Hooper Trustees Meeting Minutes – 1/3/19

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

 

CALL TO ORDER: Mrs. Pschirrer called this Hooper Trustees meeting to order at 7:07 PM.

 

HOOPER TRUSTEES MINUTES:

Hooper Trustees Meeting  December 27, 2018: Ms. Mayberry moved to accept the Minutes of the Hooper Trustees meeting of December 27, 2018, as submitted.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the Minutes were approved.

 

HOOPER BUSINESS:

Hooper History:  Mrs. Pschirrer provided a brief history of the Hooper Trust and Scholarship programs to Beth Colley, a new resident of Walpole.

 

Hooper Institute Committee Meeting: Ms. Mayberry noted that an email from Mrs. Eloise Clark, Director of the Hooper Institute, stated that the Hooper Institute Committee Meeting will be held on January 8, 2019 in the Walpole Town Hall. Mrs. Pschirrer noted that, with the retirement of several committee members, new members were needed and that the bylaws should be reviewed. Hooper Institute Committee meetings are held on the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. 

 

Hooper Scholarship Committee Meeting: Mrs. Pschirrer attended a January 2, 2019 meeting of the Hooper Scholarship Committee. Scholarships covering second semester studies were approved for the six recipients of the first-semester awards for the 2018-2019 academic year. All current scholarship recipients are surpassing the scholarships grade point average requirement. When the Hooper Education Trust and the Scholarship Trust were merged, the interest accrued on the Scholarship Trust was kept separate. It now totals $114,000. After deducting the current awards, the total Scholarship Trust interest will be about $98,000 which will keep the fund running for at least two years. Additionally, the Hooper Scholarship Committee is exploring ways to raise more money for scholarships. 

 

ADJOURNMENT:

Ms. Mayberry moved to adjourn this Hooper Trustees meeting.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Ms. Mayberry and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the meeting was adjourned at 7:25 PM. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Beth Colley, Recording Secretary Pro Tempore

 

Town of Walpole Staff Meeting – 12/20/18

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

Staff Present:Sarah Downing (Manager of Administration); Rich Kreissle (Manager of Finance); Justin Cassarino(Recreation Department Director) Chief Michael Paquette (Police Chief); Paul Clark (Highway Department); Justine Fafara (Librarian); Paul Colburn and Benjamin Hoy (Recycling Department); Eloise Clark (Hooper InstituteDirector)

Excused:Mike Rau (Road Agent) and Sandra Smith (Town Clerk and Tax Collector)

 

CALL TO ORDER:  Mrs. Pschirrer called this Staff Meeting to order at 5:00 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  She advised this meeting is being recorded.

Mrs. Pschirrer welcomed Ben Hoy, who will be the new director of the Recycling Center. The group will be saying farewell to Paul Colburn who is retiring after 13 years of service to the Town. There is a celebratory cake in honor of Paul’s retirement. 

For this meeting, the format will be changed.  Mrs. Pschirrer asked the group what their challenges were for this past year and what would be the challenges in 2019.

 

Recycling Department:  Mrs. Pschirrer asked if Paul Colburn could tell the group what would be different for him and the department in 2019. Mr. Colburn thanked Mrs. Pschirrer for the cake. The biggest difficulty that the department experienced last year and will be experiencing this coming year and most likely years to come is going to be markets. There was a downturn several years ago. This situation is not going to change overnight. There are going to be issues of pipeline, with demand being low and supply being high. Mixed paper has low demand and brings low to no revenue. On a positive note, Walpole has low volume for this type of recyclable. The big commodity is cardboard which Walpole does have in supply. Mr. Colburn hopes to have a contract in place by the end of the year for cardboard. Mr. Colburn predicts there will be changes in markets. The new baler will be helpful with meeting new market demands.

Mr. Hoy thought his new challenge would be getting to know and accommodate the public and staff members. He is soaking in all the new information about the Recycling Center. He thanked the Board for his new job. It is very exciting to be part of the Town of Walpole.

Mrs. Pschirrer asked Mr. Colburn what his future plans were. Mr. Colburn is going to expand his home this coming summer with the help of a carpenter friend. And, he’s going to build a pick-up truck from the ground-up.  Mr. Colburn also plans on traveling to Iceland sometime soon.

Mr. Dalessio commented that Ben Hoy will be a good asset to the Town and we shall progress forward.

 

Recreation Department:  Mrs. Pschirrer asked Mr. Justin Cassarino how things went for him this year. Mr. Cassarino said they had a very, very good year. There were a lot of new programs. A lot of people enjoying the pool. Adult Nights were a huge success. The challenges were that people want improvements very quickly and all at once. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to accomplish this. Mr. Cassarino is hoping that improvements can start small and then build. Mr. Cassarino explained pickleball. It is similar to tennis with smaller paddles and nets. It’s a very popular game and there is a demand for courts. 

Other upcoming family events include the Daddy and Me Dance and the Mommy and Me Movie Night. Sponsorships with local business are being developed. Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. D’Alessio agreed that demand for programming is growing quickly. Mr. Dalessio felt the numbers supports investment. Mr. Cassarino agreed with Mrs. Pschirrer that the Recreation Committee is very supportive and involved.

 

Police Department:  Chief Paquette thanked Mr. Colburn for his years of service to the Town. He felt that Recycling Center had improved with professionalizing several areas. Chief Paquette felt that Mr. Hoy will now help move the Recycling Center to another level of improvement. 

The biggest challenge in the past year for the Police Department was obtaining their new hire. It took 18 months to find an officer. Then the recruit had to graduate from the academy. Following this is field training (FTO) with seasoned officers. The new officer must learn how to deal with people. There are several hundred items that an officer must demonstrate proficiency in order to work independently. It is a very demanding schedule for the supervisor with planning, documentation and follow-up. This created challenges for scheduling group firearm and strike strip trainings.

It’s been a busy year with over 200 arrests this past year which is the highest yearly recorded amount for Walpole. There is a tremendous amount of paperwork that goes with processing arrests.

Mrs. Pschirrer wondered since the drug epidemic is highlighted in the media, were there any deaths due to drug overdoses in Walpole over the past year.  Chief Paquette said there were several overdoes. State statistics are showing a decline in drug related deaths due the use of Narcan. There had been 3 deaths over an 18-month period. There are additional deaths that are under investigation. Mr. Dalessio and Chief Paquette agreed it takes many man hours conducting these investigations. Chief Paquette explained how the court process can be challenging with submitting paperwork. 

Mr. Dalessio asked if drugs and alcohol continue to the largest problem. Chief Paquette said it was drugs with less issues dealing with alcohol. There has been a spike in juvenile and child abuse issues along with embezzlement cases this year. Everything larger cities deal with, the local police deal with in a smaller volume.

Mrs. Pschirrer asked Chief Paquette if we should expect to see these trends continue into 2019. He agreed that the drug issues will continue with many of the stops being “pass-throughs” which are vehicles driving through Walpole on their way to some other destination. The police train many hours in order to be prepared for that one moment when they may need to take action. Chief Paquette thanked the Board for allowing the Police Department the time to train.

 

Highway Department: Mrs. Pschirrer asked Mr. Paul Clark what challenges the Highway Department experienced. Mr. Clark felt that the challenge was providing safety for highway workers. Mr. Clark referenced that accident in which Ken Thompson was seriously hurt. The Highway Department was doing everything right and it was an uncontrollable situation. Changes have been made with new LED signs which have received positive comment from the public. Another change has been the use of cones and one-way road signs instead of flaggers. Drivers are slowing down since they must think of what to do in these situations. There are still drivers going too fast. However, the group is watching each others’ backs to make sure they’re safe. 

Mr. Dalessio mentioned that new headgear is now available that allows a flagger to hit a button to send a vibration to the ear muffs of coworkers’ headgear to warn them of possible danger. Mr. Clark told of another incident where the flaggers were ignored on Main Street in North Walpole.

Mrs. Pschirrer gave an update regarding Ken Thompson’s recovery from the accident that occurred in late August. Mr. Thompson recently stopped by to visit the Highway and Police Departments. It will be some time before Mr. Thompson can return to work due to hismultiple injuries. Sick Pool Leave was discussed with how to donate additional time.

 

Hooper Institute: Mrs. Eloise Clark reported that the Institute had a great year. The challenge in the past year had been the shifting population in the High School Program. There will be adjustments made in the coming year. The challenge for 2019 will be rebuilding the Hooper Institute Committee. There has been some attrition and new members are needed. Mrs. Pschirrer agreed that students’ interests are changing.  Mrs. Clark stated that students have limitations on where and when they are willing to work.

 

Library: Mrs. Pschirrer commented that the Library had an exciting year. Mrs. Fafara reported that they had reached their fundraising goal. The challenge was keeping everyone engaged. The challenge for the upcoming year is going to be the construction to renovate the library. Mrs. Pschirrer explained how the library is an independent institute with payroll being the one item that the Town administers. Mrs. Pschirrer asked Mrs. Fafara how much money was raised. Mrs. Fafara said that $450,000 was raised in the past year. Another opportunity came up which was to add movable stack shelving on a rail system that would hold a majority of the Library’s books.  This system would make the library more handicapped accessible since the shelving can be moved. It also increases the capacity of books that can be stored. They are applying for a number of grants to fund the purchase. Mr. Dalessio agreed with Mrs. Fafara that “it will happen”. 

 

Finance: Mr. Kreissle said that on a broad perspective, helping managers with understanding how certain events will affect their budget and how it will show in a budget has been a challenge. The compromised general fund account in July and resolving that issue was also a challenge. It’s taken several months of follow-up to settle. More recently, due to the delay setting a tax rate, the challenge has been cash management in order to pay the $1.7 million Cheshire County tax bill. The bill was approximately $300,000 more than last year. When the Town has excess funds, they are swept into PDIP. Although the town could have tapped PDIP funds to pay the county tax bill, by using cash management, the Town was able to keep funds in PDIP which creates interest revenue for the Town. Another challenge will be the updating of the AccuFund program which will change how W2s and 1099 forms are produced. In 2019, another change will be the adding of a benefit time module to AccuFund. Mr. Kreissle said that the hiring of Mrs. Jodi Daigle, the Water and Sewer Clerk, has been beneficial since prompt, quarterly water and sewer payments help with meeting monthly payment obligations for the Town. Mrs. Daigle also recently assisted Mr. Kreissle with processing payables. There had been software issues with his computer. It was a learning experience for both of them.

 

Selectboard Office: Per Mrs. Downing, one area of change was increased property tax abatement requests. It took many months to respond to all the requests which were four times more than the prior year. This area may be a challenge in 2019 since several early requests have been submitted which is unusual. There were challenges in July with the General Fund compromise, along with modem and business line phone issues. At this time, we also lost our long-time custodian Gerry Brady, who is missed. The current challenge is being the recording secretary while Regina Borden is on medical leave. On a positive note, Brad Nash will become a full-time custodian in 2019. His job responsibilities will include cleaning office spaces and bathrooms at the Police Department and the Recycling Center.

 

Water and Sewer: Mr. Dalessio chimed in that the Water and Sewer Department has turned completely around from 2 years ago where the department was losing money, to having over $100,000 surplus in that fund. There is over a $300,000 surplus in water funding. We are heading the right direction.  Mr. Dalessio thanked the field operations crew, Jodi, Rich, Sarah, himself and everyone involved with turning these funds around. Mrs. Pschirrer commented that all bond obligations are being met with the Bellows Falls Waste Water Treatment Plant. Mr. Dalessio said the that Waste Water Agreement was finally signed off, after 12 years of discussions. The next challenge is creating a plan for moving the waste water line from under the Vilas Bridge in case the line should become compromised.

 

Cheryl Mayberry: As the liaison to the Recycling Department, Ms. Mayberry’s challenge for this year is assisting with new leadership and employees at the Recycling Center. As discussed before, changes in the market place are a challenge. There will be a lot of learning ahead for all of us. Ms. Mayberry appreciated Paul Colburn’s 13 years of service and the last two years she has worked with Mr. Colburn.

 

Peggy Pschirrer: There were several good things in the past year per Mrs. Pschirrer, one of which was July 2nd when the Hooper Property sold to local people. It has been a sevenyear project. Mrs. Pschirrer has not visited the property in 4 months and is no longer making weekly trips to the property. It was a great relief when it was sold. There are several other pending property sales. The Walker Road Property will close in the near future. The local citizenry will be buying the land and transferring the property to the Town. The Conservation Commission will have the responsibility of shepherding that land. The land has access points to the Connecticut River. The other property the Town is buying is the Westberg Property, that was the Central Plating site. They are land-locked pieces of property. The Town is working on an EPA Grant for $500,000 toward the cost of $700,000 to clean up the property. The Westberg Estate and NHDES have also promised monies toward the clean-up. The property will become a town parking space. In fact, today it was very hard to find parking in downtown Walpole. Off-street parking is needed. Mrs. Pschirrer said that the DES is very supportive. We need to persuade the EPA that these grants are needed. Walpole may have wealthy individuals living here, but Walpole is not a wealthy town.   Both Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer agreed that there are no pending lawsuits which is a positive for the Town. The Selectboard wished the group a happy holiday.

 

Recreation Department: Mr. Justin Cassarino submitted the following report dated December 20, 2018:

Basketball

 Four companies have sponsored our Rec teams
o McGill Woodworks
o State Farm – Craig Vickers
o Beam Plumbing
o Latham Electricity
 Teams have started practices and games
 Our skills and developmental programs are going great so far
o This is new for kids in Pre-K to 2nd grade

Events

 Daddy and Me Dance
o Speaking with local companies to help with flowers and treats
o Speaking with a photographer and DJ for the event in February
 Mommy and Me Movie Night
o Looking for deals on snacks for the movie theater experience
 Trivia Night
o Because of the positive feedback, Trivia Night will be back on January 5th.
o The adults who participated last time enjoyed it being 21+, so we will do this again.

 

Town Clerk-Tax Collector: Mrs. Sandra Smith submitted the following report dated December 19, 2018:

I HAVE BEEN VERY BUSY COLLECTING TAXES. DUE DATE IS TOMORROW!

COLLECTED TO DATE OF MY FALL WARRANT IS $4,742,830.74 AND THE UNCOLLECTED IS $1,254,575.26

TOMORROW SHOULD BE A VERY BUSY DAY.

EXCUSE THE “CAPS” BUT MY EYES ARE KILLING ME.  SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON THE COMPUTER.

WATER AND SEWER BILLS HAVE BEEN WARRANTED TO ME AND IF LEFT UNPAID WILL ROLL OVER INTO MY TAX LIEN PROCESS.  IF LIENS ARE NOT PAID IN FULL WITHIN 2 YEARS AND A DAY PROPERTY COULD BE DEEDED.  JODI IS DOING A GREAT JOB WITH WATER AND SEWER AND I APPRECIATE HER HELP.

WE HAVE COLLECTED $11,173,434.54 TO DATE THIS INCLUDES ALL WARRANTS.

SARAH AND RICH ARE GREAT; WE HAVE BEEN WORKING ON SOME OF THE UNCOLLECTED PROBLEMS AND PROCESSING REFUNDS, ETC.  IF PROPERTY OWNERS WOULD UPDATE THEIR MAILING ADDRESSES IT WOULD SAVE US ALL TIME.

MOTOR VEHICLES HAVE COLLECTED APPROX. $73,000.00 AND OVER $18,000.00 FOR THE STATE

SHORT REPORT, AS I HAVE TO KEY IN NEW TAX PAYMENTS. HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS  SANDY

 

Selectboard Office:  Mrs. Downing submitted the following report dated December 20, 2018:

 Assessing Update
 Veteran Tax Credits and Elderly, Blind and Solar Energy System Tax Exemption applications are being accepted at the Selectboard Office. PA-29 forms must be submitted by April 15, 2019.
 2018 Property Tax Abatement applications are being accepted at the Selectboard Office. The deadline for submitting applications is March 1, 2019.
 All application forms are available at the Town Hall or online at http://www.walpolenh.us
 Water and Sewer
 On 12/14/18, overdue accounts for North Walpole Sewer and Walpole Water and Sewer were warranted to the Tax Collector. If they remain unpaid, they will be incorporated into the tax lien process.
 Town Hall Facilities
 Thank you to Adam Terrell and Bill White for lighting up and decorating the gazebo on the Common. Additional thanks to the Cub Scouts for decorating the holiday tree on the gazebo.
 Thank you to the Pinnacle View 4-H group for the greens basket that was given to the Selectboard Office.
 The lighting fixtures in the Selecboard and Town Clerk/Tax Collectors Offices along with the restrooms in the Town Hall were updated to become LED based. This change will reduce Town Hall electricity usage while increasing the brightness of the lighting in each space.
 Website
 The Town is searching for someone who would be available on a monthly basis to assist with website content updates such as uploading various board minutes.
 Human Resources
 Several new employees have been hired to work at the Recycling Center and Transfer Station.  The new hires include Benjamin Hoy, Manager; Shaena Hakey, attendant and Erica Sweeney, Office Assistant/Attendant.
 Paul Colburn, the long-time Manager of Recycling Dept. is retiring at the end of Dec.
 The municipal custodian will be a full-time position as of 1/01/19 with expanded cleaning and maintenance.
 Employee Wellness
 “A Fruit a Day” baskets were refilled with tropical fruits such as mandarin and navel oranges, grapefruit, and bananas along with nut packets for the week of Dec. 3rd.  This wellness initiative, funded through a HealthTrust stipend, has received positive feedback from employees

Highway Department:  Mr. Rau submitted the following report dated 11/15/18 to 12/19/18.

 Service trucks and equipment 
 Cold patch
 Checked and cleaned catch basins
 Ditched dirt roads
 Pave in catch basins and drains
 Put out sand piles: N. Walpole, Walpole village, Christian Hollow, Valley Rd, Transfer Station.
 Unclog drain on Ash St.
 Ditched on Old Keene Rd, County Rd, Wentworth Rd
 Marked catch basin and culverts.
 Fixed ice spots in roads
 Winter Weather Call outs: 11/16, 11/19, 11/20, 11/25, 11/27, 12/2, 12/16, 12/17, and 12/18.

 

Walpole Town Library:  Mrs. Justine Fafara submitted the Walpole Town Library December 2018 Report:  

WalpoleNov. 2018 Nov. 2017

Days Open2323

Hours Open134148

Hours Scheduled134148

Visits13451350

Circulation21311918

Overdrive Circulation374351

Wifi4733

# of Adult Programs1313

# of Adults attendees126162

# of Teen Programs15

# of Teen attendees449

# of kid/family programs1516

# of kid/family attendees154107

Website visits335522

 

North WalpoleNov. 2018Nov. 2017

Hours Open2425

Visits5071

Circulation123181

Computer Use45

 

Big excitement is we’ve surpassed our fundraising goal of $448,000. As of 12/20/2018 we’ve raised

$449,999.83 in cash and pledges.

 

The Library will be closed Monday the 24th, Tuesday the 25th and Tuesday January 1st. We’ll also be closing early (5pm rather than 8pm) on Monday December 31st

The Fundraising Committee is planning an open house to celebrate our fundraising success with the public on Saturday January 12th, 9am-1pm.

 

Police Department:  Chief Paquette submitted the following report for the period of November 17, 2018 through December 15, 2018.

 

Calls for Service

Criminal Investigations – 72 at 25%, Public Safety – 118 at 43%, Motor Vehicles – 96 at 34%

 

 Total Motor Vehicle Calls for Service: 157 last month, 95 this month
 Total Public Safety Calls for Service: 149 last month, 118 this month
 Total Criminal Investigations Calls for Service: 59 last month, 72 this month
 Total Monthly Calls for Service: 365 last month (Oct-Nov.), 286 this month (Nov. – Dec.)

 

ADJOURNMENT:  Mrs. Pschirrer declared this meeting adjourned at 6:02 PM. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Downing, Recording Secretary Pro Tempore

 

 

Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 1/8/19

                        

 

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

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

Roll Call: All board members were present so no alternate was needed to fill in. 

Minutes: Mr. Marcom made a motion to approve the minutes as written. Mr. Aldrich seconded the motion and the motion passed.

 

Public Hearing No1: Are you in favor of revoking and rescinding the amendment to the Walpole Zoning Ordinance, adopted and approved as Article 4 N at the annual Town Meeting held on March 12, 2016, regarding Recycling and Transfer Stations? Town legal counsel advised it is not enforceable under New Hampshire law.

 

Mr. J. Miller said Mr. Dalessio brought this ordinance up at the last meeting and this was simply a necessary housekeeping task that the Board has to do to cleanup the zoning ordinances. Mr. J. Miller also said that when he was writing out this article in the same format that town counsel Jeremy Hockensmith wrote in the first two articles that were approved last month and that regarding the second article about the Planning Board being able to make minor changes, he thought the Board ought to have the same language. “Town legal counsel advised it is not enforceable under New Hampshire law.” That was in the Superior Court ruling about the Ruggiero matter, Mr. J. Miller said.

Mr. Perron asked if he talked to Mr. Hockensmith about adding that sentence. Mr. J. Miller said Mr. Hockensmith said we didn’t need it, but Mr. J. Miller said he thought it made the article more clear for the public to understand why this article was on the warrant.

Mr. Boas said he needed some clarification on the topic of the Public Hearing article. He went back to the original article that passed and he couldn’t find it in the past zoning ordinances. 

Mr. J. Miller said it was passed by zoning petition in 2016. A Superior Court judge ruled the whole ordinance unenforceable. Mr. Boas asked if that meant that the town can’t have a site plan review of a possible future recycling or transfer station. Mr. Miller said that it does not mean that. You can have a site plan review of a commercial operation if its cost is over $10,000.

Mr. Boas then asked if instead of doing away with the entire paragraph, would it be better to delete just to the semicolon and keep the rest. Then it would say, “In addition to the current Town recycling center at 207 Whitcomb Road, Route 123, Walpole, New Hampshire, recycling centers and/or transfer stations shall be permitted uses in the Industrial District subject to meeting the Town’s site plan review regulation and shall be submitted to the Planning Board for site plan review.” 

Mr. J. Miller said it already says that in another section of the zoning ordinances because it says that any building or commercial undertaking costing more than $10,000 must have a site plan review. But if you keep the first section of the ordinance it allows for a transfer station or recycling center to go into the Industrial District. Right now there are specific businesses allowed in the Industrial Park and anything else has to get a Special Exception. A recycling and transfer station is not an allowed use. 

Mr. Perron asked if this IV N ordinance means only recycling and transfer station operations taken on by the Town, rather than a private enterprise, are allowed? “I think that was the problem the courts had,” Mr. J. Miller said. “I would not want it to be a permitted use in an Industrial Zone.”

Mr. Boas said, “I see a problem coming up. I’d like to clarify it for the readers of The Clarion. If the Town votes to not rescind then, although it’s not a legal vote, it’s still illegal according to the Court decision. Where do we go next?” Mr. J. Miller said, “It’s unenforceable. We’re just trying to clean up the zoning ordinance.” 

In all of the districts, there are allowable uses in a district. If it’s not a permitted use, you have to have to apply for a Special Exception.

Mr. Perron said, if you keep the first part of Article IV N, “I’m not comfortable with that at all.” Mr. Marcom said, “It opens the door for that use.” The other thing is if the Town didn’t vote for it, it wouldn’t would be illegal, it just wouldn’t be enforceable.

Mainly these are housekeeping changes, Mr. J. Miller said. “We want to clean up these ordinances on the advice of town counsel.”

Mr. J. Miller said that he didn’t understand how the Carmody property got so botched up. He was arguing with the attorney about it when the attorney finally said, “The way I look at it is that you might be right, but not only is it good for the town, but good for the landowner. He doesn’t have to worry about anything in his deed,” etc.

Mr. Aldrich said he didn’t know if the voter would just vote no. That could happen.

Mr. J. Miller said then maybe we should put back in the clarification that Mr. Hockensmith had in his original statement. It says, “This amendment is necessary to correct an error in Warrant Article 2, adopted and approved at the March 13, 2007 annual meeting, mistakenly changing these lots zoning classification.”

Mr. Perron said he thought it was a good idea and he recalled saying that before at the December meeting.

Mr. Perron made a motion to recommend the article be put on the warrant. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and it passed. Mr. J. Miller said that the clarification on the other articles does not mean there has to be another Public Hearing. The intent of the articles are the same.

 

Master Plan: Mr. J. Miller passed out a letter from Southwest Regional Planning Commission Planner Ms. Lisa Murphy about her thoughts on what parts of the Master Plan should be revisited this spring. They include Population and Housing, the Implementation Chapter and Transportation. This would cost the town $5,400. The Selectboard previously said money would be put aside for this process, which would start in April after it has been approved by the Town. Mr. Miller will check with the Selectboard about this matter.

 

Workshop: Mr. J. Miller asked if the Board wanted a workshop this month about a solar ordinance. He said that residential installation questions would be answered when people came for a permit with the exception that there should be some path for an abutter to complain about a neighbor’s installation if he/she were unhappy about it. Commercial installations would be permitted by requiring a Site Plan Review because the cost would be over $10,000.

At first some of the Board said no to scheduling a workshop but others on the Board thought that there were still a lot of questions to be answered about a solar installations.

There was also discussion about last year’s article on solar installations. Some Board members felt that it was a subsidy paid for by taxpayers. Other Board members felt it was the right thing to do because these people with installations were getting away from fossil fuels.

In the end it was decided to have a workshop meeting on January 22 to discuss a solar ordinance. The Public is invited to attend.

 

Mr. Aldrich made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Marcom seconded the motion and it carried.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

Public Hearing – 1/17/18

Walpole Selectboard

Notice of Public Hearing

Regarding Proposed Brownfields Cleanup Grant

 

The Selectboard of the Town of Walpole will hold a public hearing on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 6:00pm in the Selectboard Office of the Walpole Town Hall at 34 Elm Street for the purpose of reviewing a draft proposal for a 2019 EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant. The Proposed Brownfields Cleanup Grant is for Map 20 Lots 65 and 66, the former Central Plating site formerly owned by the Nils Westberg Estate, now owned by the Town of Walpole, NH. Residents may read the draft proposal at the Town Hall during regular business hours or at online at https://www.walpolenh.us/town-news.  Copies of the proposal including the draft ABCA(s) will be available at the hearing. Comments on the draft proposal including the draft ABCA(s) will be recorded. Attendees will be requested to sign-in. Written comments will be accepted at the Selectboard Office through 1/24/19. Individuals having special needs covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act should notify the Selectboard Office at least seven days prior to the hearing by calling 603-756-3672 or e-mailing sdowning@walpolenh.us

 

Sarah Downing

On behalf of the Walpole Selectboard

Yoga in Walpole

A New Year’s special
$200 for 5 1/2 months of yoga
January through the middle of june
Yoga with Josephine
at the Hastings House
every Thursday
5-6:30

Conservation Commission Agenda – 1/7/18

WALPOLE CONSERVATION COMMISSION MEETING

January 7, 2019

 

Location and Time:  Walpole Town Hall, Downstairs Office at 7:30 PM.

 

1. CALL TO ORDER

 

2. SEATING OF ALTERNATES

 

3. REVIEW and APPROVE MINUTES – December 3, 2018

 

4. PUBLIC BUSINESS:

Report from Chair:

A. Treasury Report.
B. Correspondence.
5. NEW BUSINESS:
A. Community Farming Initiative.

 

6. OLD BUSINESS:
A. NHACC Membership dues.
B. Walker Road Property – Update
C. Great Brook/Boggy Meadow Farm – Letter of Agreement Update.
D. Reservoir Dam Work – Update.
E. Town Easement Report & Maps – Update.
F. Peter Graves Easement: Final Update.
G. Fanny Mason Feasibility Study – Update.
H. Champion Black Oak, Mill Pond Reserve; signage.
I. Open Position Advertisement: CRJC & CRLAC.
J. Trail Work: February.
K. Barry 4-H Conservation Camp: Update.
L. Watershed Town Forest Management Plan: Update.
M. Hooper Forest Rapid Assessment: Update.

 

7. OTHER BUSINESS:
A. Community Farming Initiative.
B. Brownfield Cleanup.

 

8. ADJOURNMENT

Conservation Commission Meeting Minutes – 11/5/18

Members Present:

Alicia Flammia (Chair), Steven Dumont, Lewis Shelley, Jackie Kensen, Duncan Watson

Alternates Present:

Peter Palmiotto, Kelli Wilson, Elaine Heleen,

Members Absent:

Gary Speed, Myra Mansouri, John Peska (Vice Chair), Laura Hayes

Others Present:

Peggy Pschirrer (Selectboard Representative)

Call to Order: Alicia called the meeting to order at 7:28 PM. 

Seating of Alternates: No seating of alternates required.

 

Review and approve minutes – November 5, 2018. Peter made a motion to approve as written. Duncan seconded. All in favor.

 

Public Business:

1. Treasury: Alicia did not have balances for the local accounts. As of Oct. 31, the expendable portion of the Fanny Mason account is $445,451.13. The non-expendable fund is $15,566.16.
2. Correspondence:
a. NH DES Drinking & Groundwater Newsletter.
b. Monadnock Conservancy Newsletter.

 

New Business: none.

 

Old Business:

1. Walker Road Property: Alicia wrote the letter to accept the land and dropped it off. Alicia also submitted a request to the trustees of the trust funds for up to $100,000 from the expendable Fanny Mason account. Alicia also submitted the request for $9,000 from the Mason fund, to go to the Monadnock Conservancy, for the conservation easement for Peter Graves land. Peter noted that we may not need the total $100,000 from the Mason fund for the Walker Road Property, and wondered if it comes back to the conservation commission. Alicia stated that she needed to submit a number, so she requested the full amount. Steven presented a printout of the Go Fund Me page for the property. Steven pointed out that he was concerned that there may not be incentive to raise over the $280,000 if the fundraising reaches that amount, and so the Mason fund may not get back money. Also he asked how the page works, as Go Fund Me takes out a very small portion of every donation and a percentage of the total donations. Peter said that there have been lots of discussions within the fundraising group, and they do believe they will raise over $280,000 regardless. He also believes we need to be honest about the total amount we have raised. He stated that direct donations to the town do not have fees taken out by Go Fund Me, and that the majority of the funds raised have not been through the website. The fundraising has been successful so far and they are pushing to get more donors. Peter has been speaking with multiple people, including Ryan Owens from the MC, as well as the head of the NH Association of Conservation commissions, about the best way to protect the land. The consensus seems to be that because the deed to the town discusses conservation, and because some of the funds used to purchase the property came from a fund that is to be used for conservation, the land is protected enough. Peggy noted that there are other RSA’s that protect the land as open space, and there is not a need for a conservation easement.
2. Peter Graves Easement/MC: Alicia submitted $9,000 request for funds from Fanny Mason, and will request $1,000 from the conservation fund via Rich Kriessle. Alicia notified Stacy and let her know they are coming.
3. Great Brook/Boggy Meadow Farm: Alicia updated the lease agreement with input from the last meeting. She also updated the agreement with information from Marcus and is meeting him on Thursday to finalize the agreement. Alicia included Marcus’s lease agreement with his tenants. Alicia would like to finish this off but is looking for final input. There was some concern about the language in Marcus’s agreement about clearing out the outlying woodlands, specifically “encroaching timbers”, and what is maintenance vs. what is small logging. The agreement does mention that the maintenance be done annually. Alicia will discuss the the specifics with Marcus and report back if it needs further clarification.
4. Reservoir Dam: John is not in attendance but the WCC had approved invoices from last meeting. There has been some communication between the engineers and Mark Houghton which John would understand more fully.
5. Town Conservation Report/Maps: Laura not in attendance but Peter reminded us that there is a shared Google document that has the easements listed. Peter mentioned there are acquisition dates added which can help us track progress. He presented a wall map again, which he would like to update annually. Peter has added roads and waterways, and also conservation lands around Walpole. The background parcel map is a little out of date but is the best that can be done. They have also added school, cemetery, and town owned land to the map. Peter mentioned there is some missing information from North Walpole that Gary had discussed at the last meeting. It is a larger plot of land off Main Street. There is also the North Walpole Village Park which could be added. Steven mentioned that if we have some town owned land on the map, we should include all. Peter asked that if anyone has any information to reach out to him or Laura and it can be added. Steven volunteered to track down lands in North Walpole. Duncan made a motion to pay Antioch for the amount of $330.50. Lew seconded. All in favor.
6. Fannie Mason Feasibility Study: Lew has completed the study and handed out copies. It is feasible to build trails on the property. Lew split the property into three different areas. There are some existing trails that would be easy to piece back together. On the southern end there are some larger streams which would be more difficult to cross. Lew’s biggest recommendation is to focus in the trails that are there for now with an eye towards expansion at a later date. Lew would like to see an adjacent property, the Whitcomb property, be included. Alicia presented an invoice from Lew to the WCC in the amount of $850. Duncan made a motion and Steven seconded. All in favor. Lew will send out a PDF copy electronically. Steven to leave the study on the agenda to discuss what to do now that we have a plan.
7. Forest Society Easement Monitoring: Jackie submitted the reports. 
8. Champion Black Oak, Mill Pond Signage: Kelli went to visit the tree. She posted some pictures and mentioned that there was quite a bit of interest from other residents. She thinks the sign might be a good idea. Lew made a motion to purchase the sign. Steven seconded. Steven will contact the Big Tree Program to have the sign made.
9. Nelson Town Forest Easement Monitoring: Rebecca from the MC walked the easement. Did not notify the WCC so no assistance was needed.
10. Open Positions: Connecticut River Joint Commissions, Cold River Local Advisory: Positions still open. Sarah may have publicized somewhere. Alicia will reach out to Lil and Ray for publication in the Clarion and the Walpolean. Kelli suggested that the CRLAC and the CRJC do the legwork in regards to getting the information to publishers. 
11. Trail Work: pushed out until February.
12. NHACC Membership dues: put off voting and submission for payment until January.
13. Barry 4-H Conservation Camp: no update. John to reach out to student from last year and see if he’s still interested. 
14. Watershed Town Forest Management Plan: Alicia has baseline easement documentation and some other information but does not have a forest management plan, which has been requested from the MC as part of their easement documentation. She is also not sure where any files went regarding the recent timber harvest. Alex from Longview Foresters is looking for that information. Peter P. will call Peter R. and see what he has. 

 

Other Business:

1. Alicia just got the rapid assessment report for the Hooper Forest. She handed out copies. Longview is looking for review and comment, and if the assessment is ok, they will send an invoice for payment. Peter noted that there is a grid of points on the assessment map and he was unsure of what they are for. He would like to know more about them for the next assessment. Lew and Jackie described where they went. Steven thinks it is a well written assessment and a great document to start off with for a relatively small amount of work. Alicia will ask about what the points are used for and ask him to describe what his methods. Peter would also like to know if we go ahead with management, what the next steps are and what the efforts would be. Peter remembers a rapid assessment being a good start but was wondering if we now have a full management plan done or do we stick with the assessment, and if/when we would do logging. Steven pointed out he has included some dates and sections which could be logged. Alicia will follow up the questions.
2. Steven found some paperwork from Peter Rhodes regarding the logging of the Watershed Town Forest. There is a letter from January 2018, mentioning Peter mailed the final stumpage payment to the selectboard office. The final payment brings the total timber harvest value to $56,000. It mentions a letter from April 2017 with other details about the harvest. It also reminds the WCC to contact Peter as he has a large number of files which can go to the next forest manager. Peter P. to track down.
3. Peter P. asked if anyone could name the dairy farms in Walpole. Jackie named the five dairy farms still in town. Peter mentioned that the conservation plan discusses active farms, and is wondering if the WCC should lead discussion and protection of the dairy farms. Alicia recommended that we expand it to all farms and farming activities. Peggy mentioned Stacy from the MC focuses on farms and helping farmers keep their properties. Alicia can speak with Amanda Littleton who is involved with the Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition. Someone from their organization may be able to come and do a presentation to a broader audience, not just farmers. Elaine mentioned the Hooper Institute is also a good resource. Duncan mentioned the High School could also be involved. Further discussion at the next meeting.
4. Brownfield Cleanup: Peggy briefly discussed the process and grants being applied for at the brownfield site in downtown Walpole. Alicia offered help in reviewing/drafting the grant paperwork. Peggy to discuss more at next meeting.

 

Adjournment: At 9:12 Duncan made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Alicia seconded. Meeting adjourned.

Next Meeting: Monday, January 7, 2019 at 7:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted; Steven Dumont, Recording Secretary

Note: These are unapproved minutes. Corrections, if any, will be found in the minutes of January 7, 2019.