July 11, 2019 (APPROVED)
Select Board: Wade Johnson, Sr., Deborah Jurist and Aaron Smith; Treasurer: Lisa Hart, Asst. Treasurer: Carrie Peters, Highway: Harold Hatch, SB Secretary: Debra Johnson, Health Officer/Zoning Administrator: Dan Webster, IT: Gary Lamberton; visitors: Janet Locke, James Langlois, Brent Abare, Nortrax: Tim Pudvar
The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m.
Highway–The Select Board agreed to the purchase an Apple iPad for the Highway Department to use with ANR mapping.
Harold needs to order a 6-foot culvert for the Heath Brook Project which will cost approximately
$10,000. Harold will come to the next SB meeting with some bids.
Harold would like to hire someone with his temporary money to help work on the ditches and grading with the excavator. He will ask Jim Downing for 30 hours next week.
Harold made a recommendation to buy the John Deere excavator that is being rented now that is from Nortrax. Tim Pudvar came to the SB meeting to answer any questions that the SB has. There were a few questions asked. The cost is $87,000 minus the $3500 for the first month of rent. The board voted to approve the purchase for the John Deere excavator from Nortrax at $83,500. Tim Pudvar said there will be a 5-year 2500-hour power train hydraulic warranty.
Two roadside mowing bids were received. Rainbow Ridge (Limlaw) for $5500 and Summit Contracting & Property from Lyndonville for $6,300. The board voted to accept the bid from Rainbow Ridge Farm (Limlaw) for $5,500 with the stipulation that Harold will call them to see if the mowing can be done by Aug. 15. There was some discussion before the motion passed.
One winter sand bid was received from Chief Crushing & Excavation from South Ryegate, VT for $5.75 a yard. The board voted to accept the bid for winter sand from Chief Crushing & Excavation for $5.75 a yard for 2,000 yards.
Class 4 Roads – Wade met with Harry Chandler and told him the issues about the 2 culverts that need to be put in between the two driveways that the town paid for years ago. Harry was okay with the town putting these two culverts in. Wade would like to see the town put the 2 culverts in when they have time.
Deborah handed out documents with notes on each of the Class 4 Roads.
There was discussion on a possibility of changing some of the Class 4 roads into trails. If the road is turned into a trail, then the ANR restrictions don’t apply.
Gary had a concern on the care of the Class 4 roads that the snowmobile trails use.
Gary Lamberton made a suggestion to have an informational meeting to discuss the Class 4 roads. This discussion will continue at the next Select Board meeting.
Treasurer–Lisa handed out the budgets at 50% to the Select Board and each departments mailbox. Lisa also handed out the balance sheet for half of the year.
An email was received from Patrick Shattuck on the library.
The internet has been changed over to Charter in the library. Since the building was prewired for cable, Gary needs to install a special switch one for staff and one for the public. There is also some wire molding (3-4 hours) that needs to be done. Charter has installed a modem.
Gary is still working on the computer for Linda’s office. Gary believes there is trouble with the wiring since he has tried a couple of computers and they wouldn’t work so he will be rewiring from the downstairs into the office.
Listers–Deborah mentioned that all the buildings with Rural Edge dropped dramatically in their reappraisals. The reappraisal for the Rural Edge buildings is set by federal standards and not by the town. Deborah talked with Ted at the grievance for the reappraisals. Public Housing Buildings managed by Private Non-Profits, like Rural Edge, are assessed on an “income” basis, which is different from commercial buildings, public buildings, and privately-owned buildings. It is mandated by law. The value of the real estate is measured against the expenses of maintaining and running the property. The assessed value is essentially the appraised value minus the cost of running that building. The Appraisal Company is responsible to evaluate this information and make the call as to the veracity of the reported expenses.
We are looking into what recourse, if any, the town has.
Fire/FAST–Wade said the Dry Hydrant is done and can pump over 1000 gallons per minute. Wade will be working on the paperwork to get the money from the grant.
Zoning–Dan said there is a property in Groton that was purchased in 2009 that has a building with addition that has no permits and not listed in the town. The listers have the dimensions and pictures that Dan gave them so the house is listed now.
Dan said he has had 10 permits this year with 1 finished and the other 9 have not been started.
Dan talked about Act 48 that was passed on July 1 which is requiring rental inspections be
mandatory starting in July 2020.
Lisa asked Dan about the speed signs. Dan answered that they are on their way to Groton. The battery charger and battery have been received. There is a one-year warranty on the speed signs.
Constable–The law enforcement policies will be discussed at the next Select Board meeting.
Library–The Select Board met with Gavin Reid, the town lawyer, about the options with accepting the library building. The decision was for Gavin to write a letter to Rural Edge asking them some questions. Alissa Smith stated at the meeting with Gavin that the library wants to have a library and it doesn’t matter if the town owns it or not.
Maintenance–Deborah said the swings at the park need to be replaced, and the band stand needs painting. Aaron will look into some new swings. A few people were mentioned that could do the painting job.
Cemetery–There was discussion on the CDs that the cemetery has.
Open to Public & Other Business–Carrie said that Coventry Log Homes is donating two free dug outs to the Town of Groton. These will be put in at the Puffer Ball Field. The town needs to pick them up. Coventry would like them to be put on a cement slab. Frank Page will do the two cement slabs 6’ x 16’ for $1,550.
Recreation Dept (from meal)-$1175 Modern Woodman donation - $150 Upper Valley Grill donation - $225 Total - $1550
The board voted to accept the donation of 2 dug outs from Coventry Log Homes for the Puffer
Ball Field, Aaron seconded, motion passed.
Brent Abare said that he very pleased with the first grievance with the reappraisal. Brent learned how property is accessed. Brent made a compliment that at the grievance, property owners were treated with dignity.
There might be a need to be an article at town meeting this next year whether or not the town is a dry town for spirits or not.
Sign Orders–Orders were signed by the SB.
The board voted to adjourn at 9:28 p.m.
July 10, 2019 (APPROVED)
Members present: John Adams, Fred Kidder II, Tom Steketee; others present: Esther Dobbins-Marsh, Jason Bachus, Terry Straight, Cicely Richardson, John Berryman, Nancy Murphy, Faith Knapp, Kevin Sawyer, Ted Nutter, Mark Marsh, Carol Boynton, Sue Kling, Deb Hadlock
The meeting was called to order at 5:33 p.m.
Reports–Fire Department: Chief Straight handed his June report to the Selectboard for review. There were 6 calls in June, 3 medical and 3 fire. YTD there have been 63 calls vs 64 thru June 2018. Straight reported Rescue #4 has developed a crack on the body that needs to be repaired. Four years ago it cost approximately $4,000 to repair-he’s working on estimates for this repair. The department is working on estimates to replace Engine #1 – a smaller vehicle will work better
and save the Town significant funds. Adams asked if the department will need to replace the hose that didn’t pass the pressure tests. Straight said they had extra hose that will be used for the remainder for this year. He will look at budgeting hoses for 2020. Straight asked about the keys to keep in the Knox Box. The board voted to include keys to various Town buildings and offices.
Highway Department-Kevin Sawyer, Acting Road Agent, introduced John Berryman as the seasonal, part-time administrative assistant to the highway department. Sawyer presented his report to the Selectboard. The department continues to grade roads and pull ditches. This week the crew will apply treatments to roads after grading. They replaced culverts on Baker Road and
Forrest Tallman Road and are looking at additional culverts to replace on Orfordville road, Sawyer Brook road, Indian Pond road and possibly Mud Turtle Pond road. Berryman is working on permits for several of these culvert replacements, as well as looking at salt prices for the upcoming winter season. Sawyer would like to have a logger come to the sand pit to clear out the top of the bank (in exchange for the wood). This would allow the department to dig out of the bank safely.
Sawyer reported Truck #3 has a missing dump body pin and will cost close to $4,000 to repair or replace the hinge. As this is a safety issue, he felt it should be taken care of soon. Sawyer also wants to lease an excavator for 30 days to use for the culvert replacements. Using an excavator will be more time efficient than the backhoe. Adams asked if using a contractor could be more cost effective. Berryman will check it out.
Adams requested Berryman start posting the weekly work schedule on the List Serve. Adams also reminded the department to notify abutters when adding a culvert that might impact water flow and disruptions.
Sawyer would like to box cut a section of Archertown Road, dig out and replace with hot top. At a minimum fill in bad spots with hot top as a temporary fix. He is working on estimates for these options.
Adams mentioned the bank erosion at the Heritage building. A temporary fix is needed to prevent someone from parking too close to the edge of the parking lot. Adams asked Berryman to look into options as most likely permits will be required. In the meantime, signs should be posted.
Town Clerk – Deb Hadlock reported all is going well. She receives a lot of boat registrations, as we are one of the few towns that still registers them. Hadlock reported the printer used by the Town Clerk and Tax Collector used to be maintained and supported by the State, but this is no longer the case. When the printer needs to be replaced, it will be the Town’s expense. She will look into the costs to replace. Hadlock worked with Gail Bachus, Piermont’s Assistant Town
Clerk during her training period. Gail worked with several area Town Clerk’s to get the hours needed prior to becoming certified.
Free Library – Carol Boynton & Sue Kling discussed several concerns they’d like the to discuss with the Selectboard. Winter plowing – they need to have their parking lot plowed whether the library is scheduled to be open or not, and need to have the road crew push the snow past the entrance to the handicap ramp. Boynton offered to meet with Berryman to show him what they are referring to. Little Free Library – This is a National program where residents can take and
leave books. The Free Library has one at their location, but several years ago removed the one on Cemetery Road. They’d like permission to add one one the common – possibly near the bandstand. Adams said there are restrictions for structures on the common, but the Selectboard is investigating the possibility of installing a Bulletin Board (on the west common by the Post Office) to use to post official Town notices. Possibly the Little Free Library could be added beside it.
IT Recycling – Boynton said she usually takes electronics to Systems Plus (SPCI) and asked if they would come to Orford occasionally. SPCI said they’d come to the Town – most electronics they would take at no charge, but some items such as printers, they would charge a small fee. Adams said this could be in conflict with our Recycling Contract. Boynton will discuss with Sandra Marsh and if she’s okay with this possibly SPCI could set up at the Recycling Center.
Old Business– Update of Outstanding Projects: Community Field Agreement – Adams said he’d met with Rivendell personnel to discuss the agreement. They are concerned that RISD is the only organization required to pay to use the Community Field. In addition, they maintain the field
for the full year, but only use for a period of time to cover sport seasons, and RISD doesn’t charge the Town to use its facilities for various meetings held there. After discussion, the Selectboard agreed further discussion is needed to review what has been spent on the Community field over the last several years. The board voted to extend the current contract until 12/31/19. Motion Passed. Once the contract is finalized, it will be retro-active to 9/1/19 and the Town will bill RISD for the agreed lease amount.
Indian Pond Beach Signs – Kidder reported he’d met with the Parks & Playground committee members at Indian Pond on July 8. They reviewed the signs currently in place, and agreed to order 2 new signs. The signs include language re: No Dogs Allowed”. Richardson asked if this applied to all parks and beaches in Orford. The Selectboard thought it did, but asked Dobbins-Marsh to confirm. Kidder said the P&P committee was at Indian Pond Beach for a clean-up/work session and things are looking good. Kidder reported on a dead tree near the parking lot that should come down. He thinks it’s on Bruce Schwaegler’s property, so he will check with him on having it removed.
2011 F350 Truck – Offers to Purchase – Four (4) offers to purchase were received. Jordan Sutherland for $3500, MD Motors for $5281, Matthew Scruton for $6626.99 and Benjamin Stonewalls for $10,000.The board voted to accept the offer of purchase from Benjamin Stonewalls for $10,000 for the purchase of the 2011 F-350, sander and plow.
Archertown Road Rebuild Project – the 40% preliminary plan was received from DuBois & King. They are estimating construction costs to be $514,000, with additional costs for supervision. The Town would need to request bids in the fall for work to start in the spring or summer of 2020.
FEMA Updates The board voted to accept FEMA funds in the amount of $178,698.98 with distribution of $138,750 to the Roads & Bridges Capital Reserve fund.
B. Other - Kidder reported on some equipment at the Town garage that is no longer used, such as a 4 in 1 bucket that was purchased for a case loader that the Town no longer has. It would be good to sell some of these items while there is some value left. Gray’s Auction has a consignment coming up and we can take some items to be sold. He will work with the highway department to determine specific items to go to the auction.
Dobbins-Marsh presented an estimate from Wagner Tree Care to remove the tree stump on the West Common and replace with a Sugar Maple for $1,450. The board voted to accept the estimate.
Kidder said he’s spoken with our Tree Warden, Bill Wilson, regarding some trees on the Community Field that need removing. P&P will have two removed and one replaced. There are also two trees along Route 25A that the State needs to remove – Kidder will contact the NH DOT. Because Wilson is extremely busy during the summer, Kidder will act as his go to for requests and questions.
New Business–Policy Introduction: Use of Sand Pit for Target Shooting – the Selectboard discussed and agreed a policy wasn’t necessary. The sign at the sand pit identifies the rules. When the Orford Police Chief needs to use the range he will submit a form requesting permission from the Selectboard.
Review of Actual vs Budget Expenses Report – the Selectboard will review and bring questions to the next board meeting.
Correspondence–Adams reported the State of NH approved new water regulations PFA’s
addressing drinking water and ground water quality standards. Adams asked Dobbins-Marsh to contact the Water Commission to determine if they are aware of these new standards and if they are in compliance with the new regulation.
Adams discussed the small garage near the Heritage center – it needs some work as there are broken window panes, and the back wall is in bad shape. Adams will look into finding someone to provide an estimate for repairs.
All board members received an email from the Auditors with questions on fraud. All members will respond individually.
The Selectboard received a complaint from Kevin Follensbee regarding P&V Campground. Dobbins-Marsh will forward the information to the Health Officer, Faith Knapp. The Selectboard would like a report from her at the next meeting.
Manifests, Payroll and Accounts Payable folders–The manifest, payroll and accounts payable folders were reviewed and signed where necessary.
The board voted to enter into nonpublic session under RSA 91-A:3, II(a) at 9 p.m. A roll call vote of member’s present was taken with a decision in the affirmative. The board resumed the regular meeting at 9:14 p.m. A The board voted to seal the minutes of the nonpublic session.
The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
July 11, 2019 (APPROVED)
Board Members Present: Thomas E. Unkles, Carole P. Taylor, Daniel A. Perry III, Randy L. Moore, Ryan Lockwood; Administrative Assistant: Danielle Kingsbury; others present: Camilla Thibodeau, Allan Stein/JO, Eva Lou (Penny) Hodge
Ted Unkles, chair, called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
Health Officer Updates–Camilla Thibodeau made the Selectboard aware of the new laws from the Department of Health.
Penny Hodge expressed her concern of trash being in the back of a truck near the house she is going to be moving to.
Solar Agreement: The board voted to authorize Ted Unkles to sign the solar with Norwich Technologies after he gets clarification about the contract terms.
The board voted to approve the orders dated July 12 in the amount of $66,129.48.
Other Business: Danielle Kingsbury made the Selectboard aware that the Town had a VOSHA visit and the Town had 3-4 minor findings.
The Selectboard discussed moving forward with sidewalk repairs or winter maintenance plans for the sidewalks, will discuss with the Highway Foreman at next meeting.
Executive Session- Personnel: The board determined that a personnel issue needs be discussed in executive session because the premature general public knowledge would place both the Town and the employee at substantial disadvantage.
The board voted to go into executive session at 7:05 p.m. to discuss a personnel matter as allowed by 1 V.S.A. Section 313 (a)(1). The motion included Danielle Kingsbury to attend the session.
The selectboard came out of executive session and adjourned at 7:23 p.m.