Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 10/13/20

Present: Chair Jeff Miller, Vice-Chair Dennis Marcom, Clerk Jason Perron, Jeff Harrington, Jeff Colley, Joanna Andros, Select Board Representative Steve Dalessio. 

Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the November 2020 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions. 

Roll Call: Mr. Miller opened the meeting at 7:02 pm. The entire board was present.

Minutes: Mr. Marcom made one correction to the minutes. On page 2, Gorham property, capitalize the word Crafts to indicate that it is the name of the appraisal company. Mr. Perron made a motion to approve the amended minutes. Mr. Harrington second the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Master Plan: Mr. Miller talked to Lisa Murphy, senior planner at Southwest Regional Planning Commission, about the sections of the Master Plan the board has already worked on. Ms. Murphy responded that the SWRPC staff is giving a final look to these sections. Those sections that have been updated this year are population, natural features and transportation. Mr. Miller would like to get the final draft of these sections to the board by the November meeting so a Public Hearing could be held by December. The land use, community facility and services and economic development and infrastructure sections will start to be updated after the March Town Meeting if the funds for completion of the Master Plan, $10,730, are approved by the townspeople.

New Business: Voluntary Merger: Karin and Carl Gravina would like to combine lots 2 and 3 on their property at 41 Lennon Lane, Map 8, Lots 88-3 and 88-2, rural/agricultural district. 

Mr. Gravina was not at the meeting but Mr. Gravina had a discussion with Chair Jeff Miller about the voluntary merger of the two lots. The Board voted to accept the voluntary merger on the conditions that the voluntary merger application be filled out and notarized. The notarized application will be accompanied by a letter from the mortgage-holding bank approving the voluntary merger. Two checks – one for $25 made out to the Town of Walpole, which is the fee for the application, and a second check for $12 made out to the Cheshire Country Registry of Deeds – will accompany the application. The application will be signed by the chair and vice-chair of the Planning Board. The secretary will register the Voluntary Merger.

Mr. Dalessio made a motion to approve the voluntary merger with those conditions. Mr Harrington seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Lot Line Adjustment: Jeddadiah R. and Lila D. Pellerin, 115 Brewery Lane, Tax Map 14, Lots 11 and 11-1, Residential B. Transfer .2 acres from Lot 11, owned by James F. Mort and Marilyn D. Dooley, 109 Brewery Road, to Lot 11-1, owned by Jeddadiah and Lila Pellerin. The .2 acres has the well and septic tank for the 115 Brewery Lane property on it. 

A motion was made by Mr. Perron to hold a Public Hearing for the Lot Line Adjustment at the November Planning Board meeting. Mr. Harrington seconded the motion and the motion carried. 

DOT Grant for sidewalk from Walpole school to North Meadow Plaza: In two of the updated sections of the Master Plan, there is mention of wanting the desire for a sidewalk from the Walpole School to North Meadow Plaza. With this goal in mind, the Board looked over a possible grant suggested by the Southwest Regional Planning Commission. The grant that the Board looked at was called Transportation Alternatives Program from the District Department of Transportation.

The following are some of the comments and questions regarding whether or not this grant should be completed.

This is a daunting project. You have to a have project manager who has had experience dealing with grants from the federal government.

You would need to hire a project manager. 

There has to be a detailed budget.

Is the grant available every year? Yes.

The town needs to pay in advance for the work on the project, but that doesn’t guarantee you will be awarded grant money.

Towns applying for funds probably have a larger staff than Walpole does, so for those towns, there probably isn’t that outside cost of having to hire a grant writer to complete the application work.

The cost of grant for the work on the Houghton Brook project was $15,000 and that included studies from a structural engineer and work from the Department of Environmental Services.

Is there an alternative funding source?

Does the grant have to be completed by spring of 2021? 

We’d would have to get approval of money for the project ahead of time and the only time that is possible is in March. 

The acquisition of land would be minor.

The plan is for a sidewalk that would go from the school to the former RN Johnson property or where Houghton’s company is. Then there would be a crossover to the Walpole Fire Station. The sidewalk would continue along Main Street, possibly go through the field to the ball park, where a sidewalk would be built along the east side of Upper Walpole Road. Another crossover would go to North Meadow Plaza.

Is this really feasible? Is this a matching grant? If the town is awarded this grant, the town would be responsible for 20 percent of the total cost of the project.

The final decision was to go back to SWRPC and Lisa Murphy and see if there is someone there who could help the town. Is there someone who could act as project manager? Mr. Miller said he would do this and report back to the board.

Adjournment: Mr. Perron made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

Secretary

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