Walpole Town Staff Meeting – 6/17/21

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

Staff Present:​​Sarah Downing (Manager of Administration); Richard Kreissle (Administrator of Finance); Michael Rau (Road Agent/Highway Department); Kraig Harlow (Recreation Director); Jane Malmberg (Library Director); Meghan Hansson (Town Clerk/Tax Collector); Regina Borden (Recording Secretary)

Staff Excused:​​Chief Justin Sanctuary (Police Department); Ben Hoy (Recycling Director); Helen Dalbeck (Hooper Institute Executive Director); 

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry called this Staff meeting to order at 5:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  This meeting is being recorded by the Town.

Highway Department:  Mr. Rau began with the “Walpole Highway Mission Statement”:

“With integrity, commitment, and teamwork our goal is to provide an efficient, accessible, and sustainable transportation system for the people and businesses of Walpole.  We are committed to public safety and providing the highest level of service to the community.”

Mr. Rau submitted the following written report dated June 2021:

As we head into hot summer weather, highway has been noticeable busy working on roadway projects.  They have finished all necessary culvert replacements in preparation for this year’s paving.  The drainage improvement project on the intersection of North Road and Drewsville Road was completed and has been working out well.  More ditching has been done on North Road and Main Street.  They have begun repairing catch basins in the villages.  Big thanks to the highway crew who continue to follow safety precautions while out and about.  Crews are provided road safety apparel as well as water to keep hydrated in the hot weather.  Do not forget while out driving to proceed with caution near crews as well as maintain a safe working zone by avoiding these areas when possible.

Mr. Rau reported that the Fuzzy Bros will be working on Elm Street next Tuesday.  The Highway Department will help as much as they can.  He thinks the project will go quick after they are past the Town Hall.  Relative to the pink cones, a lot of landscapers use similar ones.  The Town has now lost four.

Mr. Dalessio asked if they did the Mill Pond Dam maintenance as the Department of Environmental Services (DES) might come to check the dam.  Mr. Rau said Keith Hebert mows/trims that area periodically. 

Mrs. Pschirrer asked how they chose “transportation” in their Mission.  Transportation suggests trains, cars, etc.  Mr. Rau explained that the wording is broader in meaning to include walkers and bicyclists that may use roads and sidewalks.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned as long as they are interpreting it that way it is acceptable.  There was discussion regarding the condition of some sidewalks and the need to repair and/or replace some of them.  

Finance Office:  Mr. Rich Kreissle read the following “Mission Statement”:

“Seeks to provide timely, accurate, and meaningful financial results to all stakeholders through the recording of a financial transactions in accordance with governmental accounting standards and professional ethics ensure high levels of confidence in those reported results.”

Mr. Kreissle submitted the following written report dated June 17, 2021:

Audit:  

The audit quietly progresses but all the action is on the auditor’s end.  Now that they’ve accumulated the documentation requested during the field work portion, they’ll be performing the analysis that goes into creating their report for the year ending 12/31/2020.  He can anticipate questions from time to time but for the most part he doesn’t need to dedicate any regular time to it.

Printers & Copiers:

They received competitive proposals from all of four vendors that they solicited.  The proposals contained information about their offerings in various ways.  To do an apples-to-apples comparison, he drew up a rubric in order to do an objective comparison following by a narrative addressing various concerns that arose as a result of that rubric.  Finally, he did a cost analysis.  Mrs. Downing thanked Mr. Kreissle for doing such a good job.  Having a reliable copier is so important.

Summer Help:

Gearing up for additional payroll entries resulting from the pool opening and the Hooper kids.  He does about 40 pay checks per week with the Pool and Hooper.  Payroll is busy.  

Town Clerk/Tax Collector:  Mrs. Meghan Hansson read the following “Mission Statement”:

“In addition to being the main conduit for monies incoming to the Town, I and my Deputy serve as local representatives of the State of New Hampshire for: running fair elections, transacting Motor Vehicle registrations, creating certified vital records, and licensing dogs for the State and Town.  We are the gateway for establishing residency in the Town of Walpole.  We preserve records and collect fees and taxes to keep the Town running.  Our mission is to perform these tasks in a manner that is efficient, helpful, and done in a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere.”

Ms. Mayberry mentioned they are also representatives of the Town of Walpole.  They have a successful relationship with the community at large.  

Mrs. Hansson submitted the following written report dated June 17, 2021:• People are paying their spring tax bills; have deposited two million dollars of property taxes since the tax bills were mailed out.• Three properties have been deeded as of 6/14/2021.  Legal counsel is advised for the CVC (Central Vermont Communication) property.• Sent Deed Notices to Cheshire County Registry of Deeds for the three properties.  Certified letters to owners and mortgage companies mailed out today.• Of the $96,396 collected by the Clerk, about 72K belongs to the Town.• Registered 481 vehicles between the last staff meeting and this one.• Registered 31 boats between the last staff meeting and this one.• Licensed 38 dogs between the last staff meeting and this one.• Have sent another dog licensing report to the Police Department for their use, and one was also sent to the Selectmen’s Office for their information.• Have been getting estimates for office renovation effort.

Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned the dog list was very long. How can they help Mrs. Hansson collect these fees for registering dogs? A few years ago Mrs. Hansson went through the list and called people to remind them. They did get a fair number of responses. They could send post card reminder notices in the spring but that costs money. Mrs. Pschirrer said but with the number of unlicensed dogs every year they are losing money. People are breaking the law. If they get a notice they have an opportunity to pay but if they do not then they get a ticket. Ms. Mayberry noted we need to send a message that not registering your dog is not okay, we will enforce this and they will pay a fine.

Selectboard Office:  Mrs. Downing read the following “Mission Statement”:

“The mission of the Selectboard Office, under the direction of the Selectboard, is to provide efficient, orderly and effective services that meet the needs of the community.  The Selectboard Office serves as a link between the Selectboard and the residents of the Town of Walpole.”

Mrs. Downing submitted the following written report dated June 17, 2021:

Facilities Update:

Due to the tight employment market, contractors scheduled to work on the Town Hall this summer are requesting delays to the start dates of projects.  The painting of the Town Hall most likely will be delayed until 2022.  The entrance ramp, the repair of the second-floor ceiling and the entrance ramp replacement are highly likely to be postponed to next year.  We are hopeful that the slate roof repair and replacing the back door of the Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s Office will occur this year.

The water fountain in the Town Hall first floor hallway is no longer functioning.  A new water fountain has been ordered which has a water bottle filling option.  This will help reduce the need for one-use plastic bottles and will be convenient for those wishing to refill their drinking water containers with great tasting Walpole water.

Office Update:

Support continues with the Brownfields Clean-up of the Central Plating Site, Community Power Committee, and youth hires for the summer.  Mrs. Downing supports Mrs. Pschirrer on the Brownfields Clean-up of the Central Plating Site.  Mrs. Daigle supports Mrs. Pschirrer on the Community Power Committee.  

Human Resources:

A reminder to employees that the July 4th holiday as a paid day off move to July 5th.  When a paid holiday falls on a Sunday, the day off moves to the following Monday.

Walpole Town Library:

Mrs. Jane Malmberg read the following “Mission Statement”:

“To assemble and administer collections of books and related materials which will serve to stimulate freedom of thought, enhance breadth and depth of knowledge, and enrich recreation and leisure time activities.  To provide opportunities for children, youth, and adults to educate themselves continuously.  And to seek to identify community needs and interests and to meet these needs.”

My interpretation of the Library’s Mission:

To provide the community with a welcoming and culturally rich center for information, education, enrichment, and recreation.

Mrs. Malmberg submitted the following written report dated June 17, 2021:

Library Services:

In keeping with the other municipal buildings in town, masks are no longer required at the library if you are fully vaccinated.  We are still asking patrons to socially distance as much as possible.

North Walpole Library:

Opening day at the North Walpole branch went well – we had 13 visitors between 1:00 and 4:00 pm.  New curtains have been hung.  They plan to purchase a new rug and have the sign outside repainted to reflect the new hours.

ARPA Grant:

I have spent the past month researching and working on the application for the American Rescue Plan Act grant.  This grant is being administered by the NH State Library using ARPA funds distributed through the Institute for Museum and Library Services.  I have asked for funding for expanding our Launchpad collection at the main library and starting a new collection in North Walpole, and for funding for a 1-year subscription to Universal Class.  This is a service that allows patrons to choose from hundreds of classes of all kinds – business, career training, craft/hobbies, computer training, financial, self-help, general education, personal development, etc.  The courses are accredited and can be accessed through the library’s website or through the Libby App.  Here is a link to what they offer:

https://www.universalclass.com/for-libraries/.  I think our patrons will love the variety of classes offered.  I have attended some information sessions offered by the State Library on the application process.  I submitted the application on Tuesday, June 15th and should receive a response soon.

Programming:

We had 28 people in total attend the two-part Talking About Race discussion.  I received a lot of positive feedback from the presenters and attendees.  I was a powerful discussion.  In response to the interests of the group, I am planning to start a Social Justice Reading and Conversation Group at the library this summer.

Summer Reading starts on Wednesday, June 16th.  Information, registration, and a schedule of family activities are on the website.  We will also have packets with activities and information available at both the main library and the North Walpole Branch.

Chris and I are also planning a weekly History Mystery quiz in July for adults – mystery photos will be posted on Facebook and the first person to identify the image in the photo will get bragging rights for the week.

The library book club will resume meeting in the library beginning in July.  The Nonfiction book is planning a special forum on immigration which will be held in the library in either August or September.

Policy/Procedures:

I am working on updating our meeting and behavior policies which will then be reviewed by the trustees.

Mrs. Malmberg also submitted Monthly Library Statistics for May 2020 and May 2021.

Walpole Recreation:  Mr. Harlow read the following “Mission Statement”:

“The mission of Walpole Park and Recreation Department is to strengthen the lives of the residents of Walpole by providing a variety of affordable recreation activities for a diverse community.  The goal of these activities are to create opportunities to promote, health, wellness, learning fun and togetherness.”

Mr. Harlow submitted the following written report dated June 17, 2021:

Pool:• The pool will be opening this Saturday, June 19th.• 14 lifeguards are returning and we have hired two new lifeguards.• This year the staff will be selling ice creams, waters and ice pops again like years past.• Swim lessons are returning for this pool season starting on Monday, June 21st.• There are two sessions scheduled with the potential of a third in August.• Added multiple games for kids to use down at the pool house that include a large connect four, yard Jenga blocks, Spikeball, and Kan-Jam.

Pool Maintenance & Repairs:• The pool meter has been replaced by Houghton at the cost of $9,451.01.• The hot water tanks are going to be replaced by Houghton with the left over money.• Replaced four filters which cost of $3,000.• The cost of chlorine is up this season, we’ve purchased 100 cases at $2,000.• The pool cover will need to be patched at the end of the season.• They are looking into replacing the water fountains at the pool and tennis court with water bottle filler to meet up with a more eco-friendly and sanitary option.

Summer Basketball:• This summer they are offing a K-2 skill development program on Monday nights, grades 3-4 3v3 league, and the 5-8 summer league on Monday and Wednesday.• Currently, 100 kids are signed-up between the three different programs.• Their basketball program has generated roughly $1,800 dollars this season.• This year they have purchased aluminum benches for the players at the cost of $1,875 and will also be used for their soccer program.• They would like to thank Bowman Dental, Cold River Materials, and Chroma for sponsoring their three teams in the 5-8 Summer League.• They would also like to thank the Savings Bank of Walpole for sponsoring our 3v3 league this year.

Soccer Camp:• He is talking with the Springfield Girls Soccer Coach Ray Curren to offer mini soccer camp from July 12-16th.• Camp would take place in the early mornings from 8:30am to 12:00pm.• We’ll use block times so we can provide age appropriate drills for kids.

Community Events:• Our movie screen and projector came in Wednesday afternoon and was delivered by Premiere movies.• They are hoping to show their first movie in late-July down at Whitcomb Park.• Stephanie and the lifeguard staff are going to offer a tie-dye shirt day for the community in July and possibly August.• We will be collecting used athletic equipment for Bonnie Woodward and the Congregational Church in Walpole to help children in Zimbabwe from June 21st to July 12th.

Recreation Committee:• The Recreation Committee met yesterday to discuss the program and plans to meet in late August.

Mrs. Pschirrer asked if the soccer coach will be paid.  Mr. Harlow said he would not be paid.  Ms. Mayberry asked if the gym is being used at the school.  Mr. Harlow replied that Mr. Cassarino is allowing them to use the gym on bad-weather days.  Mr. Dalessio reminded Mr. Harlow to watch his budget.  Mrs. Pschirrer reported that, in her walk today, Stephanie brought to her attention the loss of several inches of water every day. We might have a substantial leak.  There are no visible cracks.

Recycling Staff Meeting Report June:  Mr. Ben Hoy was unable to attend this meeting but had previously submitted the following Mission and monthly report:

“Our primary mission at Walpole recycling is to condition the public to look forward to attending our facility and have a pleasant experience with our staff, volunteers, and the public.  Walpole recycling promotes community involvement and pride in making environmentally conscious decisions that help to set the standard for what a clean and green town can be.  Advocating for volunteer help and consistently implementing better industry practices has helped to keep the public’s interest in our mission.”

It is important to consistently keep the recycling center clean and organized, because the public is more likely to conduct their business at the recycling center in a clean and organized fashion.  Once this trend is established, everyone’s experience at Walpole recycling is a happy one!!  The effort to recycle is rewarded in an environmental, financial, and “team Walpole” sense of working together. 

We at Walpole recycling try to send you home happier from our facility than you were coming in.  Thanks to Mike Rau and the highway department for picking up retaining wall blocks and setting a new wall for our concrete pad project at Walpole recycling!  Site development is nearing completion, just waiting on concrete contractor Seldon Lund to schedule time to pour concrete pad.  

Walpole Police Department: Police Chief Justin Sanctuary was unable to attend this meeting but had previously submitted the following Mission, Values, and Vision.  

MISSION STATEMENT

“In cooperation with the people of Walpole and in partnership with other public and private agencies, to assume a leadership role through a problem-solving approach to preventing crime and disorder, reducing citizen fear of crime, providing for the safe and efficient flow of traffic, providing various support activities, and improving the quality of life as we work together to make Walpole an “all-American town”.

VALUE STATEMENT

The Walpole Police Department is committed to fulfilling its mission by upholding the following values:

Integrity

We will adhere to the highest ethical standards and accept responsibility for our decisions and actions.

Respect

We will treat all employees, offenders and the public with fairness, honesty, consideration and respect while recognizing individual diversity.

Professionalism

We will be firm, fair and consistent in the performance of our duties and responsibilities.  As positive role models, we will take pride in maintaining the quality of our services through our performance, appearance and continued education and training.  We will instill trust and teamwork by providing support to fellow employees and promoting cooperation and effective communication.

VISION

It is our vision that the Walpole Police Department will continue to strive for community service delivered at the highest standards possible.

Hooper Institute:  Mrs. Helen Dalbeck was unable to attend this meeting but had previously submitted the following Director’s Report dated June 17, 2021.

“The work that we do at the Hooper Institute and in our schools and community is informed and inspired by our mission to provide educational and scholarship programs to the youth and citizens of Walpole in the following focus areas: Agriculture, Forestry, Botany, Soils and Environmental Science”

School Programs and School Gardens: June was the month of special programs for our students. Pond studies and trail walks with 5th and 6th grade plus finding the largest/oldest white oak in the Village Cemetery. Gardens all look terrific and are growing nicely. The students prepare the soil and plant the beds at all three schools. Lots of flowers and herbs were transplanted from the high tunnel to the gardens by the older students. The river trip, kayaking and canoeing over two days with 6th grade students, parents and several teachers was amazing. A total of 17 miles! It felt like a rite of passage for the kids. Many fish and the bird watching was great.

High School Work Program:  10 students accepted, 8 currently all set with paperwork.  One pending, one is MIA.  Five of the students will work as counselors for the Hooper Camp first then go to the job sites by July 2.  Mentor guidelines plus timesheets will be delivered to sites next week (between leading camps).  She will call the students then to let them know they can begin to work.  The average award is 110 hours.

CAMP Hooper Summer Camp for grades 1-2 and 3-4, 26 kids registered.  Adventure Camp grades 5-8 Week 1 and 2 plus Woodworking.  21 students registered.  Camps begin June 21.  Woodworking day 1 is July 19.

Outreach and Marketing:  Ongoing, on all fronts.

Facility and Land:   Extra landscaping and mowing happening around community garden for tick control.

Administration:  Joni Cormier and Kim Anderson are our newest board members.  FOHI members have met several times to plan a Fall Festival at the Hooper Institute on September 11.  July 7, a newly formed Development Committee will begin meeting.

Public Programs: Circus in the Woods on May 23 was sold out. The day had mostly good weather with the 2 o’clock show shortened by a downpour. This event was novel, fun, and folks were very positive about their circus experience. The parking went really well with the Inn plus parents and staff parked off site as she felt it very important to have access for those that needed close to venue parking as well as possible emergency vehicles. The parking plan showed her we can handle large events at the Hooper Institute with the help of their neighbors.

Eyes on Owls was attended by 42 people plus four volunteers(Thank you Joni, Holly, Katherine and Lenette). The venue at the Recreation Park worked out really well. The heat was intense but she knew everyone that attended loved the program. They will do it again.

Walpole Community Garden:  The WCB (with FOHI) is hosting four garden talks/presentations this year.  Next one is July 31 on “Pollinators” presented by her, 10 am.

Ms. Mayberry thanked everyone for coming.  It was nice to see them.  Start thinking about their projects for next year before budget time arrives.  

ADJOURNMENT:  Ms. Mayberry adjourned this Staff Meeting at 5:59 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

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