A brief Shout Out to the Steve Dalession, Peggy Pschirrer, and Whit Aldrich for holding these Staff Meetings and to Sarah Downing For sharing them. I find them very informative and I am sure others do as well! – Lil
TOWN OF WALPOLE
OCTOBER 20, 2016
Selectboard Present: Steven Dalessio (Chair); Peggy Pschirrer; (Absent – Whitney Aldrich)
Staff Present: Sarah Downing (Executive – Manager of Administration); Rich Kreissle (Executive – Manager of Finance); Michael Rau (Road Agent); Paul Colburn (Recycling Center); Justine Rogers (Librarian); Rebecca Whippie (Hooper Institute)
Guest: Cheryl Mayberry (Commissioner – Village of North Walpole)
Call To Order: Mr. Dalessio called this Staff meeting to order at 5:10 PM in the Walpole Town Hall. He advised that this meeting is being recorded.
Library: Ms. Justine Rogers provided the following report:
September was a big month for new patrons! They had 29 residents create new library accounts. Our monthly average is about 8 new patrons, so this was a huge month. She thinks their new library brochures and the article in the Clarion about their new library cards gave them some good press.
The Friends of the Library book sale is next week-end the 28-30th of October at the middle school with the preview on the 28th costing a $20 admission fee. Mostly book dealers come on Friday. There will also be an Usborne book consultant, some groups selling baked goods and some people with yard sale tables. Mr. Dalessio mentioned that they appreciate all the help they can get in the late afternoon on Sunday as cleaning-up can be very heavy work.
Food for Fines:
The week of Thanksgiving (Nov. 21st-23rd) they will be doing Food for Fines. Anyone can bring in non-perishable food that will be donated to the Fall Mountain food shelf and they will erase their fines, up to $1 for each food item. This only waives overdue fees, not lost or damaged item fees. They did this last year and it was a great success. They donated 4 big bags full of food and got a few “lost” items returned to the library. They will have the dates on their website, their Facebook page, the Walpolean and in the November Clarion.
Library Donations in Memory of Pam Howard:
Pam Howard’s family had asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Friends of the Library. They are extremely grateful for the generosity of the family as well as all of those who knew Pam and have sent donations. The Friends will take care of keeping track of donations and writing thank you notes to the family and the donors.
Ms. Rogers reported that they had a meeting with the fourth grade boys “Book Club” this afternoon. They have now read three books. The Library Trustees are doing a survey to get some feedback on how the community would like the Library to focus their efforts. More programs for kids or adults and/or other suggestions.
NW Sept 2015: 198 circ, 82 people
NW Sept 2016: 196 circ, 69 people, 28 hours
Walpole Sept 2015: 25 days open, 1032 people, 1748 circ., 19 programs, 144 people for programs.
Walpole Sept 2016: 23 days open, 1588 people, 2093 circ., 33 programs, 348 people for programs.
Highway Department: Mr. Mike Rau, Road Agent, provided the following report for the period of September 23, 2016 to October 20, 2016:
- Cold patched;
- Tim Latham wired the salt shed and it was filled with salt. It is ready for winter;
- Serviced trucks and equipment for winter;
- Fixed the regulator on Truck-5;
- Fixed the peddle in the loader;
- The chipper got a new battery and the brakes were fixed;
- Fixed the spinner on Truck-6;
- Fixed the hydraulics on Truck-7;
- Cleaned catch basins;
- Crushed dumpsters for the Recycling Center;
- Fixed the March Hill Bridge;
- Continued the mowing;
- Put up signs on Avery Lane and LaClair Road;
- Replaced 2 culverts on Barnett Hill Road;
- Paved cuts in on Barnett Hill;
- Replaced culvert and cleaned ditch on Wentworth Road;
- Mixed winter sand;
- Graveled, raked, rolled and sprayed chloride on French Road;
- Sprayed chloride on Crehore, Merriam and Scovill Roads;
- Working on getting all trucks ready for winter;
- Painted parking spaces on Elm and Westminster Streets;
- Painted lines on Pleasant Street and put up signs;
- Painted lines on Main Street and March Hill Road;
- Brought stone to the gazebo.
A lot of the maintenance work is done in-house. Mr. Dalessio asked Mr. Rau to check Carpenter Hill as it needs some grading. Mr. Rau mentioned that originally they had the wrong blend of chloride, the company came and re-mixed it; in the end they had more so will have enough for next year.
Mr. Rau spoke with Mr. Randy Rhoades about the permitting for the bridge projects. Beaver Tracks has flagged the wetlands and now they can begin drawing up plans on how they will be fixed. After the plans are drawn up they will be sent to the Department of Environmental Services (DES) for their approval.
