HANCOCK SELECTBOARD MINUTES
January 24, 2011
PRESENT: John Jordan-Chair, Roberta LaPlante, Carolyn Boland-Selectboard
Barbara Caverly-Town Administrator/Recording Secretary
OTHERS: Kurt Grassett-DPW Director, Rich LeFebvre, Pay Payne, Marsha Kono-Advisory Committee, Jon
GrosJean Management Director, Sugarbush Road residents: Jean Govatos, Marion JP
Bernier, Hannah and Mike Kokoski, Janet Bleicken, Pat Fairchild, Dean and Jean Bennett
Jordan opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. LaPlante moved to accept the Minutes of January 17th. The first item on the agenda was a meeting with the residents of Sugarbush Road regarding a proposal to change it from paved to gravel.
Jordan introduced the Board members, stated the purpose of the road meeting and then turned it over to Grassett to explain his plan and the reasons behind why he feels a gravel road would be good for that location:
Cost would be approximately $44,000
Would have a good fabric layer
Gravel is cheaper than paved for under 100 cars per day
There is very little truck traffic
Grade two times per year with an additive put down right after the grading to help hold the gravel until it packs down
Gravel would be added about every ten years
Once the base is put down that is it except for annual maintenance
The first part of the hill would stay paved because of its steepness. The gravel would start at the top of the hill and continue to the cul du sac at the end.
MacWilliam stated she has lived there 39 years and the road has deteriorated over the years but there is erosion on the sides, with a rodent condo under it.
Bernier noted the options as he sees it:
1. Do nothing
2. Shim and seal
3. Revert to gravel
4. A full depth reclamation (rebuild)
Pat Fairchild questioned the boulders buried in the road. Grassett stated they will be left because the stabilization fabric will hold them. The process will be to chew up the pavement, put down the fabric and gravel.
Bernier asked how the change to a gravel road would affect the assessment and sale value of the properties. Boland noted it would not impact the assessment.
Govatos asked why Sugarbush was chosen. She noted more money has been spent on other roads on the hill but not on Sugarbush.
JANUARY 24, 2011
Grassett stated shim/sand seal was done in 2001 and 2007 which buys time. That process should normally last 7-10 years but now he's getting 5-6 years.
Mobilization fees saved by doing Sugarbush at the same time as Prospect Hill extension, Ledge Road and Juniper would run about $3,000-$5,000 because it would be a one-time equipment move for the whole area if done at the same time.
Because of inflation, it will be cheaper to borrow the funds now to do the work this year and pay it off over five years. Grassett had an overall ten-year plan but feels it would be more productive to split it into two five-year plans.
Bleicken questioned what the transition from pavement to gravel would be. Grassett stated that depends on the grader operator. He stated they have good luck on the less traveled roads such as Sugarbush.
Govatos listed some concerns she has based on a report from an appraisal:
Downgrade property value
Inequitable money being spent there versus other roads
Runoff goes across her property
Hannah Kokoski asked if there would be more potholes on gravel than paved. Grassett stated there could be but they wouldn't be as widespread. Mike Kokoski asked if there were any recently done roads that could be seen. Grassett could only come up with ones that had fabric in certain areas of the road. Sugarbush would be the best because it would have fabric over the whole road.
Gravel life – add gravel every 5-10 years
Full depth reclamation would cost about $100,000
Concern for walkers and bikers on gravel roads
Jordan and GrosJean noted both their gravel roads have many walkers and bikers
LeFebvre noted oil will get more and more costly and paving may become a thing of the past.
Over the next five years the road will increasingly deteriorate , more pot holes, heaving, getting rougher, more sand will be left at the end of a winter because it won't sweep cleanly off a rough road. Also, there could be more wear and tear on the vehicles and speed would be slower.
Gravel would narrow the road but the shoulders and ditch line would be maintained. When questioned about issues after a heavy rain, Grassett stated those issues come more with steep hills such as Evergreen.
JANUARY 24, 2011
Grassett stated he has looked at options for working to drain some of the runoff away from the Govatos residence.
Sand/seal would be a waste of money
The front half is better than the further end of the road
Some discussion on what the cost would be and how it would affect the tax rate. Govatos feels everyone is working hard to maintain an even tax rate. Grassett noted that a long term note and a bond totally over $90,000 are both going off this year. The first payment of under $80,000 on the road project would not come on until next year.
The road meeting concluded and LeFebvre, Payne and Kono were invited to the table. LeFebvre updated the Selectboard on how the Advisory Committee plans to handle the budget and warrants at the Town Meeting. He said he would talk about the budget.
Kono felt there were some areas of the budget that were trimmed while others were increased. The question of encumbered items was raised and it was noted those were items that didn't get completed or were in process at year end. Kono also noted the gap between expense and revenue is increasing.
LeFebvre feels the budget is reasonable. He also saw a need to set the tone for the Police that three cars would not be reasonable. The Selectboard will be looking at the details to make sure the Special Detail costs to the town are covered by the company calling for the details.
Another notation made was that the budget is increasing faster than the peoples' ability to pay. The Selectboard agreed with LeFebvre that people in Hancock are doing a lot of volunteer hours for which everyone is very appreciative.
Jordan gave a brief overview of the Conval health insurance issues.
GROSJEAN: Jon was invited to the table for his discussion with the Board. He stated the tower at the Fire Station is too short and reception is not always good. The cost for a 100-foot tower would run about $28,000 and a grant for one-half of the cost is a possibility. He has spoken with a cell tower builder who would build a 150' tower on the Fire Station property. The tower would provide cell phone service as well as a place for the Fire Department antennas. He would ask for a 99-year lease which he would pay about $70,000 for up front. The tower company would do a balloon test.
GrosJean noted there were problems at the Lake Nubanusit rescue scene because of lack of coverage. The town of Bedford has a similar problem and he was going to talk with them.
The Selectboard suggested an article be put in the Hancock Happenings and that a public meeting is held later to explain and answer questions.
JANUARY 24, 2011
The lease would have to go before Town Meeting and it is too late to consider that for this year. LaPlante suggested GrosJean write up an explanation of what he just presented and have Caverly put it in the Selectboard Reading file for further review by the Board.
LIAISON REPORTS: Recreation: LaPlante reported the Recreation Committee is coming right along with their plans for the Winter Frolic on February 12th.
Prospect Hill Funding: LaPlante reported Nahida Sherman brought to her attention that the warrant article for Prospect Hill had specified funding should be "not less than fifteen years" but it ended up being funded for ten years. The Selectboard will look into the matter.
Capital Purchase Plan: Caverly handed out copies of last year's Capital Purchases Plan and asked that the Board review it and make necessary changes for this year.
GRASSETT: Kurt reported that he and Gerard Gagne of Meridian Land Services are working on a draft response to BUR which will be sent to Attorney Bart Mayer for review. Photos will be included with the report. The response will go directly to BUR with a copy to the bonding company.
Weatherization grant: Grassett reported he has received an approval from both the Feds and EOP. He is working on the RFP which will be opened on February 24th.
Laptop: Grassett reported his laptop "crashed" a week ago. It is a refurbished one that he purchased five years ago. He would like to get another refurbished one. The Selectboard approved the purchase with funding coming from the Highway Special Revenue Fund.
ADJOURNED: Boland moved to adjourn at 8:55 p.m.; seconded by LaPlante, unanimously approved.