Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 1/9/20

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 two visitors in attendance.

 

PUBLIC BUSINESS:

LETTER TO FERC re: GREAT RIVER DAM RELICENSING AND TOWN MEETING RESOLUTION REQUEST:  Mr. Tom Beaudry was present to request that the Selectboard support the letter he was presenting at this meeting to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regarding the Great River Hydro relicensing.  It can then go to Town Meeting.  He travels up-and-down the Connecticut River and tells people the differences between above the dam and below the dam.  He displayed a sign that Great River Dam gave to the Town of Charlestown that is posted near their Wastewater plant. The water constantly fluctuates up and down.  There are places where the bank has gone in 40-to-50 feet and usually it is prime agriculture land.  

 

A resolution was put together by Kathy Urffer, River Stewart of the Connecticut River Conservancy, formerly Connecticut River Watershed Council.  They have done a few studies. However, Great River Hydro studies came out saying there are no erosion problems, but there definitely are problems.  

 

Mrs. Pschirrer will research how to introduce a resolution at Town Meeting as it has not been done in many years.  Mr. Beaudry stated if FERC issues this relicensing, it will be another 40 years before the Town will have another opportunity to resolve some issues.  He has been involved with this for about three years.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted if the Town voters approve this resolution it will be sent to FERC with their letter.              

 

“Whereas, the peaking operations of Wilder, Bellows Falls and Vernon dams have been causing daily fluctuations of, on average, 2-3 feet every day in the impoundments behind the dams for 70 years resulting in loss of land for landowners in VT and NH and degradation of water quality and habitat of the river for decades;

 

Whereas, in the late 1970s, during the last relicensing process, the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) conducted an erosion study on the project area; and FERC issued the last licenses in early 1979 just months before the ACOE completed their study in November of that year; and the ACOE study clearly states that pool level fluctuations are the second most important causative factor for erosion in the project areas.

 

Whereas, the erosion study completed for the current relicensing by Great River Hydro, the current owner of these three projects did not look at the effect of pool level changes on erosion, instead, focusing only on potential erosion due to velocity along the bank edge that would be typical for a natural river system; and the Connecticut River in the project area does not function as a natural river, instead functioning as a hybrid river with a series of impoundments controlled by the dams

 

Whereas, many towns and landowners up and down the river have used billions of dollars in public and private money to attempt to stabilize and restore their streambanks to protect property and infrastructure over the past 70 years;

 

Therefore, be it resolved that the Town of Walpole, formally requests that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission require, via license article, the current and any subsequent owners of the Wilder, Bellows Falls and Vernon Dams to modify current dam operations to minimize peaking; provide for ongoing monitoring develop a shoreline adaptive management plan; and commit funding for riverbank restoration and/or property owner compensation to reimburse towns and landowners for any and all damages resulting from the deterioration of the riverbank.”

 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to adopt the Resolution for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and ask the Town voters to adopt it as well at Town Meeting on March 14, 2020. This will be accompanied with a letter from the Selectboard to confirm adoption of the Resolution that came from the Connecticut River Conservancy to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

Charlestown Withdrawal Study:  There was a general discussion about the Withdrawal of Charlestown from the Fall Mountain Regional School District.  

 

HODGKINS and SONS re: OLD DREWSVILLE ROAD: Mr. John Hodgkins had attended a Selectboard meeting on December 12, 2019, to ask for clarification on an Old Drewsville Road restriction placed on their equipment in 2002. Mr. Dalessio advised that the research was done and no written road restrictions on the Old Drewsville Road were discovered for the business. When they were applying for a building permit,the only restriction was for trees and bushes for screening on the south side.  He will talk to Mr. Rau, Road Agent, about posting a weight limit on the Old Drewsville Road.  What is good for one is good for all.  Mr. Hodgkins said that would make it fair for everyone.    

 

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $187,123.61 for checks issued January 10, 2020.  This amount includes E.E. Houghton invoices to review and sign.  It also includes a payment of $85,643.25 to Primex.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

PAYROLL:

Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending January 4, 2020, in the amount of $29,062.30 for checks issued January 10, 2020, and the electronic fund transfer for the 941 Employer Taxes in the amount of $6,065.85.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – January 2, 2020:  Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboardmeeting of January 2, 2020, as submitted.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessioin favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION – January 2, 2020:  Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of January 2, 2020, 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.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the following Committee reports:

 Broadband Committee Meeting – December 18, 2019;
 Conservation Commission Meeting – January 6, 2020;

(These are unapproved minutes).

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Draft Warrant Article Listing Review:  The Selectboard reviewed the Warrant Articles as follows:

 

Article 2:  “Bond for the Broadband”:  Mrs. Pschirrer reported that the Bond Bank attorney had approved this Article.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept Article 2.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessioin favor, Article 2 was approved.  (3 Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)  

 

Article 3:  “Budget”:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept Article 3.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, Article 3 was approved.  (3 Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

 

Article 4: “Town Buildings – $200,000):  Mr. Dalessiosuggested changing the Reuse Center at the Recycling Center from $60,000 to $75,000 with $29,000+ coming from insurance coverage.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept Article 4 as re-written.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, Article 4 as re-written was approved.  (3 Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)   

 

Article 5:  “Truck for Highway Department”:  Mrs. Pschirrermoved to accept Article 5.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, Article 5 was approved.  (3 Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)       

 

Article 6:  “Highway Capitol Reserve Fund”:  Mrs. Pschirrermoved to accept Article 6.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, Article 6 was approved.  (3 Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

 

Article 7:  “Vehicle for Police Department”:  Mrs. Pschirrermoved to accept Article 7.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, Article 7 was approved.

(3 Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

 

Article 8: “Equipment for New Police Vehicle”:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept Article 8 to outfit the new vehicle if Article 7 passes.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, Article 8 was approved.    (3 Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

 

Article 9:  “Six Motorola Dual Band Portable Radios”:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept Article 9.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessioin favor, Article 9 was approved.   (3 Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

 

Article 10:  “Police Capitol Reserve Fund”:  Mrs. Pschirrermoved to accept Article 10.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, Article 10 was approved.

(3 Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

 

Article 11:  “Police Station Study”:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept Article 11.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, Article 11 was approved.  

(3 Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstain)

 

Article 12:  “Single Use Plastic Bags”:  By Petition.  (0 Yes, 0 No, 3 Abstain)

 

Article 13:  “Resolution” – Great River Hydro Relicensing – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – Connecticut River and Erosion.

 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Budget as presented to the Selectboard.   By combining Water and Sewer, the total budget is $4,679,804.  $4,015,544 represents the Town Operating Budget, $188,498 represents the Water Operating Budget, $475,762 represents the Sewer Operating Budget and $230,000 is the Bond assessment.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved. 

 

Lights re: Walpole, NH – Rockingham, VT 42277 Bridge Renovation Project:  Ms. Mayberry moved to approve and sign the letter to Jason Tremblay, PE, NHDOT Bureau of Bridge Design, regarding the plan for the Arch Bridge Renovation Project which includes removing the existing light poles.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

Joint Letter from Selectboards re: Vilas Bridge:  Ms. Mayberry moved to approve signing the letter to the Governors of New Hampshire and Vermont regarding the rehabilitation of the Vilas Bridge.  It will be sent to the Town of Rockingham Selectboard.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

CCCD Tree/Plant Sale:  The Selectboard reviewed new information received for the CCCD 2020 Plant Sale.  Mrs. Downing noted that 2-to-4 foot high trees can be ordered to replace trees by the Library, on the Common and by the Town Hall at reasonable prices.  Mr. Dalessio would prefer larger trees.  No decisions were made.       

 

Primex Coverage Question:  Mr. Dalessio had inquired about road debris, windshield damage and late reporting of incidents.  Primex explained their policy and that each situation is investigated.  

 

Pending Further Actions:

New Reuse Center Plans: This will remain an agenda item.   

 

Town Deeded Properties:  This will remain an agenda item.   

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Joint Meeting Request with Bellows Falls Village Trustees: The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of a request from the Bellows Falls Village Board of Trustees to attend their meeting next Tuesday, January 14th at 6pm.  Two Selectboard members had other commitments.  Mr. Dalessio suggested meeting with the BFVC Trustees on the last Tuesday of the month. 

 

Police Revolving Fund Request:  A request was received from the Police Department to purchase (4) Ice Rescue Suits (Mustang IC9002v2) for the total cost of $3,600 ($900/suit) out of the Walpole Police Revolving Fund. These are the same suits the Fire Department uses.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the request of the Police Department to purchase (4) Ice Rescue Suits in the amount of $3,600 out of the Walpole Police Revolving Fund.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved. 

 

Old Home Days Donation Thank You Letter:   Mrs. Pschirrermoved to approve and sign the Thank You note to Dr. Victor Lawrence for his donation of $300 to the Old Home Days celebration.   Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

PO for Recycling Desktop Computer:  Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the Purchase Order from the Recycling Center for a new computer for an amount not to exceed $2,000 from True North.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.    

 

PO for Server Support:  Ms. Mayberry moved to have Mrs. Downing sign the Purchase Order for the Server Support with TrueNorth for two years.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION:  

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to enter into a Non-Public SelectboardSession 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 7:35 PM.

 

The regular meeting resumed at 7:44 PM.

 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of January 9, 2020, be sealed.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry 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 at 7:45 PM.

 

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:50 PM.

 

OTHER BUSINESS:

FACT-TV:  Mrs. Pschirrer was approached by Jan Kobeski who would like to attend a Selectboard meeting to talk about recording and televising the meetings on FACT-TV.  Following a brief discussion, the Selectboard agreed that their preference is not to be recorded.  Meetings are open to the public in Walpole and people are encouraged to attend.  

 

BROADBAND:  Mrs. Pschirrer reminded everyone there will be a Broadband meeting on Saturday, January 11, 2020, at 10:00 am in the Town Hall.  This public hearing is a requirement of the Bond Bank.

 

FORMER WESTBURG PROPERTY:  Mrs. Pschirrer will be meeting with Ransom Consulting and DES on Tuesday, January 14th, 2020, at 9:00am.  They are working on the Communication Plan.  Some meeting dates will be scheduled.    

 

ADJOURNMENT:

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 8:00 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

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