Up-date from Lucy

COVID by the Numbers-October 15 Edition

I keep thinking we have turned the corner, here in NH, and then I wait a day or two to write, just to be sure, and…no.  The corner has not been turned.  Which explains why it has been a month since I have written.

In the country as a whole, the average number of cases has been pretty much steadily declining, from a daily average of 175,882 cases at the height of the last surge, on September 13, to a current average of 84,245.  That’s a huge drop—over 50%.  In the last 14 days, the drop nationally was 22%.  The current daily average of cases per 100,000 in the US population is 27.  Although it is a mouthful, the daily average of cases per 100,000 is really useful, as it allows us to compare rates of infection in areas of vastly differing populations.

In NH, our numbers started to drop in mid-September. Then, slowly, they started to rise again.  Statewide, our seven day average of cases per 100,000 is currently 40.3, well above the national average, and the highest in New England.  California, by comparison, is down to 13.9, and Mississippi is at 16.9.  Massachusetts is the lowest New England state at 20.4, followed by Rhode Island at 24.7, Maine at 30.1, and Vermont at 34.9.

Among the NH counties, Cheshire, at 40.2, just squeaks in under the state average. From lowest to highest, Rockingham is at 29.7, Grafton is as 32.7, Hillsborough is at 35.9, Carroll is at 37.1, Strafford is at 37.8, Cheshire is at 40.2, Merrimack is at 49.6, Belnap is at 55.0, Sullivan, right next to us, and usually with a very low average is currently at 85.1, and Coos, driven by the towns of Gorham and Berlin, is at a whopping 109.5

Here in Walpole, we have gone from 1-5 currently active reported cases a month ago to 9 cases today.  That is actually down from a high of 14on September 21, but it is still high for Walpole.  We have had 16 new cases reported in town since the beginning of the month, for a total of 215 reported cases since the start of the pandemic.

In Cheshire County, the number of currently active reported cases is 246, down from a high of 249 yesterday.  A month ago, that number was 218.  Cheshire reached the milestone of 5000 reported cases since the start of the pandemic on or around September 29, and as of now, has had a total of 5454 reported cases.  Cheshire County has had new hospitalizations and lost 2 more of our citizens since the beginning of the month.

There has been some good news lately.  The Pfizer vaccine is now available for third doses for those who are immuno-compromised, have certain underlying medical conditions, work in certain high-risk environments, and for those over 65 who got their second dose over 6 months ago.  Vaccines are easily accessible.  You can get an appointment at the local Walgreens—COVID shots are by appointment only, so call or make an appointment on their web site.  You can get your flu shot at the same time, if you have not already had it.

An FDA panel this week recommended extra doses for the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines as well, and those may be approved as early as the end of next week.

Pfizer has submitted its data on vaccine trials on 5-11 year olds to the FDA, so that age range may soon be eligible for the vaccine.  NH DHHS officials have said emergency authorization may come as early as the first week in November.

Because of the backlog in COVID testing, four new dedicated testing sites are opening in NH, run by ClearChoiceMD.  The nearest one is at the River Valley Community College site on College Place in Claremont, and it is open daily from 9am-3pm.  It is a drive-up site, so you do not have to get out of your car.  They are hoping to deliver results within 48 hours, and you do not need to be symptomatic to get the test.  I am not sure whether an appointment is needed or not, so you may want to contact ClearChoiceMD before you go.

Take good care and stay well.

~Rep. Lucy McVitty Weber
217 Old Keene Road
Walpole  NH  03608

Cell: 603-499-0282
lwmcv@comcast.net

Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 10/7/21

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry called this Selectboard meeting to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  Also present was Mrs. Jodi Daigle, Water & Sewer Clerk and Administrative Assistant, as Mrs. Downing was unable to attend, and Mrs. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary.  There were three members of the public in attendance:  Mr. Shane O’Keefe, Mrs. Kara Dexter and Mr. Peter Dexter.  This meeting is being recorded.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $60,993.21 for checks issued October 8, 2021.  This includes a payment in the amount of $26,839.07 to EE Houghton for water and sewer system repairs and maintenance.  Mrs. Pschirrer is going to request clarification as there are two bills that seem to be for the same event; are they duplicates or does one-half go to water and one-half to sewer?  The invoices are not clear.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  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 October 2, 2021, in the amount of $28,500.95 for checks dated October 8, 2021, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $5,480.75.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – September 30, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of September 30, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SESSION SELECTBOARD MINUTES – September 30, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Session Selectboard Minutes of September 30, 2021.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  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:

  • Walpole Fire Commissioners Meeting Minutes – September 1, 2021;
  • North Walpole Village Board of Commissioners Meeting Minutes – September 7, 2021;
  • North Walpole Village Board of Commissioners Meeting Minutes – September 14, 2021;
  • North Walpole Village Board of Commissioners Meeting Minutes – September 21, 2021.

BUILDING PERMITS:

Permit #2021-38, MAP and LOT #008-109-000:  Mr. Dalessio moved to grant Building Permit No. 2021-38 for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #008-109-000 to construct a “48’ x 24’ Garage”.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

OLD BUSINESS:

Community Power Coalition Public Meeting:  Mrs. Peggy Pschirrer and Mr. Paul Looney went to Concord on October 1st to participate in the Community Power Coalition Public Meeting for the inauguration the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire.  Mr. Paul Looney is the Chair of the local Community Power Committee; he signed the first Articles of Incorporation.  After the first eight members had signed the Articles, Mr. Clifton Below, the Assistant Mayor of the Town of Lebanon, immediately went to the Secretary of State’s Office where he got those papers approved.  When he returned, they elected a Board of Officers as follows:

  • April Salas, Chairman of the Board – (Hanover)
  • Clifton Below, Vice Chair – (Lebanon)
  • Evan Oxenham, Secretary – (Plainfield)
  • Nick Devonshire, Treasurer – (on the Coast)
  • Doria Brown, Member at Large – (Nashua)

It was a very informative day.  She feels it was the right decision for this Selectboard to have joined in the beginning as they can have some influence on how that coalition works.  They will be prepared to come to Town Meeting in March with a warrant article. They hope the Town will vote to adopt it so the Town will be buying power on its own.  The Town has an old contract with someone back when the Town was working with the Fall Mountain Regional School District. However, they are not saving the Town a significant amount of money; maybe 1/10th of a percent.  It expires in 2024.  Through the Coalition the Town will have the opportunity to have greener power.  The local Community Power Committee met last night to prepare for the public hearing that will be held here on Wednesday, October 13th, at 6:30 PM.  Eventually they want to have a committee to work on what kind of green power we may have; “Cheaper Power, Cleaner Power, Local Control”.  Some towns are working way ahead of Walpole as they already have energy policies.  Liberty does not produce power but rather buys it on the market.  A lot of our power comes from hydro-electric and nuclear power plants.  Mrs. Pschirrer will go through the existing contract to see if the Town can get out of it.

Governor’s Advisory Council on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT) Hearing:   Ms. Mayberry attended this GACIT meeting that was held in Keene on October 6th at 7:00 PM.  Cinde Warmington, our Executive Counselor, was there in addition to three representatives from the Department of Transportation.  There were approximately 20 people in the audience.  She was the first to speak after the elected people.  She read each of the statements from Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio and gave copies to Cinde Warmington and Bill Cass.  Several people advocated for the Vilas Bridge.  Some interesting conversations came out of that. Mr. Mike Abbott was not aware of the sewer line under the bridge.  Mr. Bill Cass, Assistant Commissioner of the DOT, said he would see what he could do for us.  He gave the history of the bridge.  Ms. Mayberry suggested that since it technically was not a transportation issue that perhaps they should look for other resources for this infrastructure.  Hopefully, something will come of that.  When Kendall Lane, Chair of the TAC Committee, spoke he did not bring up the issue of the bridge.  After the meeting Ms. Mayberry spoke to him and he advised that he had spoken to Ms. Warmington about the bridge.  Keene has nine “Red-Listed” bridges.  Senator Jay Kahn spoke well about listening to their communities and what their needs are.  If they think it is important, they should give that some value.  We tried and put forth our best effort. Hopefully something good will come of that.  Mr. O’Keefe asked what some of the other comments were.  Mr. Dalessio spoke about the economic connection between Bellows Falls, Walpole and the bridge.  The biggest issue is the Walpole sewer line that runs underneath the Vilas Bridge.  If it is damaged by fallen debris, it will be an environmental disaster for the Connecticut River.  They need to focus on the environmental impact.  Mrs. Pschirrer talked about the historic partnership between Walpole and Bellows Falls, and the economic impact there was with the closing the bridge particularly to Bellows Falls. There could be a catastrophe if debris damaged the sewer line.  There would be an environmental and economic catastrophe.  Ms. Mayberry talked about the downstream area of the river, should the sewer line break.  She reminded them of their commitment to maintain the bridge that goes back to May of 1994 in exchange for the bridge in Newport.  We are interconnected communities. They were all familiar with the history of the bridge.  It was all good; it has more visibility.  Ms. Mayberry also talked about their need to re-route the sewer line if nothing gets done with the Vilas Bridge.  We will wait to see what happens.              

Senator Kahn and NH Agency Directors’ Presentation re: Funding Opportunities for Storm Water Disaster /Recovery & Mitigation:  Mr. Dalessio attended and felt the long process is there.  We will have to get help from a consultant.  There are many programs out there but each one has specific requirements.  Once you start to go down one path, you cannot suddenly jump out and go somewhere else.   Education-wise there is a different between a repair and a mitigation.  FEMA deals with emergency repairs.  Mitigation is to go beyond that; two separate programs.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned the day FEMA was here they described both of those programs. They led the Selectboard to believe they could participate in both.  However, now she is hearing that Mr. Dalessio does not want to do both programs.  Mr. Dalessio explained in the Cold River Project, the difference between putting in the same size culvert or putting in a larger culvert was less than $2,000.  They made a decision to go with the larger culvert.  In the end there are still matches for funding.  Cold River Road is the only emergency project still open. They are waiting for a culvert to come in.  The rest are mitigation projects.  The other big problem is finding civil engineers.           

Pending Further Actions:

Vilas Bridge, Houghton Brook Bridge, Generators, Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood:

Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood:  Mrs. Dexter asked about Industrial “Avenue” should it be “Drive”.  Mrs. Pschirrer agreed that it is Industrial Drive.  She advised that Bensonwood keeps asking for Three Phase Power but the cost is over $1,000,000 to run it from about a block away.  Ms. Mayberry said they left it in the Pending Further Actions because Bensonwood approached them on this and it is a reminder that it is something they want to work on.     

Whipple Hill Road:  Mr. Shane O’Keefe asked if there were any updates.  Ms. Mayberry replied that they did get some information from their attorney that they need to review.  Hopefully next week they will have something to say about this. 

Arborclimb:  Arborclimb was called on October 1st. The quote has not yet been received.

NEW BUSINESS:

Heating Oil and Propane Quotes:  Quotes were received from both Irving Oil and Allen Bros 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to give the contract to Irving Oil because they can supply both heating oil and propane.  The difference in price on heating oil between Irving Oil and Allen Bros. is insignificant.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

Recreation Revolving Fund Request:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the request of the Walpole Recreation Department to use $1,401.87 to purchase fall soccer t-shirts from Grizzly Graphix.  Sponsors will send in donations to reimburse the cost into the Revolving Fund.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Town Clerk-Tax Collector Office Memo re: Credit Card Payments for Property Taxes:  Mr. Dalessio requested holding this for another week so he can talk to Mr. Rich Kreissle. 

AFLAC Network Vision Plan:  Ms. Mayberry asked Mrs. Downing what it would cost if they covered it in-Town instead individually.  It would be nice to add it to the health plan.  The Selectboard would like to have this looked into.  This will be tabled pending further research.

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.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:19 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 (e) Pending Claims or Litigation.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 7:21 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:43 PM.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of October 7, 2021, will be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 7:44 PM. 

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

Hooper Trustees Meeting – 10/7/21

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry called this Hooper Trustees meeting to order at 7:02 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  This meeting was being recorded.

HOOPER TRUSTEES MINUTES:

HOOPER TRUSTEES MEETING – September 16, 2021:  Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Minutes of the Hooper Trustees meeting of September 16, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

HOOPER TRUSTEES NON-PUBLIC SESSION – September 16, 2021:  Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Minutes of the Hooper Trustees Non-Public Session of September 16, 2021, as submitted.  These Minutes will be sealed.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

HOOPER BUSINESS:

Long View Forest Management Assessment of the Hooper Forest:  Mrs. Alicia Flammia, Chair of the Conservation Commission (CC), sent a copy of this Long View Forest Management Assessment of the Hooper Forest to the Hooper Institute Board.  Ms. Mayberry felt after the Conservation Commission (CC) Meeting on Monday that the first step is treating the invasive plants.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted that after the Hooper Institute Board meeting last Tuesday, they agreed that we should pursue this.  Laura Hayes sits on both Boards.  They encouraged us to go ahead.  They want to move forward with the harvest on Fanny Mason.  There was discussion relative to a timeline for treating the invasive plants; some in the fall and some in the spring.  They will then do a cut along with the Fanny Mason cut; start with the red pine, the oldest and strongest.  They have not been cut in a long time.  The cost will come out of the cut itself, so there will be nothing spent from Hooper Trust money at all.  Ms. Mayberry felt they need to give direction to start treating the invasive plants and prepare for the cut. This will allow the Conservation Commission to move forward.  Mrs. Pschirrer will make a formal, written request to Conservation Commission to start the invasive treatment of the Hooper Forest so that cutting can begin in the spring or summer.  We do not want Long View Forest Management using toxic treatments everywhere.

NON-PUBLIC HOOPER SESSION:

Mr. Dalessio moved to enter into a Non-Public Hooper Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (a) Personnel and (c) Reputations.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 7:09 PM. 

The regular Hooper Trustees resumed at 7:18 PM.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Hooper Session of October 7, 2021, will be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Dalessio moved to adjourn this Hooper Trustees meeting.  The Hooper Trustees will return to the Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any additional discussion.  There was none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the meeting adjourned at 7:19 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary 

Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 10/12/21

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. Alternate: Trevor MacLachlan.

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

Call to order: A full board was at the meeting at 6:47 pm, so Mr. Miller called the meeting to order.

Minutes: The September 2021 minutes were approved as written. A motion was made by Mr. Marcom, seconded by Mr. Perron and approved by the rest of the board.

Old Business:

Public Hearing No. 1. Continued from September meeting. Two amendments to the Walpole Zoning Ordinances. Amendment No. 1 bans feather flags. Amendment No. 2 is a definition of temporary signs with some examples of temporary signs. If approved, these two amendments will be put on the March 2022 warrant for approval by the townspeople. Presented by the Chair of the Zoning Board.

ZBA Chair Jan Leclerc explained that she was at the September meeting last month and the Planning Board has some problems with the amendment about feather flags, especially the words “wind-activated.” So the board decided that the public hearing should be continued to this meeting so Ms. Leclerc could go back to her board and make some changes to the amendments. In between the September and the October Planning Board meetings, the ZBA board held a workshop on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 to discuss the wording of the amendments. The following is what the board decided.

Ms. Leclerc said that the Board decided to remove the words “wind-activated” from Amendment No. 1. In regard to the temporary signs. There is a definition of a temporary sign and examples of temporary signs. But because the board cannot constitutionally say what is on a sign, the board added “may include, but are not restricted to” announcement signs; real estate signs; community or event signs; etc. so they are not specifying what is on a sign. There is also a limit on how long a temporary sign may be displayed. The board decided not to add the word “flag” to the amendment. Most of the time the zoning board has found that being less specific is safer than being too specific, Ms. Leclerc said. She added that the Select Board asked the Zoning Board to write an ordinance for feather flags.

Mr. Miller asked if there were any questions. There being no questions there should be a motion that would be to either recommend the new version of the two zoning amendments or not to recommend, he said. Mr. Marcom made a motion to recommend the revised amendments. Mr. Perron seconded the motion and the motion passed with 6 votes, 1 abstention.

So this is how the final two amendments to the sign ordinance will read.

No. 1   Article lV

            D. Signs.

            3. Limitations                                                   1.

            Inflatable signs; feather flags; oscillating, rotating, flashing, neon or other tubular gas signs; or signs with blinking, changing or moving illumination are not permitted. These prohibitions do not apply to signs used for safety purposes by a government entity.

No. 2   This amendment will be added to the ordinance and will be Article No. IV General Provisions,    D. Signs, No. 9, and the ordinance about Special Exceptions for signs will move to No. 10.

            Temporary Signs

            A temporary sign is any sign not permanently attached to the ground, a wall or a building that is          intended to be displayed for a short to limited amount of time.

            Examples of temporary signs may include but are not restricted to announcement signs; real estate signs; community or civic event signs; political campaign signs pursuant to RSA 664; garage or yard signs or signs for other special events that occur for a limited period of time.

            All temporary signs shall be removed within ten (10) days following the event or activity being           promoted.

Public Hearing No. 2: Avanru Development Group LTD/ Red Barn Lane LLC, West Swanzey. Tax Map 12, Lot 13-3, 4.03 acres, commercial district. Agent: James Phippard, Brickstone Land Use Consultants LLC. Proposed Vacant Lot/Self-storage units, 37,450 square feet, 5 buildings. Storage units to be built in two stages with buildings 3, 4 and 4 being built first. Phase 2 will be building 1, a cold storage unit, and building 2.

Mr.  Phippard used the large screen for his presentation. He began saying the application is complete, all abutters notified and all fees paid. He said that Red Barn Lane LLC is proposing to purchase the property. There are two units of property, one is 4.03 acres and the other, No. 2, is 3.33 acres. The storage units will be on the 4.03 acres site. He described the storage units’ location, which is off of Route 12, with the stores Tractor Supply to the north and Dollar General in front and west of the storage units. There are two units of Abenaki Springs residential development to the north at the eastern edge of the property The buildings are long and narrow. Building No. 1, 20 feet by 200 feet, is along the bank and is longer and less wide than the others. There will be an office in this building.  A diagram with all the buildings show building No. 2 a little wider but shorter than building No. 1 and 3, 4 and 5 being the widest. There will be a total of 76 units.

Mr. Phippard said he had met with Fire Chief Mark Houghton that day and there was concern about a Walpole fire truck going around the buildings within the fencing. Mr. Phippard said the fire truck was identical to the fire truck in Chesterfield and he knew the dimensions of that fire truck and assured Mr. Houghton the Walpole fire truck would have no problem accessing the property. Mr. Houghton will be getting back to him. Held up a new diagram showing that the fire truck could adequately go through and among all the units.

The inside climate controlled units will be open from 6 am to 10 pm and 24 hours a day with key pad access. A chain link fence will go along the perimeter of the north and west sides. Arbor vitae will be planted along the fence line as well as 10 deciduous trees, equivalent to Cleveland Pear trees, planted near the parking spaces to provide shade and screening. The rest of the perimeter of the property is surrounded by wetlands. Silt fencing will be installed during construction to prevent any sedimentation from entering the wetlands.

Access to Storage Unit 1 is on Red Barn Lane, a road off of Route 12. Red Barn Lane is 20 feet wide. Access to the buildings will be controlled by a sliding gate activated by a keypad. The driveway is located approximately 650 feet from Route 12. It provides access to Tractor Supply, Dollar General. and the residents who live in the two units of Abenaki Springs. This is the only access to the storage units, which means there will be very little additional traffic on Red Barn Lane. He estimated it would be about 7 vehicles a day – “not a significant impact” – and up to 15 vehicles on the weekend. This makes sense when you think about it, he said. How many people visit their storage unit daily?

The physical features of the land are that it is basically flat with Agawam, Type 24 A soil, a fine sandy loam that is excellent for storm water filtration. Runoff created by the new buildings and pavement will be collected on site using catch basins, roof gutters and curbing. Most of the runoff will then be infiltrated using infiltration strips next to the buildings or infiltration strips along the perforated storm drains under the paved areas. Excess storm water not infiltrated will discharged into a small pond to be constructed at the southwest corner of the site. The system has been designed to retain and infiltrate a 50-year-design storm. It’s an ideal site. An Alteration of Terrain already exists for this property.

Lighting will be LED wall paks mounted 8 feet about the finished grade and provide 1.09 footcandles over the paved area. There will not be any poles. Mr. Phippard showed the section on lighting and the width of the light, known as the footprint, was about the width of the overhead door. Lights will go on at dusk and off at dawn. Pictures of the fixtures are on the lighting plan L-!. Utilities are all underground and both water and sewer service are tied into a town system. There is a fire hydrant nearby. Most of the buildings will not have water, only building 1 where there is an office.

 There will be 25 parking spaces spread throughout the property and among the five buildings. People renting the outside units will park in front of their unit. People using inside units will use parking space at both ends of a building. There will be one handicapped parking space at the site and a van parking space. This was based on the square footage of the buildings.

All snow will be stored on site in areas designated on the site plan and within in the fenced area. This property is not located in the 100-year floodplain.

A free-standing 24.6-square-foot sign that is 8 feet high will be located 10 feet from the west end property line near building 5. It is 60 feet from the edge of Red Barn Lane and 10 feet from the property line. There will also be small signs on the buildings to identify them and some small signage inside. The buildings are all metal with a metal roof and overhead doors. The siding is Desert Sand in color and the doors and building trim are Fern Green in color.

When Mr. Phippard finished his presentation Ms. Andros asked when do the lights go off. Lights will be on all night. They turn on at dusk and off at dawn.  There will be security cameras throughout. Hours for the heated buildings will 6 am to 10 pm. Units along the outside with overhead doors are accessible 24 hours a day. Ms. Andros asked if he considered motion-sensor lighting. Mr. Phippard said that in many locations there have been complaints about that type of lighting because lighting can be triggered by small animals, a deer and sometimes even a large truck driving past the building. When the lights come on and then stay on for 10 minutes and bother neighbors. Mr. Miller said that the footcandles are low, they are not on poles and then there is some screening along the fence. Mr. Dalessio pointed out the people that would be bothered would be above on Upper Walpole Road. They would be looking down on the site. With LED lights and the lights pointing down it should be pretty good, he said.

Mr. Dalessio asked if there were 30 percent green space. Mr. Phippard calculated there would be 47 percent green space. Mr. Perron asked about what was outstanding for confirmation of the project.

Mr. Phippard said that Mark said he would review the building plan. Alteration of terrain update. There is a 1,000 propane tank at the office that he has to check and insulation.

Mr. Miller asked if the were any more questions. There being no further questions, the Public Hearing was closed.

Mr. Marcom made a motion to approve the site plan for the storage units with the following conditions:

            Make sure the entrance to the storage units can handle our fire trucks.

            He would like state mechanical inspection of all propane connections.

            The location of the propane tanks must be approved by Walpole Fire Department.

            All building and site plans must be submitted to Walpole Fire Department and approved by them.

            An Alteration of terrain plan must be provided.

            All this shall be done prior to issuing a building permit.

Mr. Perron seconded the motion and the motion carried.

New Business:

Tom Goins, one of two owners of Burdick’s restaurant and the building it is will discuss Outdoor Dining Facility.

Mr. Goins received a letter from the Select Board sometime this summer recommending that Burdick and Burns LLC approach the Planning Board with a site plan review application. Mr. Goins asked to to be on the agenda to discuss the outdoor seating area.

Mr. Goins brought along a drawing of the building and businesses in the entire building showing the 16-foot-by-26-foot outdoor seating area that he said was built by Mark McGill. He said while it was built with the intention of being disassembled in sections, doing so would be a hardship and he had nowhere to store it. Mr. Goins said when Covid hit, he had to shut down the restaurant. When outdoor dining was allowed, he started restaurant service outside. Mr. Goins would like to leave the outdoor seating area there during the winter and wanted Planning Board permission to do so. He would cover it with a tarp, and put up a chain barrier around the platform to insure safety. Mr. Houghton would plow around it and keep the area clean during the winter.

Mr. Miller asked Mr. Goins why he was here. Mr. Dalessio said at the time the governor mandated temporarily closing all restaurants and eventually that morphed into eating spaces outside. Mr. Miller asked about the cost of the platform. Mr. Goins said he paid Mr. McGill $5,500 to construct the platform and about $1,000 for planters and plants to put around three sides of the seating area. So the cost of the platform doesn’t exceed the $10,000 threshold for getting a site plan, Mr. Miller said.

Discussion ensued about winter, snow, snow clearance and the piles of snow created at the north side of the area. Mr. Goins said he owns the parking lot up to the cafe and has approached the town about purchasing the remaining parking area to Westminster Street and the exit to Main Street. That was where piles of snow usually accumulate. Several board members spoke about the problems he might encounter during the winter with the outdoor seating area still there. Mr. Goins said Mr. Houghton seemed to think he could accommodate Mr. Goins and be able to keep the area cleared. The Board members also pointed out that the town had to do its part in keeping the snow from piling up and do a better job of plowing the roads.

Mr. Goins left without needing to fill out a site plan application and prepared to take a chance to see if he can get through the winter without encountering plowing problems on his property.

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

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

WPB Secretary

cc: WPB, ZBA. Town officials, The Walpolean.

Posted: Inside the Town Hall, on the bulletin board outside the post office, http://www.walpolenh.us

Workshop: Tuesday, Oct. 26, 7 pm, Town Hall, masks required.

Next regular meeting: November 9, 2021.

                                                                                   

A Lost Kitty

Neighbors around the Common have lately been seeing this very attractive cat. Have you been missing it? – Lil

Craft Fair – 10/16/21

Even if it won’t be here in town, there is no reason to miss thus fun  event! – Lil

 

 

Feedback Requested

The Walpole Community Power Committee is seeking citizen feedback through a survey.  The due date for submitting the survey is Dec. 1, 2021.

The survey is available online on the Town website under Town News or www.walpolenh.us/town-news. There are 10 questions with an estimated completion time of 2 minutes.

Paper surveys are available at the Town Hall at the Selectboard Office counter or can be downloaded from the website. Paper surveys can be mailed to the Town of Walpole, Attn: Community Power Survey, PO Box 729, Walpole, NH 03608 or be dropped off at the Selectboard Office.

If there questions about the Community Power Survey, contact the Selectboard Office at 603-756-3672. 

Please consider attending the Public Hearing for the Community Power Plan is being held on Wednesday, October 12, 2021 at 6:30 PM at the Walpole Town Hall to ask questions and learn more about community power.

Harvest Bake Sale – 10/16/21

 The Walpole Unitarian Church Harvest Bake Sale will be held Saturday, October 16, from  9:00-11:30 A.M. Visit our table in front of the Post Office. There will be a variety of baked goods – both sweet and savory.   Enjoy our bread, pies, cakes, cookies, bread, quiches, enchiladas, and  lasagna. What you don’t eat immediately can be frozen or saved for another day. 

Time Correction

Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 9/30/21

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry called this Selectboard meeting to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  Also present was Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration, and Mrs. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary.  There were no members of the public in attendance.  This meeting was being recorded.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $502,602.60 for checks issued October 1, 2021.  This includes a payment in the amount of $408,708.50 to All States Construction for paving.  Mr. Dalessio noted this payment is $8,708.50 over the 2021 budget for Paving.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  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 September 25, 2021, in the amount of $29,532.20 for checks dated October 1, 2021, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $5,795.64.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD PUBLIC HEARING – September 23, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard Public Hearing of September 23, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

STAFF MEETING – September 23, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Staff Meeting of September 23, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – September 23, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of September 23, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD MINUTES – September 23, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Non-Public Selectboard session of September 23, 2021, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  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:• Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes – September 14, 2021.

With reference to the above meeting Minutes, Ms. Mayberry reported that the water in North Walpole is drinkable.  Copies of all the reports could be provided to the Library Board of Trustees.  She encouraged them to call the North Walpole Board of Commissioners to discuss this. 

OLD BUSINESS:

NHDRA Approval Letter for Emergency Expenditures:  Ms. Mayberry reported that the Selectboard did receive approval on September 28, 2021, from the NH Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) to exceed the appropriations by $500,000 from the Unexpended Fund Balance.  Mr. Dalessio said they need to think about if they are going to use a Tax Anticipation Note (TAN). If so, who will they borrow it from and what are we going to use it for?  Mr. Dalessio would start with School Street.  To date, they have not had any luck with finding an engineer.  It would be almost a year before this project would happen.

Quitclaim Deed for Map and Lot #009-024-000: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Quitclaim Deed (Deed Without Covenants) for the vacant parcel located off of Evans Road, Map and Lot #009-024-000, as the successful bidders paid the balance and the Selectboard now has their Deed ready to be signed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.  .           

Quitclaim Deed for Map and Lot #024-005-000: Mrs.  Pschirrer moved to approve the Quitclaim Deed (Deed Without Covenants) for the property located at 24 Homestead Avenue, Map and Lot #024-005-000, as the successful bidders paid the balance and the Selectboard now has their Deed ready to be signed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.  

Request for Encumbrance for $89,500 for Painting of Town Hall: Mr. Dalessio moved to encumber Warrant Article 5-21 in the amount of $89,500 for the painting of the entire exterior of the Town Hall including the rental of a 125’ lift for four weeks.  These funds were not expended due to a labor shortage on the part of the vendor.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.  

Request for Encumbrance for $15,900 for Repair of 2nd Floor Ceiling in Town Hall:  Mr. Dalessio moved to encumber Warrant Article 5-21 in the amount of $15,900 for the restoration of the second-floor ceiling in the Town Hall.  These funds were not expended due to a labor shortage on the part of the vendor.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.  

Community Power Coalition Public Meeting Notice:  Mrs. Pschirrer advised that the Public Meeting Notice for the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire was posted earlier this week.  This meeting will be held on October 1, 2021, at the Kimball Jenkins School of Art, Carriage House, 266 N. Main Street, Concord, NH 03301.  Mr. Paul Looney and Mrs. Pschirrer plan to attend.  Mrs. Pschirrer will present her report at next week’s meeting.  

Meeting With the Trustees of Trust Funds:  The tentative date for this meeting regarding the Hooper Trust Funds is still October 21st at 6:00 PM. However, they are awaiting one response.

The Restaurant at Burdick’s Outdoor Dining Request:  Mr. Dalessio pointed out that this Burdick’s outdoor Dining Request should be referred to the Planning Board for their decision.  Mrs. Pschirrer feels the platform is a safety issue.              

Catering Quotes for Employee Appreciation Lunch:  Ms. Mayberry advised that three catering quotes were received for the Employee Appreciation Lunch.  

Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the quote from Joanie Joan’s Eatery & Catering from Walpole Village for the Employee Appreciation Harvest Lunch on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.        

Cleaning Cost for Town Hall Events:  Mr. Brad Nash provided a rate of one (1) hour to clean 36 chairs and 4 tables.  He also cleans and disinfects the kitchen, wipes down the center poles, all door knobs, light switches and cleans and disinfects the elevator.  Ms. Mayberry said it will all come down to the event; how many tables and chairs will be used, etc.  We would still expect the renter to do their regular cleaning.  Mr. Dalessio noted Mr. Nash’s benefits have to be included in his salary.    

Pending Further Actions:

Houghton Brook Bridge, Generators, Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood:

Vilas Bridge:  Ms. Mayberry reported the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT) Hearing is on Tuesday, October 5th at 7:00 PM at the Keene Recreation Center.  She plans to attend.  Mrs. Pschirrer would prefer to attend via ZOOM.

NEW BUSINESS:

Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s Change of Hours:  Mrs. Meghan Hansson submitted their proposed new hours and their plan to implement them.  These hours will go into effect on October 31st, 2021.  They feel these hours will better serve their public.  Their busiest hours are the late day hours.  Appointments are required for every day; Tuesday evenings fill up quickly. For folks working an early shift, opening at 7am is not early enough; they are looking for later afternoon hours.  The Selectboard agreed that they liked the new hours.  Mr. Dalessio said this is a 10% increase for the public.   

Tax Deeding Protocol – Several Questions from the Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s Office:  Ms. Mayberry noted that based on the body of the report they state what they want but are asking the Selectboard what they want.   She would like to see a tentative plan or outline from them.  They want them to develop a calendar and a time line.  Ms. Mayberry asked Mrs. Downing to look at the Tax Deeding Protocol and what that will require of the Selectboard.  At some point in the process, the Selectboard has to accept the liens.  Mrs. Pschirrer would like their recommendation to be concise and distinct. Ms. Mayberry said they can include payment plans in their protocol.  Mr. Dalessio felt they need to find out what the process is.  He will talk to them on Tuesday regarding procedures, etc.

NH Agency Directors’ Presentation re: Funding Opportunities for Storm Water Disaster Recovery & Mitigation: The Selectboard received a notice that there is a meeting with Senator Jay Kahn.  This request came from Lisa Murphy. Mr. Mark Houghton will attending via Zoom.  Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio plan to attend.  The Meeting will be held remotely via Zoom or in-person on Wednesday, October 6thfrom 1:00-to-3:00 PM in Delegation Hall at the Historic Cheshire County Courthouse located at 12 Court Street, Keene. For the RSVP with SWRPC, the Selectboard prefers attending via Zoom.

Walpole Schools’ Halloween Parade and Elm Street: An email was received from Mr. Justin Cassarino at the Walpole School regarding the October Halloween Parade on October 29th.  He is asking if there would be any issues with having the kids walk up and do two laps around the Common, with parents and businesses waiting there.  Mr. Cassarino would like to make it feel like a real parade for them.  This would alleviate the issues of them worrying about traffic. They would still request a police car to help as well.  Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer felt it was a good idea.  Mr. Dalessio had no problems with the parade. He hoped the paving would be finished before the end of October.

Ms. Mayberry will send Mr. Cassarino a note to let him know the Halloween Parade around the Common is approved providing the paving is finished. 

NHMA Conference Registration:  Notices were received that the Registration is Now Open for the NH Municipal Association Hybrid Conference on November 17-to-19, 2021.  Mr. Dalessio does not plan to attend.  Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer will look over the notice and then make their decisions as to whether or not to attend.    

Avitar Notice for 2022 Utility Rates:  Ms. Mayberry acknowledged receipt of the Avitar Notice for 2022 Utility Rates at $150 per hour for new construction and superior court defense time.  

Cards:  Mrs. Pschirrer asked Mrs. Downing to get a get-wellcard for Mr. David Hewes who is recovering from surgery and a sympathy card for Mr. Ken Thompson’s wife and family.   

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) Reputation.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 7:09 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:24 PM.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of September 30, 2021, will be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 7:25 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary