2020 Chester Board of Selectmen Meetings


Chester Board of Selectmen Hears About Potential Solar Farm
By Penny Williams    6-2-20

The Chester Board of Selectmen met on Thursday, May 28 and again on Monday, June 1. There was only one issue discussed Monday night and that was the presentation by Ned Reynolds, ReVision Energy, about the possibility of leasing the Dennis Standell property off Class 6 Cunningham Road.

ReVision would like to develop a 5 or 6 acre solar farm on the property. Reynolds was looking for reaction to the idea from the Selectmen but they listened to his presentation and Selectman Steve D'Angelo said the proposal needs to go before the Technical Review Committee before much more is discussed. The only part of the proposal that raised any questions was that the tax on the land would change if it came out of current use. Selectman Doc Hagen noted this and Reynolds acknowledged that ReVision would try and negotiate a payment contribution in lieu of taxes. The only other question was raised by Selectman Chuck Myette regarding whether the interconnection to the electric grid would be above ground or buried. Reynolds said all options were still on the table.

It was decided on Thursday that the Town Hall Renovations will be done by Maintenance under the supervision of Maintenance Supervisor Paul Cavanaugh. Selectman Steph Landau said on Monday evening the material needed and associated cost wasn't set yet. However, when the material is available the work could be done during the week and it would only take about three days. The board on Thursday evening approved a budget not to exceed $10,000 to get the work done.

It was determined on Thursday evening that Town buildings would remain closed until June 18, based upon the Governor's announcement but some employees would be allowed in to their offices to work.

The board also discussed a committee to be formed to work with Town Moderator to prepare for the upcoming Town Meeting.  Also the committee will look at approving or disapproving the budget and the CIP. Anyone interested in being on the committee was asked to contact Town Administrator Debra Doda.

In Other Business:

* The board will meet Thursday evening, June 4, for a public hearing regarding the  acceptance of  Ruth Ray Road.

* The board approved the contract for Spring Hill Farm haying with Bob Pepper who agreed to do field maintenance as well. Pepper will take the hay. There was a discussion about insurance but it was decided that if Pepper signed the Town's volunteer form he would not need additional insurance coverage.

* At the May 18, meeting, Michael Weider was reappointed to the Planning Board; Beth Sautter was reappointed to the Spring Hill Farm advisory Committee;

* The board approved Sherry Baker's request to allow the Lion's Club Food Drive June 27 from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Transfer Station to benefit the local food pantry. Non-perishable goods and monetary donations may be dropped off at the Chester General Store.

* The board approved Doda signing the Cares Act Motion on behalf of the board and the Town.

* Police Chief Aaron Berube reported that there were 31 incidents police responded to over the weekend at Wason Pond. He indicated 4 people were arrested.

* The Conservation Commission contest with the New Hampshire Pollinator Pathways awarded Kristina Snyder from the Conservation Commission gave me the winners' names as Melissa Folini, first; Shannon Paltinavich, second; and, Heather Dion, third. 

 


Chester Selectmen Decide Town Hall Renovations to be Done In House
By Penny Williams 5-22-20

The Chester Board of Selectmen met Thursday evening, May 21, and made the decision to move ahead with the renovations to Town Hall and to have the work done in-house.   

It was noted that there had been no responses to the RFP for Town Hall renovation and security upgrade work. Selectman Steph Landau said the Town has a Maintenance Department and they would be able to handle the planned work. He added if they hit something they need help with they have the authority to engage a local contractor. The board discussed this and decided they didn't need to vote on it but decided not to approve Building Inspector Myrick Bunker's request to extend the RFP time period for further RFP responses and to have the Chester Maintenance Department move forward and do the work.

Chris Hadik, Chair of the Wason Pond Commission, said that all the things discussed at the previous meeting had been accomplished at Wason Pond and as such requested the board re-open the parking. He also noted that a few more signs would be needed but basically it was ready to go. Emergency Management Director and Fireman Phil Gladu said the electronic sign would be in place in the morning and would run sunup to sundown and he would take care of the daily battery replacement.

Police Chief Aaron Berube said Ranger John Wright was working at the park and there had been a couple of calls already for police support. He added that one of Corinna Reishus college summer employees had applied to be a Park Ranger and he planned to interview him, check his background and if all were ok he would provide training to the student. Reishus said she has 4 possibly 5 other college age summer employees she is working with to determine which will work as maintenance for Wason Pond and which will do other Recreation jobs.

 Gladu updated the board on emergency management issues and the Governor's guidelines. He said that there will be an emergency order addressing town meetings coming in the near future. He indicated the board should approve the Governor's Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR) grant and the Town Clerk Liz Lufkin would forward the list and documents along with the board's approval in order to meet the June 1, submission date deadline. He indicated FEMA grants for COVID-19 expenses would be addressed later. The board members indicated they were all in support of processing the grant and that Town Manager Debra Doda was the designated signee and the board voted to approve applying for the grant.

The meeting opened with a critical quote from resident Ken Biel which Selectman Doc Hagen responded to in closing saying that the Selectmen are honest, hardworking people who do their upmost to serve the best interests of the residents.

Selectman Co Chair Chuck Myette adjourned the meeting after noting that would be no Monday night, May 25, meeting and the next meeting of the board would be next Thursday, May 28.

 


Chester Selectmen Approve the Wason Pond Commission Recommendations
By Penny Williams  5-19-20

At the Chester Selectmen's meeting, Monday night, May 18, the board approved implementing the recommendations of the Wason Pond Commission for dealing with the parking issue at Wason Pond.

         Wason Pond Commission Chair Chris Hadik recommended the following:

- Parking limited to lot adjacent to ball field immediately to the left of entrance.

- Parking lines to be striped by maintenance.

- Parking to be monitored by John Wright and a “lot full” or similar sign to be placed in entrance when at capacity. He suggest a sign saying “park full” to hint that it might be best to come back at a less busy time.

- Additional signs with current information regarding distancing, face coverings when unable to distance, no groups larger than 10, etc.

- Playground, ball field and beaches to remain closed until further assessment.

- Effective May 22, assuming these recommendations can be implemented by then.

- No date set for Phase 2 opening up of the park pending governmental updates and until this phase has been monitored.

- The No Parking signs be installed on 102.

- Use of one of the Town’s portable signs to indicate “Beach Closed” and whatever additional info will fit or the funds to rent such a sign.

- Hiring additional part time people to provide eyes on the situation at Wason Pond, preferably counselors from the Recreation Summer Program.

They discussed using the smaller parking area next to the field and noted cars could enter and exit there. The beach area would closed off with stakes and tape and the smaller dog beach area would allow launching of kayaks and people can fish at the pond. Signage would be put up with the COVID-19 information, parking regulations, and closures as well as no parking signs on Route 102 and the electronic sigh with the Beach Closed on it that would be placed on the field so it is seen from the roadway and is the first thing seen when a car enters the driveway to park.

There was a long discussion about how to provide adequate resources to maintain order and control the parking but it was decided that between 3 and 6 young people employed by Recreation would, for this period, be employed by Maintenance to do odd jobs at the park and help with encouraging people to maintain social distancing. One college age employee will work with the Police Department as he expressed an interest in helping the Ranger.

Police Chief Aaron Berube noted that the State has expressed a concern about cars exiting from that entrance to the parking area by the ball field because of sightline issues turning left toward Raymond.  However, this was still felt to be the best solution and no parking signs along Route 102 should be placed on the Raymond side of the exit so cars aren't parked there making sightlines worse.

Hadik hoped the Wason Pond parking could be opened up again by May 22, but the board's approval of the recommendations included opening the parking up only after all the issues such as signage, closing off the beach and so forth have been executed.  The board actually voted on Selectman Joe Hagen's motion to approve re-opening the Wason Pond parking based on the Wason Pond Commission recommendations when all that needs to be done has been completed, hopefully by May 22, but not until everything is ready. The board also approved having the Recreation young people, six of them, be assigned to Wason Pond to work under Maintenance including the one who would be under the Police Department and that they would all be paid by the Town.

The board discussed the reopening of the Town Buildings and decided to revisit this at their Thursday night meeting, May 28, as the Governor has extended the stay at home restriction until May 31. The board will make a decision at their May 28, meeting regarding whether to open Town Buildings to the public.

Selectman Steve D'Angelo was concerned about how people could register to vote or change their party and Town Clerk/Tax Collector Liz Lufkin said there is a form on the Web site to change parties that people can fill out have someone witness their signature and it would then be dropped in the box at Town Hall. She added the election and voting information will be on the web site and town signs.

In Other Business:

* The board re-appointed Jean Methot, Rhonda Lamphere, Jack Cannon, Chris Hadik, and Ed Stuart to the 300th Anniversary Committee.

* Selectman Steph Landau asked the board to approve spending $2,000 to repair and repaint the gate to the cemetery across from the common and the board did so.

* Landau also told the board the cemetery trustees are looking for a used trailer to buy to save money instead of renting one every year. He also said he had told the Trustees to do the needed minimal rocker panel repair so their aging vehicle could be registered at a cost of $400 or $500.

* Selectman Chuck Myette suggested the board should be considering how it plans to handle the Town Meeting and suggested an outdoor meeting such as Tupelo had using the Chester Academy parking lot.

* Myette also asked what was planned for Memorial Day and since nothing has been suggested they need to do something either a virtual ceremony or a few people to go to the common. Chair Jeremy Owen said he would get in touch with the Legion.

*There will be a Herb & Plant Sale Saturday, June 6, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon by the Rockingham Herb Society at the American Legion Post 108 , 57 Raymond Road. This is an outdoor event and herbs and plants are priced from $2 to $15.

 


Chester Selectmen Postpone Town Meeting Again
 By Penny Williams  5-15-20

The Chester Board of Selectmen met on Thursday evening, May 14, and after a lot of discussion about options, they decided to postpone the Chester Town Meeting again, this time to June 20.

Town Moderator Michael Scott  agreed and the Board approved the decision that due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, the 2020 Town Meeting should once again be postponed. The Town Meeting has now been rescheduled for Saturday, June 20th, at 9 a.m.

   The discussion followed Senator Jon Morgan telling the board and Scott that there were options the town could chose from regarding their Town Meeting and their decision regarding their operational budget.

  Scott expressed the fear that continually postponing the meeting would reduce the actual participation in the Town Meeting when it eventually is held. He wanted to suspend it indefinitely but he was informed by Town Administrator Debra Doda that he couldn't do that legally. What he could  do is postpone it to a later date.

  The board discussed it and Morgan indicated there would be a clearer picture about what the state and elections and town meetings would look like by mid June. The Governor might change the law and allow a town meeting to be suspended and the legislature will reconvene in June and things may change.

 The board felt that since they didn't have to make any final budget decision that night that their best option was to postpone the Chester Town Meeting to Saturday, June 20, and then look it again  before that date.

   Morgan said he would advocate for the things the board had expressed. He was asked to see if the  selectmen could authorize  and approve using the same budget as the previous year without holding a town meeting and whether the Chester Town Meeting could be postponed without a specific date. He is also going to ask for guidance on setting the tax rate.  That doesn't happen until October or November, though.  Chair Jeremy Owens said the consensus of board was to wait and get  more information and decisions from the Governor before making any decision regarding the budget issue.

In other business:

 *   The Wason Pond Commission told the board it is working on some potential solutions to the Wason Pond parking issue. The commission will come before the Selectmen on Monday night, May 18, but they indicated they are thinking about getting an electronic sign for Route 102 by the park that would say the 'beach is closed'. They also indicated they want the no parking signs installed along Route 102.

      Police Chief Aaron Berube noted that no additional responsibilities should be asked of John Wright, the Ranger, and that the Chester Police Department does not have the resources to enforce behavior and parking at the park on a full time basis. The Selectmen reminded Hadik that funds are at a premium but he said what the commission would be seeking wouldn't be that much.

* The board approved Doda sending out the RFP ad for the Transfer Station Foreman and the Transfer Station attendants' positions.

* After a discussion the board voted to approve the Property Tax Interest Abatement program for Chester by a vote of 3 to 2 with Selectmen Steph Landau and Steve D'Angelo voting against it.

* The board also approved Chester participating in the First Responder Stipend Program.

 


Chester Selectmen Continue Wason Pond Discussion and East Derry Road Closure
By Penny Williams    5-12-20

The Chester Board of Selectmen met on Monday evening, May 11 and continued discussions about Wason Pond from the Thursday, May 7, meeting.

On Thursday evening the board discussed the Wason Pond parking issue. The Wason Pond Commission is not in favor of a parking permit system and are not happy about the parking being shut down. Selectman Chuck  Myette said he asked  Eric Feldbaum, NH Parks & Recreation to come in to talk to the board about what other  parks and recreation areas are doing and regarding the issues the Town is facing at Wason Pond.
    
   Monday night Chris Hadik, speaking for the Wason Pond Commission, indicated the commission was disturbed about being left out of the decision by the board to close the parking in the first place, which was affirmed by Wason Pond Commission member Kathy Ragsdale. Hadik indicated that the suggestion made by Jack Cannon to have a manned kiosk at the park rather than a pavilion so residents could be allowed in to park, but people from out of town being charged a fee  might be a good compromise.

Feldbaum stated that under the Wason Pond easement and the law, non-residents have to be offered and allowed whatever residents are offered or allowed regarding the use of the park. He said a parking fee could be charged non-residents if is not more than 50 percent more than what residents get charged and is reasonable and in line with what other parks in the area charge. He also noted that during this pandemic limiting parking to cut down on use of parks is allowed.

It was suggested that limited parking be allowed by the senior center,  which would only be 12 cars parking there, for the Ranger to control. Resident speakers expressed concern that the board had made the decision to close the parking taking advantage of the pandemic to promote their agenda of controlling behavior at the park. The selectmen denied this saying the decision was made because of the risks connected to the pandemic and the parking issue has been under discussion for several years.

Selectman Steph Landau explained again that he had made the motion to close the parking down to give the board an opportunity to come  up with a solution to the issues at Wason Pond and it was date specific lasting only until June 15.

There was a discussion about closing the pond to swimming. This action might well restrict use and parking but  in the end Chair Jeremy Owen wanted to have the input from the Wason Pond Commission before the board made any final decision regarding whether to restrict the area of parking at the park or to close it entirely or open it up entirely.

To be able to do that Hadik polled the members of the commission who were participating in the Zoom meeting to see if they could meet Wednesday evening, May13, at 6 p.m. Those listening in were able to signify they could do that and were willing to meet and have their recommendation and input for the Board of Selectmen's Thursday night, May 14, meeting.

In other business:

•  Thursday night the board  heard from Road Agent Michael Oleson regarding
the paving of East Derry Road slated for this week. Oleson told the board  it is weather dependent, but  the plan is for the wearing course to be laid down on East Derry Road on Tuesday, Wednesday, and/or Thursday, May 12th, 13th and 14th.

He went on to discuss the East Derry Road residents' complaints about speeding on the roadway. He said he will be putting the stop signs back on the road at the three way intersection that he had been forced to remove earlier noting that they did work to some degree. If he continues to get complaints he will put up an electronic flashing speed sign and if that doesn't do it he will install the speed platforms. He was asked about rumble stripes and he explained they tend to cause cracking of roadways because they retain water which freezes.  

Police Chief Aaron Berube said his department would do all it could with respect to enforcement but people need to understand the department has limited resources and many roads to cover and East Derry Road is an exit road out of Chester so will get a lot of non-resident use.

•  Berube took that occasion Thursday night, to introduce Michael Kehoe, a full time police officer he wanted to hire. Berube asked the board to approve him hiring Kehoe, which the board did, expressing their pleasure at having him. He is ready to start almost immediately.

•  The issue of property tax interest abatements was discussed on Thursday night. Town Clerk/Tax Collector Liz Lufkin said that if the board decides to do it at this time under these circumstances they can but that it would be for everybody, not on a case by case basis. Selectmen Steve D'Angelo and Joe Hagan disagreed on this with D'Angelo not wishing to give a blanket abatement and Hagan feeling this was something the town coud do for people being hard hit by the current state of emergency. D'Angelo wanted legal counsel to weigh in and Myette agreed with that and the board tabled this until the next meeting when they would have input from legal counsel. It did not come on Monday evening.

•  Town Administrator Debra Doda told the board there are no asbestos or lead issues involved in the proposed security improvements for the Town Hall entrance. Lufkin said there is a short window of time in which the funding for this project could fall under the emergency situation reimbursement system. The RFP was modified slightly and the board approved it Monday night.

• Thursday evening, Berube said he could provide police coverage for the tree cutting at Wason Pond.  During the week of Monday, May 11th, Dick Lewis from Chester Forest Products will be felling some dead trees on the Wason Pond property. D'Angelo wanted police coverage but Landau objected to the cost saying that maintenance workers and or the Ranger could provide sufficient assistance with protecting park trail users.

•  Monday night D'Angelo raised the suggestion of the board doing something to recognize Chester students who will be graduating. No decision on how this could be accomplished was made but the board thought it was a good idea to try and figure out something.

 


Chester Selectmen Decide to Keep Town Buildings Closed
By Penny Williams   5-4-20

The Chester Board of Selectmen met Monday night, May 4, and made the decision to continue keeping Town owned buildings closed at least until May 18, when they would review the situation.

The board's decision was based to a large extent on  Governor Chris Sununu's announcement that he is extending the stay-at-home order until May 31. The board felt and Emergency Management Director Phil Gladu agreed, that given this information it was best to leave things as they are at least until May 18, two weeks down the road.

After discussing this, Chair Jeremy Owens said on May 18, their decision would be reviewed and reassessed. Given that decision Town employees  will continue to work remotely.

It was noted that Chester is not free of the coronavirus, having had three patients who have recovered and there are three currently active patients, but the board felt the best decision to protect both town employees and town residents was to continue with keeping town owned buildings closed for the next two weeks at least.

In addition, Town Clerk/Tax Collector Liz Lufkin noted the glass security improvements for her office won't be completed until May 15, if all goes as scheduled. As such she agreed the best approach would be to keep all town owned buildings closed until May 18.

The board took up the Wason Pond Ordinance developed to control the parking situation at the park. It was pointed out that this ordinance was drawn up a year ago but nothing further had happened with it.

Selectman Chuck Myette was concerned that the ordinance and what it governed couldn't really be discussed until the parking permit system, whatever that might turn out to be, was put in place. The board discussed the Wason Pond parking issue and agreed the ordinance is to enforce whatever the permit parking system turns out to be.

The selectmen didn't have any substantial changes except Myette wanted the wording 'daily permit fee' changed. He wanted the word daily removed since charging a fee daily hadn't been established and would limit what they might do. The board approved removing the word daily and asked that the approval of the ordinance be put on the Thursday Selectmen's meeting agenda, allowing time for input from other boards and people.

Myette brought the discussion and questions raised at the Chester Planning Board meeting regarding the road in front of the Chester General Store to the board's attention. The issue, he said, is that the proposed site for the Raymond Jones Financial Services plan identifies parking spaces on town owned property and this can't be done.

Selectman Steph Landau brought up the fact that the roadway and the buildings on the town owned roadway pre-date the Town's Zoning Regulations.

The board discussed this issue and finally concluded that the site plan proposed for the new Raymond Jones Financial Services use of the building at 4 Haverhill Road could not include identifying specific parking spaces on town owned property so those specifically identified and marked spaces must come off the site plan and not be striped on the roadway. Myette would get that board decision back to the Planning Board.

In other business:

* The board decided the RFP for the work on the Town Hall to improve security needs a plan added to the information put out in the RFP for bids. The board decided to add the plan Building Inspector Myrick Bunker has and review this and decide whether to move forward with it at the next meeting.

* The board requested that the advertising for the RFP for open positions at the Transfer Station be tightened up with specific information on whether the positions are part time or full time. It was noted that the Supervisor position should be full time as that individual would be managing the Transfer Station as well as taking over the duties and operations that Andrew Hadik has been doing.  Town Administrator Debra Doda agreed to rework the RFP with added information as requested by the board.

* Landau said the police cruiser to be retained by the town would be used by Bunker and the old vehicle he now uses would go to Maintenance.

* The board approved having a police officer present when Dick Lewis takes the Wason Pond trail trees down.

* Police Chief Aaron Berube said the department' refrigerator died and when they went to Lowes to get a new one Lowes donated a $973 stainless steel double door refrigerator to the Chester Police Department. The board voted to accept the donation with many thanks.

* There has been additional activity at the Pomp Road area and Fish and Game was there taking what action they could. The board approved the Highway Department checking out the gates at the Spring Hill Farm that might well be used to shut off this access along with some boulders and for Road Agent Michael Oleson to move forward with this solution.

* Chief Berube said he is pursuing a possible grant or donation from Eversource for a gator vehicle to assist with enforcement of areas opened up to four-wheel use by the Eversource pole replacement and repair work. The board approved Doda sending a letter to Eversource relative to this.

*There will be a Supervisors of the Checklist registration session on Tuesday, May 5th, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Town Clerk's Office exterior access window. This is the last day to register to vote before the Town Meeting which is currently scheduled for Saturday, May 16th, at 9 a.m. in the MultiPurposeRoom. You will need: Photo ID showing Chester Address (if you have recently moved to town please bring 2 proofs of residency); Passport, Birth Certificate, or citizenship papers to prove you are a US citizen.

If you need assistance and are unable to walk up to the temporary access window at the Town Clerk's office, please call 887-3636 ext. 2 and someone will come out to you at your vehicle. You may also change your party during this session if you choose to do so. June 2nd, is the last day to change your party prior to the September Primary Election.  There will be another session on Tuesday, June 2nd from 7 to 8 p.m.   You can change your party by writing a letter to the Supervisors' of the Checklist at 84 Chester St, Chester, NH, 03036. Be sure to include your name, address, phone number, date of birth, party that you are currently registered as, and indicate the party you would like to change to and sign it. Please call Dianna Charron at 887-2172 or email  diannacharron@comcast.net with any questions.
       

 


Chester Selectmen Wason Pond Parking Closure Decision Draws a Crowd
By Penny Williams   5-1-20

The Chester Board of Selectmen meeting Thursday evening, April 30, drew almost 40 people to participate electronically. The main meeting topic was the closure of the parking at Wason Pond.

  The board, at their previous meeting, Monday, April 27, had approved closing the parking at Wason Pond between that night and June 15, to give the board time to approve an ordinance regarding parking at the property and to come up with a permit process covering parking. The goal is to allow free parking with a permit for residents but non residents would have to pay for parking.

  The reason for this decision on the Wason Pond parking issue, which has been under discussion by the board for more than two years, is that because there was federal money accepted by the Town regarding the purchase of the property there cannot be any measures of discrimination relative to property users. However, during the summer months, there are increased parking problems and behavior issues that the board wants to address so residents can feel comfortable using the property and are able to find parking.

   Chair Jeremy Owens opened the meeting to public comments and Suzanne Chappell, Debbie Sullivan and Ken Briel expressed disappointment with the board's decision to block the entrance and exit to Wason Pond therefore closing down parking.  Greg Poppish questioned whether the board had the authority to take such action. Michael Romick asked if the town could restrict parking where they couldn't restrict use. During the course of the meeting several other participants using the message component of the electronic meeting made comments some of which had little or nothing to do with the core discussion.

   Selectman Steph Landau explained why he had made the motion for the closure of parking at the previous meeting. He said the board wanted time to approve an ordinance that has been under discussion by the selectmen for at least three years that would allow control of the use, parking and behavior of users at Wason Pond. The board has the authority to do so since it is town owned property. However, he pointed out that Wason Pond was not closed, it was the parking that was closed. The fields and playground were already closed due to the pandemic but the trails were open for use. The board is looking for a way to manage the parking. Selectman Chuck Myette  pointed out that there are other trails and properties in Chester where people can walk and maps of these can be found on the town website.

   Myette added that the action had been taken by the board at this time because of the failure of Wason Pond users to follow the state social distancing guidelines and their illegal use of the closed  fields and the pond itself that were documented by pictures taken Selectmen Steve D'Angelo.  

    D'Angelo said that when Road Agent Michael Oleson went to block the entrance and exit at Wason Pond on Tuesday morning, April 28, at 10:30 a.m. there were three cars parked there with Massachusetts license plates. He said that during the busy summer months residents can't find parking spaces so that was what drove the decision to shut the parking down to give the board time to  develop a way to address the parking issue.

     Selectman Joe (Doc) Hagan said during this time of COVID-19 when everyone is facing such a drastic safety issue people denying the use of safety measures such as social distancing that was seen at Wason Pond can't be tolerated and thus the decision to close down the parking was made with a view to figuring out how to limit non-resident people parking at Wason Pond through some type of parking payment system which would enforceable by the selectmen's ordinance.

     The board members were given the proposed draft ordinance and while there was agreement that it would address the issue there were several selectmen who had questions they wanted to ask regarding the document. It was decided to do that at their Monday night meeting on May 4, after they had time to review it.

    The board then heard from Anne (no last name given) indicating that she had gathered survey responses from residents 14 people on East Derry Road regarding the installation of speed platforms and that all of the  responses from them were in favor of installing the speed platforms.

    Owens explained that the board would consider possibly taking action to slow traffic on East Derry Road beyond their decision to reduce the miles per hour  but added there is a financial cost for the speed platforms and that all East Derry Road residents would have to be contacted and allowed to share their input on the issue.
   
   D'Angelo encouraged Anne to have other residents of the road get involved advocating for the speed platforms if that was what they wanted. Owens noted that the board will need to bring Oleson back in to continue this discussion.

   Police Chief Aaron Berube said that the speed platforms would absolutely slow traffic and if a car traveling at a high rate of speed hit one they would likely end up on someone's porch. Motorcycles would be impacted by speed platforms as well. The  platforms are generally 8 inches or more high but painted and notices about them being in the roadway always are posted.

In other business:

* Barbara Cannon was reappointed as Assistant Town Clerk and Deputy Tax Collector.

* Chief Berube said the new cruiser was due in and the 2015 cruiser it replaces has a $5,000 trade-in value. Landau suggested that the town retain the 2015 cruiser and it could be used by Maintenance or by the Building Inspector or as others suggested, parked on East Derry Road to slow traffic down. The board approved retaining the 2015 cruiser for town use instead of using it as a trade-in.

* D'Angelo brought up the fact that he is still waiting to receive his auto registration that he filled out and filed online and he is concerned that this is taking too long. Town Clerk/Tax Collector Liz Lufkin said if he doesn't receive it in 30 days the State Motor Vehicle Division will send him a duplicate without cost assuming the registration was lost in the mail.  

 


Chester Selectmen Close Wason Pond and Discuss Permits for Residents Use
By Penny Williams 4-28-20

The Chester Board of Selectmen discussed the issues of too many people using Wason Pond even though the fields and playground are closed and how to go about restricting its use, particularly by non-residents, at both their Thursday night, April 23 and Monday night April 27, meetings.
   
     Selectman Steve D'Angelo brought up Wason Pond at the Thursday night meeting and said as the days get warmer it is going to become a real problem and he reiterated it Monday night. He said people from Fremont were kayaking Thursday on the Pond  and on Monday he said there were boat races taking place on the pond. In addition, there was organized ball training taking place on the field even though the fields are closed. He suggested the town may want to shut Wason Pond down completely. The board and Police Chief Aaron Berube discussed this possibility at length.
 
      No decision was made Thursday since Governor Chris Sununu was expected to make an announcement about lifting stay at home restrictions before their Monday meeting, which didn't happen. So on Monday the board looked at both short term and long term solutions for the Wason Pond issue.
 
      Short term the board, after much discussion, approved closing Wason Pond to all parking and traffic by using saw horses or some such device at both entrances. Chief Berube would make sure that the temporary placement of no parking signs along Route 102 in the area of the pond would be legal.  The board approved keeping Wason Pond closed in this fashion from Monday night, April 27, through Monday, June 15.

     Road Agent Michael Oleson said he would take care of  blocking all entrances for parking at Wason Pond Tuesday morning.  Chief Berube said he would get the signs for Oleson to temporarily erect along Route 102 in the vicinity of the Pond.

      Long term it was decided that Town Administrator Debra Doda and Town Clerk/Tax Collector Liz Lufkin would proceed with developing a permit process for residents to be able to park at Wason Pond once it is opened up again. There has to be an ordinance approved by the selectmen in place for police enforcement and the board wants this developed going forward. Selectman Chuck Myette suggested this down time might be an excellent opportunity to work on this long term solution of the ordinance and how the permits would be handled. Doda noted there is an ordinance already in draft form and she will work on it.

        On Monday evening the board discussed and decided to allow several Recreation college student employees to be employed at Wason Pond for its improvement, helping with mowing and light duty repairs and painting. The object is to not lose these young employees. There was a discussion about which budget would cover this but the board approved using the recreation employees in this fashion and decided to figure out the budget issue later.

     The board also approved $4,850 for Dick Lewis to take care of some hundred trees near the Wason Pond Trails that are either dead or diseased and the chips from chipping them to be used on the trails.

       Monday evening Emergency Management Director Phil Gladu and Lufkin announced that the Rabies Clinic would take place on Saturday, May 2, but would be by invitation only and only for residents whose dogs require a rabies shot that has been pre-paid and pre-registered by the resident by Friday May 1, with Ark Animal Homecare, NH Mobile Veterinarians. Lufkin has contacted many residents already and said she would continue to issue the invitations. Those wishing to get the needed rabies shot at the Chester Academy parking lot from ARK at the Rabies Clinic need to call ARK by Friday, May1,  and pay over the phone to be able to receive the service. ARK will give those people a time to show up and anyone coming without prior registration and payment will be turned away.
       
         Thursday evening the board made a decision not to sell School House #5, owned by the North Chester Ladies Aid Society on Candia Road to Candia that had offered to buy it. Selectman Steph Landau gave the history of the building going back to when the North Chester Ladies Aid Society used it as their headquarters for making quilts and blankets for WWI. Candia's old school house is now on exhibit at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts which is why they wanted to buy the Chester School House. The board asked Town Administrator Deb Doda to write a polite letter declining the offer to buy the building.
       
       
In other business:

* The board approved the Chester Informational Bulletin that will be sent out to all residences with the addition of the Rabies Clinic information. The bulletin covers important local information relative to various departments such as Building Department, Town Clerk/Tax Collector, Police and Recreation and covers the Transfer Station information as well as Emergency Management updates.

* The board approved Landau getting an assessment of the costs for doing the needed exterior repairs to Stevens Hall.

* Myette said the Hart Robert's Road issue came up at the Planning Board and the town needs to make a determination whether it is a road or a driveway and whether the town owns it or not.

* Rick Sibley was appointed a full member of the Conservation Commission with his term to expire in 2023. He will be taking the position left open by Baron Richardson.

* An East Derry Road resident at the Thursday meeting spoke to the board asking that the road platforms be added to slow traffic. She was asked to get information from other East Derry residents on whether they want speed platforms or not but had not followed up on that. Oleson said again on Monday he thinks measures to slow traffic with the reduced speed limit and possibly the use of electronic speed signs should be tried first because once the speed platforms go in they are permanent and cost roughly $5,000 each.

* Jack Cannon spoke Thursday night asking the board not throw the baby out with the bathwater regarding Wason Pond. He said things can be controlled if the police are notified and come and take action when something wrong is taking place there but having the trails for people to use is important.


Chester Selectmen Discuss Hart Roberts Road and Transfer Station Procedures
By Penny Williams    4-21-20

At the Thursday, April 16, meeting of the Chester Board of Selectmen, the issue of Hart Roberts Road was brought to the board by Road Agent Michael Oleson. It was determined at the Monday, April 20, meeting that nothing could be done until the next year's Town Meeting so the board put off further discussion on the matter.

The issue revolves around the fact Hart Roberts Road is basically a driveway and not a road but because the town for some reason started plowing it more than 20 years ago it is considered a town road and not a private road.

Hart Roberts road is only 12-feet wide, very steep and raises safety concerns for Town emergency vehicles. In winter it is extremely slippery and emergency vehicles have slid off the road and had to be rescued. In the recent past one of the two dwelling owners cut trees along one side making it even more dangerous for emergency vehicles because now there is nothing there to stop their fall.

Now there is a plan to build a 6,500 square foot outdoor riding arena that went to the ZBA and was approved but has not been before the TRC. The riding ring is expected to be enclosed at a future date and supposedly is now just for the owners use and her friends. Nevertheless, the access using Hart Roberts Road is an issue. It was also noted that there are some 40 acres further out behind the present dwellings which could be developed.

  Selectman Steph Landau remembered that at one Town Meeting the board tried to discontinue the road but that got tabled and nothing ever was done. The town does plow it but there is no evidence that the town ever adopted the road as a town road.

Town Counsel was contacted and Monday night, it was determined that the board could not do anything about the situation until it was brought before Town Meeting and that would be a year down the road. The board felt, however, that if the road were to be adopted by the Town it would have to be brought up to current road standards. It was decided the board would deal with this later.

The board concluded the house at Spring Hill Farm (SHF) is not appropriate for pandemic patient use but the Spring Hill Advisory Committee Chair Emily Kunelius did feel that her board and the SHF Trustees are interested in using at least the downstairs portion of the house for classes, seminars, and other similar type meetings. As such the bathroom would need to be fixed. The board indicated it would need a list of what needs to be done to the first floor to bring it up to code so it could be used and the cost of accomplishing that.

Landau suggested that a new building on the property, with grants that are available, would probably be less expensive to build for the purposes the SHF people want. It was decided that since the house won't work short term for the pandemic, information on long term use should gathered and in the meantime the well feeding the high tunnel should be tested.

Thursday the selectmen made the decision to make sure that the Edwards Dam bill for the overage that occurred when work was done over a year ago and which the board has previously approved paying would get taken care of.

Thursday night Oleson said that East Derry Road would be closed for the day, April 22,  in order to repair the culvert. Monday night he reported that residents on East Derry Road  have complained about cars speeding and he recommended to the Selectmen lowering the speed limit that is presently 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour to see if that had the hoped for effect of slowing drivers. He wanted to try this before going to the expense of building speed platforms at a cost of $5,000 each which would become permanent part of the road.

Police Chief Aaron Berube was in agreement with Oleson's recommendation and felt the lower MPH would allow his officers to better control speed. Selectman Steve D'Angelo was dubious that reducing the speed by 5 MPH would have any impact but the board voted 4 to 1 to approve Oleson putting up signs posting the lower speed.

In other business:

• There was a long discussion Monday evening regarding the Earth Day Town Wide pick-up suggestion from Recreation Director Corinna Reishus.  In the end it was decided to go ahead with the plan that will take place from Wednesday through Sunday, April 22 to April 26. Bags for the pick-up will be available at the Wason Pond Community Center, Town Hall and the Snack Stand at the town fields or people can use their own bags.

 It was decided that people would do neighborhood pick-ups and leave the bags along the roadside, preferably at intersections and Andrew Balch, ABI Waste Removal and the town dump truck would pick the bags up and ABI would get them to the landfill.

• The board approved the plan and Police Chief Berube added the caution that people seeing anything like a needle or suspicious and possibly hazardous things  should call the Police or Fire departments to come and pick those items up.

• The board approved moving forward with the $2,800 cost for the implementation of the glass security work in the Town Clerk's Office.

• It was reported that there has been continued activity at the Wason Pond fields and the board recommended that the Police, when such activity is reported to them, go and check it out and remind people that the fields are closed.

•  Friday night Transfer Station use will be eliminated and the typical Wednesday and Saturday times and uses will be back although there will be restrictions on the recycling.

• The town has made some specific decisions with the reopening of the Transfer Station summer days and hours. As the bulk of the recyclables have apparently been reduced to a workable level, they will start to recycle in the barn on  a limited basis and reverting to our Wednesday 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. schedule.

If everyone follows Standard Operating Procedures  of (a) separating your recyclables and (b) loading your car in the reverse order that you will be taking your recyclables out, then your time in the barn will be kept to an absolute minimum.  This will drastically reduce the possibility of interaction with the staff and other residents thereby creating a safer environment.  

- Please wear your mask! This will be the procedure for the next phase of operation.

- Please form one line.  Vehicles will be allowed in the barn through the overhead doors with the guidance of an attendant.

-  All of the trailers and roll-offs will be open, except for the cardboard trailer.

- Please wait at the sign by the opening until the resident in front of you exits before you enter in order to enforce social distancing.

The cardboard trailer itself will be closed as it is difficult to enforce social distancing while ensuring that the cardboard is stacked neatly.  There will be staging to the right outside of the cardboard trailer for you to place your cardboard on.

The mixed paper trailer will be open, and one person at a time will be allowed inside.  Please wait at the sign by the doorway until the person before you exits.

The tin can roll-off will be open.  Please wait at the sign by the doorway until the person before you exit.

The glass roll-off will both be open and attended.  Please wait at the sign by the doorway until the previous customer exits and the attendant calls you in.

The plastic compactor will be open.  Please wait at the sign by the doorway until the previous customer exits.

Aluminum cans will be deposited into the aluminum can trailer located outside of the barn.  

If you have no recyclables, you may bypass the barn and deposit your trash in the trash compactor.

Freon-containing items are not being accepted as the company that recycles the Freon is based in Massachusetts and not crossing the border. Small amounts of metal are possible, but nothing large until the metal recycler comes.  

The Swap Shop, Library, etc., need to remain closed for the time being.

 


Chester Selectmen Address Emergency Management and Transfer Station Issues
By Penny Williams 4-14-20

The Chester Board of Selectmen met on Thursday April 9,  and again on Monday, April 13. During those meetings they updated the  Emergency Management and the Transfer Station issues as well as taking care of other business.

Town Clerk/Tax Collector Elizabeth Lufkin reported having daily phone conferences were with Emergency Management personnel, legal with the Attorney General and NH Municipal Association, and with the Department of  Public Health, State Fire Marshall, and Homeland Security.  Lufkin indicated she is working to compile estimates for reimbursement with FEMA by getting information from Department Heads relative to costs incurred by responding to the pandemic. Vice-Chair Chuck Myette asked Lufkin to report on what estimates had been put together so far.  

She further explained that  FEMA Category B expenses that will be considered for reimbursement are those that relate to the protection of the health  and welfare of residents and employees and include such things as supplies, the mailer that  was recently sent to residents, the doorbell with camera that was installed and any time spent by employees/town officials specific to dealing with COVID-19 that are “reasonable and necessary.” FEMA will review all receipts and documents and determine which expenses fall into that category such as the expenses for having the Transfer Station opened an extra day and the cones purchased for traffic flow at the Transfer Station.

She noted she and Town Administrator Debra Doda, working with the Building Inspector Myrick Bunker, to put together an RFP for the planned security measures to be done at the building entrance and in the Town clerk's office.  The card reader mechanisms alone will be very costly and the plan is to install several.    

Lufkin indicated she received an estimate from Traynor Glass for the installation of glass in  her office for $2,800. Maintenance has reached out for a second  estimate from Manchester Auto Glass. The glass would sit on the top shelf and dip into the area where the public has face to face contact with staff and end a couple of inches from the counter so that papers can be slid through. The door at the right will be a little taller to meet the height of the glass. Lufkin will submit the  expense to FEMA.

Selectman Steve D’Angelo asked whether FEMA would reimburse buyouts for employee vacation time. Lufkin indicated they have addressed this issue and will not reimburse wages and  other items that have nothing to do with protecting the public.  

Selectman Steph Landau noted he has taken this up with the Labor Board and NH Municipal Association. The Labor Board instructed the Town to follow its policy and the NHMA has not gotten back to him yet.

Police Chief Aaron Berube reported the Police Department had to remove two separate groups who had set up camp sites at Wason Pond and Recreation Director Corinna Reishus noted another group has been seen  twice playing ball.      
    Myette indicated that he met with the staff at the Transfer Station and the  new plan is underway. A policy sheet was provided and he explained the Transfer Station started  taking glass on Wednesday utilizing the skid. On Friday they had a few cars waiting and it was busy up until 6:30 and after that basically normal. He said there were few back-ups and no traffic issues on Friday or Saturday.

 ABI Waste Removal  provided a compactor truck to take all recyclables ABI to Waste Management in Auburn. Some who came on Friday didn't realize they could bring and dispose of their recyclables and went back home to get them and bring them. Moving forward the Transfer Station will be open on Wednesday for trash only and have the extra day Friday for trash and recyclables and Saturday as usual and they can bring recyclables. The Transfer Station is hoping to have all bays open by April 22nd . Myette noted  there is a cost for the extra hours for staff and for the removal of the recyclables by ABI at $100/ton  which he estimated will run about $400-$500 per week which will be tracked for reimbursement through FEMA and will be eliminated as quickly as possible.  

Doda noted that when Maintenance inspected the bathroom at Spring Hill Farm for use as a possible quarantine site, they discovered that the shower is leaking into the  wall, and the toilet was sitting on the pipe as the floor is rotted. The estimate for plumbing only is about $2,000. Maintenance reached out to Michael Oleson for an estimate on the remaining and after he inspected it he said the entire bathroom needed to be done and he estimated the cost would run around $25,000.  At this point the water is turned off.

 Doda also noted the State would have to designate the facility as a quarantine location in order to qualify for funding. The Wason Pond Community Center is available if  needed.  D’Angelo felt the bathroom should be fixed now before the damage gets worse. But after a brief discussion the board decided there needs to be a decision made regarding what the future of the building's use is going to be and for that the Spring Hill Farm Advisory Committee and the Spring Hill Farm Trustees need to be involved. It was decided to have representatives come to the Thursday night Selectmen's meeting in order to discuss this and make some decisions.

Road Agent Michael Oleson gave an update on the road work to start April 20th  on East Derry Road. He noted that a culvert was discovered to need replacement when a frost heave appeared. Upon inspection it was discovered that it was not coupled properly. The plastic culvert would have a 20-foot section replaced at an estimated cost of $10,000 and the road would be closed for one

Landau reported a fireman who passed away in the line of duty in the 60s, Roland  Morrissette. His passing was commemorated at the National Fireman’s Memorial. Fire Chief Greg Bolduc  reported that there had been a service at the Firefighter’s Memorial. Landau want to do something to commemorate it locally and asked about the walkway to the flagpole and possibly doing it in conjunction with the 300th  Anniversary.  Bolduc will do more research to find out if any other firefighters in Chester lost their lives in  the line of duty. Myette added it would be nice to put a plaque up at the Station and have it dedicated during the 300th anniversary period. Jack Cannon who is on the 300th  Anniversary Committee noted he will bring this up at the next meeting which they are trying to put together soon.

Myette reported Kristy and Nick Ortins have cleaned up the high tunnel at Spring Hill  Farm and have begun planting. They received woodchips from Oleson and the electricity has been switched and put in their name. Myette helped them get the pump going so they are making good progress.

 Chair Jeremy Owens discussed the proposal for a gate at Pomp Road. Myette said the gate should be put at the top of the hill for visibility sake and Landau said a farm gate along with implanting some  4 by 4's on the sides should be sufficient to keep four wheelers from going through but still allow for emergency vehicles if needed. It was noted that Fish and Game stopped about 30 ATVs and collected pot among other things over the weekend so there is a need to get the gate up. The decision was made to move forward with getting costs and getting this taken care of.

Owens raised the issue of personal and sick time accrual for the Town employees which  was brought up as a concern at a recent Department Heads meeting. Sick and personal time is different from their allotted vacation time discussed at the last meeting. Doda explained that personal and sick time is accrued at eight hours per month worked with a maximum of 96 hours per year, so approximately one day is earned for each month worked. Landau did not feel this was the same inconvenience as vacation time and should  not be subject to roll over. Myette noted it could still be used despite the pandemic. D’Angelo agreed and noted too many benefit reimbursements could be financially detrimental to a small Town. Selectman Joe Hagan noted the policy is clear and coherent and if there were exigent circumstances the Board would address those positively. Selectman D’Angelo noted after a lengthy absence the short-term disability would start anyway.

In other business:

* Recreation Director Corinna Reishus presented Leslie Hammond for reappointment to the Recreation Commission. Reishus noted Hammond has served on Recreation since April, 2014. The board approved re-appointing Hammond to the Recreation Commission  for a term to expire May 31, 2023.  

* D’Angelo asked what measures were used for storing electronic signatures with the  concern that documents stored on the Cloud could be altered if not kept in a secure place. Doda noted the documents are printed and filed and the Board of Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Janice Jalbert added that they are stored securely by Eversign as well as on the Town’s server.

* Myette reported he and Dick Lewis had checked the wooly adelgid at Wason Pond and determined that there were only a few trees infested and none of the tree's health was being impacted at this point.  He  has been in touch with Victor Chouinard Conservation Chair about it and it will be monitored going forward.

* D'Angelo raised concern over some dead trees along the Wason Pond Trail saying they should be taken down before they fall and hurt someone. After a brief discussion  Myette and Lewis will check them out and figure out the best way to handle taking care of them.

* Hagan praised the Fire and Police Departments for their Easter Bunny Ride and birthday rides. Chief Greg Bolduc said an anonymous donor was sending the Town a check to cover the fuel costs for the Bunny and Birthday rides. The board voted unanimously to accept the donation.


Chester Transfer Station Open Fridays and Easter Bunny Will Ride the Roads
By Penny Williams     4-7-20

At the Monday night, April 6, Chester Selectmen's meeting conducted electronically, a couple of  important decisions were made.

First Wednesday at the Transfer Station will be from 5 to 8 p.m. but only trash will accepted. New during this period, temporary Friday, residents will be able to bring trash and recycling between 5 and 8 p.m. on both April 10, and April 17, with the single stream recycling being put into ABI Waste Removal truck with compactor except for glass that will be put into a separate container. Saturday will be trash from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and recycling when the ABI truck is there. The hope is to have the recycling set and the Transfer Station open to both trash and recycling as usual by April 22. Andrew Balch ABI has offered to help Chester by letting the Transfer Station use his truck at no cost for this period of time.

The board made the decision to move forward with putting a gate on Pomp Road between the Class V and Class VI sections to prevent access to the power line for ATVs. Police Chief Aaron Berube said the resident at end of the road is suffering from the ATV traffic and the sounds of gunfire. 90 percent of the  complaints he gets are power line related. ATV use is prohibited but the police don't have the capacity to enforce. The board approved Selectman Step Landau moving ahead with finding a local welder to make a gate and the Highway Department to install it.

The board authorized the Easter Bunny to ride around Chester between 2 and 6 p.m. on Easter Sunday just as Santa did on Christmas Eve. It also authorized  the police and fire departments to continue putting on parades for kids birthdays.

The board is going to look at estimates on at their Thursday meeting that  Building Inspector Myrick  Bunker is going to get to do the work that he has engineering designs for to secure the entrance to Town Hall so it can possibly be opened up for use. It would make changes to allow non-employees only to enter into a lobby until allowed in by someone they are there to work with. There will be an addition to the Town Clerk/Tax Collectors office as well for greater security.

 

 


Chester Selectmen Discuss 2019 Notices of Arrearage
By Penny Williams    4-3-20

Vice-Chair Chuck Myette called the meeting of the Chester Board of Selectmen to order on Monday night, March 30, and again on Thursday, April 2, and read the declaration of emergency order covering electronic means.
    
    Selectmen Steve D’Angelo, Joseph Hagan, Jeremy Owens,  Stephen Landau, and  Myette were  present at both meetings either physically or electronically as was  Emergency Operations Manager Phil Gladu, and  Town Clerk/Tax Collector Liz Lufkin and Town Administrator Deb Doda. Recreation Director Corinna Reishus. Police Chief Aaron Berube and Town Treasurer Rhonda Lamphere were participants.
 
      Thursday night Town Clerk/Tax Collector Lufkin consulted with the Board concerning notices of arrearage for the 2019 tax year which starts April 1,  and goes through next March 31, 2021.
   
    The Tax Collectors’ office sends out a notice of  impending liens 30 days before execution. Due to the emergency, letters were halted that would customarily go out in early March. There are approximately 110 invoices, 42 from the first billing and 66 from the second and two for timber tax.
      
      Once the lien is executed there would be 80 penalties. Myette asked what the consequences were if they are not sent out and Lufkin noted they have until September 30th to respond, so long as it is within 18 months of the beginning of the  tax year.
    
       Selectman Landau recommended including an explanation of the delay when the letters do go out. Selectman Hagan recommended sending the Notice of Intent out on May 1st due June 1st for execution which will give some people time.
    
     It was decided that  Lufkin will send another letter out. Selectman D’Angelo recommended sending by certified mail to get the point across better.
  
      Lufkin indicated deeds which are another deadline are two years and one day from lien execution. Mortgage holders are notified by a service. 2017 were going out this week.  Myette asked if the dates could be the same and Lufkin indicated she would like to schedule a waiver discussion for Thursday’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting on this. There are about 15 to discuss in non-public session. The board agreed to this.

      Lufkin did note during the meeting on Thursday night while waiting for non-public that people with questions who are now calling 911 should be calling 211

      Myette  on Monday night indicated he was meeting with Rich Czarnec Transfer Station Director, and Emergency Operations Manager Phil Gladu at the Transfer Station tomorrow to assess what can be done and what services could be opened up to address the recycling issue. Currently the Transfer Station is only accepting household trash, waste oil and brush/compost and not recyclables.
    
       Myette recommended talking with Waste Management to see what they will accept and is investigating bringing in the trailer. They will  have an update at Thursday evening’s meeting.  Information is posted for the residents on the webpage, the Transfer Station page, sign, Facebook and the Public Access Station. People are being met  at the gate with a handout containing recommendations for  handling waste at home.
  
       Landau indicated he had spoken to the maintenance director Paul Cavanaugh and Czarnec who are short of face masks and sanitizer. In the event there is a quarantine of first responders they are considering Spring Hill Farm for that and will go in and sanitize everything there and the Community Center building as well late Thursday.

       Thursday night Myette said a plan has been worked out that hopefully will allow the resumption of recycling. Among things are proposed expanded Transfer Station hours.

There will be only one bay open and only one car at a time allowed to dispense with their recycling and all recycling articles with the exception of metal will hopefully be back up and running. He said there is ample room for the cars to queue up as it goes back all the way to Route 102 but he recommended people bag recycling items separately for disposal to save time.  The plan is still in the process and would not be available for this Saturday and possibly not for next Wednesday either but soon.
 
     The board discussed a motion by Landau that the proposed extended hours at the Transfer Station from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 7 a.m.  to 4 p.m., on Saturdays be approved until the end of this emergency period. D'Angelo wanted this tabled until Myette brings a confirmed plan to the board on Monday night, April 6 and the board agreed with that.
 
    It was noted that ABI Waste Removal, Andrew Balch,  has offered to bring a truck that would be left there on a given opening period for recyclables and then he would drive the loaded truck to the disposal area. Myette said he appreciated that since this may have to be the way things are handled if the plan under consideration doesn't pan out.

At the Monday meeting Landau advised the board the electrical work was completed at Town Hall over the weekend. The building was closed down, the electricity shut off and wiring was isolated that led to the meeting room. That which served no purpose was disconnected. All the circuit breakers were changed.
  
   Thursday night Myette said a contract for the board's review had been received regarding the re-opening of a gravel pit off North Pond Road. This needs to be cleared through the Conservation Commission before the board takes any action on it.
 
    There was a discussion Thursday about the use of Wason Pond facilities and trails and open spaces. Reishus said people were using the trails but were respecting social distancing. However she reported she had seen groups playing ball over the weekend and this needs to be addressed.

Berube spoke up and said the Wason Pond Park Ranger would be there on nice days and would discourage this. The board unanimously approved reminding residents that buildings are closed and the Wason Pond playground is closed and no groups should be gathering at Wason Pond or at the school fields. They approved looking into what posting of this would be feasible.

 Gladu reported that everything at this point regarding Emergency Operations is going smoothly. However, he warned that there will be a spike of Coronavirus patients coming. In view of this he reported at this time first responders have adequate personal protection gear but they will continue to tweak protocols and to acquire more gear.
  
    The board discussed the question of what is being done regarding employee vacations and whether vacations could be moved forward to after this period. Hagan spoke up and said regardless of what is ultimately decided, employees should not be penalized or lose their vacation time. The board asked Doda to find out how many employees have pending vacations coming and that they would discuss this further Monday night.  

The board discussed the probability that this period will lead to a depression if not at least a severe recession. In view of that D'Angelo suggested that the town put all hiring on hold.

Berube asked if that applied to his efforts to replace police patrol officers who have left or retired and that he has replacement options of certified NH officers and putting it off would undoubtedly lose them for Chester. The board told him to continue with his replacement efforts.

The board voted not to do anything with a suggested Building Code Appeal Board in Chester submitted by Building Inspector Myrick Bunker. Hagan pointed out it isn't necessary since there is already a state board and a process in place. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

~ Melody Beattie ~


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Develop an attitude of Gratitude !!
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

~ Melody Beattie ~