TOWN OF WALPOLE
MEETING OF THE SELECTBOARD
NOVEMBER 17, 2016
Selectboard Present: Steven Dalessio; Peggy Pschirrer; Whitney Aldrich
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 fifteen people in attendance.
WHIPPLE HILL – Gravel Pit: Mr. Dalessio advised that the Selectboard invited Mr. Gary Patch, Cold River Materials, to give his perspective on the Whipple Hill, Gravel Pit, matter; what agreements are in place and what is the status of the property. Mr. Patch said this property has been a resource enjoyed by many for generations. Communities in the area had used it since Arthur Whitcomb owned it. It is a big unbroken block of wooded area between the Cold River property, LeClerc’s property and other abutters. There are some accessible roads that run through the property. It is used for hiking, biking, hunting, etc. He has been in charge of the property for 20 years now. Presently he is plant manager of Cold River Materials and is responsible for this property. Most of it was recently put into current use.
Recently a new neighbor, Mrs. Barbara Spivey, contacted the Walpole Police Department, Mr. Patch and the Walpole Selectboard about having problems with excessive shooting in the pit. They rarely use the pit but still keep it active and permitted. Mr. Patch asked Police Chief Paquette to have Mrs. Spivey call him. Mr. Patch went down to the pit, he listened to her concerns and they talked about options. He informed Mrs. Spivey that he had no intentions of posting all the property because it is a resource enjoyed by many people. Mrs. Spivey told Mr. Patch that she was not against hunting but was against the shooting. He asked her to call him when there was excessive shooting and he would immediately come to the pit. When he did an inspection during hunting season the shooting was not on Cold River property but rather LeClerc’s property. Semi-automatic rifles were being used. He then walked over to the pit and spoke to some people who were there. He is trying to keep the peace with everybody as he understands Mrs. Spivey’s concerns. He does not want a shooting range on this property. There was some shooting in one of the two corn fields. All of this excessive gun shooting may not be coming from this property. Mr. Dalessio did inform the LeClerc’s about the shooting on their property and they were not aware of it but they will look into it.
Mr. Patch wondered why this went to the Selectboard meeting because the Town of Walpole has no governing power over what Cold River Materials does on their property. Mr. Dalessio noted that this is correct but when there is a citizen complaint, the Selectboard likes to do their due diligence on it. His concern was the combination of shooting and alcohol so they asked the police department to substantiate this. However, they have not observed a combination of both in that area. Mr. Patch said in his 20 years as manager, he never had a complaint on shooting; maybe it has elevated. Relative to alcohol, Mr. Patch has never seen a beer can in the pit.
Mr. McLaughlin said in his 25 years of living there, he has witnessed alcohol. At the end of each hunting season, he goes around and picks up all the beer cans. He thinks they can find a solution by working together. There was a discussion relative to the type of rifles that are being shot there.
Mr. Anthony Frye said they are present at this meeting to find a solution. It has been a family tradition to use the property for hunting. Mr. Patch spoke to Mr. Ted Walski from the NH Department of Fish and Game about the rumors that Mrs. Spivey put a stop on the hunting of pheasants but she did not. Fish and Game stopped stocking them because the pheasants are very expensive. Mrs. Spivey pointed out that they have nothing against hunters but are opposed to just shooting in the pit. Mr. Dalessio noted that pheasant hunting is not an issue tonight and asked that the discussion cease.
Several people agreed that it was always a safe place to go ride a bike, shoot or use it for other recreational purposes. Nobody wants to change that. They never bothered anybody. Mr. Dalessio summarized that this decision is up to the landowner. The Town of Walpole does not have a specific noise ordinance. Mr. Hewes clarified that the Police Department will respond if a property owner calls in but they cannot respond to third party callers. Mr. Patch proposed to Mrs. Spivey that he would like to handle this himself. If she has a situation, Mrs. Spivey should call him and he will immediately respond. Mr. Dalessio felt the two landowners could work together to keep this under control.
Mr. Michael Beam advised that a landowner has put up a locked gate on the Old Stage Road. Mr. Dalessio noted that the RSA is clear about locked gates on Class 6 roads. They will take a look at it as they were not familiar with the gate.
PATRICIA RODRIGUES and JOHN CORDUFF: Ms. Rodrigues, a resident of Westmoreland, asked the Selectboard if they had received their copy of the letter she had sent to the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA). She then distributed a copy of that letter, dated November 16, 2016, and read it for the record. She has looked through the Walpole Ordinances and rules regulating excavation. For clarification Mr. Dalessio stated that the Town of Walpole ZBA or the Planning Board does not issue any permits for blasting. Ms. Rodrigues was to have been notified of any blasting by either the Police Chief or Fire Chief at least 24 hours in advance as mandated by law and this did not happen. Mr. Dalessio said the Chief then talked to the owners. Ms. Rodrigues will be notified in the future. At least for now, the blasting has been resolved. The Alteration of Terrain Permit gives the right to blast. The Town of Walpole has no enforcement officers. The Selectboard is not qualified to go down into the pit and say they are blasting more than they should. They rely on the DES (Department of Environmental Services) to do their inspections in accordance with their permits. This information has been given to the ZBA; this is in their prevue; they will have to answer those questions, not the Selectboard’s.
Mrs. Rodriguez referenced Section 12 of the zoning ordinance that states that “it shall be the duty of the Selectboard”. Part II says that the Selectboard are the enforcers. Mr. Dalessio pointed out that the Selectboard will ask the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) to respond to this letter. If they find that this is all well-founded, correct, and if there is a violation, the Selectboard will take the necessary steps. The experts in the Town of Walpole are the ZBA members. Ms. Pam Clark, a resident of Westmoreland, said this has been going on for over three years; it was presented to the ZBA and the Planning Board in this town. Mrs. Pschirrer pointed out that it is the Westmoreland side that sets the hours of operation. They have a letter from Westmoreland that sets standards for this operation. Ms. Rodrigues replied that lately it has been on the Walpole side. Mr. Dalessio explained that this first became their issue about two weeks ago when Ms. Rodrigues and Mr. Corduff came in about the hours of operation. The Selectboard did inquire and got a letter from Westmoreland. This is the first list of concise things that he has seen. A letter of deficiency does not necessarily require action from the Town of Walpole. Mr. Dalessio noted that they have taken action to clarify the tax cards. The rail trail cut is a state matter. Mrs. Pschirrer summarized that they received a copy of the letter, they will read it to verify the information and then they will talk to the ZBA. They will then respond to Ms. Rodrigues. Mr. Dalessio pointed out that they have her letter and the ZBA also has Ms. Rodrigues’ letter. The Selectboard will ask the ZBA to answer all the questions, do their homework and they will come up with answers. It all has to be verified and researched before they can answer any questions. It could take a month or two as the ZBA only meets once a month.
Ms. Rodrigues said she had previously asked for the hours of operation in Walpole. Mr. Dalessio replied that they got the hours from the Town of Westmoreland for her and the Town of Walpole hours are the same as Westmoreland’s. If there is a violation of hours, Ms. Rodrigues should call the Police Department. Mr. Dalessio asked Ms. Rodrigues to please call Mrs. Sarah Downing to ask to be put on future Selectboard agendas.
Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable check register in the amount of $153,101.19 for checks dated November 18, 2016. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
(Note: This holds in abeyance the check to the Fall Mountain Regional School District until taxes come in.)
Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Payroll voucher for the week ending November 12, 2016, in the amount of $22,280.59 for checks dated November 18, 2016. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
Mrs. Pschirrrer moved to accept the electronic fund transfer for the 941 Employer Taxes for Withholding, MEDI and FICA taxes in the amount of $4,680.90 for the week ending November 12, 2016. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:
SELECTBOARD MEETING – November 10, 2016: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the regular Selectboard meeting of November 10, 2016, with the following addition under Graves Gravel Pit: after “Mrs. Rodrigues” add “a Westmoreland, NH resident”. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With all in favor, the Minutes were approved.
The Selectboard received and reviewed Minutes of the following meetings:
- Walpole Planning Board – November 9, 2016;
- North Walpole Zoning Board of Adjustment – November 10, 2016.
VETERANS’ TAX CREDIT:
Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Veterans’ Tax Credit for Map and Lot # 007-008-000. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
ZBA Appointment RSA 673:12: Mr. Dalessio advised that a change needed to be made to the October 27, 2016 motion under “Tom Murray – ZBA Appointment Notice” as follows:
Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Stelectboard acknowledge the ZBA appointment of Thomas Murray as a regular member for a period of five months beginning November 16, 2016 through the 2017 Town Meeting. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
Wage Review: Mr. Dalessio would like to wait another week before signing this report.
Health Trust – Summary of Benefits and Coverage Agreement: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to authorize the Chair, Mr. Steven Dalessio, to sign the Summary of Benefits and Coverage Agreement for the Health Trust. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
Avitar Tax Map Agreement: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve that the Chair of the Selectboard, Mr. Steven Dalessio, sign the Avitar Tax Map Agreement document for three years. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
Highway Requests for 2016: Mrs. Pschirrer reported that Mr. Rau has enough money in the Maintenance Fund to build a shed that will be used to keep their yard in order and equipment under cover.
A bid came in from Mr. Barry Kilburn of Alstead for a shed at $8,200. Payment will be made in mid-December. The Highway Department has about $8,000 left in paving and they would like to spend it on gravel. $10,000/year never gives them enough to do all the work. Mr. Dalessio and Mr. Aldrich approved these requests.
Budget – Police Department: Mr. Dalessio advised that when they built the budget they put in for a full time police officer. He feels they can pull three months out of the full time officer line because they will not hire anyone until at least April 1st, 2017.
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 at 8:05 PM.
The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 8:09 PM.
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
Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of November 17, 2016, be sealed. Seconded by Mr. Aldrich. With all in favor, the motion was approved.
Mr. Aldrich moved to adjourn this meeting. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With all in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 8:20 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary