sewer Department has turned completely around from 2 years ago where the department was losing money, to having over $100,000 surplus in that fund. There is over a $300,000 surplus in water funding. We are heading the right direction.  Mr. Dalessio thanked the field operations crew, Jodi, Rich, Sarah, himself and everyone involved with turning these funds around. Mrs. Pschirrer commented that all bond obligations are being met with the Bellows Falls Waste Water Treatment Plant. Mr. Dalessio said the that Waste Water Agreement was finally signed off, after 12 years of discussions. The next challenge is creating a plan for moving the waste water line from under the Vilas Bridge in case the line should become compromised.


Cheryl Mayberry: As the liaison to the Recycling Department, Ms. Mayberry’s challenge for this year is assisting with new leadership and employees at the Recycling Center. As discussed before, changes in the market place are a challenge. There will be a lot of learning ahead for all of us. Ms. Mayberry appreciated Paul Colburn’s 13 years of service and the last two years she has worked with Mr. Colburn.


Peggy Pschirrer: There were several good things in the past year per Mrs. Pschirrer, one of which was July 2nd when the Hooper Property sold to local people. It has been a sevenyear project. Mrs. Pschirrer has not visited the property in 4 months and is no longer making weekly trips to the property. It was a great relief when it was sold. There are several other pending property sales. The Walker Road Property will close in the near future. The local citizenry will be buying the land and transferring the property to the Town. The Conservation Commission will have the responsibility of shepherding that land. The land has access points to the Connecticut River. The other property the Town is buying is the Westberg Property, that was the Central Plating site. They are land-locked pieces of property. The Town is working on an EPA Grant for $500,000 toward the cost of $700,000 to clean up the property. The Westberg Estate and NHDES have also promised monies toward the clean-up. The property will become a town parking space. In fact, today it was very hard to find parking in downtown Walpole. Off-street parking is needed. Mrs. Pschirrer said that the DES is very supportive. We need to persuade the EPA that these grants are needed. Walpole may have wealthy individuals living here, but Walpole is not a wealthy town.   Both Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer agreed that there are no pending lawsuits which is a positive for the Town. The Selectboard wished the group a happy holiday.


Recreation Department: Mr. Justin Cassarino submitted the following report dated December 20, 2018:


 Four companies have sponsored our Rec teams
o McGill Woodworks
o State Farm – Craig Vickers
o Beam Plumbing
o Latham Electricity
 Teams have started practices and games
 Our skills and developmental programs are going great so far
o This is new for kids in Pre-K to 2nd grade


 Daddy and Me Dance
o Speaking with local companies to help with flowers and treats
o Speaking with a photographer and DJ for the event in February
 Mommy and Me Movie Night
o Looking for deals on snacks for the movie theater experience
 Trivia Night
o Because of the positive feedback, Trivia Night will be back on January 5th.
o The adults who participated last time enjoyed it being 21+, so we will do this again.


Town Clerk-Tax Collector: Mrs. Sandra Smith submitted the following report dated December 19, 2018:











Selectboard Office:  Mrs. Downing submitted the following report dated December 20, 2018:

 Assessing Update
 Veteran Tax Credits and Elderly, Blind and Solar Energy System Tax Exemption applications are being accepted at the Selectboard Office. PA-29 forms must be submitted by April 15, 2019.
 2018 Property Tax Abatement applications are being accepted at the Selectboard Office. The deadline for submitting applications is March 1, 2019.
 All application forms are available at the Town Hall or online at
 Water and Sewer
 On 12/14/18, overdue accounts for North Walpole Sewer and Walpole Water and Sewer were warranted to the Tax Collector. If they remain unpaid, they will be incorporated into the tax lien process.
 Town Hall Facilities
 Thank you to Adam Terrell and Bill White for lighting up and decorating the gazebo on the Common. Additional thanks to the Cub Scouts for decorating the holiday tree on the gazebo.
 Thank you to the Pinnacle View 4-H group for the greens basket that was given to the Selectboard Office.
 The lighting fixtures in the Selecboard and Town Clerk/Tax Collectors Offices along with the restrooms in the Town Hall were updated to become LED based. This change will reduce Town Hall electricity usage while increasing the brightness of the lighting in each space.
 The Town is searching for someone who would be available on a monthly basis to assist with website content updates such as uploading various board minutes.
 Human Resources
 Several new employees have been hired to work at the Recycling Center and Transfer Station.  The new hires include Benjamin Hoy, Manager; Shaena Hakey, attendant and Erica Sweeney, Office Assistant/Attendant.
 Paul Colburn, the long-time Manager of Recycling Dept. is retiring at the end of Dec.
 The municipal custodian will be a full-time position as of 1/01/19 with expanded cleaning and maintenance.
 Employee Wellness
 “A Fruit a Day” baskets were refilled with tropical fruits such as mandarin and navel oranges, grapefruit, and bananas along with nut packets for the week of Dec. 3rd.  This wellness initiative, funded through a HealthTrust stipend, has received positive feedback from employees

Highway Department:  Mr. Rau submitted the following report dated 11/15/18 to 12/19/18.

 Service trucks and equipment 
 Cold patch
 Checked and cleaned catch basins
 Ditched dirt roads
 Pave in catch basins and drains
 Put out sand piles: N. Walpole, Walpole village, Christian Hollow, Valley Rd, Transfer Station.
 Unclog drain on Ash St.
 Ditched on Old Keene Rd, County Rd, Wentworth Rd
 Marked catch basin and culverts.
 Fixed ice spots in roads
 Winter Weather Call outs: 11/16, 11/19, 11/20, 11/25, 11/27, 12/2, 12/16, 12/17, and 12/18.


Walpole Town Library:  Mrs. Justine Fafara submitted the Walpole Town Library December 2018 Report:  

WalpoleNov. 2018 Nov. 2017

Days Open2323

Hours Open134148

Hours Scheduled134148



Overdrive Circulation374351


# of Adult Programs1313

# of Adults attendees126162

# of Teen Programs15

# of Teen attendees449

# of kid/family programs1516

# of kid/family attendees154107

Website visits335522


North WalpoleNov. 2018Nov. 2017

Hours Open2425



Computer Use45


Big excitement is we’ve surpassed our fundraising goal of $448,000. As of 12/20/2018 we’ve raised

$449,999.83 in cash and pledges.


The Library will be closed Monday the 24th, Tuesday the 25th and Tuesday January 1st. We’ll also be closing early (5pm rather than 8pm) on Monday December 31st

The Fundraising Committee is planning an open house to celebrate our fundraising success with the public on Saturday January 12th, 9am-1pm.


Police Department:  Chief Paquette submitted the following report for the period of November 17, 2018 through December 15, 2018.


Calls for Service

Criminal Investigations – 72 at 25%, Public Safety – 118 at 43%, Motor Vehicles – 96 at 34%


 Total Motor Vehicle Calls for Service: 157 last month, 95 this month
 Total Public Safety Calls for Service: 149 last month, 118 this month
 Total Criminal Investigations Calls for Service: 59 last month, 72 this month
 Total Monthly Calls for Service: 365 last month (Oct-Nov.), 286 this month (Nov. – Dec.)


ADJOURNMENT:  Mrs. Pschirrer declared this meeting adjourned at 6:02 PM. 


Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Downing, Recording Secretary Pro Tempore



Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 1/8/19



Presiding Members: Jeffrey Miller (Chair), Robert Miller (Vice-Chair), James Aldrich (Secretary),  Dennis Marcom, Jason Perron, Jeff White,  Alternate: Joanna Andros. Absent: Steve Dalessio (Selectboard Representative), Alternate Jeff Colley.

Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the regular February 2019 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions. 

Roll Call: All board members were present so no alternate was needed to fill in. 

Minutes: Mr. Marcom made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Mr. Aldrich seconded the motion and the motion passed.


Public Hearing No1: Are you in favor of revoking and rescinding the amendment to the Walpole Zoning Ordinance, adopted and approved as Article 4 N at the annual Town Meeting held on March 12, 2016, regarding Recycling and Transfer Stations? Town legal counsel advised it is not enforceable under New Hampshire law.


Mr. J. Miller said Mr. Dalessio brought this ordinance up at the last meeting and this was simply a necessary housekeeping task that the Board has to do to cleanup the zoning ordinances. Mr. J. Miller also said that when he was writing out this article in the same format that town counsel Jeremy Hockensmith wrote in the first two articles that were approved last month and that regarding the second article about the Planning Board being able to make minor changes, he thought the Board ought to have the same language. “Town legal counsel advised it is not enforceable under New Hampshire law.” That was in the Superior Court ruling about the Ruggiero matter, Mr. J. Miller said.

Mr. Perron asked if he talked to Mr. Hockensmith about adding that sentence. Mr. J. Miller said Mr. Hockensmith said we didn’t need it, but Mr. J. Miller said he thought it made the article more clear for the public to understand why this article was on the warrant.

Mr. Boas said he needed some clarification on the topic of the Public Hearing article. He went back to the original article that passed and he couldn’t find it in the past zoning ordinances. 

Mr. J. Miller said it was passed by zoning petition in 2016. A Superior Court judge ruled the whole ordinance unenforceable. Mr. Boas asked if that meant that the town can’t have a site plan review of a possible future recycling or transfer station. Mr. Miller said that it does not mean that. You can have a site plan review of a commercial operation if its cost is over $10,000.

Mr. Boas then asked if instead of doing away with the entire paragraph, would it be better to delete just to the semicolon and keep the rest. Then it would say, “In addition to the current Town recycling center at 207 Whitcomb Road, Route 123, Walpole, New Hampshire, recycling centers and/or transfer stations shall be permitted uses in the Industrial District subject to meeting the Town’s site plan review regulation and shall be submitted to the Planning Board for site plan review.” 

Mr. J. Miller said it already says that in another section of the zoning ordinances because it says that any building or commercial undertaking costing more than $10,000 must have a site plan review. But if you keep the first section of the ordinance it allows for a transfer station or recycling center to go into the Industrial District. Right now there are specific businesses allowed in the Industrial Park and anything else has to get a Special Exception. A recycling and transfer station is not an allowed use. 

Mr. Perron asked if this IV N ordinance means only recycling and transfer station operations taken on by the Town, rather than a private enterprise, are allowed? “I think that was the problem the courts had,” Mr. J. Miller said. “I would not want it to be a permitted use in an Industrial Zone.”

Mr. Boas said, “I see a problem coming up. I’d like to clarify it for the readers of The Clarion. If the Town votes to not rescind then, although it’s not a legal vote, it’s still illegal according to the Court decision. Where do we go next?” Mr. J. Miller said, “It’s unenforceable. We’re just trying to clean up the zoning ordinance.” 

In all of the districts, there are allowable uses in a district. If it’s not a permitted use, you have to have to apply for a Special Exception.

Mr. Perron said, if you keep the first part of Article IV N, “I’m not comfortable with that at all.” Mr. Marcom said, “It opens the door for that use.” The other thing is if the Town didn’t vote for it, it wouldn’t would be illegal, it just wouldn’t be enforceable.

Mainly these are housekeeping changes, Mr. J. Miller said. “We want to clean up these ordinances on the advice of town counsel.”

Mr. J. Miller said that he didn’t understand how the Carmody property got so botched up. He was arguing with the attorney about it when the attorney finally said, “The way I look at it is that you might be right, but not only is it good for the town, but good for the landowner. He doesn’t have to worry about anything in his deed,” etc.

Mr. Aldrich said he didn’t know if the voter would just vote no. That could happen.

Mr. J. Miller said then maybe we should put back in the clarification that Mr. Hockensmith had in his original statement. It says, “This amendment is necessary to correct an error in Warrant Article 2, adopted and approved at the March 13, 2007 annual meeting, mistakenly changing these lots zoning classification.”

Mr. Perron said he thought it was a good idea and he recalled saying that before at the December meeting.

Mr. Perron made a motion to recommend the article be put on the warrant. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and it passed. Mr. J. Miller said that the clarification on the other articles does not mean there has to be another Public Hearing. The intent of the articles are the same.


Master Plan: Mr. J. Miller passed out a letter from Southwest Regional Planning Commission Planner Ms. Lisa Murphy about her thoughts on what parts of the Master Plan should be revisited this spring. They include Population and Housing, the Implementation Chapter and Transportation. This would cost the town $5,400. The Selectboard previously said money would be put aside for this process, which would start in April after it has been approved by the Town. Mr. Miller will check with the Selectboard about this matter.


Workshop: Mr. J. Miller asked if the Board wanted a workshop this month about a solar ordinance. He said that residential installation questions would be answered when people came for a permit with the exception that there should be some path for an abutter to complain about a neighbor’s installation if he/she were unhappy about it. Commercial installations would be permitted by requiring a Site Plan Review because the cost would be over $10,000.

At first some of the Board said no to scheduling a workshop but others on the Board thought that there were still a lot of questions to be answered about a solar installations.

There was also discussion about last year’s article on solar installations. Some Board members felt that it was a subsidy paid for by taxpayers. Other Board members felt it was the right thing to do because these people with installations were getting away from fossil fuels.

In the end it was decided to have a workshop meeting on January 22 to discuss a solar ordinance. The Public is invited to attend.


Mr. Aldrich made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and it carried.


Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine