Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 10/14/21

Selectboard Present:      Cheryl Mayberry, Steven Dalessio, Peggy Pschirrer

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry called this Selectboard meeting to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  The Selectboard members are all present.  Also present was Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration.  This meeting was being recorded.   There were seven members of the public in attendance:  Lisa Bryant, Judy Epstein, Tom Beaudry, Kara Dexter, Peter Dexter, Andrew Dey, and Shane O’Keefe.

NEW BUSINESS:

WALPOLE PLAYERS CHRISTMAS DINNER SHOW:  Mrs. Bryant advised that the Walpole Players would like to put on a holiday production on December 17th and 18th   They would plan to set up round tables so people can bring their dinner, enjoy a meal and watch the show.  With all the restrictions she felt it best to ask what they can and cannot do.  Instead of one show they are thinking about doing two shows and using half the tables each night so they can be spread apart.  Tables would be reserved for family/friends/groups.  Masks would be required except to eat and drink.  Would they be allowed to have this type of set-up?  Mr. Dalessio said she should follow what she just said and follow restaurant restrictions. He likes the idea of using half the tables for social distancing and limiting the number of people at each table to no more than six (6).  Ms. Mayberry asked how many tables they would be using.  Mrs. Bryant said in the past they would set up 20 tables but now they are suggesting ten (10) tables each night.   They would be looking for sixty (60) people per night.  Mrs. Pschirrer had no objections to this as described.  Mrs. Bryant asked if they could be required to ask if their audience members are vaccinated.  Ms. Mayberry felt they could make their own rule; it is not a Town’s rule.  Mr. Dalessio suggested they do it at the time tickets are purchased as opposed to at the door.  Mrs. Pschirrer stressed that they make sure it is known it is not a Town mandate; it is the Walpole Players requirement.  Mrs. Bryant asked about cleaning fees.  Mrs. Downing replied there is a fee of $25/hour for Mr. Nash’s time.  Ms. Mayberry noted they would need a cleaning between performances.  Mrs. Bryant said if Mr. Nash wants to show them what to do maybe they could take over some of the cleaning.  At least do it between the two performances.  Mr. Dalessio mentioned it is a lot of work at the end of each meeting to wipe down all the chairs and tables, posts, etc.  Mrs. Downing felt it takes Mr. Nash at least two hours.  Mr. Dalessio felt the Selectboard needed to talk about the cleaning fees a little more before making a decision.  Ms. Mayberry summarized that they would get back to Mrs. Bryant.  Mrs. Bryant said this is not a money-making production for them, but they are anxious to becoming more active again.                  

BUILDING PERMIT:

Permit No. 2021-40, MAP and LOT #002-002-000:  Mr. Tom Beaudry was present to discuss this Building Permit. 

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept Building Permit No. 2021-40 for the owner of Map and Lot #002-002-000 to construct a “170’ x 20’ Roof Mount Solar Array”.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Mr. Beaudry was advised this will be a taxable array for excess electricity not used by him.  Mrs. Pschirrer said based on advice from the Town attorney, if he is producing more than he is actually using then the Town has the right to tax him on the excess.  Mr. Beaudry questioned the square footage basis for the permit fee since it’s added to an existing roof; there is no new square footage.  Mr. Dalessio thought they should look at the building permit again; maybe have a different fee for solar arrays with a per panel fee.  Mrs. Pschirrer said it is a reasonable question.  They went from a $1.00 for all building permits to the current fees.   Ms. Mayberry advised that they will revisit the fee structure.

SHANE O’KEEFE – GATES & BARS:  Mr. O’Keefe asked if any decisions were made on the gates and bars on Whipple Hill Road.  Ms. Mayberry reported they have decided to hold a public hearing.  The date is to be determined within the next week or so.  The public hearing will address the access to Whipple Hill Road, the allowable use of snowmobiles or other vehicles and how the road is accessed.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted they will be very specific on what will be discussed when the formal notice is put out.  Mr. Beaudry asked if those gates and bars can be locked. The Selectboard members replied “NO”.  Mr. Dalessio stated on the advice of their attorney, they are holding a public hearing.  Ms. Mayberry advised the public hearing will be scheduled between mid-and-the-end of November.

SPEEDING ON ELM STREET:  Mr. Dey stated there was less traffic when Elm Street was not paved.  South of the Common, now that the road is paved, vehicles are speeding. It is posted 25 MPH.  It is usually early in the mornings.  Is there anything they can do to slow down the speed?  Mr.  Dalessio mentioned when they paved the Old Drewsville Road the speed sign was helpful but they also had a police officer there during specified hours.  They could put the speed unit on Elm Street to see if that helps.  Mr. Dalessio said when the work is done on Elm Street, they will ask the Police Chief to patrol it especially during designated hours.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted the majority of trucks travel on Elm Street rather than Washington Street.  Mr. Dalessio wondered if they should invest in little solar signs that flash when vehicles are traveling over the posted speed.  Ms. Mayberry feels they train drivers to slow down.  They have helped in Bellows Falls.  The Selectboard likes the little solar signs. They will check on the cost.  Ms. Mayberry thanked Mr. Dey for bringing this to their attention.  

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $914,770.71 for checks issued October 15, 2021.  This includes a monthly payment in the amount of $607,559.42 to the Fall Mountain Regional School District.  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 9, 2021, in the amount of $28,475.73 for checks dated October 15, 2021, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $5,501.42.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.   

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – October 7, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of October 7, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTTBOARD SESSION MINUTES – October 7, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of October 7, 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 – October 4, 2021;
  • Zoning Board of Adjustment Workshop Minutes – October 5, 2021.

BUILDING PERMITS:

Permit 2020-39 Renewal, MAP and LOT #008-015-002:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to grant Building Permit No. 2020-39 Renewal, for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #008-015-002 to construct a “80’ x 54’ Single Family Home”.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

Permit 2021-39, MAP and LOT #012-055-022:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to grant Building Permit No. 2021-39, for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #012-055-022 to build a “12’ x 20’ Living Room Addition”.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

DEMOLITION PERMIT:

Permit 2021-41, MAP and LOT #024-005-000:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to grant Demolition Permit No. 2021-41 for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #024-005-000 to “Remove Side Porch and Garage Roof”.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved. 

OLD BUSINESS:

Town Clerk-Tax Collector Office Memo re: Credit Card Payments for Property Taxes:  Mr. Dalessio talked to Mr. Rich Kreissle about this.  They do not feel it is needed as the Town has a 95% collection rate now.  When people add property taxes to their credit card, it incurs more interest debt.  Mrs. Pschirrer agrees.  Ms. Mayberry does not feel they should add debt to people’s credit cards.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned the Selectboard has always been willing to speak to someone who wants to discuss a payment plan. They are willing to continue this service.  Ms. Mayberry advised the Town of Walpole will not be accepting property tax payments on credit cards.

Aflac Network Vision Plan:  Ms. Mayberry had the Selectboard Office run some estimated cost calculations.  It is expensive.  Are they in favor of offering it to the employees?  If they want to opt into the plan, they have to pay the full cost.  Mrs. Pschirrer feels it is a good plan and vision plans are important.  She has no problem with making Aflac Network Vision available to the Town’s employees.  Some employees have bought into some Aflac plans.  Our current medical plan provides for vision check- ups every other year, but Ms. Mayberry mentioned that employees can get a waiver if they have certain vision conditions.  Employees can opt to buy into Aflac, but it is not Town sponsored.

Irving Energy Supply Agreements:   Ms. Mayberry reported at the last meeting they voted to have Irving Energy supply their heating oil and propane for this coming winter season.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to authorize the Chair, Cheryl Mayberry, to sign the Irving Energy Commercial Fixed Price Supply Agreements for Heating Oil and Propane.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs.  Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.   

Pending Further Actions:

Vilas Bridge, Generators, Three Phase Power for Industrial Park Drive and Bensonwood

Arborclimb:  Ms. Mayberry asked Mrs. Downing to call Arborclimb again as the Town has been waiting for a quote for about two months.

Houghton Brook Bridge:  Mr. Beaudry asked about the Houghton Brook Bridge.  Mr. Dalessio said the bridge is still in the design phase.  It should be done early next year.  Mr. Beaudry asked how he would get off the hill.  Mr. Dalessio said there are two options:  1) build a temporary bridge; or 2) go through the Graves Gravel Pit property; if they are able to do that it will save about $80,000 for the project.

Three Phase Power:  Mr. Dey asked about Bensonwood and the Three Phase Power.  Ms. Mayberry replied that it is left on this list as a reminder. They have not had time to continue research for funding right now.  Mr. Dalessio said it would be close to one million dollars to install it.      

NEW BUSINESS:

Health Trust New Rates and Transmittal:  Ms. Mayberry acknowledged receipt of the Medical Rate Exhibit for the Town.  The yearly rate dropped 8.1% to the prior year.  

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to authorize the Chair, Cheryl Mayberry, to sign the transmittal form for the Health Trust.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.   

Avitar Amended Assessor’s Agreement and Revaluation/Update Agreement:  Mrs. Pschirrer advised that the total for the year is going up $77,496.  The monthly payment will be about $6,458; this year we were paying about $5,000.  This last year of our contract will have a significant increase.  The Town pays two separate bills to them every month.  Avitar has amended the contract.  Following a discussion on the figures a decision was made to table this until next week.  Questions are:  1) How did they determine increases?  2) Why are there two figures – it is confusing.  3) What does $12K cover?  4) What is the explanation of the numbers?      

Selectboard Meeting Dates

Veterans’ Day is on Thursday, November 11th, 2021 – change meeting date to Wednesday, November 10th, 2021 at 6:00 PM.

Thanksgiving Day is on Thursday, November 25, 2021 – change meeting date to Wednesday, November 24, 2021, at 8:30 AM.

December Budget Meeting with Managers is on Friday, December 10th, 2021, starting at 8:00 AM.

SWRPC Fall Meeting:  The Southwest Region Planning Commission is having their Fall Meeting at Delegation Hall at the Historic Cheshire County Courthouse, 12 Court Street, Keene, NH on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, with the “2021 Monadnock Region Food Access Study” presentation at 5:30 PM.  Ms. Mayberry plans to attend in-person; Mrs. Pschirrer will attend on Zoom; Mr. Dalessio is unable to attend.   

Utility Tree Pruning of Town Properties:  A Notification of Planned Tree Work from Liberty Utilities was received.  A list of “Permission to prune trees on the following lots” was attached.  Ms. Mayberry would like to know exactly what they plan to do.  The Selectboard would like to meet with a consultant from Liberty Utilities as they have concerns and want more information.     

2022 Planning and Land Use Regulation Manuals:  Mr. Dalessio felt that one new manual should be ordered for the Selectboard Office. Mrs. Pschirrer also would like one.

State Statute Books:  Mrs. Pschirrer would like to know what the cost is for a new set of State Statute books to replace the old set.  

Scarecrows on Gazebo:  The Selectboard approved having the scarecrows on the Gazebo.  They will be created and put there by the Pinnacle View 4-H group.  They were approved last year.

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 at 7:44 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:47 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, (c) Reputations and (l) Consideration of Legal Advice.  Seconded by Mr.  Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, motion approved at 7:48 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 8:28 PM.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of October 14, 2021, will remain 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 adjourned at 8:29 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

(Transcribed from Recorder)

                                                                       

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