HANCOCK SELECTBOARD MINUTES

NOVEMBER 15, 2010

 

PRESENT: John Jordan-Chair, Roberta LaPlante, Carolyn Boland-Selectboard

                  Barbara Caverly-Town Administrator/Recording Secretary

 

OTHERS: Andrew Wood-Police Chief, Kurtis Grassett-DPW Director, Nahida

                  Sherman-Webmaster, Amy Markus-Library Director, Laurie Bryan-

                  Library Trustee

 

Jordan called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. It was determined not everyone had reviewed the Minutes of November 8 so action on them has been postponed.

 

LIAISON REPORTS: Conservation Commission: LaPlante reported Carol Andrews from the NH Association of Conservation Commissions was present and did some training. Warren Sponsler attended and presented some information on the Contoocook North Branch River Local Advisory Committee (CNBRLAC).

 

The Commission will be monitoring the Brown easement with Steve Walker of the Conservation Land Stewardship Program. LaPlante isn't certain whether the area where the old farm equipment is being placed is under the easement or not. That will be determined during the monitoring.

 

POLICE: Chief Wood was in to report he has placed his home on the market and is renting a place in town at the present. He is still in his part time position with Richmond while training a replacement. LaPlante asked that he leave the Richmond position by the end of 2010. Boland stated she understands the difficulties of selling homes at the moment but noted this was a condition of his hire, as it was of all applicants. Wood stated he will make arrangements to have everything taken care of. The Board assured Wood they are happy with his performance as Police Chief.

 

The Selectboard addressed a question brought to them about the Hancock cruiser being seen at the Cheshire County Court House in Keene. Wood stated it was there while a Hancock officer was present doing work on an investigation.

 

LIBRARY BUDGET: Markus and Bryan were in to review the Library budget with the Selectboard. The only portion of the Library budget that goes to the town is the payroll. Markus noted she has added in one person who will only be working a minimum number of hours to cover when she and the Children's Librarian are out because one paid staff member must be on duty at all times.

 

Some discussion ensued around the probability of the employees contributing to their health insurance next year. The Selectboard agreed they do not plan to see anyone take a loss when this starts. They will be looking closely at this issue. Markus stated she feels the Selectboard cannot "balance the books" on the back of the employees. The Selectboard has agreed they will be talking with the employees before any final decisions are made.

 

Bryan stated the Library Trustees will be asking for the town to pay 1/3 of the cost to replace the roof of the library. The town's estimated share will be $6,000. A request for bids will be going out shortly. Markus noted she has been doing a lot of fund raisers this year and they feel they will be able to take on 2/3 of the cost of the roof.

 

 

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LaPlante inquired into the long term goals of the Friends of the Library. Markus stated their funds do not go toward maintenance items but do go toward computers, new software and tech support, new DVD's and new books.

 

The Library should be doing gross base budgeting which means presenting their whole budget to the town and including the revenue from trust funds as offset to their portion of the budget. They will consider doing this next year.

 

HIGHWAY REPORT: Grassett inquired into the Selectboard's reactions to the public meeting held by the Dump Committee. All were pleased with the number in attendance. Grassett picked out a few areas that he took from the meeting:

 

  • Swap shop parking needs to be addressed
  • Installation of a "white board" for a tip of the day
  • Neatness of the whole area
  • Hours of operation
    1. Possible extension of Saturday hours to 4 or 5 p.m.
    2. Possibility of starting an hour earlier on Wednesday
    3. Possibly opening brush pile longer on Saturday

 

Grassett would like to try marking some lanes with spray paint to see if that will help relieve the congestion at peak times.

 

Grassett has discussed the above listed items with Cathy Roper and will be taking them back to the Dump Committee.

 

The "pay per bag" concept is worthy of discussion. The goal for that is reduction of trash into the compactor. Other communities that have "pay per bag" report that peer pressure is the best policing. Grassett plans to review the compactor tonnage over the past few years.

 

LaPlante suggested having the school children do a recycling art "show" of what items can be recycled.

 

SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAICS: Grassett stated Scarponi has given an updated quote of $91,500 based on the past year's usage. The kw cost went up but Scarponi still came in under the next higher bid. He also noted the DPW site can be posted to the website for people to see how it is working. TRC has been contacted about moving forward in size. The Selectboard approved Grassett's plan.

 

OLD TOWN ROAD: Grassett reported this road will be plowed this winter, by a private contractor, in order for them to continue moving forward on a new home construction. He will be requesting a $10,000 bond.

 

WINTER MAINTENANCE POLICY: It is time for the Winter Maintenance Policy to be reviewed again. It comes in for review every two years. This year the sidewalks need to be addressed.

 

 

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JAQUITH ROAD: There will be a cordwood operation taking place on the Class VI portion of Jaquith Road during the winter months. Grassett will be asking for a $10,000 bond in case of road damage. He also suggested the Harris Center, who is responsible for the timber harvest, contact the resident who lives on that portion of the road regarding the winter plowing.

 

The road is in poor shape and there are trees and other hazards on the side of the road.

This is one of the roads the Conservation Commission monitors, along with the other Class VI roads. It is the town's responsibility to notify the resident of any Class VI road if the road is determined to be unsafe for emergency vehicles. The Selectboard needs to send the Jaquith Road resident, Lynne McEwan, a letter regarding this.

 

POST OFFICE RFP'S: Grassett asked if the Selectboard approved the RFP's he wrote for the painting and roof replacement of the Grange Hall, now the US Post Office. The Board members will review them and let Grassett know.

 

OLD HANCOCK ROAD: Jordan noted the Class A trail is in bad shape. A resident of the road has asked permission to take his equipment in there to fix it up. Jordan told him nothing could be done without first talking with Grassett. Grassett said the Conservation Commission handles the Class A trails and they should be the ones to go along with Jordan, Grassett and the resident to review the condition of the trail.

 

SUPERVISOR'S ACADEMY: Grassett reported Jeff Wright will be attending the Supervisor's Academy starting tomorrow, November 16th.

 

SWAP SHOP: Grassett said warnings have gone out for towns having swap shops that handle clothing and furniture to be on the alert for bedbugs. Hancock does not handle those items but Grassett has notified the staff.

 

LaPlante suggested to Grassett that perhaps the Salvation Army container could be placed outside the gate to the Transfer Station. That location brings with it other concerns.

 

SHERMAN: Nahida reported she started the Community Bulletin board on the website July 12th as a service for unofficial Town organizations and it is working well. She noted "paid cultural events and classes or workshops offered by individual residents are part of life in Hancock." She continued by outlining the difference between generic postings from businesses that would be considered for the advertising section versus those events that would be part of the bulletin board. The Selectboard unanimously supports Sherman's new plan.

 

MEETINGS AND NOTICES ON THE WEBSITE: RSA 91-A states that "Except in an emergency or when there is a meeting of a legislative committee, a notice of the time and place of each such meeting, including a nonpublic session, shall be posted in 2 appropriate places one of which may be the public body's Internet website, if such exists, or shall be printed in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town at least 24 hours, excluding Sundays and legal holidays, prior to such meetings." If the Selectboard agrees with this, Sherman suggested it be noted in the Selectmen's article in the Hancock Happenings as well as a notice being posted at the Post Office and in the Town Office. She, as the webmaster, would also put it in the Happenings as part of her input.

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RETENTION OF DOCUMENTS: The Selectboard agreed that retention on the website for Minutes and other documents not exceed two years. The start of 2011 will see 2009 come off the website. Minutes and other documents will still be available at the Town Office.

 

The Selectboard suggested some of the older pictures under Hancock Alive be switched out for newer ones. While on the subject of pictures, Boland asked her to put in a notice that they are looking for pictures for the Town Report. Sherman said Linda Coughlan had mentioned possibly doing 4-season photos.

 

The Selectboard extended a big thank you to Nahida for all she does on the website, for the town.

 

STATISTICAL UPDATE: Caverly asked the Board whether they plan to put the cost of the update in the budget or on the Warrant as a warrant article. That decision is pending.

 

ADJOURNED: LaPlante moved to adjourn at 6:10 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Barbara Caverly

Recording Secretary

 

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