TOWN OF WALPOLE
AUGUST 18, 2016
Selectboard Present: Steven Dalessio (Chair); Peggy Pschirrer, Whitney Aldrich
Staff Present: Sarah Downing (Executive –Manager of Administration); Rich Kreissle (Executive –Manager of Finance); Michael Rau (Road Agent); Police Chief Michael Paquette (Police Department); Sergeant Justin Sanctuary (Police Department); Paul Colburn (Recycling Center); Justine Rogers (Librarian); Sandra Smith (Town Clerk/Tax Collector)
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.
Police Department: Police Chief Michael Paquette and Sergeant Justin Sanctuary were present. Chief Paquette recognized that both Sgt. Sanctuary and Mrs. Clough put together their new monthly stat report. This report is from July 16, 2016 to August 15, 2016. There were 414 calls for service. They are broken down as follows:
- Public Safety Calls:
Emergency Calls – 48 Administrative – 59 Citizen Assists – 93
- Motor Vehicle Calls:
Accidents – 13 MV Stops – 112 Traffic Safety – 33
- Criminal Investigations:
Drugs/Alcohol – 15 Crimes Against a Person -13 Crimes Against Property – 28
Having 414 calls in one month is quite a lot. Mrs. Pschirrer pointed out that this is a very nice graph but it does not show all the time they actually spend on different calls / investigations; certain offenses require more time than others. Chief Paquette said Mr. Dalessio has been discussing time; it is difficult to put a figure on everything they do but they can work on that. For example: they may spend ten minutes with one person on a certain incident yet spend a half-hour with another person. Mr. Dalessio noted that the only time that is logged in is at the scene; the other time they spend on this same incident is not logged. They have to figure out how they get that number without people actually sitting at their log books. Another responsibility adds up more time. Time is the next element. Chief Paquette agreed in that it does not log the time they spend after they go back to the station and process the paperwork, etc. They might be working on that when the phone rings and they have to leave to respond to another call; they are quite often in-and-out. When they come back in they have to finalize everything from the first call. It is difficult to keep track of all the time. Mr. Dalessio felt there are techniques they can try. It could take 10-or-12 man hours to process a DWI arrest. Sgt. Sanctuary said it sometimes takes longer as they have to keep coming back to it for little pieces. Chief Paquette and Sgt. Sanctuary can get data from the Dispatch Center. Mr. Dalessio said the new graph looks very good.
Chief Paquette thanked Mr. Rau and the Highway Department crew for doing the fencing at the Police Station and for removing some trees. It was a lot of work. Mr. Dalessio noted the new fencing looks good.
Town Clerk / Tax Collector: Mrs. Smith reported that they have been busy with election issues. Voter registrations, absentee ballot requests, UOCAVA ballots for voters that are overseas. This has been time consuming. They received the absentee ballots on Thursday. They also had the HAVA State Law Election Training here at our Town Hall. Everyone seemed very impressed with our beautiful Town Hall and what a lovely village we have.
They mailed out bills for the Land Use Change Taxes, Gravel Taxes and Yield Taxes. Money has been coming in slowly. They send reminders of small balances that are due because tax payers paid after the due date, they have collected $819.63 in interest and a total collected for the past month of $72,780.15. Interest is always paid first so any balance due can go to lien.
They collected $48,737.00 in vehicle registrations, 342 vehicles were registered, and this is average for this time of year.
Vital Records brought in $68.00; this is for certified copies of Births, Deaths or Marriages. They had three Marriage Licenses the Town receives $7.00 for each license, and this procedure can take from one half to an hour to complete. The State received $43.00 per license.
Dog licenses brought in $107.00 and Meghan is still sending out delinquent notices. A new person in town came in to register her vehicle and brought in the Rabies Certificates for her two dogs, so they registered her vehicle and her dogs! New comers are usually very good about wanting a Dog License.
They registered eight boats in the last month, this brought in $122.28. The larger boats pay more but they tend to have the smaller boats in Walpole. Next year we should do better, we do not make very much money but the customers appreciate the convenience.
They have spent hours trying to register a vehicle for a new resident. They were still working with the lien holder but it finally came in today.
The foot traffic always keeps them busy as do all the phone calls. The property taxes are almost all in. Vehicle registrations might not be as good this year; it runs in cycles.
Primary election is September 13th. Don’t forget to vote! People can register on Election Day.
Highway Department: Mr. Michael Rau, Road Agent, submitted the following report for July 22, 2016 to August 18, 2016. They started their roadside mowing; that will be taken care of in the next two weeks. They need to recertify some of the crew for culvert replacements.
- A section of the new roof at the Highway Garage is done; it came out good.
- Replaced culverts under Cold River (this took two days), Merriam and Scovill Roads;
- Graded the Drewsville Road (it has heavy traffic – 500 vehicles might go over it on a Saturday)
- Asked by the Commissioners to cut brush on Center Street in North Walpole;
- Cleaned a pipe and catch basin in North Walpole;
- There was a wash-out on March Hill Road by Alice Smith Road that required ditching and grading – the guardrail is back;
- Work was done on Pleasant Street; it should be paved next week;
- Cold patching was done;
- Trucks and equipment were serviced;
- Cleaned catch basins;
- Crushed dumpsters for Recycling Center;
- Did Mowing;
- Cleared brush and trees in the Police Station Yard and did the fencing;
- Cleaned the ditch at the Cemetery;
- Moved books from the Town Hall to North Walpole;
- There will be flashing electronic signs and signs out on Main Street as they will be replacing the culvert that goes across the road and three catch basins near Hicks Machine (Mill Pond). Vehicles will be detoured to go through Houghton’s parking lot. They hope to start August 30th. Mr. Dalessio asked Mr. Rau to get a notice in the Clarion and Walpolean. It will also be on-line.
Mr. Rau contacted Mr. Randy Rhoades to talk about the bridge by Black Jack Crossing. Mr. Rhoades will send his report to Beaver Tracks who will look at it. He has been working on the Permit by Notification for the March Hill Road and called the DES but they have not responded. Mr. Dalessio thought the Selectboard should make some inquiries to DES.
Library: Ms. Justine Rogers submitted the following report. Things have been going good and they have been very busy.
Summer Reading: 65 kids participated in the reading program. So far 8 have “finished” by reading 20+ hours. This is the last week we’ll be counting hours.
New Library Cards: The new cards have arrived today and they are beautiful. They are working on a services and programs brochure to hand out with new cards to all of their new and existing patrons so they have a better idea of what they offer. They have to coordinate everything with the State Library.
Bookworms Book Club: A few of the 4th grade boys who come into the library weekly have requested a book club. Their first meeting is next Thursday! So far they have 4 kids interested and the boys who are “in charge” have been hanging flyers up around town.
The roofing company had told her they would begin work at the end of August or early September; she will check with them to confirm their start date.
July 2015: 26 days open, 1403 people, 2149 circ, 25 programs, 341 people for programs.
July 2016: 23 days open, 1663 people, 2385 circ, 39 programs, 400 people for programs.
Jan-July 2015 Average: 84 circs per day and 48 people per day.
Jan-July 2016 Average: 89 circs per day and 62 people per day.
Recycling Center: Mr. Paul Colburn submitted reports for the month of July. He referenced the “Daily Weight Report and Year to Date Comparison”. There was an increase in steel cans over the other five years. Some lines are a little off due to various reasons. For example: they now did glass once a week instead of daily which has increased productivity. They no longer take in tubes; in 2012 they had about 2-1/2 tons but they haven’t taken them in for about two years because of the market. OCC/Chip is down a fair amount. Our biggest supplier is commercial but they found other ways to deal with it which is a better deal for them. A good thing is that the markets are up for cardboard; they are now getting the best price in 1-1/2 years. The Annual Forecast is down quite a bit. Mr. Colburn explained the “Five Year Comparison on Recyclables”. The biggest increase is commercial. They have taken in a lot of fluorescent bulbs from TransCanada as they are making a change but this will go down drastically next month. There are a lot of electronics these last two months. July has usually been a good month. Mr. Dalessio noticed an increase in the sale of bags.
Mr. Colburn had two Hooper helpers who are done this week. He did the exit interviews. It was great to have them. They still have compost that is screened and ready to go. He will be meeting with the Walpole Grange Leadership Academy students on Monday, August 29th at 6:00 PM. They will do a review of what gets done at the Recycling Center. Mrs. Pschirrer noted that they will be at the Highway Department the following week at 6:00 PM. Mr. Dalessio pointed out that they want to do a session with the Library and the Police Department.
Mr. Colburn attended the Cheshire County meeting on August 3rd. This is a monthly meeting but he does not usually attend all of them. He might go to half of the NRRA meetings. A bus trip is coming up that will go around to the various facilities. If anyone is interested let Mr. Colburn know. They signed the MSW and C+D contract for the next three years and a copy was given to the Selectboard office. He discovered a dead tree between the re-use trailer, the fence and Route 123; he will talk to Mr. Rau about addressing that. He sent in forms to get re-certified. The scales were re-certified today; it needs to be done annually. The WRAP Committee will be putting an ad in the Walpolean and Clarion for new members. They picked up the wood from the Mill Pond area that the Boy Scouts had cleared from the trails.
Chief Anashownee of the Raven & Wolf inter-tribal group, a Native American Group, is looking to set up another clean-up in September at the same place as last time. They want this clean-up to be open to everyone. Mr. Joe Aldrich had looked into who owned that area and found out that it is the Town of Walpole. Chief Paquette said at one time they talked about closing off a part of that area so vehicles could not drive there. Any parking would have to be in the designated lot. Chief Paquette would like to attend the planning meeting with the other parties involved including the Connecticut River Watershed Council and TransCanada. Mr. Colburn pointed out that it costs the Town about $75.00/ton for all the trash that is picked up and then needs to be disposed of. Mr. Dalessio suggested that they move forward with the meeting with Chief Anashownee.
Selectboard Offfice: Mrs. Sarah Downing made the following report:
Meeting with a NH Dept. of Revenue Administration (DRA) – Municipal & Property Division auditors last Friday, 8/12, for several hours. A review of Elderly Tax and non-profit property tax exemption audit work and files was conducted. Training regarding the upcoming MS-1 Report was also conducted.
5 Year Requalification of Veterans’ Tax Credits and Elderly and/or Disabled Exemption:
- Next steps were decided upon for the Elderly Tax Exemption audit. The Selectboard will finalize paperwork at the 8/18/16 Selectboard meeting. This will close out the Elderly Exemption section of the audit.
- For the Veterans’ Tax Credit, the state requires that veterans who have their properties held in trusts or life estates complete a PA-33 form. There are 43 veterans who will be receiving a notice of this change and the form. All veterans who have handed in their forms to date will be receiving their 2016 tax credit; the new form will be required for the 2017 tax year.
- Three non-profit property owners were to be reminded to send in A-9 and one also owed an A-12 financial form and report per the DRA auditors. Calls and e-mails were sent. Only one non-profit educational group owes information as of 8/17/16. Forms must be submitted by 8/24/16 or the exemption shall be removed.
- The DRA auditors will return in late September to review the Veteran’s Tax Credit audit and to start work on updating Current Use files.
MS-1: Follow-up work is underway to finalize any valuations that have changed from the audits being conducted along with property lot line changes and properties being granted a current use before the April 15th deadline. The MS-1 is due to the state on or before Sept. 1st. Current Use rates are being updated in Avitar with a software update pending. This form starts the process to set the tax rate by the DRA.
Timber and Excavation Tax Warrants: Reporting for 2015-2016 has been closed out. The tax collector has been sending out billings. One Timber Tax Warrant for 2016-2017 has been posted.
Town Hall Facilities: The ramp and gazebo repair should occur in less than 4 weeks. The ramp should be repaired before the Sept 13th Primary Election Day. One application has been received for a Town Hall handyman. Several jobs including adding a hand rail and hanging a new projection screen are on the list of things to be installed.
Notices of Pending Sewer Lien: Notices were created by Linda Edkins and signed by the Selectboard. The notices were sent to property owners with outstanding balances. The Selectboard is researching next steps to recover monies owed to the Town.
Tri-fold Flyer: Was finalized and then recently updated. New copies of the flyer are being distributed.
Health Trust Benefits Overview Presentation: Friday, Oct 21st from 1 – 2 pm in the Town Hall. “All full-time employees are expected to attend”
Sexual and Other Forms of Harassment Training: Scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4th from 1-2:30 pm for all regular full and part-time employees in the Town Hall. “Attendance is expected. There will be a sign-in-sheet”
Town of Walpole – Employee and Volunteer Appreciation BBQ: The date has been set for Sunday, Sept. 25th with the event starting at noon in Whitcomb Park. Pit Stop Smokehouse will begin serving lunch at 1pm. An electronic invitation is forthcoming. The rain location will be the main location of the Town Hall. The Planning Committee is seeking the loan a croquet set, bocci balls, and corn hole game with bean bags.
Manager of Finance: Attended a NHMA sponsored webinar entitled, “Federal Overtime Rule and Municipal Governments” with a Selectboard member on Weds., 6/17/16.
Walpole Recreation: Mr. Justin Cassarino was unable to attend this meeting but submitted the following report dated August 18, 2016.
- State Inspector came and said everything was great. Chlorine level was high, but explained that we dumped in three 5 gal. tubs of shock the night before because of all of the rain that we had for four days straight. The rain brings the chlorine down, so we needed to get it back up quickly. She said that it wasn’t a problem. Gave a few recommendations, but overall was very happy.
- Head lifeguards have been holding a training every Sunday to practice injury situations. Kids enjoy volunteering to be the “victims”, so they can be strapped to the backboard.
- Community Day was rained out, but for the first hour and a half we had 75 patrons come to the pool. We are rescheduling for Friday, August 19th. We still have Athens Pizza coming down with their truck to sell food and we are collecting non-perishable food items for the Fall Mountain Food Shelf. Patrons have free access to the pool when they bring in an item. We will also be playing games with prizes and showing a movie at night.
- Pool cover was shipped out on August 18th, so they can get the proper measurements and create a new one for us.
- Tennis courts will be done at the beginning of September (hopefully), as long as the weather cooperates.
- Season ended last Friday.
- Had a great turn-out for the championship game.
- Players received a free piece of pizza, played a game at halftime, and watched a great championship game.
- Awards were given to the players, parents and coaches were thanked for their commitment to the league, and companies that sponsored a team received a plaque with a team photo to thank them again.
- Will start lining the fields next week.
- Sign-ups will begin the week of Labor Day at the school.
- Had a league meeting with all of the towns that participate in the league to discuss rules and other topics/concerns from last year.
Manager of Finance: Mr. Rich Kreissle handed out a Consolidated Statement of Activity – MTD and YTD as of August 17, 2016 and a Consolidated Statement of Activity – MTD and YTD for 12/31/16.
Proposed 2017 Budget: Mr. Dalessio advised that the Selectboard would like to have proposed budgets (at least the first round) submitted by the next Staff Meeting on September 15, 2016. In the beginning of October the Selectboard will meet on one day to work on all the budgets. In November they will work on capital spending. The goal is to finish by the middle of November. Mr. Kreissle will give the Department Heads worksheets.
Guests: Two guests from the Walpole Grange Leadership Academy attended this meeting.
Adjournment: Mr. Dalessio adjourned this Staff Meeting at 6:12 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary