TOWN OF WALPOLE
JUNE 21, 2018
Selectboard Present: Peggy Pschirrer (Chair); Steven Dalessio; Cheryl Mayberry
Staff Present: Sarah Downing (Manager of Administration); Michael Rau (Highway Department); Chief Michael Paquette (Police Department); Lt. Justin Sanctuary (Police Department); Rich Kreissle (Manager of Finance); Justine Fafara (Library); Kevin Pinsonault (Recycling Center)
Staff Absent: Sandy Smith (Town Clerk/Tax Collector); Justin Cassarino (Recreation Department); Rebecca Whippie (Hooper Institute)
Public Present: Ray Boas
CALL TO ORDER: Mrs. Pschirrer called this Staff Meeting to order at 5:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall. She advised this meeting is being recorded.
Mrs. Pschirrer had asked several Department Managers to report on some projects they are involved in. Sarah, Paul (absent) but Kevin is filling in, Justine and Sandy (sick).
Selectboard Office: Mrs. Downing is going to talk about Current Use – Overview and Audit.
• In order to preserve open space in the State of NH, in 1973 the legislature passed several RSA;s (79-A-1, 2, 3, etc.) that would allow for the reduction of the tax value for qualifying land based on a current use rate or value.
• The legislature, per the RSA, felt that open space imposed low or no cost to local government.
• It also allowed for a method to conserve space that may have been forced to be developed due to the financial pressures of full taxation.
• There are health, work and recreation benefits to preserving open outdoor space.
• In Walpole, this RSA allowed for 14,692 acres to be placed in current use.
• Approximately 4,000 acres are qualified as farmland which is cleared land such as hay, corn or grazing fields. In Walpole there are 21,875 acres; 67% of the land in Walpole is in CU.
• 462 acres are unproductive or wetlands. These lands have access issues, are swampy, have extreme slopes or extremely rocky.
• Remainder of the acreage is pine or hardwood forests of which 77% is unmanaged.
• A managed forest requires a forestry plan be submitted with the current use application and be updated. Costly; only large property owners get a return on their investment (ROI).
• A recreation credit which allows for a 20% reduction current use value is an option.
o 4,428 acres in CU in Walpole have the recreation credit.
o No Trespassing signs cannot be posted if this option is elected.
o No prohibition of fishing, hunting, hiking, skiing, snow shoeing, etc.
o Motorized vehicle can be prohibited.
o Once the recreation credit is removed, property is not eligible for the credit for 3 years.
• Valuation is based upon the income producing capability of the land for growing forest or agricultural crops; not real estate market or Ad Valorum value.
• Intents to Cut Timber permits are allowed on property that is in current use.
• Intents to Excavate, driveway and building permits disturb open space. Disturbed areas will be removed from current use.
• To add land to current use, a property owner fills out a BTLA A-10 form, submit a map of the area with developed areas measured, the types of open land i.e. unmanaged pine, and include a check for filing the approved form with the Cheshire County Registry of Deeds.
• 10 acres must be undisturbed. It can be a single lot or be a combination of adjoining lots with the same owner. If one lot sold to a new owner, all lots will come out of current use.
• LUCT incurred when land is taken out of CU. It is 10% of the land’s market value.
• The first $25,000 of LUCT taxes each year is deposited in the Conservation Fund.
Audit of property in current use to be conducted this summer. Will confirm:
o Minimum acreage requirement is being met
o Contiguous properties must have same owner name
o Recreation credit – need confirmation is elected or not.
o Managed forests – undated forestry plans will be required including tree farm certification..
Current use files need updating and research; will be a time-consuming process
259 current use property owners will be receiving notices.
Current use rates increased in 2018 for all categories except for farmland.
Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned there are also many Conservation Easements in Town. Most Conservation Easement lands can also be put in Current Use.
Recycling Center: Mr. Kevin Pinsoneault made the following report:
• They bought the LED lights and about half have been installed. It was a great investment.
• A thank you was extended to the Highway Department for helping pack cans;
• The department, including Cheryl, went to a NRRA Conference in Concord for continued education; there are some new things they started after that. They are now taking “peanuts” but not Styrofoam containers.
• Three Hooper Summer Program youth are signed up to work at the Center. The parents have to be present when they are meeting with the youth. There is a process they go through. They will not work until all the paperwork has gone through the Institute and office. The youth will be doing painting, sorting bottles, separating returnables, a little bit of everything but they will not be allowed to go near machinery or anything with working parts. They would be happy to have a few more youth.
• They are on target for delivery of the new bailer next month. All four employees will try to go to Peterborough in the next 2-or-3 weeks and watch the operation so they know how it works before they actually take delivery. There will be training.
• Their commercial products are extremely busy right now. It will make the new bailer worthwhile. They expect to double the output with the new bailer.
The Recycling Center submitted a monthly report on Quantities, Types of Product and Waste Shipped. “The Daily Weight Report and 3 Year to Date Comparison” plus the “3 Year Comparison to Recyclables” were also distributed.
Walpole Town Library: Mrs. Justine Fafara submitted a report for the month of June 2018.
Inter-Library Loans: Mrs. Fafara reported the loan system has been down since September 6, 2017. This is how they have been getting books from other libraries around the State. They do 11,000 requests a month state-wide so the system being down is a huge problem. Every month there are a lot of phone calls and emails trying to find certain books. The State Library finally put out the Request for Proposal (RFP) last week. They are going to have demos from vendors the middle of August and then the evaluation team goes through all the demo scores, they select a vendor and the contract negotiations begin. The recommendation goes through the Department of Internal Technology and the Attorney General’s Office. After they approve the contract, it goes to the Governor and the Executive Council who have to approve it. Final approval by the Governor is expected on October 17th. Mrs. Pschirrer said it probably will not start until 2019. It has increased Mrs. Fafara’s work load; it is time consuming. There are three book clubs that meet at the Library and seven other book clubs in Town; there are at least ten book clubs all together. When she begins to look for a book for one of the book clubs she has to find enough copies for all their members. She has gone almost a year without something that is in high demand. Mrs. Fafara mentioned every library in the State is sorting through hundreds of emails that have nothing to do with you but you have to read them in case they do.
Mrs. Fafara advised they are working on three grants. They are about $140,000 away from their goal for the expansion/renovation project. Hopefully grants will make up most of this amount. An LCHIP Grant was submitted for $49,000; they should have an answer in November. In order to apply for an LCHIP Grant you either have to be on the National Historic Registry or the State Historic Registry; The Library is now on the State Historic Registry. There will be a plaque on the building outside. They applied for a $10,000 grant and are working on three other grant applications now; through NH Charitable Foundation for $60,000 ($20,000/years for three years). C & S has a grant and they are applying for $25,000. Mascoma Bank has a small grant for $1,000. They hope to have the $448,000 to start by next May 2019. Mrs. Pschirrer noted people are still making contributions. Mrs. Fafara said they have T-shirts for $15.00 and tote bags for $20.00 for sale at the Library.
Mrs. Fafara submitted a monthly report on the attendance at the Library. Physical circulation is down a little bit but overdrive circulation just about evens it out.
Police Department: Police Chief Mike Paquette provided a report from May 16, 2018 to June 15, 2018. Chief Paquette reported they were asked to host the NH Cheshire and Sullivan Counties Police Chief’s Association meeting by the President. This was the first time the two counties held this event together. In the past, each county met separate once a month. This was the first time in his eight years as Chief that he was asked to host an event. He had a lot of help and thanked everyone who worked so hard. It was a tremendous success. It went well. They served about 50 breakfasts. The tables were decorated in a blue and gold theme with flowers. There were County Attorneys from both counties, many Chiefs, Sheriff’s Deputies, Corrections Officers and the Director of the NH Police Academy, Drug Enforcement Representatives, plus representatives from the Attorney General’s office, etc. The guest speaker was from Foxboro, Massachusetts who spoke on “How to Bridge the Gap in Law Enforcement Today”. It was great. Lt. Sanctuary mentioned many attendees spoke about the support this department gets from their Selectboard. Mr. Dalessio noted we are a team and want to keep going in a good direction. He was impressed with the event. Mrs. Pschirrer felt people attending were impressed.
• Police Safety Calls:
Emergency Calls – 32 Administrative –
• Motor Vehicle Calls
Accidents – 9 MV Stops – 98 Traffic Safety – 36
• Criminal Investigations:
Drugs/Alcohol – 29 Crimes Against People – 50 Crimes Against Property – 30
Manager of Finance: Mr. Rich Kreissle requested that all employees review their pay slips and if anybody has questions about their vacation/sick hours contact him through their Department Head. They will set a time to sit down and talk about the discrepancy. He will do quarterly reports on the hours. Also distributed were copies of the Expenditure Comparison Summary for the Year Ending December 31, 2018 As of June 20, 2018, the Consolidated Statement of Activity, and Recycling Revenues Monthly Report as of June 20, 2018.
Highway Department: Mr. Mike Rau, Highway Superintendent, advised they had call-outs for trees down. For two days they were cleaning-up after that one storm. North Walpole had some damage. There were power outages in the Town. Per Mark Houghton, the Fire Department had about 30+ calls.
Mr. Rau submitted a report from May 17, 2018 to June 20, 2018, as follows:
• Serviced trucks and equipment;
• Installed Road Signs;
• Did Cold Patching;
• Changed out winter tires;
• Mowed Town properties;
• Removed downed trees from wind storm 6/18/18;
• Graded, graveled, and put chloride down on dirt roads;
• Fixed sink hole on Old Keene Road;
• Installed new bike racks;
• Fixed Catch Basins;
• Painted Crosswalks, No Parking and Handicap spaces;
• Road sweeping for painting and paving;
• VT Road Works sweeping in villages;
• Street Lines Painted;
• Paved in culvert cuts;
• Crushed metal in dumpster at Recycling Center (2 times);
• Fixed sink hole on Westminster Street.
Hooper Institute: Ms. Rebecca Whippie was unable to attend this meeting but submitted a Hooper Institute School Programs for Primary grades Pre-K through 4. This included a detailed three page document for the period of January –June 2018. Also submitted was a Director’s report from Eloise Clark – Winter-Spring 2018 for the Fifth and Sixth Grades and an Administration Duties/Non-School activities summary. These reports are available in the Selectboard office.
Walpole Recreation: Mr. Justin Cassarino, Recreation Department, was unable to attend. He submitted the following report dated June 21, 2018.
• Stephanie passed her CPO class, so our pool is now CPO certified.
o This is not required in HH, but the State Inspectors always encourage it.
• Pool House has been repainted on the inside
• Looking to see if Kelly Lawn Care would be interested in taking care of the bushes and mulching areas of the park for us.
• Opened with modified hours on Monday (12-6) and will officially be opening on Friday (12-8) to the public.
• Changed their hours to open sooner and start open swim earlier for the public.
o Pool closes at 7:00 on Sundays to have a lifeguard training.
• In the process of having the pool be Red Cross Certified. This will allow them to hold trainings and also have their swim instructors log their hours.
• HUGE thank you to Paul for coming down and taking the trash. They will be taking the refrigerator this week.
• They have 80 participants this year;
o That is the most that they have ever had;
• Could not find a parent volunteer to coach one team, so he will be doing it.
• The season starts next week!
• Getting dates for community nights throughout the summer;
• Some ideas:
o Trivia Night (adults)
o Daddy Daughter Dance
o Fire/Police Dept. vs Kids Kickball game
o Candy Bar Bingo
o End of summer celebration.
• Backboard was ordered
o Takes 4-5 weeks to be made
o Highway said they would help setting it up when it arrives
Mr. Cassarino told them there is no rush and only when they have a free moment.
• Trying to start a two-week tennis clinic for kids
o Reached out to a resident to see if they would be interested in doing the lessons.
August/September Meetings: Mr. Dalessio suggested the Selectboard make reports on some of their projects in the August or September meeting. Mrs. Pschirrer advised there will not be a Staff meeting in July. They will start talking about the next budget at one of these meetings.
Adjournment: Mrs. Pschirrer thanked everyone for their time and hard work. She closed this Staff Meeting at 5:55 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary