Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 10/7/21

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry called this Selectboard meeting to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  Also present was Mrs. Jodi Daigle, Water & Sewer Clerk and Administrative Assistant, as Mrs. Downing was unable to attend, and Mrs. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary.  There were three members of the public in attendance:  Mr. Shane O’Keefe, Mrs. Kara Dexter and Mr. Peter Dexter.  This meeting is being recorded.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $60,993.21 for checks issued October 8, 2021.  This includes a payment in the amount of $26,839.07 to EE Houghton for water and sewer system repairs and maintenance.  Mrs. Pschirrer is going to request clarification as there are two bills that seem to be for the same event; are they duplicates or does one-half go to water and one-half to sewer?  The invoices are not clear.  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 October 2, 2021, in the amount of $28,500.95 for checks dated October 8, 2021, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $5,480.75.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – September 30, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of September 30, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SESSION SELECTBOARD MINUTES – September 30, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Session Selectboard Minutes of September 30, 2021.  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:

  • Walpole Fire Commissioners Meeting Minutes – September 1, 2021;
  • North Walpole Village Board of Commissioners Meeting Minutes – September 7, 2021;
  • North Walpole Village Board of Commissioners Meeting Minutes – September 14, 2021;
  • North Walpole Village Board of Commissioners Meeting Minutes – September 21, 2021.

BUILDING PERMITS:

Permit #2021-38, MAP and LOT #008-109-000:  Mr. Dalessio moved to grant Building Permit No. 2021-38 for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #008-109-000 to construct a “48’ x 24’ Garage”.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

OLD BUSINESS:

Community Power Coalition Public Meeting:  Mrs. Peggy Pschirrer and Mr. Paul Looney went to Concord on October 1st to participate in the Community Power Coalition Public Meeting for the inauguration the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire.  Mr. Paul Looney is the Chair of the local Community Power Committee; he signed the first Articles of Incorporation.  After the first eight members had signed the Articles, Mr. Clifton Below, the Assistant Mayor of the Town of Lebanon, immediately went to the Secretary of State’s Office where he got those papers approved.  When he returned, they elected a Board of Officers as follows:

  • April Salas, Chairman of the Board – (Hanover)
  • Clifton Below, Vice Chair – (Lebanon)
  • Evan Oxenham, Secretary – (Plainfield)
  • Nick Devonshire, Treasurer – (on the Coast)
  • Doria Brown, Member at Large – (Nashua)

It was a very informative day.  She feels it was the right decision for this Selectboard to have joined in the beginning as they can have some influence on how that coalition works.  They will be prepared to come to Town Meeting in March with a warrant article. They hope the Town will vote to adopt it so the Town will be buying power on its own.  The Town has an old contract with someone back when the Town was working with the Fall Mountain Regional School District. However, they are not saving the Town a significant amount of money; maybe 1/10th of a percent.  It expires in 2024.  Through the Coalition the Town will have the opportunity to have greener power.  The local Community Power Committee met last night to prepare for the public hearing that will be held here on Wednesday, October 13th, at 6:30 PM.  Eventually they want to have a committee to work on what kind of green power we may have; “Cheaper Power, Cleaner Power, Local Control”.  Some towns are working way ahead of Walpole as they already have energy policies.  Liberty does not produce power but rather buys it on the market.  A lot of our power comes from hydro-electric and nuclear power plants.  Mrs. Pschirrer will go through the existing contract to see if the Town can get out of it.

Governor’s Advisory Council on Intermodal Transportation (GACIT) Hearing:   Ms. Mayberry attended this GACIT meeting that was held in Keene on October 6th at 7:00 PM.  Cinde Warmington, our Executive Counselor, was there in addition to three representatives from the Department of Transportation.  There were approximately 20 people in the audience.  She was the first to speak after the elected people.  She read each of the statements from Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio and gave copies to Cinde Warmington and Bill Cass.  Several people advocated for the Vilas Bridge.  Some interesting conversations came out of that. Mr. Mike Abbott was not aware of the sewer line under the bridge.  Mr. Bill Cass, Assistant Commissioner of the DOT, said he would see what he could do for us.  He gave the history of the bridge.  Ms. Mayberry suggested that since it technically was not a transportation issue that perhaps they should look for other resources for this infrastructure.  Hopefully, something will come of that.  When Kendall Lane, Chair of the TAC Committee, spoke he did not bring up the issue of the bridge.  After the meeting Ms. Mayberry spoke to him and he advised that he had spoken to Ms. Warmington about the bridge.  Keene has nine “Red-Listed” bridges.  Senator Jay Kahn spoke well about listening to their communities and what their needs are.  If they think it is important, they should give that some value.  We tried and put forth our best effort. Hopefully something good will come of that.  Mr. O’Keefe asked what some of the other comments were.  Mr. Dalessio spoke about the economic connection between Bellows Falls, Walpole and the bridge.  The biggest issue is the Walpole sewer line that runs underneath the Vilas Bridge.  If it is damaged by fallen debris, it will be an environmental disaster for the Connecticut River.  They need to focus on the environmental impact.  Mrs. Pschirrer talked about the historic partnership between Walpole and Bellows Falls, and the economic impact there was with the closing the bridge particularly to Bellows Falls. There could be a catastrophe if debris damaged the sewer line.  There would be an environmental and economic catastrophe.  Ms. Mayberry talked about the downstream area of the river, should the sewer line break.  She reminded them of their commitment to maintain the bridge that goes back to May of 1994 in exchange for the bridge in Newport.  We are interconnected communities. They were all familiar with the history of the bridge.  It was all good; it has more visibility.  Ms. Mayberry also talked about their need to re-route the sewer line if nothing gets done with the Vilas Bridge.  We will wait to see what happens.              

Senator Kahn and NH Agency Directors’ Presentation re: Funding Opportunities for Storm Water Disaster /Recovery & Mitigation:  Mr. Dalessio attended and felt the long process is there.  We will have to get help from a consultant.  There are many programs out there but each one has specific requirements.  Once you start to go down one path, you cannot suddenly jump out and go somewhere else.   Education-wise there is a different between a repair and a mitigation.  FEMA deals with emergency repairs.  Mitigation is to go beyond that; two separate programs.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned the day FEMA was here they described both of those programs. They led the Selectboard to believe they could participate in both.  However, now she is hearing that Mr. Dalessio does not want to do both programs.  Mr. Dalessio explained in the Cold River Project, the difference between putting in the same size culvert or putting in a larger culvert was less than $2,000.  They made a decision to go with the larger culvert.  In the end there are still matches for funding.  Cold River Road is the only emergency project still open. They are waiting for a culvert to come in.  The rest are mitigation projects.  The other big problem is finding civil engineers.           

Pending Further Actions:

Vilas Bridge, Houghton Brook Bridge, Generators, Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood:

Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood:  Mrs. Dexter asked about Industrial “Avenue” should it be “Drive”.  Mrs. Pschirrer agreed that it is Industrial Drive.  She advised that Bensonwood keeps asking for Three Phase Power but the cost is over $1,000,000 to run it from about a block away.  Ms. Mayberry said they left it in the Pending Further Actions because Bensonwood approached them on this and it is a reminder that it is something they want to work on.     

Whipple Hill Road:  Mr. Shane O’Keefe asked if there were any updates.  Ms. Mayberry replied that they did get some information from their attorney that they need to review.  Hopefully next week they will have something to say about this. 

Arborclimb:  Arborclimb was called on October 1st. The quote has not yet been received.

NEW BUSINESS:

Heating Oil and Propane Quotes:  Quotes were received from both Irving Oil and Allen Bros 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to give the contract to Irving Oil because they can supply both heating oil and propane.  The difference in price on heating oil between Irving Oil and Allen Bros. is insignificant.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

Recreation Revolving Fund Request:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the request of the Walpole Recreation Department to use $1,401.87 to purchase fall soccer t-shirts from Grizzly Graphix.  Sponsors will send in donations to reimburse the cost into the Revolving Fund.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Town Clerk-Tax Collector Office Memo re: Credit Card Payments for Property Taxes:  Mr. Dalessio requested holding this for another week so he can talk to Mr. Rich Kreissle. 

AFLAC Network Vision Plan:  Ms. Mayberry asked Mrs. Downing what it would cost if they covered it in-Town instead individually.  It would be nice to add it to the health plan.  The Selectboard would like to have this looked into.  This will be tabled pending further research.

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.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:19 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 (e) Pending Claims or Litigation.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 7:21 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:43 PM.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of October 7, 2021, will be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

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 was adjourned at 7:44 PM. 

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

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