Selectboard Present:Steven Dalessio (Chair); Peggy Pschirrer; Cheryl Mayberry
CALL TO ORDER: Mr. Dalessio called this meeting of the Selectboard to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall. He advised this meeting is being recorded and asked anyone wishing to speak to identify themselves for the record. There were five members of the public in attendance.
RIGHT OF WAY ON RAMSAY HILL ROAD: Mr. Neil Coughlin and Mrs. Judy Coughlin were present to sign their deed and to watch the Selectboard sign the Town’s Deed for a Right Of Way change on Ramsay Hill Road. Mr. Dalessio noted this is to straighten out an old issue. Mr. Gary Smith, an abutter, was also present to request a delay in proceeding with regard to this matter as he may have superior title to the property. As an abutter, he was given no formal notice about this change and only recently learned of this proposed arrangement to dispose of public lands to private parties. There are multiple covenants on these two properties. Therefore, Mr. Smith requested a delay to allow time for his attorney to ensure his rights are protected. Copies of Mr. Smith’s letter dated August 15, 2019 were distributed.
At the request of Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Coughlin gave a summary of the history on this land going back to the time when Mr. Smith decided to purchase his property. When Mr. and Mrs. Coughlin subdivided last year, they wanted to check on the 50-foot right of way on the eastern side. When checking through the paperwork, it was discovered that Pam Potter had signed the Quit Claim Deed at the time but never had it recorded. It needed to be resolved. The lawyer was consulted and made recommendations to resolve it. All they are doing is cleaning up what they thought was taken care of several years ago.
Mr. Smith lives on the end of the road; he came there for the privacy. He just wants to protect what he can. He asked for a little time for his attorney, Sam Bradley, to review the paperwork. Two weeks would be suitable. Mr. Dalessio explained this is an old matter. Therefore, they would like to resolve it as soon as possible. Mrs. Sarah Downing should be copied on the correspondence. It was agreed to reschedule this on the agenda for the meeting on Thursday, August 29th at 8:00 AM.
CHERYL WATSON: Mrs. Cheryl Watson appreciated Mrs. Pschirrer’s comments in the last Selectboard meeting minutes about exploring economic development. These comments are gathering citizen input. Her concern is that some types of development will be stifled by the unfair local press. At the recent Planning Board meeting, some ideas were disparaged with comments like “we don’t want/ the whole community doesn’t want you”. Walpole does not appear to be a business ravaged town and she would like to bring this to the attention of the Town Selectboard. Some of us value and welcome economic development. A sensible tax base is needed without devaluing and alienated potential investors. She thanked the Selectboard for listening. Mr. Dalessio thanked her for coming in and expressing her feelings. As Mrs. Watson knows, he was at the Planning Board and felt some public comments made were out of order. There are better ways to accomplish development than with harassment. Mrs. Watson said that is how she would view it as well. To have an open public community discussion needs to be set-up by the Selectboard or by an independent individual/group. It is not the responsibility of a local business to call a community forum. Those conversations are welcome. She doesn’t believe that people who are expressing what the whole community wants covers the whole community. On any single topic, all of us might have a different opinion. We should be welcome to all opinions. Mr. Dalessio noted this Selectboard is in favor of smart growth. Mrs. Pschirrer advised we only have about 30 acres of commercial property left. We have to think about economic development for the future of this Town because the State continues to increase the demands on our budgets for our taxpayers. We need viable businesses coming into Town to help pay for those taxes. Mrs. Watson said the focus had been on just Walpole, but the area includes the river and the proximity to Westminster and Bellows Falls. Mrs. Pschirrer said anyone doing a study would go beyond the Walpole’s town limits. Mr. Dalessio said Walpole has distinct advantages. Our land is relatively flat along Route 12. That makes site work very inexpensive. Until recently we had three easy accesses to Route 91 – the Arch Bridge, Vilas Bridge and Westminster Bridge. People will always be looking at this area so we need to be smart about what we do and how we do it. Mr. Dalessio noted the Selectboard is very glad Mr. and Mrs. Watson came in.
Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the amount of $703,152.88 for checks issued August 16, 2019. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
The above includes a monthly payment in the amount of $563,787.00 to the Fall Mountain Regional School District.
Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending August 10, 2019, in the amount of $31,698.48 for checks issued August 16, 2019, and the electronic fund transfer for the 941 Employer Taxes in the amount of $6,213.15. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:
SELECTBOARD MINUTES – August 8, 2019: Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of August 8, 2019, as submitted. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the Minutes were approved.
NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION – August 8, 2019: Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of August 8, 2019, as submitted. These Minutes will remain sealed. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the Minutes were approved.
The Selectboard received and reviewed Minutes of the following meetings:
Water & Sewer Receipts to Date: The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the Water and Sewer Receipts from Mrs. Jodi Daigle. To date $58,421.18 or 34.9% of the $166,981.41 billed for Quarter 2 – 2019 has been collected.
Cemetery Deed for Lots D497, D498 and D499: The Selectboard resigned the Cemetery Deed for Lots D497, D498 and D499. A name spelling correction was required
Purchase Order for Windows and Doors by Brownell: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to sign the purchase order with Windows & Doors by Brownell for the windows for the south end of the second floor of the Town Hall in the amount of $3,260.00. Seconded by Ms. Mayberry. With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
Recreation Committee Appointment Notice: This appointment for Mr. Brian Beckwith to the Recreation Committee was approved during the meeting last week. The Selectboard signed the official Appointment Notice at this meeting.
Assented Motion to Dismiss – M & L Asphalt Services: The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the Assented Motion to Dismiss from the 8th Circuit-District Division-Keene Court for M & L Asphalt Services.
Rescheduling Legislative Update with Senator Kahn: Mrs. Pschirrer plans to write to Senator Kahn about introducing some legislation. A copy will be forwarded to Mrs. Lucy Weber. She spoke to Senator Kahn last Monday about doing legislation that introduces a policy that the RSAs would allow Town Trust Funds, municipally held trust funds, to have total return policies. Mr. Dalessio will email Senator Kahn about having exemptions for seasonal workers, agriculture, to the minimum wage law. The tentative meeting date of October 24th at 6:00 pm with Senator Kahn was approved.
Petitioners’ Response to Supplement Town’s Hearing Brief: Mr. Dalessio acknowledged receipt of the Petitioners’ Response to Supplement Town’s Hearing Brief from Attorney Hockensmith on the Patricia Rodrigues, et al. v. Town of Walpole, et al case.
Tax Deeded Properties: Mr. Dalessio advised Attorney Hockensmith to go ahead with the letters on the Tax Deeded properties in accordance with RSA 80:89. These letters will be sent to the owners of the properties.
Old Stage Road Gates and Bars: Mr. Dalessio had distributed copies of the reply received from the NH Municipal Association regarding the Old Stage Road Gates and Bars. The Town would have to discontinue the road at a Town Meeting. This is a Class VI road, not subject to maintenance. There should be no gate or bar across it. The lock has to be removed. At this point in time,the Selectboard should write Mr. McCabe’s attorney a letter that state in accordance with the Town records the road was never discontinued. We can ask them to keep the gate open to avoid taking it down. If the road is discontinued they can keep the gate there but it cannot be locked. That road should be fully accessible.
March Hill Road: Mr. Dalessio reported that because we do not have a definition for “abandonment” the “special exception” on March Hill Road should remain until such time as they have a definition for “abandonment”.
Edkins and O’Brien Complaint: Mr. Dalessio reported that Attorney Hockensmith will now move onto the Edkins and O’Brien complaint.
Recreation Department Revolving Fund Request: A request was received from Justin Cassarino and the Recreation Committee to have the Murder Mystery Company put on a three–hour show for the adults in the community. They will have a dinner and an interactive show for the guests where they will try to solve the case. The cost for the show is $999.00; two payments of $499.50/each.
Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the expenditure of $999.00 for the Recreation Department to hold a Murder Mystery Show. The first payment is $499.50 and due now. It is coming from the Revolving Fund. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.
Mrs. Pschirrer is concerned with whether the Mystery Company is covered by their own insurance. Ms. Mayberry will look into that. They perform all over the country. Their theme is “1930 Hollywood”. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
Former Arch Bridge Preservation Project DOT Presentation: The NH Department of Transportation would like to have a meeting on Thursday, September 26th to talk about their plans for the former Arch Bridge Preservation Project. The Village of North Walpole Board of Commissioners will be invited to attend. The start time for the meeting will be determined by the NH DOT.
Procedures for Appointment of Committee Members: The Selectboard reviewed the “Procedures for Appointment of Committee Members” previously adopted by the Selectboard on April 4, 2012. They also had copies of the 2018 Town Report List of “Officials, Boards, Committees and Staff”. Mr. Dalessio feels existing members of Boards/Committees should have the responsibility to look at applicants before making a written recommendations to the Selectboard.
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 and (c) Reputations. Ms. Mayberry seconded the motion and, on a roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved at 7:15 PM.
The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:44 PM.
Ms. Mayberry moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of August 15, 2019, be sealed. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
RECESS SELECTBOARD MEETING:
Ms. Mayberry moved to recess this Selectboard meeting. The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:58 PM.
Great River Hydro Dam Tour: Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer, Mrs. Sarah Downing, Mr. Mark Houghton, Mrs. Helen Dalbeckand Police Chief Michael Paquette attended the Great River Hydro Dam Tour. Mr. Dalessio advised it was a good tour; about 2-1/2 hours. It is an impressive facility. Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned three of their local politicians were with them Including Senator Jay Kahn.
Federal Funding Workshop: Mr. Dalessio attended the Federal Funding Workshop sponsored by Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster. It was very good. There is a lot of money out there, but you need to know where to look for it. Sometime in the fall, Mr. Dalessio will contact Ms. Nancy Merrill, Director of Economic Development for the City of Claremont. She is willing to come and talk about grants, networking and economic development with the Selectboard.
Planning Board: Mr. Dalessio reported that eleven people attended the last Planning Board meeting. The owner of the new “Dollar General Store” was there. It was noted that Mr. Merklein says he is speaking for everyone in Walpole. But he does not speak for everyone in Walpole, as he is speaking only for himself.
Abenaki Phase I: Mr. Dalessio reported there is no violation present on the Abenaki Phase I elevator. The elevator is not large enough to handle gurneys when the ambulances respond. Time will be lost as the emergency responders have to transport using the stairs. In Phase II they are using the same sized elevator. It is being done to code. They are in full compliance.
Loose Dogs: The Selectboard has been receiving complaints about loose dogs in various areas. The Police Department is being notified. This is a problem in Town.
Ms. Mayberry moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary