Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 8/27/20

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Mrs. Pschirrer called this meeting of the Walpole Selectboard to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  She introduced Ms. Cheryl Mayberry and Mr. Steven Dalessio who are the other two Selectboard members.   Staff members present were Mrs. Jodi Daigle, Administrative Assistant and Water & Sewer Clerk, and Ms. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary.  This meeting is being recorded.  There were two visitors present.  We are expecting Dr. Shaw, Walpole Health Officer, and Mr. Gary Fox.  When they arrive the Selectboard will move into new business.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $75,829.59 for checks issued August 28, 2020.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrerasked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

PAYROLL:

Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending August 22, 2020, in the amount of $30,946.45 for checks dated August 28, 2020, and the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer of $5,934.55.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – August 20, 2020:  Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboardmeeting of August 20, 2020, as submitted.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved.

STAFF MEETING MINUTES – August 20, 2020: Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Minutes of the Staff meeting of August 20, 2020, as submitted.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION – August 20, 2020: Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of August 20, 2020, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved.    

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the following Committee reports:• Trustees of Trust Funds Meeting – April 15, 2020;• Trustees of Trust Funds Meeting – August 13, 2020;• Zoning Board of Adjustments Meeting – August 19, 2020.

BUILDING PERMIT:

Permit 2020-32, FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH (PARSONAGE), 19 Washington Street, Map and Lot #020-076-000:  Mr. Dalessio moved to grant Building Permit No. 2020-32 for the First Congregational Church (Parsonage), to build a “136.9 sq. ft. Wooden Ramp” at 19 Washington Street (Parsonage), Map and Lot #020-076-000.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

VETERANS TAX CREDIT:

MAP & LOT #011-026-000:  Mr. Dalessio moved to grant this Veterans Tax Credit for Map and Lot #011-026-000 and to update the tax records.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

OLD BUSINESS:

TrueNorth Quote for Managed Services:  Mr. Dalessio noted TrueNorth has provided exceptional service to the Town.  The additional cost per month is not that much.

Mr. Dalessio moved to authorize Mrs. Sarah Downing to approve and sign the TrueNorth Managed Services Contract.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.  

Audience Visitors:  Mrs. Pschirrer advised that Reverend and Mrs. Richard Malmberg from the First Congregational Church were present.  Reverend Malmberg explained they were present to listen to Dr. Shaw’s Mask Mandate Update.  

Transportation Improvement Projects 10 Year Plan: The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of a letter from the Southwest Regional Planning Commission regarding the NH Transportation Improvement Projects 10 Year Plan.  They had sent in their reply in July.  Ms. Mayberry said at a recent SWRPC meeting, Mr. J.B. Mack reported that Walpole had responded.

Brownfields Project:  Mrs. Pschirrer recently had a meeting with Southwest Regional Planning Commission on the Brownfields Project.  In the fall they will be sending out Requestfor Proposals for the clean-up on the former Westberg site.  Retesting has been done, the shed is empty, and they are ready to demolish everything.  Total cost for cleaning up less than two acres of land is approximately $700,000.   Walpole got the only Clean-up Grant in the State last year.  Everybody was supportive of this project.

NEW BUSINESS:

Town of Rockingham and Town of Walpole Partnership Grant:  Mr. Gary Fox, Development Director for the Town of Rockingham, came into the meeting.  This Northern Border Regional Commission Regional Forest Economy Partnership is basically a Federal program that the New England states can participate in because of the decline of industry, paper mills and forestry.  

The applicant is jointly The Town of Walpole NH, approximately 37 square miles and population 4,000 and the Town of Rockingham VT, approximately 42 square miles and population 5,000.  The two towns are connected economically by the Vilas Bridge, closed since March of 2009, which serves industry on the Island in Bellows Falls (BF) in Rockingham, and connects Walpole NH with Bellows Falls VT’s designated downtown’s primary retail and restaurant district, and, carries the sewage pipe from Walpole businesses to BF Sewage Treatment plant.

The work plan for this NBRC Forest Economy Partnership Grant is to address the obstacles to completing the through connection of the Cheshire Rail Trail from Keene NH to Walpole, the through connections in the SRVTI collaborative in Bellows Falls, Rockingham, Saxtons River and Westminster, and, ultimately link the trail systems between Walpole and Bellows Falls/Rockingham via the Vilas Bridge.  

Mr. Fox provided a brief project description.  This joint economic development project achieves:

1) New uses for forest products and workforce retraining for manufacturing utilizing local forest products;

2) Development and expansion of outdoor recreation industry to provide employment and economic growth opportunities in formerly forest industry-dependent communities;

3) Collaborative, multi-state project designed to address innovative solutions to structural weaknesses highlighted by the pandemic, and community efforts to recover economically—the Vilas Bridge provides an important economic development connection between Walpole and Bellows Falls supporting long term economic recovery by supporting retail and food merchants locally, to replace the limited longer distance travelling discouraged in the new normal for uncertain COVID-19 potential long term paradigm shifts.

The Letter of Intent to the Northern Border Regional Commission Regional Forest Economy Partnership (NBRC)states that “The Town of Walpole and the Town of Rockingham intend to issue a collaborative proposal for a regional forest economy partnership grant.  Please accept this Letter of Interest for consideration to invite for a full grant application. “

The NBRC would come back to the towns by September 30th.  An application would be due by October 30th.  Mr. J.B. Mack at the Southwest Regional Planning Commission has been talking with the NH Department of Transportation about this proposal.  

Mrs. Pschirrer explained there are so many purposes to this grant.  There are trails, forests, recreation, economic development and the Vilas Bridge.  Mr. Fox said the NBRC is looking for a two-page submittal.  It will have to be concise.  Mr. Dalessio’s concern is the letter.  Almost everything is dedicated to trails and the rest is dedicated to Rockingham’s economic development.  He questions if we can apply for a grant for something we do not own.  Mr. Fox noted that originally he was looking at the Vilas Bridge and the sewage line.  Mr. Dalessio advised that we are actively pursuing getting the sewage line off the bridge; they are in the second phase of engineering. Mrs. Pschirrer thinks the Vilas Bridge will continue to be No. 10 every year on the NH Transportation 10 Year Plan.  Ms. Mayberry noted the environment impact of the bridge will raise-up the priority on the list.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned the total cost to complete rail trail quality.  Mr. Fox said there are 20 different funding sources.  The total grant will be approximately $700,000.  For Rockingham and Walpole, it would require a 50% match.  The goal is not to have the towns commit any dollars. It can be separated; rail trails and bridge, but rail trails make it more competitive.  

Mr. Dalessio suggested they do not sign the Letter of Intent.  Ms. Mayberry noted they are just being asked if they support the effort to apply for the grant.  Mr. Fox replied NBRC would make the determination.  His indication was the NBRC thought this was a good project.  They like collaborative projects.  The signatures is to state the Town of Walpole and the Town of Rockingham are applying for this grant jointly.  Ms. Mayberry said it would indicate Walpole supports the work Mr. Fox is doing.  Mrs. Pschirrer feels the snag might be if the NH DOT does not go along with it.  This is a complicated proposal and the application needs to be done in a short period of time.  Mr. Dalessio feels it is clear that thedevelopment of the rail trails will bring more economic development to Bellows Falls.  He is in favor of opening the Vilas Bridge and the rail trails but we should not push them forward together.  Mrs. Pschirrer advised that Walpole does not have an Economic Development Committee; she is not sure how much manpower we have to put into this.  Mr. Dalessio would suggest the Letter of Intent state “The Town of Walpole supports the intent”.  Ms. Mayberry does not feel there is a down-side for us to sign the letter.  If it gets approved and the Vilas Bridge gets fixed it benefits Walpole.  It will still impact both communities.  

Ms. Mayberry moved to have Peggy L. Pschirrer, SelectboardChair, sign this Letter of Intent to issue a collaborative proposal for a regional forest economy partnership grant.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  On a roll call voice vote Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer were in favor of the motion.  Mr. Dalessio was opposed to the motion.  The motion passed by a 2-to-1 vote.   

Mrs. Pschirrer summarized that Walpole has no money and no manpower.  Mr. Dalessio pointed out that Mr. Lew Shelley is not Chair of the Walpole Conservation Commission.  Mrs. Alicia Flammia is the Chair of the Walpole Conservation Commission.                 

Mask Mandate Update:  Dr. Charles Shaw came into the meeting.  He handed in his renewal application form as Health Officer that required Selectboard signatures.  

Mr. Dalessio moved to approve and sign the application for the re-nomination of Dr. Charles Shaw as the Walpole Health Officer.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

Dr. Shaw advised there are some serious concerns about COVID-19 and its behavior.  People are carrying the virus for 2-to-3 days before they get sick. Therefore, they have probably contaminated other people.  We are now having discussions about getting the children back to school.  He wrote an article for the Clarion that will be coming out this month; “What Can We Do To Get the Kids in School and Keep Them There”.  It is a challenge.  His answer is to wear a mask.  He printed several mask policies but they were from cities with colleges, hospitals, nursing homes, etc.  They have much higher risk profiles than Walpole.  He is not ready to offer a template for a mask ordinance, but would like to educate the public. In Durham, Keene and Hanover there are assigned levels for an offense of not wearing a mask.  First time is a warning, etc.  The Governor issued an order that the Health Officers are to enforce this.  Dr. Shaw does not want to be the enforcer.  He is asking the Selectboard to define the commercial district as having to wear a mask in buildings.  Signage could be put in their entry-ways.  He had seen a sign: “No Mask, No Service, No Exceptions”.  Have a uniform campaign with a logo; a bumper sticker, a T-shirt, etc.  Signage with a friendly message.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted it is mandatory to wear a mask for public buildings.  We have masks available if they do not have one.  Many businesses/restaurants are requiring masks; if you don’t have one, they will give you one.   They are all under orders for keeping distances.  We cannot pass an ordinance unless it goes before Town Meeting as Walpole has less than 10,000 people.  Dr. Shaw, as Health Officer, could mandate mask wearing.  Mrs. Pschirrer pointed that everyone working in the Town Hall on Primary Voting Day, September 8th will be wearing a mask.  People not wearing a mask will not be allowed entrance to the Town Hall to vote but will have to vote outside with an election worker.  

Pending Further Action:

Recreation Area Parking Lot Deed and Sales Agreement:Mrs. Pschirrer is waiting for the deed from Attorney Hockensmith.

Reservoir Dam Repairs:  Mr. Dalessio spoke to the Department of Environmental Services (DES).  

Houghton Brook Bridge and Fish Ladder:  Mr. Dalessio said the application for the grant is due on Monday.  Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer approved having him sign the grant application.  He feels there must be a way to appeal the Department of Environmental Services (DES) decision.  It is dry now so would be a good time to do the project.  It seems like $520,000 is a lot of money for this small area.  Fuss & O’Neill has been working there.  We cannot take the bridge out because it would land-lock a few property owners.  

March Hill Road:  Mr. Dalessio said we are all permitted to do this project.  Mr. Rau thought about holding back on unnecessary work but Mr. Dalessio told him to go ahead and put March Hill Road on the schedule.  The cost will be about $8,000.

Merv Stevens:  Ms. Mayberry told Mr. Rau to put Mr. Merv Stevens dry well in now when it is so dry.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned there is supposed to be a storm drain going in on that road.  

NEW BUSINESS:

2020 MS-1:  Mr. Dalessio moved to approve and sign the 2020 MS-1, Walpole Summary Inventory of Valuation.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

MS-434:  Mrs. Pschirrer pointed out that Mr. Kreissle is working on this form that assists the DRA in setting the town’s tax rate.  He submitted a draft copy to the Department of Revenue Administration (DRA).  

Hooper Golf Properties, LLC:  Mr. Dalessio moved to approve and sign the letter to the officers of the Hooper Golf Properties, LLC regarding their copy of the Deed for the Discretionary Easement.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

RECESS SELECTBOARD MEETING:

Mr. Dalessio moved to recess this Selectboard meeting.  The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.   Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved at 7:57 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 8:00 PM.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION:

Ms. Mayberry moved to enter into a Non-Public Selectboard Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (a) Personnel.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  On a roll call vote with Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved at 8:01 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 8:28 PM.

Ms. Mayberry moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of August 27, 2020. Be sealed.  September by Mr. Dalessio.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

ADJOURNMENT:

Ms. Mayberry moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: