Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 9/23/21

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry called this Selectboard meeting to order at 6:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  Also present was Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration, and Mrs. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary.  This meeting was being recorded. 

PUBLIC HEARING:  Ms. Mayberry advised that the first Agenda item is a Public Hearing to “Request Funds from the Unassigned Fund Balance for the Repair of Roadways, Bridges and Related Infrastructure.”  The Minutes of this meeting are separate as they will be sent to the Department of Revenue Administration Commissioner. They are also available to the public.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to enter into a Non-Public Selectboard Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (b) Hiring.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 6:15 PM.

This meeting resumed at 6:42 PM.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of September 23, 2021, will be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

Ms. Mayberry continued this Selectboard meeting at 6:43 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  There were eleven members of the public in attendance.

PUBLIC BUSINESS:

Whipple Hill Road Petition and Access Concerns:  Ms. Mayberry read the following Petition that was received on September 22, 2021, and was signed by twelve (12) Town residents.

Petition to the Walpole Selectboard

“We the listed residents owning property along Whipple Hill Road in Walpole, object to the privately installed gates placed within the public right-of-way of Whipple Hill Road.  As these gates were installed without authorization of the Walpole Selectboard, are unsightly and interfere with public use of the Town highway, we implore the Walpole Selectboard to immediately remove or compel the removal of the gates.

Thank you for your anticipated attention to this reasonable request for action.”

Ms. Mayberry opened this portion of the meeting to the public for comments.

Mr. Larry Leclerc lives at 721 County Road.  It is a farm owned by Jan Galloway-Leclerc, Joan Galloway, himself plus other family members.  They have property on Rapids Road that is accessible by Whipple Hill.  The gates are a big hindrance especially with farm equipment. They are set-up so they look like they are locked.  He has had people tell him they tried to go from Whipple Hill to Rapids Road and the gates are locked.  It is unacceptable. People want to use that road for horseback riding so they would have to get off their horse, open the gate, pull it forward and then close the gate.  One gate is right at the end of the Spivey driveway.  There is a bridge on Rapids Road where the approach for the bridge got washed out on the July 29th rain storm.  He talked to Mr. Rau this morning who said it was okay to fix it so people could use Rapids Road. Mr. Rau suggested he check with the Selectboard for the go-ahead.   Cold River Materials will donate the materials to fix the access to the bridge.  On the Pelsue Road there is a big berm that was put there with the approval of the Selectboard or Road Agent.  It was hard to get over it with a snowmobile, etc.  It is also a Class VI Road.  Mr. Leclerc would like to talk to Mr. Rau about what the Snowmobile Club has to do on the Pelsue Road   How far back do they have to go to cut brush from the center right-of-way of the Class VI road.  Nothing else will be affected.   Ms. Mayberry advised they will have to get back to Mr. Leclerc.

Mr. Jason Perron stated that none of these Class VI roads are subject to gates and bars; right. Mrs. Pschirrer replied “not that they are aware of”.  Mr. Perron said then none of this should have been done on this road.  Historically for recreation, Fish & Game would stock game in that area but because of him they no longer do this.  He is trying to end this classic Town.  Ms. Mayberry commented under the “Right to Know” or the “Freedom of Information Act” any resident at any time can ask for that information. It is not one person that has made that request of the Town.  She would caution him to be kind in his words and to be factual.  Mr. Perron understands that but this was his opinion.

Mr. Lew Shelley said that a few questions that come up for him are: Do all the abutters have to agree to having gates installed on a Class VI road?  It is a long road with access from two ends.  Mr. Dalessio said a lot of his questions asked tonight are the same ones the Selectboard is waiting for answers from the Town attorney.  They are not responding because of Attorney-Client communications.  Ms. Mayberry noted they just want to give the public an opportunity to say what is on their mind.  She communicated with the attorney yesterday. There is a similar case that he would like the opportunity to see what the judgment was.  He is trying to get that information.  They appreciate hearing their comments and questions.  Mr. Shelley made a few other comments.  As farmers face the challenge of moving machinery through the gates, it should also be noted that rescues may be impacted if access is a concern.  Following upon the previous question, winter access cannot be impeded according to the laws regarding gates and bars.  Should the gates remain, the law states that the road must remain passable all year long.  He is concerned that snow will be plowed in such a way that the gate can’t be opened or closed properly. Mr. Dalessio said that the road needs to remain open year round.  People go in there with snowmobiles and emergency vehicles need access if someone gets hurt.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted it is a public road.  Mr. Shelley’s concern is if this continues it may set a precedent for other people living on class VI roads to follow.  Ms. Mayberry noted we are still looking into this.  They want to be fair and thorough according to the law.  At this time we need to wait before they make any firm decisions.   

Mr. Larry Leclerc stated that Walpole is a unique place, a wonderful Village that people love to come to.  We have a big network of all kinds of different people.  He believes Walpole has the most dairy farms left in the State. There is hunting and walking on the Class VI roads.  We do it for everyone to enjoy.  These bars and gates are taking the character out of Walpole.  Mr. Leclerc asked if they can fill in the ramp/approach for the bridge he previously mentioned. They need to get it fixed for access.   Mrs. Pschirrer has no problem with them fixing it especially after she saw pictures of the damage.   The Selectboard approved this request to fix the access to the bridge.               

Veterans’ Memorial on the Common:  Mr. Bruce Martin wanted to discuss moving the inscription process to the Town.  The American Legion has dissolved in Walpole.  There are not many applications; this year there was one application. They have given the Town all of their money.  The applications could go into the Selectboard Office and the staff will have to determine how they want to process them.  He could spend some time working with them explaining how he did it.  Mrs. Pschirrer had a question as to how they verify if an individual was from Walpole and if they deserve to be on that monument.  Mr. Martin felt they could call on the people who lived here all their lives to confirm information.  Mrs. Downing noted they might have some information on file.  Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry agreed to take over the responsibility of the Veterans’ Memorial on the Common.  Ms. Mayberry thanked Mr. Martin for having done this over all the years; it is appreciated.   Mrs. Pschirrer expressed her sorrow that the dogwood tree did not last by the Memorial.  They are waiting for the tree report from the arborist.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the amount of $129,729.59 for checks issued September 24, 2021.  This includes a payment in the amount of $50,610.00 to the Fuzzy Brothers for repairs to Mill Road which experienced stormwater damage.  Seconded by Mr.  Dalessio.  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 September 18, 2021, in the amount of $28,619.07 for checks dated September 24, 2021, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $5,541.09.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – September 16, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of September 16, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION MINUTES – September 16, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of September 16, 2021, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  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:

  • Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes – September 13, 2021;
  • Planning Board Meeting Minutes – September 14, 2021;
  • Zoning Board of Adjustment Meeting Minutes – September 15, 2021.

BUILDING PERMITS:

Permit #2021-36 – MAP and LOT #001-008-000:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to grant Building Permit #2021-36 for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #001-008-000 to construct a “36’ by 32’ Garage”.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs.  Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Permit #2021-37 – MAP and LOT #007-011-000:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to grant Building Permit #2021-37 for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #007-011-000 to add a “16’ by 10’ Front Porch”. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

OLD BUSINESS:

ARPA Municipal Supplement:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to authorize Mr. Richard Kreissle, Manager of Finance, to be an authorized representative to sign the Cheshire County ARPA Municipal Supplement form.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Mill Pond and Other Town Dam Inspections: Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer attended the Dam Inspections.  Mr. Dalessio reported that Mill Pond is moving forward.  However, there are lots of issues with Reservoir Dam.  He expects to see a report in about a month. 

Discretionary Preservation Easement Deed:  Ms. Mayberry advised this is for Tax Map 5, Lot 1 owned by the Caserta Trust.  Mrs. Pschirrer feels it is a good Discretionary Preservation Easement Deed.  After it is signed, the Town will record it in the Registry of Deeds.  It will be assessed at 50% of its value.  It does not automatically renew.  The Selectboard acknowledged and approved the Discretionary Preservation Easement Deed for the Caserta Trust.   

Arborclimb Quote for Trees on Common/Town Hall Properties:  The Selectboardis anxious to see the quote from Arborclimb.  Ms. Mayberry summarized the discussion by stating that if the report is not here by Friday, Oct. 1st, Mrs. Downing will follow-up with them.

Masksin Municipal Buildings’ Public Spaces:  Ms. Mayberry reported that last week the Selectboard agreed to require the wearing of masks during public meetings.  She asked if they want to be renting out the Town Hall.  If so, they should charge a cleaning fee.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted one rental request that came in is from a family who rent the Town Hall each year for a holiday family gathering.  Mr.  Dalessio pointed out it is the size of the group.  Mrs. Pschirrer would charge them a clean-up fee but also request that they sign a Waiver of Liability.  They will be required to wear masks.  Ms. Mayberry advised that masks will be required for any group being in the Town Hall and should be distanced where appropriate.  There will be a cleaning fee for families who rent the Town Hall plus they will be required to sign a Waiver of Liability.  Boy Scouts and other groups can continue to use the Town Hall but they have to meet the mask requirement.     

Pending Further Actions:

Vilas Bridge, Houghton Brook Bridge, Generators, Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood:  There were no updates at this meeting.

NEW BUSINESS:

Cemetery Deed D536:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the sale and to sign the Cemetery Deed for Lot D536.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Recreation Department Revolving Fund Request – Hockey Rink:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Recreation Department’s Revolving Fund Request to purchase a EZ Hockey Rink for the amount of $4,790.  This will provide winter activities for the community such as hockey and skating.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Recreation Department Revolving Fund Request – Storage Shed:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Recreation Department’s Revolving Fund Request to purchase a 10 ft by 20 ft Storage Shed for the amount of $6,094.  This will be used to hold equipment such as basketballs, soccer goals, soccer balls and other outdoor equipment that their sport programs use. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.  

NH DOT Public Hearings for Ten (10) Year Plan:  There will be a NH Department of Transportation Public Hearing for the Ten (10) Year Plan on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021, at 7:00 PM in Keene at the Recreation Center.  Ms. Mayberry mentioned the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) is going to meet on Monday to talk about the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT) meetings.  People will be able to go to speak on the transportation concerns they have.

Farmers’ Market on Common:  There will be a Farmers’ Market on the Common on Saturday, November 20, 2021.  The Town Hall bathroom access will be available from 10:00AM to 2:00PM.

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, the meeting was adjourned at 7:41 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

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