Clarion Deadline – 2/20/18

Yes, just a tad over a week away for the annual Town Meeting issue. There are no contests in the elections for offices, and the budget is essentially level funded from last year. But there is lots of good news I am reporting on about the financial health of our town, and the great job your elected officials are doing. This issue will be read and discussed.

And, there should be room for your news and advertisements also. The majority of submitters recently have been great in getting their submissions in early. It makes our job easier in producing a great publication for you. So, plan now, and please get your submission for the March Clarion to me as soon as possible, and definitely no later than the 20th.

Thank you, yours, Ray Boas – Publisher

PANEL TO ADDRESS THREATS TO FREE PRESS

Three leading journalists in our region will explore the challenges facing journalism in “As a Matter of Fact: Journalism Under Threat”, a discussion to be held at the Walpole town hall on Wednesday, February 28, at 7 pm.

The panelists include Paul Miller, executive editor of the Keene Sentinel; Kristen Nevious, Director of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce University; and Nancy West, publisher of InDepthNH.org, our state’s on-line center for public interest journalism.

The three will explore the threats that journalism faces; the ways in which reporters at legitimate news organizations work to verify their information; the pernicious concept of “fake news”; and how social media is challenging our concepts of news and perhaps even of truth itself.

A discussion with the audience will follow.

If February 28’s weather cancels the event, it will be held on Thursday, March 1, at 7 pm at the Walpole town hall.

This event is sponsored by the Fall Mountain Alliance, a forum for informed community engagement.

For more details, call 603-445-2200 or e-mail bdaviss@comcast.net.

In Case You Missed it

Meghan Hughes forwarded the notes from Lucy Webber’s talk on Having a Say in the State. – Lil

Having a Say in the State

In light of increased interest in New Hampshire legislation, Representative Lucy M. Weber spoke to a gathering of constituents at the Walpole Town Library, February 10th, about participation in the process. She focused on how legislation works, how to track bills and legislators, and how to have input.

Journey from Concept to Law

The New Hampshire General Court — the House and Senate of the state legislature — runs a legislative session from January to May or June. Rep. Weber said ideas for bills are submitted in November, with draft attorneys putting them in proper format. Each bill goes to at least one committee where it gets a public hearing; is studied and revised, if indicated; and is voted on by the entire body. Some bills then repeat the process in a second committee–the Finance Committee if the bill spends money, the Ways and Means Committee if it impacts revenue, the Criminal Justice Committee if it has a penalty, and so on. Bills that pass in either the House or the Senate go on to the opposite body and go through the same process. A conference committee works to resolve differences. It then goes to a vote before both bodies. If it passes with a majority vote in each body, it goes to the governor for approval or veto. (A two-thirds vote in both bodies can override a veto.)

Tracking Bills and Legislators

To find a bill, go to the New Hampshire General Court website. If you know the bill number, you can go to Quick Bill Search. If you don’t know the bill number, go to Advanced Bill search and type in keywords of the bill title. Or you can go to standing committees (in the Senate, in the House) to search for it there. Once you’ve found the bill number and have put that in to Quick Bill Search, it will give you the text, legislative history (docket), and status of the bill.

To find your legislator and track their votes, go to the New Hampshire General Court website, and then to the House of Representatives and Senate Roster. Once you’ve clicked on their name, you can find how they voted and what bills they’ve sponsored.

For more detailed information on navigating the New Hampshire General Court website, Rep. Weber compiled this tutorial.

Having Input

To have input, Rep. Weber noted you have the most impact if you are a New Hampshire resident and are from the same district as the representative you are writing. Additionally, if you have a perspective people haven’t considered, that can carry weight. Testifying about the personal impact of proposed legislation at a public hearing can also be influential.

To write your legislator, simply click on their email address in their description. Legislators don’t have staff, so be aware of that when writing them. If you don’t get a response, Rep. Weber said, then write again. Sometimes periodic swells of emails can drown out yours.

To write committee members who are considering a bill you care about, click on the email address in the committee description and one email will go to all committee members.

Asked how people are to know of bills that might affect them, Rep. Weber said that legislators write op-eds on legislation they’re concerned about. She also credited lobbyists with tracking such legislation, pointing out possible impacts, and informing their interest groups about them (via newsletters, websites, blogs, Facebook pages, or Twitter accounts).

Rep. Weber said New Hampshire is unlike most other legislatures in that all bills have public hearings, a vote in committee, and a vote by the full House or Senate.

The event was sponsored by the Fall Mountain Alliance and the Walpole Town Library and moderated by Sara Kagle.

###

 

Nordic Ski Race – 2/14/18

Nordic Ski Race at Fall Mountain High School

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018 at 3:00 pm

The Ski Teams at Fall Mountain High School and the Fall Mountain Nordic Ski Team Booster Club invite you to come watch “The Cow Suits Ski”. As the end of the ski season begins to approach these young athletes are looking forward to skiing a HOME MEET. They have been working hard all season and they are still looking forward to several big meets in New Hampshire, within the next week.

Please come out for this great event. The High School Boys race will begin at 3:00pm, followed by the High School Girls at about 330, finally the Middle School race will commence at about 4:00 O’Clock.

Thanks to all of our supporters and donors these kids would not be able to do this without you!

Hooper Trustees Meeting Minutes – 2/1/18

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Mrs. Pschirrer called this Hooper Trustees meeting to order at 8:12 PM.

HOOPER TRUSTEES MINUTES:

HOOPER TRUSTEES MEETING – January 25, 2018:  Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Minutes of the Hooper Trustees Meeting of January 25, 2018, as submitted.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC HOOPER TRUSTEES SESSION – January 25, 2018:  Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Hooper Trustees Session of January 25, 2018.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved.

HOOPER MANSION:  Last Friday the Highway Department came to sand/salt as the entire area around the Mansion which was icy. Mrs. Pschirrer worked with the owner and two other men from the Brattleboro Auction House who filled an enormous trailer with miscellaneous items.  Mr. Kevin Healy continues to work cleaning out miscellaneous items; he took two loads to the Recycling Center.  Tomorrow the floors will be cleaned.

NON-PUBLIC HOOPER TRUSTEES SESSION:

Ms. Mayberry moved to enter into a Non-Public Hooper Trustees Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (d) Acquisition, Sale or Lease of Real or Personal Property.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved at 8:17 PM.

The regular Hooper Trustees meeting resumed at 8:23 PM.  

Ms. Mayberry moved that the Minutes of the Hooper Trustees Non-Public Session of February 1, 2018, be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Dalessio moved to adjourn this Hooper Trustees meeting.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 8:24 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 2/1/18

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Mrs. Pschirrer called this Selectboard Meeting to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  She advised this meeting is being recorded and asked anyone wishing to speak to identify themselves for the record.  There was one member of the public in attendance.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION:

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

The regular meeting resumed at 6:50 PM.

Ms. Mayberry moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of February 1, 2018, be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Accounts Payable check register in the amount of $69,009.23 for checks dated February 2, 2018.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

PAYROLL:

Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Payroll Register for the week ending January 27, 2018, in the amount of $24,148.81 for checks dated February 2, 2018.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.  

Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the electronic fund transfer for the 941 Employer Taxes for Withholding, MEDI and FICA taxes in the amount of $4,870.84 for the week ending January 27, 2018.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MEETING – January 25, 2018:  Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of January 25, 2018, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION – January 25, 2018:  Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of January 25, 2018, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

The Selectboard received and reviewed minutes of the following meetings:

• Walpole Fire District Meeting – December 12, 2017;

• Walpole Fire District Meeting – January 10, 2018;

• Walpole Conservation Meeting – January 8, 2018.

WATER and SEWER WARRANTS:

NORTH WALPOLE SEWER FEES: Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Town of Walpole Warrant for The Collection of North Walpole Sewer Fees – The State of New Hampshire – in the amount of $45,409.67.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

WALPOLE WATER FEES:  Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Town of Walpole Warrant for The Collection of Walpole Water Fees – The State of New Hampshire – in the amount of $54,087.24.   Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

WALPOLE SEWER FEES:  Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Town of Walpole Warrant for The Collection of Walpole Sewer Fees – The State of New Hampshire – in the amount of $67,159.10.    Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

PROPERTY TAX REFUNDS:

MAP and LOT #026-010-000:  Mr. Mayberry moved to grant the Property Tax Refund in the amount of $102.91 for Map and Lot #026-010-000.  The State Education Tax is being refunded as this property was deeded back to the utility company.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

Ms. Mayberry moved to grant the following five Property Tax Refunds as they were overpayments.  

Map and Lot #011-051-000 –   $30.31

Map and Lot #028-023-000 –   $8.90

Map and Lot #009-057-000 – $10.00

Map and Lot #009-034-000 – $9.95

Map and Lot #009-033-02-01 -$56.22

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

PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENTS:

Map and Lot #005-056-000: Ms. Mayberry moved to grant the Property Tax Abatement in the amount of $2.00 for Map and Lot #005-056-000.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

Map and Lot #012-055-016:  Ms. Mayberry moved to deny this Property Tax Abatement.  A garage building was removed before the final sale.  As per the recommendation of Avitar Associates it must stay in the tax roll for 2017.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor the motion was approved.

Map and Lot #027-001-007:  Ms. Mayberry moved to deny this Property Tax Abatement request.  The owner did not provide any evidence as to why his valuation was not true.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

Map and Lot #027-008-02-01:  Ms. Mayberry moved to grant this Property Tax Abatement in the amount of $7,468.00 for an industrial building on Main Street in North Walpole.  This is the result of a $265,500 reduction in value.   Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

VETERANS’ TAX CREDIT:

MAP and LOT #012-044-300:  Ms. Mayberry moved to grant the Veterans’ Tax Credit for Map and Lot #012-044-300.   Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

NOTICES OF INTENT TO CUT WOOD OR TIMBER:

Map and LOT #002-012-000:  Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the Notice of Intent to Cut Wood or Timber for Map and Lot #002-012-000 off Rapids Road.  This is for personal firewood; not being sold.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

MAP and LOT #014-015-000:  Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the Notice of Intent to Cut Wood or Timber for Map and Lot #014-015-000 off Whitcomb Road.  St. Peter’s Cemetery is having large pine trees harvested.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

CURRENT USE:

MAP and LOT #003-004-000:  Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the Application for Current Use on Whipple Hill Road, Map and Lot #003-004-000.  4.342 acres is being added to the existing Current Use land.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.  

OLD BUSIENSS:

2018 Warrant Article Listing:  Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the Selectboard signing the Notice of Intent to Post the 2018 Warrant and to Attest that this is a “A True Copy” that will be posted on the day after the Public Hearing or on February 9, 2018 in five places:  1&2) Walpole Town Hall: both Selectboard Office and Town Clerk/Tax Collector Office; 3) Burdick and Burns Building; 4) Drewsville General Store and 5) North Walpole Village Hall.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

Mrs. Pschirrer advised the Warrant Articles were sent to the Department of Revenue Administration and they came back with a few corrections that have been made.  They were also sent to Attorney Hockensmith and Attorney Buckley at the NH Municipal Association for their opinion.  It is necessary to remove Article #3.  It was determined the Planning Board does not have the authority to do this.  They have the responsibility to recommend changes but the Zoning Board carries them out.

Mr. Dalessio moved to remove Article #3 and to re-number the remaining Articles accordingly.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.  

Mrs. Downing will have the final Warrant ready for signing at the next meeting.

MD and A Report:  Mrs. Pschirrer advised the Selectboard can add something from the Auditors in the Town Report.  There was a consensus to include the Town of Walpole, NH, Management’s Discussion and Analysis – Year Ending December 31, 2016.

Town Report Front and Back Covers – Updated Samples:  The Selectboard reviewed and approved the updated samples for the Town Report Front and Back Covers.

Town Report Dedication Page:  The Selectboard talked about the Town Report Dedication page and final decisions were made.

NEW BUSINESS:

NEW BUSINESS:

R. Boas Information Request:  The Selectboard acknowledged an email from Mr. Ray Boas.  Mr. Boas would like to write an article on the recent strides, collections and improvements for the Water and Sewer Departments.  He will make arrangements with Mr. Dalessio to work on this.  In March he wants to write an article on a history of Town Meetings and a second article on delinquent taxes.  He will be attending the budget meeting on February 8th and report on that.  Mr. Boas wants to tell the Town’s story on how well everything is moving forward.  The Selectboard agreed to have Mr. Boas proceed with writing these articles.

Latest Sewer Bill:  Mr. Dalessio looked into why the latest sewer bill from the Village of Bellows Falls went up.  It is not the flow but rather an increase in what was in the flow; it is not usage but rather content.   Mr. Mark Houghton is aware of this and will work on where it is coming from.

Benefit Hours Project Update:  Mr. Kreissle continues to work on the Employees’ Benefit Hours Project.  He will reconcile with the separate department’s balances.

NHPDIP Summary:  Mrs. Pschirrer had asked for this NHPDIP Summary as of February 1, 2018.

Highway Department:  Mr. Rau has been talking with the engineer from CDL who he has been working with on the design for the Alstead Center Road.  The Department of Environmental Services (DES) wants to have a fish ladder or individual pools on this site.  Both the engineer and Mr. Rau told the DES there are no fish there but the DES commented that if they can find someplace else to put the fish ladder/pools the DES will approve the Alstead Center Road permit.  Mr. Rau and the engineer looked at all the “red-listed” bridge projects in Town and feel the brook at the end of Wentworth Road, known as Houghton Brook, would be appropriate as it has running water and occasionally fish.  The engineer is going to suggest this to the DES.  Mrs. Downing mentioned the CDL Company was recently merged with Fuss O’Neill Company.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted with this new company the engineers might come up with a solution to the School Street drainage problems because this merger will expand their resources.  This new company is aware of grants and will assist in writing the applications.

Eaton Road:  Mr. Dalessio advised the Boy Scout Camp is being used almost every weekend.  It was so icy this past week-end that vehicles could not get in. Therefore they asked if the road could be sanded by the Highway Department.  It is an emergency lane.

Alstead Center Road:  Mr. Dalessio reported the new pavement is coming up close to the store.  The Drewsville Road also has some cracks.  He would like to have Mr.Rau take a look at these roads.

Main Street in North Walpole:  Ms. Mayberry was asked about the plowing on lower Main Street in North Walpole toward Len Tex.   Mrs. Pschirrer felt the big trucks may not be able to get around that well with the closed off road in that area.  She will raise these issues with Mr. Rau and the Highway Department employees tomorrow when she meets with them.

2018 Concerts on the Green:  The Savings Bank of Walpole is asking permission from the Selectboard to hold eight concerts on the Green on consecutive Sunday evenings beginning at 6:30 p.m. and concluding at 8:00 p.m.  The first concert will take place on Sunday, June 24, 2018 and then every Sunday thereafter through August 12, 2018.   They are also requesting the use of the bathroom facilities at the Town Hall be open during the concert each week.

Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the use of the Green for the 2018 Concerts on the Green sponsored by the Savings Bank of Walpole.   Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.  

RECESS SELECTBOARD MEETING:

Mr. Dalessio moved to recess this Selectboard meeting.  The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved at 8:12 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 8:25 PM.

ADJOURNMENT:

Ms. Mayberry moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary