Selectboard Present: Cheryl Mayberry (Chair); Steven Dalessio; Peggy Pschirrer
Staff Present: Sarah Downing (Manager of Administration); Justin Sanctuary (Chief Police Department); Michael Rau (Road Agent/Highway Department); Ben Hoy (Recycling Director); Kraig Harlow (Recreation Director); Jane Malmberg (Library Director); Helen Dalbeck (Hooper Institute Executive Director); Meghan Hansson (Town Clerk/Tax Collector); Regina Borden (Recording Secretary)
Excused: Richard Kreissle (Administrator of Finance)
CALL TO ORDER: Ms. Mayberry called this Staff Meeting to order at 5:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall. This meeting was being recorded by the Town.
Walpole Town Library: Mrs. Jane Malmberg, Library Director, presented the following report dated July 2021:
They are continuing to see an uptick in visits to the library and materials checked out. Their first two weeks at the North Walpole Library went well – they were open for 33 hours and had 40 visitors. Circulation of items was 73.
Summer Reading has gotten off to a good start. They have 55 people registered for the reading challenge as of July 13th. They are still seeing the effects of Covid as far as program attendance goes. Their most popular programs have been story times, the weekly Grafton Science Museum visits, Wildlife Adventures and the Teddy Bear Picnic. They have not had a lot of interest in their Thursday and Saturday craft/activities. Their final Adult Take & Make went out last week – they will be transitioning to a monthly in-person craft program starting in September.
They posted their first Facebook history mystery challenge last week, with Tina Galloway correctly guessing the identity/location of the object in the photo. Their second photo will be posted on Thursday.
Lil DeCoste’s knitting group has resumed meeting in the library on Monday afternoons. They will have a new Social Justice Discussion Group meeting on Wednesday evenings, once a month.
North Walpole Library:
They have a new rug for North Walpole. The printer that was in the branch is in pretty rough shape. She was able to get a laser printer that scans and copies from another library who was giving it away. It prints nicely but only in black and white. They are using that printer for staff, and the old printer is currently hooked up to the public PC. She would like to purchase a new color ink jet printer to replace the old one – they do not need another laser jet – and they are not too expensive. She did purchase a new bar code scanner to use in the branch as well. She would also like to purchase a water cooler for patron and staff use.
Brad replaced an old lightbulb outside with a new LED bulb, as it was getting very hot and had melted the plastic cover over it. He was able to replace the plastic cover as well with materials he had on hand. There are two window handles that appear to be stripped and they are not able to open those windows. She has informed NW Commissioners of this.
Their ARPA grant application was approved – notification was sent out at the end of June. They have been awarded $3101 – $2101 for new Launchpads and $1,000 for the Universal Class subscription. She has placed an order for the new Launchpads and will be ordering the Universal Class this week. Once staff has had a chance to become familiar with this new service, (within the next week), she will issue a press release announcing the grant.
Friends of the Library:
The Friends of the Library plan to hold their book sale this fall and will begin taking donations at the chicken coop behind the Hungry Diner in August.
She has revised the Meeting Room Policy and the Disruptive Behavior Policy. The revisions have been distributed to the members of the Board of Trustees for their approval.
Mrs. Downing has a color printer that they will not be using. The Selectboard felt it would be a good idea to donate it to the Library.
Monthly Library Statistics for June 2020 and June 2021 were attached.
Ms. Mayberry asked if there was a children’s section in North Walpole. Mrs. Malmberg replied “yes” and they are adding more books. Ms. Mayberry questioned if residents can use the Universal Class only at the Library. Mrs. Malmberg said it will be accessible through the internet in homes as long as they are a Library card holder.
Walpole Recreation Department: Mr. Kraig Harlow, Recreation Director, had submitted the following report dated July 14, 2021:
- The pool opened on Saturday, June 18th;
- 14 lifeguards are returning and they have hired one new lifeguard.
- First sessions of swim lessons were all filled and they are offering a second session mid-July.
- The yard games that were added have been used a lot and been used by many children who are attending the basketball games.
Pool Maintenance & Repairs:
- The pool meter and hot water tanks were replaced by E.E. Houghton.
- They have purchased a new ADA pool chair at the price of $5,745 and it will be installed immediately.
- The pool cover has been quoted for repair at $4,176. Repairs will cover 14 squared being replaced and 18 patches to cover small holes no less than 3” and one strap.
- Grades K-2 Skill Development Basketball has been happening on Monday nights from 5:30 pm-6:45 pm at North Walpole School. They currently have 25 children signed-up for this program.
- Grades 3-4 3v3 Basketball League has been happening on Thursday nights from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm outside of the Walpole Elementary School and have 12 children signed up for this program.
- Grades 5-8 Walpole Summer Basketball League and games have been played on Monday and Wednesday nights at Whitcomb Park. They currently have 66 children signed up for this program.
- Coach Ray Curren has been coaching soccer camp this week from 9am to 12:30pm at the soccer fields at the Walpole Elementary School.
- The camp has 16 children signed up for grades PK-2, 4 children for grades 3-5, and 6 children for grades 6-8.
- The Recreation Department is hoping to show its first movie this August and one more in September.
- July 14th is the last day the Recreation Department will be collecting athletic equipment for Zimbabwe. The Church will pick up all the equipment tomorrow.
Relative to the pool cover, Mrs. Pschirrer said another quote came in for less than $4,000. To replace it would be about $8,000. It was estimated that the cover is about five years old. Ms. Mayberry suggested Mr. Harlow check with Mr. Cassarino to see when he bought it and where so they can look it up. Mr. Rau explained that the cover is extremely heavy. The bucket loader is used to move it to the shop for storage. It should be stored on-site. There is space between Route 12 and the pool. Ms. Mayberry suggested talking to the Recreation Committee about this. Mr. Dalessio felt they should talk to the pool company to find out if they could store the cover and, if so, what is the cost.
Walpole Highway Department: Mr. Mike Rau, Road Agent/Highway Department, had submitted the following report dated July 2021.
With the large amount of rain, they have been getting and will continue to receive, the Highway Crew has been kept busy with water issues which has caused us to be off schedule with summer projects. They were able to resurface about 95% of the gravel roads in town. Chlorine is not put down on all the gravel roads. On an average they put down 2-inches of gravel on the roads each year. In between rain storms they were able to pave in the cuts of the culverts that have been replaced. They did the one on North Road where they did the drainage project. Rain has been a big factor on doing the Elm Street project. He explained some of the work that still needs to be done at the sound end of the Common. One more service to a house needs to be done. Mr. Dalessio asked Mr. Rau to send this detailed update on Elm Street to Laura at E.E. Houghton as people call there looking for information.
Hooper Institute: Mrs. Helen Dalbeck, Executive Director, submitted the following report dated July 15, 2021.
The work that they do at the Hooper Institute and in their schools and community is informed and inspired by their 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: Gardens are all water logged and growing like crazy. Lots of leaves, not much fruit, yet. They need some sunshine.
High School Work Program: 10 students accepted, 10 working, a total of 1005 hours has been awarded. The average award is 110 hours. Five of the students worked as camp counselor/leaders for the Hooper Camp first then went off to the job sites by July 5. Work sites are Abenaki Springs Farm, Malnati Farm, Walpole Recycling Center, Walpole Veterinary Clinic and Alysons Orchard.
CAMP Hooper Summer Camp for grades 1-2 and 3-4, 26 kids attended. Adventure Camp grades 5-8 Week 1 and 2, 15 students attended. Camps ran between June 21 and July 1. Woodworking Camp, with 9 kids registered, begins July 19 and will be taught by Steve Dalessio, Helen assists.
She would like to thank the community members that agreed to host or be part of the 2021 Adventure Camps; Matt Cole and Shawn Keniston of Great River Hydro, Michael Nerrie of Distant Hills, Aumands Furniture for parking, Bellows Falls Chamber of Commerce for the tour and Becky Sethi, for being an awesome sub and leading the Kingsbury Hill day.
Outreach and Marketing: June and July Clarion plus many, many Facebook posts, camp flyers and garden presentation posters.
Facility and Land: Extra landscaping and mowing happening around community garden for tick control.
Administration: FOHI members are meeting and planning a Fall Festival at the Hooper Institute, now on September 25. On a July 7, a newly formed Development Committee met to focus on an accelerated plan to fundraise for the future of the Hooper Institute education and scholarship programs, above and beyond school, public and community programs. JULY 28 will be a presentation night for board members, parents, students, staff and friends to attend. Scholarship recipients plus all high school work program students are invited to present. They will meet at 7pm, Walpole Town Hall. Refreshments provided.
Walpole Community Garden: The WCG (with FOHI) is hosting four garden talks/presentations this year. Next one is July 31 on “Pollinators” presented by her, 10 am, in the community garden.
Walpole Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s Office: Mrs. Meghan Hansson, Walpole Town Clerk/Tax Collector, had submitted the following report dated July 15, 2021.
- The due date for property taxes (July 1st) has come and gone. The warrant was for almost 6 million and they have collected over 5 and a half million. Additional payments will continue to trickle in.
- Have passed the 100 boat milestone! More people, including those in other towns, are realizing they register boats. (Corresponds to about $1,560 for the town.)
- In the first half of the year, the clerks registered 2977 vehicles and collected for the town $472,000 for the town. It has been busy. She does not anticipate as many vehicles in the second half of the year.
- They received the new printer, a Kyocera, they purchased from All Service to replace an aging Motor Vehicle printer. This two-drawer printer will print out all of her vehicle registrations.
- They are looking forward to the new copier coming via the contract negotiated by the financial manager, Rich. Their 5 year contract is just coming due on the old copier (which was used when they got it).
- The order has been placed for the cabinets with which the office will be renovated. This early order allowed them to receive a sale price.
- Other renovation materials will be ordered before long. Still waiting for an estimate on labor.
Selectboard Office: Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration, submitted the following report dated July 15, 2021.
Brownfields Clean-up of the former Central Plating Site stakeholders had a pre-construction and a public meeting within the first two weeks of July. More people showed up for the public meeting than she expected; it was a hybrid meeting. Jodi Daigle continues to support the Community Power Committee. The office also handles extra deposits in the summer due to pool monies collected. Being the summer, which is a popular time for vacations, the office staff are covering for each other to complete essential duties such as payroll, etc.
Due to the rainy weather of the last few weeks. Contracted work is yet again delayed. Roof and chimney repairs and the replacement of the Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s Office rear door should occur this year.
A reminder to department managers in regards to time cards that “New Hampshire law requires employers to pay employees for a minimum of two (2) hours of work at their regular rate of pay if they report or show up to work at the employer’s request, regardless of how few hours they work. An employer is not required to pay an employee show up pay if it has made good faith, but unsuccessful, efforts to inform employees they do not need to report for a scheduled shift.”
All regular part and full-time employees have received large red or blue water bottles with suggested daily water intake along with an informational flyer. The funding for these bottles was from a HealthTrust stipend. Once the new drinking fountain is installed in the Town Hall hallway, staff and visitors will be able to fill their bottles at this water station.
Police Department: Police Chief Justin Sanctuary submitted a graph with Police Stats from June 16, 2021 through July 14, 2021. Total Calls: 327. These were broken down as follows: Criminal Investigations 65; Public Safety 167; Motor Vehicles 95.
Chief Sanctuary reported they hope to have a new officer by September 1st. Hopefully, the new cruiser will also be here about that same time. They completed some annual training and getting a lot of requirements done but are still working on some of them. The speed sign has been by the Unitarian Church. They were getting complaints about Main Street.
Walpole Recycling Center: Mr. Ben Hoy, Recycling Director, distributed copies of their July report.
- Em Cook and Luke Bowen are working at the Recycling Center through the Hooper Institute High School Summer Program. They look forward to working with them through the summer.
- NRRA is hosting a recycling meeting at Walpole Reuse Center on September 8th. Solid waste operators and facility managers from around the state are interested in the happenings at Walpole Recycling.
- Walpole Highway built a new cobblestone retaining wall for their concrete pad project. They picked up super heavy blocks and trucked them to Walpole Recycling. They also set the blocks with the loader.
- Walpole Recycling finished site work for the concrete pad project. They are waiting for concrete contractors to pour the slab.
- Along with highways help, Cold River Materials donated 2 full tri axle loads of hard pack free of charge for their concrete pad project. They needed the hard pack to mold a precise base for the concrete and retaining wall.
- Walpole Recycling recently completed a video detailing the process of how they recycle plastics at Walpole Recycling. The video was filmed by Walpole resident, Eric Merklein, who invested a lot of time, effort and fancy New York City photography equipment to make it all possible.
Mr. Merklein will need at least a week before it will be shown. This video will be available for viewing on the Recycling Center website and Mr. Merklein thought possibly on YouTube.
Finance Office: Mr. Richard Kreissle, Administrator of Finance, was not able to attend this meeting but had submitted the following July 15, 2021, report.
Quiet times here in the old bean-counting office hence, he has taken a week off. If you’re reading this then that probably means you’re not on vacation (but I’m sure your time will come…
The highlights are few but here they are:
Payroll processing has increased significantly due to the summer help at the pool and Hooper.
The new printers/copiers have been ordered and will (hopefully) arrive/be installed during the week of 6/19 – 6/23.
The NH GOFERR application for the town’s portion of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) completed and submitted.
2022 Preliminary Budgets:
Ms. Mayberry reported that 2022 Preliminary Budgets are due on September 3rd, 2021. The Selectboard plan on having their initial meeting on September 10th, 2021. She requested that all Department Managers try to level fund. Mr. Dalessio would like to have a list for Capital Items. They will have time to get actual quotes together.
Next Staff Meeting: The next Staff Meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 19, 2021, at 5:00 pm in the Town Hall.
Ms. Mayberry thanked everyone for attending. She adjourned this Staff Meeting at 5:52 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary