2020 Sandown Board of Selectmen Meetings

Sandown Selectmen Discuss Waste Management Increases  
By Penny Williams  7-29-20

The Sandown Board of Selectmen met on Monday night, July 27, and Peter Lachapelle, Waste Management, and Arthur Genualdo, Public Works Director met with the board concerning the increase in the Waste Management contract that expired on June 30.

The cost of hauling and disposing of a ton of waste has risen about 30 percent, up to $72.07 due to increased solid waste tonnage resulting from so many people being at home and clearing things out and eating more at home than usual and the difficulties with the recycling market. Lachapelle offered the town a five year contract with a maximum increase of 5 percent per year.

In answer to questions he said if he reduced the annual increase he would have to increase the per ton cost so that wouldn't really reduce the overall cost.  Asked if the town could do the hauling and disposal and so forth itself for less he told the board that would increase their overall cost considerably. The board, seeing they had no choice even though Genualdo said the increases were not covered in his budget, approved the proposed contract as presented.

The board discussed the request of Nick and Christy Ortins to be allowed to park their food truck at the Sandown Public Library parking lot on Fridays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and on an occasional Saturday morning. The Library had no issue with it but the board, after a discussion, decided it would not be fair to the pizza shop that has to pay taxes for its store. The board wanted to help the Ortins and indicated they would look at the request further but at this point couldn't approve it.

Town Manager Lynne Blaisdell said the Lion's Club had asked permission to sell hot dogs and raffles at the Transfer Station on Saturday, August 8,  from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as a fund raiser. The board after a brief discussion approved the request. Selectman Jon Goldman said the Lion's fundraiser would have preference over any Historical event the Historical Society might come up with for that date

The Historical Society was supposed to be at the Monday night meeting regarding continued use of the Train Depot by the Historical Society. However, despite having multiple members, no one showed up. This issue was further discussed in non-public.

The board discussed the possibility of changing the membership set  up of the Seniors Affairs Transportation Committee to try and ensure they would have a quorum. It was decided to look into this and make it a warrant article for the coming town meeting.

The board discussed the article voters approved of looking into the feasibility of  entering into a long-term lease with a communication tower company for a communication tower in the Sandown Business district. The board decided to form a committee of five to research and consider this and report back to the board. The committee would have a selectman (Goldman volunteered to do it) a Planning Board member and three people from the public and they would consider two alternates from the public.

In Other Business:

* The board approved the Vision assessing agreement. Blaisdell said the company offered the first year of cloud storage for free with a $2,500 annual charge for that thereafter.

* Joanne Donahue, Ferguson Lane, asked the Board to enter into an investigation of three aspects of the proposed 48 dwelling development being proposed for Ferguson Lane. (1) traffic impact study; (2) fiscal impact study; and, (3) a hydrogeologic impact analysis.  The last because earlier homes built in that area had had their wells run dry and needed to put in new wells.

* Mary Patterson, East Lane asked the board if her group could buy the rights to the beach since they are the ones maintaining it. The board said they would look at a proposal if the group would put one together and email it to all the board members.


Sandown Selectmen Hear Moderator Discuss Upcoming Elections and Concern about 300 Unregistered Dogs
By Penny Williams    7-14-20

The Sandown Board of Selectmen held a meeting Monday night, July 13, and among the issues before them were the upcoming elections that Moderator Kevin Major discussed with the board.

Major reminded the board the NH Primary Election is slated for September 8, followed by the Presidential Election on November 3. He indicated that one of the changes for these upcoming elections will be the number of  absentee ballots that will be submitted.

New Hampshire doesn't allow online voting but does allow absentee ballots and the Governor will be filing legislation allowing absentee ballots for those fearing COVID-19 exposure. There are more than 4700 registered voters in Sandown so the election sessions, the Primary at Town Hall and the Presidential election at the school, Major believes will be busy.

The layout of the room at Town Hall for the Primary will be a little different due to COVID-19 concerns and Major said the state will be supplying PPE for use by the election officials. The requirements for the layout will be amended slightly by the Governor to address COVID-19 challenges. However, Major said there could be up to 50 or 60 percent absentee ballots that will need to be counted.

In addition, Major said Sandown has been selected to be a regional center for an election official training session, if the board of selectmen approve it. The training would take place on Tuesday, August 18, and there might be two sessions.

Since that is the date Planning Board meets in Town Hall, Town Manager Lynne Blaisdell said she would work with Ernie Brown, Chair of the Planning Board if that board plans to meet that night and have them meet downstairs. The board was pleased Sandown was chosen for the training site and approved the use of the Town Hall meeting room for the election training sessions.

Major went over the responsibility of the selectmen to attend and be present at the two upcoming elections. The board members agreed to participate and would notify Major of who would be there when on the two election days.

The board welcomed Adam Shlager as the new Sandown Public Library Director. Shlager started on Monday, July 6. He was previously the head of Technology and Circulation at the Barrington Library, a position he called wonderful but said he was pleased to be in Sandown and this had been too good a position to pass up. He offered to answer any questions the selectmen might have and said he looked forward to working with them. Library Liaison Selectman Bob Nickerson said he thought Shlager was going to be a very good fit for Sandown and would accomplish a lot.
   The board discussed the request to approve the contract agreement for Wunderlich-Mallec, Newmarket,  developing the engineering design and plans so the town could go out for bids from vendors to do the structural repairs and upgrades needed at Town Hall. The cost for the company developing the designs and plans would be $5,500 and the money would come from the grant from the State the Town received last year.  The board approved and signed the contract. When she has the engineering design and plan information Blaisdell will move forward with seeking a construction company bid to do the work structural work needed.

The board has reviewed the proposed Joint Loss Management Committee review of the revised Safety Policy. The policy hadn't been updated since its 1996 writing. The committee contacted their current insurer to make sure all the necessary concepts were covered and they were. The board had a few questions and suggestions such as adding a page indicating the revisions made and the establishment of a CPR/AED training date for all employees as part of the policy. They then approved accepting the proposed policy.

Selectman Tom Tombarello expressed his disappointment that there are still 300 unregistered dogs in Sandown. It was pointed out that it is virtually impossible to get an appointment for a dog's rabies shot before the end of August due to the COVID-19 issues. However, the Town will need to make a decision soon regarding whether the police department will send Sgt. Rich Bucco out to knock on the doors of the families with unregistered dogs. In the meantime if a family has an appointment for the vaccination they should let the Town Clerk know.

In Other Business:

* Adam Shlager, the new Sandown Library Director was appointed to the Joint Loss Management Committee.

* The board signed its IT contract that is expiring. The new contract is for  another three years with no increase in price.

* The Conservation Commission met on Thursday, July 9, and raised some questions and requests regarding the site plan presentation of Hoyford Hills Subdivision off of Ferguson Lane. The 80.6 acre open space development will have 48 two-bedroom multifamily condominium units accessed by a 300-foot private road, Cole Circle. There will be 66 percent open space.   The Conservation Commission pointed out this is misleading since the open space is divided up into 3 areas. There are three wetland crossings and one is very near one of the buildings and this concerned the commission. There have been  10 vernal pools identified and endangered species are known to be in the area. The commission wants the construction company made aware of this and the area to be developed flagged before construction starts. The commission decided to move forward with metal roofing for the Red Barn.


Sandown Board of Selectmen Meeting Dominated by Seeley Beach Ordinance Discussion
By Penny Williams    6-30-20

The Sandown Board of Selectmen met on Monday night, June 29, and the majority of the meeting was spent discussing an ordinance and possible beach pass process for Seeley Beach use.

Seeley Beach is used by the Recreation Commission as part of its summer program and there is a Recreation Life Guard on duty there. It has been posted as for residents only but the signs have been stolen. Several years ago there was an influx of non-residents using the beach and the Recreation Director, Deb Brown is concerned that there will be a similar situation this summer since many local area beaches are still closed. Police Chief Joe Gordon expressed concern that a young person, the life guard, would be challenged in trying to deal with non-resident use of the beach but he needed an ordinance in place saying the beach is for residents only and that a beach pass is required so he could enforce this.

After going round and round the board finally approved adding to the proposed ordinance that Seeley Beach is for "residents and their guests only" and a beach pass is needed for use of the beach. This will be in effect as of July 17, allowing time to get the information of this out to the public and signs erected. Beach passes can be obtained at Town Hall Office, the Police Department and the Recreation Department. Town Manager Lynn Blaisdell has the beach pass form ready for residents to fill out.

Selectman Jonathan Goldman objected to this saying the ordinance and process should have been done last winter - actually several years ago - and he feels it is too late to do anything for this year and Selectman Eric Olsen agreed so they voted no to the adoption of the new Selectmen's Ordinance for Seeley Beach, but it passed 3 to 2.

The board opened the single bid received regarding the expansion of the cemetery and it was from Britain's Landscaping for $54,100. Carroll Bassett, Cemetery Trustee said this was too much money as the Warrant had called for $30,000.  However,  included in the bid was the road that he planned for the future as well as part of the proposed development that is for future development. He asked the board if he could discuss re-negotiating the price with Britain excluding the roadway and the extra area for development. After a brief discussion the board told him to go ahead and negotiate and come back to them at the next meeting.

The board signed the contract with AB Aquatics for the diving to be done at Phillips Pond. The contract amount called for  $12,500 which was exactly what the town has for the job - $4,625 encumbered from last year's money and a grant for $7,875. 

Blaisdell reported that the painting of the Town Hall building is complete and that it looks really good. She said repairs are being done to the handicap ramp and she is seeking a report from an engineer for the structural work needed so an RFP could be processed for that work.

Blaisdell said the damage to the parking lot done by the painting company ladders has been fixed by Petra Paving. The cost was $150 and the bill will be sent to the painting company and the town's insurer will be notified of the incident and the billing sent to the painting company in case more work needs to be done to the damage and the repair.

Gordon said the time is nearing when Sgt. Rich Bucco goes around knocking on doors regarding dog licensing. There are still several hundred homes with unlicensed dogs and he begged people to get them registered. He also asked the board to approve accepting a Fish & Game $3600 grant for his department monitoring the trails, which the board approved.

In Other Business:

* The board accepted  two checks donated by the Republican Committee for  the Main Street Flag Donation Fund.

* Blaisdell reported the Town was reimbursed $6,624.75 by GOEFRR.

* Town Hall as of  Monday, July 6, will be  re-opening to the public with COVID-19 modifications. People are asked to please enter the Town Hall through the Main Street entrance door only and lines to the Town Clerk's Office etc. will form here and to please exit the Town Hall through the doors at the Town Clerk's Office (facing the Fire Station). Social distancing while in the building
We encourage you to wear a face mask while in the building is asked and
masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance, exit and at various stations in the building. Please be patient as the employees transition through this next phase - due to social distancing requirements, there may have only one customer service window open at times. On-line transactions are still available and are encouraged whenever possible.

* The Sandown ZBA on June 25, approved the application for a Special Exception for an Accessory Dwelling Unit submitted by Naomi and Mike  Mcnamara for 30 Hemlock Circle. The ZBA that night also approved an application submitted by Montana Realty Trust for a Variance  to allow minimum frontage for a re-subdivision of property at 11 Meghan Drive and the creation of  a 4.32 acre lot with 98.3 feet frontage, a 4.03 acre lot with 98.3 feet of frontage and an 82.67 acre lot with 96.95 feet of frontage.

Sandown Board of Selectmen Approve Cemetery Expansion Plan
By Penny Williams    6-17-20

The Sandown Board of Selectmen met in a regular session Monday night, June,15, and  approved the Cemetery Trustees going forward with the RFP bids for the expansion work for the Central Cemetery.

   Carroll Bassett, Cemetery Trustee Chair presented the request for bids for the expansion and development of the Cemetery. The bids will be accepted up until 3 p.m. on June 29th. The board will open the bids and pass them on to  the Cemetery Trustees to make the decision but the board said it would be comfortable supporting whatever recommendation the Cemetery Trustees made.

   Recreation Director Deb Brown came before the board seeking approval of her proposed Summer Recreation Program plans. These plans are published on the Recreation web page on the Town website. She said there will be a limit of 75 participants and the hours will be between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The participants, to use the beach, will need a bus and at the moment that is an issue since the buses can only hold 12 at a time but she is continuing to work on this aspect. If the kids are at the beach and a storm comes up they will be taken to the Town Hall.

   The board had no questions and approved her plan. They also approved her request for hiring three young people for the Recreation Program and two for life guards. One life guard candidate from Manchester is conditional until the background check can be done but the board approved her working so long as there is someone there who has had a background check. It was suggested Brown check with Police Chief Joe Gordon for help with this issue.

   The board approved an amended  Roadway Improvement Plan contract with Busby Construction. The plan was previously approved for $413,969 but guard rails needed to be added at a cost of $12,012.50 increasing the total to $425,981.50. The board approved the amended contract amount.

   Town Manager Lynn Blaisdell discussed moving on from phase 3 to phase 4 at the Town Office Building which would allow residents in the building but still encouraging wearing masks and insisting on social distancing. The door by the kitchen would be used for people to enter into the building and people would leave by the door by the Town Clark Tax Collector Office.

   The board made the decision not to rent out the building until after the Summer Recreation Program is over due to the Town Hall being the place to house the kids from the beach in the event of a weather event. The board also decided that they would wait until July 6, to go to phase 4 at the Town Hall as by then the painting of the building will be completed. Continuing with service by appointment only until July 6, can be reconsidered if things change at the board's June 29 meeting.

   Robert Meaney asked the board for their approval for him to build on lots he owns on Hersey Road, a Class VI road. Blaisdell said he had to comply with agreeing that the Town would provide no maintenance on the road, that he would provide the town with a hold harmless agreement and these documents would be filed at the Registry of Deeds. After they are recorded he can get a building permit but he still has to go before the Planning Board. However, the Board of Selectmen approved his request subject to comment from the Planning Board.

In Other Business:

* The aboard announced the appointment of Paul D'Amore as the new Town Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer.

* The Department of Environmental Services declined to take any action on complaints of violations at Cross Road, Pillsbury Road and it was noted these were discussed by the Conservation Commission.

* The well pump and 300 feet of wiring has been replaced.

* The Library requested repairs to their bathroom sink, the door out onto the parking lot and the platform and rails. Blaisdell said there is $13,000 in Government Building Repair line and they will see how much they can take care.

* The Library is interviewing an applicant for Library Director as Deb Hoadley has moved on.

* There are between 700 and 800 unregistered dogs. There is a $1 late fee at present but after July 8, it will be a $25 fee per dog and any dog owners whose dogs are not registered at that point can be taken to court or as a last resort the dog taken.

* The Senior Affairs Transportation Committee received a $250 donation from Ed Mencis and his fried dough cart sales and $86 miscellaneous donation dollars. The rides will restart July 6, but with restrictions.

* The Red Barn is seeking metal roof bids.

Sandown Selectmen Appoint Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer
By Penny Williams   6-10-2020

The Sandown Board of Selectmen sought a replacement for long time Building Inspector, Code Enforcement/Septic Inspector Bob Bogosh who has chosen to retire.

Sandown advertised for an Open Position - Building Inspector/Code Enforcement/Septic Inspector for the Town of Sandown. Applicants must have knowledge of the NH Building Codes, RSA’s and local zoning ordinances as adopted by the State of New Hampshire and the Town of Sandown. Applicants must be knowledgeable of IRC and IBC. The position oversees building department and town inspectors. Applicants must use the highest degree of professionalism. Resumes were to be filed with the Town on or before May 28.

Town Administrator Lynn Blaisdell said they received 4 applications and the board met with them in non-public session on Monday evening, June 8 for interviews.

The board announced late on Tuesday, June 9, that they have appointed Paul D'Amore to the open position. D'Amore is a long time Assistant Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer for Sandown and in his day job does this for another town so is extremely knowledgeable. Blaisdell said D'Amore will start on July 1.



Sandown Selectmen Hold First Open Meeting
By Penny Williams    6-2-2020

The Sandown Board of Selectmen met on Monday night, June 1, and didn't meet electronically. The whole board was present along with Town Administrator Lynne Blaisdell and a half dozen residents who showed up for the meeting who were seated using extreme social distancing.

Board Chair Darren Hudgins read the proposed Ordinance for Through Trucking on Odell Road, Ferguson Lane, David Lane, Phillips Pond and Cross roads.  The ordinance basically prohibits trucks other than those providing a delivery to a resident living on one of the roads or emergency vehicles, from operating a motor truck on the specified roads. The reason for the ordinance is truckers have been using these Hampstead roads to reach a development in Danville and the heavy trucks and the excessive use of the roads are tearing up Hampstead roads.

 The only discussion regarding the content of the ordinance came over the proposed fine for violations of $100 per offense. The board members felt this would not deter trucks from using the roads and after a discussion increased the fine for the first offense to $250 and subsequent fines to $500. The board approved the amended Ordinance for Through Trucking.

      Public Works Director Artie Genualdo presented Part B -Wells Village Road proposed road work in the amount of $413,900. He said the amount was agreed to by Busby Construction and they could start work by early August.

Hudgins questioned why only the one bid for the work and Genualdo, along with  Selectmen Jonathan Goldman and Tom Tombarello who echoed his explanation, said that Busby had held his prices for several years and always did good work, saving the Town money. Genualdo added that to go out to bid would add quite a lot of expense and he felt this was far and away the best deal the town would get. The board approved the contract with Busby Construction for Part B -Wells Village Road.

Genualdo also asked the board to approve allowing him to purchase a Crack-N-Tack2 machine and 4, 55-gallon barrels of material to be used in dealing with minor crack repairs particularly to newer reclaimed and redone roads which would increase the life of the roads. The cost would be $4,738.61. The board after a brief discussion approved the purchase.

   Genualdo said that a pipe in the vicinity of  260 Fremont Road was cracked and needs to be fixed. He said Busby could do it for $9,885, using a special liner. The board approved this.

   Genualdo also asked the board to approve hiring two new employees for the Transfer Station. The board approved the hires noting they are subject to background checks but the two new employees can start immediately and receive training for certification down the road.

   Recreation Director Deb Brown asked the board to approve her hiring two young people for the Summer Recreation Program - one as a life guard and one as a counselor. She told the board she had had four life guard candidates but two have recently withdrawn their application having found better jobs. The board approved her hires.

   Brown asked about renting a 40-foot  by 40-foot tent since the Summer Recreation Program will not be allowed to use the school this summer. The board told her to go ahead and rent it and pay for it out of her budget. The board noted the probability is that the cost will be reimbursed because the need for the tent is COVID-19.

   The board discussed the re-opening of various departments in the coming weeks. The Town Offices will move to Phase 3 which will allow residents to call and make an appointment to come in to conduct business. This would start on June 8. The Library will announce its decisions on its web site but the board members felt that as of June 8, department's could make their own decisions regarding opening up but that wearing masks by both customers and employees  was strongly encouraged.

In Other Business:

* The Third Party Electric Supplier will be First Point Power with a price of 0.074
per kilowatt hour.

* The Sandown Senior Affairs Transportation Committee is considering returning to  providing rides but for now it is recommended they stick to deliveries but when the drivers do resume providing rides masks for drivers and riders will be encouraged and strict cleaning will be required between rides.

* The board and Blaisdell discussed the color for the Town Hall paint job and basically settled on white with black trim.

* A decision on whether Old Home Day will take place will be made at the committee's upcoming meeting.

* The Sandown Budget Committee met on Wednesday, May 27, and put out a bid for the open position on the committee with letters of interest to be submitted to the Selectmen's Office by end of the day on June 11. The committee will meet on June 17, to interview those seeking to fill the open seat and their decision will be announced at the Selectmen's meeting following that date.

* Suzanne Reynolds, current chair and committee recording secretary, said she will not be the chair this year but will continue as the recording secretary.

* The Budget Committee decided to try and begin their meetings earlier in the coming fall, not holding as many meetings but having each meeting be longer. It was decided to start with the big ticket budget departments. A list of proposed meeting dates will be posted early in June. It was also decided to eliminate the practice of public comment during the meeting so going forward there will be a short time for public comment at the opening of the meeting.

* The Sandown Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) met on Thursday, May 28, and after reviewing the application submitted by Paydon Johnston for a Variance to allow construction of a 16 by 24 foot garage with either storage or a bedroom above the board denied the application. The denial was because the wrong Article was used to seek the Variance, the drawing did not use the required scale, and,  the criteria answers were inadequate.

* The ZBA approved accepting the second application that sought a Special Exception to construct an ADU at 30 Hemlock Drive submitted by Naomi and Mike Mcnamara. The committee noted the application needs to have the zoning floor plan in the appropriate scale and a certified plot plan provided.



Sandown Selectmen Hear from Departments on Reopening Readiness
By Penny Williams   5-21-2020

On Wednesday afternoon, May 20, the Sandown Selectmen heard from Library Director Deb Hoadley, Recreation Director Deb Brown, Town Clerk/Tax Collector Dawn Nicolaisen, and Town Administrator Lynne Blaisdell, on what phase they are in relative to their department re-opening - all dependent upon the guidelines and decisions from the Governor which are still changing almost daily.   

Hoadley had submitted a 6 phase re-opening plan to the Town Office and Wednesday afternoon said the Library is in phase 2 and "dipping their toe" into phase 3.

The building is still closed to the public but 2 to 3 library staff are working in the building Monday through Thursday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.   Hoadley and the Assistant Library Director Cathy Hassard are there most of the time doing different shifts along with 2 or 3 other staff but at no time are there less than 2 staff in the building. As staff enter the building they follow the guidelines and fill out the form provided by Primex and maintain social distancing. On May 26, book drop off and material returns will begin  and be held that on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. All returns will held in quarantine for 72 hours.

On June 1st there will be tables outside with bags filled with material requested by patrons for them to pick up outside. This is a measured step into phase 3.

It was asked what Town Employees can do regarding customers wearing face masks when the public may be allowed back in buildings. It was noted that employees cannot force customers to wear masks. However, employees could, using discretion, refuse to provide service.
    Brown said Recreation is basically in phase 2 but she is planning the Summer Program and hoping for the best. She has a veteran staff lined up but no date set for the beginning of the summer program. However, the thinking of Recreation and the Board of Selectmen is a life guard could be at the beach when beaches are opened up at least providing residents with something. Right now Brown plans to  stay with her usual plan of mid-June for having lifeguards at the beach.  She is hoping to have summer program in operation in some form in mid June but a date has not yet been announced. She is waiting for further orders from the Governor. 

Nicolaisen indicated that working from home and online has been difficult and she has had  less help than usual due to COVID-19 circumstances. She said while she was working on the current day requests today, she is behind in many phases and there is a backlog in her office. She indicated and Moderator Kevin Major affirmed that with two elections coming up her office is only going to get busier and not knowing exactly how those elections will work increases the pressure. Major noted there will be an increase in absentee ballots and those take time. There are also registrations for vehicles that are increasing daily, 200 dog registrations, and 300 new vehicle registrations and a thousand other registrations to be dealt with. Many of these have been dealt with but filing is way behind.

She continued noting that the lien date filing is coming up as is the date for sending out tax bills. She said the tax bills have been printed but not stuffed and ready for mailing. On top of all this the end of the month is coming with all its extra demands. "I could use some extra help," she said. After a brief discussion, the Selectmen agreed to additional help for the Town Clerk/Tax Collector to get caught up on clerical work and get ready for elections. 

Blaisdell said Town Office is in phase 2 with the building still closed to the public but staff being allowed to work in their offices. Looking ahead to phase three would be when they would allow customers by appointment only to come into the building. She wants to make it a one-way pass through with customers entering by the kitchen side door and passing through and exiting by the Town Clerks office. Staff would wear masks and customers would be asked to wear masks and the floors will be marked with tape to show social distancing and where to go.

Blaisdell provided the board with a draft 'Through Trucking Ordinance' that had been vetted by Town Counsel. Notice of the ordinance has to be posted as to where the draft of the ordinance is available and  to make this happen the board needed to review and sign off on the draft ordinance.

She went through the entire ordinance and the only change the board made was to the amount of the fine, which they increased from $100 to $500 dollars for each violation. The board approved the ordinance and it will be available at the Town Clerk's office once the notice goes out.

In Other Business:

*  Sandown is advertizing an open position for the Building Inspector/ Code Enforcement/Septic Inspector. Current inspector Bob Bogosh has decided this is the right time to retire. Applicants need knowledge of the NH Building Codes, RSA’s and local zoning ordinances as adopted by the State of New Hampshire and the Town of Sandown. Position oversees Building Department and Town Inspectors.

Please submit cover letter and resume on or before May 28,  to: Town of Sandown, PO Box 1756, Sandown, NH 03873.

* Application form to Change Party Affiliation is available on the Town Web site.

The deadline to change your party affiliation is June 2. The form can be mailed to the Town Clerk's Office at: Town of Sandown Town Clerk's Office, PO Box 583, Sandown, NH  03873, or,  the application can be dropped off in the locked drop box located at the Town Clerk/Tax Collector's office entrance, which faces the Fire Station.


Sandown Selectmen Considering How to Reopen Town
By Penny Williams   5-13-20

One of the things discussed by the Sandown Board of Selectmen at their Monday night meeting, May 11, was a review of their discussions at a special meeting held last Wednesday, May 6, concerning reopening the town.

The selectmen decided that they needed to prepare for how the town and the Town Office Building would reopen. Each department was asked to provide the board with a specific reopening plan for their department for the board to review. It was noted the Sandown Library has their own plan in place and starting Tuesday, May 12, there will be two employees in the building working. The next phase will be curbside pick-up.

The department heads have until the next special meeting, Wednesday, May 20 at 4 p.m. to get their plans put together and sent to the selectmen. Town Administrator Lynne Blaisdell said the return of employees to the Town Office Building will include each office keeping its doors closed and anyone needing to deal with that office will do so from the hallway where there are Plexiglass protectors in place.

Parks and Recreation is planning on holding its Summer Program and Recreation Director Deb Brown is lining up the personnel and the programs for the time it gets to open up,  but she is tentatively hoping for mid-June. Campers are encouraged to go online and get signed up.

Selectmen Chair Darren Hudgins said hopefully that perhaps electronic meetings will soon be a thing of the past.

Blaisdell went over the COVID-19 grant programs from FEMA and the Governor's Office For Emergency Relief and Recovery(GOFERR) that will provide re-imbursement to the town for things bought or done related to COVID-19.

She told the board she is tracking these but needs to file the GOFERR items the town wants re-imbursement for things that were bought or spent between March and April 30 by June 1 in order to be eligible for re-imbursement. After that there will two more opportunities to file for things in the following two months.

Sandown was allocated $152,159 for this purpose but Blaisdell didn't appear to think they would be spending anywhere near that much. She indicated she is still waiting for answers to questions related to these filings from the Municipal Government Center.

The Town is participating in the First Responder Stipend program. Finance Director Gayle Hamel indicated she would prefer to make two payments of the that money rather make the payments to eligible first responders on a weekly basis. The board approved of that.

The board decided to hold a public hearing on Monday, June 1, relative to the No Through Trucking Ordinance for Ferguson, Odell, and David roads that are being used by Danville trucks working on a Danville development. It was noted that there is a big development possibly going to take place off of Ferguson which would have some portion in Sandown and some in Danville and the board needs to keep track of that going forward but it hasn't been presented as yet.

Blaisdell said she is pleased to announce that the Municipal grant of $67,000 the town received from the State in 2019 that was to be used for the salt shed that voters denied the warrant article can be used for something else or several things.
   She said she has that opinion from the Municipal Government Center and is waiting to make sure the Department of Revenue Administration agrees. If so that is good news for the town. She wants to find out if this is true whether the Town will have to hold another Public Hearing regarding how the money would be used and she expects to hear about that soon.

Blaisdell asked the board if they wanted to distribute a flyer provided by the Hampstead Water Resource Committee relative to monitoring and reporting any impacts on wells in Sandown within the specified impact area of the Angle Pond Well # 3 with is going on line.

The Hampstead Area Water Company is supposed to provide this notification but has not and the board members felt the board had a responsibility to inform its residents about this. The board approved sending the flyers out to the identified homeowners of wells in the impact area and to also post it on the web site.

In Other Business:

* Selectman Tom Tombarello announced the four employee May employment anniversaries: Michael  Devine, Fire Chief Bill Tapley, Police Officer Steve Winter and Building Inspector Bob Bogash.  

* The board was told that the company that will be doing the painting of the Town Hall can schedule that work for mid-June and has tentatively done so. Blaisdell asked the board what color they wanted the building painted and asked them to send her suggestions.

* The NH Department of Transportation notified the town they will be digging up and repaving 121-A between Fremont and Lexington throughout the summer.



Sandown Selectmen Grill Historical Society Officials About Membership
By Penny Williams 4-29-20

 The Sandown Board of Selectmen met on Monday evening, April 27, and grilled the out-of-town officials of the Sandown Historical Society about the society's membership and what items in the Depot belong to the Town.
    Historical Society President Jon Wells, who lives in Maine, and Society Curator Eric Emery who lives in Merrimack were present to find out why the Town had padlocked the Depot Door. Jim Weber who is the grandson of long time Historical Society founder and supported Bertha Devoe also chimed in. He too is from out of town. The board had directed the locking of the Depot building at an earlier meeting because there was a report of the sale of Depot related items and a picture of a Depot sign for sale on Craig's List.

The Selectmen made it clear they had locked the town-owned Depot building door until they had answers regarding these items that appeared to have been sold. The board also made it clear they are not happy with the Sandown Historical Society being handled by out-of-town people, especially people whose focus is primarily on train related things and events with only a side interest in Sandown historical things.

The Historical Society men made it clear that while the Town owns the building, the only item they are aware of that the towns owns among the items at the Depot is a quilt that hangs on the wall. They explained that the Put Put or track car that was at the Depot grounds and which was rusting apart and whose engine had failed was sold several years ago because of its deteriorating condition and because it was not period correct for the cars at the Depot. As for the sign that appeared on Craig's List that had been  made by Devoe and disappeared from the Depot in the last few years, Police Chief Joe Gordon was notified and he was able to reclaimed it.

In the not too distant past there was a situation that occurred with the Historical Society that over the course of a year or two getting it settled wound up with one member being removed for possible criminal behavior and several members pushed out for using some of the items at the Depot Museum to sell on e Bay to raise money for the society. The last local person to be president, Bob Brouder, died unexpectedly and the society officers are now all out of town people.

Weber and Wells objected to being accused of "stealing" and Board Chair Darren Hudgins stated they were not being so accused but the board, before renewing the lease of the Depot Building, wanted answers to their questions. The discussion went round and round and eventually Chief Gordon stepped in and asked if the Society would be willing to provide now and annually, membership lists as well as a comprehensive list of items that are at the Depot as well their by-laws and policies. The men said that could be done and it was determined that there are about 57 members of the society and possibly 40 percent are Sandown residents.

Selectman Jon Goldman pointed out that for free use of town buildings a program or group has to have 60 percent Sandown membership and if the society could work on that that might help. It was noted by Wells and Emery that the bad publicity the society had undergone in recent years made it difficult if not impossible to get people in town to participate. Hudgins said that the people of Sandown feel disconnected from the Historical Society and they are not happy about it since the Depot Museum is such an important part of Sandown history.
   Goldman and Hudgins suggested that the Historical society consider partnering with the Sandown Heritage Commission saying this way the society could concentrate on railroad events and activities while the Heritage Commission would be active and involved in the legacy and Sandown historical side of things. Wells and Emery said they would need to meet with the rest of their board members and make a decision regarding this suggestion.

Selectman Tom Tombarello stated that he thought the explanations and the agreement to provide the selectmen with the lists and documents they requested warranted the immediate unlocking of the Depot building. The board agreed and said it would happen first thing Tuesday morning. A 90 day temporary lease of the building to the Historical Society was approved and the Selectmen asked Town Administrator Lynne Blaisdell to have the Heritage Commission come to their next meeting to discuss the possible partnership.

Public Works Director Arthur Genualdo went before the board discussing two issues. The first concerns trucks traveling over Ferguson and Odell roads to reach a Lewis Builders' development in Danville. Hampstead roads are being used because Danville ordered No Through Trucking signs to be posted on their roads making it necessary for the trucks to use Sandown roads to reach and leave the development with the result damage is being done to these Sandown roads.

  The board discussed what they could do about this with both Genualdo and Chief Gordon and it was decided that No Through Trucking signs would be placed on Ferguson, Odell and David roads in Sandown and a selectmen's ordinance developed if needed forcing the trucks to find some other way to go or be prepared to pay the fines which might range from $500 to $1,500 depending on what Gordon was able to determine the infringement of the signage would constitute. The board also approved writing a letter to the Danville Selectmen telling them  use Sandown roads must stop and that the town is putting up No Through Trucking signs and any further  use will be penalized. The board wanted Lewis Builders CC on the letter.
    Genualdo said the trucks have caused real damage to Ferguson such that the roadway has been shifted sending run-off water into a resident's yard causing damage to his property. Genualdo said that will have to be fixed.

Genualdo second issue is that on Lakeview there is a resident who is deliberately blocking the catch basin causing run off on neighbors' properties and making his public works workers clear it up constantly. This is an ongoing situation and the resident refuses to stop damming up the culvert with yard refuse but Genualdo said he will no longer clear the culvert. He has notified NH DES about  this situation and if he stops clearing out the culvert perhaps the neighbors will act and bring a civil suit to clear this action up.

 It was thought that perhaps the Conservation Commission would be able to fine the resident for this activity and Hudgins said he would get in touch Brian Butler Chair of the Conservation Commission to check on what that body might be able to do.

In Other Business:

* The board approved Chief Gordon purchasing a Dodge Durango for its cruiser with a three year lease.

* The board approved the three year lease contract for the cardiac monitor at a total cost of $34,350 which is less than the $45,000 budgeted for it.

* The board discussed the three bids for painting the Town Office building and approved the second lowest bid, $15,500,  for the job. They approved the bid and will lock in a June start time for the work but want to wait until then in order to ensure there is a revenue stream to cover it. Blaisdell will check on the deposit.

* The board approved purchasing special Plexiglas separators for the election workers for the September and November elections and special iPads for police and Town Administrator use for the electronic meeting requirements and police things requiring these specialized computers, The board approved the payment for these coming from the Disaster Management Fund because FEMA would more than likely refund these COVID-19 expenses.

* The board approved appointing Jennifer Prather, Stephanie Kulik, and Kate Winter to the Old Home Day Committee as well as approving Paul Wentzell to the Heritage Commission as an alternate and reappointing Cindy Buco as the Sandown representative to the School Capital Improvement Committee.

* The board decided that the floor in the Fire Station should be done but decided to put it off until later in the year, possibly early fall.

* The board approved the 3 year contract with Vadar Systems for the Town Clerk/Tax Collectors office which supplies financial software at a cost of $5,582.62 annually which is only a slight increase (2.5 percent) over the previous contract cost.


Sandown Selectmen Finalize " It’s Christmas in April" Parade
By Penny Williams 4-14-20

The Sandown Board of Selectmen met Monday night, April 13, and went over a number of issues including contracts, COVID-19 and a planned Fire and Police event to take place this coming weekend.

Selectman Jonathan Goldman described a special event being planned by the Fire and Police Departments for the coming weekend. "It's 'Christmas in April.' The Sandown Fire-Rescue and Police Departments will be parading through town on Saturday April 18, all decorated for the holiday. Time and route information will be posted Friday April 17, via the Sandown Fire Department  Facebook page and the town web site to be shared amongst the community. Due to time limitations we will not be able to travel every street in town. However, we will make a drive by at the Recreation Building so if we will not be on your street you are encouraged to practice social distancing in your car along one side of Pheasant Run Drive at the Recreation building to watch us go by. We are trying to work on a special guest, but it is NOT confirmed yet. As a reminder, we will NOT be stopping, and parents are always asked to practice social distancing."

Town Administrator Lynne Blaisdell presented the request from Charlie Zilch, S.E.C. Associates, Inc. for the board to sign the easement documents related to the DF Realty Trust development on Valerie Way. The board reviewed these easement documents at a previous meeting and now that the Planning Board has conditionally approved the site plan, the Board of Selectmen need to sign off on the documents.

Blaisdell said she has received the recommendation for the board to sign the easement documents from Town Engineer Steve Keach, Keach Nordstrom Associates because everything has been satisfactorily been met and she has also received the deed and fee that she will get to the registry once the board signs the documents. The board approved Chair Darren Hudgins signing on the board's behalf and he did so.

The board approved the request from Lewis Builders to accept the extension to Wilkele Road and to release the $12,960 bond.

The board signed the contract with Comprehensive Environmental Inc. for $20,000. The company will be doing the work required to meet the MS-4 permit requirements. They will finish up the 2019 items that need to be completed and do the work on the 2020 requirements so the Town is in compliance.

Goldman said the Fire and Rescue and Police departments have sufficient PPE for the next two weeks thanks to donations. He indicated they should be alright over the next two weeks when New Hampshire is expected to get the COVID-19 surge if it is to happen. He said the Emergency Management is in good shape.

Blaisdell said she is seeking clarification regarding the Governor's Orders relating to payment of property tax interest payments but that the town needs people make their property tax payments because revenues from the state Highway Block grant and the Room and Meals Tax will be less than expected and have a negative impact on the town tax rate.

She also asked that department's keep good track of payments/costs for things relating to the pandemic as those that are reasonable that deal with enforcement and protection will be able to get federally reimbursed. Goldman said the government will reimburse "reasonable" items at 75 percent so he cautioned care in purchasing only what is absolutely necessary.

Heidi Chaput asked the board for approval to allow volunteers to carry out the annual Earth Day Town pick-up. The board discussed this and while noting it might be a good idea to delay it one week because of the Christmas in April event they had no problem with it happening in homeowner neighborhoods so long as people were cautioned to keep social distancing and used appropriate coverage such as gloves and so forth.

Chaput said the Sandown Girl Scout Troop 10765 and the Town of Sandown would be sponsoring the Earth Day Town Wide Clean-up that is scheduled for April 24, 25, and 26.  Everyone will be asked to wear a mask and gloves and people should email to Paula Gulla@ pgulla@sandown.us  their name, address, phone number and street they will be cleaning and if they want to the Highway Department to pick up the bags. People wanting the blue State trash bags are asked to call Sandown Town Hall at 887-3646 Monday through Thursday between * a.m. and 4 p.m. and the bags will be brought out to them. Leave the filled bags at the end of your street or a major intersection for the Highway Department to pick the bags up.

The Lion's Club has put off doing Main Street until later in the year due to the pandemic, Selectman Eric Olsen said.

Hudgins reported that Conservation re-appointed Tom Sands, Pam Gaudreau and Mark Traeger and that he had sworn them in. The commission signed the contact with Charlie Moreno to do the forestry cut at the Wells Village Road Forest  and he expects the town will get $25,000 for the wood out of which they will pay Moreno  his $5,875 fee. The Community Garden forms for the 14 available plots are up on the Web page. The commission approved having Scott Bassett till the garden for $150. They also canceled the Fishing Derby and Briana Butler is returning  monies that were donated. Benches have been installed on the Blue Trail off Morrison Lane and all geocashing events have been canceled.

 In Other Business:

* Since the request from the Reach the Beach Race to approve their use of the Town Hall as a transition stop for the September race is so far out and the race may in the end be canceled the board approved the request.

 * It was noted that there had been flooding on Fremont Road from a beaver dam and the Public Works Director Arthur Genualdo and the Busby Construction Company brought in equipment and removed the dam and fixed the culvert that needed work.

 * Selectman Bob Nickerson said the Library Director Deb Hoadley and Trustees have decided to allow one employee at a time to work in the library building to do research and other needed work.

Sandown Cancels Selectmen’s Meeting But Easter Bunny Will be in Town
By Penny Williams    4-7-20

Sandown issued the following information regarding meetings and how residents can access services they need during the changes wrought by the coronavirus  pandemic. The modifications are approved by the Selectmen and  Selectman Jonathan Goldman is responsible for putting out weekly notices during this period.

This information was updated as of April 1 and the complete list of modifications as of that date can be accessed on the Town Web page for the Board of Selectmen.
   But first of all the decision was made by the Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator Lynne Blaisdell to cancel the Monday night, April 6, Board of Selectmen meeting. In addition it was determined that all town inspectors will be making case by case decisions regarding home inspections and everyone requesting an inspection should contact the required inspector directly.

Other business:

• The Sandown Fire/Rescue Association will do it’s best to reschedule the rabies clinic previously rescheduled for May 4th but this has now been postponed until further notice. Goldman notes that people need to contact their veterinarian if your dog’s rabies shot is expiring as rabies shots are required to be up-to-date by law.  They may be offering alternative pricing or options knowing many rabies clinics have been canceled.  Please don’t risk your animal getting sick.

• Those needing to file their annual recertification paperwork for their Elderly Exemption was discussed at the last Board of Selectmen meeting and the board approved extending the period for filing.  People now have until July 15, to do so.  The previous deadline of April 15th has been extended. Residents seeking the recertification of the Elderly can either mail in the paperwork to the Town Office or leave it in the lockbox outside the building near the Town Clerk’s office.  You also have the option to wait until the Town Office  opens back up soon and bring in person before July 15th.
 Goldman  notes that if any elderly would like to be checked on periodically during various weather emergencies or State of Emergencies, they should complete a Special Assistance Card.  The Town Offices shares this information with only the Fire and Police Departments who will call or visit your property to check to be sure you are ok during these times of emergency.  If you’d like to complete one of these cards, please call the town offices and one will be mailed to you.  They will also be on the town website by the end of this week.

• The Sandown Transfer Station will remain open on its regularly scheduled days with regular hours with the exception of closing on Easter Sunday. 

• The Sandown Parks and Recreation has it on good authority that the Easter Bunny has come up with a plan to visit with Sandown boys and girls while still practicing eggscellent social distancing.

Everyone in Sandown is welcome to participate, residents and non-residents alike. 

The Easter Bunny will be outside, at the Edward C. Garvey Recreation Facility located at 25 Pheasant Run Drive between 10 a.m. and 12 noon on Saturday, April 11,  so that boys and girls, along with their family, can drive in, travel through the parking lot and out the other side visiting with the Easter Bunny  by watching the Easter Bunny who  will be very hoppy to see and wave to everyone! 

Visitors to the Easter Bunny will not be allow to exit their cars they are encouraged to decorate their vehicle, sing, wave, throw kisses and enjoy this 'mobile' Easter Bunny visit, said Recreation Director Deb Brown. 

"The recreation department is also encouraging residents to participate in the "Easter Decoration Hunt" by decorating you residence, mailbox, windows, yard or anything on your property  for Easter and getting listed on the registration guide with the recreation department," Brown added.  "Just send your name, address and location of your decorations to: recreation@sandown.us by Thursday at 2 PM to be included in the guide."

Those who want to go on the 'hunt' to find decorated mailboxes or porches or trees etc., will be able to do so on Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Saturday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The guide will be posted to the town website at www.sandown.us and people can navigate to the recreation page under Children's Programs.  The push is on to make this an eggstra special Easter Bunny visit!  If you have questions please contact Recreation Director Deb Brown at 887-1872.

• If you have questions or need assistance from a town department you can contact the Town Office at 603-887-3646 during normal business hours and either Blaisdell or Office Assistant Paula Gulla will be there to either answer your question or direct you where to get an answer.  Monday Town Office hours have changed temporarily to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.





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

~ Melody Beattie ~