2021 Hampstead Board of Selectmen Meetings


Hampstead Selectmen Approve Raising Resident Town Beach Parking Rates
By Penny Williams    9-28-21

On Monday night, September 27, the Hampstead Board of Selectmen held a public hearing regarding possibly raising the parking fees for parking at the Town Beach.

The Recreation Commission recommended increasing the rates because of the costs of maintaining the beach and the parking fees go towards beach costs. Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault said the RSA involved with the whole parking and parking fee issue requires a non-resident fee be no more than double the resident parking fee. At this time Hampstead is out of compliance.

Hampstead is out of compliance because residents are charged $5 while non-residents are charged $40. The options recommended either raising the resident parking fee to $20 or reducing the non-resident fee to $10.

The board discussed this and took into account the recommendation from the Recreation Commission. After the discussion a motion was made by Selectman Chair Sean Murphy to raise the resident beach parking fee to $20 effective 2022. The board approved the motion.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen sent a letter to Hampstead Police Department Detective Adam Dyer on behalf of Senator Hassen and Representatives Kuster and Pappas. Shaheen congratulated Dyer "on being selected for the Officer Richard W. Bateman Dedication and Professionalism New Hampshire Congressional Law Enforcement Award."  She referenced Dyer's work on his investigation in 2020 of a commercial burglary that took place at DaSilva Motorsports. She said his work had gone beyond and above normal duties. The award ceremony will take place Friday, October 1, at the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council facility in Concord at 4 p.m.

Road Agent Jon Worthen told the board he had identified 23 locations where knotweed is growing and said he has applied for permits to spray these specific areas. He indicated that he had worked with Selectman Steve Morse on this and Morse had approved the request for spraying. The board also approved it.

Worthen also reported that the new furnace and the new tank have been installed at the Town Garage and are ready to go.

Police Chief Joe Beaudoin asked the board to approve paying for an officer out of the department's Detail Fund for coverage of the  Knights of Columbus event on October 9. The board approved his request.

Beaudoin told the board he has not made a decision yet regarding when Halloween will be officially held in Hampstead. He said he wants to coordinate with the surrounding towns and hasn't heard back from all of them yet. He said he would let the board know as soon as he makes a final decision.

The board approved the contract with the Rockingham Planning Commission of $6,000 for them to provide specific assistance on the town's work for the EPA Stormwater Management projects.

It was noted by Selectman Maury Worthen that there were only about a half dozen seniors attending the Seniors Meeting held at the Old Meeting House. The group plans to make a report to the board at a future meeting regarding its activities and  its coordinator position.

In Other News:

* Hampstead Library Trustees September 21, meeting, noted that the dedication of the pathway to the garden was a hit. The Friends’ have agreed to donate $5000 to the children’s room renovations.  Chris Adams, Edward Jones annual up date, said the Trustees  account as a whole is up about 7.5%.  Director Rosemary Krol reported that the siding and path is done. Treasurer’s Report noted that the Trustees and the library has received 75% of the money the library is entitled to and have only spent 61% of our budget. The meeting with Ray Noel on investments was virtual and it was reported that last year's return on investment was 19.25%. This year so far is ROI 13.3%. 

The Estate Planning template for local cable channel will be further discussed and explained by Chris Adams who will present on this topic of planned giving and the advertisement.

In new business the board learned that the Carpet bids Rosemary opened for the 2nd floor. Solid Roots Construction bid $24,420. Edgepro Flooring bid $20,288. We will ask for commercial references. Charlene Flaherty moved to accept the Edgepro bid with the provision that references are good and it was approved. The Trustees voted to approve Sophie Hodge as Library Page.  The next meeting will be October 19, at 1:30 p.m.

 


Hampstead Selectmen Approve December 5 Live Christmas Parade and Waste Oil Project
By Penny Williams   9-14-21

On Monday night, September 13, the Selectmen learned that the Lion's Club sponsored Christmas Parade will be back to being mobile this year.

Tina Harrington, Financial Administrator and IT Technician for the Town and previous coordinator of the Hampstead Firemen's Association parade committee, told the board the Lions Club is looking for their approval to hold the parade as a mobile event this year.

The date of the parade is December 5, and while Harrington said it may be a little shorter this year, it will be live. The board did approve it and the town will enjoy the usual Christmas Parade this year.

Catherine Warnock, University of New Hampshire at Manchester, asked the board for approval to come in and do a Risk Assessment project on the Town Office Building based on  Homeland  Security standards for her senior project.

Warnock said the risk assessment would be done by interviews with town officials in the building and these would be completed by December 1. She indicated the risk assessment would be looking at physical components, emergency security and cyber security of the building. A final report will be presented to the board on December 6. The board approved allowing Warnock to conduct the risk assessment of the Town Hall.

The board approved Road Agent Jon Worthen moving forward with the Waste Oil  project he introduced at the prior meeting.  The grant he is seeking is $5,000 and it would be available with other towns in on the project. The board approved Worthen moving forward with the project.

The board opened the bids for the Meeting House roof. The bids were as follows:

* JJS Universal Construction, Dudley, MA, $14,700

* DBM Construction, Tilton, $14.850

* Lane Roofing, Derry, $11,100

Selectman Joe Guthrie, speaking for the Historical Society, said they have been happy with the work done for them on town buildings by Lane Roofing and they recommend the board approve the Lane Roofing bid. After a brief discussion the board approved Lane Roofing to do the Meeting House roof.

Guthrie then brought up the Hadley Road Conservation Commission parking lot. He said the issue is the entrance is so steep that a regular car would likely get torn up in trying to access the parking lot and he indicated this would be a liability for the town.

Guthrie indicated that Conservation Chair Tim Lovell had told him it would cost roughly $5, 000 to do the work needed to reduce the slope. Guthrie suggested there were ARPA funds that possibly could be used to do the work.

The Road Agent was asked if he could do the work and he indicated there only a 50-50 chance he could do it but he indicated he doesn't really have the necessary equipment to do this and recommended getting an outside company to do the work.
After a brief discussion Guthrie asked the board to vote to approve spending an amount not to exceed $6,000 to do the work.

However, Chair Sean Murphy suggested he needed additional information regarding the possibility of town liability associated with this issue. He wanted to wait for additional information then take it up at the next meeting. The board voted to deny Guthrie's motion to approve spending up to $6,000. It will be on the next meeting's agenda.

Selectman Laurie Warnock said negotiations continue with the Hampstead Area Water Company over rate increases. She said this is an important committee and they are in need of more members.

The Senior Drop In will continue for now at the Old Meeting House. The next meeting is scheduled for September 23,

Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault said the board will take up the issue of whether or not there was a savings by having the mowing of the fields done in house at an upcoming meeting. She also said the Department Heads continue to work on the ARPA project list.

The board accepted the resignation of Ethics Committee member Eric Selecky who said he is moving out of town,

In Other News:

* The public is invited to a special Ribbon Cutting and Dedication Ceremony for the new Storybook Garden Path at the Hampstead Public Library on Saturday, September 18 at 1 pm. The path is dedicated to the memory of Janet Eagleson.
A former Hampstead resident and librarian, Janet Eagleson was an extensive traveler, avid supporter of equal rights, enthusiastic Red Sox and Patriots fan, and a dedicated mother, grandmother, and friend. She was a tremendous addition to the Hampstead Public Library staff for over nine years, and after her retirement she continued to support the Library by volunteering for the Friends of the Library as Secretary and as a Thrift Shop worker. Janet was taken from us too soon in December of 2017.  Her presence is missed by all those who knew her.
The Garden Path project began with a bequest from Janet Eagleson, which was used to construct a new walkway along the side of Library.

“We have long wanted to have a safe pathway to the Storybook Garden from the front of the building,” said Library Director, Rosemary Krol. “Janet Eagleson’s family and close friend have been very supportive of the project. Thanks to Janet’s generosity, we achieved our goal. Now adults and children can safely visit this beautiful outdoor space.”

This summer, stone pavers were added to connect the walkway to the garden gate, and new landscaping was installed. Dennis Silva of Osgood Hill Farm donated the stones and labor for this part of the project. New plants near the path were donated by Freshwater Farms. The existing gardens at the Library are beautifully maintained by the Hampstead Garden Club.
All are welcome to meet in the front of Library building on Saturday, September 18 at 1 pm. Following the brief dedication ceremony, attendees can stroll down the path and join a celebration with light snacks and beverages near the Storybook Garden. The dedication festivities will take place rain or shine. Please join us as we celebrate the life of a wonderful woman by enjoying the beauty of the Hampstead Public Library path and gardens.

* The events of the past year have proven immensely challenging for all of us. After months of virtual resourcing, online meetings, and contactless pickup, the Staff and Trustees of the Hampstead Public Library appreciate more than ever the opportunity to gather once again as a community. We are thrilled to welcome back our patrons. We’ve missed you!

We are excited to resume in-person activities, many of which have been outside, including Storytime for our children, family movie nights, monthly book group discussions, as well as our teen-oriented and senior-specific enrichment activities. We are also keenly aware that as our community continues to grow and our activity roster expands, so does our need for additional safe and practical public meeting/event space.

After consulting with building contractors and town officials, the Hampstead Public Library Board of Trustees plans to build a 20 x 40 ft. shingle-roofed, pavilion (similar to Ordway Park) on the front lawn to facilitate outdoor programs and events. The proposed structure, as depicted in the rendering above, will be wheelchair-accessible and equipped with electricity and wireless internet connection. 

We need your help. The Library Pavilion Project will be funded entirely by grants and donations from community members like you.

To kick-off this massive fundraising effort, the Hampstead Public Library is asking the public to sponsor a commemorative brick to be incorporated into the finished walkway linking the new pavilion to the parking lot.

Bricks can be purchased to commemorate a loved one, celebrate a birth or special event, publicize a business or highlight your club or organization. Inscribed with your personal message each brick purchased supports our ongoing mission to enrich present lives, encourage lifelong learning, and prepare for our ever-changing future. To order a brick, please go to   https://www.fundraisingbrick.com/hampstead/.

As a vital community resource, the Hampstead Public Library continues to offer public access to new materials and media, educational and entertaining programming, as well as technology assistance and training.

We encourage you to improve your Library services by contributing to this outdoor expansion project. As always, we appreciate your continued support and look forward to working with you together, building for the future of the Town and the Library!

* Hampstead Isaiah 58 New Hampshire’s annual charity benefit will be held on Sunday, September 26,2021 from 4:00-7:00 pm at Jamison’s Restaurant, Hampstead.The program includes a buffet meal, cash bar, music, raffles and silent auction. This year’s recipient of the High Sheriff Michael Downing Award for Humanitarian Service is Laurie Warnock. Isaiah’s Acts of Kindness (A-OK) Award will be presented posthumously to Robert (Bob) Nugent. Isaiah’s mission is to provide families and individuals in need with housing, clothing, food, life skills training, and educational and clinical support necessary to reach their potential. Tickets are $58.00/person and may be purchased by calling the office at 603-952-8000. 

 


Hampstead Selectmen Concerned with Department Heads Making ARPA Recommendations
By Penny Williams   8-24-21

At the Monday night, August 23, Board of Selectmen's meeting Selectman Joe Guthrie pushed for the board to be the determiner for which projects would get ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds and those decisions not be made based on the recommendations of Department Heads.

He said he is concerned about the "recommendation" of Department Heads relative to projects to be funded by ARPA funds. The town has $450.000 plus dollars this year and a similar amount for next year. Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault has been working with the Department Heads to develop a list of projects that would be eligible for ARPA funds and to prioritize that list.

Guthrie indicated that because the tax payers won't have any say in the projects chosen, the board should be the sole arbiter of project selection. He admitted that a lot of hard work has been done to develop the current list but he wants a special work session for the board to take the proposed projects and decide themselves which should be chosen for the ARPA funds.

While the rest of the board didn't overtly disagree, he seemed to be the only one concerned with applying the Department Head recommendations. All of the board agreed the final decision should and would be the board but all of the information developed should be utilized.

Selectman Laurie Warnock suggested that delaying any decisions would be wise since the Fire Department building construction project is still waiting information regarding a grant application. She noted she is comfortable with the work done to develop and prioritize the current list of projects.

Selectman Steve Morse said he agreed a special workshop on the matter would be a good way to go. Chair Sean Murphy said that the board would be the final decision maker. It was left that the board would reassess this issue at their September 27 meeting.

Road Agent Jon Worthen asked the board if they would be interested in seeing if other towns would like to partner with Hampstead for waste oil collection. If Hampstead is alone it would be eligible for a $2,500 grant but if it was partnering with 2 or more other towns the grant would increase to $5,000.

Worthen said if the town did partner with other towns a larger or a second holding tank would be needed and he had no cost information regarding that. He did say that since the garage furnace replacement is larger than the previous furnace more oil might be needed but he thought that because of its larger size it would be run less to keep the garage warm.

After a brief discussion the board told Worthen to go ahead and see if there were other towns who might partner with Hampstead for waste oil collection and how much a second or larger holding tank would cost and bring that information back to the board.

Theriault told the board she will be sending out the budget meeting schedule for the  2021/2022 Budget meetings The schedule starts with Wednesday, October 13, for the Budget meeting with Department Heads, the  Selectmen, Library Trustees and Budget Committee on Departments’ budgets  to be held at 7 p.m. This will be the first draft of the budget. 

Monday, October 25,   there will be a Budget Meeting with Selectmen and Budget Committee on Selectmen's budgets  at  7 p.m. This meeting will be part of the regular Board of Selectmen's meeting.

Monday, December 13,  there will be a Budget meeting with Department Heads, Selectmen, Library Trustees and Budget Committee to deal with the final budget held at 7  p.m. 

Finally, on Wednesday, January 12, 2022  there will a  Public Hearing on the Budget at 7 p.m.

Theriault also said she was asking the board for permission to authorize the Assessors to file with the State for a MS1 extension to October. The board approved her request for the Assessors to file for a MS1 extension.

Theriault also reported that there has been only one application to fill the Per Diem Firefighter position. They will continue to advertise for the position.

Lilly Walsh addressed the board saying she is interested in filling  one of the open positions on the budget committee. She indicated her education and work experience involve budgets and she would like to contribute to the town. The board approved her appointment to the Budget Committee.

 


Hampstead Board of Selectmen Approve New Heater for Garage
By Penny Williams    8-10-21

On Monday, August 9, the Hampstead Board of Selectmen met and approved a request from the Road Agent for a new waste conversion heating system for the Town Garage.

Road Agent Jon Worthen  said when the company came to do the furnace clean out it was found the heat exchanger was broken and was no longer safe to operate. He indicated he did not go out to bid because there are few companies that deal with this particular type of equipment and the company servicing the garage furnace have been doing so for a long time. The current equipment is probably in the neighborhood of 30 years old. The company has a new one in stock and installation could start as soon as September.

There are two options for the replacement. One is the same size equipment, a 2,000 BTU furnace that would heat 5,000 square feet. The garage is 4,800 square feet but there are two large doors, one at either end of the garage that are frequently opened and shut. The cost is $8,950. The second option is to upgrade to a 3,500 BTU model.  The cost of this model is $10,950.

The board discussed this and Worthen pointed out that the larger unit would run less therefore cost less to run, which would offset the additional cost over the exact replacement model. The board voted to approve the $10,950 purchase with the funds coming from the Building Maintenance Capital Reserve Fund for the larger unit.

Worthen also wanted to purchase a new tank to go with the new furnace and after a brief discussion the board approved the additional $1,500 cost for that and approved a total of $12,500 from the Building Maintenance CRF.

Police Chief Joe Beaudoin asked for the boards permission to put the Humvee out for public sale on the open market without the sealed bud requirement. He indicated they would be able to get a much better price for the vehicle that way and be able to select the highest bidder. The board approved his request.

The board discussed the bid and the proposal for the light pole for the Public Library's front parking lot that were on the table. The Library Trustees recommended accepting the proposal amount of $8,770 from TD Electric, Danville, who they have worked with over the years.

However, Selectman Maury Worthen was adamant that the company didn't go through the proper bid process in the first place and that the company that did, Ark Electric, Northfield, had and their bid was lower, $7,950. He said the board should select the low bidder and save the town $1,500. After a discussion the board voted to approve the low bidder, Ark Electric.

The board appointed Jay Dimando as the Senior Coordinator. Her appointment to this position was recommended by both the Senior Committee and the Recreation Commission.

It was announced that there would be an audit on September 20 for the federal MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System). The town is required to be in compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System stormwater  requirements. The day long audit will involved the Selectmen's Administrative Secretary Sally Theriault, the Road Agent, the Planning Board, Code Enforcement and someone from the Rockingham Planning Commission that has been helping the town with the compliance of the federal requirements. Theriault noted that no one would have to be there all day for the audit.

The board approved Savers holding a town-wide yard sale event with the proceeds to go to the Jason Flood Foundation program in Derry, a mental health focus group that  provides resources, education, and outlets for teens, young adults, and parents a safe space and open forum to learn more about various mental health issues and suicide prevention. The date and other details of how and where things can be donated for the sale will be provided later.

A full time firefighter is leaving and the board approved in non public and then announced, moving a per diem firefighter, Robert Beaulieu, to replace that full time person.

 


Hampstead Selectmen Open Library Light Post Bid and Discuss American Rescue Plan Act Funding
By Penny Williams 7-27-21

Monday night, July 26, the Hampstead Board of Selectmen opened the single bid for the proposed new light pole at the Hampstead Public Library.

The light is proposed for the front parking area because with the proposed pavilion coming additional light will be needed for safety in the front of the library. Board Chair Sean Murphy opened the single bid from Ark Electric. The bid amount was $7,450.

Selectman Joe Guthrie questioned why the original bidder for the light hadn't responded despite having been prompted. The board approved passing the Ark Electric bid on to the Library Trustees for their review and recommendation. That will come back to the Board of Selectmen for their decision at a future meeting.

The board discussed the various documents that are on the town's web site relating to Stormwater Management. The board requested anyone with questions or comments regarding these documents and the information they contain to please send their inquries to the board.

The board discussed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) list of proposed projects that have been delivered by the various departments. Each proposed project has to be vetted and meet strict eligibility guidelines. It was noted that many projects have already been eliminated because they do not meet the eligibility requirements.

The Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault has already responded and accepted the funds that will amount to more than $900,000 over the next two years. Those funds should arrive in the near future. But project proposals are still being solicited. The board had a discussion about possibly being able to apply funds to lost revenue.

Selectman Laurie Warnock said that a lot of good things can be done with this money. Projects should be carefully reviewed and prioritized. A report on what funds have been used and what for is due in October. The board encouraged residents and department heads to recommend projects for review. Guthrie reflected that he thinks few of the proposed projects would actually meet the rigid eligibility but Warnock thought there were some good projects proposed.

Police Chief Joe Beaudoin asked the board for the authority to dispose of the 2010 crusier which has a blown engine and has been just sitting there. All the usable equipment has been striped and he thinks he might get $400 or $500 for disposal. The board approved his disposing of the 2010 cruiser with the blown engine.

Beaudoin also asked for authority to see about disposing of the Humvee the department had gotten from the government. If it is sold or auctioned the money will have to come to the Police Department because of federal regulations. He indicated he wanted to put the Humvee up for auction if neither the Fire Department or Highway Department are interested in it. The board authorized him to go about disposing of the Humvee.

Beaudoin also asked to bring in one or more certified full time police officers who haave indicated they are interested in working for Hampstead. He said he is still one officer short since the one hired last year didn't work out. He indicated he would like to bring in one or two of the officers and have a selectman present for the interview. The board approved his request.

 


Hampstead Selectmen Learn School Street Crosswalk Cost at $50,000
By Penny Williams   7-14-21

The Hampstead Selectmen met Monday evening, July 12, and learned about the probable cost of installing a crosswalk at the School Street/Main Street intersection.

It was reported that the board had received information that indicated the probable cost of installing the crosswalk would run around $50,000.

Police Chief Joe Beaudoin spoke regarding the crosswalk and indicated that he feels it will be more than $50,000. He said that an engineer would have to be hired and that the crosswalk would have to be handicap accessible, which at this time isn't possible since there are no sidewalks at that intersection.

Beaudoin noted that the Highway Safety Committee is to meet in the next week and this issue will be brought up and their response and recommendations will be brought back to the board.

Selectman Joe Guthrie brought up the need for additional parking lot lighting at the Hampstead Public Library particularly since the pavilion will soon be constructed on the library's front lawn. He indicated the library had gotten a single quote to change the lights to LEDs at a cost $8,770.  He made a motion to allow funds from the Building Maintenance Fund not to exceed $9,000 to be used to do this project.

The board discussed it and Selectman Maurie Worthen said if there had been three quotes obtained he might have been in favor of waiving the three bid minimum for projects exceeding $7,500 but since there was only one quote he couldn't support it.

The board decided that since the town will be handling the project that Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault should be the one to seek three competitive bids for the project. The board was not opposed to using the Building Maintenance Fund money since there is $44,410 in that fund presently.

Selectman Laurie Warnock said she had taken part in the Public Utilities (Department of Energy) meeting with the Hampstead Area Water Co. (HAWC) concerning the requested increase in HAWC rates. She said testimony by residents raised more questions than answers. She also praised the efforts of the Water Resource Committee to hold HAWC accountable.

Theriault said the she has submitted the application for the America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds but hasn't received any money yet. She has a list from  Departments of projects that they propose.  She plans to meet with the Department Heads and go over their proposed plans so she can ultimately prioritize the list after checking each for eligibility.

Theriault also said she had received the heating fuel and propane bids from the town's present supplier.

Propane has gone up 15 percent and heating fuel has increased 36 percent. She said the board can accept this or go out to bid. The risk in going out to bid is a new company could require equipment changes. After discussion the board decided to go with the current vendor's proposed prices.

In Other News:

* Heaven’s Kitchen, a ministry of St Anne’s Food Pantry and St Anne’s Parish continues to look for ways in which we can help our community cope and heal. 
Community BBQ Chicken Dinner, to go with the proceeds to benefit residents of recent condo fire. As an organization that is dedicated to serve our local communities and often, during difficult times we will be hosting another community dinner to go with all proceeds being given to the families impacted by the recent condo fire in Hampstead. On Thursday, July 22nd from 4:30-6:00pm we will be offering a homemade BBQ chicken dinner for pick up behind St Anne’s Parish.  We will offer individual size meals. Meals will include BBA chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, baked beans, Cole slaw and a warm buttermilk biscuit.  We will finish the meal with a warm strawberry shortcake. This is the 5th in a series of dinners we have sponsored.  100% of all profits will be donated to the four local Hampstead families affected by this event to help offset expenses they have incurred due to the fire.  In lieu of a set cost, we ask that you donate at the time of pick up.  We encourage you to be as generous as you can at this time. Please place your order by end of the day Sunday, July 18th by providing last name and number of people in your party.  Orders can be texted to 603.339.3731 or by calling the Parish office at 603.329.5886.  Please make checks out to St Anne’s Parish or you can pay with cash.

 


Hampstead Selectmen Approve Discretionary Preservation Easement
By Penny Williams   6-30-21

On Monday evening, June 28, the Hampstead Selectmen met and approved a discretionary preservation easement.

The "New Hampshire State law RSA 79D Discretionary Preservation Easements, creates a mechanism to encourage the preservation of historic New Hampshire barns and other agricultural buildings by authorizing municipalities to grant property tax relief to barn owners who (a) can demonstrate the public benefit of preserving their barns or other historic farm buildings, and (b) agree to maintain their structures throughout a minimum 10-year.

The board held a public hearing to discuss a request from Malcolm Gurley, 104 Stage Road, for a 75 percent tax reduction under the State's Discretionary Preservation Easement  that would reduce the taxes on his barn by $800. The reduction request was based on the "benefit" preserving this barn would provide the town and residents.

The board discussed this request and Selectman Steve Morse suggested the board consider a 50 percent reduction rather than a 75 percent reduction in taxes on the barn based on the discretionary preservation easement. Morse didn't disagree that the preservation of the barn provides a benefit to the town and residents but indicated he felt 75 percent reduction was too much.

A 50 percent discretionary preservation easement based on the 2020 tax rate  would reduce the taxes on the barn by $531. The board discussed this briefly and voted to approve reducing the barn taxes by 50 percent. The public hearing was closed and there was no public comment.

Tim Lovell, Conservation Commission Chair, discussed property that is Map 12 Lot 90,  which is one property over from the new auto dealer on Route 111. He indicated that the Conservation Commission voted 4 to 2 to purchase the property. The purchase price of the property is $17,000 and the commission recommends the Selectmen approve the purchase.

However, Lovell noted that he and Conservation Commission member David Treat voted against the purchase. He indicated that he and Treat felt that the commission never purchases wetlands and furthermore the lot is 'unbuildable' therefore not threatened. The other commission members voted for the purchase because of the location of the parcel next to Darby Brook. He also said the parcel is a 12 acre landlocked property of which approximately 11 acres are wetlands.

The board discussed this and Selectman Joe Guthrie made a motion to deny the Conservation Commission's request to purchase the property. The board discussed this briefly and voted to approve Guthrie's motion to deny approving the purchase of the property.

Road Agent Jon Worthen informed the board there is a problem regarding getting the road stripping done as planned. The price budgeted for the work was based on the 2020 price. The price increase, if he does both the yellow and white line stripping as planned, will cause that budget line to be overdrawn by about $6,000.

The board and Worthen discussed the options. The board asked if Worthen felt he could cover the increased cost with money found somewhere else in his budget and he said he could. The board voted to approve his over spending this budget line in order to get all the planned yellow and white lines painted.

Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault in the second public hearing of the meeting, explained the American Rescue Plan Spending as it applies to Hampstead. The town can expect to receive $451,840 this year and  the same amount next year and the town has 4 years to spend the funds.

The ARPS is: "The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) provides $350 billion in additional funding for state and local governments. The state funding portion is approximately $195 billion with $25.5 billion distributed equally among the 50 states and the District of Columbia and the remaining amount distributed according to a formula based on unemployment. The local funding portion is approximately $130 billion, equally divided between cities and counties. Localities will receive the funds in two tranches–the first after the U.S. Treasury certifies the proceeds to each jurisdiction and the second one year later. For cities, the $65 billion is divided between jurisdictions that are Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement jurisdictions and those that are not. $45.5 billion of the $65 billion will be allocated to metropolitan cities utilizing a modified CDBG formula, and the remaining amount for jurisdictions that are non-entitlement CDBG, will be allocated according to population. For the non-entitlement jurisdictions, the amount will not exceed seventy- five percent of their most recent budget as of January 27, 2020. Additionally, non-entitlement jurisdictions proceeds will be allocated through the state for redistribution to local governments. For counties the $65 billion will be allocated based on the county’s population. Counties that are CDBG recipients will receive the larger of the population or CDBG-based formula."

The funds can be used for eligible expenses such replacement of government services due to COVID-19 in terms of public health emergency, expenditures or negative economic impacts; assistance to small businesses, households; premium pay for essential workers; and, investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure. Funds cannot be used to offset taxes.

Theriault indicated more precise information is needed with respect to exactly what the funds can be used for. She said the board needs to authorize someone to  handle these funds and to make the required reports.

The board approved Theriault as the designated person to handle this. She said she would make a report by October 30 regarding what if any funds have been used for by that time.

It was noted that there will be a special Seniors Cookout on July 13, during the Tuesday night Cable TV Advisory Board  sponsored concert that will be The Neil Diamond Tribute Band. Seniors have decided to meet at the Old Meetinghouse rather than the Hampstead Public Library at least for their next meeting due to the restrictive COVID-19. rules still in place at the library.

It was also brought up that there is the usual summer issue of cars being parked for use of the town beach that do not have the required sticker. The police have been asked to provide patrols and enforcement.

 


Hampstead Selectmen Decide that Masks are  Now Optional in Town Hall
By Penny Williams   6-15-21

The Hampstead Board of Selectmen met Monday evening, June 14, and after a discussion decided to lift the COVID-19 mask restriction from the Town Office Building.

Board Chair Sean Murphy raised the question suggesting that the mask restriction be lifted but masks remain optional. The board discussed this and decided that given current trends and guidelines lifting the Town Hall mask restriction was reasonable. Board members also thought that it should be noted that mask wearing remains optional, encouraging people, visitors to the building and employees, to do what they felt was safest and best for them. The mask restriction was lifted effective with the board's vote.

The board opened the sealed bids for the Building and Grounds truck that was for sale. The high bidder was Stevie Wentworth who bid $8,255 for it. The board approved selling the truck to Wentworth as the high bidder.

Matt Gillette went over the proposed Communications Community Newsletter. The purpose of the Communication Committee is to help manage the information flow from the Town of Hampstead's Boards and Committees to the general public. This committee will make recommendations for creating, enhancing, and maintaining communications via digital and print media to improve the town’s communication. Each Board/Committee on the Town of Hampstead's website has its own section on which they can provide their own content and updates, and we offer 1st level technical assistance when help is needed. We do not attend other committee meetings but will reach out to their contact to help ensure their content is posted in a timely manner.

The newsletter, it was decided, will be presented to the board for a cursory review on Wednesday of the first and third week of the month going forward. The plan is to try and stay aligned with the Selectmen's meetings.

It was decided that vendors won't be named unless they are part of a town fundraiser and the money raised is for the town.

The letter this time contains information regarding the Master Plan, an important town issue going forward. There is a survey available looking for community input regarding the Master Plan. Master Plan Survey that seeks residents' opinions. The Hampstead Planning Board and Master Plan Steering Committee are updating the Town’s Master Plan and are seeking input on what should the FUTURE of Hampstead be? The survey asks participants to share their thoughts and ideas - take the survey today at – www.publicinput.com/Hampstead2022. The survey is open until 6/30. Paper survey are available at the town offices and library. 

The board expressed pleasure at the proposed Newsletter. Selectman Laurie Warnock suggested that it might be worthwhile to have 10 hard copies available at Town Hall and the Library with the publishing of the newsletter digitally on the Web site.

The board discussed the possible crosswalk at the School Street/Main Street intersection. The crosswalk lines were not repainted when the state repaved Main Street.

Road Agent Jon Worthen said he is not in favor of any crosswalks that aren't done absolutely correctly with special lights and signs and that to do this involves a great deal of money.

It was noted that almost all Hampstead students are bussed or driven to school and that the number of students crossing there, if any, is very few. A crosswalk near Town Hall was speculated about but the same negatives, cost and questionable need arose regarding that.

Police Chief Joe Beaudoin said he could contact the state and ask them to do a traffic study to see if such a crosswalk at either location was needed. He indicated he suspected they would respond that this issue has already been discussed and found not viable but he would send the request. He agreed with Worthen that cost of such a crosswalk would be extremely high.

Beaudoin also asked the board to approve him using funds from the Police Detail Fund to pay officers for the fireworks on June 26. The board voted to approve that request.

The board voted to approve and allow Murphy to sign the negotiated agreement between Consolidated Communications and the town in the amount of $12,288.96.

Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault discussed the pandemic related money the town may be in line to receive from the state but would report on such to the federal government, to address certain lost revenue due to COVID-19. The actual guidelines aren't clearly defined as yet but the town might be in line to receive anywhere from $129,000 to around $500,000 depending on what they can file for.

Warnock said while she believes Theriault has a handle on the town expenses she felt that all the town Department Heads should work on developing any list of  funds requested regarding lost revenue.

The Community CareGivers were approved to start planning for the Town Wide Yard Sale for this year. Last year's event was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The board appointed Neil Lynch and Jim Wilkinson as full members of the Conservation Commission raising that board to seven members and leaving an opening for alternate to be appointed.

The board also re-appointed Fire Chief Michael Carrier for a three year term.

 

In Other News

* The Friends of the Hampstead Public Library announce the re-opening of their Thrift Shop on Tuesday, July 6. Shop hours will be Tuesdays and Saturdays, from 9 am to 1 p.m. The Shop is located in the basement of the Hampstead Public Library and shoppers should enter via the door on the left side of the building, where a red flag will be hanging. “We’re excited to open again,” said Barbara Dennis the Shop manager. “We’ve been cleaning and restocking, and we look forward to welcoming customers once more.” Item donations to the Thrift Shop will be accepted starting June 21. Donations should be brought into the Library when it is open. Please do not leave donations outside the building. “At this time, we request that only gently used summer clothing be donated,” said Barbara.  Visitors are asked to comply with the Library building rules when they come to donate or shop. Masks and a limit to the number of people in the Shop may be in effect.  We wish to create a safe and pleasant shopping experience for all visitors and Shop volunteers.
Call 603-329-6411 or email HampsteadFriends@gmail.com if you have questions.

* The 2021 Meetinghouse Park and 2021 Ordway Park Concert Series have been announced. On July 6, the Compaq Big Band will play at Meetinghouse Park at 6 p.m. On Wednesday, July 7, the Monadnock Bluegrass Band will play at Ordway Park at 6 p.m.  On July 13, at Meetinghouse Park Neil Diamond Tribute concert will take place and on July 16, The Last Duo will be held at Ordway Park. On July 20 Don Campbell Band will play at the Meetinghouse Park and at Ordway on July 21, the Steve Blunt Kids Concert will take place. On July 27 at Meetinghouse Park the Martin Kelly Band will play and on July 28 at Ordway Park the concert will be the Alex Minasian Jazz Ensemble.  August 3 at Meetinghouse Park Soggy PO Boys will play; on August 10 Mark 209; on August 19, Studio Two; and the concert season ends with Lee Lewis and the Doo Wop Allstars on August 24, at Meetinghouse Park.

 

* Library Trustees met Tuesday afternoon, June 15.. The Thrift Shop is going to reopen on July 6th. They had the air tested, carpet cleaned and a radon test. There is an air purifier on the way. The radon was 7.7 which is above a 4 but they are going to keep the doors open and open the windows in the stairwell to get fresh air down there. June 22 they will start accepting summer clothes for donations. They purchased three hand sanitizers for the library. Director Rosemary Krol spoke about the issue with the unruly patron. She will arrange for active shooter training again since there are new people on staff. The Phase 5 started on June and occupancy is limited to 20 people and meetings are being scheduled. The library will start interviewing for the new Programs and Social Media on June 16 and when someone is hired Janet Arden will be free to take over Nancy McMullen's job. Denis Desilva, Osgood Farms will install the pavers to finish the pathway to the storybook garden and add some plantings to keep it more attractive. Spending is on track with nothing out of the ordinary. There was a discussion about how the Trustees could be doing outreach. Everyone is supposed to brainstorm and bring ideas to the next meeting. If was decided that speaking at the Select Board meetings was not the appropriate venue. One suggestion was a forum at the library explaining how people could leave money to the library.


Hampstead Selectmen Approve Official Code Enforcement Vehicle
By Penny Williams   5-25-21

The Hampstead Board of Selectmen met on Monday night, May 24, and approved the proposed vehicle purchase presented by Code Enforcement Officer Kris Emerson.

Over a year ago the board had approved the proposal to find and purchase a vehicle for the Code Enforcement/Building Inspector's Office run by Emerson but had delayed the purchase due to the pandemic and the need for the town to reduce all spending.

Monday night Emerson presented a proposal in the region of $31,000 for a basic Chevie Colorado pick-up truck. Asked how much more would be needed to have the vehicle lettered and organ light for the top added Emerson said not more than $1,000.

After a brief discussion the board voted to approve the bid for the vehicle from Quirk Auto.

Selectman Laurie Warnock reported that Hampstead members and other town groups refused to sign the proposed PUC temporary rate increase for the Hampstead Area Water Company. However, she noted that the temporary price increase has gone into effect anyhow. The PUC will begin its research on the proposed increase and she indicated that she and others would be following this process and would keep the board advised.

She also said the Water Resource Committee has developed a Press Release letter that will be sent to all Hampstead residents about its recommendations for best practices for voluntary water use conservation given the dry conditions.

She said the recommendation letter includes an ordinance that can be put in place if an emergency drought situation is issued. She asked the board to approve the Board of Selectmen being  added to the Water Resource members on the letter.

The board approved this with a change suggested by Selectman Joe Guthrie. He wanted the  Board of Selectmen term to be changed to Select Board in deference to having a woman member now. This suggestion was confirmed by the board.

She also said that Fire Chief Michael Carrier has applied for a $1.5 million grant for the construction of the fire station addition and she would keep the board informed regarding that.

It was noted that there have been complaints that the  weed whacking job is not being done by Building and Grounds to the extent the fields need it done. Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault said the reason is there isn't sufficient help to get it done.

The two possible hires for the employment for building and grounds help dropped out. It was suggested it might help if the $14.72 compensation was added to the postings looking for help. In the meantime the present employees will do the best they can but there is a lag in the addressing the work orders due to the shorthanded issue.

Guthrie reported that the Library will be requesting the town to provide additional lighting for the front parking lot. He said it is needed now and will be needed even more when the pavilion is developed on the front lawn.

Conservation has voted to increase its full time members to 7 by moving the current 2 alternates up to full time status and will be looking for new alternates.

There was a discussion about the possible cross walk at the end of School Street but Road Agent Jon Worthen said he is against just putting stripes there without a fully engineered light.

It is a state road so the state looked at it and said it would cost a lot to do it right. The board wasn't interested in doing anything but said to keep them informed if the state provided any further information.

Theriault said the town is slated to get possibly $450,000 this year and the same amount next year from the American Rescue Fund but she hasn't received adequate guidelines on what the funds can be used for as yet.

It will be important to use the funds only for things clearly allowed as any money from the fund spent that doesn't meet the compliance standards will need to be repaid. Guthrie suggested a work session before publically discussing the actual money being provided and the guidelines for its use and the board thought this a good idea.

In other business:

* The Recreation Commission met and Lacrosse  says it’s still buggy.  Lacrosse will make sure they move the goals to not wear down in front of the goal.  

* Mother’s Club – The permit for sand for the  Town Beach was mailed two weeks ago.  They  are still waiting.  The lines were put out May 23rd.

* Signs will be posted on the tennis court indicating that the re-surfacing date is June 7th. and Building and Grounds Director  Steve Harms will be contacted about locking the Tennis courts. The commission needs to find what the schedule is for Depot Road and notify Building and Grounds about the weed whack.  The bleachers are still at the Holiday Lane field.  There is an issue with an outlet there when using the fryers and a quote for fixing it will be gotten.  The infield weeds on the 70’s field were sprayed. We will allow other use of up to 16 people at the Veterans Memorial Gym and a date for the bleacher painting will be obtained..  Erin will get painting date.

* Scott Bickford, Senior Affairs Transportation Committee said, " One of our SSATP riders, Alvin Atkins is celebrating his 99th this coming Wednesday May 26. I’ve coordinated a drive by his home 128 North Road at 1pm. We had Fire, Police, DPW and many other individuals. The Lions club is putting something up on the town hall sign and Bob Nickerson on the All Japanese Auto sig. I am hoping to drive Alvin by at some point on or soon after the birthday drive-by to see the signs. Their son James is planning to make sure they are outside for the drive by at 1pm. Alvin is a sweet man with so many interesting stories, I really enjoy giving him a ride each time! Loreen is a wonderful lady too!" 

* The Library Trustees met and Rosemary Krol, Library Director’ said the library is moving to next phase of being open in June 1. She reports that Nancy McMullen will be retiring at the end of May. Marilyn Moran will be retiring at the end of May. We are adjusting some of open hours: closing at 5 p.m. on Fridays but now opening until 3 p.m. on Saturdays. We’re making changes to fine structure. Trustee Al Cipriano made a  motion that the library accept donations in lieu of set fines for late books and the board unanimously approved. We have applied for a grant from the State of NH for access to some ARPA funds. We are getting air purifiers for the meeting rooms so we can open the meeting rooms. The Treasurer’s Report was that spending is minimal since there haven’t been as many patrons in the building.

Update on building maintenance- we’re still working on getting different types of estimates. We’re getting all duct work cleaned since there is a dead animal smell. We had to get a company to get rid of odor, but then also will be cleaning the ducts to prevent odors. We’re getting an estimate to complete the path from the end of the walkway along the side of building.  We’ve applied for $80,000 in grants for the pavilion project. Kate Thomas  went to the planning board meeting and asked some questions. We have more information about the process and the planning board doesn’t have any problems with the pavilion being built. 

Review of Trustee by-laws and Cipriano proposed changes. One was that all references of chairman be changed to chairperson throughout the by-laws, and references to Selectman change to Select Board. He also added that the chairperson may designate another trustee or library staff as appropriate to present  to the select board.

At a regular scheduled trustee meeting the chairperson or designee will brief the trustees on the content of their presentation prior to meeting with the select board. After discussion, this proposal was withdrawn with the understanding that the director and trustees keep communications open. Alternates should attend and participate in trustee meetings. After discussion, this proposal was withdrawn. Cipriano made the motion to remove reference to secretary in by-laws.

 


Hampstead Board of Selectmen Tabled Cell Tower Lease Sale
By Penny Williams  5-11-21

The Hampstead Board of Selectmen met Monday night, May 10, and after reviewing the two bids for the sale of the Kent Road Transfer Station cell tower lease, decided to table the issue for the present time.

The board discussed the two bids and it became evident that there would have to be a Warrant Article or possibly two involved if the lease were to be sold. In as much as Town Meeting is a long way off the board decided to reject the two bids and table the issue until fall.

Selectman Joe Guthrie again stated that he wants to see if the money from the sale of the lease, when it happens, can be designated to the development of a Community/Senior Center. It was noted that such dedication of funds would also require a Warrant Article.

Howie Steadman, Patriotic Purposes, asked the board for guidance regarding mask wearing and social distancing for the Memorial Day Celebration on May 31, that will take place at 10 a.m. on the bandstand behind Town Hall.

There was a discussion and the upshot was that masks are no longer mandated but the guidelines recommend voluntary wearing of masks and that is what the event should follow. Social distancing would also be recommended for safety even though the event is outside.

As a Civic Club member, Steadman asked if that advice would hold for the Fourth of July Festival if the Civic Club decides to sponsor it this year.  The board basically said yes. There was more discussion around social distancing at the games booths.

Steadman said the fireworks is a go for June 26, but the Civic Club is yet to decide on the Festival. It was recommended that cleaning be done and sanitizing stations be provided for these events.

Selectman Laurie Warnock discussed the Water Resource Committee and State information regarding the potential drought issues and noted that while there is no drought right now it would be wise for residents to practice voluntary water use restrictions such as lawn watering  every other day only.

Warnock said there is an ordinance prepared should a drought emergency occur that the Board of Selectmen could enact. She explained several suggestions from the Water Resource Committee and said the state report is available for all to read and it contains good suggestions and information.

Warnock also brought the board up to date regarding the Hampstead Area Water Company (HAWC) and its request to the Public Utilities Commission  (PUC)  for increased rates. She indicated that the PUC will make a decision on a temporary rate increase and then do further investigation.

The board voted to authorize Warnock, who is working with HAWC and the PUC on the rate increase, to sign off in agreement or in opposition to the PUC temporary rate increase as she sees fit. She said she would have that opportunity but that her vote, one way or the other, wouldn't hold much if any weight.

Chief of Police Joe Beaudoin told the board that the Hadley Road Conservation parking lot is now open. It is closed between dusk and dawn, he noted, and his officers would routinely patrol the parking lot. However, he encouraged residents in the area to call the police if they observe any illegal or disturbing activity and the police will respond.

Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault told the board the Emergency Operations Plan has been updated and asked that it be signed. The board approved Chair Sean Murphy signing the plan.

The board briefly discussed what to do with the old truck that has been replaced by a new truck. Theriault suggested auctioning it off. Murphy asked if any department could make use of it and Selectman Steve Morse said it would be much too expensive to fix for any such use. The board agreed to move forward with auctioning the old truck.

Guthrie said the Historic District/Heritage Committee had decided to remove the fencing around the town owned property when Road Agent Jon Worthen could get to it. He was asked if there is a plan to replace the fencing and he said yes but the commission doesn't have the funding needed at this time.

The board approved appointing Jaye Dimando as an alternate to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

There was a discussion about Croy Path but the resident who had raised the issue was not present so the board didn't do anything with it.

In Other News:

* Hampstead Garden Club Plant Sale will take place on Saturday, May 22nd, from 9: to 11 a.m. The Hampstead Garden Club will holds this plant sale fundraiser at the Hampstead Town Hall Green, 11 Main Street, Hampstead. (The "pouring down rain" date is Sunday, May 23rd. ) The money raised at the plant sale helps the club maintain and improve the beautiful public gardens in the Hampstead community. There will be hundreds of healthy, vigorous plants for sale for just $5.00 each. This popular event is usually a sell-out, so be sure to come early for the best selection!

The Hampstead Garden Club has been beautifying the town since 1979. Made up of garden enthusiasts of all ages and abilities, we're always looking for new members, and we welcome everyone! Learn more at www.hampsteadgarden.org.  

* The Recreation Commission at their last meeting  discussed the Lacrosse Field #2 that has holes on the field. Lacrosse fixed one field. Steve Harms, Building and Grounds Director, will check and fill it in. They cancelled Thursday and no one played Friday. Games have started and things are going well. Field #2 and #3 have a lot of black flies and mosquitoes. Matt Johnson will check with Kris Emerson regarding the bugs.

The Mother’s Club would like to have a craft fair / festival on the Town Hall field. They would like Saturday, September 11th, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will work with St. Anne’s, Hampstead Central School  and the Civic Club.

Sand permit for the Town Beach cost is $400.00. They will need 10 yards of sand and Jon Worthen will help with the sand. Selectman Maurie Worthen will sign off on the permit.

 There will be Sunscreen dispensers put up this week. Harms said playground chips are ordered and will be here in May. They will blow them into the playground.

The Pavilion is on hold until we get more help. Memorial Gym report has not been received but Harms reported it was in good condition. The tennis courts will be refinished starting June 7th. The new bench has arrived and it has been installed. Andrew Blazska has completed the Gaga Ball Pit for his Eagle Scout Project. He did an amazing job.

The Hampstead Association of Softball and Baseball would like to remove the bleachers on the 60’s field because they are dangerous. HASB would like to add new bleachers. Motion to remove the bleachers at Holiday Lane 60’s field was approved.

The board voted  to not allow the Men's Basketball League to add out of town people. Painting at the Town Gym will be on August 2nd.

The summer recreation programs information have been sent home from the HCS by Principal Dillard Collins electronically and the letters will be sent from Hampstead Middle School soon.

. If you need to get a form visit the website: https://sites.google.com/site/recreationhampstead/ .

Movie Night tentative dates are August 31, September 17, and October 1.

There is a need for a Defibrillator at Depot Road. It will cost 20,000. We will continue to look for donations

 


Hampstead Selectmen Appoint Firefighters and Promote Officers
By Penny Williams   4-27-28

The Hampstead Board of Selectmen met on Monday evening, April 26, and made  some important appointments.

The board approved the appointment of three per diem firefighters; Peter Lefebre, Jonathan Goldrick, and Justin McCarthy. This will allow coverage of the Fire Station that is not now available.

The board approved the promotion of Police Officer Rick Chambers to Lieutenant, Officer Adam Dyer to Sergeant, Officer Scott Randell to Detective, with all being effective May 2. The board  also confirmed Officer Stephen Winter as the Hampstead School District School Resource Officer.

The board heard from the Water Resource Committee regarding drought conditions and preparedness for implementation of an ordinance to address the situation if it becomes an emergency.

Water Resource Committee Vice Chair Ken Richards explained the area is experiencing the start of  moderate drought conditions. The committee recommends the town ask residents to voluntarily restrict watering lawns to every other day, starting now.

In addition, he provided the board with an ordinance they can implement if a drought condition is labeled an emergency by the state, the point being they will already be prepared to act. Richards said the committee recommends residents take a neighborhood approach to these situations since all wells are not equally good and some in a neighborhood may suffer from well issues in a drought condition and if the neighborhood acts as a community this will help everyone.

In the event of an emergency condition, the State allows fines for violations but it is very hard to enforce. So having a prepared ordinance available and having started with voluntary actions, the town should be ahead of the game.

Conservation Commission Chair Tim Lovell informed the board that the Williams family will be logging on their conservation properties on West Road starting in May. He said signs will be put up but conservation land users should be aware of the logging.

Selectman Joe Guthrie noted that the Conservation Commission had reorganized making Lovell the Chairman again.

Lovell said he had the paperwork asking for the Conservation Commission for approval or disapproval for sand for the Town Beach. He indicated the commission wants to investigate this further so will submit their decision in the next two weeks.

Lovell said he is concerned about the amount of sand that has drifted or been pushed into the lake and he wasn't sure more sand was needed.  He said he watched a truck with a boat on a trailer gouge ruts 75-feet into the lake because of the excess sand in the water. He suggested that there might be a need for a proper boat launch there.

The board held a public hearing regarding increasing application and abutter notice fees for the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Sandown charges $35 for an application fee and $6.98 per abutter notice, the lowest fees among neighboring towns.

The board had previously approved increasing the application fee to $100 and the abutter notice to $10 but had failed to hold a public hearing on this so this was why they were holding this public hearing now. ZBA Chair Geoffrey Dowd suggested $75 for an application fee might be more palatable.

The board discussed this briefly and voted to affirm their previous decision to raise the fees to $100, for an application and $10 for abutter notice, effective for all applications filed after June 1. No one from the public spoke and the public hearing was closed.

The board opened the two bids for the sale of the cell tower lease. The bid proposals were from Sakal Acquisitions, Inc of Reno NV at $270,000 and a bid with two possible options from Landmark Division of N. Plymouth, MN, one option for at $200,000 for 312 months which would buy out the current lease and a second option for  $175,000 for 240 months that would cover 20 years. There was a notice that American Tower Corporation has taken over the town's current lease with Blue Sky Technologies. The board took the bids under consideration and will make a decision at their next meeting.

The board discussed the lifting of the mask mandate and after a long discussion made the decision to retain the mask mandate for Town buildings. They will revisit this by or before July 1. An addition to the mask mandate notice will simply note that those who can't wear a mask for medical or breathing issues won't be prohibited.

The board approved Andrew Blaska's  Boy Scout GaGa Pit project that was brought before them by Recreation member Sara Arroyo.

Patriotic Purposes Chair Howie Steadman said there will be a Memorial Day event on May 31, at 10 a.m. at the bandstand.  The Fire Works will take place on June 26, but the Civic Club has not yet decided on whether to hold the festival.

The cost of one of the urn locations in the new cemetery urn wall will be $1500. Of that $100 will go to the perpetual care account and $1,400 to the general maintenance account. These urn locations are currently available.

In Other Business:

* Recreation met and it was noted that the Lacrosse - Field #2 has holes on the field. Lacrosse fixed one field. Steve Harms will check and fill it in the holes. Mother’s Club would like to have a craft fair / festival on the Town Hall field. They would like September 11th on Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will work with St. Anne’s, HCS, and the Civic Club. The permit for Town Beach sand is $400.00 and  10 yards of sand is needed. Road Agent Jon Worthen will help with the sand. Maurine Worthen will sign off on the permit. Building and Grounds Director Steve Harms said playground chips are ordered and will be here around May. Harms will open the irrigation this week or next week. Memorial Gym report has not been received yet. The tennis courts will be refinished starting June 7th. The new bench has arrived and it has been installed. The Gaga Ball Pit by Andrew Blazek has been completed for his Eagle Scout Project. Painting at the Town Gym will begin August 2nd. The summer recreation program information have been sent home from the Hampstead Central School by Principal Dillard Collin’s electronically and they will be sent from Hampstead Middle School soon. If someone needs to get s form visit the website: https://sites.google.com/site/recreationhampstead. Movie Night will be held tentatively August 31, Sept 17, and Oct 1. The Commission is considering a Defibrillator at Depot Road that will cost 20,000.00. The commission will continue to look for donations


*  Hampstead Public Library Trustees welcomed Friends of the Library Executive  Board member Linda Skidmore who thanks the trustees for getting together and is pleased to continue improving communication. The Friends reviewed their support to the library. Library Director Rosemary Krol provided a list of suggested items that the library could use. Skidmore will discuss the movie license, learning kits, museum passes, and other items with the Friends’ board. Friends will help with the dedication event for the new path in honor of Janet Eagleson once it is planned. 

The Library's Plan is to go forward and open without appointments starting May 17th. Masks will still be required per policy, and time limits will still be in effect, and limits of 20 people in the building at one time. Expenses are on track for this point in the year. Quotes received for the exterior siding were excessive.

The Trustees and library administration are going to table this issue until the next meeting since these need to discuss it further. They need to address the siding replacement needs so the bid may need to be adjusted. Trustee Al Cipriano suggested creating a subcommittee for Strategic planning for the future, containing trustees, some staff, and perhaps a member of Friends, for the next version of the plan, starting potentially in 2022. These plan discussions will be tabled until the next meeting. The Trustees discussed the Roles of Trustees and Director.

 


Hampstead Selectmen Approve Library Pavilion Proposal and Fireworks in June
By Penny Williams    4-13-21

Monday evening, April 12, the Hampstead Board of Selectmen approved the Hampstead Public Library's proposal for a pavilion to be constructed on the library's front lawn.

Library IT Director Kate Thomas presented the proposal and asked for the board's approval. She explained that the pavilion would allow the library to expand its functional space and provide the opportunity to hold more programs out of doors. She also noted the pavilion would be available for community use as well.

Thomas said the plan is to apply for and receive a grant for the funding of the pavilion. She indicated there are several possible grants and the library plans to apply for these and not need to use any taxpayer dollars for the project. Going forward she said the library will be working with the  Building Inspector, Code Enforcement Officer, Kris Emerson, the Planning Board, as well as abutters and consultants. No additional parking is expected with respect to the pavilion.

It was noted by Library Trustee Ronnie Shelley and Selectman Joe Guthrie that the Lion's Club will be supporting and helping with this project. The board approved the library constructing a pavilion on the town owned library front lawn.

Road Agent Jon Worthen came before the board and requested permission to sell or trade left over unused crack and seal materials. He indicated he has spoken to Petra Paving about this and he believes what he has in the garage would bring in around $1,500 in cash or as a credit for work Petra is planning on doing on Hampstead roads. The board approved Worthen working with Selectmen liaison Steve Morse to work out the sale or barter of the material.

Worthen also asked for permission to sell some small stuff such as tools and equipment. Selectman Laurie Warnock suggested he might also check into seeing if places such as Isaiah 58 NH , Working to End Homelessness Organization, might need what he is trying to get rid of and donate it if they need the items.

The board approved him selling or donating equipment no longer needed up to a value of $500.  He can do this without coming back to the board but needs to develop a list of material and equipment he wishes to get rid of and then work with Morse.

Police Chief Joe Beaudoin said the School Resource Officer (SRO) will be up for approval at the School Board meeting on Tuesday night and he wanted the Selectmen's ok to work with the School Board regarding Officer Steve Wilson. Beaudoin said he had hired Wilson, at least in part, because of his qualifications to work with children and that he would make an excellent SRO. He said the originally developed Memorandum of Understanding remains in place with only a minor change or two. One change is to require the SRO to return to the Station for 15 minutes at the conclusion of the school day. The board approved moving forward with the SRO and working with the School Board.

Fire Chief Michael Carrier has applied for a grant for the Fire Station addition/renovation project. Warnock said there were ten projects that would be granted and the fact the Hampstead Fire Station project is both shovel ready and a safety and security issue project is in its favor.

Guthrie brought up the Petition Articles that sought quicker posting of agendas and minutes saying the requests are looking for greater transparency and information. He suggested that it would be good for the board to show they are listening by getting the selectmen's agenda up and available by Thursday rather on Friday giving interested parties more time to do their own research or questioning.

Guthrie also wanted meetings broadcast over the Internet for more people to be able to connect with the meeting and the issues under discussion. Matt Gillette spoke up and said the Selectmen's board actually provides good agenda and minutes and leads by example. He indicated other boards and committees need to follow the Select board's example. It was noted that the agendas and minutes are actually regulated by RSAs.

Since there was no response for the town sought job for mowing town fields the board approved the suggestion that the two current Highway and Grounds employees be allowed to add overtime to their schedules to do that work. Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault said the additional 10 hours a week estimated cost would be about $600 a week or a total around $12,000. The board approved this.

There was a discussion about the town's Fire Works Display and the Town Festival. The current date for the fireworks is June 26. The board and Howie Steadman, Hampstead Civic Club, were reluctant to put a final yes to the Festival given COVID-19 issues but the board did approve the June 26 date for the Fireworks.

The board appointed Warnock as the Hampstead Water Resource Committee intervener for the Town. The board also re-appointed many board and committee members. Christina George, who did run for re-election as a Trustee of the Trust Funds, stepped forward and volunteered to fill that vacancy by continuing for this year and the board approved.

In Other Hampstead News:

*  St. Anne's announces another event from Heaven’s Kitchen, a ministry of St Anne’s Food Pantry and St Anne’s Parish As many of you know, we have held 3 fundraising dinners this year with proceeds going to support the staffs at our local restaurants that have been hit hard this past year due to COVID-19.  We are switching gears a bit for our next dinner and looking for your support to help fund a new community garden that will support guests of St Anne’s Food Pantry and overtime, be something our community at large can participate in. We are breaking ground on the first phase of the community garden on Saturday, April 17th and expect a bountiful harvest this fall!  We will be donating all profit from this dinner to fund the various expenses associated with the community garden.  

  On Thursday, May 20th from 4:30-6:00pm we will be offering a homemade Jamaican Jerk Chicken Dinner for pick up behind St Anne’s Parish.  Meals are packed individually. Meals will Include 2 pieces of chicken, traditional red beans and rice, fried plantains with dipping sauce and Jamaican Coconut Cake for dessert.  This is the third in a series of dinners we will sponsor. 

  Additionally, we are reaching out to the community to help us name the garden.  Please include your suggestion for the garden name along with your donation.  In lieu of a set cost, we ask that you donate at the time of pick up.  We encourage you to be as generous as you can at this time.  If you know someone in your neighborhood that could benefit, maybe order extras offering an opportunity to help even more people. Please place your order by end of the day Sunday, May 16th by providing last name and number of meals you would like.  Orders can be texted to 603.339.3731 or by calling the Parish office at 603.329.5886.  Please make checks out to St Anne’s Parish or you can pay with cash.

 


Controversial Conservation Parking Lot Discussion Dominates Hampstead’s Selectman’s Meeting
By Penny Williams   3-23-21

The Conservation parking lot proposed for the end of Hadley Road has been under discussion for a number of years and on Monday night March 22, residents brought it up again.

Resident Michael O'Neil a new homeowner in the Hadley Road development spoke passionately about wanting to delay the opening of the parking lot at the Conservation meeting  held March 17. He came before the Selectmen asking that they delay the opening of the Conservation parking lot by months or even a year so as to determine if it is really needed. He did admit that he had been informed about the parking lot before he purchased his property.

He accused the Conservation Commission of mixed messages and for not actually planning or preparing for the parking lot. His concern is that it will increase the traffic flow in the new development and create other issues and it isn't needed as cars can park in the Cul de Sac which the Conservation Commission claims is a security and safety risk. He was upset that the parking lot would be put on Conservation Trail maps bringing in many outsiders.

Also speaking out on the parking lot was Carl Schumacher who along with Carl Cote had previously challenged the Conservation Commission for discussing the controversial parking lot process when the board members were out at the site.

Schumacher expressed concerns about the parking lot and they way it has been handled as did Cote. Cote's wife Darlene Cote who reminded the board she and others had tried for many months to get the Conservation Commission to allow them to be involved in the planning process only to be told they weren't board members so no they couldn't be in on the discussion.

Selectman Joe Guthrie indicated he thought there was merit in holding up the actual opening of the parking lot but noted the Conservation Commission had indeed kept the selectmen and the planning board apprised of their plans which was affirmed by Chair Sean Murphy.

Murphy noted the  issues raised by Schumacher had been run by the Town Attorney. The decision from the Town Attorney was that the Conservation Commission hadn't created any liability issues but that they needed to follow the Right to Know Law. The board had charged the commission with reviewing the rules and process of the Right to Know Law which the Conservation Commission did.

Speaking for the commission Chair Tim Lovell said this parking lot issue has been discussed time and time again over the last four or more years. He indicated that the plan is to put up signs regarding safe driving and the lot would be closed all winter and when open it would be closed from dusk to dawn.

The residents suggested a gate and the Conservation members asked who was going to open and close it daily?

Conservation member Brent Ebner spoke about the need for the parking lot and the work done by the commission over the last four years to find a place that would be a safe and cost effective development for the trails on that side of town.

He said they didn't have money to do a traffic study but the commission had been told countless times by people/families using the trails that they needed and wanted a parking lot. He indicated that the commission's expectation of the number of users was based on the use of a similar parking lot next to his driveway and other conservation trail parking lots use.

The Board of Selectmen said they needed to get clarification from the Town Attorney regarding the power of the selectmen over the Conservation Commission. Murphy felt the Conservation Commission has the sole authority over Conservation land use but he was willing to get legal clarification on whether the board could slow or stop the commission from opening the parking lot.

The board reorganized as this was the first five person board meeting and Murphy was appointed chair again.

Police Chief Joe Beaudoin asked the board to raise the amount of money he charges for Details by $9 to $79 since the board had previously approved increasing the amount charged for Detail officers and cruisers to $54 from $45 to be in sync with other towns. The board approved the request, effective April 1

Beaudoin explained to the new board members about the firing range his department is trying to develop at the Kent Farm Transfer Station. He said he has a bid to do the work from Busby Construction to take care of it for $11,000 and that this was a great bid and he didn't believe he could it done for that little anywhere else. The board approved his request to use money from the Detail Fund for this.

Several people spoke during the Cable Contract Public Hearing, going over all the Cable Committee and the Cable provides to Hampstead residents. The board approved the proposed Cable Contract .

The board went through assigning board members their liaison assignments and then the board members signed off on the Police Union contract agreement.

Matt Johnson, Recreation Chair reviewed the uses of the Veterans Memorial Gym and asked the board if it would allow small groups to use it and for these small groups to be responsible for cleaning it up after each use with material supplied by Recreation for that purpose. It was suggested that a sheet be there with a list of things that need to be done to achieve the cleaning and that each group would sign off on the sheet each time. The board agreed to allow the small groups to use and clean the gym.

Road Agent Jon Worthen told Johnson he though the drainage work that was done was working and that the commission could move ahead with the tennis court repairs. He did suggest waiting until after the rains that are forecast for the weekend come and he can check and make sure the drainage is working as expected.  The board suggested Recreation should shoot for June for the tennis court repairs.

Johnson said the Town Beach needs sand to be added and that as soon as he figures out how much is needed he can bring the cost to the board for their approval. He indicated he would be working with the NHDES regarding the sand for the beach and he was fine with addressing this in the future.

No one has responded to the call for a part time employee to mow the town fields. The board discussed this and it was decided that the cost of an employee (if one could be found) should be compared to landscaping company bids so RFPs should be developed.

Al Davis was reappointed to the Rockingham County Planning Board and the board accepted with regret the resignation of Al and Carol Cipriano from the Seniors Committee.

 In Other Business:

* Conservation Commission member David Treat said he was still taking invasive plant classes. He indicated once an invasive plants takes hold it is almost impossible to eradicate so should be controlled. The commission discussed the bridge that will be replaced of West Road Conservation trails. There was a discussion of the trail maps being developed. The commission discussed painted rocks left on the trails as well as things like pink flamingos and teddy bears. It was decided that before anyone put anything out on a trail they needed to get permission from the Commission and things could only remain out there for30 days. There was a discussion about the Hadley Road Conservation parking lot. Darlene Cote said she has collected enough plastic to get five benches for the town and the next one will be for the second for the Conservation Commission and she thought it should go to the East side where needed.

* On March 16 the Library Trustees met for the first time as a five member board. Natalie Gallo was appointed chair again and Charlene Flaherty was re-nominated as Treasurer. Library Director Rosemary Krol said  the library is now accepting appointments for patrons while continuing to do curbside and if all goes well these appointments will be increased. RFP's the library building siding have been sent out and the Administration is awaiting quotes.  There was a discussion of a Pavilion out on the front lawn but the Trustees will need to discuss this with town as well as trying to find grants for this.

 


Hampstead Election and Warrant Article Results March 2021
By Penny Williams   3-10-21

Voters passed the Hampstead Central School 60s Wing Renovation while denying the Bond for the Hampstead Central School Construction project. Voters also rejected the Fire Department Construction Bond. Other than those two denials everything on the town and school ballots passed.

Selectmen elected for three years are Steve Morse and Maurie Worthen  with Laurie Warniock elected for a one year term.

Long time Police Chief Joe Beaudoin was once again re-elected for a three year term.

Charlene Flaherty and Alfred Cipriano were elected to three year Library Trustee terms and Kristina Durocher was elected as a Library Trustee for a one year term.            

Stephen Wentworth and Kim Colbert were elected to the Planning Board for three year terms.

Timothy Lovell and Robert Weimar were elected for three year terms on the Budget Committee but the one year and two year term seats remain unfilled.

Joseph Passanise was elected to a three year term on the Cemetery Committee.

The three year term seat for the Trustee of the Trust Funds remains unfilled.

There was a write in for School District Clerk of 23 votes for Lisa Demio.

Completing its search for a new Superintendent, the Hampstead School District is pleased to announce that Mr. Robert Thompson has been selected as the district's first Superintendent of Schools for SAU55 (Hampstead School District) under its single-district status effective July 1, 2021.

Thompson has served as Assistant Superintendent in Hollis Brookline since 2019. His educational leadership experience also includes Principal of Hollis Brookline Middle School and Dean of Students at Souhegan High School. Thompson has received his Master’s Degree in Education, as well as holds an Ed. S. (Educational Specialist in Educational Administration and Supervision) degree.
 
 Educational Consultant Earl Metzler said, the Hampstead School District is excited to announce, in collaboration with Pinkerton Academy, school district staff will participate in a closed COVID vaccination pod this Sunday, March 14th.

This is a significant first step toward the district’s Safe Learning Plan goal of returning our students to full time in-person instruction. This vaccination event is part one of a two-part process. The estimated timeframe for completing the vaccination process is mid-April, which will bring the district closer to their Phase 3 plan of getting both students and staff back into the classroom.

 

 


Hampstead Selectmen Raise Some Municipal Service Fees and Look for Stormwater Committee Members
By Penny Williams   3-9-21

The Board of Selectmen met for the last time as a three man board on Monday night, March 8, and among other things voted to increase some fees that lag behind what other towns are charging for similar services.

The fees issue was brought up by Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault. She noted that the fees charged by the Zoning Board of Adjustment for applications is just $35, which she indicated is far less than what is charged by several surrounding towns.

The board discussed this and after reviewing the costs associated with a ZBA application and how other towns are handling this, voted to approve increasing the fee to $100 and increasing the individual abutter notice fee to $8.

The board discussed the current $20 fee for homeowners living across Wash Pond Road  to put docks into the lake. After discussing simply raising the fee to $50 as suggested by Selectman Chad Bennett they decided to go with Chair Sean Murphy's suggestion. He suggested raising the initial fee to $25 and then if the homeowner hadn't responded by May 1, a $25 penalty fee would be charged with the second notice. The board voted to approve this.

The board discussed the proposed job description for the Emergency Management Director  position. Fire Chief Michael Carrier said he had reviewed the proposed description which Theriault had borrowed from another town. Carrier suggested that he would like to review it again and amend it to better fit Hampstead. He also noted the Assistant Emergency Management Director position needs to be considered and decided upon and have a job description proposed for the position. He said he would provide the board with these job description proposals at their next meeting, scheduled for March 22.The board agreed to wait for Carrier's proposal at their next meeting to vote on the positions and their job descriptions.

Bennett said the Recreation Commission has been asking about the drainage decision and the tennis courts. However, he said that it won't be accurately known whether the drainage work is actually working until mid-April. He said he understood the Recreation Commission wishes to move ahead with the tennis court repairs if the drainage situation has been corrected.

It was also pointed out that there will need to be a new bid from the tennis court repair vendor since the present bid is two years old. The board put off any further discussion on this until mid-April, but recommended the commission get the tennis court repair bid updated.

The board voted to sign the Memorandum of Agreement with the town's five churches that the Town plows in return for services provided to the town by the churches.

It was brought up that there has been a suggestion to form a Stormwater Committee that would track the town's efforts for compliance with the EPA Stormwater requirements.

The Rockingham County Planning Board made the suggestion and the board decided to call for anyone interested in being on this committee to contact the  Selectmen's Office. The board also decided to add this committee to the Call for Candidates section on the Selectmen's Meeting agendas going forward.

 


Hampstead Selectmen Hear Civic Club Plans to Hold Fishing Derby
By Penny Williams    2-23-21

The Hampstead Board of Selectmen met Monday evening, February 22, and among the topics discussed was the holding of the Civic Club sponsored Fishing Derby in April.

Howie Steadman introduced the Fishing Derby Chair Dave Heidler who explained that the club plans to hold the Fishing Derby this year. It is set for Saturday, April 24, from  7 a.m. until noon for kids ages 1 through 15.

Heidler asked the board what the club needs to do to have the board's support for the Fishing Derby, which was canceled last year. Board Chair Sean Murphy said they might need to limit the number of participants or perhaps hold two sessions for two different age groups so as to maintain social distancing. Masks would be required.

Selectman Joe Guthrie suggested the town or the Civic Club might want to take on the task of clearing out the tennis court side of the pond, which for future events would provide much more territory and allow for more social distancing. Selectman Chad Bennett suggested considering pre-registration.

The board was in favor of the event being held but emphasized that social distancing must be considered and planned for.

Melissa Denton, speaking for the Recreation Commission, gave that organization's report relative to the Veterans Memorial Gym. The board sent out requests for input from boards and committees relative to what they thought about continuing to keep repairing the gym and whether it should be taken down and replaced.

Recreation felt that after investing more than $20,000 in the roof, bathrooms, floor and eventually painting the bleachers that to consider taking it down was not warranted. So far as Recreation is concerned the only expense they foresee over the next five years might be the need to replace the heating system that was installed in 2004.  Recreation sees many years of use for the building saying it has lots of life left in it.

Selectman Chad Bennett indicated he has asked Code Enforcement and Building Inspector Kris Emerson to recommend someone who can come in and inspect the building and answer the questions regarding the building's integrity and whether it should come down or how many more years the town might be able to use it. He indicated his purpose is to be proactive and to have a plan in place when the time comes to replace it.

Murphy said the need to work on the Master Plan is what is driving this. Also he wants to avoid the town being faced with more than one big ticket item such as it is this year with the school projects and the fire department building requests. There is a need to repair or replace some siding and Building and Grounds Director Steve Harms suggests there is some rot involved in this issue. Selectman Guthrie said in his opinion it needs to be taken down and replaced with a Senior/Community Center that would provide gym space for resident use. It was noted the gym is used 7 days a week all day long.

Denton asked that any discussion about the gym include Recreation members and went on to say there needs to be better communication between the Recreation Commission and their liaison (Bennett). This led to a long discussion by Bennett about the demands of being a liaison and his claim that when asked to come to a meeting he tries to do so but Denton said that hasn't happened but it needs to.

There was a discussion regarding the board signing a Memorandum of Agreement regarding COVID-19 vaccination assistance. Members of the town's Fire Department have been asked to help give vaccinations and/or act as observers. The MOA is to set the rate of reimbursement.

It was decided that the Fire Department would use the Detail Rate the Police Department has which is $45 an hour and the board voted to stay at that rate of pay even if the Police Detail rate goes up as of the election.

The Board decided to pass on the Road Signage Program for now. Guthrie asked Police Chief Joe Beaudoin if he could provide the board with a list of where accidents happen in town and where signs might need to be placed or replaced.

Beaudoin said he could provide a list of accidents - when and where they happened but for the vast majority these are driver driven rather than having anything to do with roads, he said.

The board approved allowing employees in their pre-pay medical accounts to be allowed to carry over an increased amount but decided not to authorize any change to those regulations regarding this account that applies to employees who leave Town employment.

The board signed the agreement with Somersworth for that town to accept Hampstead septage if need be for another five years.

In Other Business:

*  St. Anne's Food Pantry Meals
Another event from Heaven’s Kitchen to “serve our server’s.”
COVID-19 has hit us hard and as a community, many of our friends and neighbors who work in the local food service industry have been affected particularly hard.
Heaven’s Kitchen, a ministry of St Anne’s Food Pantry and St Anne’s Parish continues to look for ways in which we can help our community cope and heal. 

On Thursday, March 25th from 4:30-6:00pm we will be offering a homemade classic Sheppard's Pie dinner for pick up behind St Anne’s Parish.  Meals are packed individually. Meals will Include a healthy portion of Sheppard's Pie consisting of seasoned beef, corn, carrots, peas, and fluffy mashed potatoes with a rich brown gravy.  Also included is a slice of Jim Molloy’s homemade Irish Bread, and Irish Lemon Pudding for dessert.  This is the third in a series of dinners we will sponsor.  100% of all profits will be donated to the staff at Rick’s Food and Spirits in Kingston.  In lieu of a set cost, we ask that you donate at the time of pick up.  We encourage you to be as generous as you can at this time. 

If you know someone in your neighborhood that could benefit, maybe order extras offering an opportunity to help even more people. Please place your order by end of the day Sunday, March 21st. by providing last name and number of meals you would like.  Orders can be texted to 603.339.3731 or by calling the Parish office at 603.329.5886.  Please make checks out to St Anne’s Parish or you can pay with cash.
Let us show what our community can do and help those in our community who serve us well!!  Thank you for your support.

* St Anne’s Food Pantry has been operating for over 30 years now.  During that time, it is safe to say there has never been a more challenging time than what we have experienced in 2020 and now into 2021.  We are proud that we have continued offer weekly distribution of food to those in need during this time and have enhanced and expanded our programs to meeting the changing needs of our guests during the Pandemic. 

As we move into the new year there is certainly a sense of optimism that at some point during the coming year, we expect the impact of COVID-19 will have less and less effect on our daily living and our communities will return to some sense of a “new normal”.  Even as we look forward with some optimism, it is clear the financial impact on many will continue to provide challenges.
 
St Anne’s Parish and St Anne’s Food Pantry have a well-defined mission to address food insecurity in our communities to ensure that no one is left behind.  Simply put, we want to be a community resource for anyone in need when it comes to putting food on the tables of our friends and neighbors.  No one should be left out.  To that end, we are embarking on an effort over the next couple of months to ensure we have conversations with anyone struggling to provide food for your family.  While you can contact us anytime, we will also be holding specific opportunities to meet with families and discuss ways we can help. 

We encourage anyone that could benefit from our program to help put food on tables and free up funds for other expenses to take advantage of this opportunity and schedule time with us.

 Please see the information below showing our schedule to set up appointments and as mentioned, you’re welcome to call or send an email as noted below as well.
We will provide a $100 gift card to help with your food expenses at the time we meet as an immediate way to help along with putting together an ongoing plan that will offer various options for ongoing support through our weekly distributions. 

Please consider reaching out to explore opportunities our program.  We do not require a great deal of information to register guests for our program and we commit to explore these in a private, discrete environment.  If you know of a family in need, please help them reach out to us for help.  And lastly, our communities have really come through for us over the last year and supported the mission of St Anne’s Food Pantry so a huge THANK YOU to all who have done so along with our wonderful volunteers.

Food Pantry Registration Dates:
March 13th and March 20th from 9:00am-11:00am
Location:  St Anne’s Parish, 26 Emerson Ave, Hampstead, NH Please drive to the back of the church where you will wait in your car to be called inside to complete registration.

* Conservation Commission met February 10, and there was a discussion regarding the Right to Know Law. The commission discussed getting rock and gravel for the Hadley Road, Golden Meadow and Stage Road Conservation Land entrances. The board discussed some logging issues and continued mapping efforts.

* The Hampstead Public Library plans to open for appointments if the trend in cases continues downward. After February vacation, schools are remote for 2 weeks, so they’re watching that time frame and may open for appointments soon after that, if numbers stay low. According to the treasurer's report since the  beginning of the year, the library spending has been as anticipated for the past month. Treasurer Charlene Flaherty met with Chris Adams and Ray Noel on investment earnings. She directed Ray Noel to draw down the library investments with LPL to approximately $75,000 (our original investment) in accordance with our investment policy. He sent a check to the library and it was deposited. Chris Adams at Edward Jones reported that the library earned about 11% profits/interest from our investments with them. He directed a check to be sent to the library as well.

 


Hampstead Selectmen Accept Labrador Lane as Town Road
By Penny Williams    2-10-21

The Board of Selectmen at their Monday night, February 8, meeting, held a Public Hearing and accepted Labrador Lane as a Town Road.

The board had discussed this at a previous meeting but asked for documentation and input from the Town Attorney affirming  that everything was complete and Labrador Lane could be accepted as a Town Road.

Chair Sean Murphy said that the board now has all the necessary documents in hand as well as input from Town Attorney affirming that the board can accept Labrador Lane as a Town Road. A motion was made and the board approved accepting Labrador Lane as a Town Road unanimously.

Resident Darlene Cote came before the board and said she has collected enough plastic to have gotten three benches already with a fourth about to be received. The benched from TREK, each in exchange for 500 pounds of plastic that is primarily in the form of a variety of plastic bags, will go to the East Road Conservation, Ordway Park, Recreation, and the fourth will be given to the Public Library.

Police Chief Joe Beaudoin asked for and received board approval to use $46,164.19 from the department's Detail Fund to pay for several needed equipment upgrades.

He indicated that a new mobile system for the cruisers is being installed,  a new security system at the station and a new Motorola Radio for one of the cruisers. He told the board there is $100,000 in the Detail Fund to cover these costs and he plans to be back before them to get board's approval to use money from the Detail Fund to update the department's firing range and to help with the purchase of the 2021 cruiser if necessary.

Buildings and Grounds Director Steve Harms came before the board to ask what they want to do about upkeep on the Veterans Memorial Gym. He said he didn't know what Capital Improvement Plan for it was in place but he said it is just a 'money pit.' A new roof was done recently and there is a need for some of the exterior siding to be replaced. He said he thinks Recreation has plans in place to repaint the bleachers.

The board suggested they would be interested to know how many years longer the building will be suitable for use. They asked Harms to gets a RFP out to companies to come in to do a structural examination of the building to answer that question. They asked Harms to get back to them with the results of analysis of the building.

Boy Scout  Travis Henry showed the board a book of pictures and information regarding his Eagle Scout project that he did in conjunction with the Sunset Lake Association.

Henry said he had cleaned up the area around the life guard building at the Town Beach on Sunset Lake and painted it and then worked with the Sunset Lake Association on designing and  building a Kiosk Information Board. He asked the board to sign off on his which project which they did.

The board signed a commitment letter to the Town of Chester for Hampstead's participation in the 2021 Household Hazardous Waste Day. Hampstead hosted the day in 2020 and Chester will be the host town for 2021. Murphy signed the letter and Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault said she would send it to Chester the next day so they can complete their application for a grant to help fund the event.

 


All Articles Moved to the Ballot at Hampstead Town Deliberative
By Penny Williams    2-6-21

The Hampstead Town Deliberative held Friday night, February 5, at the Hampstead Middle School Cafeteria with Don Blaszka handling the Moderator duties in the absence of Moderator Neil Reardon, was over in an hour with all the articles moved to the ballot as presented without comment or question except for the final four petition articles.

The four petition articles were submitted by Leigh Campos who was not present. However,  Laurie Warnock and Matt Gillette did speak against the proposed amendments to the articles made by the Board of Selectmen on recommendation from Town Counsel.

The reason for the amendments, all of which were approved, was that as written the petition articles assumed an authority the legislative body (town meeting) does not have to determine how boards and committees will post agendas, minutes or use zoom or other virtual means for their meetings.

Article 14 sought to mandate all meeting agendas be on the town website and that nothing would be discussed that didn't appear on the agenda. This was amended by the selectmen on advice of counsel to change the first sentence from "To mandate" to "To encourage." The amendment was approved and the amended article was forwarded to the ballot.

Article 15 sought to mandate town boards post meeting minutes on the town website. The selectmen proposed to amend this by changing "mandatory" to "encourage" for the same reasons as the previous article. The amendment passed and the amended article was moved to the ballot.

Article 16 sought to remove recommendations from the ballot. The selectmen proposed an amendment that changed removing the board recommendations from the ballot to "study whether the board recommendations can be removed." Counsel pointed out there are legal requirements that recommendations appear and the town body previously voted to have detailed recommendations appear on the ballot. The amendment was approved and the amended article was moved to the ballot.

Article 17 sought to have all meetings use zoom or other virtual means. Counsel recommended the board propose an amendment that would change "to make mandatory" to "encourage" because the use of virtual means for meetings is only because of the Governor's orders as a result of the pandemic and when these are lifted this would be illegal. The proposed amendment was approved and the amended article moved to the ballot.

There were no comments on Article 6, raising $1,350,000 for construction of an addition to the Fire Station presented by Deputy Fire Chief Will Warnock.

 There were no comments on Article 7, the operating budget of $7,502,460 with a default amount of $7,500,000.

There were none on Article 8, the collective bargaining agreement between the Police Union and the Board of Selectmen that will see a roughly 2.5 percent increase for officers with $27,576 to be raised for the current year's increases. There were no comments on

Article 9. calling for a  special meeting should article 8 fail.

Article 10, $10,000 for the Hampstead Public Library Building Maintenance Non-Capital Reserve Fund drew no comments.

There were no comments on the three social service articles, Article 11, $1,000 Rockingham Meals on Wheels, Article 12, $9,000 for Community Caregivers  and Article 13, $3,070 for Haven.

Selectman Joe Guthrie thanked the Library for returning $25,000 to the town.

 


Hampstead Selectmen Continue Discussion On Labrador Lane
By Penny Williams 1-26-21

The Hampstead Board of Selectmen met Monday evening, January 25, and there was an in-depth discussion regarding the acceptance of  Labrador Lane as a town road that raised more questions than answers and was ultimately tabled.

The main question the board members had was why, if the easements already appear on the town maps and the deeds, were letters regarding them sent to Labrador Lane residents prior to the public hearing. All but one current resident responded they had received the notification but not all responses were complete.

Board Chair Sean Murphy said the board members need information from Town Attorney regarding the easement issue and the reason for sending out the letters to residents prior to the road acceptance hearing. However, it was noted that the Planning Board recommended the acceptance and the Town Engineer's Office had made an inspection and said everything was in order. Selectman Chad Bennett indicated he wanted a written recommendation including more information from the Planning Board.

The board asked that Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault get the information from the Town Attorney and the Planning Board and to put this on the agenda for the next meeting.

Steven Ireland, Macfarland Johnson, gave the board a brief summary of what his company could do for the town regarding their street signs.

 Road Agent Jon Worthen and the Safety Committee had suggested that the company be hired to review the town's signage as to location and status and make recommendations as to which might need to be upgraded or moved. The cost of the review would be $32,000 on top of which would be the cost of new signs and any sign location changes. Ireland did note that these aspects can be done internally at a lower cost than sub contracting the work.

Ireland said the only major change to Federal road sign requirements regard curves. The status issue is generally that a sign no longer has adequate reflection.

Selectman Joe Guthrie objected to spending any money on this saying the Town has until 2029 to be in compliance and he feels the determination about status and location of signs could be done internally.

Worthen noted that he is not an engineer but Guthrie added he didn't think being an engineer was needed. It was also pointed out that this was a single bid and Worthen needs to see what other companies do this sort of thing and get more information regarding cost.

The issue of the signs being in compliance and up-to-date is considered a security and safety issue and to prevent the town facing liability issues should an accident occur and a sharp lawyer note a sign contributing to it was not in compliance with federal requirements. However the board decided they needed more information and asked Worthen to see what other companies offer this service and what other owns are doing this.

The board authorized Murphy to develop a letter to be sent to the Public Utilities Commission regarding the increases in fees proposed by the Hampstead Area Water Company. The increases include a 600 plus percent increase in hydrant fees, for example. The Water Resource Committee requested the board provide the PUC with this letter.

The board heard from Haven with Julie Wiggin providing the board with a presentation. Haven is one of the service organizations that usually appears on the Warrant but as is customary several are brought out annually to be individually voted on. The Police Department considers this an important organization to support as they use it and find its services critical.

The board noted the Deliberative session will be held February 5, at 7 p.m. at the Hampstead Middle School Gym.

The board appointed Melissa Colburn to the Recreation Commission for a term to end 2024.

In other business:

COVID-19 has hit us hard and as a community, many of our friends and neighbors who work in the local food service industry have been affected particularly hard. Heaven’s Kitchen, a ministry of St Anne’s Food Pantry and St Anne’s Parish continues to look for ways in which we can help our community cope and heal.  

On Thursday, February 4th from 4:30 - 6:00 pm we will be offering a homemade braised pot roast dinner for pick up behind St Anne’s Parish.  We will offer individual and family size meals. Meals will include melt in your mouth braised pot roast and slow roasted potatoes in a rich, brown gravy.  Meals will also include roasted carrots, celery, onions, turnip lightly seasoned and a warm buttermilk biscuit.  We will finish the meal with a warm gingerbread bread pudding.

This is the second in a series of dinners we will sponsor.  100% of all profits will be donated to the staff at Jameson’s Restaurant for this event.  
In lieu of a set cost, we ask that you donate at the time of pick up.  We encourage you to be as generous as you can at this time.

Please place your order by end of the day Sunday, January 31st by providing last name and number of people in your party.  Orders can be texted to 603.339.3731 or by calling the Parish office at 603.329.5886.
 Please make checks out to St Anne’s Parish or you can pay with cash.
Let us show what our community can do and help those in our community who serve us well!!  Thank you for your support.

The Hampstead Public Library Trustees met January 19, and among other things they voted to return $25,255.06 unexpended funds to the town. The library remains with just curbside pick-up at this time. The Trustees learned from Library Director Rosemary Krol that tiles have been purchased and over the winter the custodian will install them in the book storage room. He will also finish the pavers at the end of the side-walkway come spring. The passing of Bob Nugent was acknowledged with sadness and Alternate Brian Vass brought up the suggestion that the library, with new people coming on after town meeting should revisit the active shooter emergency plan.

 


Hampstead 2021 Budget and Warrant Articles Public Hearing
By Penny Williams   1-15-21

On Wednesday evening, January 13, the Hampstead Board of Selectmen and the Budget Committee held a Public Hearing on the 2021 Budget and Warrant Articles.

Chair Sean Murphy went over the election of Town Officers and the open seats.

There are 2 - three year selectmen's seats ;  1- one year selectmen's seat;
the Chief of Police seat for a three year term;  
the Planning board has 2 - three year seats ;  
the Trustee of the Cemeteries has 1 -  three year seat;
the Library Trustees have 2 - three year seats and 1 - one year seat;
the Trustee of the Trust Fund have 1 - three year seat;
the Budget Committee has 1 - one year term seat, 1 – two year term seat, and 2 - three year term seats.

Murphy then reviewed the upcoming dates for the Deliberative and Annual Town Meeting. The Deliberative will be held on Friday, February 5 at the Hampstead Middle School at 7 p.m. and the Annual Town Meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 9, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hampstead Middle School.

Article 6, the bond article for financing the construction of an addition and renovation of the Fire Station and equipping it in the amount of $1,350,000. The expectation is that they will go for a five year bond. The Board  voted to recommended this 3 to 0 and Budget Committee did too but at their prior meeting Budget Committee members raised concerns over the proposed cost of the project but Chair Tim Lovell felt it was a good thing for the Town.

Article 7 is the Operating Budget. The amount is $7,502,460 although at the start of the meeting it was $7,512,460  with the Default being $7,500,400. The budget amount is a 2 percent increase of $139,226.80.  Murphy then went through the budget department by department.

There was a brief discussion about Code Enforcement getting a town truck and Selectman Chad Bennett discussed the town taking over the mowing of the fields from Recreation which outsourced this. He made a motion to reduce the line in Recreation by $10,000. He also made the suggestion to reduce the Highway Budget by $10,000 but the board decided to not do that. The board voted 3 to 0 to recommend and the Budget Committee voted 3 to 0 to recommend the Operating Budget of $7,502,460.

Article 8 asks voters to approve the contract agreement between the Town and the Police Union. The three year contract would ask voters to raise and appropriate $27,576 for the increases for current staffing levels in the current fiscal year. The Selectmen voted 2 to 1 to recommend and the Budget Committee voted 3 to 0 to recommend.

Article 9, authorizes a special meeting should Article 8 fail. It was recommended 3-0 by the board.

Article 10, raise and appropriate $10,000 for the Hampstead Public Library Building Maintenance Non-Capital Reserve Fund. The Selectmen voted 2 to 1 and the Budget Committee voted 3 to 0 to recommend.

Article 11, voters asked to raise and appropriate $1,000 for Rockingham Meals on Wheels. It was recommended 3 - 0 by both Selectmen and Budget Committee.

Article 12 asks voters to raise and appropriate $9,000 for Community Caregivers. The Selectmen and Budget Committee voted 3 to 0 to recommend.

Article 13 asks voters to raise and appropriate $3,070 for Haven. Selectmen and Budget Committee voted 3 - 0 to recommend.

Article 14 , a petition article, asks to make mandatory town boards post all meeting agendas on the town web site two business days prior to a meeting and to disallow discussion of any item not on the agenda and to disallow items to be added to the agenda within  2 days of the meeting. The Selectmen voted 0 - 3  to not recommend.

Article 15, a petition article, asks to make mandatory town boards post minutes to the town web site no later than 5 business days after each meeting. The board voted 1 -2 to not recommend.
 
Article 16, a petition article,  asks to remove all recommendations from the ballot. The Selectmen vote 0 - 3 to not recommend.

Article 17, a petition article, asks to make mandatory all town meetings via Zoom or similar software. The Selectmen voted 0 - 3 to not recommend.

 


Service Organizations Speak to Hampstead Board of Selectmen
By Penny Williams  1-12-21

The Board of Selectmen met Monday evening, January 11, and heard from three of the non-profit service provider organizations the town usually supports. Each year three or four of the organizations are put on the Warrant for tax payers to reaffirm or deny support for.

Child Advocacy of Rockingham County was one of three service providers the board was to hear from. In place of a representative, Police Chief Joe Beaudoin spoke about the organization saying it is critical for his department. After a brief discussion this organization was taken off the Warrant and returned to the budget. The amount is $1,250.

Meals on Wheels representative Debbie Perou spoke about the services provided by this organization. She said the transportation portion used to be partially handled by Lamprey Health but they stopped providing this service so her organization has taken it over and partners with other transportation providers to continue the service.

Perou indicated that Hampstead residents do use Meals on Wheels. She indicated despite the issues in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this service organization has continued to provide the services and resources and it is her hope that they will be able to ramp the transportation segment back up soon. This service organization article will appear on the Warrant.

The final service organization that presented to the board was Community Caregivers of Derry. This organization was represented by Executive Director Cindi Tanuma and the Transportation Director Susanne Peace.

They went over the services provided:

* Care-giving - help with shopping,  rides to shop and medical appointments, light
housekeeping, and friendly visits

* Loaners Closet - provides needed appropriate medical items for loan

* Project Upkeep - assistance with minor home upkeep and repair  assistance

Tanuma talked about the need for more volunteers  to provide the services the organization handles. She said that more volunteers are needed from Hampstead in order for the services to them be provided by Hampstead volunteers. She specified that two Hampstead volunteers are needed for light housework chores, three volunteers for transportation and three volunteers to provide friendly visits. She indicated that the Caregivers had provided 5329 hours of support. She said the organization has kept going through the pandemic and was asking for Community Caregivers to receive a level funded amount of $9,000. This organization will appear on the Warrant.

School Board member Dave Smith gave the board and residents listening a review of the two projects slated for the Central School saying the board needs the budget and the article to pass in order for the 60s Wing of the school funding to be available.

This project is a $2,095,000 project. He explained that the  money would come from the Capital Reserve Fund in the amount of $ 1,116,000 and  $500,000 from this year's Surplus. In addition there would be money from the Maintenance line in the budget that would be allocated to the project in the amount of $200,000. Actually it will be $245,000 since $45,000 was added to the budget in the maintenance line at the school board's last meeting. In addition, encumbered funds in the amount $190,000 would come from this year's budget.

Selectman Joe Guthrie asked Smith if the full board supported this and he responded that they had voted unanimously to support it in error.

Smith went over the proposed $9.07 million project for the Renovation of the Central School designed to meet the need for additional classrooms and educational space. This would be financed by a 10 year bond.

He reviewed all the needs the school faces indicating that enrollment is going to grow and class size will be impacted. He showed the proposed construction and renovation design. He told the board the 10 year bond for this project would increase the tax rate by 75 cents and it would cost homeowners $25 a month on a property valued at $400.00.

The board discussed the possible rate increase on hydrants and other areas of the Hampstead Area Water Company (HAWC). Their planned rate increase (609 percent increase for hydrants for example) has not gone to the Public Utilities Commission yet and Hampstead's Water Resource Committee is asking that Budget Committee, the Board of Selectmen and their own committee to provide letters  to the PUC regarding what they see as an outrageous increase.

However, Budget Committee Chair Tim Lovell did say in defense of  HAWC that their recent construction and improvement work and expenditures have reduced their profit level below what they are entitled to. He feels their work has benefit for Hampstead in that it has to do with securing the water supply for the town through the state water line project connecting Hampstead to the Manchester Water supply.

The board acknowledge being in receipt of this request for a letter and voted to put it on the agenda for the next meeting.

Two of the selectmen, Chad Bennett and Joe Guthrie wanted to hold off signing off on the tentative agreement between the board and the Police Union. It was tabled until the next meeting.

The board approved appointing Kathleen Wheeler as an alternate for the Water Resource Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world.
For, indeed, that’s all who ever have."
~ Margaret Mead ~


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

~ Melody Beattie ~