TOWN OF WALPOLE
AUGUST 17, 2017
Selectboard Present: Peggy Pschirrer (Chair); Steven Dalessio; Cheryl Mayberry
Also Present: Sarah Downing (Manager of Administration); Rich Kreissle (Manager of Finance), Police Chief Michael Paquette (Police Department); Paul Colburn (Recycling Center), Justine Fafara (Librarian), Justin Cassarino (Director Recreation Department), Sandra Smith (Town Clerk / Tax Collector)
Call to Order: Mrs. Pschirrer called this Staff meeting to order at 5:15 PM in the Walpole Town Hall. She advised this meeting is being recorded. Michael Rau and Eloise Clark were not present. Mr. Rau and the Highway Department crew are doing paving. Chief Paquette mentioned Valley Road and Cheshire Turnpike are beautiful.
Selectboard Office: Mrs. Downing provided the following report dated August 17, 2017:
- Avitar Associates conducted site visits as part of the field review process from 8/10/17 through 8/16/17. The field review process is a final check of data previously collected. Avitar is comparing all homes to the sale properties and adjusting to ensure consistency and equity. This is the final step before creating draft property cards.
- The Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) is in Walpole doing field work on qualified sales through 8/18/17.
- Letters will be sent in late August to property owners with the online address to view and download draft property cards. A phone number will be included with a date range for making appointments to meet with the Avitar assessors at the Town Hall to discuss the updated property cards.
Water and Sewer:
- Demand of Payment Notices for accounts that are over 60 days overdue were mailed on 8/14/17.
- Water and/or Sewer Lien and Water Disconnect Notices have been created and revised. The Selectboard is working with Mrs. Jodi Daigle and Mrs. Downing on this. Final approval of the notices’ text and process are pending.
Town Hall Facilities:
- The Town Hall foundation has been sealed. The south side entrance ramp had damage areas filled. It also is being sealed to help reduce weather and salt damage.
- Landscaping clean-up and spot painting occurred over the month.
- The Town Hall exterior signs are being recreated. They are looking very weathered.
Save the Dates:
- Sunday, September 10th will be the Appreciation BBQ for Town of Walpole employees and volunteers. Families are invited. Invitations will be sent out. You can bring a dessert to share. Pit Stop BBQ will cater again. At noon there will be appetizers; lunch will be at 1:00 pm. It will be BYOB. It will be held at Whitcomb Park. Rain location: Town Hall.
- Friday, October 20th will be a HealthTrust Benefits presentation to all full-time Town employees. There will be a new presenter this year. Mandatory attendance is required for this employee group. It will be in the afternoon from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.
- Friday, November 3rd is the annual Harassment Awareness Training for all Town of Walpole employees. There will be more inter-active activity. It will be in the afternoon from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Attendance is mandatory. If an employee cannot attend this training, a certificate of attendance for an online course or training with another group can be submitted.
- In December there may be a Wellness event that might include a healthy lunch. It may include stress reduction or healthy eating presentation.
Recreation Department: Mr. Justin Cassarino submitted the following report dated August 17, 2017.
- Gave them some problems in the middle of July where they had to close for a few days. He did not feel like the filters were circulating/turning the water enough, which was causing some of the cloudiness. The manufacturer of the filters is being contacted. He is now doing business with a local person, Aqua Blue, and it is working great.
- State came for the inspection and was very happy with everything. The only new requirement is that they mark the pipes with arrows to show the flow of the water.
- Held an hour training with two workers from Cheshire Medical about smoking and how to approach patrons about it if they are smoking on park grounds. The kids got t-shirts and had their pictures taken. An article was written on this.
- Spoke with Mike Rau about putting three of the signs up when he gets a break from paving. They currently have three up at the school parks that they use for recreation as well.
- The pool will be closing on either the 25th or 26th. He is waiting to hear back from two lifeguards about their availability. A lot are leaving for college and starting athletics at the high school. They also have to return the AED to the school before the 29th. Pschirrer asked if it would be easier for them to have their own AED; they should have their own. Mr. Cassarino talked to Mr. Mark Houghton about this. Mr. Dalessio thought they could buy two or three.
- Season went very well and Championship Night was a huge success. Close to 100 people were at the pool and game that night.
- Diamond Pizza donated 18 pizzas to the event. They will develop a thank you note and ask the Selectboard to sign it.
- Candy Bar Bingo was a lot of fun. They had between 40 to 50 people participated in the event. Kids asked if they could do it again. This will be a new family night that they will do throughout the year.
- They would like to have one last event on the last day that the pool will be open. They will be doing laser tag and an inflatable obstacle course. The request is being presented tonight with an additional insurance coverage through the company. Thought that this would be a fun way to end the summer.
- Had a soccer meeting with the other three coordinators to discuss rule changes, set-up, and expectations for this upcoming season.
- Sign-ups will be held at the beginning of September.
Mr. Kreissle had passed out all the budget worksheets. Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned if the Department Heads have questions when working on their budget talk to Mr. Kreissle. She also asked them to think about Warrant Articles. The Selectboard would like to start the budget process early.
Police Department: Police Chief Michael Paquette submitted a report for the period of July 16, 2017 to August 15, 2017. They went through some construction in the building but are waiting for a door and there are still a few other things to do. This past year they purchased equipment and guns; they are like a high-end paint ball gun that hurts when you are hit. They do training on this. He got a letter requesting more police presence in the Village of Walpole for traffic enforcement. He set it up with dispatch so they will know when they are doing this so they can accurately keep a record of time on Main Street. They have some unmarked cars but he has decided to have them marked. He goes through the Village multiple times during the day. He has talked about getting one of the radar signs; they have the potential to record the speed, take a photo of the car, etc. They can make a decision about whether to give a ticket or a warning. Mrs. Pschirrer is concerned about increased traffic when Mascoma Bank opens their drive-thru. Emergency vehicles go around that corner. They made a few arrests the night of the Rockingham Old Home Days fireworks. Bellows Falls praised them for keeping the traffic flow moving after the fireworks. From the stats they are down on many issues. It varies month-to-month but it cannot be predicted. There were 325 calls for Service.
- Public Safety Calls:
Emergency Calls – 47 Administration – 47 Citizen Assists – 67
- Motor Vehicle Calls:
Accidents – 9 MV Stops – 57 Traffic Safety – 24
- Criminal Investigations:
Drugs/Alcohol – 14 Crimes Against a Person – 47 Crimes Against Property -13
They have some applicants so are hoping to run another test at the end of next month. They are actively trying to find another full-time officer.
Town Clerk / Tax Collector: Mrs. Sandy Smith submitted the following report dated August 17, 2017.
They collected $103,993.77 in taxes and interest since the last staff meeting.
Money is coming in slowly as they only have $643,669.94 uncollected. This includes timber tax warrants, their 2016 and older liens. Taxes are never all paid in full. They are doing great! Looking forward to the next billing.
Town Clerk has collected $59,569.64 total for this same time period. She has had Meghan telephoning delinquent dog owners and they are getting some results. They collected $467.50 in dog license fees since the last staff meeting. This includes late fees of $1.00 per month. Most people thank them for the calls and then they have “those” that will never license their dogs!
They collected $1,890.00 in Municipal Agent fees; this is money the town receives because they completely register your vehicle. The customer pays $3.00 per vehicle to avoid driving to Keene DMV to complete the process. They issue the decals and the plates.
She has spent hours researching the One Check System and speaking with people at the state—and they are moving forward. Their tentative date is Oct 1st. The customer will write only one check to pay for their registration. This should save some time. They will collect the State money and Rich will transfer that directly to the State account. If a check does not clear, they will have to collect the check and the fees. The state said they do not have to accept any checks that they have had a problem with in the past.
After just a few weeks with the One Check System, they will start accepting credit cards for Motor Vehicles, Vital Records and dogs. People are really looking forward to using cards. They will have a system that accepts cards with the “chip”.
Meghan is on vacation this week and she will be out beginning the 21st and then she will have the Town Clerks conference in September.
At 5:50 p.m. she just issued a Marriage License to a wonderful young couple that will be married Saturday here in Walpole! They are always doing something different.
Walpole Town Library – August 16, 2017. Mrs. Justine Fafara provided the following report.
July 2016 Stats: July 2017 Stats:
23 Days Open 24 Days Open
1663 People 1753 People
2484 Circ 2536 Circ
38 Programs 41 Programs
228 Kids 228 Kids
172 Adults 215 Adults
445 website visitors 403 website visitors
July 2016 Avg. 72 ppl & 108 circ per day July 2017 Avg: 73 ppl & 106 circ per day
11 people per program 11 people per program
Two of three of their warrant article projects are done. Houghton’s is coming August 31st to install new lighting in three rooms.
They are starting some new programs in September. Our Maker Play program on Wednesday after school has grown, and the kids are older so they will be splitting it into two programs. Younger kids on Mondays after school and older kids on Wednesdays after school. They will be starting game nights on Tuesdays. Teen coloring will continue on Fridays.
They have a 3D printer on loan from the state library through the end of September so they are planning to do a few programs with it for both kids and adults. She has to go to trainings on the software and will be the keeper of the Coops’ 3D printer and the coordinator. It is booked in other libraries through the end of the year and then will be back in Walpole.
Mrs. Fafara mentioned if anyone asks if the library has glasses for the eclipse they no longer have any. The kids at the Library made eclipse viewers out of cereal boxes but you have to stand with your back toward the sun. It was a great project.
Recycling Center: Mr. Paul Colburn reported some needed repairs were made to the glass crusher. The spring broke on the big roll up door a few weeks ago so they needed to get a new one; it was an added expense. The buildings were painted and they got two new doors. The two Hooper youth will be leaving soon; they worked out very well. Tom and he went to an electronics class in Swanzey. They talked about breaking down some of the components, capture some of the revenue from them, etc. It was good to go to that. Quite a bit of cardboard was shipped out; the price is good. Recently they took in quite a bit of metal and prices are pretty good. The Highway Department is very busy so they have been using their equipment to do a few projects This month they had 60 volunteer positions and 18 were vacant. The WRAP Committee is shrinking; it has been quite a while since they had a quorum at a meeting. He is actively seeking a new baler. The cost is about $80,000+ but the old one will generate some revenue even though it is about 30 years old with some issues. It is an essential piece of equipment for their work.
Mr. Colburn distributed the “3 Year Comparison to Recyclables” and the “Daily Weight Report and 3 Year to Date Comparison” worksheets. He explained the figures on the Revenues sheet. They have been getting in “other stuff” such as propane tanks that does not fit into the regular categories. The C & D was unusually big this month and will be shipped out soon. The revenues have been doing well. Recyclables vary months-to-month.
Mr. Kreissle generated a Monthly Report on Recycling Revenues as of August 16, 2017. The budget figure is $166,350.00; the Actual to-date is $103,663.76.
Highway Department: Mr. Rau was unable to attend due to the paving work but submitted the following report for the period of July 19, 2017 to August 16, 2017:
- Cold patched;
- Serviced trucks and equipment;
- Pulled out and picked-up trash cans on Common;
- Road side mowing;
- Road sweeping;
- Truck #4 and Truck #7 went to Reed’s for repairs;
- Picked up ash from the Recycling Center;
- Met with USDA engineer in regards to Butternut Brook;
- Engineers are prepared to start with plans regarding the Alstead Center road culvert;
- Paving –
- County Road
- Old Stage Road
- Thompson Road
- Colonial Drive
- Valley Road
- Cheshire Turnpike.
Adjournment: Mrs. Pschirrer closed this Staff Meeting at 6:05 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary