Town of Walpole Staff Meeting – 5/16/19

Selectboard Present:Steven Dalessio (Chair); Peggy Pschirrer; Cheryl Mayberry

 

Staff Present:Sarah Downing (Manager of Administration); Rich Kreissle (Manager of Finance); 

Lt. Justin Sanctuary (Police Department);  Justine Fafara (Library Director); Eloise Clark (Hooper Institute); Justin Cassarino (Recreation Department Director); Ben Hoy (Recycling Center Director); 

 

Excused:Sandra Smith (Town Clerk/Tax Collector); Michael Rau (Road Agent); Chief Michael Paquette (Police Department); 

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mr. Dalessio called this Staff Meeting to order at 5:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall and welcomed everyone.  He advised this meeting is being recorded.

 

Manager of Finance:  Mr. Rich Kreissle had submitted the highlights from the NHGFOA Conference he recently attended. This is the second year that he attended this conference.  

 

Lisa Parker – Senior Project Manager, GASB:

 GASB 87  Government Accounting Standards.  Continuedwork on a new standard for accounting for leases – no longer will distinguish between Capital Leases and Operating Leases (FASB will retain) due to the unique nature of government accounting.  He explained the difference between loans and debt for municipalities.  It is nice for GASB to make it easier for municipalities.  It was an interesting presentation.
 Lean Management:  Presentation of concept of lean management and examples of implementation in government.  More likely to be applied in larger municipalities.  It is a process for better efficiency.
 Fiscal Policy Case Study:  City of Dover’s experience of determining the need, process, and implementation of rewriting their fiscal policy as a result of the Great Recession.
 Fraud Prevention:  Peter Begin – VP Security Fraud Prevention Officer – Mascoma Bank – presented on various ways scammers will attempt to scam you – lots of “war stories” from participants who’ve experienced the samesituation.
 FLSA:  Presented by Steven McKinney (Community Outreach & Resource Planning Specialist) on Federal Labor Standards Act – well attended; many questions – a 1-hour presentation that could have been longer.  

Audit:

Continue to work with Jennifer Dorr, audit manager to tie up a few loose ends. Work progresses based upon when she’s in the office and able to continue to work on our information.

 

Retro Pay:

Employees have received retro pay with new pay rates enacted.  There were no questions regarding calculations. As always, Rich is available to address any concerns, questions or suggestions.   

 

Mr. Dalessio asked department managers to check and keep track of their budgets and to check seasonal expenses.  It will be a tight year. We would like to end the year within budget.  

 

Recreation Department: Mr. Cassarino proved the following report:

Pool:

 Stephanie Green is back and is working on setting up a class for lifeguards to get their recertification//certification while using our pool.
 Ralph (Aqua Blue) is going to help with the opening of the pool again; the cover will be taken off this week-end but the water cannot be turned on until a pipe is repaired.
 Their goal is to open by the last day of school, June 14th.
 They are going to be sitting down to discuss the hours of the pool. Possibly start open swim earlier for the public.

Clinics:

 Both clinics have been going very well and they have received a lot of compliments.  There are over 100 youth participating in the programs.

WSBL:

 Sign-ups start this week (Friday & Saturday);

Men’s Basketball League:

 A lot of teams said they are interested in doing it, but are waiting to collect money and for full commitments;
 Will continue to push it on Facebook page.

Court:

 Basketball court is going to be ripped up within the next week;
 Highway said it will take a day to do the paving for them;

Company is going to try and come up to post the area for us;

Company said it will take two clear/nice days to finish the court.

 

Selectboard Office:  Mrs. Downing submitted the following Staff Meeting Report, dated May 16, 2019:

Assessing Update:

 Final edits and adjustments to tax credits for changes that occurred between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019 have been completed.
 The spring tax warrant will be signed on May 16th.  The warrant will then be given to the Tax Collector to allow tax billing to occur.
 The revaluation process is continuing with a new 20% section of Walpole being visited by Avitar Associates this year.  This area includes Valley Road, Upper Walpole Road, Dearborn Circle, Old North Main Street and High Street.
 Avitar Associates posted letters to property owners to allow for an “opt-out” of measurements and internal viewings of buildings.  The Selectboard Office has created a spreadsheet to share with the field assessor. The deadline for submissions is 5/16/19.  They are expecting field assessing to begin on the 17th or soon thereafter.
 The Selectboard office has been fielding questions regarding why an Avitar Associates assessor is revisiting properties so soon after the 2017 revaluation project.  The Selectboard signed a contract with Avitar Associates which allows for 20% of the Town’s properties to be revaluated over a 5-year period.  This agreement reduced the overall cost for revaluation which is required by RSA.
 Although property assessments do influence property taxation, the tax rate which changes every year, has a high influence on the billing. For those with concerns regarding taxation, contacting elected officials to discuss your concerns is an option.  Mr. Dalessio suggested having a sheet of questions frequently asked with answers for people to pick up.  If they still have questions they can come back-in.  

 

Water and Sewer:

 Water and sewer bills for 1st quarter use in 2019 are due on or before May 30th. 
 Fire Hydrant flushing is to occur 5/15 through 5/17/19.

Emergency Plan Updates/Reviews:

 The Local Emergency Operation Plan Update will begin in early September.  Lisa Murphy of Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC) will be assisting the Town with the update.

Town Hall Facilities:

 New efficient light bulbs were installed on the second floor of the Town Hall.  The light fixtures were also cleaned.
 Electrical and wiring updates occurred related to the fire alarm system and to allow phone and internet access to the library.
 Hostas that were donated by Marilyn Wilking were planted around the Holiday Tree at the north end of the common.  The area was mulched.  We are seeking donations of Stella de Oro day lilies which perpetually bloom in the summer. 
 Books are arriving from the library and are being delivered to the second floor of the Town Hall.  The library is to be “open for business” in the Town Hall starting June 3rd.  

 

Walpole Library:  Mrs. Justine Fafara reported that April was a good month.  She handed out the Walpole Town Library Monthly Statistics for April.  Construction is expected to start on May 28th.  They are packing stuff up.  They now have quite a few volunteers to help with the packing and the move. Friday, May 31st is the moving day from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Women of Walpole are setting up a refreshment stand.  Mr. Dalessio asked if Mrs. Fafara had talked to the Police Department about blocking and/or posting “No Parking” signs off one side of Westminster Street and “No Parking” in front of this Town Hall building.  Mrs. Fafara mentioned they found a video of the moveable stacks that is on their Facebook page.  Mrs. Fafara thanked Mr. Hoy of the Recycling Center for about 600 banana boxes.       

 

Recycling Center:  Mr. Ben Hoy had distributed copies of the Daily Weights for April and the 2019 Recycling Revenues as of May 15, 2019.  Business has been picking up.  This is a busy time of the year.  This week he shipped out four shipments of commodities.  This month they did the following:

 Hosted a Drug Take Back Day; that was successful;
 Hooper asked them to start picking up recyclables; this has not yet been established;
 Hosted “Green Up” Day when the community collected 184 blue bags, totaling 2,076 pounds;
 They will be hosting the Fire Station/EMS CPR Challenge on May 25 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.   Mr. Dalessio feels the community outreach effort has been great.  
 Attended a Plastic Panel Meeting.  People questioned the plastic recycling bags however they are a main source of income for the center.  Mr. Dalessio mentioned plastic bags used in the super markets for groceries, etc.    
 Composting; He is considering selling bags of compost.  
 Donated boxes and their time on May 31st for the big Library move.  

 

Hooper Institute:  Mrs. Eloise Clark had submitted the following written report for the May 16, 2019 Staff Meeting:They have about four more weeks of school.

Hooper Institute staff continues to visit each classroom at the Walpole Schools on a weekly basis.  They reach roughly about 250 students per week.  Primary school children have started flower seeds that will be planted in the garden for pollinators.  Students have also planted potatoes, radish seeds, zinnias and harvested asparagus.  North Walpole students have planted popcorn and carrots.  The whiskey barrel planters have been replaced with new ones and are now planted.  Second graders finished their farm designs.  Becky Whippie also did lessons on flowering maples and dandelions as pollinators.

 

WES fifth graders are learning about birds, their anatomy, songs and calls and nesting behavior.  They helped harvest overwintering spinach from the high tunnel and have enjoyed edible pea shoots.  Sixth graders continue to learn about the Connecticut River through lessons about river morphology (the parts of a river) as well as designing a river watershed, then designing a community to inhabit the area. They also studied local topographic maps to look for similarities to their design and what natural resources contributed to development.  Coming up students will learn about plants and animals we may see on our annual trip as well as their habitants.  Eloise Clark will also conduct a water safety lesson for students and parents before the trip on June 6th & 7th.  

 

Preparations for the High School Summer Work Program are well underway.  They have 23 applicants who were interviewed May 7th.  Eloise has placed most of them at work sites for the summer.  Students must now interview with their potential mentors.  If parents and mentors are agreeable students will begin work after the end of school. Mrs. Clark found one new mentor; it is the golf course.  

 

Summer camp plans are underway.  Brochures will go home for all students this month.  The two week camp will be held the weeks of June 17-21 and June 24-28.

 

The work day May 4th at the Community Garden went well.  Some old gardeners returned and new gardeners were welcomed.  There is a $20.00 membership fee.  Many spring chores were accomplished.  

 

Police Department:  Lt. Justin Sanctuary thanked Mr. Hoy for pickup up tires they could no longer use on the cruisers.  It is still vacation time.  The department will be down one person through the summer.   Their new prosecutor started.  She is doing great and working well with their cases.  They have also been working with a new judge.  They now have cases waiting for a few days as this judge does not work on weekends and holidays.  The speed control sign has been out and is operating again.  They have had quite a few requests for it; there is a waiting list.           

 

Public Safety Comparison:

Emergency – 10Administration – 67Citizen Assists – 27

Motor Vehicle Calls:

Accidents – 6MV Stops  109Traffic Safety – 16

Criminal Investigations:

Drugs/Alcohol – 19     Crimes Against People – 29Crimes Against Property -14

 

Total Monthly Calls For Service:  April 16, 2019 to May 14, 2019 – 306 Calls.

. 

Town Clerk/Tax Collector:  Mrs. Smith was unable to attend this meeting but had submitted the following report for the period of April 16th to May 14th.

They have collected $52,246.91 in property taxes.

She executed a Tax Deed on April 25th, to the Town of Walpole.

April 2nd she executed her Tax Lien and Total Notice is doing the search of mortgagees.

They have answered quite a few calls regarding property taxes.

They are scheduled to attend a Town Clerk’s Workshop on May 22nd in Jaffrey.

The Clerk Department has collected $62,189.16.

Dog licenses were $722.00.

Boat registrations $210.16.

They only processed one Marriage License during this period.

She has taken some vacation time and some sick time.

Meghan is planning on some vacation time in June.

 

Highway Department:  Mr. Michael Rau was unable to attend but submitted the following report from April 18, 2019 to May 15, 2019.

 Serviced trucks and equipment;
 Cold patched;
 Crushed dumpster at Recycling Center;
 Cleaned up all Town Commons;
 Graded dirt roads: Hayes Road, Eaton Road, Laclair Road, Alice Smith Road, French Road, Farnum Road, Whipple Hill, Carpenter Hill Road, Crehore Road, Marriam Road, Scovill Road, Derry Hill Road, Ball Road and Angier Road;
 Crushed barrels at Recycling Center;
 Installed tennis court backboard for Recreation Department;
 Painted all crosswalks, parking areas, police station, and fire station;
 Replaced insufficient culverts: 1 Derry Hill Road, 4 on Wentworth Road, 1 on Main Street Walpole, 1 on Mountain View Road in North Walpole;
 Fixed roads in cemetery;
 Fixed ditch on Main Street Walpole.

 

Selectboard Comments:  Mr. Dalessio would like all department managers to start to think about who is second in command.  They should be kept up-to-date on everything.  Ms. Mayberry said cross-training needs to be done.  Who is in charge during vacation time?  Mrs. Pschirrer pointed out that procedural manuals help a lot.   

 

ADJOURNMENT:  Mr. Dalessio declared this meeting adjourned at 6:00 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

 

 

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