Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 6/10/21

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry, Chair of the Walpole Selectboard, called this meeting via Zoom to order at 4:32 PM.  The Selectboard members are in three separate locations.  Also attending this meeting is Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration, in the Walpole Town Hall and Mrs. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary, by telephone at a separate location.  This meeting was being recorded.  There were three guests present:  Senator Jay Kahn, Representative Lucy Weber and Mr. Mark Houghton. 

Ms. Mayberry called for a voice roll call of the Selectboard present:  Steven Dalessio was present; Peggy Pschirrer was present and Cheryl Mayberry was present.  This meeting will be in accordance with Virtual Meetings, Emergency Order #12, which has been effective since March 2020.

AMERICAN RESCUE FUNDS (ARF) DISCUSSION WITH SENATOR JAY KAHN:  Ms. Mayberry explained that they felt it would be good to meet together and have a conversation about the Town’s wastewater line relocation and the Vilas Bridge.  Senator Kahn advised the State will not be taking up the Ten-Year Highway Plan that includes the Vilas Bridge until next year.  He talked to Commissioner Bob Scott of Environmental Services about the Town of Walpole’s concern, However, the State put a hold on the Water Fund.  He believes this is because the Wastewater and Water Funds had been tapped pretty heavily; this is an opportunity with the American Rescue Plan which is Federal Funds.  The press release from the Governor stated that one out of three priorities was water treatment.  Senator Kahn wanted to confirm it included wastewater and it would.  He does not have time lines for when the funds could be allocated and what the process would be.  New rules would be established.  Being “shovel ready” is often what people say is a part of the criteria.  Commissioner Scott told Senator Kahn to have someone working on this Walpole project to call him; apparently he is establishing a list of his own projects and who his key contacts are for those projects. 

Mr. Dalessio reported there was an announcement that $396,000+/- was available from the American Rescue Funds (ARF).  Is that the same money we are talking about?  If not, the Town would have to apply to another agency.  Senator Kahn replied this is a good plan for small states.  NH State in total will receive about $2-to-3 billion dollars. Some of this is dedicated to school funding, child care, food programs, etc.  The State will receive $950 million dollars in State aid; that will look a lot like CARES money.  It will be distributed by the State for priorities that the State selects.  He thinks $200 million dollars is for Town and Municipal Aid.  Walpole’s share sounds like it is $396,000.  Cheshire County is to receive $14 million dollars.  Representative Weber asked if the $396,000 is unrestricted or restricted in particular ways?  Senator Kahn said it could not be used for tax reductions.  Mr. Dalessio saw it was for water and sewer lines.  Mrs. Pschirrer has been going to National League Cities meetings and cannot confirm all the numbers, but the last number was $112 million dollars. It is hard to find those numbers when she is searching government websites.  The website Mr. Dalessio is referring to stated there were limitations on what they could do.  The third thing in all the restrictions included water and sewer; the first two were related to the COVID virus.  Mr. Houghton said they are talking about two different things.  The first round was the rescue money, but the infrastructure issues are not related to the rescue money.  Senator Kahn thought they were.  Mr. Dalessio said American Rescue Funds sounds like multiple buckets and we could tap more than one bucket.  Senator Kahn noted Commissioner Bob Scott will control $950 million dollars; a significant figure.  There may be a matching source.  

Representative Weber said they know there are several buckets.  There are County funds and other funds that will come into the State that will get allocated by the Governor to individual projects in a number of different places.  She assumes if we had the money this would be almost ready to go.  Mr. Houghton advised all the survey work is completed and some preliminary engineering work done.  They have not done bid documents or a final plan that has gone to the Department of Environmental Services (DES) for approval. They have been moving forward slowly because of funding issues. Sewer funds have been hard to accumulate. This is just part of a bigger problem as 20 wastewater stations need upgrading to go along with this sewer bypass.  Senator Kahn mentioned a break-down of an estimate by component would be a great common source for them to speak to.  Mr. Houghton said they can put that together rather quickly.  Even that costs money.  Mr. Dalessio asked how they figure out where these buckets of money are and who they go to.  Representative Weber said the Legislature is not involved since this is not part of their budget.  She put together a list of people she contacted after the last meeting.  She wants to keep the conversation going because if one of them gets a bucket of funding, she wants them to think about us. Is the NH Municipal Association (NHMA) helping the towns with any of this?  Mrs. Pschirrer thinks they are trying to but they do not have all the information they need at this point. Mr. Dalessio pointed out that the Town usually finds out about many things too late to pull together grant applications.  He got a 60-page guidance document from Northern Borders two weeks before it was due.  The Selectboard spends a lot of time doing research.  The Selectboard has another project and that is to extend the Three Phase Power in the Industrial Park and Bensonwood. The cost will be $800,000-plus.  They are looking for funding.

Mr. Houghton mentioned maybe it is time to hire a consultant. It would be a huge help for the Town of Walpole. The County just hired someone.  Representative Weber advised there is a newsletter that comes out of Senator Shaheen’s office with various funding opportunities.  She will see that the Selectboard gets copies.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted they get information from Senator Kuster’s office. 

Mr. Houghton asked for clarification. Is the $396,000 already allocated to the Town of Walpole.  Mr. Dalessio saw there was money coming to the State and we were allocated that amount.  Representative Weber thought they had to apply for the $396,000 and wastewater is one of the things that fits in the parameters. That money had been allocated town-by-town.  Mr. Dalessio said they had sent a letter to Senator Shaheen’s office and they had filled out the form.  Mrs. Pschirrer said when they are ready to apply for the $396,000. They already have a lot of things in place because of our EPA Grant.  Mr. Houghton summarized that the next step for him is to secure the engineering, put together a scope and get this as shovel ready as possible.  He will call Commissioner Scott the first of the week.  He asked if the Selectboard will approve this because it will be more than he has in his engineering line.  Mrs. Pschirrer advised we need to go ahead with this.  Senator Kahn suggested when Mr. Houghton talks with Commissioner Scott, he should ask what he envisions in grants for the total project.  Representative Weber said he should ask what they can use for a match because sometimes they can use one bucket as a match for another bucket.  Senator Kahn advised he can sometimes be involved in the discussion on the State’s distribution of the $950 million dollars. 

Ms. Mayberry thanked Senator Kahn, Representative Weber, Mr. Houghton and everyone else for attending this meeting.                          

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $76,675.40 for checks issued June 11, 2021.  This includes a payment in the amount of $26,048.26 to Ferguson Enterprises for culvert supplies.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

PAYROLL:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending June 5, 2021, in the amount of $30,115.41 for checks dated June 11, 2021, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $5,706.88.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – June 3, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of June 3, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION MINUTES – June 3, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of June 3, 2021, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Mr. Dalessio requested that these Minutes be tabled until next week to allow him time to review them.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were tabled until next week’s meeting. 

NOTICES OF INTENT TO EXCAVATE:

MAP and LOT #014-013-000:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Notice of Intent to Excavate for Cold River Materials, the owner(s) of Map and Lot #014-013-000.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

MAP and LOT #015-011-000:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Notice of Intent to Excavate for Cold River Materials, the owner(s) of Map and Lot #015-011-000.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

OLD BUSINESS:

Economic Revitalization Zones – Hubbard:  Ms. Mayberry reported the Economic Revitalization Zones for Hubbard will be discussed at next week’s hybrid Selectboard meeting in the Town Hall.  Mr. Michael Bergeron and Ms. Bridget Beckwith from the State Division of Economic Development will join the meeting via Zoom.

Brownfields Clean-Up Contractor Bid Reading and Recording:  Mrs. Pschirrer reported that yesterday Ransom Consulting, Mrs. Sarah Downing and she participated in the bid opening.  Six bids were received; twelve contractors actually visited the site.  There was a wide range of bids made; from $397,000 to $675,000.  They will be evaluating and discussing these bids with Ransom Consulting as they are the engineers who were hired.  The contract will be awarded on June 23rd.  Following that they will be scheduling a public meeting. 

Pending Further Actions:

Mill Pond Dam Inspection, Vilas Bridge, Houghton Brook Bridge, Generators, Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood:

Reservoir Dam:  Mr. Dalessio will try to schedule a Reservoir Dam meeting now that they have all the information. 

Tax Deeded Property Sale:  Mr. Dalessio recommended they hire somebody to cut down the weeds on the Tax Deeded Property.  People should be able to see the building from the street.  Ms. Mayberry agrees it needs visibility. Mrs. Downing was asked to find out if Mr. Brad Nash could do the job.

NEW BUSINESS:

Town Hall Copiers:  The Selectboard had received a Printers/Copiers Recommendation from Mr. Rich Kreissle.  Mrs. Pschirrer felt it was a very thorough analysis.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Printers/Copiers Recommendation for Benchmark at $4,647.14.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Municipal Utility Trailer: Ms. Mayberry reported that Mr. Brad Nash has been using his personal trailer for the work he has been doing around Town without compensation. To purchase a municipal utility trailer will cost $800.  Mr. Dalessio would like to have the insurance company contacted to see if there is liability when someone is using their personal equipment on the job.  Mrs. Pschirrer felt it would be better if he were driving/using something the Town owns.  Mrs. Downing was asked to contact Primex for an answer.      

Thank You Card:  Ms. Mayberry acknowledged receipt of a Thank You card from Big Brothers Big Sisters for the Town’s donation.

Town Hall Meeting Room:  Mr. Dalessio asked if the Selectboard meeting could be rescheduled on Thursday, September 16th, 2021, to the morning.  There is a conflict with the Horse Thieves Banquet meeting that night.  Ms. Mayberry mentioned it is also a Staff Meeting night.  There was a consensus that the Selectboard meeting could be held in the morning.  There will be no Staff Meeting on this day.       

Governor’s Emergency Order:  Mrs. Pschirrer advised that the Governor’s Emergency Order expires tomorrow at midnight.  He did not extend it.  The Selectboard meeting next Thursday, June 17th, 2021, will be an in-person meeting in the Walpole Town Hall.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION:

Mr. Dalessio moved to enter into a Non-Public Selectboard Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (a) Personnel and (c) Reputations.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 5:20 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 5:43 PM.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of June 10, 2021, will be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Dalessio moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the meeting adjourned at 5:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 6/3/21

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry, Chair of the Walpole Selectboard, called this meeting via Zoom to order at 6:33 PM.  The Selectboard members are in three separate locations.  Also attending this meeting is Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration, in the Walpole Town Hall and Mrs. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary, by telephone at a separate location.  This meeting was being recorded.  There were two members of the public in attendance.

Ms. Mayberry called for a voice roll call of the Selectboard present:  Steven Dalessio was present; Peggy Pschirrer was present and Cheryl Mayberry was present.  This meeting will be in accordance with Virtual Meetings, Emergency Order #12, which has been effective since March 2020.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $98,936.30 for checks issued June 4, 2021.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry advised this includes a payment in the amount of $70,647.58 to E.E. Houghton for a combination of regular and Elm Street Water/Sewer project invoices. Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, motion was approved.

PAYROLL:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending May 29, 2021, in the amount of $28,327.24 dated June 4, 2021, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $5,395.61.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms.  Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – May 27, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of May 27, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION MINUTES – May 27, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of May 27, 2021, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the following Committee reports:

  • North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – May 4, 2021;
  • North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – May 11, 2021;
  • North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – May 18, 2021;
  • North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – May 25, 2021;
  • Walpole Fire District Monthly Meeting – May 5, 2021;
  • Cemetery Trustees Meeting – May 6, 2021.

BUILDING PERMIT:

Permit No. 2021-25, MAP and LOT #005-031-002:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to grant Building Permit No. 2021-25 for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #005-031-002 to add a “20’ x 12’ Deck” to a house.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, motion was approved.

OLD BUSINESS:

NHMA Notice:  In-Person Meetings Starting June 12th, 2021:  Ms. Mayberry announced that a notice was received from the New Hampshire Municipal Association that the Governor’s Emergency Order will be ending effective June 12th, 2021.  Next week’s Selectboard meeting on Thursday, June 10th, will still be remote with Senator Jay Kahn starting at 4:30 PM.  In-person meetings in Walpole will begin on Thursday, June 17th, 2021, at 6:30 PM.

Economic Revitalization Zones – Hubbard Farms:  Ms. Mayberry advised that Michael Bergeron and Bridgett Beckwith from the State of New Hampshire were to attend a Zoom meeting on June 17th.  Due to the fact that this meeting will now be an in-person meeting and involve travel for them, Mrs. Downing will look into the possibility of having a hybrid meeting.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned it would be helpful if we could do it for this meeting.

National Scenic Byway Funding Opportunity:  Ms. Mayberry talked to Mr. J.B. Mack at the Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC).  Scenic Byways is different than Scenic Roads.  This funding was not available for about ten years but it is coming back again.  An interesting part of this is access to recreation areas. Therefore, she forwarded it to Mrs. Alicia Flammia of the Conservation Commission as there might be an opportunity to improve access to Walker Road.  Ms. Mayberry asked if it is something they could talk about at the next Conservation Commission meeting.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned the Connecticut River is a NH Scenic Byway.  Mr. Ray Boas advised there is also a line item for Native American sites.  A resident, Gail Golec, is extremely knowledgeable about archeology.  Maybe there could be a roadside monument/plaque or sign erected?  He recommended they contact her as she could provide some input into the area and the history.  Ms. Mayberry will do that.  If the Conservation Commission agrees to do this, they could just put a letter out there to meet the deadline of June 15th.  Mr. J.B. Mack will keep her updated.  Mr. Boas noted that Walker Road was also on his list.        

Senator Shaheen Congressionally Directed Spending Item Request Form FY 2022 and Addendum re: Vilas Bridge Sewer Line:  Ms. Mayberry reported they need letters of support from people who benefit from this project.  Mr. Dalessio reached out to Mr. Ron Bouchard at Cheshire County.  The Connecticut River is the water source for the Maplewood Nursing Home.  There would be a huge problem if it was contaminated.  Mrs. Downing wrote to Ms. Kathy Urffer at the Connecticut River Conservancy to see if they could provide a letter of support.

Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood:  Ms. Mayberry talked to Mr. J.B. Mack at the Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC) and he feels it is a great idea to make the proposal.  A suggestion is for Mr. Dalessio to talk to Mr. Todd Horner for funding resources and see if we, as a Town, can petition them; this is an economic priority.  Mr. Dalessio felt that next year they should keep an eye on the Northern Borders Grant Program.  Mrs. Pschirrer told Mr. Dennis Marcom that they would continue to look for funding sources.  Bensonwood is running out of their own power and needs some assistance.  The prices quoted by Liberty Utilities are huge numbers.  Ms. Mayberry advised that they want to keep as much of Bensonwood in Walpole as they can.                 

Grange Night:  Mrs. Pschirrer confirmed that the Grange will move their Awards Night to July 20th, 2021, in the Town Hall. 

Pending Further Actions:

Tax Deeded Property Sale, Mill Pond Dam Inspection, Reservoir Dam, Vilas Bridge, Houghton Brook Bridge, Generators:  Mr. Dalessio had no new updates on any of these agenda items. Therefore they will remain on the Pending Further Actions list.

NEW BUSINESS:

Letter of Commitment to NH Bureau of Trails:  Ms.  Mayberry thanked Mrs. Wendy Grossman for attending this meeting.  They just need to move to approve the letter.  Mr. Dalessio noted all the information she sent was beneficial.  Ms. Mayberry mentioned they had a high level conversation at the Conservation Commission meeting.  They appreciate everything she has done and hope it gets approved.  Mrs. Grossman noted they will know in August or September if the grant is approved. 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Letter of Commitment to the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Recreation Revolving Fund Request:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Recreation Department’s request to purchase metal benches for sporting events for the amount of $1,900 to be withdrawn from their Revolving Fund.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

Purchase Order for Recycling Center Paving:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the purchase order for the Recycling Center paving for the amount of $20,700.  This project was approved at Town Meeting under Warrant Article #9.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Community Power Committee Update:  Mrs. Pschirrer reported the Community Power Committee has met three times.  Mr. Paul Looney is the Chair.  Steve Grenier, Dennis Marcom and Ron Bouchard are the committee members.  They reached out to other possible members but they have not as yet responded.  They hope to expand by two-to-three more members.  There has been legislation in the State of New Hampshire since 1996 that would allow unity coalitions to buy power at a cheaper rate.  Right now there is a coalition in Hanover and Lebanon; Harrisville and Exeter are expected to join soon.  Their aim is to buy electric power as a group at a cheaper rate. Hopefully all towns will move from ground power to green power but it takes time and a great deal of effort to put together a contract, the concept and then take it to a Town Meeting.  Her first request is that the Selectboard authorizes the committee because that would be a requirement of anything they might do in a connection with a State coalition.  The County is also forming a coalition but, at this point, the legislation does not allow it to act as a State coalition.  They will come back to explain the proposed plan.  If the warrant should pass that we join that coalition everybody will get a letter asking them if they want to opt out of the program.  Liberty Utilities buys power on the market; they do not generate it.  This is much more complicated than Broadband.     

Mr. Dalessio moved to appoint a committee for the Community Power Committee and allow it to be headed up by Paul Looney.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.                  

SWRPC Focus on Aging Group:  Mrs. Pschirrer attends these meetings at the Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC).  They would like to have us participate in an Aging Study for the County.  At the last meeting there was discussion about the priorities in each community.  She felt a little left out because there were so many economic development people there; Walpole does not have an Economic Development Committee or anyone who does grant writing.  She talked about things in the Town of Walpole knowing what she did for the EPA Grant.  We have at least 1,000 people over the age of 60.  We might not know about the 2020 Census until 2022.  Our Annual Reports for the last few years have shown the Town has more people dying than are being born.  She feels housing and public transportation should be discussed.  With Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio’s permission, she is going to start talking to the River Valley Seniors about transportation as they provide medical rides, do grocery shopping, etc.  She will also talk to the Walpole Foundation who is interested in housing and may, in the future, do some kind of building.  Housing is needed for people who want to down-size but remain in Walpole.  It was an interesting discussion because there were so many similarities to other area towns.  A few towns wanted to focus on social programming.  Walpole already does that.  As the result of their Brownfields Project, Walpole will have a perfect spot for people to come for public transportation.  Mr. Dalessio does not see any reason why we should not keep going but he added the Master Plan addressed some of these things.  It is important to connect these two things.  He assumes they will see that document at the end of June.  Housing and transportation are at the top of the list.  Mrs. Pschirrer feels it is important for her to talk to all these groups.  We do not have an Economic Development Plan; young people need to be considered.  Mr. Dalessio noted without transportation, we are not going to keep young people in Town because the jobs will not be in Walpole.  Ms. Mayberry stated we do not have housing.  It is limited and a challenge; there is a shortage around the country.  SWRPC wants Mrs. Pschirrer to put together a committee. She will start to work on this.  Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry offered to help her.              

Cub Scouts Event in Town Hall:  The Selectboard approved the request from the Cub Scouts to have a Pinewood Derby after July 15th but before September 1st.  September 1st is the agreed date to open up the Town Hall to community events and rentals. 

Ms. Mayberry thanked Wendy Grossman for attend this meeting to do a presentation on the Cheshire Rail Trail Rehabilitation RTP Grant.  She also thanked Ray Boas for his input on Walker Road and the Native American sites.      

RECESS SELECTBOARD MEETING:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to recess this Selectboard meeting.  The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 7:14 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:18 PM.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to enter into a Non-Public Selectboard Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (a) Personnel and (c) Reputations.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 7:19 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:43 PM.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of June 3, 2021, will be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Dalessio moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

                                                                       

Cathy’s Letter to the Planning Board and All

PICTURE THIS — A STATEMENT OF CONCERN

If you remember the show called the Golden Girls, you must remember Sophia, the feisty one who always shared her memories by beginning with “Picture this…” naming a location and giving the year.  I am going to channel her tonight to share some memories which have lived on to the present and I fear will continue into the future.  

Picture this – NH Route 12 – 1973

We were house hunting and took a ride down RT 12 so that I could prove to my husband that there was no house in the spot that he was describing – even though he said there was. I had lived just across the river all my life – and I told him there was nothing there but fields and chicken barns…but sure enough — in the midst of them, there was a house and we have lived in it since that time.   

I know that everyone loves to look at numbers…they don’t work for me.  I need the stories behind the numbers. I have lost count of the accidents that have taken place at the intersection of 12 and 123.  I know that number would be even larger if you added the ones that have taken place at the intersection by Shaws – including the one last Tuesday…..You know that intersection – you look to the north, to the south, to Pinnacle View, to Walgreens – but don’t start to go because you can bet that someone is coming from the north or the south again.  

I put off putting my concerns in writing.  However, I finally came to the realization that if another tragic accident took place there and I had not done something, I would not be able to pass the “look myself in the mirror” test.   

I apologize that I do not have number of accidents that have taken place there. I have always found that the best way to share information is to ask questions that may allow people – including myself – to reflect on the situation at hand.  Here are the questions that I have been reflecting upon…for many years.  

1 – Have you ever had your high school student (who is now 50) sit down at the supper table one night and suggest that you make his younger siblings stand at the mailbox to wait for the bus because he had – in his words – almost been taken out by a car while waiting for his bus that morning.  

2 – Have you ever had that same student watch a series of accidents and submit a plan for his Eagle Scout project to put a light at that intersection based on the concern he had over safety in this area, only to have it refused by the State. I understand that any decision that they make is based on law that binds them to approve certain driveways and some historical data on the efficacy of signals in dangerous areas.

3 – Have you ever been sitting in your chair and heard a loud crash and looked out the window to see that there has been an accident at that intersection and have seen people who are frightened, angry, confused, and injured?

4 – Have you ever looked at an accident at that intersection and noticed that all traffic leaving from the nearby machine shop – after waiting patiently for a considerable amount of time had to be rerouted across your driveway to reach the neighbor’s driveway and access Route 12 above the accident.

5 – Have you ever looked at an accident at that intersection and observed that the person sitting on the side of the road sobbing and shaking with fright is someone that you worked with?

6 – Have you ever been awakened in the night to find a young couple and their baby knocking on your door (prior to the days of cell phones) because it was cold and they hoped you would let them in – at least to use the phone.

7 – Have you ever looked at an accident at that intersection and noticed that one of the cars belongs to your neighbor, and his daughter is standing there crying, trying to reach her father for help?

8 – Have you ever looked at an accident at that intersection and seen the absolutely horrified look on the first responders face when she realized that it was her child who was in the accident.

9 – Have you ever heard that bump and noticed that a huge trailer truck had traveled off the road and partially embedded its front end in the slope up to the field above the road?

10 – Have you ever heard the thump at that intersection and seen a lifeless body under a motorcycle?

11 – Have you ever heard that thump and selfishly thought, “Please dear God, don’t let it be one of mine”?

12 – Have you ever heard that thump and thought – “There but for the grace of God go I”?

That road – especially that intersection – is not safe.  To increase the traffic in that area – in my humble opinion – is not a wise decision.  All I can do is to share that opinion with you.  Having done all that I can do, I can pass the “look myself in the mirror test”.  Thank you for listening.  Please keep in mind that listening – when it is not followed by action – results in nothing.  “If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got.

If what has been done since the day we found our home, I am very much afraid of what we are going to get.

– Cathie Davignon

Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 6/8/21

Roll Call: Present: Board members Chair Jeff Miller, Vice-Chair Dennis Marcom, Clerk Jason Perron, Jeff Harrington, Joanna Andros, Bill Carmody, Select Board Representative Steve Dalessio and Alternate Trevor MacLachlan. A full board was present so an alternate was not needed to fill in.

Recording: Secretary Marilou Blaine. This meeting is being recorded. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the July 2021 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.

Meeting coming to order: Mr. Miller called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm.

Minutes: Mr. Marcom made two corrections. He questioned the square footage numbers for the Dunkin’ phase one project. The numbers are 2280 square feet for the Dunkin’ property and 3,800 square feet of retail space and 4,729 square feet as a future option. On the bottom of page 2, the number of new trip numbers  should be 100 trips in the peak am hours, 200 in the peak pm hours and 177 trips in the peak Saturday hours. Mr. Perron made a motion to accept the amended minutes, Mr. Harrison seconded the motion and he motion carried.

Old Business: Public Hearing for a site plan for property at Map 24, Lot 13, 308 Main Street, Commercial District.

Laura and Doug Palmer are purchasing the former RN Johnson building at the corner of Maplewood Circle and Main Street, now owned by Wellstone Associates LLC, and across from CPA Robert Kimball’s office. If the proposal is approved, the Palmers plan to use the southern portion of the building for storage, the middle of the building would be a warehouse for products sold for their Power Sports business. The northern section would be for retail space for the business with two small offices. Power Sports is currently located on the corner of Upper Walpole Road and Ames Plaza Road. Power Sports is a 90 percent mail-order business with 10 percent retail. It sells motorcycle and ATV parts, clothing and equipment. Mrs. Palmer showed a picture of the property and surrounding areas on the large screen in the Town Hall. She said the couple has also already purchased the double wide mobile home on the adjoining property on Maplewood Circle.

Mrs. Palmer explained that at the south end is the driveway and there would be parking behind the building on the east side for employees and customers. That driveway would be widened and paved. There is a right of way now to the house that’s in the meadow to the east. That will remain as is. On the north end, the anticipated entrance to the retail section, there will be a walkway/step up to an entrance that will come from parking on the east of the building. The entrance is anticipated to be a stone wall created from Allan blocks or other comparable product.. All three overhead doors will be replaced and siding is to be repaired. The goal is, Mrs. Palmer said, to have the north entrance look like an old barn.

On the west end the roof is to be replaced with new metal. On the east end, the main roof is also to be repaired with new metal. All sliding doors will be framed out and closed with the exception that one will be converted to an overhead loading dock door. Grass will be added along the east side of the driveway. There will be 8 to 10 parking spaces. Traffic will be pretty negligible, Mr Palmer said, and lighting will all be dark-sky lights and be minimal. Abutter Robert Kimball asked about changes to the west side. Mr. Palmer said that there may be one or two windows. There being no further questions from the audience, Mr. Miller closed the public hearing.

Mr. Perron made a motion to accept the site plan as presented contingent on dark-sky lighting. Mr. Harrington seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

New Business: Stormalong Cider/Alyson’s Orchard, owner Shannon Edgar, architect Randall Walter.

Mr. Edgar said he is considering buying the Alyson Orchard property on Wentworth Road and Route 12. He has been making hard cider commercially since 2014 and now the product is available in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. He’s looking for a place to call home. His plan is to keep Alyson’s as it already is. There will still be pick-you-own apples at the orchard and all the wedding and event functions they are currently doing there. He just wants to add his hard cider into the mix and have a place where people can enjoy what he’s doing, he said. At some point, maybe in 2022 or 2023, he’d like to have a production building on site. It would probably be a 15,000 to 20,000 square-foot facility. Alyson’s grows several heirloom variety apples that he already uses in the hard cider now and would plan to plant more different heirloom variety apples that are hard to find and costly. Alyson’s would continue to operate as it’s been running, but transition to adding cider in 2022. They would need time and need to do studies on architectural plans etc. and want to adhere to guidelines here in town. They already use apples from several growers in Lebanon and have one production facility in Shelburne, VT and a bigger one in Leominster.

Mr. Walter said said there are three parcels for sale. The main one is the orchard with an entrance off of the north-south corridor on Route 12 and a secondary entrance on Wentworth Road, a country road. There’s a wooded northern section and southern section on South Wentworth, which is pastoral. Each section has a different character and there are no plans to change the area.

The first question from the audience was would Alyson’s still be open to the public. Mr. Edgar said  definitely, that’s the case. We going to have retail, but would also like to educate people about cider and apples. He’d like people to come and enjoy the apples and the orchard.

Mr. Walter said that right now the people at Alyson’s don’t get a chance to talk to their customers now but with a business such as Stormalong there would be plenty of conversations with the customers. There is no intention of giving up weddings and events. Mr. Edgar says he has a 12-year-old boy and 9-year-old girl and wants to keep the place family-friendly.

An audience member asked about the business structure. Mr. Edgar said its’ a single entity LLC. Then someone added that he was super delighted “to have you guys here.” There was applause and the audience seemed receptive to Mr. Edgar proposal for a hard cider facility.

Someone else asked how he was going to move his product in and out. He assumed he would use Route 12 as opposed to Wentworth Road, as it’s a country road. If he was using Route 12, what kind of changes would you make? He asked. Mr. Edgar said he would pave the road and that there would be one or maybe two deliveries a day. A woman in the audience said that tractor trailers are already going up to that property. Another question from a gentleman in the audience was what are you going to do with the other two parcels. Mr. Edgar said he can’t see pulling it out of current use. He also said that the two houses that are already on the property are being used for lodging for the weddings and that won’t change. He doesn’t foresee any changes.

Who is Shannon Edgar. Mr. Edgar said he was in music for 20 years, went to college in Boston, moved to the West Coast and moved back 2012 and started Stormalong in 2014. He and his wife bought a 120-acre farm with an apple orchard in Nadick. MA. He began making small batches of hard cider and the batches kept getting bigger and bigger. Originally he thought maybe they would have a small farm-type business, but sales started to improve, people liked our product and one minute we’re making cider for us and our friend’s consumption and then we ended up using a building in Leominster, MA that was perfect for our business. So he said the company is on a pretty good footing right now and Stormalong is a very stable business.

Mr. Miller thanked Mr. Edgar and Mr. Walter for their introduction to the business and hoped to see them back in the future for a site plan review.

 New Business: Site Plan. Installation of solar array. Tax Map 12, Lot 56, Route 12, Commercial District. Request for a public hearing. Short presentation, Ned Raynolds and Steve Dzubak of Revision Energy.

Mr. Steve Dzubak said Revision Energy has been in business 17 years and has five offices, one of which is in New Hampshire. Revision was the contractor for the Chamberlain Machine array behind its building on Huntington Lane in Walpole. The company installs both commercial and residential solar energy and partners with Bensonwood on some residential plans. The plans for this solar array are for a 1 mega watt installation on five acres at the above site. There will be 400 panels and it will be feeding power into the proposed Dunkin’ site and retail stores on the rest of the property. The proposed development will have no access from either Route 12 or Upper Walpole, but will be from the other part of the NGP Management property. So there will no traffic and no noise as solar panels are silent, Mr. Dzubak said. The property will be fully screened with a 7-foot high black chain-link fencing on the perimeter of the fencing and with two types of plantings – forsythia and a green shrub. Those are the basics, Mr. Dzubak said and then asked for questions.

The first question for an audience member was “what’s the benefit for Walpole for this solar array?” Answer from Mr. Dzubak, “It’s a new power source and clean energy is one benefit.” 

Mr. Eric Merklein suggested that another plant replace the forsythia since during the winter when the plant has no foliage, the panels would be seen through the fencing. And, he said, it should be a security fence, so somebody can’t get in there. Mr. Dzubak said the fence is 7 feet high, gated and locked. He’ll also look into replacing the forsythia.

Talk about what does the town of Walpole get from the solar array came up again? Mr. Dalessio asked why can’t you set up a net metering system and give the credits to the Town of Walpole. 

Mr. Clifford said this solar project really started because of the Dunkin’ project and the original thought was that we would do a much bigger commercial development here. But the initial feedback from the town was that they didn’t want to see that. It was in keeping with the character of Walpole. That’s why the company decided on the solar array. Defining a green use doesn’t create any traffic. The landscaping will make it look nice and it is a clean way of power generation. This is very expensive for NGP Management and New Hampshire is one of the worst states for developing solar power. But to give power away, it would be just like if we opened Dunkin’ Donuts doors and gave everybody free food.

Mr. Dalessio said the power would go to the Dunkin’ site and whatever businesses are there and whatever is left could come back to the town of Walpole to offset the enormous tax loss. Just about 10 to 12 percent of the power is being used on the site and the rest is going back to the grid. Mr. Clifford said the company can’t invest a million dollars to pay your electric bill. I wish we could.

Mr. Perron said he hadn’t heard anyone saying they didn’t want development on that land. Mr. Clifford said that before he presented his plan to the Board he had initial conversations from people in the town and that’s what he was told.

Mr. Kimball said there is an ordinance in town that limits development to a 40,000 square-foot commercial building. This is more than 40,000 square feet. Mr. Miller said that refers to an actual building.

Bob Anderson said he understood that 10 to 15 percent of the power created will be used on site. In the original warrant article on solar energy, it was written to allow tax property relief with solar, both residential and commercial, when consumed on site. In order to be eligible for tax relief all the power generated on site is intended to be used on the site. So he said to Mr. Clifford, you do not qualify for tax relief.

Mr. Dalessio asked about the required 30 percent green space on the site. Mr. Hill said there are two things that make this an approved site. The angle of the design of the panels and the fact that is it going directly into the ground. No gravel is being use. These do not qualify as impervious, Mr. Hill said. The NH Department of Environmental Services rates the impervious quality of solar installations. The installation NGP Management is proposing has a rating of 20 to 40. DES rates an impervious surface to be 98 to 100 percent. Mr. Dalessio added that there needs to be a stormwater plan to along with the plan. Mr. Hill said he was aware of the need for a stormwater plan.

Ned Raynolds asked Mr. Hill to put another picture of another solar array, the former Brunswick air station, on the screen. It showed a solar installation and snow. It was a photo of a former airplane runway. This way that panel is installed is with a single pile into the ground. No excavation, no concrete, the entire surface is soil. Also, Mr. Raynolds continued, in order to a permit, the company is required by NH DES to plant a pollinator grass seed mix after the installation is done. Everything becomes green and it’s up to owner on how often the area should be mowed. Mr. Raynolds said he has seen installations with grass three or four feet high. One site had a traveling goat to do the “mowing.” Revision Energy has an environmental mission, Raynolds said. At this point someone suggested that a farmer could use the grass. That person said he had seen it done in Rhode Island. Mr. Clifford said he wasn’t sure he wanted farm animals on the property.

 At this juncture in the meeting, Mr. Miller reminded every one that this meeting was just a preliminary meeting. Mr. Perron made a motion to hold a public hearing for the solar array next month. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Mr. Raynolds addressed exporting the energy. He said you get more energy during the day than at night and more energy in summer than winter. The array will produce nine times more energy (kilowatts) all year long than needed. That is just if there were a Dunkin’. It will be more if additional retail space is utilized. The energy goes to a local grid and whenever there is demand, that is how the energy will be used right away. Whatever extra energy is left it is exported and the owner of the property gets credits. You in town will be buying that extra energy from Liberty Utilities. The electricity is going to go immediately on the grid and be used and the fact is that it is going to be used here. The benefit to you is that the energy is coming to you from nearby, which means that Liberty Utilities doesn’t have to enlarge the size of its transformers and distribution system and it won’t need to pass that cost onto your bill. The energy will be immediate and doesn’t have to come from a distance. The town will have a clean, quiet power plant in the middle of town and reduce the demand on the power grid.

Dunkin’ Site Plan: Tax Map 12, Lot 56, Commercial District. Public Hearing continued from last month. Phase 1 proposal includes building a 2,280 square-foot Dunkin’ drive-thru and an attached 3,800 square-foot retail space and future expansion of a 4,729 square-foot retail space with associated parking and drive-thru lanes. At the meeting were Jim Clifford representing the applicant, NGP Management LLC of Reading, MA and agents Jason Hill and architect Seven Born of TFMoran Inc. of Bedford, NH.

Recently, the Board has received a letter from someone living across from the Dunkin’ project concerning accidents at the corner of Route 12 and Upper Walpole. The writer was from Catherine Davignon who lives on Huntington Lane. The Board sent a copy of the letter to NH Department of Transportation and asked them to comment on the letter. See attached letter and comment from NH DOT. Mr. Dalessio asked Mr. Clifford about the letter.

Mr. Clifford said the NHDOT  requested some additional information from Dunkin, which Dunkin’ gave them, but when we asked for accident data from DOT they said they couldn’t provided it because of privacy concerns. He said the company has spent two or three weeks trying to get that data but because of that attitude from NHDOT we haven’t been been able to get information yet.

Mr. Perron wanted to see the Dunkin’ phase, both parts. Mr. Clifford said that the may want to simplify everything and it may be easier to build the whole thing at once.

Mr. Hill said that the goal tonight was to finish up on addressing any concerns expressed before with exception of the DOT question, to which they will get an answer. The site is currently served by public sewer and water systems. He and the town’s consultant, Mark Houghton of the Department of Water and Sewer and also with the same person who is fire chief. They reviewed both water and sewer. A letter is being issued today on Mr. Houghton’s conclusion, he said.

There are changes to sewer line along the highway and a portion will be that will be a public service so people across the street can tie into that. We own the water line around the property and asked for an easement so it can be protected. So we’re agreeable for a 20-foot easement around the relocated Hubbard Brook water main. There’s a manhole at the Saving Bank of Walpole and Dunkin’ is proposing a new line in the right of way a gravity line that will be extended south across the driveway and tie into a manhole above that point. That will benefit the public because they’ll have future tie-in points.

A small portion of the water line cutting across the property is being relocated. Dunkin’ will convey an easement to the water department so they can actually tie in if needed. They are adding a couple of hydrants providing fire service. There will be a sprinkler system in the buildings and that allows the fire department to tie into it with hoses and manually pump water into the buildings. There will also be a Knox box to be coordinated with a fire department connection. Finished concrete around the perimeter of the building and curbing are planned. Landscaping was modified so tree planting will be revised from maple and oaks to Bradford pear trees. We’re seeking a waiver to relocate a tree to the parking area because the tree will obscure signage on the building.

Architect Steven Born address the updated architectural drawings responding to comments about wanting a more colonial style. He said a more interesting roof line, siding, trim and aluminum doors framing were added. There is an asphalt shingle roof. Dunkin’ is going to a standard color with the rest of it a complementary color. It was mentioned that the town didn’t want to see the roof equipment, so a parapet roof was added and it drops into a type of well in the center of the roof where the equipment will be. The 6-foot gable is both in the back and front.

Ms. Andros asked about the white and green spaces on the landscaped portion of the property. Mr. Hill said the green space are seeded grass areas. There is a section at the Upper Walpole Road area that is owned by DOT and that will be field condition. The dark green is the stormwater rainwater basin that will have vegetation. There is ditch between the highway and the site.

Mr. Eric Merklein said he spoke about month or so ago with Mr. Clifford and was assured that the architectural proposal would be tasteful. Instead Mr. Merklein said it has a typical strip mall look and is rather cookie cutter. He did not see it as tasteful.

Mr. Clifford said he was surprised and would like to see specifically what people want. Commercially one can only do so much but in my mind it has a definite colonial look.

Catherine Davignon lives near the intersection of Route 12 and Route 123. She asked the audience to picture  Route 12 in 1973. There was nothing there but fields and chicken houses. She has lived there 43 years. Ms. Davignon recreated a series of accidents that occurred at that corner and she asked the audience to imagine her life there and the sight of the faces in those accidents. She has a number of scenarios that began with “Have you ever:”

  • been a high school student 50 years ago, who had almost “been taken out by a car waiting for the bus.”
  • seen that same student watching a series of accident and choosing to make eagle scout project a desire to get a traffic light at that intersection and being refused because of signage and a light would actually make things worse.
  • been sitting in your chair and heard a loud crash and gone outside to see people looking frightened, confused and injured.
  • been awakened and learned that one of the cars belonged to your neighbor who was horrified after discovering it was her son.
  • heard that bump and thinking please dear God, don’t let it be one from mine.

Ms. Davignon is worried about an increase in traffic and an increase in accidents.

She told about crossing the road from the Shaw ’s exit. First you look south, then you look north, and across the street to the Rite Aide. By the time you’re finished looking there’s a car coming. The audience applauded her presentation.

Mr. Miller said the Board still has the an issue with DOT and the Board really thinks that safety is paramount. There is no reason, he said, that you can’t connect to Shaw’s without going on a public road. The Board has more time. The time line is 90 days. “We’re not ready here. We’d like more info from DOT. Safety is a concern.” Mr. Perron said he would also like to hear more from DOT.

He asked the secretary to put this on the agenda for next month. And he said he needed more feedback on the architectural elevations. The Board isn’t ready to make a decision.

Mr. Perron made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

WPB Secretary

Parents, Educators and Community Members Asked to Share COVID Perspectives

Department of Education launches COVID survey, building on last spring survey that generated over 56,000 responses

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Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Education is proud to announce the 603 Bright Futures Survey, giving parents, educators and community members a chance to share their perspectives on the response by New Hampshire schools to the COVID-19 pandemic this past year and how the experience should influence instructional as plans are made for fall learning. Last spring, a Department survey of remote instruction and the return to school generated more than 56,000 responses, helping to shape the state’s K-12 Back to School Guidance .

“The survey we conducted last year at this time generated a tremendous amount of valuable information, helping shape our return to school across the state,” said Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. “The 603 Bright Futures Survey will provide valuable feedback – what worked and what did not work – and provide valuable information for schools that are already crafting plans for fall instructional programs.”

The survey includes an opportunity for anyone interested – parent, educator or community member – to provide feedback. The Department will open survey on June 1, 2021 and it will remain available through June 30, 2021 to allow everyone the opportunity to respond. Parents responding for more than one child should complete the survey once for each student. Once the survey closes, the results will be made available through the Department’s website.

The links to the survey can be found below.

Survey Links: Distribution of survey links has been greatly simplified from previous years. Please share the links below. From there, respondents will be able to choose their school from a dropdown menu:

*Please note that “Community Members” are those who do not have students enrolled in New Hampshire public schools. Those who do should complete the family surveys instead.

Selectboard Agenda – 6/10/21

June 10, 2021

Starting at 4:30 PM via Zoom. Visit walpolenh.us -Town News for access info

SELECTBOARD MEETING

AMERICAN RESCUE FUNDS (ARF) DISCUSSION WITH SEN. JAY KAHN

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE• Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $76,675.40 for checks issued 6/11/21

PAYROLL• Payroll Register totaling $30,115.41dated 6/11/21 and the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer of $5,706.88

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES• Selectboard Minutes – June 3, 2021• Non-Public Selectboard Session Minutes – June 3, 2021

EXCATION INTENTS• Map and Lot# 014-013-000• Map and Lot# 015-011-000

OLD BUSINESS• Economic Revitalization Zones – Hubbard Farms• Brownfields Clean-Up Contractor Bid Reading and Recording

Pending Further Actions• Tax Deeded Property Sale, Mill Pond Dam Inspection, Reservoir Dam, Vilas Bridge, Houghton Brook Bridge,Generators, Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood

NEW BUSINESS• Town Hall Copiers• Municipal Utility Trailer• Thank You Card

NON-PUBLIC BUSINESS: RSA 91-A:3 II (a) (c)

**Any recording, audio or visual, and/or other devices must be declared at the beginning of the meeting**

North Walpole Library Open Again – 6/14/21

Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 5/27/21

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry, Chair of the Walpole Selectboard, called this meeting via Zoom to order at 6:30 PM.  The Selectboard members are in three separate locations.  Also attending this meeting is Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration, in the Walpole Town Hall and Mrs. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary, by telephone at a separate location.  This meeting was being recorded.  There were two members of the public in attendance:  Mr. Ray Boas and Mrs. Barbara Spivey.

Ms. Mayberry called for a voice roll call of the Selectboard present:  Steven Dalessio was present; Peggy Pschirrer was present and Cheryl Mayberry was present.  This meeting will be in accordance with Virtual Meetings, Emergency Order #12, which has been effective since March 2020.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $58,441.83 for checks issued May 28, 2021.  This includes a payment in the amount of $41,581.81 to HealthTrust.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

PAYROLL:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending May 22, 2021, in the amount of $29,236.95 for checks dated May 28, 2021, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $5,624.98.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – May 20, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of May 20, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION MINUTES – May 20, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of May 20, 2021, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

PUBLIC BUSINESS:

Whipple Hill Road: Mrs. Barbara Spivey requested that the Minutes of the May 13, 2021, Selectboard meeting be corrected. She stated her husband, Mr. Jody Spivey, said “When they bought the property they were not completely aware of the fact that this was potentially a snowmobile trail”. He did not say “When they bought the property they were not aware of the fact that this was a road and not a trail”. Mrs. Pschirrer advised the Minutes of the May 13, 2021, meeting had already been approved by the Selectboard. This request for the correction by Mrs. Barbara Spivey will be so noted in these May 27, 2021, meeting minutes.

STAFF MEETING MINUTES – May 20, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Staff Meeting of May 20, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. Ms.  Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

COMMITTEE REPORT:

The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the following committee report:• Zoning Board of Adjustment Meeting – May 19, 2021.

PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENTS:

MAP and LOT #003-082-C14:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to grant the Property Tax Abatement in the amount of $3,114.00 for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #003-082-C14.  The non-profit submitted their paperwork on time for a 2021 Property Tax Exemption.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

MAP and LOT #008-015-002:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to grant the Property Tax Abatement in the amount of $4,675.00 for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #008-015-002.  A property tax card correction during the tax warrant needs to be applied.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, themotion was approved.

NOTICE OF INTENT TO CUT WOOD OR TIMBER:  

MAP and LOT #013-060-001:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Notice of Intent to Cut Wood or Timber for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #013-060-001.  This property is located near Cheney Hill Road with access through Alstead.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.    

CURRENT USE:

MAP and LOT #004-003-005; MAP and LOT #010-006-000 and MAP and LOT #014-020-000: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the applications for Current Use for the following three properties:

Map and Lot #004-003-005;

Map and Lot #010-006-000

Map and Lot #014-020-000

These A-10 forms are for Hubbard LLC.  They are adding additional acreage into current use.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

BUILDING PERMIT:

Permit No. 2021-24, MAP and LOT #017-011-000:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to grant Building Permit No. 2021-24 for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #017-011-000 to add a “16’ x 12’ Porch to the Home”.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

OLD BUSINESS:

American Rescue Funds for Clean Water:  The Selectboard will be meeting with Senator Jay Kahn on June 10th at 4:30 PM via Zoom to discuss this funding source.  Ms. Mayberry advised an invitation will be forwarded to Senator Kahn.  

National Scenic Byway Funding Opportunity:  The Selectboard agreed to table this agenda item; there will be discussion during the next regular meeting.

Emergency Operation Plan Committee Meeting Date:  This meeting was scheduled for Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021, at 4:00 PM.  Mr. Dalessio would prefer this be an in-person meeting in the Town Hall.

Arborist Evaluation of Trees on Common and Meeting Date:  A tentative date was set for July 8th, 2021, at 5:00 PM on the Common.  There was a consensus of the Selectboard to schedule this date.

Senator Shaheen Congressionally Directed Spending Item Request Form FY 2022 and Addendum: Ms. Mayberry pointed out that support letters are due tomorrow. Mr. Dalessio did not think they would meet tomorrow’s due date but will keep trying. Ms. Mayberry had been asked about the Three (3)-phase power. Would that fall under the economic benefit? Mr. Dalessio replied it does. We can state the economic benefits are limiting the Industrial Park and limiting the growth of one of our largest employers. Ms. Mayberry will complete a response to the business and follow-up with SWRPC.

Grange Awards Night:  At the previous meeting the Selectboard suggested having the Grange postpone their Awards Night until July 20th as the paving of Elm Street is expected to be completed by this date.  Mrs. Pschirrer notified them last week about moving from June to July but has not yet had a reply.  This will remain “on-hold” until the next regular Selectboard meeting.

Pending Further Actions:

Tax Deeded Property Sale, Mill Pond Dam Inspection, Reservoir Dam, Vilas Bridge, Houghton Brook Bridge, Generators, Boston Post Cane:  Mr. Dalessio reported there is nothing new to discuss on these pending items at this time.  

Brownfields Project:  Mrs. Pschirrer talked with Mr. Steve Rickerich of Ransom Consulting. They asked her to extend their deadline to June 9th not because of their bids but an issue came up with the Department of Environmental Services (DES).  They worked with Mr. Mike McCluskey at the Department of Environmental Services (DES) but another division had questions.  They need to answer the questions.  One question is how to label the contamination.  Mrs. Pschirrer advised everything will be pushed off a week.  The June 2nd meeting to open bids was pushed out to June 9th, 2021.

NEW BUSINESS:

Cemetery Deed D565:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Cemetery Deed for Lot D565.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Economic Revitalization Zones:  A request was received from the State Division of Economic Development for the Town to approve five (5) areas owned by Hubbard LLC for a State Funded Tax Credit.  The Selectboard had no objections. Mrs. Downing advised that Michael Bergeron and Bridgett Beckwith will plan to meet with the Selectboard during their Zoom meeting on June 17th, 2021.  

PUBLIC BUSINESS

Zoning Board of Adjustment:  Mrs. Jan Leclerc, Chair, and Mrs. Myra Mansouri, Vice-Chair, of the Zoning Board of Adjustment asked to be admitted to the Zoom meeting.  Mrs. Leclerc had forwarded an anonymous complaint letter to the Selectboard.  Somebody thought there was too much “junk” on a property.  The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the letter but did not comment because the letter was anonymous.  Mrs. Leclerc requested that Mr. Steven Buckley at the NH Municipal Association provide them with an opinion as to how they should handle this complaint.  Mr. Dalessio pointed out that Mr. Buckley said it is the enforcement of the Zoning Ordinance but they do not have an ordinance in Town to cover this.  There is nothing they can do.  The Planning Board has to generate new ordinances.  Mrs. Pschirrer has driven by this property; there is some old farm equipment.  Mrs. Leclerc mentioned some farmers on occasion have a scrap pile but they wait for the prices to go up before they sell.  There was a consensus that this complaint is now closed.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to enter into a Non-Public Selectboard Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (a) Personnel and (c) Reputations.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 6:56 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:18 PM.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of May 27, 2021, will be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Dalessio moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the meeting adjourned at 7:19 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

Boston Post Cane

Notice to the Public that the Town of Walpole, NH is Seeking Oldest Resident

The Walpole Selectboard is seeking nominations for the oldest resident who shall be the honorary holder of Walpole’s Boston Post Cane. 

For more information, contact the Selectboard Office at 603-756-3672 or email sdowning@walpolenh.us

Update from Lucy

COVID by the Numbers—End of May Edition

What a difference a month makes.  The biggest news is that this is the first day in months that DHHS has said there are currently reported cases of COVID here in Walpole.

Statewide, the seven day average of reported cases per 100,000, was 17.4 as of May 1.  Today the statewide seven day average is 4.8, an over 75%decrease.  The number of reported currently active cases in the state was 2,459 on May 1.  That number fell to 476 today.   Hospitalizations in the state declined from 84 on May 1 to 40 as of this writing.   There were 49 deaths in the state this month, down from 58 in April.

In Cheshire County, the average of reported cases was 16.0 on May 1.  The county average dropped to 8.6 as of today.  We are still third highest in the state, but we were #1 for a good part of the month, so that is better.  There was only new death in Cheshire County this month, the same number as April.  There were 5 new hospitalizations this month, which is actually up from April, when there was only 1.  Current active reported cases in the county were 111 on May 1.  Today, that number stands at 32.

In Walpole, our total number of cases went from 138 on May 1 to 144 today for a total of new cases this month..  There were 8 new cases in April.  

Please continue to take good care of yourselves and each other.  Remember that even when fully vaccinated, there is a small chance that you might contract COVID, and if so, you could pass it on to others, especially if you have an asymptomatic case.

Enjoy your travel, and your gatherings, and may your Zoom sessions grow ever less.

~Representative Lucy Weber

lwmcv@comcast.net

603 499-0282