LAST MEETING: Selectman Mark Duffy (center) distributed gifts at his last selectmen’s meeting on Wednesday, March 14. Colleagues Ken Paul (left) and Peter Kasprzyk joined him in one last photo. (Thomas Beeler photo) (click for larger version)
March 22, 2012WAKEFIELD — Wakefield Selectman Mark Duffy ended his 12 years as selectman and his last meeting on March 14 by distributing gifts to his colleagues.
First he thanked the town for allowing him to serve as selectman for 12 years, and town staff for helping him over the years.
Duffy then presented what he called "Meeting Survival Kits" to Town Administrator Teresa Williams and Secretary Toni Bodah. The small metal trunks contained, among other things, aspirin.
He then presented his colleagues on the board, Chair Ken Paul and Selectman Peter Kasprzyk, with Bearded Wonders caps. To Kasprzyk he also passed along his dog-eared (and dog chewed) "Roberts Rules of Order" together with a copy of Town and City magazine with a lead story on Town Clerks.
To Paul he passed along a definitive report on "How to Regulate Junk Yards."
To his successor Charlie Edwards he passed along his copy of "Knowing the Territory," a guide for selectmen, and thanked Edwards for responding to his advice, "You shouldn't criticize if you don't get involved."
As a final wish Duffy said he would like to see the renovation of Town Hall "finished and bonded."
He asked and was granted his wish to keep keys to Town Hall and the town clock so he could serve as backup to clock keeper Fred Guldbrandsen.
The audience gave Duffy a standing round of applause.
Geraldine Mallett and Doreen Scaramella came before the board to ask that a streetlight on Emery Lane be replaced and turned back on. They had written to the Board of Selectmen in January with this request. At the board's Jan. 25 meeting Chairman Paul noted that the town had turned off 26 streetlights to save money, but only after police had determined it was safe to do so. Selectmen asked Wakefield Police to look into the matter to see if there was a public safety issue, and the report was negative.
The women said that a neighbor had the light shut off and removed because he wanted to see the stars at night. They complained that it was dangerous to walk on the slippery road in winter, when it was dark early, to collect mail and that they had had two attempted break-ins. "Fred Guldbrandsen said a light should be there." They said.
They also complained the same man moved their mailbox and replaced it with his own, claiming that Kevin at the post office told him to move it. They said Kevin only commented on how high the box needs to be and did not say to move it. In response to their complaints the neighbor told them to get their mail during the day.
Kasprzyk said Public Service would install a new light for them. The women said it would be unfair to ask them to pay for the light when their neighbor created the problem.
Police Chief Ken Fifield was in attendance. He said police could talk with the neighbor: "that might solve the problem." He advised them to just call the Police Department and "we'll take care of it." He also said he could double check the public safety issue at that location.
Brackett Road project
Linda Schier, Executive Director of the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance (AWWA), came to talk to selectmen about stormwater drainage improvements to Brackett and Pond Roads planned for the summer. She said that the grant to pay for the improvements has been submitted, but the grant itself will not be signed until May.
Schier reported that Road Agent Dan Davis has been taking care of the easements needed to make the improvements and that the stormwater engineers want to meet with the new Road Agent once a new one is hired. Available grant funds may limit work to Brackett Road but if the town is willing to donate manpower and equipment, private funds may be available to do Pond Road as well.
Schier also reported that there will be a workshop on the revised Shoreland Protection Act on June 23 that will review for property owners changes in the law.
The Province Lake Association is applying to do a watershed management program, she said. AWWA is trying to get the five lake associations in town to coordinate this year's Lake Host program, which is designed to prevent milfoil infestations.
Paul said the town tends to give treatment funds on a first-come, first-served basis and all who want town funding should get their requests in by May 1.
Schier ended her report by saying that her association continues to work with Paul School students in grades 6-8 and that the Youth Conservation Corps erosion control programs will be starting up again in May.
Emergency Operations Plan
Police Chief Fifield met with the board along with consultant June Garneau to discuss a grant application for $4,950 to rewrite the town's Emergency Operations Plan, which is now 10 years old. Garneau pointed out preparing the plan does not cost the town out-o-f-pocket money, just the time of town employees to help do the revision. She said she did one for Jackson not long ago for $7,000. She said she comes to meetings and then rewrites the plan. She estimated that sic two-hour meetings would be needed. For her work she invoices the town, the town invoices the state, the state pays the town and then the town pays her.
Fifield said the emergency plan can include the school – it depends on the nature of the emergency. The plan assigns responsibility for all responses and the Emergency Management Director decides which response to use. He said the town has a Hazard Mitigation Plan that is more recent, but that emphasizes prevention while the Emergency Operations Plan responds to emergency events.
He said the grant has already been written for $4,950 but the amount is not in the budget just approved by voters. "There has to be a way to account for it."
Garneau said she can research the accounting issue. "The same issue came up with Bartlett." She said she would send information to Town Administrator Williams.
Speaking for the board Chairman Paul said once the accounting issues are worked out selectmen will sign the agreement.
Selectmen opened bids to remove the ash pile at the Transfer Station. Williams reported that there was only one valid bid, from Waste Management: a second bid came in late and is ineligible. The Waste Management bid was for $71 a ton: $11.81 to haul and $59 for disposal at the landfill. Pete LaChapelle from Waste Management hauling division was present. He said he would bring enough trucks to do the removal in one operation. The town would load the trucks with its equipment. He suggested waiting until late summer to let the pile dry out and reduce the weight. He said the pile passed toxic tests. The board voted to accept the bid.
The board also received two bids for Landfill Monitoring services currently performed by CE2. Kasprzyk moved to table consideration until next meeting. Williams will scan the bid information and email to selectmen in the meantime.
Heritage Commission Chair Pam Judge reported the town has been nominated for a New Hampshire Preservation Alliance award. She invited selectmen to a "What's New in Union" presentation at the Greater Wakefield Resource Center in Union on Sunday, March 18: part of that report is that work is in process on the Freight House in Union as well as an HO model railroad. A tour of six industrial sites in Wakefield is planned for April 8.
Williams reported that Tax Collector Cathy Kinville retires on Friday, March 16, but will return as Deputy Tax Collector on Monday, on a part time basis.
Paul asked the police and fire chiefs to review a request to waive ambulance fees by a resident who was transported but is unable to pay.
The board signed a proposal to install an elevator in the Greater Wakefield Resource Center. A sprinkler system is next.
Funds were approved for two police enforcement grants: one on Route 16 and one for DWI patrols at peak hours. Williams noted that these are not sobriety checkpoints.
A lease was approved for the Faith Renewal Fellowship Church for the building at 1892 Province Lake Road.
Resident Ed Brown complained that the Sanbornville Water Department is charging him four times for one meter, a practice he said the Public Utilities Commission said is wrong. He said he doesn't mind paying for usage or meters but not both and plans to pursue the issue. Kasprzyk pointed out that the commissioners are elected, implying that they are not under selectmen's jurisdiction.
The next meeting of the Wakefield Board of Selectmen will be on Wednesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall meeting room.