Walpole Staff Meeting – 8/18/22

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

Staff Present:    Jodi Daigle (Water & Sewer Clerk and Administrative Assistant); Richard Kreissle (Administrator of Finance); Helen Dalbeck (Hooper Institute Executive Director); Meghan Hansson (Town Clerk/Tax Collector)

Excused:           Sarah Downing (Manager of Administration); Ben Hoy (Recycling Director); Michael Rau (Road Agent/Highway Director); Jane Malmberg (Library Director); Kraig Harlow (Recreation Director); Justin Sanctuary (Police Chief)

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.

Mr. Dalessio reminded the Department Managers that their preliminary budgets should be submitted to Mr. Kreissle on-or-before September 6th, 2022.    

Hooper Institute:  Helen Dalbeck, Hooper Institute Executive Director, presented the following report for July and August 2022: 

School Programs and School Gardens:  They are getting ready for the school year.  Three school gardens plus the high tunnel have been maintained throughout the summer, growing produce for the fall school kitchen, fall classes, flowers for the Flower CSA and lots of plants for pollinators.  They are in touch with teachers, preparing classes and curriculum.  Becky Whippie teaches Pre-K – 4, Helen Dalbeck 5th and 7th Sept-Nov then she picks up 6th grade in December.

Summer Camps:  They led four weeks of camp; Hooper Day Camp, Adventure Camp and Woodworking.  47 kids attended.  Special appreciation and thanks to Steve Dalessio for leading Woodworking and donating his time and materials for the fun projects.  Also thanks to the three high school leaders that were at the heart of the Hooper Day Camp weeks, with Becky Whippie.  She would like to thank Annie Monette, Becky Sethi and Chloe Pittman for their help and assistance during Adventure Camp.  They had a ton of fun exploring the Academy Ravine, Hooper Forest, Gateway/Connecticut River in Walpole then over to the Bellows Falls Fish Ladder, Visitor Center plus their forest trail, labyrinth and petroglyphs by the falls.

High School Work Program:  The work sites are Walpole Veterinary Clinic, Alyson’s Orchard, Walpole Recycling Center and the two Hooper Institute Day Camps.  There are four students that have worked 258 hours as of today 8/17.  They were collectively awarded 390 hours.  More reporting will follow in September.

Outreach and Marketing:  July and August Clarion submissions plus many Facebook posts, posters; Old Home Days tents, interpretation, being with the people with Walpole Community Garden by their side.  It was a really fun day.  They had a special offering of large alumni books created by posters made over the years by Eloise Clark.  They were enjoyed by many Hooper “kids”!

Walpole Community Garden:  There are 16 members and 43 beds in the community garden.  These folks have been successful gardeners even in a drought.  Well worth a visit.

Administration:  Ongoing, in every way.

Special Events, Programs, Scholarship and Friends:  The Flower CSA happened and was a joyous success.  (Nine subscribers, 11 bouquets for 6 weeks plus 1 make up week) – July 27 there was a Presentation Night featuring their scholarship recipients and the students awarded hours during the Summer Work Program.  It is an inspiring evening, this year attended by 3 university recipients, 1 high school student, all with their families.  Four students wrote in about their experiences.  Board and Committee members Seth Andrews and Liz Collingsworth helped with the evening.

Their next special event preparation and planning has begun for the 2nd Annual Fall Festival, September 24 at the Hooper Institute.

Development/Fundraising:  This has been “The Year of the Hooper Institute”.  They have raised $53,000 thus far with plans to continue with the 2nd Annual Fall Festival, a Fall Annual Appeal, Giving Tuesday and an end of the year push for donations.  The fall campaign’s working title is “Lend a Hand to the Hooper Institute”.

Other News:  The new Hooper Institute logo cloth tote bags are available, yours for a $20 donation.

Annual Fall Festival:  Their next event will be the 2nd Annual Fall Festival on September 24th.  This kicks off their Annual Giving Appeal.  

Walpole Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s Office:  Mrs. Meghan Hansson, TC/TC, had submitted the following August 18, 2022 Report:

  • The Spring Warrant was for $5,891,363 and only $201,000 remains to be collected, which is about 3.4% of the total.  This is only 103 invoices and fewer actual property owners.
  • They will be sending reminder/informational notices to those individuals who have 2020 liens on their property that without payment by June of next year, their property will be up for deeding.
  • As there was no meeting in July, she mentioned that on June 27th, they had the DMV Auditor in their office checking their records and inventory.  The visit was a positive experience, and the auditor was happy with their office.
  • June 30th was the last day of the DMV’s year; so, they needed to close a couple hours early that day and scramble to get the money of the day deposited and the receipt to Rich for the electronic transfer to be made to the State the same day.
  • The first week of August was 2022 Certification Training for her Deputy, Vicki Gohl, and her.  They each attended a full schedule of classes offered through the NH City and Town Clerk Association and the NH Tax Collectors Association.  The training took place at the NH Municipal Association building in Concord.  Speakers included the Secretary of State, the Head of the Department of Vital Records, the Certified Trainer for DMV, and several people from NHMA, including Government Affairs Counsel and Government Finance Advisor.  The week of class is followed up by a lengthy test that they must all take, pass in, and it will get graded.
  • The State Primary Election will be Tuesday September 13th.  They have been registering new voters and taking requests for Absentee Ballots.  Per the State, this year Covid will not be allowed as a reason to request an Absentee Ballot.
  • Municipal Records Committee exists whether the members meet or not.  The members are the Board of Selectmen, or their designee, the Clerk, the Treasurer, an assessor, and the Tax Collector.  They do have responsibilities for the records.

Administrator of Finance:  Mr. Rich Kreissle had submitted his report dated August 18, 2022.

Budget Worksheets created and e-mailed to department managers;

  • They are due to him on Tuesday, September 6th;
  • Once received, he will create the 1st draft of the budget for the Board in time for their regular meeting on September 8th.

Put the final touches on reformatting the budget spreadsheet he uses to create the budget and submit to the Board;

  • Based upon their feedback, warrant articles voted in from prior years will be shown separately from the operating budget in order to better present the actual increase in the budget.

The 2021 audit has begun.

The MS-434 – Estimated Revenues – due to the Department of Revenue Administration on 9/1 – thus begins the calculation for the new tax rate.

Friendly reminder to submit credit receipts/PO’s after making a purchase sooner rather than later.

Walpole Recycling Staff Meeting Report August:  Mr. Ben Hoy was unable to attend this meeting but had sent in the following report:

Cerys Gascoyne worked at Walpole Recycling through the Hooper Institute summer program this summer.  She learned all about recycling, and participated in a “recycle right” virtual conference through the NRRA Reagan Bissonette, Executive Director of the NRRA, and several other industry leaders discussed recycling with Cerys at the meeting.  They hope to have Cerys back as a volunteer at Walpole recycling!

Phil Burgess is leaving Walpole Recycling upon his return from the Recycling Conference in Austin, Texas next week.  (Tom Donovan will be returning to Walpole Recycling at the end of August).  Phil was an exceptional “fill in” hire for Walpole Recycling.  He is an acclaimed machine expert whose expertise helped them improve their recycling operation exponentially. – Thanks Phil!

Recyclable storage situation has become an area that needs to be improved.  This is sure to be a strong consideration when addressing the warrant article proposal for 2023.  Installing a new and improved recyclable storage area would further enhance their capability to properly recycle everything that can be recycled.  With limited space they are reduced to limited recycling options as their commodities must be under cover and handled in a safe environment.  The trailers that they are using for storage have been in since 1992.  The optics of the storage area reflect its age, especially with the many improvements that have been made at Walpole Recycling.  The Highway Department’s salt shed represents an area of coverage that would properly suit their recyclable storage needs at Walpole Recycling.  He would like to steer away from trailer storage going forward if possible.

He is looking forward to the Recycling Conference in Austin, Texas next week!  The list of speakers and recycling personnel attending the conference is impressive.  There is much to learn at this conference, and he hopes to bring back some innovative recycling strategies to Walpole Recycling.  He will be joining NRRA Executive Director Reagan Bissonette at the conference.  He will also be running a times mile at the University of Texas track.  (That portion of the trip might not be pretty).  Thanks again to Keefe Harrison and the Recycling Partnership for the opportunity to learn from the best in the recycling industry. 

Walpole Recreation:  Mr. Kraig Harlow was unable to attend this meeting.  Following is his report update of August 18, 2022.

Pool:

  • The pool will be closing on August 26th with their staff going back to college and high school.
  • Brad Nash came and fixed all of the lights and globes down at the pool this summer. 
  • Pool filtration motor blew up on July 15th and they quickly were able to repair it within a week with the help of E.E. Houghton;
  • They were over Pool Chemicals again by $1,557.28 this season due to the increased price in chemicals and blown filtration motor.

Pool House:

  • Associated Concrete Coatings LLC finished the concrete non-slip surface on August 1st at the price of $15,450.  The repair was paid through the warrant article.

Summer Basketball:

  • Summer Basketball ends on August 18th.
  • The program had 74 children sign-up for this program which generated roughly $1850 in revenue.
  • They had three teams and games were every Tuesday and Thursday this summer with coaches scheduling one day for practices.
  • They had three companies sponsoring teams: Cold River Materials, Bowman Dental, Chroma Technology.

Soccer:

  • Soccer sign-ups started August 15th through August 19th from 5pm to 7pm.  Additional days maybe added if sign-ups are low.
  • They are expecting the program to have 50-60 sign-ups for ages 4-11.
  • Teams are broken into four groups of U4, U6, U8 and U11 with practices taking place at North Walpole School, Walpole Elementary School, and Westminster St. field.
  • They will have 8 companies line up to sponsor soccer uniforms.
  • Allards Portable Toilets will place a toilet at North Walpole School for players and parents to use.

Community Events:

  • They have held three movies over the summer:  Space Jam; A New Legacy; Sonic and Clifford the Big Red Dog.
  • They are having roughly 30-50 members of the community show at each movie.
  • Their next movie will be Encanto and will be at Whitcomb Park on September 9th.

Recreation Committee:

  • The Recreation Committee will meet August 24th at 6:00 pm to talk about next year’s budget and ways they can improve the recreation program.

Highway Department:  Mr. Mike Rau was unable to attend this meeting but submitted the following report:

  • Replaced insufficient culverts:  1 on Homestead Road and 2 on County Road. 
  • Sight inspections with FEMA have started for the 2021 July flooding.  Inspections were done on the High Street bridge and the Old North Main bridge.  More dates are scheduled within the next few weeks to inspect other damaged locations.
  • Meeting with DES is scheduled to discuss the drainage issue on School Street.
  • The car counter has been set out to gather data on volume and speed on Maplewood Circle.
  • Multiple trucks have had failures or breakdowns that have required extensive repairs or servicing.

Selectboard Office Report:  Mrs. Sarah Downing was unable to attend this meeting but provided the following report dated August 18, 2022.

Facilities Update:

The vintage chairs from the basement that were sold by donation raised $785 towards a new tree for the Common.  Thank you to Peggy Pschirrer for hosting the last chair sales effort at the multi-family yard sale on Old North Main Street in July.

The Selectboard Office is almost finished being “refreshed” with new paint and carpeting.  New desks for Jodi Daigle and Rich Kreissle were purchased.  Much thanks to Brad Nash for painting and organizing the move in and out of the Selectboard Office.  Additional thanks to Jodi Daigle who organized the carpeting purchase and assembled her desk.  Other small improvements are occurring to improve office function.

The Town Hall cupola was painted.  Since a new roof install is planned for late October, the painting of the cupola was a priority.

Three trees have been removed and their stumps ground on the Common.  The trees were a safety issue and had to be removed.  Hartmann Tree & Garden has trimmed trees on the east side of the Common.  With higher utility poles being installed on the west side/Elm Street of the Common, the final trimming may wait until after the poles are installed.

A large new tax map binder with updated maps is now available on the map table in the hallway of the Town Hall.  Much thanks to Jodi Daigle for ordering the cover which was complicated and took some time to be produced.

Assessing:

On July 25th, Avitar began a field review as part of revaluation process.  The Dept. of Revenue Administration (DRA) conducted a survey of properties to audit Avitar for their accuracy in property assessment at the end of July and beginning of August.

The final phase of the revaluation process is to begin soon with updated assessments being mailed to property owners.  During this time, there will be an opportunity to have phone meetings with the assessors to discuss questions and concerns.

Human Resources:

The Employee Appreciation Meal is in process of being scheduled.  More information to follow regarding the date.  The meal will be a soup/salad/sandwich that can be a “grab and go” or eat-in the Town Hall. 

Walpole Police Department:  Police Chief Sanctuary was unable to attend this meeting.  A report was provided with Police Stats from July 30, 2022 through August 15, 2022. 

The total calls were 340.

  • Criminal Investigations – 85
  • Public Safety – 186
  • Motor Vehicle – 69

Total Monthly Calls:

  • Last Month for the period of 06/16/2022 – 07/15/22 – there were 328 calls;
  • This Month for the period of 07/16/2022 – 08/15/22 – there were 340 calls.

Walpole Town Library:

Mrs. Jane Malmberg was unable to attend this meeting.  Following is her report dated August 2022.

Mark McGill’s subcontractor came down in mid-July to look at the front door and take measurements.

Friends:

The dates for book donation this summer have been set:

Wednesdays, August 17 and 24, 10:00 am to noon.

Thursdays, August 18 and 25, 4:00 to 6:00 pm.

The book sale will take place at the Walpole School gym on the weekend of October 28-30.

North Walpole:

Numbers have continued to increase in North Walpole, both visits and number of materials checked out.

Programming:

Summer Reading was a success.  They had 100 people participate, double the number last summer.  32 people participated in Geocaching and the Grafton Museum’s weekly science programs were quite popular this year.  Twenty-five people came to their Ice Cream Party on July 30th.

They are taking a break from Wiggle Times and Story Times during the month of August as many people are away this month and it gives Julie a well-deserved break and opportunity to recharge.

Technology:

They have a new digital resource available on their website.  It is provided free from the Public Library Association and AT&T.  Here is a brief description:

DigitalLearn.org offers a variety of courses that build digital literacy skills and confidence using technology.  The online courses are freely available to everyone and teach basic skills such as: tips for getting started with email, navigating websites and commonly used apps, operating search engines, mastering cybersecurity and more.

Monthly Library Statistics – Bridge Memorial Library and the North Walpole Library are available in the Selectboard office.

ADJOURNMENT:  Mr. Dalessio thanked everyone who attended this meeting.  He adjourned this meeting at 5:56 PM. Respectfully submitted, Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

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