Category Archives: Uncategorized

TOWN OF CHARLESTOWN School Withdrawal Committee Meeting Minutes – 4/30/19

In keeping with The Walpolean Mission of “Keeping the community up to date on community topics”, I have copied these minutes from the Fall Mountain School District website. There you will also see an Articles of Agreement Committee Invitation Letter. If it is easier, I also have a link on the right hand side of the Walpolean home page if you click on FALL MOUNTAIN REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT.

This is in case the Selectboard, Planning Board and Zoning Board Minutes aren’t enough reading for the weekend! – Lil

Present: Albert St.Pierre; Scott Bushway; Lucien Beam; Alan Dustin; Steven Dalessio; Joseph Levesque; Mary Henry; Frank Emig; William Stahl; Sarah Vogel

Others Present: Gabriel St.Pierre; Michael Herrington, School Board Chairman; John Murray; Steven Neill; Trina Dearborn; Terry Spilsbury; Scott Wade; Rebecca Sethi

Meeting called to order at 5:35 pm.

First order to elect Chair, Vice Chairperson.

Albert St.Pierre nominated for Chair by Frank Emig.  Second by Alan Dustin. William Stahl nominated Mary Henry.  Second by Frank Emig. Vote by show of hands. Three for Mary Henry, Five for Albert St.Pierre.  

Mary Henry nominated for Vice Chair by Albert St.Pierre.  Second by Frank Emig. All in favor.

Alissa Bascom nominated as recording secretary by William Stahl, seconded by Alan Dustin.  All in favor.

Introductions

Packets handed out by Mr. St.Pierre.  Included in packet is:

  • Letter of invitation to committee

  • Withdrawal Committee Information from SAU 60 website

  • Contact info for members

  • Original report of 1964 forming of district

  • Report of Charlestown School Study Committee

  • Tax Rates for NH 2018

  • Condensed version of 2018 area tax rates — district towns and some surrounding towns

  • Copy of votes from FM Ballot

  • Lempster tuition agreement with SAU 60

  • 2019 School District Annual Report

Committee would like to clarify what RSA 195:25 involves.  Mr. Stahl noted for committee that 195:25 states committee must have a plan to state by November 1, 2019.  The committee shall report its findings to the state Board of Education. The report shall indicate whether the withdrawal of one or more towns from the cooperative school district is recommended, not recommended, or the committee need additional time.

If the committee finds that they do not recommend withdrawal, the committee is dissolved.  If the committee finds that the withdrawal of one or more towns from the cooperative school district is recommended, the committee shall develop a withdrawal plan in accordance with RSA 195:26. The plan shall be submitted to the state board of education for the education of students in the the co-operative district and for the students of the withdrawing district, no later than November 1.

Included in the withdrawal plan in accordance with RSA 195:26, is specific guidelines for responsibilities of withdrawing district listed in RSA 195:27 (each withdrawing district’s responsibilities to the cooperative district for capital costs and outstanding debts) and RSA 195:28 (Cooperative district gives withdrawing district(s) current buildings and property minus the capital costs and outstanding debts layed out in RSA 195:27).

If the state board approves the withdrawal plan, whether submitted by the committee or by minority report, the plan shall be submitted to the voters of the cooperative school district in accordance with RSA 195:29.

Date of withdrawal, per RSA 195:30 — 1 year after vote at town meeting.  If withdrawal vote is brought before the towns in March, 2020 and passes, then July 1, 2021 will be the earliest date of withdrawal.  

It is noted for the committee by Mr. Dalessio that it is any or all towns that could look at the feasibility of withdrawing.  Not only Charlestown. Withdrawing town(s) would stay in SAU 60, unless additional RSA 194-C:2 is enacted.

Questions to be answered by the committee:

  • What is the real cost to run a school?  

  • What does feasibility mean?

  • What do we need to make a decision?  

  • How do we put a plan together within 180 days?

Mr. St.Pierre feels that budget for each town has been published by the school board.  He referenced page 31 and 32 of annual report. Each town has the amount of money apportioned to them, and that is the budget they have to work with.  Ms. Henry acknowledges that the school board has this information. There are over 5800 codes and they can be placed in each town to determine cost.

Mr. Dalessio asked if we can feasibly educate our children if we separate.  What is the real cost of educating a child?

The committee would like to ask the following questions to Jim Fenn.  Mr. Stahl will invite Mr. Fenn to all future meetings of the Withdrawal Study Committee.  

Questions for Mr. Fenn:

  1. How much does it cost to educate a single student?  The actual, per pupil cost.

  2. How many students are in the high school, physically, from each town?

  3. How will costs go up or down for withdrawing district(s) and remaining district(s)?

  4. How are costs apportioned out to each town and to the high school?

  5. How are surplus dollars distributed out to towns at the end of the fiscal year?

  6. What is the indebtedness of school district?

  7. What is each town responsible for in regards to indebtedness.  Is there a formula? What is the impact to each town?

  8. What is cost to reacquire properties from the co-op for withdrawing town(s)?

  9. How is money from state adequacy aid directly affecting town it is apportioned for?

John Murray from Charlestown acknowledged that the business of determining cost of educating students is confusing.  Budget is driven by salary of teachers — more teachers, more money it costs to run. Is class size something to consider when determining feasibility of withdrawal? Mr. St.Pierre voiced that this committee does not want to put together a budget.

Mr. St.Pierre acknowledged that Charlestown cannot out vote other towns for what is best for town of Charlestown.  Charlestown taxpayers vote down budget and monetary articles because they cannot afford any more increases. They are already shouldering the highest school tax burden in the state.  Charlestown needs a balance between what we do for education and for our tax payers. The board in Charlestown needs to be able to budget for both. If the School District budget is deemed proportionate, what does Charlestown do?  Charlestown does not want to be part of a state lawsuit, problem is with our own district.

Mr. Bushway stated that a plan is needed to attack the feasibility question.  The charge of this committee is to determine if a district can withdraw. How do we approach the question of feasibility of a district (or districts) withdrawing with an educated decision?

Mr. Beam brought forth copies of withdrawal studies from Newport, Monroe, and Goshen/Lempster.  All of these reports, and more, are available on the website of the State of NH Board of Education, www.education.nh.gov.  Search withdrawal, many town withdrawal studies are there.  

Highlight of these three studies — some 65 pages long, is that in all three studies, education does not enter into the picture.  All focus is on the impact of town finances only. These district reports include feasibility of withdrawal from a financial standpoint and what the structure of the district schools is, now that they have withdrawn from their co-operative.  The reports focus on:

  • Percentages of SAU and allocations for personnel.

  • Financial aid from state

  • Tuition costs

  • Liability of assets currently within town.

  • Fiscal impact to district itself, what is impact on district vs town.

  • Consultations with DOE

This committee needs to:

  • Understand what cost to each town

  • Know what is the cost to quality of education

  • Relook at articles of agreement

Mr. Beam asked if this committee is set, or whether other townspeople could be invited to contribute to the meeting.  Per the group, others could be invited to speak to certain issues/questions.

Terry Spilsbury, Charlestown, offered that the committee must define and create a portrait of what the withdrawal looks like.  

Ms. Vogel suggested that perhaps the group break into subcommittees for the purpose of bringing information back to discuss.  Subcommittees could bring in other sources as speakers.

  • Interview other districts who have been through this process, specifically co-operative districts.

  • Educational impact

  • Financial impact

  • Final impact

Future meeting dates set for Wednesday, May 22 and May 29th, 2019, 5:30 pm, FMRHS library.  

Meeting adjourned 6:52 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Alissa Bascom

(Note:  These are unapproved Minutes. Corrections, if necessary, will be found in the Minutes of the May 22, 2019 meeting.)

Hooper Trustees Meeting Minutes #2 – 5/9/19

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

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mr. Dalessio called this Hooper Trustees meeting #2 to order at 8:46 PM.

 

HOOPER TRUSTEES MINUTES:

HOOPER TRUSTEES MEETING – May 2, 2019:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Hooper Trustees meeting of May 2, 2019, as submitted.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the Minutes were approved.  

 

HOOPER BUSINESS:

Eloise Clark Retirement Celebration:  Mr. Dalessio advised that a request was received from Mr. Ray Boas to have some information for the Clarion on Mrs. Eloise Clark’s retirement celebration.  Mrs. Pschirrer spoke with Mrs. Becky Whippie regarding the event and a gift.  She said it would be on the Hooper Agenda for their next meeting on Tuesday, May 14th.  Ms. Mayberry advised that information will have to get to Mr. Boas by Friday, May 19th.  They want community members to be aware of and to attend this event.   

 

Hooper Garage:  Mr. Dalessio sent Mrs. Clark the quote for a new metal roof and other repairs that need to be done to the garage roof.  The person who submitted the quote is a roofer and affiliated with the Boy Scouts.  Most of the quote of $14,000+/– was for material. Some material and labor will be donated.  Mr. Dalessio would like confirmation that the Hooper Institute Board wants to have this work done.          

 

Closet:  Mr. Dalessio reported that work will begin on Boy Scout closet in the basement of the Town Hall this summer.

 

ADJOURNMENT:

Ms. Mayberry moved to adjourn this Hooper Trustees meeting #2.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the meeting adjourned at 8:57 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

 

Hooper Trustees Meeting Minutes – 5/9/19

 

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

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mr. Dalessio called this Hooper Trustees meeting to order at 7:55 PM.

 

HOOPER INSTITUTE:

Mrs. Rebecca Sethi suggested that with changes at the Hooper Institute they might consider a longer camp program with fees.  Ms. Mayberry if students outside of Walpole could participate in the summer programs.  This would generate more outreach into the communities.  There was a consensus that, in the past,this has occasionally occurred.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted this was not part of the Hooper Will.  

 

Mrs. Sethi has Community Garden, Summer Work Program and General Fund money.  She will send an accounting out soon.    

 

ADJOURNMENT:

Ms. Mayberry moved to adjourn this Hooper Trustees meeting#1.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, this meeting was adjourned at 8:00 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

Select Board Meeting Minutes – 5/9/19

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

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mr. Dalessio called this meeting of the Selectboard to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  He advised that this meeting is being recorded and asked anyone wishing to speak to identify themselves for the record.  There were three members of the public in attendance.

 

PUBLIC BUSINESS:

PETER and KARA DEXTER re: SALVAGE/JUNKYARD COMPLAINT:  Peter and Kara Dexter were present.  Mrs. Dexter stated they were responding to the complaint from Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Edkins during the Selectboard meeting on April 11, 2019, regarding “Motor Vehicle Recycling Yards and Junk Yards specifically their business Dexpart located at 31 Industrial Park Drive. She distributed copies of a document that included several RSAs plus their definitions.  Dexpart is not a junk yard or automotive recycling yard. Ninety-two point fifty-eight percent of Dexpart’s annual gross income in 2018 was derived from motor vehicle mechanical service, the reconditioning and restoration of motor vehicles, and the sale of motor vehicle parts.  By this definition, Dexpart is a motor vehicle business.  Dexpart is a repairer as they are principally engaged in the motor vehicle business as defined in NH RSA 259:60-a.  Dexpart does not purchase motor vehicles. They are not engaged in the business of buying secondhand motor vehicles for the purpose of taking them apart.  

 

Dexpart obtained a Special Exception from the Zoning Board of Adjustment in September 2018 to operate a motor vehicles business, as defined in NH RSA 259:60-a, in the Industrial Zone.  Mr. Anderson made a motion to approve the Special Exception on two conditions.  The first condition being that Dexpart would continue to maintain the buffer on the property as it current exists. The second condition being that Dexpartcontinues to use the Department of Environmental Services (DES) Best Practice Guidelines for the automotive repair shop.  Both are conditions they would have done regardless.  They have compiled with all requirements the Town of Walpole has asked and will continue to do so.  At the Zoning Board meeting in September, Mr. Dexter stated he is planning on streamlining inventory and reducing the number of cars on the property.  They took 12 vehicles to the scrap metal yard before the end of December 2018.  They have 19 more set aside for removal this summer.  They are not operating as a junkyard as defined in RSA 236, nor do they have any intention or desire of doing so.  

 

There was discussion pertaining to the number of vehicles on the property at this time.  Mr. Dalessio felt there were more vehicles than the Selectboard expected would be there.  Mrs. Dexter said as of yesterday they had 116 vehicles on the property.  She broke that number down by categories as described in the RSAs.  Mr. and Mrs. Dexter personally own 13 vehicles; 3 vehicles are shop vehicles.  Mr. Dexter said this number is high at this time of the year as people are bringing their vehicles out of storage; most have to be checked and inspected in April, etc.  The number of vehicles changes daily depending on the number dropped off and those picked up.  The layout at the other building was different than at this building.  They moved in the winter. They are still getting settled in and trying to recover some lost revenue.  Mrs. Dexter mentioned they will have another employee this summer which will be a help.      

 

Mrs. Pschirrer noted the substantive part of their argument is that they are a motor vehicle repair site and not a recycling center.  Mrs. Dexter said their business is not to dismantle secondhand used motor vehicles.  Mr. Dalessio said there are still 100+ vehicles on the property depending on who owns them.  Is there anything they could do to reduce that number? Mrs. Dexter said they will dispose of 19 more.  Mr. Dexter said all these things are happening.  Mr. Dalessio mentioned having a fence / trees for screening.  Mrs. Dexter replied they are still considering fencing; they also like trees.  They are also trying to run a business and generate income.  They are working on these things every day.  Mr. Dexter said it takes time and money.  

 

Ms. Mayberry understands it is a process.  People going by see the large number of vehicles on the property, yet they are trying to be responsible and trim that number down.  Mrs. Pschirrer does not believe they are running a junk yard for old cars nor should they need a license for one. They are a car repair business.  They need to screen in the business and control the number of cars they have because the abutter will attend another Selectboard meeting.  There was discussion on a reasonable number of vehicles on the property.  Ms. Mayberry said three types of vehicles: 1) the vehicles the Dexters own; 2) vehicles with long-term repairs; and 3) shorter turn-over vehicles.  Mr. Dexter said there are also some vehicles newer than 2000 which require a title; some vehicles were abandoned.  Mr. Dexter feels all our goals are the same; to have the property look nice and to not pollute the ground.  Mr. Dalessio said about 56 cards are in the so-called “gray area”. He recommended reducing the number of so-called “gray area” vehicles by 25 vehicles by October 1st.  Their personal property is theirs.  Mr. Dexter will try to work on some paperwork to obtain titles or Mechanics Liens.  Mrs. Dexter does not have a problem with Mr. O’Brien wanting them to do things properly because we all should be doing things properly.  Their goal is to reduce the number of vehicles and to add screening.      

 

REBECCA SETHI re: FMRSD SCHOOL BOARD’S ARTICLES OF AGREEMENT COMMITTEE:  Mrs. Sethi had sent a letter to the Selectboard pertaining to the Articles of Agreement.  She met with Mr. Sam Jacobs last week and plans to meet with Mr. Steve Varone next week.  She is working on the process.  Within their committee, they can appoint a Selectperson.  She felt everyone should write letters outlining what they are bringing to the table; education and experience.  Mrs. Pschirrer had submitted a letter indicating her interest to be on this committee. Mrs. Sethi has to schedule something with Alstead and Acworth.  Mr. Dalessio asked if the Articles of Agreement Committee would be able to meet with Mr. Varone.  Mrs. Sethi said they could if everyone wants to do that. Copies of past Articles of Agreement studies were distributed. There has been discussion about declining enrollment in the schools, affordable housing, elderly population, etc. Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned that Walpole has the oldest population in Cheshire County.  The results of the survey being done by SWRPC will be beneficial.  The next Joint Meeting will be on Tuesday, May 28th at 6:30 PM.  Mr. Dalessio outlined what topics he would like to discuss at the Joint Meetings including what does our future look like and issues the voters want to hear about like controlling costs.  When he tells people the cost of Walpole’s education is $563,000 per month they are surprised because they knew it was costly, but had not realized it was that much money.

 

RECESS SELECTBOARD MEETING:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to recess this Selectboard meeting.  The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved at 7:55 PM.

 

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 8:00 PM.

 

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the amount of $96,997.97 for checks issued May 10, 2019.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

The above amount includes a payment in the amount of $41,801.61 to the NH Retirement System.

 

PAYROLL:

Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending May 4, 2019, in the amount of $37,535.06 for checks issued May 10, 2019, and the electronic fund transfer for the 941 Employer Taxes in the amount of $8,493.81.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – May 2, 2019:  Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of May 2, 2019, as submitted.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the Minutes were approved.

 

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION – May 2, 2019:  Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard session of May 2, 2019, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the Minutes were approved.

 

COMMITTEE REPORT:

The Selectboard received and reviewed Minutes of the following meeting:

 Conservation Commission Minutes – April 1, 2019.

 

TIMBER TAX WARRANT:

MAP and LOT #003-031-000:  Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the Warrant, Yield Tax Levy, and the Certification of Yield Taxes Assessed in the amount of $746.83 for Operation #18-461-016-T,  Map and Lot #003-031-000 located off Old Stage Road.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

PROPERTY TAX ABATEMENTS:

MAP and LOT #003-037-000:  Ms. Mayberry moved to grant the Property Tax Abatement for Map and Lot #003-037-000 for Tax Years 2013, 2014. 2015 and 2016 in the amount of $5,291.91.  In accordance with Mrs. Sandra Smith, Tax Collector, this property is protected by foreclosure status and taxes must be written off.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

MAP and LOT #007026-000:  Ms. Mayberry moved to deny this Request for a Property Tax Abatement for Map and Lot #007-026-000.  Avitar Associates found this assessment to be fair and equitable.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

MAP and LOT #009-062-001:  Ms. Mayberry moved to grant this Property Tax Abatement for Map and Lot #009-062-001 in the amount of $1,281.03.  Avitar Associates advised the view of the property was reduced from panoramic to wide and the depth of the view was also lowered from Top75 to Top50.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

TIMBER INTENTS:

MAP and LOT #015-018-000:  Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the Notice of Intent to Cut Wood or Timber fur Map and Lot #015-018-000   Access will be off the Old DrewsvilleRoad.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

MAP and LOT #015-021-000:  Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the Notice of Intent to Cut Wood or Timber for Map and Lot #015-0210000.  Access will be from Alstead to a back lot.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

BUILDING PERMIT:

SHERRY McGUIRK, 257 Valley Road, Map and Lot #013-016-000:  Ms. Mayberry moved to grant Building Permit No. 2019-12 for Sherry McGuirk to build a “28’ x 30’ Deck” at 257 Valley Road, Map and Lot #013-016-000.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio favor, the motion was approved.

 

CHRISTIAN and HOLLY GOWDY: Mr. Dalessio talked to Mr. Gowdy about building a temporary structure with no foundation.  It is to allow their cows to have cover during the winter.  The question is if a building permit is required.  It is not covered in the building permit definitions.  The structure would be taxed.  

Mrs. Pschirrer moved that Mr. and Mrs. Gowdy do not require a Building Permit because the Town’s definitions do not match anything they are going to build.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

Mr. Dalessio advised that within the next 120 days, temporary structures will be defined and added to the building permitprocess.

 

OLD BUSINESS:

Trivantus Payroll Services Quote:  The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the proposed quote from TrivantusPayroll Services.  Mr. Dalessio felt if it was something they want to pursue. He would like Mrs. Downing to make arrangements for the demo.  Mrs. Pschirrer questioned if they should include the summer employees as well or whether the Selectboard Office would continue to handle them.  Ms. Mayberry felt they should not include the summer employees because they are only here a couple months of the year; there would be a fee for having them in the system.  Mrs. Downing advised the Town has close to 47 full-time and part-timeemployees.  There was a consensus of the Selectboard to have Mrs. Downing make arrangements with Mr. Kreissle to have the demo.  The demo will include Mr. Kreissle, Mrs. Downing, Mrs. Daigle and Selectboard members as available.  Summer employees will be excluded from the plan.  Following the demo a decision will be made on the Trivantus Payroll Services.      

 

E.E. Houghton Invoices: Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the E.E. Houghton invoices for Water and Sewer. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

Tax Collector Deeded Properties – Next Step:  The Selectboard received a legal opinion from the NH Municipal Association regarding Tax Collector Deeded properties.  This discussion will be continued at a future meeting pending receipt of additional research.      

 

Ruggerio Processing Facility LLC Letter – Response Status: Mr. Dalessio noted a letter had been sent to RuggerioProcessing Facility LLC through Attorney Hockensmith.  If they make any changes, Ruggerio Processing is to come back before the Zoning Board for permission.  Mr. Dalessio will follow-up with Attorney Hockensmith.

 

Former Landfill Site Visit re: Solar Farm/Array:  Mrs. Downing will be meeting with Mr. Todd Stewart of Solar Power Financial to look at the former landfill site for a possible solar farm/array on Friday, May 10th at 2:00pm.  Hopefully, Mr. Gary Patch, the Plant Manager, will be able to give them the tour.  The Town property is located between the two pits.  Mr. Dalessio advised that, going forward, solar farm/arrays should be forwarded to Mr. Jeff Miller of the Planning Board.  Ms. Mayberry suggested that Mrs. Downing invite Mr. Jeff Miller to participate in this tour.

 

Walker Road Open House:  The Selectboard approved the request to use the Town’s portable speaker and microphone for the Walker Road Open House. Mr. Merklein’s request to use metal chairs from the Town Hall was also approved.  This event will be held on Saturday, May 11th from 11:00 am until 2:00pm.  

 

NEW BUSINESS:

Vachon Clukay & Co. Invoice:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to authorize payment of the contract amount of $12,500 to Vachon,Clukay and Company for the audit of financial statements for 2018.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.  

 

Police Dept. Revolving Fund Request:  The Police Department is requesting a withdrawal of funds from their Walpole Police Revolving Fund for the purchase of (1) Radio Hardware Upgrade.  They frequently communicate with Bellows Falls and other communities who are using a different frequency.  Mrs. Pschirrer recommended that Police Chief Paquette include money in next year’s budget for new radios.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Police Department’s request to purchase (1) Radio Hardware Upgrade in the amount of $1,300.00.  These funds will be taken out of the Police Revolving Fund.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

 

Complete Street Grant Notice:  Mr. Dalessio acknowledged receipt of a notice from the Southwest Regional Planning Commission (SWRPC) on the 2019 Monadnock Region Complete Streets Implementation Grant.  This notice was turned over to the Planning Board.  They are considering building a sidewalk from the Fire Station to the Elementary School.

 

NHDOT Notice of Resurfacing Roadways Meeting: A notice was received from the NH District Construction Engineer that they will be resurfacing various Tier, 2, 3 and 4 roadways in District 4.  A Pre-Construction Conference is scheduled for Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 10:00 am in the District 4 Conference Room in Swanzey.  The Highway Department is aware of this meeting.

 

DARE Graduation Ceremony: The DARE Graduation Ceremony for 6th graders is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14th, at 1:30 pm at the Walpole Elementary School.  Selectboard members plan to attend.   

 

Thank You Note from CVTC:  A thank you note was received from the CVTC for the Town’s continued support with their donation of $2,300.00.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned that Walpole has several drivers who participate.

 

Thank You Note for Donation of Hosta Plants:  A thank you note was sent to Marilyn Wilking for the donation of hosta plants that were planted around the Holiday Tree.  We are now seeking donations of Stella de Oro day lilies to plant in the same area.

 

 

RECESS SELECTBOARD MEETING:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to recess this Selectboard meeting.  The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved at 8:46 PM.

 

The regular meeting resumed at 8:57 PM.

 

ADJOURNMENT:

Ms. Mayberry moved to adjourn this meeting.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 8:58 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 5/14/19

                          

 

Presiding Members: Chair Jeffrey Miller, Vice-chair, Dennis Marcom, Secretary James Aldrich, Jason Perron, Jeff Harrington, Jeff White, Steve Dalessio (Selectboard Representative). Alternates: Joanna Andros. Absent: Jeff Colley.

 

Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the June 2019 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions. 

 

Meeting Opened: Mr. Miller called the meeting to order at 7 pm. 

 

Roll Call: A full Board was present.

 

Minutes: April meeting and April workshop minutes: Corrections: On page 2, paragraph one, change ceiling to roof. Ms. Andros asked what was meant by the word “suggestion” in paragraph 7, page 3. Mr. Dalessio said the paragraph should read “the entrance to Red Barn Lane is really dark. …. Mr. Franks has had some discussions with Liberty Utilities about a street light at the entrance and if that was a suggestion from the Board Mr. Franks would go ahead and ask them.” The suggestion was that Mr. Miller would have Mr. Franks ask Liberty Utilities about a street light at the entrance to Red Barn Lane. Mr. Marcom made a motion to accept the minutes of the regular minutes as amended and the minutes of the workshop as presented. Mr. Aldrich seconded the motion and the motion passed.

 

Old Business:

Catherine Harris/Mark Smith: Proposed mixed use on commercial and residential B property at 6 Ames Plaza Lane and Dearborn Circle. Map 12, Lot 55-21 backs up to Dearborn Circle.

 

Ms. Harris owns Wealth Management & CPAs LLC, located on Route 5 in Westminster Station, VT. It is a small professional office that serves Vermont and New Hampshire clients equally. The primary service include investments, taxation, CPA services, bookkeeping/payroll and business consulting. It has been operating for nearly 6 years. There are 4 personnel including Ms. Harris and sometimes an intern or a seasonal person.  

 

The couple has a purchase agreement for the 6 Ames Plaza Lane property. Their goal is to build a mixed-use building (residential/commercial mix) on the land that would serve as both the new location of CHS Wealth Management and Catherine Harris and Mark Smith’s personal residence. The property would have two driveways. A business driveway with 10 parking spaces and one handicapped space would have vehicles entering from Ames Lane and another driveway, entering from Dearborn Circle, for their personal use. The building will be 2,750 square feet.

 

The couple requested a Public Hearing for the June meeting. Mr. Aldrich made a motion to have a Public Hearing in June for the Harris/Smith proposal. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and the motion passed.

 

Michael and Catherine Nerrie Boundary Line Adjustments. Last month Joe DiBernardo was at the meeting with a minor correction to the Catherine and Michael Nerrie map. Cheshire County Registry of Deeds accepted the new plans with the correction so there is no need to have another Public Hearing. 

 

Community Solar Project at 310 Main Street – Chris Welcome and Chad Whitaker of Solar Clean Energy. Mr. Welcome said he’s been in the solar energy business for 5 years and Mr. Whitaker has been working in this business for 2 years. Whitaker recently graduated from Andover Law School and his job is to keep the company up to date on the ever-changing policies of the NH Legislature, Eversource, the Public Utilities Commission or anything in the energy sector.  

Solar Clean recently partnered with OYA Solar. OYA has been in business 10 years and has worked in several states, very heavily in New York and Massachusetts, as well as Canada. OYA would be the company working with the towns, the Public Utility Companies regarding siting, zoning ordinances, building the facility etc. Community Solar helps with client and land acquisition. 

 

Right now, Welcome is looking for sites that are 30 to 35 acres for a solar array. Earlier in the year the company was happy with a lot less property because there was a limitation on putting up solar projects of 1 Megawatt persite. Things changed legislatively in January and the NH Legislature is about to sign a bill that would allow 5 Megawatts per site. For investors bigger is better, Welcome said. So the company is now trying to get as many 5 Megawatt projects as it can. There’s a wave right now in New Hampshire to have larger sites and therefore the smaller 1 Megawatt project will be put on “the back burner” for a while. The Walpole project at 310 Main Street is a 1 Megawatt project. Also, there’s a huge cost in bringing in those high tension line lines to an area. To mitigate those costs, larger projects are more attractive. Therefore, to be considered for a project right now, more land has to be added to the 8 acres at 310 Main Street. Mr. Welcome is open to contacting the Achilles family that owns land adjacent to the 310 Main Street land, but he needs more land than what Achilles has. The type of land they are looking for is like 310 Main Street. It is deforested, not in a flood plain, near the center of town and flat. 

 

Where does the energy go? In Walpole’s case it would go to Liberty Utilities. The investors get a guaranteed payment and, right now, there’s that 30 percent tax credit. New Hampshire has just restarted  the tax credit but it will probably be depleted by January 2020. Then the rate will go down radically, maybe to 4 percent, and when you’re talking millions, it’s big money. Also, there a quota on megawatts a year. So you’ll find a lot of towns are trying to move the permitting process along – getting its  environmental impact in place, holding meetings, looking at where a site can go. 

 

Mr. Marcom said he kept waiting for Mr. Welcome to make a proposal at this meeting, but until you get more pieces in the puzzle, you’re not going to do anything in Walpole right now. Mr. Welcome agreed. Because of the way things have evolved in the state right now, projects in New Hampshire have changed. 

But, he said, “we’ll come back to the Main Street property in a year.” 

 

Mr. Dalessio said the legislation hasn’t been signed by the governor yet. Mr. Welcome said it’s going to pass. It’s veto proof. Right now, Mr. Welcome is talking to towns about the big picture and where they can collectively amass that much land of 20 to 30 acres. He suggested waste water facilities, landfills, school roofs, businesses in a town.  

 

In creating this amalgam to add up to 5 Megawatts does the land need to be contiguous? Mr. Marcom asked. First they must all be getting their utilities from the same source and in Walpole’s area that’s Liberty Utilities. It doesn’t matter if the land is next to each other. You can grab power from a field and then another field a mile away, but then you have to consider the cost of the transmission lines. Who are players in this? Mr. Marcom asked. OYA is doing the construction, procurement, maintaining panels, decommissioning, digging the holes, Mr. Welcome said. Clean Solar is the one who’s looking for the land.

 

Whose is receiving financial benefit from these installations? Mr. Marcom asked. Mostly town-owned buildings and commercial properties and the landowners of where the project is. How does a town benefit? If it was a town-owned piece of land, it would benefit your taxes plus your electricity costs. All the really heavy power users are the benefactors at this early stage. The investors help to prop up the system and to find off takers. The benefits to a town are a long-term profit share agreement with a utility company to offset some costs. It would not be on the side of the land but on the side of the off taker. Liberty Utilities is now selling electricity at 1 kilowatt for 9.34 cents. A profit share holder would get a 1 cent tax rebate until 2040. 

When decommissioning a site, the parts such as solar panels etc. are recycled and the land goes right back to what is was before being fitted for solar.

 

Mr. Dalessio said that the 310 Main Street property is in rural/ag zone and would need a Special Exception and site plan and that would take at least four months. Mr. Welcome said some of his projects take longer than that amount of time. He also said he can work in forested areas and tries to outsource all the material that is possible. “We try to keep it as local as possible.”

 

Update on Bridge Memorial Walpole Library – Fred Ernst is Chairman of the Library Board. Justine Farara is the librarian. They made the presentation together.

 

Mr. Ernst said work on an update of the library will begin around the end of the month in May. The changes are a result of responses to a survey taken a couple of years ago. The footprint and facade will remain the same. The property hasn’t been extended. All changes are to the interior of the building.

 

A major change will be the children’s room that will be moved to the opposite side of the building and be considerably larger. The front room where the stacks are now will be the Carol and John Hubbard Room. It will have a capacity to seat 75 people for lectures and large meetings. The new stack room will have mobile stacks on tracks. Ms. Farara explained that currently there are three feet between stacks. These stacks will be compressed into one three-foot aisle. They will be electronically driven and she said there will be a bit of a learning curve on how to use them. Any stationary stacks in the room will be placed on track so they can become mobile in the future.

 

The room at the front with the large window and fireplace will become the Ken Burns room. There will be a special display of his works as well as posters and it will have a computer that will feed into his office so it allows for research on all of his movies, books and research material.  This room is also where the knitters will continue to meet and where new books can be found. The circulation desk is now in the center of the library and a workroom for processing new material had been added. The previous workroom was in a closet. The patio will not be built because of its $30,000 cost. The basement and attic will remain as they are and are not usable for library material. There’s a section for public computers and digital materials.

 

Packing up books is already taking place and within just the last 48 hours of tonight’s meeting volunteers had packed up 300 banana boxes with books. As of June 3, the library will be operating out of the second floor of the Town Hall and one-third of the library’s collection will be available to take out. Construction should take about six months and volunteers are still needed to pack books. 

 

Mr. Ernest said that libraries are not dead as is commonly thought. Ms. Farara said that circulation in April increased 20 percent from the same period last year.

 

Non-residential Solar Regulations: These regulations will be finalized at this month’s workshop. Mr. Aldrich made a motion to have a Public Hearing in June to accept the new regulations and add them in the site plan. Mr. Perron seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

 

Complete Streets Grant for Sidewalk Project from school to firehouse: Mr. Miller  said the grant looked well beyond the scope of the Planning Board.

 

Phase II of Abenaki Springs: Mr. Jack Franks, owner of the property of Abenaki Springs Phase I, said he couldn’t talk about what is happening on the front lots because he is under a nondisclosure agreement. However, Abenaki Springs Phase II is starting within the next month and there will be 22 rental apartments. 

 

Mr. Franks said that the new building will be built like the other one with modular technology. He said that building was built in the time allotted and on budget. He passed out a handout that he said shows that Abenaki Springs is the single most energy efficient building in New Hampshire. The entire building was heated for $7,000 for a year or $50 per unit, per month. Aesthetically Abenaki Springs is one of the best rental units in Cheshire County, he said, and the Franks family invested $250,000 of its own money in Abenaki Springs. “I’m in this for the long haul,” he said. He thanked the Board for its patience and said workforce housing is truly needed. 

 

Update of Master Plan: The Planning Board will start working on the Master Plan and begin by tackling the sections on Transportation and Housing. Planner Lisa Murphy will work with the Planning Board and the project hast to be approved by her Board at Southwest Community Services. But, Mr. Miller said, everything is on track. Ms. Murphy will be at the June meeting to talk about what’s involved. The first part will be a lot of staff work. The section on Land Use will be more hands on with the Planning Board.

 

Todd Stewart Solar Power Financial interested in putting panels on the old landfill. Mr. Miller did a walking tour of the landfill with Mr. Stewart. He said it seemed like it would be beneficial to the town. Also the manager of Cold River Materials joined the group. Cold River spends ten to eleven grand a month on power and they might want to partner up with Stewart as well. There are a lot of possibilities. The power hookup is farther than expected. It is near the recycling station and would cost $50,000 to hook up, but it’s not a deal breaker, Miller said. It’s up to the Selectmen to consider the project. Mr. Dalessio said that the town spends $40,000 a month just on street lights. 

 

Mr. Aldrich made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Perron seconded the motion and it was approved by the rest of the Board.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

 

Zoning Board Meeting Minutes – 5/15/19

 FYI – Lots of interesting information in these minutes. There’s a thorough description of the Library expansion and the summer location. I learned a lot from the description about the new vaping store. – Lil

Present: Chair Jan Galloway Leclerc, Vice-Chair Myra Mansouri, Tom Murray, Pauline Barnes. Alternate: Don Sellarole. Absent: Judy Trow, Bob Anderson. 

 

Roll Call: Alternate Sellarole was asked to take Ms. Trow’s place on the Board.

 

Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the June 2019 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions. 

 

Minutes: Ms. Mansouri made a motion to accept the minutes as written. Ms. Barnes seconded the motion and the motion carried.

 

New Business:

Addition to Walpole Library.

Library Board president Fred Ernst and Librarian Justine Farara presented.

 

Mr. Ernst and Ms. Farara came to explain the renovations to the library that will begin on the Tuesday after Memorial Day. Mr. Ernst said the only thing about the Bridge Memorial Walpole Library that will not be changed is the facade. He said that decision was the result of a survey of townspeople a couple of years ago about what they wanted at the library. Although the footprint of the building will not change, the layout and uses of the space will be different.

 

The room in the front of the building, where the stacks of books are now, will become the Carol and John Hubbard Community Room. It will have tables to work at, Wi Fi,  and will be able to accommodate seating for 75 people for lectures or meetings. Some of the older children’s programs may be held there as well. It also has two doors that can be closed to contain any noise from their enthusiasm.

 

The stacks will be where the children’s area is now and they will be mobile. The mobile stacks, which will move at the push of a button, allow for 50 percent more books to be stored in this room. The mobile stacks are on tracks, are not as high as the current stacks, and have several safety features so readers remain safe while using them. 

 

The fireplace room will now be the Ken Burns Room. His books, posters and DVDs will be displayed here. There will also be a computer with a special app that ties in with all his works including behind the scenes footage and research done for his work. New books will also be displayed in this room.

 

There are two small new spaces. One is a space for the librarian’s office and the other is a workroom where books can be processed (that space is now in a closet) and a spot where librarians can eat lunch. The basement, which is only under the front of the building, is too damp to use and the attic is so small a person cannot stand up straight.

 

The timetable for the move is as follows: volunteers are packing up books now. One-third of the library’s collection will be moved to the second floor of the Town Hall and the library will be open for business on June 3. Librarians can always get books that are not at this location through the inter library loan system. Volunteers are still needed to pack books.

Mr. Ernst concluded by saying it is not true that libraries are dead. In April of 2019, 20 percent more books were taken out than the previous April and in one month 2,500 books were circulated from the adult collection.

 

Signage for Store in Ames Plaza

 

Brady Weinstock and her husband Gaetano Putigano would like to open an electronic cigarette store. They operate a similar type store in Bellows Falls for five years but the state is levying a 92 percent tax on all their products so they have decided to open across the river. They also have a store in Brattleboro. 

 

Vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking, Ms. Weinstock said. Vaping is putting a liquid into a pod-like devise, inhaling and out comes a cloud. The pod is battery operated. Their store only sells open-system devices, which means you chose the liquid you put in the device. If you were a one pack a day smoker, they would suggest the client chose a liquid that’s numbered 12 to 18. The numbers go up to 24. The mission is to slowly decrease that number and taper the liquid use down to zero. 

 

The owners only buy the liquid from one source, which is an FDA-approved lab in Philadelphia. They also only sell vaping devices, not marijuana. A person can “just vape,” which means they there is no nicotine in the liquid. Her husband’s mission is to help people get off cigarettes.

 

The store in Walpole will be next to Ocean State. Ms. Weinstock said they do not sell these products to minors and are careful to check IDs. They also do not sell the product called Juul. Juul, which she said is often talked about in the newspapers, is a closed system, and you can’t control the amount of nicotine you inhale and Juul doesn’t have a zero nicotine device. Juul is the main choice of teenagers. Ms. Weinstock said the vaping products they sell are designed to help smokers quit smoking cigarettes. Their clients range from 18 to 87. 

 

The 14-foot-by-2-foot size sign they wish to install is permitted in the commercial district and Ms. Weinstock said it will be placed on the facade of the building, near the roof. The sign says “802 E-Cig Supply and Vape Lounge”. Because there was a Sears sign there before, this sign is grandfathered. There will also be a small lighted “Open” sign in the window, and another small sign hanging from the walkway ceiling and perpendicular to their store. Ms. Leclerc asked if the facade is not 2 feet high, how would it fit. Ms. Weinstock said that her husband is a master carpenter and she’s assuming he would have already measured the space.

 

The Board asked Ms. Weinstock to take a picture of the sign after it is up and bring the photo to the Town Offices so it may be placed in their file.

 

Map of the Town

The Board spent about an hour discussing the difficulties of creating a map for Avitar from the  references in the Zoning Ordinances about the boundaries of the different zones. They are hoping to find a copy of the original 1968 Zoning Ordinances in help them with this task. 

 

Mark Stevens, Watkins Hill, building new home

Mr. Stevens is building a home on property where his parents, John and Peg Stevens, previously lived. The parents’ house is still standing and the Zoning Board suggested a one-year time limit to build his new home without demolishing the other building.  He does not need a variance. If he is unable to complete the new home in one year, Mr. Stevens must go back to Zoning Board of Adjustments in May 2020 and explain his case. Before demolishing the house, he needs to get a demolition permit from the town offices.

 

Inquiry about Tavern at Hooper Golf Course: Since it has been some years since an eatery was at the Hooper Golf Course, the Board said that anyone wanting to put a restaurant in the rural/ag location would need a Special Exception.

 

Mr. Murray made a motion to adjourn. Ms. Mansouri seconded the motion and the motion carried. The meeting adjourn at 8:50 pm.

 

Handouts: Residential and Non-Residential Solar Regulations.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

ZBA Secretary

Clarion Deadline – 5/23/19

You may have thought that you already missed the deadline, it it was my error, not yours! My typo said that the deadline is the 13th but it is really the 23rd. You still have time! – Lil