The Highway Department worked on the deteriorating footings on the March Hill bridge; one of the red listed bridges. The work is done and now the paperwork just needs to be finished up for DES. Mr. Rau is waiting on Mr. Warren Stevens to draw up a sketch of the work that was done. It came out great. He thinks that the DES will be pleased with it.
Mr. Joe DiBernardo, surveyor, was at Mill Pond today. Mr. Rau will contact him in about a week to see how everything is going. Mr. Rau is pushing the paving company to finish up soon; Watkins Hill will bring the paving up to 8.2 miles. Mr. Dalessio pointed out that they were able to do more miles of paving for less money this year. He asked Mr. Rau to get bills into the office as soon as possible as work has begun on the 2017 budget.
Mr. Rau reported that they will be getting their new zero-turn mower and would like to donate their old one to the Recycling Center. Mr. Colburn accepted and thanked them for the donation.
Police Department: Police Chief Michael Paquette and Sergeant Justin Sanctuary were unable to attend this meeting. Their monthly report for the period of September 15, 2016 through October 15, 2016, had been submitted. There were 387 calls for service. They are broken down as follows:
- Public Safety Calls:
Emergency Calls – 33 Administrative – 58 Citizen Assists – 86
- Motor Vehicle Calls:
Accidents – 9 MV Stops – 98 Traffic Safety – 24
- Criminal Investigations:
Drugs/Alcohol – 9 Crimes Against A Person – 43 Crimes Against Property – 27
Mr. Dalessio mentioned that the dip in their calls is allowing them to get caught up on paperwork for several cases. There are many issues in the Town; some are drug related. Homes and businesses have been broken into. The Police Department work continues to go up. There is some good news in Town; some time ago the Police Department instituted a program to keep juveniles out of the system; they had two go through the program very successfully. This program will continue on. It gives them a fresh start.
Selectboard Office: Mrs. Sarah Downing submitted the following report:
5 Year Requalification of Veterans’ Tax Credit:
The NH Department of Revenue (DRA) auditors returned on September 30th to review prior tax exemption files that needed additional information. They also conducted an audit of Veteran’s Tax Credit files. Several property owners who receive the credit had a change of applicant for the credit (they are now surviving spouses) and unsigned, older PA-29 forms. Additional work is being conducted to bring the files up to the DRA standards. The DRA auditors will return to review the files that need updating.
The Town Hall will be the hosting site for a DRA sponsored workshop entitled “Current Use Criteria and Rules” on Tuesday, November 29th from 9am to 1pm.
Town Hall Facilities:
The following repairs occurred: (the new handyman has been kept very busy)
- Tiling of the elevator floor;
- Adding landscaping cloth and rock to the drip edge area of the gazebo;
- Removal of stains and splashed dirt from gazebo;
- Sprinkler repair of air leaks/pipes in system.
Town Hall Rentals and Reservations:
- High level of use through the end of the year for civic, town and non-profit events, family gatherings and weddings.
- Eight new 6 foot tables have been ordered to help replace stock in poor condition;
- New coffee urn has been ordered for the kitchen.
Sought quotes for municipal building repairs and equipment such as sprinkler system flushing, mag lock/pad key system for Town Hall, new IT equipment, etc.
Deed Transfers that have occurred from 9/9/16 to 9/30/16 are being added to our assessing system. Avitar will be reviewing sales which will then be factored into the Town’s equalization percentage for taxes.
“Save the Date” Reminders:
- Health Trust Benefits Overview Presentation: Friday, Oct. 21st from 1 – 2 pm in the Town Hall. **All full-time employees are expected to attend** Spouses can attend the presentation.
- 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 Clerk’s Office: Mrs. Sandra Smith was unable to be here as she is attending a conference. She left the following Report of the Town Clerk-Tax Collector:
She will be away at the NH City and Town Clerks Conference in North Conway, this is an Annual Meeting and helps to keep them up to date on rules and regulations, etc.
They have been very busy with the upcoming election. Registering people to vote, answering lots of questions. Sending out absentee ballots. They have mailed out approximately 140 ballots. The process is very time consuming and requests are still arriving. Most requests are being filled on the same day. The turn-around is short on elections, so they cannot waste any time!
They have collected $60,131.34 in property taxes. $64,263.00 in vehicle registration fees.
Dogs, vital records, etc. were another $2,097.00 for a grand total of $66,360.00 collected by the Clerk’s office.
They still have no idea when they will have a Warrant. Town, County, School, Fire and North Walpole all must send their forms into the State before we have a Tax Rate. So Taxes will be a little late. Mr. Dalessio pointed out that the goal is to have everything into the State by November 1st.
The tax payer has 30 days to pay after the bills are mailed. After 30 days they start charging interest of 12 percent.
Walpole Recreation: Mr. Justin Cassarino was unable to attend due to soccer practice. Following is his monthly report:
- Season has been going well. Players and parents have been very pleased with the set day schedule this year.
