If you sometimes wonder just what our town employees do, these notes from the last Staff Meeting describe it well. i, for one, would like to thank them all! – Lil
TOWN OF WALPOLE
JULY 21, 2016
Select Board Present: Steven Dalessio (Chair); Peggy Pschirrer; (Joseph Aldrich – late)
Staff Present: Sarah Downing (Executive – Manager of Administration); Rich Kreissle (Executive – Manager of Finance); Justin Cassarino (Recreation Department); Michael Rau (Road Agent); Paul Colburn (Recycling Center); Sergeant Justin Sanctuary (Police Department); Justine Rogers (Librarian)
Staff Absent: Sandra Smith (Town Clerk/Tax Collector); Eloise Clark (Hooper Institute)
Call To Order: Mr. Dalessio called this Staff meeting to order at 5:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall. He advised that this meeting is being recorded.
Employee Appreciation Picnic: Mr. Dalessio noted that in past years the Employee Appreciation Dinner was held in December. He asked if the Department Heads want to continue with a dinner in December or have a picnic in the summer? Mrs. Downing and Mrs. Smith are busy with tax bills and payments in December. Mr. Rau mentioned that quite often the Highway Department cannot attend the dinner in December due to a storm. Mr. Kreissle said people quite often have cabin fever in the middle of winter; we could have something then. Most employees are busy with the holiday season. Mr. Dalessio suggested having a picnic at the pool area from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. He put this in Mrs. Downing’s hands to form the committee and work out the details. Mrs. Pschirrer recommended that it be catered. Suggestions were a pig roast plus a variety of other options including vegetarian options. The pool will be open plus there will be badminton, croquet and other fun activities.
Job Descriptions For Salary Survey: Mr. Dalessio thanked everybody for getting in their job descriptions. This gets the Select Board closer to their goal of doing a salary study this year.
Health Trust Benefit Review – October 21, 2016: Mrs. Downing reported that the Health Trust is coming in on Friday, October 21st at 1:00 PM in the Town Hall and they will bring in packets for everyone. The Select Board would like 100% attendance; all eligible employees should try to come in. Even people that are not covered are welcome to attend. Mrs. Downing had brochures on the “Spice of Life” and “Wellness” flyers.
Credit Card Use Guidance: Mr. Kreissle had been asked to develop a Credit Card Policy that was handed out at this meeting. It includes the responsibility of using and documenting the information. They were doing a lot of this but it was not written down. This will insure that the credit cards are being used properly and that documentation is being provided to him on a timely basis. If there is a dispute the responsible person for resolving that is the Department Head themselves. Mr. Kreissle would not know the particulars of that purchase. He continued to explain the terms/conditions in the policy. He talked about the issue they had recently developed with the First National Bank of Omaha and how it was resolved. The Town’s limit is $10,000 spread out over six cards. The program allows the Town to maintain controls over amounts and types of purchases. Mr. Dalessio explained that the purpose of the credit cards was so the Department Heads would not have to use their personal credit cards and then have to wait to be reimbursed if there was an emergency on a week-end or they needed to purchase supplies at a grocery store where the Town did not have an account. They were not meant for everyday purchases.
Safety Committee Meeting – August 18th at 4:00 (Just Before Staff Meeting): Mrs. Pschirrer advised that there is a Safety Committee meeting on Thursday, August 18th at 4:00 PM before the Staff Meeting.
Walpole Police Department: Sgt. Justin Sanctuary provided the monthly status report for the period June 16, 2016 to July 21, 2016.
- They appreciate all the Community Support they have been receiving considering the police issues happening throughout the country. People have sent in emails telling the officers how much they appreciate them and they have dropped off coffee and donuts.
- Security cameras have been partially installed; they are up-and-running.
- Received permission from North Walpole Commissioners for the perimeter fence; this will start in August;
- Westminster Bridge project has been pushed out, possibly this fall, no start date yet;
- They did a walk through the Abenaki Spring Building. It was good to get the lay-out of the land.
Calls / Investigations:
- Calls for service: 308;
- They have water safety equipment in the cruisers; it is good to have that available. Recently there was an incident with a kayaker.
- Request for speed enforcement, primarily on the newly paved sections of road;
- Worked with US Marshalls capturing wanted subject;
- There were two commercial burglaries;
- Warrants were issued for theft and driving offenses.
- Conducted annual Stop-Stick training.
- Purchase Order Procedures? Kreissle replied that they need to work on that.
Handicap Parking Sign Posting (265:73-a):
- Sanctuary pointed out that there are two handicapped spots; the one by the Town Hall has a sign but the second one by the church does not have a sign. They cannot enforce who parks there unless there are signs. Mr. Rau will put the missing sign up. It was noted that by St. John’s Church they also need two signs as the markings are just on the street.
Mr. Dalessio would like to look over the pie-chart before it goes to the Clarion for publication.
Highway Department – Mr. Rau submitted the Walpole Highway Department report for the period June 16, 2016 to July 21, 2016.
- Did Cold Patching;
- Serviced trucks and equipment;
- Cleaned catch basins;
- Crushed dumpsters for Recycling Center;
- Did Mowing;
- Worked on Pleasant Street;
- Paved the Police Impound area;
- Paved the Wentworth Road Cut;
- Fixed Truck-5 – Water Pump and Broken Ramp;
- Put bridge closed signs up on Seward Road and several other signs; he will take pictures that need to be sent to the State;
- Fixed the dam on East Street in North Walpole to avoid leaking;
- Fixed loader steering column;
- Worked on chloride spraying system;
- Paved 6 miles of road in North Walpole and Walpole combined.
Mr. Rau was asked to do a Road Paving Evaluation. Following is his report:
The last time the roads were paved in North Walpole was in the late 80s to early 90s when the sewer was put in. He would estimate that the roads will not have to be paved again for 15 years.
In Walpole they paved several different roads. Some have been paved within the last 7-to-10 years. Drewsville Road and Phipps Road should last 6-to-8 years. North Road should be paved in 4-to-6 years due to the heavy traffic.
Meetinghouse Road and Wilson Road were paved about 15 years ago. These are low traffic roads that should last 10 years, possibly more.
Most of the roads in Town do not have a good road base so that affects the surface. By paving the way they we’re just trying to preserve what we have and maintain safe travel because to rebuild the road from the bottom up would cost a considerable amount of money.
They have around 60 miles of paved roads in Walpole and North Walpole combined; they try to pay about 6-or-7 miles a year but that can fluctuate with the cost of asphalt. It would take them at least 10 years or so to pave every road in Town. This year he hopes to do about 8-miles due to the low cost of asphalt.
It is hard to predict how long a road will last due to the different traffic counts and patterns that change over the years. Weather and other factors are also considered; if we have a considerably bad winter roads are affected in different ways.
Mr. Rau wanted to acknowledge the help they have been receiving from the Town of Alstead and Town of Westmoreland with the use of their trucks to help pave. This has worked out well.
Mr. Rau also submitted an “Equipment Evaluation”. It includes information on the Make, Model, Year, Miles/Hours and Replacement date. Responding to a question by Mr. Dalessio, Mr. Rau replied that he will look into if there is a certain way they can determine a way to keep their trucks/equipment for a certain length of time.
Mr. Rau advised that they will be starting their roof repair; they will be able to add-on with the less expensive quote. Mr. Dalessio said to make sure they have the roofer’s Certificate of Insurance.
Recreation Department – Mr. Justin Cassarino provided the following report:
- Staff and committee members helped clear the broken canopy frames;
- They were able to get one new canopy top under the warranty;
- Purchased three small canopies to put around the pool;
- Lifeguards participated in a training with Mr. Mark Houghton and the Fire Department last Thursday. The staff practiced the proper way to remove patrons from the pool under certain circumstances, CPR, etc. This will be run by the Head Lifeguards and supervised by Mr. Cassarino. Staff is required to attend at least half of these for the rest of the summer. Mr. Cassarino will be holding situation training for the staff every Sunday at 6:00 pm; this will be run by him.
- Pool has been VERY busy and everyone has been expressing how clean the pool and facility is looking;
- Continuing to do employee of the week to push the staff to go above and beyond;
- Thank you to the Highway Department for cleaning up the inside part of the pool area and taking the fallen tree branch.
- Wanted to thank the Recycling Department for coming in every Thursday to take away all the recycling and trash, etc. They continue to give them more bins, as needed.
- Need to get signs for the handicap parking. Cars are just driving all around the park, which makes it unsafe for the kids that are running around that area. More directional signs are needed because folks see it as a big loop. Roping off the area was suggested by Mr. Rau. Sanctuary felt they could check the area periodically.
- Tennis players would like handicapped parking by the courts.
- This is going great; they had 75 participants;
- Full of excited kids, coaches and fans.
- August 12th is Championship night (pizza, music, games);
- Possibly doing a movie night to go along with the Championship night.
Mr. Alex Fafara did a great job with their chart; different categories have been separated. They have been extremely busy. Their money from fees, food and beverages is going into the Revolving Fund.
Selectboard Office – Mrs. Downing provided the following report:
- 5 Year Requalification of Veterans’ Tax Credits and Elderly and/or Disabled Exemption: A mailing to approximately 50 veterans requesting DD214 or other discharge forms was sent with high response from 6/23-30/16. There are 7 veterans who have yet to submit all forms; final reminder sent.
- A meeting with a NH Dept. of Revenue Administration – Municipal & Property Division auditor is to occur on Friday, August 12th at 9:00 am.
- The Timber Tax Appraiser visited the Selectboard Office on Friday, 7/15. A review of the Timber Intent, Report and Tax Warrant process was conducted. They were cleaning up the 2015 reports.
- Town Hall Facilities. Two large microwaves were donated by the Women of Walpole (WOW) to the Town Hall kitchen. This will be a feature in the Clarion. The dishwasher will be installed at a later date. The search for bids related to gazebo and entrance ramp repairs continues. A request to adopt donated file cabinets in the basement has been given. Do any departments need additional metal filing cabinets?
- Cemetery Lot Sales: Have been brisk with Linda Edkins processing 5 deeds within a two week period (6/30 – 7/14/16).
- Tri-fold flyer: Several drafts and proofs of a flyer listing contacts for town departments, boards, committees and civic organizations have occurred. We are asking department managers to review the flyer to ensure a thorough proofing before we print copies for public distribution. Mayberry mentioned that they do not have the Selectboard meetings on the schedule. Ms. Rogers pointed out that the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts are on the flyer but the Girl Scouts are not. They will be added. Mr. Dalessio recommended that Mrs. Downing check to be sure the contact people are correct. Also the Library Staff Meetings do not need to be on the flyer; it will free up space for something else.
- Health Trust: The Benefits and Wellness advisors visited the Select Board Office on Monday, 7/18/16. The following has been proposed and agreed to at the Personnel Meeting: “One hour presentation on October 21st beginning at 1pm in the Town Hall to explain health care benefits that are available to Town employees. ** All full-time employees are expected to attend**
- Primex: A 1.5 hour training is being scheduled for all (part and full-time) employees to attend in early November or December. The training will cover all forms of harassment. **Attendance is expected with an RSVP being required**. Dalessio noted that a sign-up sheet will be required. Mrs. Pschirrer said to schedule it on a Friday in November or December.
- Staff Meeting Handouts: Going forward, department reports that are received on or by noon the Wednesday before a Thursday Staff Meeting will be sent as a pdf for attendees to print or view on their mobile devices.
- Manager of Finance: Will be reviewing the draft Town of Walpole Credit Card Use Policy.
Library – Ms. Justine Rogers submitted the following report:
- Summer Reading: Going strong! 60 kids are participating by keeping track of time spent reading and earning prizes. Some programs have been well attended, like our traveling maker space program, and others not so well attended, but that’s a norm for summer.
- Summer Program: Today they had a Wildlife Encounters program today. About 63 kids and 20 adults attended. The Walpole Village School brought in their students; their theme for the week was Exploring the Jungle so this program was perfect for them.
- Cook Book Challenge Group: Our first lunch last month was a hit! They had 12 chefs and a delicious meal. Their next lunch is the 26th at 11:30 am and they will be doing a dinner in August.
- New Library Cards: Voting for the photo contest ends today (the 21st). They had 14 submissions. They will count up the votes tomorrow morning and announce a winner. Rogers will order the new cards on Monday and hopefully they will have them in a few weeks. They are also working on a brochure to hand out to patrons with their new cards that explains some of their services and programs.
- Web-Site: Their web-site is up and running but still a work-in-progress. In June 3 people got from the Town’s web-site to the Library web-site.
- Book Sale: The Book Sale will be on Halloween week-end. They will happily take books, videos, etc. but no encyclopedias. They are sorting on Wednesday mornings from 9-10:00 am.
June 2015: 26 days open, 1233 people, 2138 circ, 25 programs, 205 people for programs;
June 2016: 26 days open, 1639 people, 2316 circ., 42 programs, 501 people for programs;
Jan-June 2015 average: 84 circs per day and 47 people per day;
Jan-June 2016 average: 86 circs per day and 60 people per day;
June 2016 North Walpole: 30 hours open, 72 people, 246 circ.
June 2015 North Walpole: 68 people, 210 circ.
Recycling Center – Mr. Paul Colburn submitted the following report:
Mr. Colburn reported that this was an average month. He referenced the “Daily Weight Report and 5 Year to Date Comparison”; the total year-to-date is 32.78/tons. Although they have been declining this month indications are that the percentage is less than in the past. They used to have tubes from LenTex but there is not a good market so they stopped taking that in. Mr. Dalessio noted that it is declining because of the change in the market. With reference to the “Five Year Comparison on Recyclables” Mr. Colburn advised that electronics is up. They took in just under $1,600 on fluorescent lights; most of this came from Hubbard’s. Commercial is a big part of what they do with Revenue and Recyclables. There has been an increase in cardboard; metals hit a plateau but they are going up a bit. Hopefully the trend will turn around.
They had visitors from Cypress; one from the Turkey side and the other from the Greek side. He gave them a tour and they did some recycling as they are interested in recycling. They have two Hooper Institute youth; they each have 100 hours. Hopefully the building repairs will start next week. They have access to fire proof file cabinets; if anyone needs any contact Mr. Colburn. (Mr. Aldrich came into the meeting). It is vacation time. The baler does not like the heat so they are looking at putting a cooler on it. Compost has been selling at about $15/cubic yard; total to-date is about $200.00.
Tax Clerk / Tax Collector – Mrs. Sandra Smith was sick and unable to attend but submitted the following report:
They are still trying to catch up. Taxes were due July 1st, bills are still being paid. They are still answering questions, a few people did not notice the due date, and therefore, their payments were not correct. They are sending letters to let them know the outstanding balance.
From June 16th to July 19th, they collected $3,337,594.50 on our Spring Warrant. They have $400,527.45 outstanding – which is very low! Our 2015 Tax Lien has an uncollected balance of $208,092.57. Year to date they have collected $5,472,332.83 in taxes and $62,334.63 in interest!
The Town Clerk has collected $78,267.53 since our last staff meeting. $75,647.41 for registration fees, $168.12 in boat registrations, $400.50 in dog license fees. Vital records $52.00. They processed 5 marriage licenses, the town received $35.00 and the State of NH will receive $215.00. The Town’s share is $7.00 and the State receives $43.00 of each Marriage License, approx.. 45 minutes for each license.
Working on Job descriptions, took quite a bit of time. She had samples from other towns and modified theirs. They kept our descriptions to two to four pages as other towns have done.
Meghan has sent out new dog registration reminders; these are new dogs to Walpole. We receive copies of Rabies Certificates from the NH vets and Meghan is keying into our system and following up with letters. They are still receiving calls regarding deceased dogs and other dogs that no longer reside in Walpole.
They are already working on the upcoming elections. They will have Election Law Training, Thursday, August 11th here in Walpole. Meghan is working on absentee ballots for Servicemen. There are two Saturdays that they have to be in the office to check on e-mail requests from UOCAVA voters, these are Military personnel and oversea citizens.
Adjournment: Mr. Dalessio adjourned this Staff Meeting at 6:15 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary