Selectboard Present:Peggy Pschirrer (Chair); Cheryl Mayberry; Steven Dalessio
Staff Present:Sarah Downing (Manager of Administration); Richard Kreissle (Administrator of Finance); Ben Hoy (Recycling Director); Michael Paquette (Chief Police Department); Justin Sanctuary (Lt. Police Department); Helen Dalbeck (Hooper Institute Executive Director); Justin Cassarino (Recreation Director – resigned July 19, 2020); Kraig Harlow (New Recreation Director – hired June 15, 2020);
Excused:Sandra Smith (Town Clerk/Tax Collector); Michael Rau (Road Agent/Highway Department); Justine Fafara (Library Director)
CALL TO ORDER: Mrs. Pschirrer called this Staff Meeting to order at 5:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall and welcomed everyone. This meeting is being recorded.
Mrs. Pschirrer was pleased to welcome a new employee. She asked Mr. Cassarino to introduce Mr. Kraig Harlow who will be taking over as the Recreation Director. He hopes to get the pool ready for use on Monday, June 29th, 2020.
Mrs. Pschirrer displayed a thermometer; one was purchased for every department. They are to be used every day when employees come to work. They can do it themselves or the department directors can assist. It is suggested that everyone wear their masks during working hours. Unfortunately, thisvirus is with us for the long haul. We are expecting a second surge of COVID-19. People are dying on a regular basis. There is the potential in all states that the governors will re-think their re-openings if the number of cases continues to go up.
Recycling Center: Mr. Ben Hoy had submitted and reviewed a written report and revenues as of June 24th. It has been tough working in the high heat and humidity. They asked the public to give them some leeway and time when providing assistance.
Mr. Hoy mentioned that Saturday is the July 4th holiday. They are usually open on Saturdays. Mr. Dalessio noted Friday, July 3rd is the holiday for the Town. Mrs. Pschirrer summarized that the Selectboard will continue this discussion on what day the Recycling Center will observe this holiday.
Recreation Department: Mr. Cassarino submitted a written report dated June 25, 2020, and reviewed the following.
*Reviewed the state requirements and looked at what other facilities were doing;
*Created a plan with strict guidelines that will be presented to the Selectboard to discuss and make any changes that they feel necessary.
*Up to four people, from the same household, can occupy one pod.
*Another Pod will be assigned if there are more than four people from the same household.
*They felt like with all of the requirements and guidelines, it was important to make sure that kids, who were being left alone, to be able to understand what was being expected of them.
*Will need to be signed in order to use the pool.
Mr. Cassarino advised there would be 14 pods. He recommended using field marking tape, at this time, to mark the pods. People have to call to reserve a pod. Mr. Mike Rau took out a lot of items left behind from other years and Mr. Hoy took them away. There is a lot more space and it looks nice. The pool area capacity is for 54 people. They will be keeping track of people with a daily log. There will be a lot of strict guidelines some of which the public might not like. Staff employed by the Town will still have free access to the pool but they need to call to reserve.
North Walpole Park:
Waiting to see if more regulations will be lifted in the next few weeks.
Police Department: Police Chief Michael Paquette and Lt. Justin Sanctuary were present. Chief Paquette had submitted a report on Canine Calls for Service from January 1, 2020 through June 15, 2020. There was a Total of 63 Canine Calls.
Calls By Location:
Walpole, 40, 63%North Walpole, 18, 29%Drewsville, 5, 8%
Time of Calls:8:01 AM to 4:00 PM – 28 – 44% 12:00 AM to 8:00 AM – 6 – 10%
4:01 PM to Midnight – 29 – 46%
Chief Paquette is working on the Town Ordinance for canines running at large. The court system is slowly opening but they are backed-up several months in arraignments. Mrs. Pschirrerclarified that there already is an ordinance but they are working to amend it. Chief Paquette reported they are assisting the Highway Department on Watkins Hill and both Highway and Water Departments on Main Street. They will also help during the paving. Their lobby is now open. It was closed since mid-March due to COVID-19. They are getting data from the traffic speed unit on County Road and North Road. Vehicles were traveling over 20 plus miles over the speed limit on County Road. The machine identified repeat offenders and when they are traveling on the road. The department has their new cruiser but is waiting on two pieces of equipment. They hope to have both new cruisers on the road in a few weeks. Lt. Sanctuary spoke to Mr. Rau about an old cruiser. Officer Prince is back on duty. Business has not slowed for them, but their cases are a little different; fraud, investigations, etc. Mr. Nash comes in two days a week to clean-up; they are grateful for this service. Sometimes they have to have people inside the Police Station. Mr. Dalessio asked how many canines were licensed. Chief Paquette is not sure. A part-time person could track all that. A lot of towns have their own canine investigation person.
Administrator of Finance: Mr. Richard Kreissle submitted the following written report that he discussed at this meeting. .
GOFERR Covid-19 Expense Reimbursement Submission: Concord rejected the labor and loss of revenue submissions. Brad’s extensive labor in disinfecting the Town Hall and labor associated with updating facilities to make it as hands free as possible was rejected. They felt it was within his normal realm of duties. Any claims for loss of revenue are not allowed within the parameters as established by the government. He is working with Mark Houghton for any expenditures related to the Walpole Fire District (WFD). He also contacted North Walpole for the same. WFD has lost revenue on ambulance calls. Specifically, as it relates to the WFD, Elizabeth Gilboy of the NH Department of Safety-Homeland Security believes we should be able to include radios so the Town Hall can be an alternate emergency operating center. The next deadline is July 15th. Mrs. Pschirrer does not believe the Town will be able to collect $91,000+ which is the amount they were allocated. The State is not allowing for much of what we have submitted. Mr. Dalessio mentioned submitting items needed to open the pool such as the tape, signs, sanitizers, etc. We can try. Mr. Kreissle said this is an on-going project.
The annual audit: The field audit was done remotely this year, and, in some ways, it was busier for him than when they were onsite. When they are onsite, he could give them the records for the library, Trustees, etc. and let them go through those records to find the documentation they need. This year the onus was on him. At the end of the day, he was actually grateful for this for he got a greater awareness of those other areas and, depending on their findings, may add to his record keeping to faciliatatesubsidiary schedules for future audits. Another example of how it was busier for him were the credit card accounts. Each statement for each of the five departmental cards we have are two pages. He had to scan and forward to them a year’s worth of statements for them to do their testing; that’s 24 pages for five departments for a total of 120 pages that had to be scanned. To do that each statement had to be unstapled, scanned, then stapled back together after they selected the charges they want to verify! When they’re on site, he can just give them each department’s credit card folder and do the leg work. It was very different this year.
He developed a subsidiary schedule of tax collections against the Spring Tax Warrant to allow us to determine whether tax collections are being affected by the pandemic. As compared to this time last year the town is slightly ahead. His personal concern has been the cumulative collections (Spring and Fall Tax Warrants) as the town always has a seven-figure obligation for the county portion of taxes due in mid-December. So far, so good. Mrs. Pschirrer advised they have collected $3,000,000 out of the $5,000,000 property taxes coming due. There is a lot to think about in this economy. She talked with the Town’s Welfare Director. The Governor had said there would be no eviction notices issued back in mid-March or early April with COVID-19. Mrs. Clough anticipates she will be over-come in the next couple of months when that order runs out and people who have not been paying their rent will start coming in for assistance from the Town. Mrs. Pschirrer pointed out that this represents issues for any town.
As always, Mr. Kreissle is available to address any concerns, questions or suggestions.
Hooper Institute: Mrs. Helen Dalbeck submitted and read the following report dated June 25, 2020.
School Gardens and Community Outreach: Gardens are growing. Donations of fresh produce and herbs begins again on 6/29/20.
Summer Programs: 27 students, grades 1-8 participated in their new at home and in the field version of Camp 2020. Usually summer camp has 60 to 80 kids. It was an enormous amount of work for Becky Whippie and her, but people were happy. It was very positive. Owl nest box building will happen in July. Tenstudents and their families have signed up so far. Pre-registration is required; $30/kit to make one box. For families, there is an open invitation to come to the Hooper Institute andwalk our trail, make shelters and fairy houses. “Shelterwood and Fairy Houses” Staff will curate but this activity is self-guided. They invite you to visit them anytime during through the summer. Mr. Dalessio said that Becky Whippie did a video and built a kit for every project. It was awesome.
Summer High School Work Program: Nine students were interviewed and accepted, eight have been placed on three farms (Malnati Farm, Abenaki Spring Farm and Alyson’s Orchard) and the Recycling Center. They are all set to begin working with one exception. Her paperwork is incomplete and still pending.
Walpole Community Garden: The garden members are very happy and active this year. It is a beautiful sight.
Building and Grounds: Anyone know a good roofer, tree surgeon, and handyperson? Mrs. Pschirrer will email her some suggestions.
Governance: The HI Board met 6/1. The Hooper Scholarship Committee work is ongoing.
Marketing: School-Teacher-Parent email network as well as Facebook and The Clarion.
Fundraising and Grants: Ongoing via Friends of Hooper Institute and her office.
Mrs. Pschirrer advised that they have done remarkably well considering the limitations that were placed on them this spring and summer.
Manager of Administration: Mrs. Sarah Downing distributed and reviewed a written report dated June 25, 2020.
Town Hall Update:
Water and Sewer:
Seasonal Office Activities:
Chief Paquette reported that the first house on Prospect Hill/Wentworth Road will be having a tree taken down. The company will be there for about half-a-day. He will give Mrs. Downing the exact date.
Mrs. Dalbeck asked about the drought. Mrs. Downing replied that it is definitely dry but the office has not yet been given any orders or direction on conservation. Mrs. Pschirrer noted that people on wells are very conscious of it. The Town wells have not gone dry but we should not use the water wastefully.
Highway Department: Mr. Rau was unable to attend this meeting as it is his daughter’s birthday but he had submitted the following written report dated June 24, 2020.
“This past month, highway has been taking advantage of the dry weather and has been doing roadside ditching for drainage, approximately 4 miles so far. We have also repaired 13 catch basins and replaced 6 insufficient culverts.
The new drainage was installed last week for Maple St. This road should be ready for paving in the next few weeks.”
Beginning next month, they will start their paving projects. Starting with reclaiming a portion of the Old Drewsville Road as well as milling Main Street from Wentworth Road to the Walpole Middle School. After that is done, paving will begin.
Town Clerk / Tax Collector: Mrs. Sandra Smith was unable to attend this meeting but had submitted the following written report dated June 25, 2020.
“First a big Thank You to Sarah for coming in Wednesday to remind her! She had been so busy collecting taxes and keying them into the system, that she forgot all about the meeting. She is totally exhausted, so will not be attending.
She did have her “Million Dollar Day” yesterday! Core Logic, a tax service, sent checks for almost $900,000 and then with payments from the property owners has completed her quest. This took steady keying all day to complete all the deposits. She deposited over $100,000.00 today and the checks keep coming!
They collected $82,885.00 on motor vehicle fees since the last Staff Meeting.
She collected $3,465,389.15 in taxes – most of this is for the new bills due July 1st.
Working by appointments is going quite well. If someone wants to pay taxes, she runs outside, gets their check and then brings their receipt out to them. That way they only have one transaction in at a time.
She will be taking some time off in July to recover!”
Walpole Library: Mrs. Justine Fafara was unable to attend this meeting but had submitted a written report.
ServiceApril 2020May 2020May 2019
Hoopa42 new patrons8 new patrons
87 checkouts75 checkouts
$129.45 spent$137.24 spent
Curbside191 check outs -4 days
Their Facebook stats continue to be high. They have over 2,500 video views, and they are reaching over 3,000 people per month.”
ADJOURNMENT: Mrs. Pschirrer thanked everyone for attending and wearing their masks. She adjourned this Staff Meeting at 5:58 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary