TOWN OF WALPOLE
MEETING OF THE SELECTBOARD
OCTOBER 13, 2016
Selectboard Present: Steven Dalessio (Chair); Peggy Pschirrer; Whitney Aldrich (late)
CALL TO ORDER: Mr. Dalessio called this Selectboard meeting to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall. He advised that this meeting is being recorded and asked anyone wishing to speak to identify themselves for the record. There were eight people in attendance.
TENNIS COURT SURFACE PATCHING: Mr. Bill Therrien and Mr. David Kuniholm were present to discuss the tennis court surface patching. Mr. Therrien explained that they are representing a lot of Walpole people in addition to people from area towns that have played tennis for a lot of years. The courts are used five days a week. When they showed up to play last Monday there was a substantial out-cry from a number of people that the courts were not fixed properly. They were then told to talk to the Selectboard to let them know before the bill was paid. Mr. Therrien then contacted Mr. Kuniholm. They have been waiting for three years to get this job done; last year there were some repairs but it was not resurfaced. Mr. Kuniholm pointed out that for two years they lost the funding to the pool for needed repairs in order to open that up. This year some of the cracks were taken care of and it was resurfaced by Wilson and Lawrence; they fulfilled their contract. There are still some “dead” spots; this is what the complaints are about. Since 2000 they have been trying to keep the tennis courts repaired, safe and looking good. Mr. Therrien agreed with Mr. Kuniholm in that Wilson and Lawrence did what they contracted for. Mr. McGuirk advised that Dr. Jim Smith got the tennis courts started in the mid-1980s. Mr. Dalessio does not agree with what has been said. He suggested they go to the Recreation Department Committee; they will then make a recommendation to the Selectboard with a plan on how to approach this. They might recommend setting up a Capital Reserve Fund so the cost for replacement will be spread out over several years. Mr. Kuniholm mentioned some thought should be given to the basketball courts as well. The Selectboard need to plan forward as many replacements/ repairs need to be made in the near future; the Town’s buildings are heading toward the 25-year mark with roofs that need to be repaired plus other work needs to be done. Mrs. Pschirrer suggested they could do some fundraising for the tennis court project.
POTENTIAL SEWER BOND: Mr. Paul McGuirk had read in the Clarion that the Selectboard might be considering a bond issue. Mr. Dalessio explained that it is a conceptual idea. They are facing a number of infrastructure problems; there are three-or-four red-listed bridges in Town that need to be fixed, some issues with the Vilas Bridge and potentially moving the sewer line over to Green Street in North Walpole. Bond rates are probably at the lowest rate of interest they are going to be so maybe now is a good time to consider taking a bond as they would have up to three years to spend the money. He asked Mr. Tom Goins, Town Treasurer, and Mr. Rich Kreissle, Finance Administrator, to get information. No real decisions have been made. We do not know what is going to happen with the Vilas Bridge. Even if they replace the bridge there might be some problems with the sewer line so the best thing for the Town might be to get that line off the bridge. Mr. McGuirk has no problems with thinking that the line under the Vilas Bridge will eventually have to be re-routed to the Village of Bellows Falls. Any cost associated with any expense should be borne strictly by the users; this is his concern. The Selectboard is aware of this. Mr. McGuirk provided some history on the sewer line. Back in the 1980s when they took out the bond the Selectboard realized that the project was going to be beneficial to the whole Town over time but they were not sure how they would split payment of the bond. They ultimately settled on 50-50. Mr. Dalessio said the good news is that the re-direction is not too far away as there is a connection at Green Street in North Walpole but some improvements would have to be made to the pumping station. A little bit of surveying work has been done and engineering conversation is taking place. The new contract between the Village of Bellows Falls and the Town of Walpole has not been signed but the Town of Walpole continues to pay their bills. We are a big percentage of their capacity and income right now.
Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable check register in the amount of $10,844.93 for checks dated October 14, 2016. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With two members in favor, the motion was approved.
Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Payroll voucher for the week ending October 8, 2016, in the amount of $20,825.02 for checks dated October 14, 2016. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With two members in favor, the motion was approved.
Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the electronic fund transfer for the 941 Employer Taxes for Withholding, MEDI and FICA taxes in the amount of $4,313.13 for the week ending October 8, 2016. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With two members in favor, the motion was approved.
SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:
SELECTBOARD MEETING – October 6, 2016: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the regular Selectboard meeting of October 6, 2016, as submitted. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With two members in favor, the Minutes were approved.
The Selectboard received and reviewed Minutes of the following meetings:
- Walpole Conservation Commission – September 12, 2016;
- Walpole Planning Board – October 11, 2016.
Mr. Dalessio mentioned that after the Planning Board meeting they received information from the Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC) that could potentially get us bike racks for the community. It is called “Partnerships to Improve Community Health”. He recommended they look into this. Ms. Cheryl Mayberry advised that this opens them up to applying for grants that help implement active transportation components which includes Complete Streets, support Safe Routes to School programs and coordinating a free bike rack program called “Rack it Up”. Mr. Dalessio reported that the Planning Board has agreed to be the conduit for this program. He recommended that the Planning Board be given permission to work with SWRPC.
Mr. Dalessio moved that the Walpole Planning Board be given the authority to work with SWRPC to take on the Partnership to Improve Community Health program and establish the Complete Streets policy. This will include all three Town Districts. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
TARA STUART, 1252 County Road, Map & Lot #003-021-000: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to grant Building Permit No. 2016-39 for Tara Stuart for “Demolition and Replacement of 24’ x 24’ garage”. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With two members in favor, the motion was approved.
VETERANS’ TAX CREDITS:
Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Veterans’ Tax Credits as follows:
Map and Lot Number –
Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With two members in favor, the motion was approved.
Mr. Aldrich came into the meeting.
Fairpoint Appeal: Mr. Dalessio spoke to Attorney Hockensmith and there is no comment. It would be a big research project and he did not find anything to object to.
Mr. Dalessio moved that the Selectboard accept Avitar Associates recommendation in the Fairpoint Appeal. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
Mrs. Downing was asked to write a letter to Mrs. Martin to advise that the Selectboard accepted the Avitar Associates recommendation on the Fairpoint Appeal.
Water and Sewer Update: Mrs. Downing reported that Mrs. Edkins has completed corrections to areas 1 and 2 but there were problems. She is starting to work on North Walpole. Mr. Dalessio mentioned that their goal is to get to quarterly billing. Mrs. Raynie Laware asked if quarterly billings would mean the Foundation would receive four bills each year for their sprinkler system rather than two bills. Mr. Dalessio said the total at the end of the year should be the same; there should not be an increase.
Personnel Policy Handbook: Mrs. Pschirrer spoke with Attorney McClaid today and she was to have sent a letter of agreement that they would do a limited review of the Personnel Policy Handbook. The cost will be within our budget. It was a constructive conversation of fifteen minutes. The firm has impressive credentials. Mrs. Pschirrer will bring that letter in to the meeting next week.
Salary Review: Mr. Dalessio reported that MRI is moving forward with the Salary Review. Mr. Kreissle forwarded the salaries of all the positions. They now have everything they need. Hopefully they will have the report in about two weeks.
MS-535: Both the Selectboard and Mr. Kreissle looked at this document. The bottom line is that the Town is over-revenued and under in expenses. This will help determine the tax rate.
Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Selectboard approve and sign the MS-535 (Financial Report to the State) for the Town of Walpole. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
All Saints Parish – Insurance Coverage for November 8th Election Day: Mrs. Downing reported that Ms. Juanita Sweet from the All Saints Parish called to request that the Town provide a Certificate of Insurance for Election Day on November 8th. She contacted Primex who provided this rider directly to All Saints Parish. Ms. Mayberry said the Village of North Walpole provides this proof of insurance when they hold elections. Following a discussion for clarification, Mrs.Downing was asked to contact Mrs. O’Brien as this technically involves the Village of North Walpole.
Highway Department Uniforms: Mrs. Pschirrer advised that the Highway Department uniforms have been a problem all year. We have a contract with UniFirst; it was signed several years ago by Mr. Terrell. Mr. Rau has been spending a lot of time on the phone with them trying to resolve issues. He has found another supplier he would like to use; Mrs. Pschirrer had a copy of their contract. They will hold their price firm for at least a year. The UniFirst representative will be meeting with Mr. Rau and Mrs. Pschirrer next Friday. Mr. Dalessio and Mr. Aldrich were in favor of making this change.
Highway Department: Mrs. Pschirrer reported that the Highway Department has been working on bridges and finished March Hill Road. Mr. Warren Stevens is doing some drawings to send in with the final work for the March Hill Road Bridge. Mr. Rau has talked to Mr. Randy Rhoades several times. They have not done anything on the Mill Pond Bridge but they are all now talking and will have some figures for the Selectboard. The Houghton Brook needs rock fill. They will also have some figures on this. They are going to be looking at Alstead Center and the culvert that needs to be repaired. It will be expensive and needs a Wetlands Permit. They have also been looking at the bridge on Wentworth Road that is not red-listed but needs to be repaired and will also be very expensive. They will need to divert traffic to repair it. Some paving still needs to be done; Mrs. Pschirrer asked Mr. Rau to talk to the paver about getting it done by November 1st. The mower they use in Town is a home-mower so they would like to buy a Zero-Turn mower to replace it; it is $6,500 and they have money in the budget. Mr. Dalessio and Mr. Aldrich did not have a problem with this.
Ms. Crowley, who works for the Foundation, was wondering if they could buy the same kind of salt that the Town uses for the sidewalks in front of their buildings or find out where they buy it. She asked if the sidewalk in front of the Walpole Tavern belongs to the Town as the Foundation has been taking care of it. Mr. Dalessio assumes it is. There was a question about using salt on the brick sidewalk. The Selectboard suggested that she contact Mr. Rau but they had no issues in providing a pail of salt.
Ocean State Job Lot Extended Hours of Operation: A request was received from the Ocean State Job Lots Store to change their hours on Thursday, November 24th to 9:00 am to 11:00 pm and Friday, November 25th to 6:00 am to 11:00 pm.
Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the extended hours as suggested for the Ocean State Job Lots store on Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th as requested. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
Holiday Tree on Gazebo: Mrs. Downing advised that the Cub Scouts would like a lit artificial tree on the Gazebo and they will decorate it. Mrs. Downing, Mrs. Edkins and Mr. Kreissle would like to buy them the tree with the permission of the Selectboard but the Scouts could decorate it. The tree might be about six feet tall. Mr. Dalessio recused himself due to his association with the Scouts. Mr. Aldrich noted that the Women of Walpole do the tree on the Common.
Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve putting up a holiday tree on the Gazebo and that it be decorated by the Scouts. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Aldrich in favor, the motion was approved. Mr. Dalessio abstained from the vote.
Monadnock Family Service Thank You: The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the Thank You note from the Monadnock Family Service and for providing some information on their service.
Southern Vermont Sprinkler System: Mrs. Downing reported that an $800 invoice came in from the Southern Vermont Sprinkler Company for their work but the problem still has not been solved. Mr. Dalessio said they did not come in to fix a leak; they came in to replace the compressor line. Mrs. Downing noted that the system is still doing the same things; it was not fixed. This is a specialized job that Mr. Houghton could not do but he did the electrical work. The sprinkler system company will be coming back again but Mr. Dalessio felt it should be at no cost.
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. Mr. Aldrich seconded the motion and, on a roll call vote with all in favor, the motion was approved at 7:36 PM.
The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:43 PM.
Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard meeting of 0ctober 13, 2016, be sealed. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With all 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 Mr. Aldrich. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:57 PM.
Taxes: Mr. Dalessio encouraged Mrs. Downing and Mr. Kreissle to stay on top of the taxes. The longer it takes to get all the information into the Department of Revenue Administration the lower Walpole will be on the State list therefore will have to wait longer before they will get the tax rate. Mrs. Downing was asked to send an email out to everyone as a reminder to get their paperwork in.
ADJOURNMENT: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to adjourn this meeting. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With all in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 7:59 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary