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Walpole Staff Meeting Minutes – 9/17/20

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

Staff Present:​​Sarah Downing (Manager of Administration); Richard Kreissle (Administrator of Finance); Michael Paquette (Chief Police Department); Ben Hoy (Recycling Director); 

Michael Rau (Road Agent/Highway Department); Helen Dalbeck (Hooper Institute Executive Director); Kraig Harlow (Recreation Director)

Excused:​​Sandra Smith (Town Clerk/Tax Collector)

CALL TO ORDER:  Mrs. Pschirrer called this Staff Meeting to order at 5:03 PM in the Walpole Town Hall and announced it is so good to see everyone.  She listened to the State Epidemiologist today. We are not having a surge at any time.  The State is now averaging 3,000 COVID tests a day and sometimes as high as 5,000-to-6,000.  We are still having cases. Now that students are back in the schools, it accounts for some of the cases but no surge.  The Selectboard is going to send a notice to everyone that the flu season is knocking at the door.  She is going to urge everyone, including people who say they never have the flu, to have a flu shot.  If you have the Town’s HealthTrust medical coverage, the flu shot will be paid for.  Most health plans will pay for it.  Getting the flu shot will not insure that you will not get sick. However, it lessens the severity if you do get it.  It will protect you, your family and friends just as the masks are doing.  People may be confused between COVID-19 and the flu that may occur.  Please get a flu shot.  She had one on September 3rd at Walgreens and it was painless.  

Mrs. Pschirrer has also been reading articles recently about Americans not taking vacations.  Europeans take as much as a month off.  This year it is time for all of us to think about taking time off; use your vacation time and take a break from stress at work.  We are dealing with an unusual time.  Take time to visit family and friends, take a day trip, just sit in your back yard or even sleep late. The Selectboard knows you all work hard; time off is for your health.  The Selectboard has had requests about carrying-over vacation time and they will look through them.

Mrs. Pschirrer has copies of their reports but she wants them to all exchange information on what they are going to be doing in the next three (3) months; the last quarter of the year.  What projects do they want to accomplish.  Looking at their budgets what will they want to encumber into 2021.  She thanked the department managers for the 2021 budgets they turned in.  The Selectboard spent most of last Monday talking about the proposed budgets.  They will do that again in December when each department manager will be invited to come in to talk with them.  They had a good return on the spring tax warrant. But they have no idea of what lies ahead.  They do not yet know what taxes will be for the school district, the Fire Department and the county as they all factor into the calculations.  Mrs. Pschirrer thanked them for the work they have already done.  Start to think about what warrant articles might be pertinent for their department.  

Recycling Center:  Mr. Ben Hoy submitted the following written report for this September meeting.• 20% increase in attendance at recycling center from last year.  Many out of state plates.• New security camera system through Countryside alarms to be installed soon.• Walpole bag sales up.  Received first $9,900.00 check from Shaws.  They did not run out of bags!  They delivered $9,900.00 the day after receiving the check.  Previous deliveries always were $7,128.00 and they previously always ran out of bags. Bellows Falls is having issues at their transfer station.  We are seeing more VT plates as well as an influx of DC/New York people.  Many snowbirds could be staying in NH through winter because of COVID-19 (Florida issues).• Reuse center volunteers will be stocking shelves all day Thursday, October 1st from 8-4.  We will assess when we can open the Reuse Center on this day.  Reuse Center open year round with the assistance of volunteers.  New propane heater to be installed by Houghton Electric before winter.• All donations must be brought in through Recycling Center / Not the Reuse Center and weighed by a recycling employee.  We are not charging for donations, just keeping track of weight.• Roughly 25% of all donations end up in the dumpster, which costs the town of Walpole .05 cents per pound to dispose of.  We have a weekly $275 trucking cost and currently pay $80/ton to dispose of trash;• The Reuse Center has always donated all of its money to the Fall Mtn Foodshelf.  They have a separate lock box.  Going forward, he would like to split the donation money between the Fall Mountain Foodshelf and a charity specific for Walpole residents.• In the past Michael Neerie brought donations to the food shelf in a locked cash box.  We discussed sending the locked cash box with office assistant Shaena Hakey to RichKreissle during our transmittal exchange.

Mr. Hoy reported the Recycling Center has been very busy.  They are looking forward to bringing the public into the new Reuse Center.  There will be an official Grand Opening on Saturday, October 10th with COVID-19 restrictions.  Mr. Hoy responded to a question from Mrs. Pschirrer about a book shelf in the Reuse Center by the Friends of the Library.  Friends of the Library are stocking the book shelf today in the gable end.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked how the Friends of the Library will collect their money from their books.  There will be a separate lock box for them.  Mr. Hoy wanted to talk about the best way to transport the money in the lock box; it used to go directly to the Fall Mtn Foodshelf.  They are proposing that the lock box go directly to the Town Hall with the transmittal.  

Mr. Dalessio wanted to recognize Mr. Ben Hoy for all his work that he put in well beyond his job description on the Reuse Center building.  The building came out great.

Highway Department:  Mr. Mike Rau had submitted the following written report.

This past month at highway they have been finishing up road projects with painting of lines on Main Street in Walpole and paving Maple Street in North Walpole.  They have been utilizing the Police Department’s presence for safety on some of these projects, which has proved to be very helpful.  Thank you!  They have also begun to prepare for the colder months by cleaning up the shop yard as well as making repairs to trucks and equipment.  Construction has begun on expanding on their storage building.  This building will store their back up truck, mowing equipment, and various other seasonal equipment.  The building gives them the ability to keep their equipment on the shop grounds for quick and easy access, opposed to keeping it in various buildings throughout town.        

Mr. Rau advised they are nearing the end of their big projects for the season and getting ready for winter.  They have one more project on North Road.  For the next few months they will prepare for winter.  The customary date to be ready for snow isOctober 15th.  This is their inspection month for all the trucks and equipment.  They try to have everything ready ahead of time.  In the next couple of weeks they will start to work on the dirt roads; grade and gravel them.  Ditching work is also done.  After the new building has been constructed they will begin to talk about not needing the High Street building.  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned someone expressed an interest in buying that building.  Maple Street in North Walpole is finished; it took all summer but it came out great.  The residents on the street and Mr. Rau are real happy with it.  He received a letter from Shirley Capron on Pearl Street who is very happy with the work that was done.  Mr. Dalessio asked about the status of their new trucks.  Mr. Rau explained the truck they ordered over a year ago might finally arrive soon.  He hopes to see the new “1-Ton” in maybe January 2021.  It used to be if you ordered a new truck, you would probably see it in a year. Now with everything slowing/shutting down, it is hard to predict.  The company is backing everything 100%.   There are no extra costs.

Recreation Department:  Mr. Kraig Harlow submitted the following written report dated 9/17/2020:

Pool:• The pool officially closed on August 28th and they are closed until next season.• Highway department dropped off the pool cover on August 31st.• They are currently looking into a quote to repair the holes in the pool cover.

Soccer:• The soccer season began September 8th.• Teams were made of Drewsville, Walpole, and North Walpole residents-only.• They had 64 kids sign-up from grades PK to 8th and it generated a little over $1150 dollars for the program.• Their teams were sponsored by local businesses this season and the fee was the cost of t-shirts from Grizzly Graphix.  Sponsorships ranged from $75-$88.50 per team.• Teams practice once a week and play a scrimmage against each other every Saturday for the next six weeks at North Walpole School.• Games and practices are staggered start to flow down the amount of contact parents and players have with one another.• Middle School practices are being held at Walpole Elementary School on Friday nights.• They will reevaluate the season in 3 weeks to make sure there are no COVID-19 cases.  If they start seeing the presence of COVID-19 cases, the season will be reduced to 2 practices a week or a cancellation of the entire season.• Every coach has received the COVID-19 guidelines which included a bottle of hand sanitizer, a daily sign-in sheet for contact tracing, and a list of the program guidelines.• Parents were asked to sign a COVID-19 waiver on the first day of practice.• Thank you to Fall Mountain for allowing us to continue to use the soccer fields.

North Walpole Park:• Diane is looking into alternative ways to make the fall get together happy by asking families and business to make scarecrows and bring them to the park on the morning of October 3rd.  People will come and go so there will not be a large gathering.

Tennis:• We’re still looking into quotes to get the courts repaired.

Community Events:• Due to COVID-19 they haven’t had the ability to schedule any community events.• If circumstances change in the near future, they plan on hosting events.

Selectboard Office:  Mrs. Downing submitted a written report dated September 17, 2020:

Town Hall Update:• In order to meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access requirements for the upcoming Nov. 3rd elections, a quote for a rental ramp will be reviewed at the 9/17/2020 Selectboard Meeting.  The ramp will be for the Westminster Street entrance to the Town Hall.  This area will become an alternative voting area for those that cannot or decline to wear masks within the main voting area.

Staff Meeting –September 17, 2020- Page 4• The dry fire suppression system in the Town Hall had code violations that were corrected in the past two weeks.  However, during the repairs it came to light there is a pressurization issue that now needs to be remedied.• Much thanks to Brad Nash who worked on Labor Day weekend to clean and then assist the Moderator with the set-up for the Sept. 8th State Primary Election.• Several annual Town Hall events held during the last 3 months of the year are cancelling their reservations due to COVID-19 concerns.

Water and Sewer:• Thirty-day reminder notices posted on Friday, Sept. 4th.  The notices did prompt additional payments.• Sixty-day notices will post in early October.• There are currently no water restrictions for users due to the abnormally dry weather conditions.  Both wells are meeting the needs of the Town per Mark Houghton, the Water & Sewer Director.

Human Resources:• Due to the COVID-19 situation, the yearly in-person Employee Appreciation Dinner is being changed to a Dropped-Off Appreciation Lunch for employees.  A survey of the best day to have the lunch, a Tuesday or Thursday, will be brought forth during Staff Meeting.• Each year, a Harassment Awareness training is scheduled for all Town employees.  Since in-person trainings are no longer occurring, the Selectboard is requiring that all department managers complete a Primex hosted online training course (see handout) by the end of the calendar year.  Primex is developing a 60-minute online course on the same subject for employees.

Liability and Health Insurances:• A property liability claim for tree damage to the roof of the Hooper Institute has been processed with a claim payment being posted this week.  Additionally, “depreciation held” compensation for damage to the prior Reuse Center is in process.  This would be a second payment related the Reuse Center claim.• In early October, HealthTrust will confirm how much surplus monies will be returned to the Town and the 2021 health care rates.  Due to COVID-19, the number of health insurance claims dropped significantly which created the surplus of funds.

Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned we do not yet know if the HealthTrust will take our surplus off their next year’s bill or if they will issue checks.  The Selectboard will let the employees know how the HealthTrust votes and how it will impact the Town in 2021.  Mrs. Downing will give employees an opportunity to tell her what they want for lunch.  Mrs. Pschirrer pointed out that the Workplace Harassment Prevention notice is for managers and supervisors.  It is important we all do it.

Hooper Institute:  Mrs. Dalbeck submitted the following written director’s report dated September 16, 2020:

Next three months: Raise more funds via grants for programs and Institute support:  Remove the maintenance items from budget that were approved by Board and Trustees; Host wreath making as community outreach, with pre-orders in November; Marketing, outreach and participation in FOHI sponsored The Hooper 90, virtual 5K run/hike; Finalize budget for 2021 with board and trustees; Continue excellent school programming in the time of COVID.

Summer Programs:  The High School program is wrapped up with an August article in The Clarion.  Thank you notes were sent to all mentors and businesses.  Total cost for wages was $6,105.

School Programs:  Becky and I began teaching on Monday, 9/14.  The classes are smaller and the schedule is fuller due to hybrid teaching.  Getting students outside into the gardens, fields and forests is more important now than ever.  The produce from the WES gardens is going into the Fall Mt kitchen with a coordinated pick-up while supplies last.  Fall crops are potatoes, Brussel sprouts and yes, more basil and lots of flowers…until frost.  Becky Whippie and she are on an Outdoor Education Committee for Walpole Area Schools.

Events: The Live Owl program with Eyes on Owls rescheduled for October 31 has been postponed until May, 2021.

Outreach and Marketing: Facebook, school based email, The Clarion and Walpolean, Friends of Hooper Institute.

Facility:  Sugar maple tree nearly all removed.  Main building roof repairs are scheduled for early winter as well as full shed roof replacement.  Both are being done by Tim Smith, Long’s Roofing.  A renovated alarm system with some new bells and whistles will be installed this fall by Countryside Alarm.  This project is approved but not yet scheduled.  Brush hog and field mowing is scheduled for October.  She is also in conversation with Kevin Healey to tackle some odd jobs such as taking apart the street sign for a new coat of paint and rotten ladder repair in our crawl space.

Administration:  Budget for 2021 in process.

FOHI: The Hooper 90 www.runreg.com Virtual 5K race/walk/hike available to all.

Walpole Community Garden:  This year, there are 44 raised beds in the garden with 18 members.  We will have a community garden clean-up later in October.

Respectfully submitted and thanks to all for your support and dedication to the Hooper Institute; Helen Dalbeck.  

Mr. Dalessio congratulated Mrs. Helen Dalbeck on her first year as the Executive Director of the Hooper Institute.  Mrs. Pschirrer noted it has been a challenge especially when you first step in and there is a COVID pandemic.  She handled it well.  

Walpole Library:  Mrs. Pschirrer announced there is a new Library Director, Jane Malmberg.  She is married to the new Minister at the Walpole Congregational Church.  Mrs. Malmberg is a very experienced librarian with management experience.  Her first day of work is Monday, September 21st.

The Library sent in a report for August 2020 that was done by Julie Rios and Christine Burchstead.  

The library continues to be open regular hours with full access.  Masks are required and patrons must sanitize their hands prior to entering the library.  Curbside pickup is still available to those patrons who do not feel comfortable coming into the library.  The North Walpole Branch remains closed.  Books are quarantined for 4 days before being returned to the shelves.

Please join us in welcoming Jane Malmberg as the new Library Director in Walpole.  Jane was selected from a competitive pool of candidates to lead the library.  Jane’s first day will be September 21st.  Jane comes to Walpole with over a dozen years of leadership in libraries in Massachusetts and Illinois.  She has a track record of developing and implementing innovative programs and services.  Her collaborative and thoughtful approach will serve her well in her role here in Walpole.

The Interlibrary Loan Program started up again 9/15.  The state requires that books be quarantined a full 72 hours so the process will take longer but patrons are very excited.  This is a much used program.

The library continues to partner with Distant Hill Nature Trail on a Story Walk.  Pages of a book are laminated and placed along the trail to read.  Each page includes a silly transition from one page to the next (ex. Jump like a frog, sing a song, walk backwards).  This program is very successful and we will continue with a new story every month for the foreseeable future.

The library does not have any current in-library programs due to COVID-19 but we are having Wiggle Time, Morning and Evening Story Times outside.  This has been a big hit.  Families bring a blanket and they stay on that “island”.

August 2020 Statistics:

Hours open:  156

Guests:  687

Book circulation:  1,247

Children’s program attendance:  92 children, 62 adults

Adult programs:  0 (due to COVID-19 restrictions)

Digital resource use (ex. Overdrive, Hoopla) continues to be high.

Town Clerk – Tax Collector – Report for September 17, 2020.

Mrs. Pschirrer announced that Mrs. Sandra Smith, Town Clerk – Tax Collector, will be retiring the first week of January 2021.  She has worked for the Town of Walpole since 1982.  She is not present at this meeting as she is on vacation.

They have been very busy scheduling appointments for auto registrations and answering questions regarding the upcoming Elections.  The phone never seems to stop.  

They have collected $34,402.94 in property taxes.  Motor vehicles brought in $47,175.00.

They have been so busy with absentee ballots for the Election that she failed to call two people that gave us checks for motor vehicle registrations that failed to clear.  She likes to stay on top of this.  Years ago, the customer would call us and be very sorry that a check failed to clear.  Now they call the customer!  They expect one check today.

Krystyna Marcom came in and helped with the absentee ballots.  A BIG thank you to Krystyna!

Meghan did a great job with the Election work!  She loves that.  They mailed out 297 absentee Primary ballots and have received 354 absentee requests for the General Election.  They expect more requests right up to Election time!   

Finance Office:  Mr. Richard Kreissle presented the following report.

He talked about getting reimbursed for town expenditures related to COVID-19 via the CARES Act.  The most recent submission was due on September 15th.  This submission was about $24,000. The bulk of which was comprised of radios to make the Town Hall an alternate emergency operation center.  These radios comprised about $20,000 of this $24,000.  The next submission date is October 15th.  We are going to be submitting for, among other things, filters for the Town Hall, Police, Library and Fire Departments (Mark Houghton is handling this) and audio-visual equipment to better facilitate planning and zoning Zoom meetings.  Mr. Dalessio is handling the details on this cost.  October 15th is the last date for which they can submit for reimbursements.  After this date, the State wants us to project our expenditures to December 30, 2020.  

Mr. Kreissle is also watching for a second federal stimulus package coming from Congress, but they seem to be deadlocked on getting a bill passed.  

Mr. Dalessio suggested Mr. Kreissle circulate to the other department managers guidance as to what kind of items can be submitted for reimbursement.  Anytime anyone has a question about an expenditure qualifying for reimbursement can call Mr. Kreissle and he will be happy to assist.  

Mr. Kreissle continues to work on the budget, wrap-up 2020 and continue to prepare for 2021.  He thanked everyone for their understanding.  He urged them to take care and, most of all, stay safe.

Police Department:  Police Chief Michael Paquette submitted a Walpole Police Department report.

Total calls for Service from August 16, 2020 through September 15, 2020, were 372:  Criminal Investigations – 66; Public Safety – 161; and Motor Vehicle – 145.  Last month there were 91 more calls for service.  The numbers always fluctuate.  They are still responding to all their calls.  For the most part it is basic business but they have been working on some big investigations.  About two weeks ago the Grand Jury started again.  Cases that go back eight +/-months are now being heard.  There will be an increase in officers going before the court in the next few months.  Doing all this court time will be tough; it is so time consuming.  Some cases may be done on-line.  In terms of equipment; their radios are in and being programmed this week.  It will be great as they will be able to communicate with Vermont.  Their new vests will be coming in soon.  Some of their current vests are getting ready to expire.  They thought about putting the expired vests in the cruisers to be used as back-up but they also thought about donating the vests to law enforcement officers who do not have any (example: small towns in the mid-West).  

In The Next Three Months:  It has been difficult to find new training.  They are going on-line.  A few classes are now opening up in Massachusetts.  Chief Paquette will be looking for staff soon.  Mrs. Pschirrer pointed out that officer Devon Prince will be leaving on October 4, 2020.  Chief Paquette is aware of a few officers who might be interested in working in Walpole.  We wish Officer Prince well in his new position in Hinsdale.  They hope to have the new ventilation system in soon.    

They will be getting the winter tires put on the cruisers soon.  One cruiser has a recall that needs to be taken care of.  Mr. Rau thanked the Police Department for all their help on some Highway projects.

ADJOURNMENT:  Mrs. Pschirrer thanked everybody.  The Selectboard is very grateful for all their hard work and expertise.  Mrs. Pschirrer adjourned this Staff meeting at 6:05 PM.

Respectfully submitted, Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 9/17/20

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Mrs. Pschirrer, Chair of the Walpole Selectboard, called this meeting to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  She introduced Ms. Cheryl Mayberry and Mr. Steven Dalessio, the other two Selectboard members.  Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration, and Mrs. Regina Borden, Recording Secretary, are also in attendance.  This meeting is being filmed by FACT-TV in Bellows Falls, VT.  It is available for viewing on the internet.  There were two members of the public in attendance:  Mr. Ray Boas and Mrs. Lisa Bryan.  

PUBLIC BUSINESS:

Public Stage for the Common:  Mr. Ray Boas had sent an email to the Selectboard following a wonderful performance of the Players on the Common this past weekend.  At that time he was informed of the potential for funding for a portable stage/platform for the Common.  He feels this is a wonderful idea.  It would provide opportunities for other similar functions.  It would be great to use it in the summer in conjunction with the band concerts.  It could be portable; easy to break down and store in the Town Hall basement.  Mrs. Lisa Bryan is President of the Walpole Players.  They were pleased with the performance last weekend.  It would be nice to have a place where they could have outdoor performances on a regular basis.  These would be great community events.  Mr. Dalessio attended the event; the sound was okay. It would be nice to have a raised platform.  Mrs. Bryan mentioned that on the gazebo, the railings block some of the event viewing.  Mr. Dalessio mentioned the Town has the Quinton Fund. Some funding could be used, but it would have to be for everybody’s use. Funding would have to be in conjunction with the Players.  Mrs. Pschirrer would like to know what this will cost and she is concerned with liability insurance.  How would residents feel about this going up in the middle of the Common?  A big question is who would set it up.  When Mrs. Bryan puts out a request for help, people do usually show up.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if the Players would be willing to participate in the fundraising if the Town had some funds.  Mrs. Bryan noted the Players have their own insurance as long as they are on Town property.  Mr. Boas suggested that, with the approval of the Selectboard, he and Mrs. Bryan form a committee to gather information.  Mrs. Bryan mentioned the Players have no income at this time as the result of COVID-19.  There was discussion relative to a “free-will” donation.  A suggestion was passing around a hat during an intermission.  Mrs. Pschirrer summarized the discussion by stating the Selectboard will be happy to have them begin gathering information.            

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $631,026.29 for checks issued September 18, 2020.  This includes a payment of $615,232.00 to the Fall Mountain Regional School District.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

PAYROLL:

Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending September 12, 2020, in the amount of $34,533.80 for checks issued September 18, 2020, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $6,671.66.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – September 10, 2020:  Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboardmeeting of September 10, 2020, as submitted.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION – September 10, 2020:  Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of September 10, 2020, as submitted.  These Minutes will remain sealed.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the following Committee reports:• Walpole Fire District Meeting – August 12, 2020;• Planning Board Meeting – September 8, 2020;• North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – August 4, 2020;• North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – August 11, 2020;• North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – August 18, 2020;• North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – August 25, 2020;• North Walpole Village District Board of Commissioners Meeting – September 1, 2020.

BUILDING PERMITS:

Permit #2020-35 – MATTHEW and KATHRYN BEAM, 688 Valley Road, Map and Lot #011-036-000:  Mr. Dalessio moved to grant Building Permit No. 2020-35 for Matthew and Kathryn Beam to build a “34’ x 34’ two-story garage with a one room apartment above” at 688 Valley Road, Map and Lot #011-036-000.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, motion was approved.

Permit #2020-36 – HARNED & TUREK REVOCABLE TRUST, 119 Wentworth Road, Map and Lot #017-011-000: Mr. Dalessio moved to grant Building Permit No. 2020-36 for Harned & Turek Revocable Trust to construct a “20’ x 11.5’ Shed” at 119 Wentworth Road, Map and Lot #017-011-000.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

OLD BUSINESS:

Recreation Area Parking Lot Deed and Sales Agreement: Mrs. Pschirrer asked for this agenda item to be held over until the Selectboard meeting next week.  Mrs. Downing was asked to contact Attorney Hockensmith to request that he return the survey and to have a sales agreement.

63 River Road, Map and Lot #007-011-000: Mrs. Pschirrer advised we have an Agreement and Deposit Receipt that was signed by the buyer of 63 River Road, Map and Lot #007-011-000.  

Mr. Dalessio moved to accept the Agreement and Deposit Receipt for 63 River Road, Map and Lot #007-011-000, Town of Walpole, and to authorize the Chair, Peggy L. Pschirrer, to sign the Agreement.  This was the lot the Town had taken through deeding.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

Ms. Mayberry moved to accept and sign the Quitclaim Deed (Deed Without Covenants) for 63 River Road, Map and Lot #007-011-000.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

Westminster St. Entrance Ramp and Elm Street Entrance Railings:  Mrs. Pschirrer reported the Selectboard had been discussing the need for a handicapped ramp from the Westminster Street Entrance/ Exit from the Town Hall to be used during the next Election Day on November 3rd.  A ramp company came over to look at the site and submitted a proposal.  There is a total rental price (install, removal, event rental) and a purchase price.  

Mr. Dalessio moved that the Selectboard approve renting the ramp for the Election Day on November 3rd, 2020, and to authorize the Chair of the Selectboard, Peggy L. Pschirrer, to sign the Amramp proposal.  Seconded by Ms. Mayberry.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Mr. Dalessio, Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.      

Mrs. Pschirrer would eventually like to have a permanent ramp on Westminster Street.

Mrs. Pschirrer advised that the Town is not ADA compliant as there are no entrance railings on Elm Street.  Mr. Dalessio suggested bringing in a rail company to look at the entrance and have them make recommendations.  Mrs. Pschirrer would like to have Mr. Brad Nash look at the railings going into the D-H Walpole Clinic and Savings Bank of Walpole. 

Reservoir Dam Repairs:  Mr. Dalessio reported they had talked about the Reservoir Dam Repairs.  There is still a lot of work to be done before they get the Department of Environmental Services (DES) Permit.  Mr. Mark Houghton and Fuss and O’Neill looked at the work that had been done.  Fuss and O’Neill will now enter in the additional information; rain data, correct size of culvert, etc.  Mr. Dalessio pointed out that DES has not yet ruled on whether to reclassify the dam from “Significant” up to a “High Hazard” dam.  Mrs. Pschirrerthought this was a productive meeting.      

2021 Town Meeting:  Mrs. Pschirrer advised they have permission from Ms. Lori Landry, Superintendent of Fall Mountain Regional School District, that the Town can use the Walpole Elementary School Gym for the 2021 Town Meeting on March 13, 2021.  Ms. Mayberry will complete the rental Agreement and forward a copy to Mrs. Downing.   

Sewer Bond Comment Letter:  Mrs. Pschirrer mentioned they still have to respond to the Sewer Bond letter received. At this point, they are working on that.  Mr. Dalessio would like information from Mrs. Jodi Daigle on the first three quarters of 2020.  They might have a proposal in another two weeks.    

Pending Further Actions:

Flu Shot Letter to Employees:  Mrs. Pschirrer had emailed a letter on flu shots to Mrs. Downing however it was not received.  She will email the letter again.  It will be given to all employees.

Town Street Lights:  Mrs. Pschirrer feels it is premature to respond to the two letters regarding Town street lights because we do not have any proposals on the cost, etc.   

Letter to Attorney General:  Mrs. Pschirrer is working on the letter to the Attorney General.

NEW BUSINESS:

Two Recreation Revolving Fund Requests: These requests are both for fall soccer shirts.  Ms. Mayberry explained there was an initial order for the shirts but then some kids were added. Therefore there was a need to order more shirts.  The sponsors will reimburse the Recreation Department for the shirts. The money will go back into the Revolving Fund.  

Ms. Mayberry moved to approve the Recreation Revolving Fund request to purchase soccer shirts from Grizzly Graphix.  The first invoice was in the amount of $798.92 and the second invoice was in the amount of $79.41.  The total is $878.33.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

Town Hall Use Request:  Mrs. Pschirrer recused herself from this agenda item as she is a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church.  She asked Ms. Mayberry to take-over the discussion.  A request was received from St. John’s Episcopal Church to use the Town Hall main meeting room on Sunday mornings.  This would allow a church service with social distancing for about 30 people.  All would wear masks and attendee attendance is done for contract tracing purposes.  Mrs. Downing reported the only Sunday that is not open for any civic group use is November 1stsince set-up for the November 3rd election will be in process.  The portable sound system has been returned.  Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry had no concerns with this request.  Ms. Mayberry wanted to be sure the area would be sanitized after use.  She asked Mrs. Downing to make Mr. Brad Nash aware of this use.  

Ms. Mayberry moved to approve St. John’s Episcopal Church’s use of the Town Hall for church services on Sunday mornings starting September 27th, 2020.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Ms. Mayberry and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.  Mrs. Pschirrer abstained from the vote.      

Donation for Gazebo Repair Fund:  Mrs. Pschirrer acknowledged receipt of a donation of $150 from the group Mosey Down who had used the Gazebo in August for a small concert.  There was a consensus of the Selectboard to deposit this in the Gazebo Fund.  Mrs. Pschirrer will write a Thank You note.

Thank You Note:  A Thank You note was received from Marilyn Wilking on behalf of the Vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church for the Town loaning them the portable speaker and microphones for two outdoor services.

Cannon on Common:  The FACT-TV representative advised that the wooden wheels of the cannons on the Common are deteriorating.  Mr. Dalessio will take a look at it.  The American Legion left a fund to be used to take care of the monument.  

FACT-TV:   Mrs. Pschirrer announced that this concludes the regular Selectboard meeting.  The Selectboard will enter into a Hooper Trustees meeting and a Non-Public Selectboard Session.  FACT-TV discontinued their filming and left the meeting.

RECESS SELECTBOARD MEETING:

Ms. Mayberry moved to recess this Selectboard meeting.  The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved at 7:28 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 7:32 PM.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION:

Ms. Mayberry moved to enter into a Non-Public SelectboardSession pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (a) Personnel.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  On a voice roll call vote with Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved at 7:33 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 8:15 PM.

Ms. Mayberry moved that the Minutes of the Non-Public Selectboard Session of September 17, 2020, be sealed.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

ADJOURNMENT:

Ms. Mayberry moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if there were any questions or comments.  There were none.  With Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 8:18 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Borden, Recording Secretary

​​​​​

Yard Sale – 10/26/20

Fletcher knows you can find friends and treasures at the Yard Sale 10am—2pm Saturday, September 26, First Congregational Church of Walpole, UCC.

Farewell to Gary

This has been wonderful. Thanks to Steve Smith for kicking it off. Thanks to Tara Sad for the wonderful idea of a time to let him know how much he has been appreciated. I was talking with him in the library this afternoon and he acknowledged that that last day was going to be an emotional one. I wanted to refer him to The Walpolean so he could read the wonderful thanks he has already received there. However, for once I kept my mouth shut because I didn’t want to spoil the surprise. Guess that means I earn a thank you as well.

By the way, in the seven years I have been doing this, this post haas received more Comments than any other. I think it says a lot about out community that the comments were for such a positive reason! Thank you. – Lil

if you missed it, please be aware of the latest update from Tara:

Burdick’s Factory is very willing to have people gather to say goodbye to Gary on Wednesday.  He normally stops there, his final pickup, between 4:30 and 5:00 – so we should all be there by 4:30.  They ask that we park in the back of their building, so we don’t block the employees who will be going home around that time.  (We’re checking to see if we can possibly use the fire station parking lot, or Houghton’s across the street.  It’s been suggested that everyone bring cards for Gary so he has something to remember us all by.  Burdick’s is giving him a gift.  Nice.  

Can everyone tell their friends about this goodbye gathering?  It would be great to get a nice turnout for him – he deserves it.

And make some signs to hold, too!

Church Rummage Sale – 9/26/20

Congregational Church is having a rummage/garage sale this saturday.. The items are from the April sale that had to be postponed and September.

LOTS of stuff as people cleaned out while being home. All by donation and it is outside, Saturday Sept 26 at 10 am to 2.

Everyone must wear masks

Sorry to say, no more contributions can be taken. Huge bake sale in addition. It should be a beautiful day.

Farewell to Gary – 9/30/20

Steve Smithe wants to make everyone aware a familiar face wion’t be around town much longer. – Lil

“Steve Smith here just letting you know that our beloved UPS driver Gary will be retiring and his last day is next Wed Sept. 30!I don’t know of many folks in Walpole who don’t know Gary and I am hoping we could somehow show him how much we will all miss him and his wonderful presence and demeanor in town. Always happy, smiling and pleasant are among some things I think of.I will certainly be looking to at least wave good-bye and good luck next Wednesday?”

Thank you
Steve

Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes – 9/14/20

Members Present: John Peska, Jackie Kensen, Lew Shelley, France Menk, Cheryl Mayberry, Selectboard Representative, Jean Kobeski, Recording Secretary

Members Absent:Alicia Flammia, Steven Dumont, Laura Hayes

Alternates Present:  Gary Speed, Peter Palmiotto

Visitor:  Kara Dexter

Call to Order:  John called the meeting to order at 7:36 p.m. at the Walpole Town Hall

Review and Approval of Minutes: Lew moved; France seconded, and all approved acceptance of the August 3, 2020, minutes. 

Correspondence: No report

Treasury:  Forestry Account – $31,076.23

                  Conservation Account – $142,722.14

​     Walker Road Account -$3,363.71

​     Fanny Mason – unavailable at meeting (posted in an email from Alicia)

New Business:  Cheryl stated that the WCC hasn’t spent any conservation money. At the next meeting there should be a discussion of how the money can be used, i.e. trail maps, tools for trail work. The money does not carry over, and the Selectboard and department heads are now discussing next year’s budget, to be completed in December.

Rapid assessments are complete, but invoices for those have not been received.

Old Business:  France asked if there could be easier access to the river at Walker Road. There have been complaints that it is too difficult to walk kayaks down to the river from the gate. Only vehicles for agricultural purposes and the Walpole Fire Department are permitted to use the road. Cheryl reported complaints to the Selectboard that camping is not permitted, and she referred the commission to the Selectboard August 13 minutes for the their discussion of this topic. The Selectboard wants to know the length of the Gowdy’s haying agreement and the rationale for the no camping policy for Walker Road. They will invite Alicia to attend a Selectboard meeting to discuss this topic.

Lew asked how to communicate WCC decisions to the people who have concerns. An article could be submitted to the Clarion. John stated he believes that a comprehensive plan for camping, tail hiking, kayaking, and boating is needed. He believes an holistic approach would alleviate this problem. He suggests having a meeting including the WCC, fire department, rescue squad, Dept. of Public Works,  Selectboard, and community members to discuss the property and create standing policies, rules, and regulations for the community.   

Other Business:  Lew was asked by the state to do an annual report monitoring the Galloway easement at the Mill Pond. Jackie volunteered to do that.

Lew had a meeting a few weeks ago to discuss the rail trail from Keene to Bellows Falls. Representatives from the Snowmobile Club and Bellows Falls, Lew, Andy Westover, and Ken Wilton discussed its multi-purpose use, though no ATVs could use the trail, per state regulations. Snowmobiles only are allowed. They discussed how to get around Hubbard Farm. Grant money from the Monadnock Conservancy has been secured to improve the trail. 

Gary and Jackie reported that they visited the LaRoche property and spoke with Mrs. LaRoche, who showed them the construction underway of the the bridge across Mad Brook. Both reported they were impressed with the work and said the bridge is very solid.

Kara volunteered to mark trees when the group is ready to do so. She also stated that she still has a huge pile of trash to take out of of the area across route 12 from Aubuchon. She has contacted the police department to unlock the gate so she can get a truck down there but has not heard back. Cheryl said she would make arrangements for Kara. 

Adjournment:  Gary moved; France seconded, and all voted to adjourn the meeting at 8:40.

The next meeting will be on October 5, 2020, in Town Hall.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jean Kobeski, Recording Secretary

*** These minutes are in draft form until approved by the Commission in October.

A Good Question

Barbara Kasper sent me the following email asking if I knew anything about this or if I knew if the item had been discussed anywhere along the way. I could not remember it ever coming up in the various board minutes that haves been posted here so I am tossing it out to those who know much more than I. At least on the surface, it would seem to be a “good question”. – Lil

To Whom it May Concern,

I heard a few months ago that an extremely generous individual in town has had the brilliant idea to give a property he owns to the town for a new police station.  The property is the former furniture store across the street from Aubuchon hardware store.  I not only deeply admire the gesture, but also think it’s an absolutely excellent idea!  The property is a far more appropriate space in which to house our police force, as it will not only provide additional, much needed room but will also place our officers in a more centrally located area.  

Perhaps I missed it, but I have not heard anything from the powers that be about plans to go forward with this move.  Can anyone provide any more information and/or an update on the timing?

Thank you,

Barbara Kasper

Flu Shots for Kids

The Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network will be hosting a drive through flu vaccine clinic for all area children ages 4-19 on Saturday October 10th from 10AM to 3PM at Fall Mountain Regional High School in Langdon, NH. Permission forms and information are being sent home through the schools but there will also be permission forms available at the clinic. 


If you have any questions please contact any of the Fall Mountain Regional School District School Nurses by calling your town’s school. This is not a school sponsored event.

Phone in Tech Help – 9/22/20

From Ronna Gendron. – Lil

Tomorrow is Tech Tuesday for parents in Google Meet from 4-5pm.  Login at: https://meet.google.com/rrf-uswc-ixi?authuser=0From 5pm – 6pm we will be holding a “Phone in Help Session” for those parents who may have questions regarding technology issues, remote software, connectivity, Google Meet etc. 1 540-835-0211‬ PIN: ‪612 364 773‬# Next month we will be offering more formal parental trainings ie:  Google Classroom, Google Meet, Remote Learning etc.  We look forward to seeing you online!