Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 7/1/21

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry, Chair of the Walpole Selectboard, called this meeting to order at 6:28 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  This meeting was being recorded.  There were four members of the public in attendance:  Mr. Ray Boas, Mr. Stephen Stefanko; Mr. Peter Palmiotto and Mr. Rutherford Witthus.

Ms. Mayberry called for a voice roll call of the Selectboard present:  Peggy Pschirrer was present; Steven Dalessio was present; and Cheryl Mayberry was present.  Also attending this meeting was Mrs. Jodi Daigle, Water & Sewer Clerk and Administrative Assistant, and Mrs. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary.

PUBLIC BUSINESS: 

STREET LIGHT COMPLAINT 44 Elm Street:  Mr. Stephen Stefanko lives at 62 Elm Street.  Last Saturday they noticed Liberty Utilities working on the lights.  At 9:30 PM he started living on the “land of the midnight-sun”.  They did not need a flashlight for their usual evening walk.  It was not necessary for them to turn on their outside pole light; it was that bright.  The glare from the lights was blinding.  He would never be able to see the stars.  He understands there are reasons for the conversion such as saving the Town money, but they suddenly find themselves living in a fishbowl.  They could dim the lights, put some shields on the lights, have motion sensors or put a timer on them so they dim after 9:00 PM.  Get rid of the light on the pole across from their house.  Other areas are testing other types of lighting.  Mr. Stefanko left a copy of “Doctors Issue Warning About LED Streetlights” for the Selectboard to review.

Mr. Ray Boas applauds Mr. Steve Grenier on the work he did to save the Town money.  However, it ends up with more issues other than saving money.  Aesthetics need to be considered.  Nineteen years ago when he closed on his house there, was no light in front of it.  A few years later a pole was erected and the light came on but it was a soft amber glow.  It covered the street as it should have.  At that time he had trees in front but they are now gone.  The night his light was changed he was on his back porch reading when he saw a light on the church, checked it out, saw Liberty Utilities working there so sat down to watch.  All of a sudden the light came on and it was so bright.  The lawns and his house were lit up as though there was a spotlight on it.  He talked to the technician who said there was a lower wattage light but he had run out.  He thinks there are more lights in that area than meets the need.  He is wondering if the illumination is consistent with the zoning regulations.  The birds usually start to chirp about 4:10-to-4:20 AM.  He did some research; the birds are confused as they have started chirping as early as 3:00 AM.  He and the other gentlemen attending this meeting would like to have something done.

Mr. Peter Palmiotto lives at 66 Elm Street.  He read the letter written by Mr. Grenier about a year ago when this first came up.  A few months ago as he was crossing the bridge he saw bright street lights in VT and hoped he would not see them in Walpole.  When he saw the new bright lights a few nights ago, he was disappointed.  How can they mitigate the wattage?  He talked to his neighbor who lives across the road from him; that neighbor thought it was the moon when he first noticed the bright light.  His daughter’s bedroom is fully illuminated now.  She would like a dimmer light.

Mr. Dalessio noted they are not the first people to express concerns.  Two people from Drewsville immediately came to a meeting.  They complained to Liberty Utilities who came out quickly and changed a 50 watt bulb to a 20 watt bulb and another light was removed.  The lights meet AMA requirements; the color is different than the brightness.  He feels something can be done.  However, he is concerned with having too many variations in Town.  He would like to discuss having a broader plan.  Mr. Steve Grenier, as a citizen, piloted this program and they can turn-off lights for $50 if they are not necessary.

Mr. Boas advised the technician said to call Liberty Utilities, but he would like to have the Town make the approach.  Mrs. Pschirrer pointed out that they will discuss this so the lights are consistent all over Town and not have dark spots where there are dangerous spots.  Ms. Mayberry feels a reduction to 20 watt lights is a good option in specific areas, but after the lights get changed then make a determination whether or not to shut lights off.  She is sympathetic to people who want to see the night sky.  The plan is for continuity.  Mr. Boas mentioned consistency makes good sense.  Ms. Mayberry advised the concerns in Drewsville got fixed quickly.  The Selectboard will discuss it, talk with Mr. Grenier and Liberty Utilities.  They do not want people to have daylight in their homes in the middle of the night, having the birds chirping at 3:00 AM or Mr. Palmiotto’s daughter thinking it is daylight in her bedroom all the time.  They want to do the right thing for the residents. She did not think the lights would be that much brighter.  They want people to feel safe walking at night.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned concerns for safety on some of the country roads.  There are 70 miles of road in Walpole.  Recently they had the white lines re-painted on the edge of the roads as some are quite dark and heavily traveled.  There is a need for lights on some roads.

Mr. Dalessio announced that these new LED street lights have nothing to do with the E.E. Houghton Company.  Any concerns should be directed to the Selectboard Office.                          

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $551,038.59 for checks issued July 2, 2021.  This includes three checks to Walpole Fire District totaling $293,000 and the Consolidated Communications, Inc. bond payment for $98,970.05.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

PAYROLL:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending June 26, 2021, in the amount of $32,163.54 for checks dated July 1, 2021, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $6,071.01.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES: 

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – June 24. 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of June 24, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved. 

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION MINUTES – June 24, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of June 24, 2021, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

OLD BUSINESS:

47 Main Street Land Purchase:  Ms. Mayberry reported that Burdick & Burns, LLC (BBLLC) is asking if the Town has an interest in selling this land to BBLLC for a nominal value in exchange for BBLLC maintaining this land at its expense.  This is the small plot of land that is the corner of the parking lot that goes out to the road.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted they own everything except that small piece by the grocery store.  

Mr. Dalessio moved that the Town sell this plot of land at 47 Main Street to Burdick & Burns (BBLLC) for the sum of $1.00 and to authorize Mrs. Sarah Downing to do the research.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

Mrs. Pschirrer reported that under the RSA the Town has to hold two Public Hearings two weeks apart and then a week later make the decision.  These Public Hearings can be scheduled on a Thursday prior to the regular Selectboard meetings.

Community Power Committee:  Mrs. Pschirrer advised there are now two new members on the Community Power Committee:  Mr. Andrew Dey and Mr. Patrick Kiniry.  They had a meeting last night.

Pending Further Actions:

Tax Deeded Property Sale, Mill Pond Dam Inspection, Vilas Bridge, Houghton Brook Bridge, Generators, Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood:   These agenda items will remain on the list as there were no new updates at this meeting.

NEW BUSINESS:

North Walpole Village District Allocation for Pilot Agreement:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the PILOT payment from the Great River Hydro to the North Walpole Village District in the amount of $35,692.13.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

NH GOFERR ARPA Application:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to authorize Mr. Rich Kreissle, Manager of Finance, to be the contact person for the NH GOFERR ARPA and the authorized signee.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Purchase Order – Concrete Blocks for Retaining Wall:  Mr. Dalessio moved to approve Purchase Order #678135 for Carroll Concrete in the amount of $2,052.76 for concrete blocks for the retaining wall at the Recycling Center.  This was approved under Warrant Article #9.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Purchase Order – Town Hall Roof Repairs:  Mr. Dalessio moved to approve Purchase Order #678078 for Griffin Construction to do roof repairs to the Town Hall, not to exceed $6,000 without prior approval of the Selectboard.  This was approved under Warrant Article #5.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Settlement Information:  Mrs. Pschirrer reported there was a lawsuit settlement which stated that member groups and their covered employees may be eligible to participate as part of the Self-Funded Damages Class and must file a claim with the settlement administrator by November 5, 2021, to do so. 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to authorize Mrs. Sarah Downing to apply for the settlement from the Blue Cross/Blue Shield settlement on behalf of the Town of Walpole and she will notify the employees.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

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.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 7:13 PM. 

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:18 PM. 

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION:

Mr. Dalessio 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 Mrs. Pschirrer.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, motion was approved at 7:19 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:48 PM.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of July 1, 2021, will be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

NEW BUSINESS (Continued):

Brownfields Project:  Mrs. Pschirrer reported there will be a Public Meeting on Tuesday, July 13th, 2021, at 1:00 PM.

Southwest Region Planning Commission:   Mrs. Pschirrer has been talking with Lisa at SWRPC about the Age Review Group as she wants to include emergency plans.  There is no building in Town that has air conditioning if it was needed as a cooling center.  The Fire Station has no elevator.  Mr. Dalessio pointed out that quite some time ago Mr. Mark Houghton did an A/C Plan.  Mrs. Pschirrer would like to see that plan as she was not aware there was one.  Lisa reminded her to contact Ms. Liz Gilboy about generators.  They also talked about public transportation.  The Complete Streets application is due in September.  If they are going to talk about expanding sidewalks, an engineer should be hired. 

ADJOURNMENT:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the meeting adjourned at 7:50 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

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