- Two more weeks left in the season.
- New goals are great! They can’t take them down over the winter, so he is getting permission from Sam Jacobs to leave them at the NWS. They will cover them with tarps for the winter.
- Can a thank you letter be sent to Justin Parrot for spending 4+ hours putting the goals together? He and Whit did a great job and the Rec. Committee and he really appreciated it.
- Reached out to Pete from Allen Pool and Spa to check in about the cover. He said that it just arrived yesterday and they are going to try and find a day that they can deliver and put the cover on for them.
- Pool will be closed (water shut off) on Tuesday, October 25.
- Tennis courts were resurfaced and cracks filled in. This is a good temporary fix until they can replace all of the courts in the park. Committee met with Bill and David to discuss what they would like to see done.
- Can they have someone trim the bushes around the courts? There is a plaque with information that is covered and David has been doing it around the fence as well.
- Tournament this weekend.
- Can they change the locks on the pool house? Somehow a tennis player was given a key many years ago and still has it. They need to have a way to know who has the keys at all times. He has gone down to check in on things at the pool while the courts were being done, and the door has been unlocked and lights were on. This is a huge liability!
Mrs. Downing advised that Country Lock came and re-keyed two of the doors; he will come back and repair the lock on the pool side. Mr. Rau will take care of trimming the bushes around the courts. The Highway Department will start doing leaves next week.
Hooper Institute: Ms. Rebecca Whippie provided the following report:
Last week they had a guest speaker, Daniel Harrigan, he was inquiring as to whether the Hooper Institute would be receptive to have some hazelnuts planted. He would like to put them closer to the pond along the fence line. It will depend on whether the soil is appropriate or not. He is excited about planting some and to see how they will go. The Hooper Committee moved to proceed. The first step is for him to test the soil. The plants would probably not come in until July 2017. Mrs. Clark has been working around trees and migration. They had one bed of butternut squash that yielded 92 squashes. Ms. Whippie has been doing leaf anatomy, matching photosynthesis and the color of chlorophyll. They have been focusing on bees; she had a rainy day and did some ladybug lessons. Green beans were harvested and some were made into dilly beans. As soon as something gets harvested they taste everything unless it is something that has to be dried but then they will probably taste it later. Rhubarb, squash and kale were harvested. They made kale chips and rhubarb cake. They are working on popcorn; they are doing life cycle drawings and labels. They had enough corn this year so that every child had one of their own. The chives were dried and can be taken home for future use. They are gearing up on composting and soils. Fourth graders are gearing up for their first farm and forest field trips. Two farms they are going to are diverse. They already talked to the students about farms, the different types of farms, and to come up with specific questions to ask at the farms.
Mr. Dalessio asked that everyone give Ms. Whippie and Mrs. Clark a round of applause for their award as the 2016 Educators of the Year. They will be recognized at the Annual Meeting of the Cheshire County Conservation District meeting on October 25th at 6:00 PM in the Keene Country Club. It is exciting to hear what they do. It is very impressive. They have made the Town of Walpole proud.
Recycling Center: Mr. Paul Colburn provided the following report:
Mr. Colburn referenced and explained the numbers on the “Daily Weight Report and Year to Date Comparison”. It indicates that the tonnage is down about 31/tons. In 2011 and 2012 they were still doing tubes. Glass is also being weighed differently. The annual forecast is 374.43/ton; the annual estimate is 335.63/ton. Cardboard continues to be lower. They recycle the Re-use solid waste (junk plastic, C&D and Re-use C&D); this will close for the winter because there is no heat. They do not have as many volunteers as they had in the past. They did take in two truckloads of cardboard today.
The second chart is the “Five Year Comparison on Recyclables”. They are very close to the average. Historically September is a big month for them. Last week some of the commercial entities in Town brought in some materials. Revenues have been up for most of the month. Markets are still up-and-down. The best market is for cardboard. He is looking into working with another vendor as there is more revenue to be made.
A few weeks ago the Police Department found some bags along the roadside with identification papers inside. As a result one volunteer came in to work on a Saturday for seven hours. He expects a few others to do the same. They have had a few people doing community service. Their metal box that they use is in need of repairs so he is going to ship it out tomorrow to get the work done. Mr. Colburn would like push bars on their doors to be ADA compliant. Mr. Dalessio replied that if there is money left in the building repairs account he can have them. Mr. Colburn would also like to purchase some paint this year to do the center next year.
2017 Budget Meetings: Mrs. Pschirrer report that Department Head budget meetings are scheduled for Monday. Mr. Dalessio noted that as of right now the 2016 budget balance is looking good. In 2017 they have to do the town-wide assessment at a cost of about $130,000.00. It is about $65.00/house. They will see how the budget rolls along.
Adjournment: Mr. Dalessio adjourned this Staff Meeting at 5:59 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary