Selectboard Present:Steven Dalessio (Chair); Peggy Pschirrer; Cheryl Mayberry
CALL TO ORDER: Mr. Dalessio called this meeting of the Selectboard to order at 6:00 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 four visitors in attendance.
Senator Jay Kahn: Mr. Dalessio welcomed State Senator Jay Kahn who is present to provide a legislative update. Senator Kahn advised when they started this legislative session there were 398 bills and 345 were passed. Nine became law without the governor’s signature. Two were budget bills. Senator Kahn referenced his letter to the Town of Walpole dated October 14, 2019, in which he shared some details of the budget including the benefits for Walpole.
This was a productive session for him. He was on the Finance Committee. They added $200,000,000 to the education budget. Relative to new investments in Cheshire County, there is approximately $16,000,000 for education and municipal aid. In Walpole, the budget delivers $85,663.00 in unrestricted revenue redistribution and $255,831.00 in additional education funding, for a total of $341,494.00 in municipal aid over the FY2020-21 biennium. It is spread over two years.
Mr. Dalessio asked if this will come to the Town or go to the Fall Mountain Regional School District (FMRSD). Ms. Mayberry advised that adequacy aid funding goes directly to the FMRSD. Senator Kahn said there is also good news with special education funding. He is pleased about some bills that were passed and provided explanations on some including the Telehealth Bill and Mental Health Workforce Bill. The budget funds the State’s commitment for special education and provides sufficient funds to freeze in-state tuition at state colleges and universities, thereby retaining more high school graduates in NH. Surrounding colleges in other states have been recruiting NH students.
Senator Kahn reported the Town of Walpole recently received half of their FY2020-21 Unrestricted Municipal Aid from the State of NH in the amount of $42,710.09. Mrs. Pschirrer noted the Selectboard will be having a public hearing on this later in this meeting.
Senator Kahn had made arrangements for the tour of the Great River Hydro Dam property a short time ago. It was attended by many elected officials and invited guests.
Mrs. Pschirrer reported the Town is working with an active committee to bring in Broadband services. One thing missing is that people are not responding to their requests for information. Comcast has not yet done so. There is no penalty for anybody who does not respond. She asked if Senator Kahn will introduce legislation to make it mandatory that they respond. Senator Kahn replied “yes” he is. If they fail to respond to requests,which includes providing mapping of households then their service, customers will not be considered served. Mrs. Pschirrer said that would mean 90% would be considered as not served. Request for Proposals are due on November 7th.
Senator Kahn advised the filing date for new legislation is next Tuesday.
Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned the need for a “Total Return Policy”. When they have had a trust for 20+ years that has not grown, it would not be acceptable to any university in this state, the NH Charitable Trust Foundation, etc. Mr. Dalessio mentioned the Hooper Trust Fund. They have money sitting there, not earning any interest. Mrs. Pschirrer said this policy could come through a warrant article at Town Meeting. It is an option the Town should have. A bill was introduced in the past, but she was not sure what happened to it. Senator Kahn will contact the NH Municipal Association and report back to the Selectboard.
Mr. Dalessio mentioned the Vilas Bridge. They fully support repairing that bridge and getting it open. It is now on the end of the NH Department of Transportation Ten-Year Plan. Senator Kahn stated a means of acceleration would be an appropriation from Vermont.
Mr. Dalessio advised that Vermont now has a relocation reimbursement of $10,000 for employees willing to relocate to the State of Vermont. NH should look at this and bring critical skilled employees into NH. We should create a program similar to the one in Vermont.
Mr. Dalessio pointed out that the Town of Walpole had a severely injured Highway Department employee. It occurred in August 2018 in North Walpole. Walpole bought new units for flaggers that flash for employees on the roads. These give employees a great deal of protection and better visibility in the dark. It would be nice if the NH Department of Transportation (DOT) made it mandatory for their projects. These units are not expensive.
Mr. Dalessio reported that the Selectboard had two students from Fall Mountain Regional High School come into the meeting last week to talk about putting a ban on plastic bags in Town. We are seeing more young people come forward now. Mrs. Pschirrer noted they will work with these students on putting together a Warrant Article for Town Meeting.
Ms. Mayberry wanted to follow-up on the letter they sent to Senator Kahn on PFAS. Where is that legislatively? Senator Kahn said it is a rule adopted by the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES). Ms. Mayberry asked if they were able to over-come the economical charges to the Town to make these regulatory changes. Senator Kahn said the remediation could be large, but it is unknown. There is no assistance other than the State Ground Water Assistance Fund. Sixty to 70 projects have been funded; mostly pipe distribution related. There is a real conflict. Mrs. Pschirrer provided an update on the funds received for the Town’s Brownfields Project.
Mrs. Cheryl Watson asked what Senator Kahn’s position is on the Vilas Bridge. She understands that NH has paid their share of other bridges crossing the Connecticut River. Yet, this one is proposed at 50%. Senator Kahn believes the State feels there are two other bridges that serve this region; the Arch Bridge and the Westminster Bridge. Mr. Dalessio said people have to understand that the Vilas Bridge has the Walpole Sewer line running underneath it to the Bellows Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant. If that line breaks, there will be an environmental disaster in the river. The Town of Rockingham Select Board will be meeting with the Town of Walpole Selectboard on November 7th to discuss this.
The Selectboard thanked Senator Kahn for attending this meeting.
Mr. Dalessio called this public hearing to order on Thursday, October 24, 2019, at 6:52 PM. This public hearing is to discuss the use and acceptance of FY2020-21 Unrestricted Municipal Aid from the State of New Hampshire. The Town received $42,710.09. A decision needs to be made as to whether this amount will be put in the general fund or another account/fund.
Mrs. Pschirrer feels it should be put in the general fund and be considered for infrastructure projects such as the Red Listed bridges and dams.
Mrs. Pschirrer moved to recommend putting the $42,710.09 into the General Fund and focus on using it for infrastructure repairs/replacements and dams in Town. Seconded by Ms. Mayberry. With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
Mr. Dalessio moved to amend the motion to state that the $42,710.09 be put into the General Fund and then transferred into the PDIP fund for infrastructure repairs, replacements, improvements and dams. Seconded by Ms. Mayberry. With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.
There were no other comments or discussion. Mr. Dalessio closed this Public Hearing at 7:00 PM.
Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the amount of $32,016.23 for checks issued October 25, 2019. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
The above amount includes a payment in the amount of $7,475.07 to GSM Granite State Minerals, Inc. for winter salt and/or sand.
Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending October 19, 2019, in the amount of $26,499.39, for checks issued October 25, 2019, and the electronic fund transfer for the 941 Employer Taxes in the amount of $5,360.86. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:
SELECTBOARD MEETING – October 17, 2019: Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of October 17, 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 – October 17, 2019: Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of October 17, 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 acknowledged receipt of the following meeting:
Permit No. 2019-38: Daniel Reagan and Sharon Sorensen, 12 Sand Hill Road, Map and Lot #012-044-019: Ms. Mayberry moved to grant Building Permit No. 2019-38 for Daniel Reagan and Sharon Sorensen to construct a “12’ x 24’ Prefabricated Shed” at 12 Sand Hill Road. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
Permit No. 2019-39: Sabin Rock Farm, LLC. 79 Reservoir Road, Map and Lot #010-026-000: Ms. Mayberry moved to grant Building Permit No. 2019-39 for Sabin Rock Farm, LLC to install a “23’ x 17’ Garage Mount Solar Array” at 79 Reservoir Road. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
Permit No. 2019-40: Jared and Lisa Stolper, 193 Old Drewsville Road, Map and Lot #010-013-000: Ms. Mayberry moved to grant Building Permit No. 2019-40 for Jared and Lisa Stolper to install a “60’ x 18’ Ground Mount Solar Array” at 193 Old Drewsville Road. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
Permit No. 2019-41: John and Susan Herron, 335 Ramsay Hill Road, Map and Lot #011-007-003: Ms. Mayberry moved to grant Building Permit No. 2019-41 for John and Susan Herron to construct a “72’ x 46’ Single Story House w/Garage” at 335 Ramsay Hill Road. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
Pending Further Actions: The following Agenda items will be addressed at the next regular meeting:
Police Department Revolving Fund Request: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to allow the Police Department to purchase 4 sets of cruiser winter tires for the amount of $2,585.00 to be withdrawn from their Revolving Fund. Seconded by Ms. Mayberry. With Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. Mr. Dalessio was opposed because tires should be purchased as maintenance and not equipment. Therefore, the funds should not be taken out of their Revolving Fund.
SWRPC Brownfields Advisory Committee Nomination: Mr. Dalessio moved to nominate Mrs. Peggy Pschirrer to be a member of the Southwest Regional Planning Commission’s (SWRPC) Brownfields Advisory Committee. Seconded by Ms. Mayberry. With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.
Whitcomb Recreation Park – Parking Area: The Fall Mountain Regional School Board requested that the Selectboard attend their meeting on either Monday, October 28th or Tuesday, November 12th, 2019, to discuss the Whitcomb Recreation Park – Parking Area. There was a consensus that Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry will attend the FMRSD meeting on Monday, October 28th, at 6:00 PM in the Central Office. Mr. Dalessio is unable to attend.
Citizen’s Comment #2019-4: Mrs. Pschirrer advised the Town’s Highway Department has held back on doing work on Elm Street as the Water/Sewer Department anticipates doing a big project in that area that will tear-up the street. Mr. Dalessio will talk to Mr. Rau about this citizen’s comment on drainage and will report back to the Selectboard at their next meeting.
Mascoma Bank’s Income Advance Loan Program: The Selectboard agreed to pass the information on the Mascoma Bank’s Income Advance Loan Program to the Town employees. However, they will neither support nor promote this program.
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. 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 7:20 PM.
The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:47 PM.
Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of October 24, 2019, be sealed. Seconded by Ms. Mayberry. With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.
RECESS SELECTBOARD MEETING:
Mrs. Pschirrer moved to recess this Selectboard meeting. The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees. Seconded by Ms. Mayberry. With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved at 7:48 PM. The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:53 PM.
Charlestown Withdrawal Study Committee: Mr. Dalessio reported that during this meeting last night the committee members passed the plan by a 6-to-4 vote. There will be a minority report sent after the majority report goes in today.
Damaged Recycling Reuse Building: Mr. Dalessio acknowledged receipt of one sealed bid that was opened at this meeting. Today was the deadline. Mr. Ben Hoy submitted a bid of $25.00 and will remove the building.
Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the $25.00 bid from Ben Hoy for the damaged Recycling Reuse building. Seconded by Ms. Mayberry. With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.
North Walpole Village Board of Commissioners Meeting: Ms. Mayberry attended this meeting last Tuesday. The Water Operator saw that the brush hog was by the North Walpole Park so the Commissioners wondered if the Highway Dept. could use it to clean up the access road to the Reservoir. Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer had no objections and suggested the Commissioners contact Mr. Rau.
Public Meeting: Mrs. Pschirrer announced that next Wednesday, October 30th, 2019, at 6:30 PM there will be aninformational public meeting for Broadband. They will be talking about bonding.
Brownfields Cleanup Grant: On Wednesday, October 30th, 2019, at 2:00 pm Mrs. Pschirrer will be meeting with Mr. Joe Ferrari, Mr. J.B. Mack and Mrs. Alicia Flammia to review the proposals they have from three companies.
ADJOURNMENT: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting. Seconded by Ms. Mayberry. With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary