Selectboard Present: Steven Dalessio (Chair); Peggy L. Pschirrer; Cheryl Mayberry
Staff Present: Sarah Downing (Manager of Administration); Richard Kreissle (Administrator of Finance); Kraig Harlow (Recreation Director); Jane Malmberg (Library Director); Meghan Hansson (Town Clerk/Tax Collector)
Excused: Justin Sanctuary (Police Chief); Ben Hoy (Recycling Director); Michael Rau (Road Agent/Highway Director); Helen Dalbeck (Hooper Institute Executive Director)
CALL TO ORDER: Mr. Dalessio called this Staff Meeting to order at 5:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall and via Zoom. This meeting was being recorded.
Walpole Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s Office: Mrs. Meghan Hansson had submitted the following report dated June 16, 2022:
- Since last month (mid-May), the Town Clerk collected over $86,500 dollars, $65,428 of which belongs to the Town.
- Since our last meeting, they have registered 429 vehicles and 26 boats. During the month of May 105 registrations were done online. Also, 9 dogs had their licenses renewed online. Attached is a monthly plot of registrations per month for the last two years. They are only halfway through June; so, the June number (see green line) will continue to rise.
- So far this year (5 months), they have conducted $143,644 worth of business online….676 vehicle registrations, 62 dogs, and 8 vital records.
- Her Deputy, Vicki Gohl, and she each attended a one-day regional training session through the NH City and Town Clerk Association. Speakers were from various State departments relevant to areas of clerk work, such as the head of the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Secretary of State.
- The filing period is over for State Representatives. Walpole had two people file their candidacy.
- Taxes collected to date on the Spring Warrant amount to approximately $1,668,000. This is just under one third of the warrant. No major mortgage companies have paid yet.
- No properties were deeded this year.
- There are $62,812 worth of liens on the 2020 warrants…15 owners, 17 parcels.
- There are $103,149 worth of liens on the 2021 warrants…29 owner, 36 parcels.
Mrs. Pschirrer reported that Walpole usually collects about 98% of their tax monies. Mrs. Hansson has been trying to keep an inventory of supplies such as license plates, etc. Keeping a spreadsheet has been a help. Some towns have been running short and have been unable to register boats and campers.
Walpole Town Library: Mrs. Jane Malmberg presented the following June 2022 Report.
Doug Phelps sent in a proposal for the chimney work. She sent a copy of this to the members of the building repair sub-committee. It was decided that she will follow up with Doug this week.
There has been a delay in starting work on their front door due to unavailability of the person contracted to make the door.
They have received the AED unit and six of their staff members, along with Jean Kobeski, have had CPR/AED training and are now certified.
Julie has been working on packaging some of their older STEM kits and some of the new STEM materials she received into circulating kits.
They have begun to switchover of our fiction/nonfiction collection. They hope to be finished this week.
The Friends are planning to continue their plant sale at the Reuse Center through the summer at least. They have started sorting books for the book sale the last weekend of October. Dates/times for the public to donate books will be in August.
She has drafted a policy for library programs to include a procedure/form for any challenges to a program. She has also drafted some guidelines for volunteers. She has sent these drafts along with their collection development and material challenge procedure/form to the town so that their attorney can look them over. She will then send the new drafts to the library BOT for edits/approval.
Their summer reading plans have been firmed up and sign-up starts on Saturday, June 18th. The program will run through July 30th.
Monthly Library Statistics – Bridge Memorial Library and the North Walpole Library are available in the Selectboard Office.
Finance Office: Mr. Richard Kreissle submitted his report dated June 16, 2022.
- 2nd Quarter’s benefit hours statements will be issued after the week ending 6/25/22.
For those employees whose vacation hours are greater than 80, he is including a note that they must be 80 or less hours at year end. Otherwise, they’ll lose those excess hours.
- Performed account analyses of key accounts.
- Started to upload documents for the 2021 audit.
- Completed an annual expenditure report involving the Brownfield Grant (SF 425). Next step is to figure out how to load it up to the EPA’s portal;
- Submitted monthly report to department managers;
- Refined the monthly Hooper Cash Flow report submitted to the Hooper Trustees’ report.
Mrs. Pschirrer referenced the Brownfield Grant in that Mr. Steve Rickerich asked to be copied on all documents that are being sent to Mr. Steve Dyer.
Mr. Dalessio pointed out that it is important for employees to look at the 2nd Quarter’s benefit hours’ statement to make sure they agree with the figures. It is the responsibility of the employees to check it.
Walpole Recreation: Mr. Kraig Harlow presented his report dated June 16, 2022.
- The pool should be opening on June 15th and will host Walpole School for their annual field day and open to the public the weekend of June 17th;
- The pool repair process will begin in the fall and carry over into 2023;
- Stephanie is actively seeking to hire new lifeguards; they have seven (7) lifeguards returning. They would like to hire one (1) more.
- Gerald’s Painting from Bellows Falls, VT painted the inside of the pool house for the cost of $2,000.
- Associated Concrete Coatings LLC will be adding a non-slip concrete surface (duraflex) the week of July 11th at the price of $15,450.
- Walpole Recreation will be paying for these repairs through the warrant article we received for this year.
Basketball/Tennis Courts Repairs:
- Brad Nash painted the light poles down at the park;
- Mark Houghton will be down at the park to install the new LED lights for summer basketball;
- Recreation committee member, Brian Beckwith sanded and stained the picnic tables at the park to help preserve them;
- Both the tennis shed and equipment shed were painted this year.
- Summer Basketball signups begin June 19th at 6pm and will happen every Thursday for the next eight weeks with practices scheduled around the coaches time;
- They have four companies sponsoring teams: Lathan Electric, Cold River Materials; Bowman Dental, Chroma Technology;
- The program had 74 children sign-up for this program which generated roughly $1850 in revenue;
- They are looking to add both the junior basketball program which will be grades K-1 weekly practice and a 2-4 weekly practice and game.
- They held their first movie night at North Walpole Park, which showed Space Jam: A New Legacy;
- Roughly 70 members from the surrounding communities came out to watch the film;
- The North Walpole Fire & Rescue offered free cotton candy for the community;
- Diane Harty gave out free popcorn, water and candy for attendees;
- Their next movie will be Sonic the Hedgehog and was sponsored by Hubbard’s.
Selectboard Office: Mrs. Sarah Downing submitted this report dated June 16, 2022.
Old Home Days (June 22-26):
The Selectboard Office is sponsoring a “Rest Area” on the Common to the north of the gazebo on Saturday, June 26th. The Rest Area will feature antique wooden chairs/benches from the Town Hall for seating and free cups of water. It will be a covered space for people to get out of the weather and to stay hydrated. The wooden chairs and benches will be sold by donation with the proceeds being used towards purchasing replacement trees for the Common.
Thank you to Town departments who are supporting and participating in Old Home Days (OHD) such as the Highway, Police and Recreation Departments along with the Hooper Institute. The Recreation Department will have free swimming. The Selectboard will be in the parade and at various events.
A new “Silent Knight” Fire Alarm is to be installed in the Town Hall between June 22-24th by Countryside Alarm. The old fire alarm system has an old DOS operating system, and its operation life was shortened when it was hit by lightning. The new fire alarm system will also resolve a noise and phone line issues in the Town Hall offices.
The Selectboard Office paint colors for walls and trim have been chosen. During the summer when windows can be opened, Brad Nash will be painting the 4 rooms that comprised the Selectboard Office. There will be wall repair, reorganizing, new rug flooring installed and other updates/repairs occurring during the process. In May, the office received at no cost, three used but high-quality desk chairs through Cheshire County contacts. They also received free dividers that are currently at the High Street Garage.
The 2022 Property Revaluation process continues. The field rep from Avitar visited properties in early June to finalize sales information. In the late summer, property owners will receive letter with updated assessed values. The opportunity to discuss assessments with an Avitar assessor will be done through scheduled phone calls.
Walpole Highway Department: Mr. Rau was unable to attend this meeting but had submitted the following June 2022 report.
- Lines were painted in Walpole on Main Street, North Road, Wentworth Road, Old Keene Road, Watkins Hill Road, County Road, Maple Grove Road, March Hill Road, Barnett Hill Road, Valley Road, and Drewsville Road.
- Culverts were replaced on Hillside Acres Road as part of flood repairs as well as preparation for paving.
- Potholes throughout town have been filled with the use of the new asphalt hot box. With the use of this equipment, they can use cheaper materials, less trips to the plant, and less waste of materials.
- 2021 Flood repairs continue.
Walpole Recycling Staff Meeting Report June: Mr. Ben Hoy was unable to attend this meeting but had submitted this report.
- New Paper shredder is up and running at Walpole Recycling! The paper shredder is located near the cash register and scale. Employees of Walpole recycling will perform shredding service for the public. Shredding paper is .25 cents per pound, cash or check made out to the Town of Walpole. Paper shredding only, no plastic inserts or bindings please.
- Their horizontal (cardboard) baler and compactor have been serviced by Recycling Mechanical. The (trash) compactor was purchased in 1997, and could use replacement in the coming years.
- Town of Walpole plastic trash bags are projected to be ready for delivery on September 7th. He placed the order in March, which highlights the production, staffing, and trucking issues facing the plastic manufacturing industry.
- Friends of the Walpole Library helped create a new garden in front of the Reuse Center. They have plants for sale at the Reuse Center to benefit the Friends of the Walpole Library.
Hooper Institute: Mrs. Helen Dalbeck was unable to attend this meeting but had submitted this June 16, 2022, report.
School Programs and School Gardens: Composting, soil prep, garden planning, weeding, planting and prepping for summer and fall crops. In grade 2, the students designed unique and original farms and created beautiful books for an Author’s Tea. Becky Whippie provided all of the refreshments using popcorn, rhubarb, herbs and blueberries from the Hooper’s school gardens. It was a really fun celebration. Watershed studies and river mapping in 6th grade culminated in a one day canoe trip on the Connecticut River. The weather kept them off the river for day two. They will meet one more time to review the year. The 5th grade wrapped up with studying stream salamanders, migrating fish, fish anatomy and having both a Mill Pond field trip and a Village Cemetery white oak tree tour. The 5th grade also had a final garden day transplanting herbs and flowers for the summer CSA.
Summer Camps: Registrations are now in. Woodworking Camp has 11 students (July 18-21) and the other camps; Summer Day Camp (Week 1, 17 1st and 2nd grade and Week 2, 11 3rd and 4th grade). Adventure Camp has one session only (July 5-8, 9 students 5th – 8th grade). They have a few stragglers so numbers will go up a bit in the week to come.
High School Work Program: Students were interviewed and five accepted into the summer program. Paperwork is mostly in. Next step is meeting with their new mentor. The work sites are Malnati Farm, Walpole Veterinary Clinic, Alyson’s Orchard, Walpole Recycling Center and two Hooper Institute Day Camps.
Outreach and Marketing: May and June Clarion submissions plus many Facebook posts; monthly school newsletter, posters for May and June events plus fundraising. She presented at the May 18 “Women of Walpole” meeting, which felt like local outreach at its best. Next big day is June 25, Old Home Days on the Common.
Walpole Community Garden: There are 16 members and 43 beds in the community garden. The group has decided to also have a tent at OHD, for outreach and exposure plus to support the Hooper mission and programs. Membership fees are mostly in and the beds are looking good.
Administration: Ann Monette attended their June Board meeting to try them out. Ann is a longtime community gardener. Seth Andrews joined them in May.
Special Events, Programs, and Friends GL Hooper’s Birthday Party was on Saturday, May 14. It was a small but sweet gathering. Bill Perron (George) gave a really nice speech; the two teams of Morris dancers were really fun, lots of singing, crown making and cake! Thanks to all the bakers and flower donations, both of which helped make the day special.
The Flower CSA subscription forms are being organized and were publicized in June Clarion (plus posters). She has eight subscriptions promised and she plans on selling 10, at $120 each for the season. She is looking for some helpers on Friday mornings to cut and prep flowers and create the bouquets.
Development/Fundraising: This is “The Year of the Hooper Institute”. After a town wide mailing, donations have been made. They have received $25,000 from The Walpole Foundation and two garden grants for $750. So far, the Hooper Birthday Fund has received $44,700. All large donor appeals have been mailed. Two foundation letters are submitted. She will continue to raise funds beyond the birthday fund and Old Home Days Alumni Tent with the 2nd Annual Fall Festival, a Fall Annual Appeal, Giving Tuesday and an end of the year push for donations.
Other News: The new Hooper Institute logo cloth tote bags have arrived, yours for a $20 donation.
The Year of the Hooper Institute: 2022 Calendar
February-Winter Fun Day 2/12/22 plus kick off of GH Hooper Birthday Fundraising Campaign.
April-Earth Day Celebration at the Hooper 4/23/22 9-10 am Woods Walk 10am – 12pm Crafting for Old
Home Day Alumni Tent; Opening Day Walpole Community Garden 1 pm 4/23/22;
Staff Meeting –June 16, 2022- Page 6
May – George Hooper Birthday Party 5/14/21 11am – 1 pm. Parking at the Watkins Inn and Tavern.
June-Birthday campaign will continue into July; Old Home Days Hooper Institute Alumni Display on June 25, Town Common; 6th grade River Trip (June 10 only); 2 weeks Hooper Day Camp and 1 week Adventure Camp (overflow into July).
July- High Summer School Work Program; 1 week Woodworking Camp; 6 weeks Flower Bouquet CSA begins: Presentation Night for HS Work Program (July 27, 7 pm) and Hooper Scholarship Recipients;
August – High School Work Program, Flower CSA;
September – Flower CSA ends; 2nd Annual Fall Festival (September 24) kicks off their Annual Giving Appeal;
October –Garlic Saturday; Walpole Community Garden Closing Day and Gathering;
November – Thanksgiving Farmers Market; GIVING TUESDAY;
December –Wreath-making Workshops, End of Year Appeal.
ADJOURNMENT: Mr. Dalessio thanked everyone for attending this Staff Meeting. He adjourned the meeting at 5:52 PM.
Regina Borden, Recording Secretary