Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 6/3/21

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry, Chair of the Walpole Selectboard, called this meeting via Zoom to order at 6:33 PM.  The Selectboard members are in three separate locations.  Also attending this meeting is Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration, in the Walpole Town Hall and Mrs. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary, by telephone at a separate location.  This meeting was being recorded.  There were two members of the public in attendance.

Ms. Mayberry called for a voice roll call of the Selectboard present:  Steven Dalessio was present; Peggy Pschirrer was present and Cheryl Mayberry was present.  This meeting will be in accordance with Virtual Meetings, Emergency Order #12, which has been effective since March 2020.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE: 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $98,936.30 for checks issued June 4, 2021.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry advised this includes a payment in the amount of $70,647.58 to E.E. Houghton for a combination of regular and Elm Street Water/Sewer project invoices. Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, motion was approved.

PAYROLL:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending May 29, 2021, in the amount of $28,327.24 dated June 4, 2021, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $5,395.61.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms.  Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – May 27, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of May 27, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION MINUTES – May 27, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of May 27, 2021, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the following Committee reports:

  • North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – May 4, 2021;
  • North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – May 11, 2021;
  • North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – May 18, 2021;
  • North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – May 25, 2021;
  • Walpole Fire District Monthly Meeting – May 5, 2021;
  • Cemetery Trustees Meeting – May 6, 2021.

BUILDING PERMIT:

Permit No. 2021-25, MAP and LOT #005-031-002:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to grant Building Permit No. 2021-25 for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #005-031-002 to add a “20’ x 12’ Deck” to a house.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, motion was approved.

OLD BUSINESS:

NHMA Notice:  In-Person Meetings Starting June 12th, 2021:  Ms. Mayberry announced that a notice was received from the New Hampshire Municipal Association that the Governor’s Emergency Order will be ending effective June 12th, 2021.  Next week’s Selectboard meeting on Thursday, June 10th, will still be remote with Senator Jay Kahn starting at 4:30 PM.  In-person meetings in Walpole will begin on Thursday, June 17th, 2021, at 6:30 PM.

Economic Revitalization Zones – Hubbard Farms:  Ms. Mayberry advised that Michael Bergeron and Bridgett Beckwith from the State of New Hampshire were to attend a Zoom meeting on June 17th.  Due to the fact that this meeting will now be an in-person meeting and involve travel for them, Mrs. Downing will look into the possibility of having a hybrid meeting.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned it would be helpful if we could do it for this meeting.

National Scenic Byway Funding Opportunity:  Ms. Mayberry talked to Mr. J.B. Mack at the Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC).  Scenic Byways is different than Scenic Roads.  This funding was not available for about ten years but it is coming back again.  An interesting part of this is access to recreation areas. Therefore, she forwarded it to Mrs. Alicia Flammia of the Conservation Commission as there might be an opportunity to improve access to Walker Road.  Ms. Mayberry asked if it is something they could talk about at the next Conservation Commission meeting.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned the Connecticut River is a NH Scenic Byway.  Mr. Ray Boas advised there is also a line item for Native American sites.  A resident, Gail Golec, is extremely knowledgeable about archeology.  Maybe there could be a roadside monument/plaque or sign erected?  He recommended they contact her as she could provide some input into the area and the history.  Ms. Mayberry will do that.  If the Conservation Commission agrees to do this, they could just put a letter out there to meet the deadline of June 15th.  Mr. J.B. Mack will keep her updated.  Mr. Boas noted that Walker Road was also on his list.        

Senator Shaheen Congressionally Directed Spending Item Request Form FY 2022 and Addendum re: Vilas Bridge Sewer Line:  Ms. Mayberry reported they need letters of support from people who benefit from this project.  Mr. Dalessio reached out to Mr. Ron Bouchard at Cheshire County.  The Connecticut River is the water source for the Maplewood Nursing Home.  There would be a huge problem if it was contaminated.  Mrs. Downing wrote to Ms. Kathy Urffer at the Connecticut River Conservancy to see if they could provide a letter of support.

Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood:  Ms. Mayberry talked to Mr. J.B. Mack at the Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC) and he feels it is a great idea to make the proposal.  A suggestion is for Mr. Dalessio to talk to Mr. Todd Horner for funding resources and see if we, as a Town, can petition them; this is an economic priority.  Mr. Dalessio felt that next year they should keep an eye on the Northern Borders Grant Program.  Mrs. Pschirrer told Mr. Dennis Marcom that they would continue to look for funding sources.  Bensonwood is running out of their own power and needs some assistance.  The prices quoted by Liberty Utilities are huge numbers.  Ms. Mayberry advised that they want to keep as much of Bensonwood in Walpole as they can.                 

Grange Night:  Mrs. Pschirrer confirmed that the Grange will move their Awards Night to July 20th, 2021, in the Town Hall. 

Pending Further Actions:

Tax Deeded Property Sale, Mill Pond Dam Inspection, Reservoir Dam, Vilas Bridge, Houghton Brook Bridge, Generators:  Mr. Dalessio had no new updates on any of these agenda items. Therefore they will remain on the Pending Further Actions list.

NEW BUSINESS:

Letter of Commitment to NH Bureau of Trails:  Ms.  Mayberry thanked Mrs. Wendy Grossman for attending this meeting.  They just need to move to approve the letter.  Mr. Dalessio noted all the information she sent was beneficial.  Ms. Mayberry mentioned they had a high level conversation at the Conservation Commission meeting.  They appreciate everything she has done and hope it gets approved.  Mrs. Grossman noted they will know in August or September if the grant is approved. 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Letter of Commitment to the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Recreation Revolving Fund Request:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Recreation Department’s request to purchase metal benches for sporting events for the amount of $1,900 to be withdrawn from their Revolving Fund.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

Purchase Order for Recycling Center Paving:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the purchase order for the Recycling Center paving for the amount of $20,700.  This project was approved at Town Meeting under Warrant Article #9.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Community Power Committee Update:  Mrs. Pschirrer reported the Community Power Committee has met three times.  Mr. Paul Looney is the Chair.  Steve Grenier, Dennis Marcom and Ron Bouchard are the committee members.  They reached out to other possible members but they have not as yet responded.  They hope to expand by two-to-three more members.  There has been legislation in the State of New Hampshire since 1996 that would allow unity coalitions to buy power at a cheaper rate.  Right now there is a coalition in Hanover and Lebanon; Harrisville and Exeter are expected to join soon.  Their aim is to buy electric power as a group at a cheaper rate. Hopefully all towns will move from ground power to green power but it takes time and a great deal of effort to put together a contract, the concept and then take it to a Town Meeting.  Her first request is that the Selectboard authorizes the committee because that would be a requirement of anything they might do in a connection with a State coalition.  The County is also forming a coalition but, at this point, the legislation does not allow it to act as a State coalition.  They will come back to explain the proposed plan.  If the warrant should pass that we join that coalition everybody will get a letter asking them if they want to opt out of the program.  Liberty Utilities buys power on the market; they do not generate it.  This is much more complicated than Broadband.     

Mr. Dalessio moved to appoint a committee for the Community Power Committee and allow it to be headed up by Paul Looney.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.                  

SWRPC Focus on Aging Group:  Mrs. Pschirrer attends these meetings at the Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC).  They would like to have us participate in an Aging Study for the County.  At the last meeting there was discussion about the priorities in each community.  She felt a little left out because there were so many economic development people there; Walpole does not have an Economic Development Committee or anyone who does grant writing.  She talked about things in the Town of Walpole knowing what she did for the EPA Grant.  We have at least 1,000 people over the age of 60.  We might not know about the 2020 Census until 2022.  Our Annual Reports for the last few years have shown the Town has more people dying than are being born.  She feels housing and public transportation should be discussed.  With Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio’s permission, she is going to start talking to the River Valley Seniors about transportation as they provide medical rides, do grocery shopping, etc.  She will also talk to the Walpole Foundation who is interested in housing and may, in the future, do some kind of building.  Housing is needed for people who want to down-size but remain in Walpole.  It was an interesting discussion because there were so many similarities to other area towns.  A few towns wanted to focus on social programming.  Walpole already does that.  As the result of their Brownfields Project, Walpole will have a perfect spot for people to come for public transportation.  Mr. Dalessio does not see any reason why we should not keep going but he added the Master Plan addressed some of these things.  It is important to connect these two things.  He assumes they will see that document at the end of June.  Housing and transportation are at the top of the list.  Mrs. Pschirrer feels it is important for her to talk to all these groups.  We do not have an Economic Development Plan; young people need to be considered.  Mr. Dalessio noted without transportation, we are not going to keep young people in Town because the jobs will not be in Walpole.  Ms. Mayberry stated we do not have housing.  It is limited and a challenge; there is a shortage around the country.  SWRPC wants Mrs. Pschirrer to put together a committee. She will start to work on this.  Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry offered to help her.              

Cub Scouts Event in Town Hall:  The Selectboard approved the request from the Cub Scouts to have a Pinewood Derby after July 15th but before September 1st.  September 1st is the agreed date to open up the Town Hall to community events and rentals. 

Ms. Mayberry thanked Wendy Grossman for attend this meeting to do a presentation on the Cheshire Rail Trail Rehabilitation RTP Grant.  She also thanked Ray Boas for his input on Walker Road and the Native American sites.      

RECESS SELECTBOARD MEETING:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to recess this Selectboard meeting.  The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 7:14 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:18 PM.

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 and (c) Reputations.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 7:19 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:43 PM.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of June 3, 2021, will be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mr. Dalessio moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  On a voice roll call vote with Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

                                                                       

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