TOWN OF WALPOLE
JUNE 15, 2017
Selectboard Present: Peggy Pschirrer (Chair); Steven Dalessio, Cheryl Mayberry
Staff Present: Sarah Downing (Manager of Administration), Rick Kreissle (Manager of Finance); Michael Rau (Road Agent), Police Chief Michael Paquette and Sgt. Justin Sanctuary (Police Department); Sandra Smith (Town Clerk/Tax Collector); Paul Colburn (Recycling Center); Justine Rogers-Fafara (Librarian); Justin Cassarino (Director Recreation Department); Eloise Clark (Hooper Institute); Jodi Daigle (Water/ Sewer and Administrative Assistant)
Call to Order: Mrs. Pschirrer called this Staff meeting to order at 5:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall and welcomed everyone. She advised this meeting is being recorded.
Mrs. Pschirrer reported we are almost six months into the 2017 Budget so we have updated material from Mr. Kreissle. By September 1st the Selectboard would like to see the first draft for their 2018 Budget in addition to any proposed warrant articles. On July 6th at 8:30 am she will be meeting with those who met and worked on the new Personnel Manual to do a review.
Recreation Department: Mr. Cassarino provided the following report:
- Pool is clear and they are starting to clean the pool house;
- Staff is in the process of getting drug tested;
- Hired Aqua Blue to assist with the pool last week as Mr. Cassarino did not have any guards available to help open the pool. The Recreation Committee agreed it was a good idea with all of the events coming up next week – Field Day, Graduation, 6th and 7th grade swim, and Old Home Days; Filters needed to be cleaned at least twice a day;
- He only has ten lifeguards so is still looking to add two more; it is posted on the Town web-site and on the Recreation Department Facebook page.
- They will be open no later than Friday, June 23rd.
- 74 total players, which is more than last year;
- Started practices this week;
- Received 4 sponsors to purchase the kids uniforms; Chroma Technology, Applied Bolting, Jancewicz and Son, and Bowman Dental;
- Games start on June 26th.
- Need to get their “No Smoking” signs put up; Mr. Rau will do this.
- Purchasing equipment for the pool to make it look more updated and easier access for guests to get equipment;
- Looking into helping North Walpole purchase a volley ball net for their park. There has been vandalism at the park. People have worked really hard to clean it up and make improvements; it looks nice. They just did some flower beds. Mr. Dalessio felt if about 30-40% of the youth in North Walpole participate in the Recreation Department activities Mr. Cassarino should be able to use some Revolving Fund money. Cassarino felt the percentage is at least 30-40%. Mr. Dalessio recommended a meeting of Mr. Cassarino, Chief Paquette, Mr. Mike Rau and himself to discuss what can be done to help with the vandalism problem. He feels the area looks great.
Highway Department: Mr. Rau submitted the following report for May 15, 2017 to June 15, 2017.
Culverts were done on Walpole Valley and Cheshire Turnpike. They have done more culverts in a month than were done in an entire year in the past. They have been paved in. They have been measuring and are trying to get the roads back to where they were so no pavement is being wasted. Mr. Rau rented an excavator for the month. The new loader is here; it will work out well.
- Cold patched;
- Serviced trucks and equipment;
- Graded Old Drewsville Road;
- Replaced 23 culverts;
- Cleaned-up trees from wind storm;
- Paved-in cuts for new culverts;
- Opened the fountain;
- Fixed backhoe’s wrist cylinder;
- Met with CLD Engineering for culvert repair on Alstead Center Road; they will do a proposal.
- Swept roads to be paved;
- Cleaned-up tree debris behind Town Hall;
- Crushed dumpsters at Recycling Center;
- Painted crosswalks and parking areas including Middle Street and Main Street; Chief Paquette mentioned they can now starting giving out “No Parking” tickets.
- Paving preparations;
- New 9-1-1 maps were received Tuesday. They went through Town and checked everything. A lot of new things were added. He has a copy for the Selectboard Office and Fire Station. Pschirrer thought the Police Department should have a copy as well. The last update was in 2007.
There will be an informational meeting on the Route 12 Project by the Department of Transportation on Wednesday, June 28th at 7:00 PM at the North Walpole School. Mrs. Pschirrer asked Mr. Rau to attend. Ms. Mayberry also plans to attend.
Town Clerk/Tax Collector: Mrs. Sandy Smith submitted the following report:
They have been very busy during the last month. They executed tax liens in May. They processed the intent to Deed properties. They only had to Deed one property; it has been abandoned for years. Mrs. Smith made phone calls to remind property owners of the deadlines and everyone paid except the one owner. These properties were three years behind in their taxes and are charged 18 percent interest. They pay costs for the certified notices that they have to send. They also pay for searching the Registry for outstanding mortgages and notification of the mortgagees. This procedure is also done for the delinquent properties that they executed a “Lien” on this year. Both procedures are now completed. They do this every year and some of the same properties are always on the list. Sometimes, they do not even have a mortgage.
They mailed a couple of gravel tax bills.
Sarah completed work on the warrant early! She did a great job. This is the earliest that they have ever received it! The Selectboard signed May 11th. State law says they should receive it by May 15th.
They could not start work on the spring taxes until they had finished the deed procedure on Wednesday, May 17th. As soon as they executed their deed, they started work on the billing.
With the assistance of Terry Jo, they imported the warrant, printed the bills and were able to mail them on Friday, May 19th. She wanted this done as soon as possible, as some people pay as soon as they receive their bill. This was a wild couple of days. Meghan was kept very busy tending the phone, registering vehicles and fielding questions. She also assisted in stuffing the bills when she was not busy.
Taxes will be due Monday July 3rd. They have collected $1,224,004.59. The warrant is for $5,611,877.00.
The Town Clerk Department has collected approximately $51,985.00. This includes $369.99 in dog licenses and $212.44 in boat registrations. Auto registrations were $49,958.00. Meghan has been sending letters reminding people to license their dogs.
They are closed on Wednesday to attend the spring workshop for City and Town Clerks held in Jaffrey.
Recycling Center: Mr. Paul Colburn submitted five sheets of data.
He explained the “5 Year Comparison to Recyclables”. They are up from last year and almost up to two years ago. They have done real well with revenues. The furniture factory brought in about 30 mattresses which brought in a lot of money. If the mattresses are able to come apart they capture the steel but the rest goes into the trash. It is a quick process; not a lot of time is spent doing this. Mr. Kreissle did the Recycling Revenue figures as of June 14, 2017. Some months they do more than others. Another graph shows the categories; what was budgeted and the actual to-date. The total budget was estimated at $166,350.00; the Actual to-date is $74,672.23. Metals will be up next month as they just made a shipment; they are waiting to ship plastics.
An open-top container that had been missing for months was found. It will be painted before it is returned and the vendor has given them a container to use in the meantime. The Department attended the NRRA conference for continued education and a better understanding about how Walpole is connected to other areas. Their computer was serviced; it was not done is almost four years. They took compost to the North Walpole Park for their flower beds. They will have five (5) Hooper kids this summer. Relative to the Walpole Clean-up they collected 155 pounds of metal; 53 TVs, 7 tires, 1614 pounds of trash for a total of 78 bags. After that, people cleaned-up by the dam by the river and collected another 13 pounds of metal plus other items. Because they collected some Sure Pack, they were able to fill in some potholes. Chip Wood dropped off less than a cord of wood to be given out. The intent was that the wood be given to someone who needs it. They need to remove ash from the burn pit.
Police Department: Police Chief Michael Paquette distributed copies of their report for the period of May 15 through June 14, 2017. The number of calls for service was 371.
- Public Safety Calls:
Emergency Calls – 49 Administrative – 34 Citizen Assists – 41
- Motor Vehicle Calls:
Accidents – 7 MV Stops – 124 Traffic Safety – 20
- Criminal Investigations:
Drugs/Alcohol – 20 Crimes Against a Person – 54 Crimes Against Property – 22
Sgt. Sanctuary reported that some calls were medical calls. Pistol permits can still be issued but now citizens do not need them so the Administrative number is down. Drugs and Alcohol is up. There is a lot of property damage and thefts. Chief Paquette spoke at the Senior Lunch about Senior Identity Fraud. They will post this on their web-page and Facebook page. Mrs. Pschirrer recommended something be put in the Clarion again. Sgt. Sanctuary mentioned that Drug Take-Back was held at the Fire Department; they collected over 60 pounds; so it went well. Chief Paquette said someday they hope to have a box at the Police Station. There was discussion about drugs and the kinds/ mixtures being found in this area. Packaging keeps changing. Law enforcement is getting attacked; officers could be put in a life threatening situation. Mrs. Pschirrer thanked them for the hard and dangerous work they are doing.
Selectboard Office: Mrs. Sarah Downing submitted the following report:
Water and Sewer:
- Jodi Daigle has joined the Selectboard Office as the Water and Sewer Clerk and Administrative Assistant as of Tuesday, May 30th.
- Meter readings were completed very quickly by Bryan Wetherby of EE Houghton and were downloaded into AccuFund on Wednesday, May 31st.
- Ongoing training on AccuFund billing processes has been occurring;
- Water and Sewer invoices were posted in the mail on Tuesday, June 13th.
- Payments are beginning to be received and deposited.
- Water and sewer user calls are occurring due to the effect of rate increases, usage increases due to late billing and the sewer bond fee. A Question and Answer (Q & A) Sheet for water and sewer inquiries has been created and is being distributed.
- Letters were sent by Avitar to property owners who missed internal inspections of their homes/buildings. Appointments were scheduled and visits were made in May through early June.
- For those who missed making an appointment for an internal inspection or have questions, will have another opportunity to meet with Avitar Assessors. In August, draft property cards will be available online to view and download. Additionally, dates for making appointments with Avitar assessors will also be featured in the letter. Dalessio encouraged all owners to look at their property cards for accuracy and if discrepancies are discovered notify the Selectboard Office.
- The Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) visited on May 26th to gather information for auditing property exemptions and credits.
Town Hall Facilities:
- The Town Hall has been very busy with various functions. It will be off-line for rentals while the Walpole Players production is occurring in June.
Appreciation Gathering for Town Employees and Volunteers:
- A date and type of get together is needed so that planning can move forward with reserving a space and hiring a caterer. Feedback from the Selectboard and Department Managers is being sought. Mrs. Pschirrer suggested setting a date at the next meeting. Last year it was a BBQ.
Hooper Institute: Mrs. Eloise Clark provided the following report. It is time to change from the schools back to the Institute. Mrs. Clark reported they will be finish up at the schools on June 23rd. They will be finishing up the winter part of the garden and aim for fall crops for the students so they can harvest them when they return in September. It is time to move into their Summer Programs. About 80 kids from K through 8th Grade signed up. They will be working on farms and some will be at the Recycling Center. They are paid minimum wage. Mentors like Mr. Paul Colburn help them learn job skills. In addition they learn about plants and animals and work on how to manage their money. The Hooper Institute is not supported by taxpayer dollars. They had a successful fundraiser and businesses in Town sponsor them. They received a generous donation from the NH Charitable Trust. A workday was held on May 13th with Mr. Lew Shelley; a new trail was created on the northwest side of the hill. Mr. Dalessio asked Mrs. Clark to send a copy of their Bi-Annual Report to Mrs. Downing so it can be distributed. It would be good for people to see the great work they are doing in the schools.
Manager of Finance: Mr. Rich Kreissle had distributed copies of his monthly reports. The auditors will be here this week. It is going well.
Library: Mrs. Justine Rogers-Fafara distributed copies of their Summer Reading 2017 at the Walpole Town Library entitled “Build a Better World”. It lists dates, activities and times. Lots of exciting things are planned for this summer. In May of 2017 they were:
- Open 26 days;
- Served 1503 people;
- Circulated 2211 materials;
- Offered 35 programs which served 372 people.
Their average daily people served has gone down from last May by about 5 people and average daily circulation has gone up by about 8 items daily.
Last May, they were circulating fewer Videos (20% of circ) and more Non-Fiction (10% Adult, 4% Kids) but otherwise percentages are very similar.
The Library Board of Trustees is working diligently on an expansion plan. At their meeting Tuesday night they voted to hire an architect, Dan Scully, to best use their space and land they own.
The Library will have a table at Old Home Days on Saturday. They will be passing out library brochures as well as summer reading information and book sale/sorting information.
The Friends Book Sale is scheduled for October 27-29th. They are accepting donations and sorting has started. They have two bays beside the old R.N. Johnson building. Sorting and drop off is Wednesday mornings 9-10am and Thursday afternoons 3-4pm.
One of the 7th & 8th grade teachers sent his reading list over so they can be sure to have those books available. They are working on a display for them so they are easy to see when someone first walks in.
Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned the Library is a busy place; there are lots of people plus kids who are sometimes doing their homework.
In conclusion, Mrs. Pschirrer advised the Selectboard appreciates every employee and the hard work they do. The next meeting will be on Thursday, July 20th at 5:00 PM.
Adjournment: Mrs. Pschirrer closed this meeting at 6:00 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary