Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 7/9/15

PUBLIC HEARING

NEW HAMPSHIRE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

WESTMINSTER BRIDGE

JULY 9, 2015

 

Selectboard Present:     Steven Dalessio (Chair); Whitney Aldrich; Peggy Pschirrer

CALL TO ORDER:  Mr. Dalessio called this Public Hearing on the Westminster Bridge to order at 5:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  This meeting was scheduled by the State of New Hampshire, Department of Transportation, and it is a combined Public Officials/Public Information meeting.  He then turned the meeting over to Mr. David Scott, P.E., In-House Design Chief, Bureau of Bridge Design.

  1. DAVID SCOTT, PE, NH Department of Transportation – Westminster Bridge Project: Mr. Scott advised that the intent of this meeting will be to present details for the project scheduled to rehabilitate the bridge deck in Walpole, NH carrying NH 123 over the Connecticut River (BR # 132/062) (a/k/a Westminster Bridge).  The work will require up to 16 weeks of one-lane alternating two-way traffic day and night.  Historical properties may exist within the project area.  This meeting is to present citizens and public officials with information regarding the proposed project and to solicit public input in order to ensure that project decisions meet public transportation needs, community goals, and protect and enhance the environment.  Accordingly, NH DOT assures that this project will be administered according to the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and all related statutes to ensure nondiscrimination.

This bridge is approximately 462 feet long and is 31-1/2 feet wide.  During construction the bridge lanes will be narrowed to 11-feet but trucks will be able to pass through well.  After one lane is finished the traffic lane will be changed over.  There will be traffic signal lights and flaggers to control the traffic. The bridge is in good condition as their inspectors rated it as a “7” but it is in need of deck maintenance.  State engineers look at each bridge every two years.  This bridge was constructed in the early 1900s; the deck was replaced in 1989.  The average life span is 25 years.  They want to keep salt from getting down to the abutments from the expansion joints. Requests for bids will go out this year but they will not begin construction until the spring of next year.  Cost of the project is anticipated to be $750,000.00.  It is being split as follows: NH – 92% and VT – 8%.

State Representative Tara Sad questioned the research they did into the amount of traffic.  How long will the wait be at the light?  Mr. Smith pointed out that about 8,600 vehicles cross the bridge per day.

Someone in attendance expressed a concern that at some point in the future there will be two bridges that cross the Connecticut River that are going to be under construction: Westminster Bridge and Cheshire Bridge in Charlestown.  The third bridge, the Vilas Bridge, is closed to traffic and pedestrians.  That leaves only the former Arch Bridge in Bellows Falls.  Mr. Scott noted that this bridge project will not affect the other bridges.  It might be a nuisance crossing at busy times.

Ms. Mary Ellen Hawthorne from the Bellows Falls Downtown Development Association questioned the back-up.  Mr. Scott will check on the numbers again but he does not believe there will be a significant back-up to the bridge. There was discussion about the traffic flow. They do not anticipate any long delays.

State Representative Lucy Weber felt the other issue is there are quite often 4-to-5 vehicles waiting to go under the railroad bridge and then there will be the issue of the lights at the Westminster Bridge.  We have all seen the traffic back-up in this area.  She questions if there will be enough room for back-up traffic especially for vehicles from Route 12 turning onto the bridge.  Mr. Scott will verify that this will not affect the railroad tunnel traffic or cause a safety concern.

Mr. Russell Hodgkins, Westminster Town Manager, asked if there will be any night work.  Mr. Scott confirmed that there will not be any night work.

State Representative Lucy Weber pointed out that on occasion trucks start across on Route 123 and find out that they cannot get through the railroad tunnel.  Mr. Scott advised that they will do additional signage for this.

Mr. Paul Banik, Westminster Selectboard, Vice-Chair, advised that this is a critical bridge between NH and VT for the emergency services.  Will there be any provisions for this apparatus.  Mr. Scott will be sure this is taken care of.

Mr. David Deen, Connecticut River Watershed Council, asked if there will be special protection for the River.  How are they going to keep all the decking and metals out of the River?  Mr. Scott said there will be no metals.  As they are doing the full deck there will be a catch system to catch the debris.  This is something they are capable of doing.  Mr. Kevin Belanger and Mr. Dan Landry from the NH DOT were present and provided answers to several issues that were brought up.

State Representative Tara Sad is concerned with frequency of the lights.  How will they accommodate for traffic volume at different times of the day.  Mr. Scott believes they will put loops into the pavement to control that.

Mr. Scott advised that there are towns that have regulations relative to when anyone is doing work in the roadway the Town will supply their own police.  The NH DOT understands State statute that when they are doing a project they are responsible for the traffic control therefore they ask the Selectboard to enter into a Work Zone Agreement.  They can do traffic control at a lower cost by using flaggers but in certain instances they contact the local police. Mr. Dalessio advised that a notice went out to Walpole’s various Department Heads regarding this agreement so it will take another week or so before they have their input.  It is clear what the State wants to accomplish.

Mr. Deen mentioned that down-stream of the bridge on the Vermont shore there is an area where the river is eating into the land.  NH could ask the VT people to take a look at that area; he would urge them to do so.  Mrs. Annette Spaulding, Connecticut River Watershed Council, does diving in that area under the bridge therefore is familiar with this area.  She would be happy to show NH divers where it is. Mr. Scott advised that every bridge gets looked at every two years and divers look at them every five years.

State Representative Tara Sad asked where the staging area will be.  Mr. Scott responded that the contractor has to make their own arrangements.  This project will go out for bid on either August 25th or September 1st.

There were twenty-one people in attendance.

There was no other public comment therefore Mr. Scott adjourned this Public Hearing at 5:35 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

 

TOWN OF WALPOLE

MEETING OF THE SELECTBOARD

JULY 9, 2015

 

Selectboard Present:     Steven Dalessio (Chair); Whitney Aldrich; Peggy Pschirrer

CALL TO ORDER:  Mr. Dalessio called this Selectboard meeting to order at 5:45 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  Prior to this meeting the Selectboard attended the Public Hearing on the Westminster Bridge deck project that was scheduled by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.  He advised that this meeting is being recorded and asked anyone wishing to speak to identify themselves for the record.  There were four people in attendance.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION #1:

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

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 5:59 PM.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Accounts Payable check register and manifest in the amount of $125,890.55 for checks dated July 10, 2015.  This includes a check in the amount of $125,111.89 for F.W. Whitcomb for paving materials.  Seconded by Mr. Aldrich.  With all in favor, the motion was approved.

Mr. Dalessio will talk to Mr. Kreissle about a procedure for reimbursing the Town monthly for Hooper Trust bills that have been paid by the Town.

PAYROLL: 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Payroll voucher for the week ending July 4, 2015, in the amount of $27,875.82 for checks dated July 10, 2015.  Seconded by Mr. Aldrich.  With all in favor, the motion was approved.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the electronic transfer for the 941 Employer Taxes for Withholding, MEDI and FICA taxes in the amount of $6,230.60 for the week ending July 4, 2015.  Seconded by Mr. Aldrich.  With all in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MEETING – July 2, 2015:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Minutes of the regular Selectboard meeting of July 2, 2015, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Aldrich.  With all in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION – July 2, 2015:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard session of July 2, 2015, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Aldrich.  With all in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION #2:

Mr. Aldrich moved to enter into a Non-Public Selectboard session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (c) Reputations.  Mrs. Pschirrer seconded the motion and, on a roll call vote with all in favor, the motion was approved at 6 :07 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 6:15 PM.

WARRANTS:

PROPERTY TAX SUPPLEMENTAL:  Map & Lot #008-061-000, Hooper Golf Course, leased by the Hooper Golf Association: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Supplemental Tax Warrant, Tax Year 2015 1st Issue, Town of Walpole, State of New Hampshire, to Sandra J. Smith, Collector of Taxes for Walpole, to collect the sum of $4,252.50 with an interest of 12% per annum from the due date and on all sums not paid on or before that day.  This is for the Hooper Golf Course at 166 Prospect Hill, in the Town of Walpole.  Seconded by Mr. Aldrich.  With all in favor, the motion was approved.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Supplemental Tax Warrant, Tax Year 2015, 1st Issue, Town of Walpole, State of New Hampshire, to Sandra J. Smith, Collector of Taxes for Walpole, to collect the sum of $4,233.00 with an interest of 12% per annum from the due date and on all sums not paid on or before that day.  This is for the Hooper Golf Course at 166 Prospect Hill, in the Town of Walpole.  Seconded by Mr. Aldrich.  With all in favor, the motion was approved.

OLD BUSINESS:

TERRA MAP’SMrs. Clough had nothing new to report on the Terra Maps.  They are expected to be here in mid-July.

TOWN ORDINANCE, PROCEDURE AND POLICY MANUAL:  Mrs. Pschirrer continues to work on the Town Ordinance, Procedure and Policy Manual.

BOARD OF SELECTMAN OPERATION GUIDELINES: Mr. Dalessio had drafted a “Board of Selectmen – Operation Guidelines” document.

Mrs. Pschirrer made the following recommendations:

(6) – “Voting to reaffirm the Town of Walpole Code of Ethics” – Mrs. Pschirrer would like to see this include a “Conflict of Interests Policy”;

Under Duties of Selectmen

(7) The Selectmen need to be sure they have an official viewpoint.

Page 3:

Top:  “The Board’s primary duty is to “manage the prudential affairs of the Town”.  Mrs. Pschirrer felt they should look at the RSAs – could “prudential” be changed to “prudent credentials”.

Public Sessions:  Mrs. Pschirrer will check the RSAs.

Page 5:

Disqualifications:  Mrs. Pschirrer felt this is where the “Conflict of Interests” comes in.  She has been working on the language.

Job Descriptions:  Reference is made to Job Descriptions therefore they need to have all of them.

Page 6:

  1. Political Issues: Mrs. Pschirrer would like to talk about this. How will they define what political issues will impact the Town and to what level.  There was a consensus to delete the word “political”.
  2. Appointments Of Town Officials: Delete the word “ideology”.

Mrs. Pschirrer pointed out that in a number of places it talks about the Town Manager.  That should be deleted.

Code of Ethics:  There is one in the Policy Book that Mrs. Pschirrer is working on.  It could be a separate policy.

Page 7:

Selectmen’s Meetings:  (8) Mrs. Pschirrer will re-write this section.

Mrs. Pschirrer asked Mrs. Clough to obtain a copy of the Peterborough “Operational Guidelines” for their information.  Mr. Dalessio will make corrections to this draft document and they will continue to work on it.  This will help new Selectmen when they come on-board in the future.

NEW BUSINESS:

“MINIMUM EXPEDITED PERMIT:  Copies of the “Minimum Expedited Permit – Solar Project for Kenneth L. Burns” that was prepared by Beaver Tracks were distributed. This will impact the wetlands to bury the cables; Mr. Burns will restore the area.  Mr. Dalessio gave the copies back to Mrs. Clough who will research where they came from and to see if the Selectboard has to take any action on it.

RECREATION DEPARTMENTMrs. Clough advised that Mr. Justin Cassarino is having EMS training at the pool for the lifeguards and receptionists.  The question will come up that if you are a Town employee you and your family are given a free membership to the pool.  The Fire Department and EMTs have been asking if they are given this free membership as they are also employees of the Town.  At this time there was a consensus to have Mr. Cassarino respond that he has to check with the Selectboard.  Mr. Dalessio will check with Mr. Houghton to see what the history has been.

TOWN HALL – Second Floor: Mr. Dalessio met with Mr. Ray Boas for a walk-thru that included going behind the curtain on the second floor.  Mr. Boas would like to lock the power panel with a cage to stop people from using things they should not be using; it would be for protection of the Players expensive equipment.  Mr. Dalessio can understand their concern but he is concerned with locking that power panel is that if the circuit breaker goes while an event is going on someone will have to come in to re-set it.  Under no circumstances should the Town Hall be rented with the use of those lights unless the Walpole Players specifically approve the use, in writing.  If someone wants to use the lights the Players should have somebody present and the renter will have to pay for that person to be there.  The rental rates would need to be adjusted accordingly.  Mrs. Clough explained that extra space was made available to the Players so they could store their equipment off stage so it could be used for bands.  There is not enough room in front of the curtains.  There was discussion relative to renters having to clean-up and put things away properly.  There are a lot of things involved with rentals including keeping things in good condition or else they should be disposed of, etc.

Another issue is the two pianos upstairs.  The one in the hallway / closet should be scrapped.  They want to keep the one by the stage.  Mrs. Clough will get a price on disposing of the one piano.

RECESS SELECTBOARD MEETING:

Mr. Aldrich moved to recess this Selectboard meeting.  The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees.  Mrs. Pschirrer seconded the motion.  With all in favor, the motion was approved at 6:58 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:15 PM.

NEW BUSINESS:

PUBLIC HEARING: Mrs. Pschirrer reminded everyone that there will be a Public Hearing for the Avanru Development Group scheduled for Monday, July 13th at 7:00 PM in the Town Hall.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Mr. Aldrich seconded the motion.  With all in favor, the motion was approved at 7:18 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

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