September Clarion Now Online

From: Ray Boas

Just waiting for an email from the printer to pick up your September issue, and get it in the mail – probably late Friday, 27 August. But now the issue is on-line for the world to see.

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK FOR THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE

Or, clicking on the image above should also work. Lots to read about on 24 pages – anniversaries, school about to start, and some activities picking back up. So take a look and enjoy.

Stay safe please and stay well, RAY BOAS, Publisher

Zoning Board Meeting Minutes – 8/18/21

Present: Board Members Chair Jan Leclerc, Vice-Chair Myra Mansouri, Clerk Tom Murray, Ernie Vose, Pauline Barnes, Alternate Judy Trow. Absent: Alternates Don Sellarole and Dave Edkins.

Recording: Marilou Blaine. These minutes were recorded. They are unapproved and will be reviewed at the September 2021 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.

Roll Call: Ms. Leclerc called the meeting to order at 7:03 pm. There were five board members present so an alternate was not needed to fill in.

Minutes: Minutes of July 21, 2021. Corrections Page 2, paragraph 4, Ms Barnes said the second to last sentence should say “Ms. Mansouri made a motion to come out of nonpublic session at 7:40 pm.” Same page second to last paragraph, first sentence add “the webinar was presented by two NH Municipal Association lawyers.” Page 2, last paragraph, Ms. Leclerc said to change the two words that say “ordinance” that are in lower case to “amendments.” Ms. Mansouri made a motion to approve the corrected minutes. Ms. Barnes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

The nonpublic session minutes of July 21, 2021. These minutes were approved later in the meeting. Ms. Mansouri made a motion to approve and seal the nonpublic minutes. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. 

New Business:

Len-Tex  proposal for a Design and Digital Print facility at 4 Ames Plaza, Tax map 12, Lot 55-5, Commercial District. Also, possible retail of sales for custom commercial wallcovering printing. Presenting Don Lennon, president of Len-Tex Corp. Also present at the meeting was Vice-president Charlie Lennon. Informational meeting.

Mr. Don Lennon introduced himself and said their company is planning to buy the building at 4 Ames Plaza Lane where currently the business owned by of Doug Palmer of Smart Power Sports is located. It will be a digital print facility using one or more 64-inch HP Latex digital printers. These printers use inks similar to latex paint and produce no emissions and very little sound, Mr. Lennon’s introductory letter says. He expects a maximum staff of 5 and will be in operation weekdays from 7 am to 5 pm. There are 14 parking spaces.

 Mr. Lennon said the company in North Walpole designs, produces and supplies custom commercial wallcoverings to all the major hotels in the United States, as well as to 36 foreign countries. They also sell the company’s product to the healthcare industry, schools and much more. Literature on the wallcoverings says,  “Most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors. Poor indoor air quality can be caused by excessive emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)….The EPA-listed chemicals of concern that have been removed are:

            Phthalates (endocrine disruptors)

            Heavy metals – antimony, arsenic, barium (carcinogens)

            Formaldehyde (carcinogen)

            Phenol (skin irritant)

The company literature also boasts that their wallcoverings provide “built-in protection against odor, stain causing bacteria, mold and mildew.

 The new printers are capable of printing very large art work such as murals. Mr. Lennon called it “the coolest stuff imaginable.”

Ms. Barnes asked about the rollers on the machines that print the current wallcoverings in North Walpole. What are you going to do with the rollers when you go out of business? she said. Mr. Lennon said he had no intention of going out of business. That operation will remain a huge part of the business. But there is a massive difference between visual printers and steel rollers. With the rollers the design work is limited to printing 18 inches in diameter and 54 inches in circumference. But with the new technology, the company can now create floor to ceiling images. The goal is to create wallcoverings for three walls of a guest room in a hotel and a create a compatible design for the headboard. Mr. Lennon invited the board members to visit their facility.

Ms. Leclerc said your proposal is commercial and it is zoned commercial so you don’t need a special exception or a variance. She suggested Mr. Lennon check with the Planning Board because if the proposal costs more than $10,000, you will need to fill out an application for a site plan review. The $10,000 is for construction or renovations of the space, not for equipment such as the printers. Mr. Lennon replied, “That building’s perfect.” Ms. Leclerc advised him to just check. Mr. Don Lennon asked his brother, Charlie, if he had checked with board member and Select Board member Steve Dalessio and he replied “yes.”

Signage: Doug and Laura Palmer: 308 Main Street, Tax Map 24, Lot 13, Commercial District. Smart Power Sports retail and storage.

Mr. Palmer introduced himself. He said the sign will be on road side of the building. Will he need a special exception or a variance? he asked. He said the sign will not be 60 feet from the traveled edge of the street. He was at the meeting to ask for a public hearing in September. According to Mr. Palmer, the sale of the building that was his business in 4 Ames Plaza Lane is perfect timing.

Mr. Vose asked him where the building was for its new location. Mr. Palmer said, “You’ve seen this building a million times, Palmer said. It’s the one that used to have the deer on it and was formerly owned by RN Johnson. Ms. Barnes asked how old it is? Mr. Palmer didn’t know exactly but guessed 60 to 70 years. It was his understanding that the building was two separate barns that were put together.

The sign is 33 inches by 22 inches and it will hang 90 degrees from the road side of the building so the sign can be seen by people coming and going. He said his business is 90 percent online but if someone is searching for him, he wants to make it easy for people to locate him. So that would put it pretty close to the road, Mr. Vose said. The building is 20 feet from the road so it would put the sign at about 17 feet from the road. Regarding his question of variance or special exception, Mr. Palmer pointed to Article IV General Provisions No. 9 Special Exceptions. It says “signs of six (6) square feet may be placed between ten (10) and sixty (60) feet of traveled roadway between (20) and 100) feet of another sign by Special Exception from the Zoning Board of Adjustment when the Board is satisfied that the provisions of Article IV will be met and that the sign as placed will not have any adverse effect on abutting properties.”

Ms. Trow confirmed that a Special Exception was the correct ordinance and the sign was not over six square feet. It will require a public hearing next month. Ms. Trow asked if there would be other signs. Mr. Palmer said no, not at this time. Ms. Barnes moved that the board hold a public hearing for a special exception for a sign at 308 Main Street in September at our next meeting on the condition that the application be completed and all required fees are paid. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried.

The secretary asked that the application be completed and fees paid by August 28 and that Mr. Palmer email her a copy of everything and bring the application and fees to the Town Offices. He said he would.

Peter and Kimberly King, 46 Dearborn Circle, Tax Map 12, Lot 55-22, Residential B District. The Kings are building an addition that will go in the front of their house. It is 2 feet shy of the required 65 feet from the center of the road.

Mr. and Mrs. King have lived at this address for 15 years and through the years there have been a multiple additions and improvements. The family really needs this space for the family and they debated whether to move or stay in Walpole. But because of the current housing market and since the family likes living in their neighborhood, they are planning on staying. Their children are 15 and 13 years old and the youngest is in her last year at Walpole Elementary School. Their son is in high school. They decided to add a living room to the west side of the house. It is 12-feet-by-20-feet. Dan Ferland will be their builder and they paid to have an architect draw up plans. The addition has a gable roof facing the road. There is a beautiful large window in the center of wall. The Kings sent drawings of the outside as well as the interior. The house is a ranch. The architectural plans were of the  basement and first floor, including the crawl space under the planned addition and the entrance. It is 63 feet from the center of the road, 2 feet shy of the requirement. Ms. Leclerc said they will need to fill out a variance. It has five criteria.

Mr. King said he already has a few people lined up. The excavation is all set up and a foundation is ready to be poured. Mr. King has already taken down a spruce tree that was planted when they moved in. It was just a couple of feet high then. When cut down the tree was 18 feet long and had quite a large trunk. It has been a Christmas tree for the family for many years. Mr. King said he wanted to do the right thing right and that everyone working on the project is “pretty much local.”

Kimberly King asked about abutters. Who was considered an abutter? Is someone across the street an abutter. Ms. Mansouri said yes. She said she needed help with the process.

The RSA for the definition of abutter is in the NH Planning and Land Use Regulation” manual. RSA 672:3 “Abutter” means any person whose property is located in New Hampshire and adjoins or is directly across the street or stream from the land under consideration by the local use board.”

Ms. Leclerc said you know you need a variance. There are five criteria on the application and you need to answer the five questions.

Mr. Vose said he was making a motion to set a pubic hearing for next month and the application must be  complete and the fees paid. Ms. Mansouri seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Blaine asked that the application be completed and fees paid by August 28 and that Mr. Palmer email her a copy of everything and bring the application and fees to the Town Offices. He said he would. She offered to look up abutters and send the list to the Kings.

Old Business:

Sort-term rentals. Any update on Conway, NH decision?

 Ms. Leclerc said there is not much to say about short-term rentals. Ms. Barnes said the plaintiff has to put their case forward by the end of September so it will be some time after that when a decision on the Conway court case about short-term rental is complete.

Report on visit to Planing Board:

Earlier this month, the ZBA board attended a PB meeting to submit two amendments to the zoning ordinances for a public hearing in September and then be placed on the warrant next March. Ms. Mansouri, Ms. Barnes and Ms. Leclerc attended. Ms. Barnes left shortly after the meeting began because their presentation wasn’t going to be until the end.

Ms. Leclerc told the Planning Board that the Zoning Board had prepared two amendments to the zoning ordinances. Both regard signs. She would like to have a public hearing next month so the Board can present them to the town next March on the warrant. She said that last year the Zoning Board had a brief discussion with the Planning Board about feather fabric signs in the commercial district. The Planning Board asked the ZBA to get a Select Board opinion. The Select Board thought that feather flags should be addressed specifically in an ordinance. So one amendment has to do with feather flags. The other amendment is a definition of temporary signs, which at this time aren’t specified in the ordinance, so technically they are not allowed. There was a motion to hold a public hearing next month, the motion was seconded and approved by the Planning Board.

Solar Array:

 During the August Planning Board meeting, after a presentation on the 1 mega watt solar array by Dan Weeks, vice-president of Revision Energy, about the proposed in the commercial district, Chair Jeffrey Miller announced that the solar array was in an industrial use and it will need a special exception. That means that any decision on the solar array was handed over to the Zoning Board. At tonight’s ZBA meeting, there was no one representing the solar array proposal. The secretary said she tried contacting Mr. Jim Clifford of NGP Management by email but hadn’t heard from him yet. However, she has heard from the company’s lawyer by email.

Ms. Mansouri said as she was leaving the Planning Board meeting, she saw the principals of the solar array company in the hallway of the Town Offices. She introduced herself and mentioned that they would need an application for a special exception. Ms. Leclerc said there is nothing for the board to do until they come to a meeting. She said they need an application for an industrial use in a commercial zone. That is in the town’s ordinance. The definition of industrial is bringing in one material and creating another material. It technically fits that description. But a lot of other concerns the board might have for industrial use, such as noxious odors, noise, etc. will be non issues if it ever comes to the board.

Ms. Barnes asked, “I wonder if that holds for a grocery store if you bring in a side of beef and the butcher cuts it into steaks?” Is that transforming one thing into another? You are making steaks starting with raw materials.  And what about a copy machine? she asked.

According to our town ordinances “manufacturing operations are those in which materials are changed physically in form, changed chemically or mixed to provide other compounds.”

Ms. Leclerc said it’s a gray area. She and Ms. Mansouri spoke to someone about solar array and he considered solar arrays to be a commercial use. But the Planning Board has decided it should be industrial. So that’s the hang up about a possible suit? Mr. Murray asked. Ms. Leclerc said no, she doesn’t think that’s the hang up. At the meeting Mr. MIller said he considered a solar array an industrial use because they were changing sunlight into electricity so it needed a special exception.

Mr. Murray said he thought the ZBA has more power then the Planning Board. In a hand-out Barnes gave us, he said, it says the ZBA can decide if a variance or special exception is really needed. That came from her notes from a June 2019 state conference.

But they still have to come before us for a ruling on that, Ms. Trow said.

So this is to be decided on the definition of industrial/commercial? Is it the Planning Board’s purview or the Zoning Board of Adjustment’s purview? Ms. Mansouri asked. “They sent it to us, we will decide.”

Ms. Mansouri said she thought industrial has more to do with chemicals. Mr. Murray said it needed a recommendation from the Planning Board. Later in the meeting Ms. Leclerc said she didn’t actually think it did need a recommendation from the Planning Board. 

 Definitions: Article XVll:

The secretary proposed moving the definition section (Article XVII)  because a lot of the definitions are already in Article IV General Provision. Examples were definitions regarding signs and manufactured or mobile homes. Both Ms. Trow and Ms. Mansouri thought that the section should remain where it was as it noted in the table of contents. Ms. Barnes wasn’t so sure. There was no vote on this topic.

Board emails:

At the last meeting the topic of emails came up. Ms. Barnes mentioned a Right to Know webinar she attended. It was presented by two lawyers, Natch Greyes and Stephen Buckley, who are with the NH Municipal Association. Attendees of the webinar were reminded that emails are government records. In a recent superior court case, the lawyers said, personal emails from a former board member were requested during the trial because they could contain board business that is pertinent to the case. The lawyers suggested it might be a good idea for boards to set up a separate email account solely for board business. 

Ms. Trow said she thought the board should address the issue. Maybe there should be a Zoning Board of Adjustment email account and the members should use that to communicate.  It was decided that this was area of real concern, especially if there were a court case. It was decided that Ms. Leclerc and Ms. Mansouri would go to the August 26 meeting and discuss this issue with the select board.

Adjournment:

Ms. Mansouri made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Mr. Vose seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

ZBA Secretary

Posted: Inside the Town Offices, on the bulletin board outside the Post Office, http://www.walpolenh.us.

Copied: ZBA, WPB, Town Offices, the Walpolean.

PS: The afternoon of our meeting Mr. Clifford sent me this email: Hi Marilou, Sorry for the slow reply.  Your email got by me somehow.  We are not planning to attend the ZBA meeting tonight.  We are still trying to decide what our plan is going forward.  I will get back in touch once we make some decisions.

Thanks Marilou.

Jim

Friends of the Library

Please be looking for the Friends of the Library membership postcard that will be arriving in your mail soon.  This membership drive is one of our three fundraisers for the year.  If you do not receive a postcard, but would like to make a membership donation, please stop by the library. Your generous support is always appreciated! 

Also, individuals and organizations can purchase tag sale space at the Friends of the Walpole Library Book Sale at the end of October for $25.  Vendors will need to provide their own table.  Contact Carol at 603-756-9537.

Book Sale *10/29-31/21

Public Hearing and Selectboard Meeting Minutes -8/12/21

Selectboard Present:  Steven Dalessio, Peggy Pschirrer

CALL TO ORDER:  Mr. Dalessio called the public hearing to order at 6:05 p.m. in the Walpole Town Hall. This meeting was being recorded. Attending this meeting was Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration.  Members of the community present were Bonnie Caserta and Chris Caserta.

PUBLIC HEARING RE:  DISCRETIONARY PRESERVATION EASEMENT:  Mrs. Pschirrer began the discussion by asking the Casertas if they have applied differently for this easement than they did 11 years ago. The easement application in the past was for three structures, now it is for only two.  Mrs. Caserta responded that 11 years ago there were three structures; a shed has since come down. Mr. Dalessio stated that an easement was approved for only one barn with a silo at that time. Currently Casertas are applying for easements for two barns. Mrs. Caserta explained that both are of historical significance; in fact, the lower barn was used in filming a segment of Sesame Street.

Mr. Caserta stated they are committed to maintaining both barns and cited examples of work, such as replacing slate roofing, that they have done. Mrs. Caserta stated they have a retail store in the lower barn, but they did not include that in the application.

Mr. Dalessio asked if there was any non-farm income derived from the use of the barns. For example, did they use either as an event venue? Mr. Caserta explained that, in the event of rain on a day that a wedding is scheduled at the farm, they would hold the ceremony inside.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Discretionary Preservation Easement Application for Map and Lot #005-001-000 for two barns and silos.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved. 

Mr. Dalessio moved that the town assess at 50%.  Mrs. Pschirrer seconded. With Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion was approved.

Mrs. Pschirrer explained that the Casertas will need to draw up a new easement. Mrs. Downing explained that the petitioner draws up the deed then presents it to the Selectboard for review. It should then be recorded in the land records at the Casertas’ expense.

The public hearing was closed at 6:15 p.m. 

The regular Selectboard meeting began at 6:16 p.m.

Selectboard Present:  Steven Dalessio and Peggy Pschirrer.  Attending this meeting was Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration.

PAYROLL:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Payroll Register totaling $34,200.41 dated 8/13/21 and the Payroll Tax Transfer of $6,617.90. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio in favor, the motion was approved.

Mrs. Pschirrer noted that there is no Accounts Payable this week so next week’s will be larger.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

Mrs. Pschirrer made a motion to approve the Selectboard Minutes of August 5, 2021. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With Mr. Dalessio and Mrs. Pschirrer in favor, the motion passed.

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Non-Public Session Selectboard Minutes of August 5, 2021 and that they remain sealed. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio voting in favor, the motion passed.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the reports from the North Walpole Village Commission’s Meetings of July 6, 2021, July 13, 2021, July 20, 2021, and July 27, 2021.

PROPERTY TAX REFUND:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve a property tax refund for Map and Lot #003-056-000 in the amount of $17.59. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio voting in favor, the motion passed.

WATER/SEWER ABATEMENT:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve a water/sewer abatement for Map and Lot #020-040-000 due to a malfunctioning meter. The amount of the abatement is $8,467.00. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio voting in favor, the motion was approved.

Mr. Janius Spivey joins the meeting at 6:20 p.m.

BUILDING PERMIT:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve Building Permit 2020-31 RENEWAL for Map and Lot #015-017-000 for a 24‘by 28‘two-car garage with mudroom.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio voting in favor, the motion was approved. Mr. Dalessio disclosed that he is an abutter to this property.

OLD BUSINESS:

The Cemetery Deeds for Lots D577, D578, D579 need only be signed; they were approved last week.

Purchase Order:  Mr. Dalessio moved to approve the purchase order to Dennis Fabis for $7,450 for renovations in the Town Clerk-Tax Collector’s office, to be completed by November 1. Mrs. Pschirrer seconded. With Mrs. Pschirrer and Mr. Dalessio, voting in favor, the purchase order was approved.

Ms. Mayberry joins the meeting at 6:25 PM.

Road Update:  Mr. Dalessio said the town is repairing what they can every day. The preliminary assessment was completed last Friday, and he will forward that information to Selectboard members.

Mr. Dalessio said that the state has not declared a State of Emergency; therefore, landowners with property damage should apply for an emergency authorization through NH DES before doing any work in wetlands, along streams, brooks, etc. Mr. Dalessio does not recommend taking on projects without the authorization because it could lead to problems downstream.

The Elm Street project will most likely be done in early October.  The material chosen for the base of the road was in a gravel pit and was taken by NH DOT, leaving them without any material. Mr. Dalessio said they are now looking for another supplier.

Emergency Expenditures re: RSA 32:11:  Ms. Mayberry explained that if you believe you are going to expend funds for damages for which you did not budget, you need to agree to appropriate your own unexpended fund balance to cover your expenses. Mr. Dalessio said when Mr. Kreissle comes back, he is going to ask what the impact would be if they were to take $500,000 from the unassigned fund balance. There is a process to go through to do this, but Mr. Dalessio is concerned about cash flow. Ms. Mayberry stated that when he gets back, they can start that process.

Mr. Janius Spivey leaves the meeting at 6:35 PM.

E.C. Warmington Visit: The Executive Councilor will be in Walpole tomorrow at 3 p.m. to visit local businesses and to have a Meet and Greet in Town Hall after the visits.

Pending Further Action:  Mrs. Pschirrer said that if they want to do anything with Complete Streets and Sidewalks, that grant is due September 24. She asked Ms. Mayberry if she had spoken with JB Mack about whether he would consider it. According to Ms. Mayberry, Mr. Mack said she should take the information and develop a formalized plan for the sidewalks they want to do. Mrs. Pschirrer said she would come up with a list of sidewalks they want to work on. Ms. Mayberry reminded her about the sidewalk map she had sent Mrs. Pschirrer. Ms. Mayberry offered to help Mrs. Pschirrer if she needs it.

NEW BUSINESS:

Recreation Revolving Fund Request: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the request to rent two movies for outside movie nights sponsored by the Recreation Committee. Seconded by Mr. Dalessio. With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio, and Ms. Mayberry voting in favor, the motion passed.

Harassment Awareness Training:  Last year, due to Covid, this training was online for supervisors only.  It was decided by the Selectboard that this year, all employees will do the training online. Mrs. Downing said it is usually offered in November. She will give employees a completion date. Mrs. Pschirrer asked for a certificate of completion, and Ms. Mayberry asked that Mrs. Downing make sure there is an access plan for all employees. Managers will need to ensure that all employees have the ability to take the training, whether they have personal computers or not.

Appreciation Meal:  The Selectboard agreed that there should be an Appreciation Meal for employees.  It could be a hot lunch in the Town Hall because people can socially distance.  Mrs. Downing said it is usually in the Fall on a day of the week when everyone is working. She will talk to local caterers and proceed with the plans.

ADJOURNMENT:  The Selectboard paused the regular meeting and went into non-public session at 6:49 PM. The non-public session ended, and the meeting was adjourned at 7:34 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jean Kobeski for Regina Borden

Neighbors Needing Help

I’m sure you have heard that Maureen and Roland Caskin lost their basement in a recent storm. They have been staying with Jody and Paul. The house has $60,000 in damages. Every door that Jody has pursued for assistance has been closed on them. They are a proud family and were initially opposed to a go fund me, but at this point they have no other options. Would you be willing to share this Go Fund Me on the Walpolean?  

https://gofund.me/e5122ab4

Zoning Board Meeting Agenda – 8/18/21

Meeting at Town Hall

7 pm

Roll Call: Appointment of alternates if needed.

Minutes: Review minutes of July meeting. Also, nonpublic minutes. Should there be a vote on sealing the nonpublic minutes?

New Business:

Signage: Doug and Laura Palmer: 308 Main Street, Smart Power Sports retail and storage in former RN Johnson building. Sign on south side of building. Distance from edge of traveled road. Will probably need a variance and will be at the meeting to ask for a public hearing in September.

Business in former Smart Power Sports: Len-Tex proposal for a Design and Digital Print facility at 4 Ames Plaza. Also, sales of commercial wallcovering printing.

Old Business:

Continue discussion on short-term rental. Any update on Conway decision?

Report on how meeting went with the PB to submit two ordinances for a public hearing in September and then placed on the warrant next March.

 Definitions: Article XVll add to ordinance by voice vote.

Next meeting September 15, 2021.

Planning Board Meeting Minutes – 8/10/21

Roll Call: Present: Board members Chair Jeff Miller, Vice-Chair Dennis Marcom, Joanna Andros, Bill Carmody, Select Board Representative Steve Dalessio, Alternate Trevor MacLachlan. Clerk Jason Perron and board member Jeff Harrington were absent so alternate Trevor MacLachlan was asked to fill in and he agreed. Five members make up a quorum.

Recording: Secretary Marilou Blaine. This meeting is being recorded. These minutes are unapproved and will be reviewed at the September 2021 meeting for corrections, additions and/or omissions.

Call for meeting to come to order: Mr. Miller called the meeting to order at 7 pm.

Minutes: Mr. Marcom made a motion to accept the minutes as written. Ms. Andros seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Site Plan. Hearing continued from July meeting. Installation of 1 mega watt solar array on 6 acres, Tax Map 12, Lot 56, Commercial District. Ned Raynolds and Steve Dzubak of Revision Energy.  Revision Energy vice-president Dan Weeks was also at the meeting. Applicant NGP Management LLC, North Reading MA. Jim Clifford.

Old Business:

Site Plan. Hearing continued from July meeting. Installation of 1 mega watt solar array on 6 acres, Tax Map 12, Lot 56, Commercial District. Ned Raynolds and Steve Dzubak of Revision Energy.  Also present was Dan Weeks, vice-president of Revision Energy. Applicant NGP Management LLC, North Reading MA. Jim Clifford.

Jim Clifford said in the last couple of month a couple of issues have come up and he’s done his best to resolve or mitigate them. For example, the landscaping around the solar array is now taller, 11 1/2  feet and the shrubbery is denser. Also, he said, someone raised the concern about the snowmobile trail going across the property. Mr. Clifford has contacted a member of the group (Hooper Hill Hoppers) and spoke with him about rerouting the snowmobile trail. This rerouted trail would enter at the same place as before but go to the north around the solar array and come out at the same place as where the group usually crossed on Route 12. Mr. Clifford said that it seemed to work well for him and he’ll continue to work with the group

Mr. Clifford continued that he has presented some ideas that will benefit the schools and has some net-metering plans that might have some benefit for the users in town. He said he thought the project has come a long way into addressing these issues. He introduced Dan Weeks, vice president of Revision Energy. Mr. Weeks, a graduate of Con Val High School, is familiar with the Monadnock Region and considers it a leader in the state when it comes to sustainability. It was his first time before the board and the people of Walpole and he hoped to address any concerns they had. The main points of his talk were about the benefits of solar energy, solar energy in New Hampshire compared to the other New England states, climate change and the effects of climate changes.

Mr. Weeks did a quick recap of the 6-acre site. He projected an overhead rendering of the array of the site showing full-screening on the Route 12 side of the project and substantial screening on the Upper Walpole side. He said that the chain-link fence, which no one seems to like, is required by the state of New Hampshire. The shrubbery used for screening will grow to 10 or 11 feet in this very visual area of the town and it will significantly hide the solar panels. This type of screen is a practice used throughout the country and the industry, with the fence inside and the shrubbery outside, the chain link fence would be barely visible. On the Upper Walpole Road the additional trees and evergreens will help to hide the fence from view.

Regarding the reflective aspect of the array, he said the panels have an anti-reflective coating making them less reflective than pavement or water. His company is building a similar array in size at the Keene Airport and the array is about 5,600 feet from the runway. The FAA said it is had zero reflective influence on pilots when landing the airplanes. Those aspects and the 30-percent green space threshold has been reached although the 30 percent greens space threshold doesn’t apply to projects like this, he said. There is 17 to 20 feet of space between the rows of panels, which is the standard. The panels are 11 1/2 feet off the ground with local grass types underneath the panels. It is maintained, not like a lawn, but just so the grass is not too high. The land absorbs water and naturally channels it to filtration basins.

Why a solar array in a commercial district? While many of our solar arrays have been on agricultural land where they are usually never seen, land in remote areas usually can’t accommodate a solar array of any size. The array does require three-phase utility service so as a practical matter more communities will be seeing solar installations in commercial districts. Regarding the snowmobile trail, there has been agreement on the rerouting of that trail. Finally regarding wildlife, while the fence does prevent humans from tampering with the equipment, the fencing is six inches off the ground so it allows small animals to go under the fencing. The intention is to disrupt the natural wildlife of the area as little as possible and it will be much like the vacant lot that is already there, Mr. Weeks said.

Looking ahead to the next decade, he projected.

            New Hampshire imports 5 billion dollars a year of fossil fuel now. That number will increase    depending on the number of sources of renewable energy.

            Temperatures are expected to rise 10 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. What will happen to our ski and maple syrup industries?

            101 Granite Staters die prematurely annually because of air pollution from the carbon pollution that comes from smoke stacks and air pollution.

            Winter is 5.8 degree higher than a decade ago.

            Expect more moisture and extreme weather that will impact our roads and other infrastructure.

            The hope is to transition from fossil fuel-based energy to renewable sources. If as suggested by mid-century there is a 2 1/2 percent increase in solar energy, that would add 16,000 jobs.

`           Comparing New Hampshire with other New England states: NH has less than 1 percent of its electricity generated from solar. Vermont gets 15 percent of electricity from solar and 18 percent in Massachusetts.

The demand for non-fossil fuel electricity in New Hampshire currently comes mostly coming from biomass, which comes with its own problems, as well as some hydro and some solar. New Hampshire was next to last in terms of employment in solar jobs and last in solar being installed.

Proposed Dunkin project benefit to the region: Ten to 20 percent of energy generated will be use on site with the remaining net-metered under NH rules. A number of nearby sites – Shaw’s, Tractor Supply, etc. – will be powered by the solar array, meaning lower electricity costs. Under the principles of energy science the electricity will flow to nearby places so that exchange rate will be about half, Weeks said. While the energy created at the site might not go directly to your home or business in Walpole, it will affect the bottom line. The benefit of solar in New Hampshire is that it does provide a subsidy to the grid generally by Liberty Utilities’ buying power under the current structure to other power consumers, but not incur the transmission fee. Most of time our electricity is coming from a considerable distance and the public is paying for those transmission costs. By adopting a more local distribution, you reduce the transmission cost. Currently our rate is roughly a $20 million region wide transmission fee. In order to go from fossil to solar fuel by mid-century it will require 2.5 percent more land. More solar installations would add 16,000 jobs.

The buyers propose to negotiate and reach out to the town and Fall Mountain School District to discuss and explore meaningful ways that will be mutually beneficial that can provide benefits to the town. Various pilot agreements can directly address using that electricity to power town facilities or Fall Mountain school buildings. There are a variety of ways we are thinking about discussing such as net metering and other projects. A lot of this is dependent on the tax agreement, which hasn’t been determined yet, and is up to the Select Board.

Mr. Dalessio said given the size of the proposed solar array and information that’s been given to the town, he is making a motion that this site plan be referred to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for a Special Exception because it is not a permitted use in a commercial district. The motion was seconded. Mr. Miller said he realized this has been brought up at the last minute, but since this is not a permitted use, it requires a special exception. He asked if there was any further discussion. Hearing from no one, he asked for a vote. Mr. Marcom said he was sorry that this matter didn’t come up before, but if it this is industrial, he felt we should do it. He also said he was in favor of the solar project.

Mr. Dalessio repeated that when you look at the size of the project and that most of energy is going off site, it really should be under industrial use. Mr. Miller said if you look at the criteria of a special exception, it’s pretty straightforward. He thought the board is setting the right issue. The board still has time to make a decision. The impact is important. He apologized from not coming up with this first, but more information comes up when there are hearings.

The vote on the motion was approved by voice vote. No one voted to oppose the motion.

Old Business: Dunkin Site Plan: Public Hearing continued from June: Site Plan. Tax Map 12, Lot 56, Commercial District. Proposals for building 2,280 square-foot Dunkin’ drive-thru plus 3,600 square-foot retail space; plus construct 4,729 square-foot retail space. Agent is TF Moran Inc. Presenter Jason Hill. Applicant is NGP Management LLC, North Reading MA. Jim Clifford.

Two issues of concern, architecture of the building and traffic/safety, were addressed next. Jason Hill of TFMoran discussed both subjects. He displayed a graphic of Route 12 showing a yellow striped area, which was a middle lane that begins at Pinnacle Lane and ends slightly past the Upper Walpole/Rt 12 road. He also referenced one of the safety studies created that evaluated crashes at the proposed site. The document was sent to NHDOT. The report was based on the Walpole Police Department Crash Data from 2015 to 2020. It included crash data for two intersections – North Meadow Plaza and  Upper Walpole/Huntington Road. In the six-year period of data there were a total of 17 accidents at North Meadow Plaza and 12 at NH 12/Upper Walpole Road. There were 4 injuries at North Meadow Plaza and 2 injuries at NH12/Upper Walpole Road. There were no fatalities at either site. All were during the AM roadway peak (7am to 9 am).

In a letter dated July 15, 2021, the State of NH, Bureau of Highway Design reviewed the following materials relative to the proposed Dunkin and retail development at the corner of NH 12 and Upper Walpole Road and sent its memorandum to Frank Linnenbringer, who is the person in charge of District 4 NHDOT, the district in which Walpole is located. The review was of these two documents:
            Traffic Impact and Access Study (TIAS) prepared by TF Moran Inc. dated, May 6, 2021

            Intersection Crash Evaluation prepared by TF Moran Inc. dated June 21, 2021. (See paragraph above.)

The Traffic Impact and Access Study was presented to the Board by Mr. Bob Duval of TF Moran at one of the initial meetings. The Intersection Crash Evaluation, referenced above, was sent to the members of the Planning Board. Mr. Hill pointed out that their final statement or evaluation on traffic says “We concur that the crash data provided does not indicate a high crash rate or crash severity at the existing intersections. The TWLTL (Two Way Left Turn Lane) or exclusive left turn lane should improve safety at these intersections by reducing potential for rear end crashes.” That TWLTL refers to the additional lane referenced above.

Mr. Hill said that the proposed additional lane in front of the site is basically a mitigation technique. It creates a two-way left-turn lane that begins at Pinnacle Lane and continues past Upper Walpole Road south where it tapers off. This can be done with the existing highway and it can be done by restriping the roadway. DOT still has to approve the final design phase of this mitigation plan and assess construction level plans. Their approval will complete the project.

Mr. Hill continued. Minor changes to the site plan recommended by DOT were realigning the driveway so it is opposite the Diamond Pizza driveway. That means shifting it south by 20 feet. Relocation of the Upper Walpole Road access was moved a few feet north from the intersection. Both these plans were submitted in black and white updates to the Board. This project will have to go back for a technical review process with DOT.

Mr. Hill addressed the snowmobile trail and submitted a black-and-white plan showing where the trail was and where the trail will be. Now it bisects the property and crosses Route 12 at Edwards Lane. It is relocated to go around the perimeter of the solar array to the same crossing point as before. He offered to walk the trail with any of the board members. Mr. Miller said there was no problem here.

Mr. Marcom had some questions on the DOT report. On page one, Marcom referenced “the approval of the traffic date used in TIAS is still pending with Bureau of Traffic, but assuming that no significant revisions are required to the traffic data, we have the following comments:.” Mr. Marcom asked about the final review of DOT. Mr. Hill said he didn’t anticipate any changes. Before the process is started all the parameters of conducting the study are agreed to with DES. For example, scoping the area with DOT to make sure the collected information is on the right intersection. Also, that the data captures the amount of existing traffic with time and date, etc. Also, this data was adjusted for traffic flow because of Covid. The state came up with a formula for doing that.

  Marcom referenced in the DOT report the Turn Lane Warrant section and “it was noted that a southbound left-turn lane on NH 12 was warranted for Saturday volumes but based on Warrant Analysis in Appendix L, both the 2032 Build PM Peak and Saturday Peak Volumes warrant the left-turn lane. We concur that a left-turn lane, or TWLTL, is warranted and should be constructed by the applicant.”

What is the tipping point for when that is warranted? Mr. Marcom asked. Mr. Hill said usually it depends on the number of left turns based on flow of traffic. Percentage of left-turn movements are based on stacking. Considered are gaps, speed limits and factors of flow. There is logarithmic chart that all this data goes into. This new left turn will benefit traffic traveling both north and south, Hill said.

Mr. Marcom asked if you were driving north and you want to turn into Huntington Lane, what does the driver do? Mr. Hill said at that point there is an intersection and the corridor has a pocket there where a car can wait until it’s safe to turn left or right. So to get onto Huntington Lane you would turn left. There is no median there, This increases the capacity of the lane at that point.

Mr. Marcom read the Intersection Crash Evaluation again.  “We concur that crash data provided does not indicate a high crash rate or crash severity at the existing intersections. The TWLTL or exclusive left turn lane should improve safety at these intersections by reducing potential for rear end crashes.” He wanted to know what is the bar for crash rate. Mr. Hill, who mainly dealt with the site regarding water and sewer, wasn’t sure and said that would be a question for Mr. Duval, the traffic engineer. But he added that the statement was made knowing that there would be development at that site. He also referenced the Binder of the Traffic Study that was submitted to the town for more information.

Mr. Dalessio said that moving the driveway 20 feet south means it also reduces the line of sight from the crest coming from the south. Mr. Hill said but the line of site coming from the north was the preferred location for DOT. Also, changing the driveway and putting it across from Diamond Pizza’s driveway where there will be left-turns exiting from both places makes it easier to accommodate cars coming from both sides of the road and facing one another. Moving the driveway south avoids that left-turn conflict.

Ms. Andros wondered about the traffic number of cars coming to this Dunkin’ as opposed to the number of people going to the one in the gas station now. Is it going to be more people? Mr. Hill said in calculating the number of estimated trips, they considered both Dunkin’s together as if they were working together. But the square footage at the new location is much higher than at the gas station Dunkin’ so it has a higher trip generation.

Mr. Hill said the trip calculation is not based on the number of stores, it is based on the total square footage of the retail space. Mr. Dalessio asked what happens if four more high volume stores go in there. Mr Hill repeated that the number of trips is based on a typical strip mall size where there are three or four stores. The common denominator at the site is 8,700 square feet. What if a restaurant went in there? Mr. Dalessio asked. Mr. Hill said it would violate the land-use category and any change would require a new driveway permit and it would have to go back to the Planning Board and DOT. Change of land use requires an amendment to the driveway permit. It would have to be reanalyzed.

Architect Steven Born displayed a rendering of the updated look of the front facade or retail plaza. At the last meeting Mr. Born said there were comments made by the board and audience and he took the comments to heart and has incorporated them into this update. The footprint is the same and Dunkin’ still occupies the 2,280 square feet of space at the north end. The height of the peak above the Dunkin’ sign is higher and wider than at the peaks at the other retail spaces. That’s because it’s the anchor store of the group of stores, Born said. The columns are larger and more prominent. The number of stores here is dependent upon future tenants, but this drawing maximizes tenant space. There is clapboard siding and asphalt shingle roof. The roof on the Dunkin’ side of the building goes from front to back and is highlighted by a cupola. There is a change in height of the canopy that was 7 feet but now is 9 feet and the look pulls the sides in to make it bigger and steeper.

Someone asked about a street sign. Signs are under the purview of the Zoning Board of Adjustment and need to be presented to that Board.

Ms. Mansouri said that Mr. Hill said the traffic was based on 35 miles per hour. Mr. Hill said he said that traffic speed is posted at 35 miles per hour. He said he knew people often speed though this area faster than what is posted, but that fact was included in the traffic study. Ms. Mansouri said she’s driven that area many times when the cars go as much as 60 to 65 miles per hour.

Someone asked about how many stores would there be. Mr. Born said he was not able to says because he didn’t know who is interested. Someone could say he wanted to use the entire space. Or maybe someone is interested in a smaller space say 1,200 or 1,600 square feet.

Someone else referenced the topographical view of the entire site from an overhead perspective. That person asked where would the parking spaces be and how many parking space would there be. Mr. Hill said that there is parking between the building and Route 12.  Mr. Hill said parking spaces are also determined on the square footage of the retail space. The Town of Walpole doesn’t specify but the rule is typically 250 feet of retail space for one parked car. So if one divided 250 into 8,700 square feet , that would equate to 40-plus spaces. Mr. Hill added that there is a dedicated lane for the drive-thru as well as a passing lane both out to Route 12 and Upper Walpole Road. Regarding the Dunkin’ lane there are 13 spaces with room for an extra 2 or 3 cars, making that 15 to 16 space. There is also dedicated space for deliveries.

Mr. Miller said, “We’ve had a couple of months with a lot of information and a lot of input. It’s time to move forward with a decision. I’m coming at this that it is commercial land and I appreciate all the time and energy put into this potential development of this area. But one of the first questions everyone has to ask themselves is about safety. Having lived in town my whole life, I know that this area is not the safest and you have to be very careful and going through this left lane addition will only exacerbate a bad problem. I couldn’t get my head wrapped around that this is going to be a safe commercial enterprise on Route 12. I think it’s going to have a detrimental impact to the safety of Walpole – residents getting their groceries. When we first started this process, one of the first persons to speak was an abutter who has lived here more than 30-plus years and experienced her life there and I asked if I could forward her letter to the Department of Transportation and she said yes. So I forwarded it on to the NH Department of Transportation in Swanzey. He did respond and I appreciate his response but something that hit me, as you go through this process, is that the state can obviously give approval after certain conditions have been met. But NHDOT is somewhat bound by legislation to allow private cuts on Route 12. We saw this with Shaw’s and with La Valley’s, all this expansion is all approved and yet we have a tenable situation here. I just go back to my conscience. I’m probably going to live here hopefully for the rest of my life. And I want to be clear that this thing won’t happen, it is a bad situation and it’s going to get worse.  And I don’t want to have be responsible with it going forward. We went along with the state process but it goes against the safety of the local people. So I’m really apprehensive about moving forward.”

Mr. Dalessio said that for me, the high priority for the Planning Board is safety. I think you’ve done a lot work with New Hampshire DOT and I think that the reality is that I don’t think it’s going to be safe. I think there’s a better way to lay out that site to make it better. And I hope that you think about that.”

Mr. Marcom said “I agree with Mr. Miller and Mr. Dalessio that safety is the highest priority, but the decision on the safety of this project is properly within the purview of DOT.” He liked the architectural update. It is a much better plan, he said. He was happier with the steeper roof pitch, which is more traditional, the clapboard, the cupola and roof line. “I think it’s a significant improvement.  I would vote and am making a motion in favor of this project on condition that the revisions to the road get approval from the Department of Transportation.” Mr. MacLachlan seconded the motion.

Ms. Andros asked about what was the condition from DOT. Mr Marcom read from Mr. Butler’s letter.

“Access is proposed via two full access driveways: one located on NH 12/123 and one located on Upper Walpole Road. Review and approval of the traffic data using the TIAS is still pending with Bureau of Traffic, but assuming that no significant revisions are required to the traffic data, we have the following comments.” That means, Marcom said, that they are looking at the micro details of the traffic study and it’s pending approval of that.

Mr. Miller said that’s the type of condition that happens all the time. 

Ms. Andros asked what happens then. Mr. Miller said, “We notify them they have conditional approval.”

Mr. Miller called for a vote. Board members raised their hands. Nays were Miller, Dalessio, Andros. Yeas were Marcom, Carmody, MacLachlan. Three to three. Mr. Miller said we have a dilemma. The Board needs a positive motion to move forward. Mr. Miller said he was going on to new business.

Michael Atkins, an attorney from Peterborough, was at the meeting representing NGP Management and its solar application for this site plan. The lawyer asked Mr. Dalessio on what information did you base your change of mind about this.

Mr. Dalessio it was related to a question about a petition on the warrant that the Board was asking its their attorney. It regarded the size of the array and the fact that 85 percent of the energy is being sent back to the grid.

Did you get counsel on this? Mr. Atkins asked. It was referred to by counsel, Mr. Dalessio said. Mr. Atkins asked who was the town’s counsel and Mr. Miller replied Jeremy Hockensmith.

Mr. Miller said he appreciated everyone’s input. The Board had enough information and the information was very well presented tonight and we await the decision of the Zoning Board.

New Business:

ZBA Board members request public hearing to add two sign ordinances to Walpole Ordinances.

Ms. Jan Leclerc, Chair of the Walpole Zoning Board, said that Zoning Board has prepared two amendments to the zoning ordinance. Both regard signs. She would like to have a public hearing next month so the Board can present them to the town next March. She said that last year the Zoning Board had a brief discussion with the Planning Board about feather fabric sign in the commercial district. They were asked to get a Select Board opinion and the Select Board thought they should be addressed specifically in an ordinance. So one ordinance has to do with feather flags. The other is a definition of temporary signs, which at this time aren’t specified in the ordinance. So, Ms. Leclerc said, technically they are not allowed.

Here is what would be presented. Signage for proposed article on 2022 warrant.

Current ordinance

 Article IV, D 3.  Limitations

      No sign of any type shall be designed or be placed in such a position as to create a hazardous condition by way of 1) obscuring a clear view of, or interfering with, vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or 2) similarity with official street signs or signals. All signs permitted under this section shall be constructed of durable materials, affixed to a         building or the ground, and shall be maintained in good condition and repair at all times. 

      Oscillating, rotating, flashing, neon or other tubular gas signs are not permitted except  when  used for public safety purposes by a governmental entity.

Two amendments to the sign ordinance needing approval from Planning Board.

 No 1 replaces a paragraph in an already approved ordinance and No. 2 is a new ordinance.

No. 1   Article lV

            D. Signs.

            3. Limitations

            Replace final paragraph with the following.

            Inflatable signs; wind-activated signs like feather flags; oscillating, rotating, flashing, neon or other tubular gas signs; or signs with blinking, changing or moving illumination are not permitted. These prohibitions do not apply to signs used for safety purposes by a government entity.

No. 2   This will be added to the ordinance and will be Article No. IV General Provisions, D. Signs,  No. 9, and ordinance Special Exceptions will move to No. 10.

            Temporary Signs

            A temporary sign is any sign not permanently attached to the ground, a wall or a building that is intended to be displayed for a short to limited amount of time.

            Examples of temporary signs include announcement signs; real estate signs; community or civic event signs; political campaign signs pursuant to RSA 66d4; garage or yard signs or signs for other special events that occur for a limited period of time.

            All temporary signs shall be removed within ten (10) days following the event or activity being promoted.

Mr. Dalessio made a motion to hold a public hearing next month on amendments to the sign ordinance. Ms. Andros seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Mr. Miller asked that there also be a public hearing for the three sections of the Master Plan that have been updated. The sections are Implementation Plan, Population and Housing and Transportation. He will call Senior Planner Lisa Murphy at Southwest Regional Planning Commission, who supervised the update, to make sure she could make the hearing. Mr. Marcom made a motion to have hearing to approve three updated sections to the Master Plan. Ms. Andros seconded the motion and the motion carried.

 Mr. Marcom made a motion to adjourn. Ms. Andros seconded the motion and the motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Marilou Blaine

Posted: Inside the Town Offices, on the bulletin board outside the Post Office and on the website:

www.walpolenh.us

Copies: WPB, ZBA, Town Offices, The Walpolean

Next meeting Tuesday, September 14, 2021

                                                                                    10.

Clarion Closing Date – 8/22/21

I have started work on the September issue of THE WALPOLE CLARION, and the deadline for the issue is Sunday, August 22, but a week away. You will not want to miss this issue. I am sharing Hubbard Farms history on their 100th anniversary, and celebrating the completion of ten years of getting the CLARION into your hands each month.

School is about to start. I will update you on the SOLAR and DUNKIN saga, but with COVID cases rebounding it may be questionable what else may spring back to life to report on. But if you have something to share and tell the community about please get your submissions in about those activities. Again, submissions from North Walpole and Drewsville are especially welcomed.

If you have any questions, or wish to advertise, please contact me. Thank you, stay safe, yours, RAY BOAS, Publisher

Selectboard Meeting Minutes – 8/5/21

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

CALL TO ORDER:  Ms. Mayberry, Chair of the Walpole Selectboard, called this meeting to order at 6:30 PM in the Walpole Town Hall.  This meeting was being recorded.  Attending this meeting was Mrs. Sarah Downing, Manager of Administration.  Members of the public present were Joy Dannenberg, Grace Chandler, Marina and Joseph Coneeny, Alan Duprey, Barb and Jody Spivey, Pam and Jim Baucom, Judy Epstein, Kevin Healy, Christopher Sink, Becky Brown, Cindy Stewart, Jon MacClaren, Richard and Jane Malmberg, Ben and Vanessa Berman.

JULY 29, 2021 STORM WATER DAMAGE:  At the beginning of the update, Mr. Dalessio thanked the Walpole Highway Dept, Fire & EMS, a private contractor and local citizens who helped the Town make quick repairs. In less than 36 hours, damaged roads were made passable. Cold River Road was badly damaged and is now re-opened. Blackjack Crossing had two washouts. One home was evacuated due to foundation damage. They are addressing each report of damage as they come in. Emergency access is a top priority. Tomorrow a preliminary estimate is due to the State to see if the Town will have access to emergency funds. The estimated damage is in excess of 2 million dollars which includes large projects. Next week the State will be visiting the Town to see the problem areas.  There are daily activities such as stabilizing roadways and making driveways passable. Short terms goals include fixing the Cold River Road, the Mill Road embankment, and a culvert structure at Old Keene and Wentworth Roads. A long-term project is the School Street drainage system. Mr. Dalessio feels that professional engineering is required. A challenge is the availability of materials. They are using networking to find supplies. A stretch of good weather is needed to get the work done. Due to rainy weather, the paving of Elm Street has been delayed until September. Funding may be a challenge and they are looking at grants. Three and a half dump trucks of debris deposited in the School Street area due to the storm.

Christopher Sink, 16 Union St.: The closure of School Street wasn’t mentioned and asked if the drainage issues were included in funding. Mr. Dalessio stated yes that cost was included. Mr. Sink stated they have 8,000 pounds of debris at their curb.

Ms. Mayberry stated they were going to allow everyone who wished to speak with a 3-minute time limit. Second questions would be allowed after that.

Judy Epstein, 46 School Street: She was not in Walpole when the storm happened. Ms. Epstein felt it was a 4 year, not a 50 to 100 year storm as stated earlier. Ms. Epstein referenced the June 22, 2017 minutes. The Selectboard had been talking with an engineer to create a plan. A wetland permit was needed. Ms. Epstein asked if the permit was applied for? There was no damage to her home but a lot of debris in her yard. Ms. Epstein is not going to clean it up by herself. Mr. Dalessio said they did not apply for a wetlands’ permit and he did not know why. An engineer did review the area in 2017. The Town is meeting with the engineer again. The road agent thought he had solved the problem. On the night of the storm, Mr. Dalessio texted the road agent who had been on School Street twenty minutes before the flooding began. The culvert had been working fine. They are going to be working aggressively to get this solved. Peggy Pschirrer stated the DES did visit to walk Butternut Brook. DES told Mrs. Pschirrer we did not have enough damage for a permit or correction. Nine years earlier, some remediation had occurred with webbing being applied to stabilize the stream banks. Mrs. Pschirrer stated that we need to be conscious of problems that are emerging such as Rt. 12 that were not originally obvious. Mr. Dalessio announced that Rt. 12 is closed, north of Walpole, due to underlying issues. Mr. Dalessio stated with the School Street area, water is coming down Prospect Hill, bringing down debris which then blocks up the catch basin. That is the problem that needs to be solved.

Joe Coneeny, 11 Main Street: Mr. Coneeny stated that the damage in not just on School Street. He agreed the issue is the same each time with the drain being blocked. When unblocked, it shoots debris over his yard. The situation is frustrating since it has happened on more than one occasion. Mr. Dalessio used School Street as a generic term. He knows it includes properties downhill from the culvert. Mr. Coneeny asked if private property damage was included in the 2 million dollars estimate of repair costs. Mr. Dalessio stated they included these costs, as much as possible, into the figure.

Jim Baucom, 40 School Street: Thanks was given by Mr. Baucom to the Highway Department. They always show up and try to do as much as they can. Mr. Baucom did see Mike Rau, the Road Agent, out on School Street right before the road became inundated. Although School Street is not the biggest problem, it is a consistent and wide-spread problem involving several streets. This has been a long-term goal that needs to move up on the agenda due to the amount of property damage. In the past they regraded their yard. They had to rip up the carpets in their basement this past weekend. Mr. Dalessio said they will be working with an engineer this year but that it would be next year, due to timing, that actual work would occur.

Pam Baucom, 40 School Street: Thanks was given by Mrs. Baucom to the Selectboard for their service. She and her husband, along with help from friends, spent the last week cleaning their yard. That is a lot of unpaid manpower. Mrs. Baucom agreed it’s no one’s fault but they cannot keep picking up their yard. Mrs. Pschirrer said that figuring this out will be a priority. The Selectboard needs to figure out the funding for the repairs. She expects more severe storms to occur due to global warming. Mr. Dalessio stated that engineering firms are factoring climate changes into their planning.

Becky Brown, 23 South Street: Ms. Brown handed out copies of pictures of the damage on her property to the Selectboard. The culvert under Ford Avenue washed out on their side. The Duprey side of the brook was fixed years ago. No bank repairs happened on their side of the brook and they keep losing banking. They had a lot of water in their basement. They have to throw-out their carpets and water damaged books. Ms. Brown explained the pictures. There have been changes with Mr. Shamash’s land bordering the brook that effect the water flow too. Mrs. Pschirrer pointed out that the stream is becoming very close to Ms. Brown’s shed.

Alan Duprey, 10 Ford Avenue: Mr. Duprey stated all the problems with the culvert down at Ford Avenue come from upstream where the brook reaches over the banks. The water and the bank are level right now with no containment. Mr. Dalessio felt that the brook needs to be reviewed by someone who understands storm water management.

Joy Dannenberg, 34 Ford Avenue: Ms. Dannenberg lives at the other end of Ford Ave. There is a culvert that runs under the road from Ms. Chandler’s boundary with her neighbor. The stormwater comes down from Old Keene Road, between the two houses on the other side of the street, along with another neighbor’s drain into the culvert. Two years ago, she put in a larger pipe. This is the third time she’s had landscape damage. She cannot keep fixing the damage. The pipe gets full of debris and overflows.

Marina Coneeny, 11 Main Street: There are a lot of things property owners have already done to improve the drainage. Property owners have the experience of seeing what is happening when it floods, which an engineer would not experience. They have replaced pipes with new, larger pipes. The ditch on the north side of the property has been dug out. She asked that property owners be included in the engineering assessment discussions. They have more debris this time due to the failure of one culvert. Mr. Dalessio understands that each property owner wishes to protect their property. We must accept that what is happening on one end could affect what is happening on the other end. Ms. Dannenberg agreed since water from her neighbors’ property flows through to her yard.

Jon MacClaren, 16 Union Street: Mr. MacClaren wanted people to be aware that Union Street has eroded underneath the pavement in several spots. Those parking for Hastings House events could have cars collapsing into the road edge. There is a big hole down by the Unitarian Church per Mr. Sink.  It was agreed that there are cones near the area.

Kevin Healy, 43 School Street: Mr. Healy spoke with his driveway engineer who had recommendations. Deceleration areas were suggested, to slow the water. Mr. Healy was emailing his contact at Dufrense-Henry to Mr. Dalessio. Mr. Dalessio is open to new contacts to look at the area. We must keep debris out of the culverts.

Jody Spivey, 171 Whipple Hill Road: Mr. Spivey lives on a class VI road. He wants to make sure the damage on their road is not overlooked. There were two areas compromised. Pictures were sent to the Selectboard Office. Some of the damage is unseen.

Jim Baucom, 40 School Street: There are piles of debris on Union Street. Rain is predicted on Sunday night which may wash into the road. Mr. Dalessio texted the road agent to see if they can pick up the debris piles before the next rainstorm.

Ms. Mayberry said there is Emergency Watershed Protection Plan information that can be shared. Those interested are to write their email address on the sign-in sheet to receive the information document. The Selectboard thanked everyone for attending the meeting to voice their concerns.

LIBRARY and MUNICIPAL MASK POLICY: Mr. Ben Berman explained he was at the meeting because his seven-year old daughter is required to wear a mask at the Library. He wanted to offer a different point of view. Mr. Berman referenced an article from Parenting Science.com entitled, “Facial Expressions for Kids and Helping Kids Read Emotions.’ Mr. Berman covered highlights from the article. He also shared a copy of the article with the Selectboard. Mr. Berman has three children and feels there’s a lack of focus of what COVID-19 is doing to children and their learning. His daughter is homeschooled and a very good reader. Mr. Berman feels wearing a mask is a deterrent to his daughter’s education. He asked if the Town would change the rules. Ms. Mayberry related that the Town is allowed to make its own mask rules by the Governor and that most places have similar mask signage. She had notice that many vaccinated people are returning to wearing masks due to the Delta variant. The policies and procedures are for the majority of the people and their comfort level with masks. Masks are not to be meant to be restrictive but to curb the spread of the virus. Mr. Berman was concerned about the effect of the mask policy on his children’s development and general wellness. Mrs. Pschirrer commented she had a long discussion with Mr. Berman earlier this week. Decisions made effect the entire Town. Her scientific readings support children are spreading the virus which is why they must wear masks in the library. Mr. Berman replied that he has been reading different scientific articles with other opinions. Ms. Mayberry stated that earlier in the pandemic, masks are used to reduce the stress on the healthcare system so that it would not become overwhelmed. The Selectboard has to think of the larger population and the effect on the healthcare system. Mr. Berman stated our local healthcare system was not overwhelmed. Ms. Mayberry responded this was due to preventative steps that were taken. Mr. Berman stated he has natural immunity and things are not as they were. Ms. Mayberry said there have been growing COVID cases the in last few weeks. Mrs. Pschirrer stated there were two new cases in Walpole this week. Mr. Berman understands there is a risk to becoming sick and there are risks when active in society. The Selectboard is not willing to take that risk for the Town. Ms. Mayberry said that the Selectboard could vote on the request. Mrs. Pschirrer stated that the Board had discussed masks at the prior meeting due to increased cases and concerns with public meetings. Mr. Dalessio stated he is not a parent and therefore doesn’t know how he would respond. He felt that Mr. Berman presented his information very well. Mr. Dalessio feels the issue is about different parenting styles. However, the Selectboard must think of the greater good of the community. Mr. Berman stated other parents have similar concerns. Mr. Dalessio would like to hear from these parents. 

Jane Malmberg, the Library Director, stated as a parent she shares the concern with children being isolated due to COVID-19. She has discussed the issue with the Library’s Board of Trustees. Other visitors to the library could be susceptible to COVID. The library must be a safe space for the public. The library offers outside programming where masks are not needed. Under RSA 41:11-a, the Library Trustees can determine Library policy.

ACCOUNTS PAYABLE:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Accounts Payable Check Register in the total amount of $33,486.00 for checks issued August 6, 2021.  This includes a payment in the amount of $5,457.03 to Granite State Minerals for Highway salt.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

PAYROLL:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Payroll Check Register for the week ending July 31, 2021, in the amount of $36,249.25 for checks dated August 6, 2021, and for the 941 Payroll Tax Transfer in the amount of $6,603.73.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

SELECTBOARD MEETING MINUTES:

SELECTBOARD MINUTES – July 29, 2021:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of July 22, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION #1 MINTUES – July 29, 2021: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of July 22, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor the Minutes were approved.

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION #2 MINTUES – July 29, 2021: Mrs. Pschirrer moved to accept the Minutes of the Selectboard meeting of July 22, 2021, as submitted.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor the Minutes were approved.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the following Committee reports:• Conservation Commission Meeting – August 2, 2021

BUILDING PERMIT:

Permit #2021-32, MAP and LOT #012-042000:  Mr. Dalessiomoved to grant Building Permit No. 2021-32 for the owner(s) of Map and Lot #012-042-000 to add a “48’ x 47’ breezeway and addition to home”.  Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer.  With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

OLD BUSINESS:

Brownfields Cleanup of Former Central Plating Site Update:  Mrs. Pschirrer reported that the sumps in the red building had been cleaned today. The red building will be coming down on Aug. 23rd.

Pending Further Actions:

Mill Pond Dam Inspection, Vilas Bridge, Houghton Brook Bridge, Generators, Three Phase Power for Industrial Avenue and Bensonwood, Complete Streets re: Sidewalks:  There were no updates at this meeting.

NEW BUSINESS:

Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s Exterior Office Door: The Selectboard reviewed the three quotes. Due to the lack of difference in price, the contractor that can complete the work in the earliest time frame will be awarded the job. Mr. Steve Dalessio moved to approve the purchase order for replacing the door for the TC-TC Office, not to exceed $27,000, to the contractor with the earliest starting date. Seconded by Mrs. Pschirrer. With Mr. Dalessio, Mrs. Pschirrer and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Cemetery Deed D577, D578, D579:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to approve the Cemetery Deed for the purchase of Lots D577, D578, D579.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved.

Emergency Expenditures re: RSA 32:11: Mrs. Pschirrer found there is approximately 2 million dollars in the unassigned fund balance. Jamie Dow of the NH Dept. of Revenue (DRA), who had called earlier in the week to offer advice, will be back on Monday. Mrs. Pschirrer stated that is an option to request a special hearing to use these funds for repairing stormwater damage. Mr. Dalessio stated that creating actual figures will take time. Ms. Mayberry requested that the topic be placed under Old Business for the next Selectboard meeting.

Emergency Requests for Driveway Repairs: Ms. Mayberry felt that the Town should have a defined process for deciding when an emergency repair is needed for a driveway. There was a consensus that the Fire Chief and Road Agent make a joint decision. It is a collaborative judgement between the two parties.

Request for Information on Town Electricity Load: The Manager of Finance will gather the Town’s fourth quarter of 2020 electricity bills and send to the right-to-know requestor.

Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWPP): A copy of the information form is to be sent to Ms. Jeanette Clark of Cold River Road. Her yard flooded during the storm.

DRA Monitoring Report: The Selectboard acknowledged receipt of the report from a recent survey of audited properties that were re-evaluated by Avitar Associates. It was a positive report.

Home with Stormwater Damage: A letter to the Selectboard regarding a home with foundation damage on Colonial Drive arrived late in the day. The Board wished to review the history of this property. This item will be addressed at the next Selectboard Meeting.

RECESS SELECTBOARD MEETING:  Mrs. Pschirrer moved to recess this Selectboard meeting.  The Selectboard will enter into a meeting as the Hooper Trustees.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 8:38 PM.  

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 8:39 PM.  

NON-PUBLIC SELECTBOARD SESSION:

Mrs. Pschirrer moved to enter into a Non-Public Selectboard Session pursuant to RSA 91-A:3 II to discuss (a) Employees, (c) Reputations, (e) Legal Matters.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the motion was approved at 8:39 PM.

The regular Selectboard meeting resumed at 8:54 PM.

ADJOURNMENT:

Mrs.  Pschirrer moved to adjourn this Selectboard meeting.  Seconded by Mr. Dalessio.  Ms. Mayberry asked if there was any discussion.  There was none.  With Mrs. Pschirrer, Mr. Dalessio and Ms. Mayberry in favor, the meeting adjourned at 8:55 PM.  

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Downing, Recording Secretary Pro Tempore