2022 Hampstead Board of Selectmen Meetings


Hampstead Selectmen Accept Road Agent Jonathan Worthen’s Resignation
By Penny Williams   6-14-22

After returning into public session from a non-public session following the Board of Selectmen's Monday night, June 13th meeting, the board voted to accept the resignation of the Town's long time Road Agent.

Jonathan Worthen submitted his resignation, effective June 30, and the board voted to accept that resignation in public session Monday night. The board decided to wait until their June 27th meeting, to decide what direction they would go in regarding to replacing Worthen.

Kevin Hatch, Cornerstone Survey, Chester, asked the board to sign the Hold Harmless Agreement for a resident on Collins Drive, a Class VI road.

The reason for the Hold Harmless is that the driveway to the parcel initially uses a portion of the Class VI Collins Drive and before a building permit can be issued the Selectmen need to sign the Hold Harmless Agreement. The board approved and signed the agreement.

Hampstead School Superintendent Robert Thompson appeared before the board and reviewed the newly approved District Strategic Plan. He also indicated the plan can be reviewed in more detail on the School District Web site.

School Board Chair David Smith provided the Selectmen with the concept designs for the renovation and construction project at the Central School. Smith said the plan is to hold the price at just above $5 million ( that amount in order to be eligible for building assistance from the State Department of Education) this year as they take a new piece by piece approach to the space needs and security issues at the school.

He indicated the approach is to address Safety and Security. These new design concepts are to renovate the entrance to the school with a library over the newly designed entrance and nurses office.

In addition, one or two additional classrooms would be added to the 60s wing which would include bringing that stairwell and staircase up to code.

He indicated the School Board will decide on exact costs and which option, 1 new classroom or option 2 , two new classrooms at the 60's wing at their meeting Tuesday night, June 14.

The board approved the repainting of the main Veterans Memorial Gym bleachers after it was determined it had been done back in 2012. The board approved the $2,850 cost.

Selectman Joe Guthrie asked if it couldn't be done in house for less and it was pointed out that the touch up to the bleachers was done in house and that is why it now needs to be repainted properly.

There was a discussion regarding the money needed from ARPA funds for the purchase of the Fire Department forestry vehicle. There is a buyer for the old forestry vehicle and once the trade-in amount was subtracted from the cost the amount needed for the new vehicle it was reduced.

The board voted to put the old forestry vehicle out to bid with a minimum bid of $4,000 and also approved using up to $58,800 ARPA funds for the new vehicle. The board all voted to approve except Guthrie.

Selectman Steve Morse asked Guthrie if he could explain his concern with the town's use of the ARPA funds but Guthrie did not respond.

Selectman's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault told the board she has developed a web page for the Town's Human Resource Department. Guthrie asked if the town actually has a Human Resource Department and Theriault said being the director of it is in her job description. Chair Sean Murphy indicated the Board is actually the Human Resource Department.  The board will discuss the page at their next meeting.

The board re-appointed Chris Kowalski to the Recycling and Waste Disposal Committee for a three year term.

Guthrie has asked that the house at the Stage Road and Route 111 intersection be boarded up and eventually removed as it has been abandoned for a long time and is a safety hazard. This is being looked into.

Selectman Laurie Warnock reviewed the PUC decision on the proposed Hampstead Area Water Company (HAWC) increased rates.

HAWC had asked for a 66.5 percent increase but were granted a 34.64 percent increase. In addition she stated that a Municipal Fire Protection Plan was developed. It includes: 

Further, HAWC’s shareholder has agreed to contribute a portion of the first year’s municipal fire protection charge, in the amount of $27,718.30 which will not be recovered in any way from the residential rate.

The board approved the Energy Committee moving forward rather than waiting for additional members. It was felt that when the committee gets started more people will be interested in participating.

It was announced that both the mileage and postage rates have increased.

The board will hold a work session to discuss whether to go with an outside company regarding the sale of the lease of the cell tower at a future meeting..

 


Hampstead Selectmen Seek Consultant to Put Cell Tower Lease Out to Bid
By Penny Williams   5-24-22

The Hampstead Selectmen met on Monday evening, May 23, and decided to seek a consultant to do the RFP and marketing of the cell tower lease.

Whether to sell the cell tower lease has been under discussion for the better part of a year. The board discussed it again and decided that the most cost effective way to go about actually looking into selling the lease would be to find a consultant that would do the work.

The board made it clear the consultant would not be paid anything unless or until the lease was actually sold and the Town received money for the lease. The board members were interested in what selling the lease would bring the Town so voted to move forward with putting the cell tower lease out to bid using a consultant.

Julia Forbes came before the board seeking their assistance in curbing Eversource's cutting of brush and small trees along the inside of the Ordway Park stone wall. She indicated what they cut would never grow to impede the power lines and the stumps and brush cuttings left behind pose a safety hazard. She said she has tried to get Eversource to follow its own best practices but has had no success.

The board indicated they would contact Eversource and look into the issue.

Forbes also wanted the grass cut early at the park but said Building and Grounds Director Steve Harmes said he is under staffed and will get to Ordway when he can. She questioned whether an outside company could be hired to get the mowing done early. The board told her they would discuss the issue with Harms.

Robert Wiemar, Planning Board Chair and the person heading up the Master Plan upgrade efforts told the board they had received input from the residents who attended the early May meetings.

He indicated the committee is trying to finalize their list of items and get it to the various committees and boards that are involved. Once that is done and those comments, suggestions and additions or deletions have been added the proposed plan will come to the board.

Police Chief Joe Beaudoin said the grant for the Canine Unit has grown again, now up to $51,000. He said he and Town Financial Clerk, Tina Harrington are working on where the grant can be put so the department can expend the funds.

The board approved his report and congratulated Beaudoin on 50 years of Service to the Town of Hampstead.

Harrington said there were three bids for the Security Audit. She indicated that she and the School District Financial Director Geoffrey Dowd and the IT Director at the Library, Kate Thomas all agreed that the RMON Networks bid was the best for the Town.

The RMON Networks bid was for $10,000 and the  board approved going with that bid. Harrington said she thought the funding could come from the ARPA funding the town will have.

There was a long discussion regarding repainting of the Veterans Memorial Gym bleachers. Someone touched up the bleachers but their paint and paint color wasn't a match for what the Noonan Brothers had painted the bleachers. To repaint the bleachers properly Noonan Brothers said would cost $2,850.

The board wanted to know how long ago the bleachers had been painted and how long this paint job would last. They also wanted to know more about the repaint that apparently is unsightly.

A motion was made for the $2,850 to do the repaint job but it failed as both Selectman Joe Guthrie and Chair Sean Murphy felt additional information was needed because not that many people use the bleachers. It was tabled to a future agenda.

The board endorsed the Big Island Pond Watershed Plan. The information in the Big Island Pond report should be forwarded to the Water Resource Committee.

Beaudoin said there has been no progress with information from the State regarding a stop light for the Depot/Hampstead roads and Route 121 intersection. He said it is doubtful they will approve it as there have been many accidents there but no fatalities. However, he thought they might approve the Town putting lighted stop signs on Depot and/or Hampstead Roads. These would cost the town in the neighborhood of $2,000 each if approved.

The board appointed Robert Wiemar to the Stormwater Management Committee for 3 years. They appointed Allen Davis  to the Energy Committee for  3 years.

 


Hampstead Selectmen Appoint Committee Members and Learn Fire Department Wants to Purchase Pick-up Truck
By Penny Williams    5-10-22

In an unusually short meeting, Monday night, May 9, the Board of Selectmen addressed a couple of appointments, and learned that two service programs were approved for ARPA Funds and discussed the Hampstead/Derry Road/ Depot Road, Route 121 intersection.

The board appointed Lewis Eaton and Jessica Daley to the Budget Committee for 3 year terms ending in 2025.

Police Chief Joe Beaudoin said the department had received the grant for the department's Canine Program. In fact, he reported they had received more than expected.  The grant for department's Canine Unit program was $32,000.

Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault told the board that Care Givers and Isaiah 57 have both been approved to receive ARPA Funds.

Selectman Laurie Warnock said the Public Utilities Commission hearing will take place this week and she plans to attend. She said that the Hampstead Area Water Company increase request for fire hydrants was reduced to a more reasonable amount but the other company increases haven't changed. The company refuses to plow the hydrants. As such the town will need to deal with that aspect of the town's 70 hydrants.

To address this issue Selectman Maurie Worthen said the Hampstead Fire Department is seeking approval of purchasing a pick-up truck and plow to do the job. Funding would come from the Hydrants line - $43,000 and $9,600 from ARPA funds. The board wants to look into this before approving it.

There was a new accident at Depot Road/Hampstead/Derry Roads and Route 121 intersection. Beaudoin said that to get a light there a specific process needs to be followed.

First he will send a letter to the State requesting a new review of the intersection asking to see if the State would recognize the intersection as needing a street light. He said he would request permission to add a lit up stop light which would probably cost the town about $1,000 if the state approves it.

Beaudoin explained the town can put a sign or light on Deport Road because it is a town road but not on Hampstead/Derry Road because that is a state road and needs permission for that from the state. The board authorized him to send the letter and get information from the state regarding what they will do and what they might consider allowing the town to do.

 


Recycling and Waste Disposal Pilot Program Approved by Hampstead Selectmen
By Penny Williams   4-26-22

The Board of Selectmen approved a pilot program recommended by the Recycling and Waste Disposal Committee at their Monday night, April 25, meeting.

The pilot program is about residents adding an extra bag for pick-up. The orange bags will need to be used with a green sticker, both obtained at the same time from the Town Hall. The cost of the extra bag and sticker is $7 and only one extra bag can be put out a week.

Residents using the extra bag will need to put the bag on top of the barrel. There will be information on the purchase of the sticker that the resident is responsible if the bag falls off or rips.

The program will be a six-month trial to see how often it is used and how well it works. The plan will start once the board approves it.  After a brief discussion the board approved the 6 month extra bag Pilot Program.

Police Chief Joe Beaudoin announced that the Drug Take Back program would take place on April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Police Station.

Beaudoin asked the Selectmen to wave the fee for two detail officers for the Food Truck Festival on Saturday, April 30.

The Food Truck Festival is put on by the Hampstead Congregational Church. There will be a variety of foods truck including Crescent City Kitchen, Mr. B’s Tacos, Boogalow’s Island BBQ, Kona Ice, The Whoo(Pie) Wagon, Pat’s Cider Donuts, Chubb’s Fries and Dough, and The Traveling Foodie.

Participants are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket and pull up a socially distanced spot on the lawn to enjoy your food and enjoy performing artists from Let’s Play Music, The Sons of the Solstice and Space Heaters.

The entrance fee is $5 for ages 5 and up, cash or check only. The event will benefit the Hampstead Congregational Church and the New Hampshire Food Bank., which will be collecting donations during the event. The board approved waiving the fee for his officers at the event.

Beaudoin told the board he is applying for a grant for K9 dog for the department. The grant is for $27,000 and would cover expenses to get the program up and running.

He asked the board to agree to support the grant and the program if the department gets it. The board approved supporting both the program and the grant.

The board discussed forming the Energy Committee. It approved forming the committee and Chair Sean Murphy suggested putting it out to the public asking those interested in membership to send a letter of interest to the board. It was noted that the board thinks that a School Board member, a member from the Library, and Steve Harms, Grounds and Facilities Director, should be on the committee.

Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault advised the board that of the $451,840.52  ARPA funds, $111,554 have been expended.

The board learned that children have been playing dangerously and doing damage at the Depot Fields. If anyone sees any activity that is not appropriate they should call the police not the Recreation Committee.

The Master Plan Committee has worked with Rockingham Planning Commission's Jenn Rowden and there are plans for a Public Hearing at the Town Hall on May 5, with a second scheduled at the Hampstead Middle School at 9 a.m. on May 7.

It was noted that while the NH State Executive Council has approved buying the Hampstead Hospital they did not approved the funding for its operation.

 


Hampstead Selectmen Agree to Create Energy Committee, Discuss Cell Tower Lease and Appoint Committee Members
By Penny Williams    4-13-22

On Monday night, April 11, the Hampstead Board of Selectmen approved a suggestion from board member Steve Morse to create an Energy Committee.

Morse and School Board Chair David Smith visited Londonderry recently to listen to information at a meeting regarding Derry's Net Zero Plan and its accomplishments. Impressed they decided to see if something similar to Derry's program would help Hampstead.

The Net Zero Plan was created in 2016 in Derry and is made up of municipal, school district, and community stakeholders who share a vision of finding ways to arrive at cost-effective solutions for reducing energy costs. It has brought a solar project to the Transfer Station property in Derry.

Morse and Smith wish to create a committee made up of town and school district stakeholders to look for solutions in Hampstead that would reduce energy costs. Morse suggested the committee would evaluate the municipal and school district energy needs and then work to find ways to address these in a more cost effect manner.

After a discussion the board voted to approve the creation of the Energy Commission and Morse said he would go to the School Board with the proposed committee.

The board then discussed the sale of the cell tower lease. The town doesn't own the tower, only the land it is on. It receives about $18,000 in annual revenue from the current tower owner and has a 25 year lease.

The board discussed the pros and cons of selling the lease. It was thought that the town might well earn more revenue over the long haul from the sale of the lease but further discussion was needed to determine how long to sell the lease for.

The board finally decided to create a RFP for a 20 to 30 year sale of the lease which would retain the right for the town's emergency fire department equipment on the tower. It would also include the town receiving a revenue share should the current tower owner get another vendor for the tower.

Where the money would go if such a sale went through was subject of a long discussion. In the end it will take a Warrant Article from the voters on where to put the money from the sale of the lease.

The money from the lease sale would go into the General Fund and then could be moved to the Capital Reserve Fund created for this purpose if the voters so instructed.

The board decided that more information and more structure need to be done regarding the account established for the funds from the sale of the lease.

Morse said that Road Agent Jon Worthen has resurrected the Adopt a Road Program and he has put a list of available roads on the Web site. Bags and sign-up are available.

Selectman Laurie Warnock indicated she plans to work with Public Library IT Director Kate Thomas on updating the Social Media and Cell Phone policies.

Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault updated the board on the ARPA funds saying that $106,421.01 has been spent so far. She plans to go over the entire list expenditures at the next meeting.

The decision regarding use of trails on the Hampstead Hospital property is a matter for decision between the town's Conservation Commission and the hospital but given the nature of hospital's patient community it appears this would be a security risk.

Theriault asked board chair Sean Murphy to sign another Used Oil Grant Application as the State changed the application.

Murphy read off the re-appointments, Brent Ebner to Conservation, David Rollins and Linda Anthony to Water Resource and the board approved them.

 


Hampstead Selectmen Given Planning Board Master Plan Update
By Penny Williams    4-4-22

Planning Board Chair and member of the Master Plan Steering Committee Robert Weimar gave the Hampstead Selectmen an update on the work taking place on the Master Plan at Mondays, March 28 meeting..

Weimar reported that the Master Plan Vision Statement has been finished and he asked that everyone review it and let the committee know if it covers what is wanted and what if anything should be added. The object is to determine if the committee is on the right track.

He indicated they are working with Jen Rowden, Rockingham Planning Commission Land Use Manager and following state guidelines.

There are three phases to the Master Plan work. The first was the 2021 Survey.
This took place between June 1, and June 30, 2021 with a total of 800 individuals taking the Master Plan survey and providing 77,589 responses or comments to the survey questions. This survey will serve as one of many sources used in the current Master Plan update; other sources may include public meetings, census data, and other resources. A summary of the survey results and the full results are available on the Hampstead Planning Board website at www.hampsteadnh.us/planning-board.

Phase two is this, the Vision Statement and objectives which we are seeking opinions on as to completeness or what needs to be added.

The final phase will be a more detailed Master Plan developed to achieve the vision objectives. Weimar hopes to present the finished work to the board by the end of the year.

In describing the work being done he said the goals are to ensure the Master Plan is useful; that it presents and protects the character of the community; that there is a balance of municipal services; that protections for the environment are provided; recreation is available for all; that communications are clear and available; that community development is supported; that there is diversity in housing; that clean water is protected and made available; that there is safe transportation (referring to walking and bicycling); that historical, cultural, and agricultural protections are provided; and, that civic involvement is encouraged.

Weimar encourage everyone to read the vision statement and review the survey and make comments. He said there will be two public hearings one at Town Hall on Thursday, May 5 and a second on Saturday, May 7 at Hampstead Middle School and he encouraged people to attend and be prepared to comment.

Jim Wilkerson, Conservation Commission, told the board members that there are trails at the rear of the 90 acre Hampstead Hospital parcel that connect to other conservation system and town owned property trails.

He wanted the board to look into determining if the state would allow these trails to be maintained once the sale of Hampstead Hospital is completed. He would like the state to allow the trails to continue to be used and wondered whether a conservation easement might be possible or whether the land with the trails might be donated to the town by the state.

It was noted that this is something that the town will need to stay on top of. However, Police Chief Joe Beaudoin noted that there are some real issues involved here in as much as the hospital patient population will be of an entirely different population than is currently there. He saw significant issues with people being on the trails if a patient were to escape and be sought by law enforcement.

The board agreed the state should be aware of the trails and the interest the town has in continuing to use them but as Chair Sean Murphy pointed out, the state is unable to make any statements or decisions with the town until the actual sale has been completed and Beaudoin indicated that won't be until July 1.

Road Agent Jon Worthen provided the board members with the list of roads he plans to work on. He added the expected type of work per road and the estimated cost.

He told the board the cost of asphalt has risen significantly so he expects the costs will exceed expectations and it may be necessary to drop planned work on a smaller road to stay within the budget limits.

Selectman Laurie Warnock spoke of the development of the community garden at St. Anne's. There will be raised plots for community members (elders) and she spoke of the work being done by the schools and students to make this a truly community garden.

The board discussed the cell tower issue with Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault asking if the board was ready to decide for how long they were interested in leasing the cell tower and if they wanted a RFP developed.

The board has to decide if they want to sell the lease for a 25 or 30 year period and if they do sell it where the funds from the sale would go. The board members demurred asking for more information before making any final decisions.

Theriault noted that she is working with the school district to see if they can achieve a cost saving by partnering on fuel bids. She also noted that there has been a technology review of the town departments and town hall.

A Conservation Easement has been developed for the five properties approved by the voters and she asked the selectmen to sign the document.

The board accepted the resignation of Steve Wentworth from the Planning Board and the Stormwater Committee.

The board approved Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) alternate Karen Hanides as a full time ZBA member and approved as a Library Trustee Alternate Robert O'Brien. The board also approved Laura Jones to be a member of the CART Advisory Board.

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 find ways to minister to those most in need. Our Community Chicken Kiev Dinner, to go!   Heaven’s Kitchen to World Central Kitchen to support their efforts in Ukraine

On Thursday, April 7th from 4:30-6 p.m. we will be offering a Chicken Kiev dinner for pick up behind St Anne’s Parish. We will offer individual size meals. Meal will consist of Rice Pilaf, Chicken Kiev (stuffed chicken breast), chicken pan gravy, butternut squash, spinach, buttermilk biscuit and our own apple crisp for dessert.

WCK is active in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Moldova, and Hungary where they have served more than 1,000,000 meals since launching their response.
 ● WCK is supporting the community as best they can and focusing on serving as many people as possible at border crossings, shelters, and other locations along the journey. WCK has also established its own field kitchen in Przemyśl, Poland. ● In addition to hot meals, WCK is distributing bulk food product including produce and dry goods to restaurant partners in Ukraine to supplement the strained food supply chain.
● They prioritize working with local food businesses because it allows them to leverage the existing infrastructure to provide meals immediately
● They invest in the local economy during a time when business as usual has ground to a halt.
● They ensure the meals they provide are culturally relevant and engage the local community in their response.

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. Imagine, during the winter months having to flee your home on short notice and in many cases, walk for days and weeks to find a haven for you and your children. Not knowing when or if you will ever return to your home and if you do, what will remain of that place you have raised your family.

Please place your order by end of the day Sunday, April 3rd by providing last name and number of meals. 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 pay in cash.

 


Hampstead Selectmen Re-elect Sean Murphy as Chairman and elect Steve Morse as Vice Chair

By Penny Williams 3-15-22

The Hampstead Board of Selectmen met on Monday night, March 14, and reorganized the board assignments.  

Chair Sean Murphy was nominated and re-elected as Chair of the Selectmen and Steve Morse was elected as the Vice Chair. The only liaison change was Selectman Joe Guthrie suggested combining Highway and Building and Grounds in the future but suggested Morse should have Building and Grounds now and Morse agreed. Guthrie accepted Senior Affairs liaison from Laurie Warnock but the rest of the assignments remained the same.

Dave Smith, school board and resident, spoke to the board and suggested that Hampstead consider implementing impact fees in some form.

He also asked for interested people to take part in the Community Garden effort at St. Anne's where plots will be available for individuals later on. He also asked for volunteers to help with the main garden work.

The board opened the bids for Recreation mowing and fertilization. There were three bids for mowing and two for fertilization and they were handed over to Matthew Johnson, Recreation Chair for that board's review and recommendation.

At the end of the meeting Johnson returned with Recreation's recommendation to have Auger Property Management do the mowing and to go with Lawn Master for fertilization and the board approved these selections.

Police Chief Joe Beaudoin said the two pole attached radar signs have arrived and he recommended putting them in the Tel Noar/Harris Avenue and Agawam Avenue areas. The portable radar sign will be coming and that can be placed in different driveways and locations.

In the work session prior to the meeting the board voted to appoint North Point Management as the construction company for the Hampstead Fire Department Building and Renovation project. The board also voted to approve using $50,000 of ARPA funding for the project to provide adequate cash flow.

Selectman Laurie Warnock brought up whether the town ballot should have the tally recommendation for articles on the Warrant. The law, she noted requires if used it be for appropriation articles but would not be mandated for non-appropriation articles. The discussion was tabled until further legal information could be gotten.

Morse asked the board to approve authorizing the development of  an  RFP for an audit of the Town's IT system. ARPA money could fund the probably $7,5000 cost to do this. The board approved moving forward with developing an RFP.

Warnock said the negotiations continue trying to lower the proposed Hampstead Area Water Company (HAWC) per town fire hydrant increase to $1,419 per hydrant. The town has 63 hydrants and Lewis Builders has offered to contribute to lower the delta between the per hydrant cost now and the proposed increase. Regardless, this increase will significantly increase the Fire Department budget.

Three new hydrants will be installed - 2 along Route 121 and 1 at Emerson Avenue for the new Bluebird Storage.

The agreement with the Londonderry Dispatch has been approved.

The board voted to cover the $245 cost for Rob Morris, town historian and Chair of the Scenic ByWay Committee to attend the national meeting. The board voted to expend out of the administration budget up to $300. 

Tina Harrington, Town Financial Clerk, was appointed to the Age Friendly Community Committee.

The board accepted with regret the resignation of Geoffrey Dowd from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

 


Hampstead March 2022 Election Results
By Penny Williams    3-8-22

Hampstead residents elected the following at the March 8th elections. The leading issues were the Hampstead Central School bond and the Fire Department one and done building renovation and construction. The School bond failed to pass but the Fire Department article was approved.

* Selectmen: Joe Guthrie, Laurie Warnock, were re-elected for three year terms.

* Moderator: Neil Reardon was re-elected for another 2 years.

* Trustee of the Cemeteries: Stephen Wentworth was re-elected for  a 3 year term

* Planning Board: Robert Weimar and Ryan Gray were elected for 3 year terms

* Trustee of the Trust Funds:  Maria Kuhl was re-elected for three years

* Trustee of the Trust Funds:  Kristina George re-elected for a two year term

* Library Trustee: Veronica Shelley, Kristina Durocher, were re-elected for  three year terms

* Budget Committee: Lilli Walsh was re-elected for a three year term but one Budget Committee seat remains open

* Supervisor of the Checklist: Angeline Gorham was re-elected for a 6 year term

* School Board Member: Karl Hubner was elected for a 1 year term

* School Board Member: David Smith was re-elected for three more years

Among the 16 Warrant Articles the residents let their voices be heard:

* Article 5 - Operating Budget of $8,258,630  approved 1267 to 883

* Article 6 - Addition and Renovation of Fire Department Building - $1,745,793 approved 1203 to 993

* Article 8 - Residents approved o selling the Town's interest in any leases with tower development companies on Town Property located at the Kent Farm Transfer Station 1073 to 1008

* Article 10 - Residents overwhelmingly approved placing a conservation easement on town-owned properties located at Stony Ridge/Freedom Hill ( 3 parcels), Squire Ridge Road and Main Street 1843 to 287

* Article 11 - Residents voted  yes on raising $10,000 for the Building Repairs and Maintenance Expendable Trust Fund 1413 to 731

* Article 12 - Residents voted yes on raising and putting $10,000 in the Hampstead Public Library Building Maintenance Non-Capital Reserve Fund 1352 to 800

* Petition Article 17 - Residents overwhelmingly approved changing the Zoning Board of Adjustment members from being appointed to being elected by a vote of 1699 to 415

 

School Board Articles are as follows:

* Article 2 - Residents failed to approved raising $12,595,000 for a five year bond to finance the Hampstead Central School Project and to raise $314,875 for the first year's interest - 3/5 vote required by a vote of 1146 to 1084

* Article 3 - Residents voted  yes on the $31,671,796 budget 1709 to 490

* Article 4 - Residents voted yes on putting $500,000 from Surplus into School Renovation, Reconstruction,  and Capital Improvement Fund of 2006 and transferred to the unassigned fund balance 1408 to 752

Article 5 - Residents voted yes on the Lot Line Adjustment at the Central School Property 1576 to 604

 


Hampstead Board of Selectmen Approve Community Health Services Contract
By Penny Williams    2-15-22

The Hampstead Board of Selectmen met on Monday evening, February 14, and there were no visitors, no department heads, nothing under new business and nothing under old business.

Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault ask the board to approve and sign the contract with Community Health Services that handles Hampstead Welfare for the town. The new contract is a two year contract and is a slight increased over the previous contract but Theriault said she had budgeted for this amount. This contract calls for $11,700.

Board member Steve Morse asked if there is information regarding the actual services the company provides the town. Theriault told him they send an itemized report monthly and these reports are put in the selectmen's file for their information. She also said if the board wanted she could put together a summary of the services provided over the last year.

The board was comfortable with the information and approved the new contract and authorized Chair Sean Murphy to sign the contract.

Theriault also said that the Water Resource Committee had reviewed the bids for Stormwater Management and recommended staying with the current company CEI. The board approved accepting the CEI contract and having Murphy sign the paperwork.

The board then went into non-public to discuss a letter they had received without identifying the letter writer or the subject.

The board has canceled its next meeting scheduled for February 28, and will not meet again until March14.

In Other News

* Recycling and Waste Disposal -

 Extra Bag Program- The orange bags and green stickers are in. Ellen Cabral will do a test at home to see how strong the bag is and how the process works putting the bag on top of the barrel. There will be verbiage on the purchase of the sticker that the resident is responsible if the bag falls off or rips. The program will be a six-month trial to see how often it is used and how well it works. The plan is to start it in April, which will allow time to get it advertised. The cost decided at the last meeting was going to be $7.00 per sticker/bag (they will go together).

2022 Flyer- There was discussion about updating the information and get it out with the information on the extra bag program and that bags will not be accepted at the transfer station. It can also add the information about the Swap Shop. The extra trash cart through Pinard is now at $175 for a year, and is prorated the first year.  Secretary Tina Harrington was asked to see if there were any changes to what is allowed for recycling curbside, especially black plastics.

Clean Up Hampstead Day- This is set for Saturday, May 7th. It will get advertised, but the residents can actually do it whenever they want and notify the town of where the bags are located to be picked up. Bags will be available at the Town office during normal business hours, and on May 7th at the Town Office front steps from 9 a.m.to 11 a.m. There was discussion about having the blue bags available at the transfer station, but decided against this idea and instead will be available at the Swap Shop on April 16th.

ARPA Funds- There was request to see what else needs to be done to be considered for the ARPA funds for a new packer at the Transfer Station.  Harrington reported that she needs to get acost and proposal together but the request had been submitted to get on the list.

Compost Class- There was discussion about whether or not to have a compost class and if so whether the NRRA had someone that would do it. The compost bins should be advertised again and Harrington will check to see how many are left. Member Reinhild Davis will do some research on composting companies to see if they also would do guest speaking and this could be done the same day as the clean up Hampstead Day. It was suggested that if they can find a speaker that it be held outside, such as the bandstand or Ordway Park.

The Reuse Caboose Swap Shop-Everyone agreed to go with the Reuse Caboose for the name and now need to look at getting the container cleaned up and painted. The committee will need to find a company that can do the prep work and paint the container (via the spray method). They would also like to have an art student come in and paint some drawings such as a train on the container. Will use the Facebook page to see if there is any interest.

There was a question about the plastic bags and the Trex program. It was wondered if there was a more efficient way to collect plastic bags such as at the Kent Farm Transfer Station. This was thought to go against the message of no plastic bags at the transfer station. The local stores still allow people to drop off their plastic bags and there are still people collecting bags to turn into Trex. There was also the question as to whether or not Trex was the only option and if benches were the only option. Trex is the only company doing such as project and according to their website, only benches are being given out on the bag recycling program.

Need to look at new signage for the packer to show no plastic bags or bagged trash. 


Hampstead Board of Selectmen Set Operating and Default Budgets  
By Penny Williams    1-25-22

On Monday night, January 24, the Hampstead Board of Selectmen met and the Default Budget was corrected and the difference between the Operating and Default Budgets was set.

Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault had contacted Town Counsel Diane Gorrow, Soule, Leslie, Kidder, Sayward & Loughman, with default budget inclusion questions.

One was whether the default can include employee COLA and merit increases.  Gorrow responded saying, "...the COLA and merit increases cannot be included in the default budget." She indicated that the board could amend the default budget at their meeting before the Warrant is posted since it would be acting "on relevant new information...".

The board amended the default budget amount to $8,118,812 which creates a difference of $139,818 between the default and the operating budget of $8,258,630. Theriault went over where she had made changes and corrections to the previously provided default budget. She noted the default budget is lower than the operating budget and the board discussed this briefly.

After the discussion the board approved the amended default budget and then approved moving it to the Warrant.

Theriault had also asked Gorrow about the wording, "raise and appropriate" in Article 9 that asks voter approval to transfer funds in the amount of $15,000 from the Town Forest Maintenance Account to the Conservation Fund.

Gorrow explained that the terms "raise and appropriate" do not mean the money must be raised by taxation. She noted raised means to collect or procure. Appropriate means to set that amount of money apart for a specified purpose and to authorize expenditure of said funds.

Gorrow suggested if the board chooses, the language of the article could be changed by adding "No amount to be raised from taxation."

After a brief discussion the board approved the new wording of Article 9 as suggested by Gorrow.

SAU Superintendent Robert Thompson addressed the board noting he found severe deficiencies in the Hampstead Central School Building making the Construction and Renovation project necessary. He indicated the cost has grown from the $10,000,000 last year to $12,595,000 this year.

He indicated the school budget is down 2.09 percent or roughly $300,000 from the previous year's budget with the operating budget in the amount of  $31,671,796 while the default budget is $31,972,403,  which is higher than the operating budget.

Resident Jaye Dimando spoke suggesting that the selectmen consider separating and addressing individually the Library Budget, the School Budget and the Town Budget.

Her point was the selectmen can't change either the school or library budget as things stand now but by addressing each individually the voters could.

Selectman Joe Guthrie  read a letter from the Library Trustees asking that the proposed Patio at the library be considered for some ARPA funds. He also read a letter from the Library Trustees asking that the board speak up against the proposed zoning change to allow commercial business to be installed on the lot adjacent to the library parcel.

Selectman Laurie Warnock said the Hampstead Area Water Company (HAWC) has had its proposed temporary rate increase of 15 percent reduced to 12.31 percent by the Public Utilities Commission.

These increases are retroactive to June 2021. Board Chair Sean Murphy voiced his concern over the very large bill people could receive this month and called it unfair and said he would make some calls.

There was a discussion about the article calling for the election of rather than appointment of Zoning Board of Adjustment members.

A letter from Planning Board member Hank Riehl, speaking as a resident, outlined his belief that appointed is better because then the selectmen have the opportunity to do in-depth research on proposed members to ensure they do not have an "agenda" or leanings in particular directions. Whereas election of members usually wouldn't do this type of research and careful selection.

Selectman Steve Morse proposed and the board approved getting draft minutes of Selectmen's meeting minutes up on the web site quickly. Morse also asked the board to approve asking other boards and committees to do this as well and this was approved. However, it was noted the selectmen cannot make committees and boards do this but can recommend it.

Theriault said she would work on making this happen. It was noted that the various minutes should be included in the Communications Committee Newsletter,

Morse suggested he also wanted a specific Face Book page for the town information to be created.

This was discussed but the board wanted to make sure if this happens the Face Book Page is not interactive. But before this can happen the Social Media Policy of the Town needs to be reviewed and updated, Warnock suggested and the board agreed.

In Other News

The Recycling and Solid Waste Disposal Committee discussed where to go with the concerns they have  about rules and expectations. It was suggested that the rules be explained and that more information be on the website such as no trash taken and no bags accepted.

The heating/ac unit is working and the electric is all set up and paid for at the shed at the Transfer Station. Only items left would be closing up the walls.

The committee would like to move forward with requesting funds from the ARPA funds. They agreed they need to come up with a cost proposal and include the second packer, the pad, electricity costs and paving of the area. There would also be a cost avoidance calculation in that the second packer would save money and /or time on. A proposal will be put together when the time comes to present the request.

Recycling Secretary Tina Harrington reported that it is difficult to find a small quantity of bags, for additional trash pick-up bags. Most companies have a 10,000 minimum.

The committee discussed the reason for the overflow bag, which would is to help those that have an occasional extra bag and don’t want to buy the annual subscription barrel.

It is also a way to stop bags from going to the transfer station where there is also the issue of trash bags going into the roll off containers and then they are denied at the Casella facility because they are not licensed to take trash 2 there.

 Member Ellen Cabral will go to the Selectmen’s meeting on December 27th to explain the plan and why they are looking to go in this direction

It was suggested to add more money to the Kent Farm Salaries for an additional person for Transfer Station.

Cabral stated that people think they need to bring items to the Swap Shop in order to take items as in the name swap. She would like to rename it. A couple of names that were suggested were “Free for All” “Finders Keepers” and “Second Time Around”.

The Library Trustees held a Public Hearing to accept $57,734.00 in grant money from the State Library of New Hampshire. These funds are going to be renovating the entire children’s area of the library to bring it up to more modern needs of our younger patrons and their families.

Budget Committee reports the select board approved the warrant article for the library.

Director Rosemary Krol told the Trustees the Virtual Town forum is live on the Library website, and Hampstead Cable will also be airing it on channel 17

Brick sales for funding the construction of the Patio are at 249, which is halfway to our goal of 500

Treasurer Charlene Flaherty received a request from Northeast Planning Associates (NPA) asking if the library was ready to receive the proceeds from its investments. The Trustees will be reviewing and potentially amending their investment policy. NPA will likely be providing our Q4- 2021 report around Jan 24th. The distributions will be $9148 if we take the full earnings as we have in the past, or $8055 if we take the proceeds less the cost of living adjustment to help make sure the balance retains its value for the future.

The Investment Policy was read and approved

The Non-resident Card Holder Policy (second reading) was approved and the  Library Card Patron Eligibility (second reading) was approved.

The Trustees discussed the  proposed building of Trade Business units behind the library. Krol wrote letter to the zoning board and will be sending it and a petition will be created. Krol and Trustees wrote a letter to be sent to the select board to request that the library - patio project - be considered for the next round of ARPA funds.

It was suggested that a new Bank account be created to hold the grant funds received and the various proceeds/interest to help make bookkeeping easier and more transparent.

The board discussed recent statements or confusion that happened at a recent public meeting. This refers to comments made by Jaye Dimando at the last Selectmen's meeting.

The Trustees want to refute the information. The Trustee want to make sure factual information about the library is available and that if anyone has concerns about what transpires at the Library Trustees meetings about budget, or finances, or funding at the library, they can come to any of our public meetings.

Any concerns or questions about any of the library’s practices should be addressed to the trustees so they can answer them. If anyone wishes to attend any trustees meeting and the time is a deterrent, the trustees have always said that meeting times can change as needed some months to make sure people can attend.

Another thing the trustees want the public to know is they are not meeting in isolation and without oversight of any town official. Our Liaisons from both the Select Board (Joe Guthrie) and the Budget Committee (Carol Cipriano) faithfully attend our meetings, as does the Friends of the Library Liaison John Skidmore. All the reports from each meeting and the trustees’ minutes are on the library’s website.


Hampstead Selectmen Hold Public Hearing on Warrant Articles and Budget
By Penny Williams    1-14-22

The Hampstead Board of Selectmen held a public hearing on the budget and the articles for the Warrant on Wednesday, January 12.

Chair Sean Murphy reviewed the budget and the Articles and then the board voted on their recommendation for each of the articles. Articles 5 through 17 were recommended 5-0 with the exception of Article 16, (citizen petition - regarding freezing school portion of property tax for those over 65 - an illegal article) which the board voted unanimously not to recommend

Article 5, the Operating Budget and Default Budget had corrected bottom lines. Murphy went through the budget department by department. The Operating Budget is $8,258,630 while the Default is $8,218,078. The Default amount was an amended number. With the amended figures, there is a much lower delta between the Operating and Default budgets.

During the operating budget review there was a lot of discussion led by Selectman Joe Guthrie and Resident Jaye Dimando about the salary increases of Library personnel. The changes in the default are primarily due to the inclusion of part time to full time positions and associated money in the default. However, there were no changes to the overall budget.

Article 6, the $1,745,793 cost of the Fire Department construction project came in for discussion with Guthrie trying to lower the amount to be raised from tax payers. In the end the decision was made to remove any reference in this article to monies that might offset the amount to raised.

Article 7, establishment of a Building Capital Reserve Fund for new construction, renovation and Town Building additions and the money to start this was set at $1.00.

Article 8, asks for the authority for the Town to sell the lease of Communication Tower. Any mention of a possible amount from the sale was eliminated from this article.

Article 9, asks for the transfer of $15,000 from Town Forest Maintenance to the Conservation Commission Fund. Conservation Chair Tim Lovell said this is because the $15,000 would be of greater benefit this way as it would increase the amount the commission has to purchase land. The money in the Town Forest Management Account has been just sitting there for several years unused. Guthrie insisted that there is no need for an article to do this.

Article 10, requested five town properties have a conservation easement put on them. There was a brief discussion regarding one property, the Main Street property.

Article 11, asks to add $10,,000 to the Building Repair and Maintenance Fund.

Article 12, asks that $10,000 be added to the Library Building Maintenance Non-Capital Reserve Fund. 

Article 13, asks for $6,800 to support Rockingham Community Action

Article 14, asks for $17,142 for CART.

Article 15, asks for $500 for CASA.

Article 16, an (illegal) citizen petition wants those 65 and over not to have to pay the school portion of property taxes.

Article 17, a citizen petition, seeks to have Zoning Board of Adjustment members be elected not appointed.

The articles were forwarded to the Warrant and on to the Budget Committee.

 


Hampstead Board of Selectmen Review Articles for Budget Public Hearing
By Penny Williams   1-12-2022

The Board of Selectmen met Monday night, January 10, and reviewed articles in preparation for the upcoming Budget Public Hearing.

Chair Sean Murphy first reviewed the open seats in Hampstead that include the following:

* Incumbent Selectman TWO, Three year terms Joseph Guthrie Laurie Warnock

* Planning Board TWO, Three year terms Charles Ashford Robert Villella

* Moderator ONE, Two year term Neil Reardon

* Trustee of the Cemeteries ONE, Three year term Stephen Wentworth

* Library Trustee TWO, Three year terms Veronica Shelley Kristina Durocher

* Trustee of the Trust Funds ONE, Three year term Maria Kuhl,  Trustee of the Trust Funds ONE, Two year term Kristina George

* Budget Committee TWO, Three year terms Lilli Walsh, OPEN SEAT

*  Supervisor of the Checklist ONE, Six year term Angeline Gorham

The board then went over a few of the proposed articles before approving them for the Warrant and the Budget Committee.

The first discussed was article  11, concerning conservation and an easement for property off of Main Street.

Conservation Chair Tim Lovell addressed one of the areas in the article this saying this property should be protected from development because it connects to Conservation Land, Cedar Swamp. More importantly, homes in this area of Main Street have had serious water issues with their wells and this property shouldn't be developed, adding further stress to water issues. It was decided to put the article forward as written.

Article 5, Operating Budget and Default. This year there is a larger than normal delta between the Operating budget ($8,258,629) and the Default ($8,085,872). There was a discussion about removing some of the items from the Default and in the end Murphy suggested that a recommendation be sought from Town Counsel regarding removing any items and the final figures were posted Wednesday on the town's Web site.

There was a long discussion on article 6, the $1.7 million 'one and done' for the Fire Station Construction.

Selectman Joe Guthrie wanted the amount reduced to $1,000,000 so it would pass but it was decided this might handicap construction if costs exceeded the amount and the other money expected didn't appear - a grant for $200,000 and money from ARPA funds. In the end the board decided to wait until after the Budget Public Hearing to determine the final amount for this article.

On article 9, (the sale of the Cell Tower lease,  and where the funds from the sale would go), was discussed and it was decided to set $300,000 as the sale amount and up to that amount would go into the established Capital Reserve Fund.

Selectmen's Administrative Assistant Sally Theriault told the board a new category relative to how ARPA funds can be reported  would allow them to lump all their decisions on spending into it.

The new category is Revenue Replacement Standard Allowance. There was a discussion about this and Fire Chief Michael Carrier pointed out any ARPA funds allocated to the proposed Fire Station Construction project wouldn't be able to be in that new category.

The board wanted Theriault to get further clarification about exactly what can be reported under the Standard Allowance Revenue Replacement category.

Theriault asked the board if they wanted to reduce the number of paid days an employee is eligible for if out of work because of COVID from the 10 days now allowed to 5 days, given the new CDC Guidelines. After a discussion the board voted not to make any change in their present 10-day policy.

Carrier was approved for an  submitting an application for a $49,307.46 grant for emergency relief and recovery. equipment and to be authorized to sign for accepting up to $50,000 for  the grant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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