December 4, 2014
Public Hearing - Zoning Amendments for March Ballot
Members & Staff Present: Jeanne Cahoon (Alternate) Diane Chauncey (Secretary)
Chris Condon (Chair) Steve MacDonald (Member) Janet McEwen (Member)
Bob Holmes (Alternate) Gordon Webber (Ex-officio) Sarah VanderWende (Member)
Carol Ogilvie (Consultant Planner) Elsa Voelcker (Alternate)
Members & Staff Absent:
Jesse Lazar (Vice-Chair) Michael Frosch (Member)
Public Attendees: Joan Gorga Ben Pratt Ron Haggett David Blumenthal
Chair Condon opened the meeting at 7:10 PM, and appointed Mr. Holmes to sit for the absent Vice-Chair Lazar and Ms. Voelcker to sit for the absent Mr. Frosch. He introduced
Megan Osgood as the new land use assistant.
7:00PM Public Hearing
To hear comments on draft zoning amendments for March 2015 ballot
Chair Condon opened the Public Hearing to hear comments on the Zoning Amendments for the March 2015 ballot (Amendments attached with Town Hall Minutes). Chair Condon asked if any of the Public Attendees were present to give comment. There were none. Chair Condon closed the Public Hearing.
Ms. Ogilvie questioned the language in the proposed Personal Wireless Service Facility (PWSF - aka Cell Tower). She has placed her concerns with several attorneys and is awaiting their response. She felt that the Board should possibly delay the Zoning Ordinance Amendment vote.
The Board determined to wait until Ms. Ogilvie received further information concerning the PWSF draft amendment.
Capital Improvement Program (CIP) – presentation by committee for 2015 – 2020
Mr. Pratt gave a short history of the CIP and how it had been established by a vote of the town and that it is a requirement if a town has a Master Plan. The goal of the program is to look out 5 years and even out the requests of the various Town Departments. A CIP project must have a value of at least $10,000 and a life of 5 years.
Each member received a 3-page spreadsheet which the Board reviewed department by department.
Fire Department – A new boiler had been requested for 2014. The Energy Committee, Planning Board and the CIP committee had all recommended that an energy audit was to be performed prior to the purchase. Mr. Pratt stated that he did not believe that had occurred.
Police Department – No major requests for 2015. Equipment purchases (new police units) are scheduled for future years.
Highway Department – Numerous projects were reviewed. The largest project would be the Highland Avenue/Pleasant Street drainage/water/road improvement project. The project would require bonding (a 2/3 vote at 2015 Town Meeting).
Mr. Pratt stated that if the town does not address the project – “we will be in big trouble”.
Mr. Haggett stated the relevance on infrastructure projects and the he “did not think it should be put aside”.
Mr. Webber stated that he was not sure Water & Sewer Commissioners (W & S) wanted to execute the project in one chunk ( because the rates would go up too much) –and possibly the project should be broken up into 2 steps. Mr. Webber said that the Board of Selectmen (BOS) did not agree with that point of view, and that it would be advantageous to complete the project all at once. He said that the BOS and the W & S would need to come up with a way that was acceptable to all.
The CIP and Board members discussed some of the details of the project. Mr. Pratt stated that the project would go out to bid at the end of December.
Library – Mr. Haggett discussed the 2015 projects. The window restoration project will be a 2015 warrant article. The restoration (which will preserve the architectural flavor of the building) will greatly improve the heat loss in winter and better cooling in summer. There are no other large projects planned, but money will continue to be placed in the CRP library fund.
Bridges - There was a short discussion of the bridges needing improvements.
Parks & Recreation - The projects were briefly explained.
Ms. Gorga further explained the lighting project.
Ms. McEwen stated that she felt that the focus should be on Memorial Park. She explained that she was still in the same spot with the Shea lighting idea – too short a calendar time that the lighting would actually be used. She felt that essential services were more important. She asked if the P & R Commission (P & R) had discussed the impact of lighting be in the area. She also thought that the P & R should find other sources for the lights because they were so expensive; and what had happened to the light rental idea?
Ms. Gorga said that the P & R had researched rented lights and that their feeling was that they were considered a hazard, and she explained the reasons. She also stated that generators which operate the lights are noisy and smelly. Ms. Gorga continued that the P & R had worked hard to accumulate the money for the lighting of Shea Field and that after the 2015 CRP contribution; the lighting could be outright paid for. The lighting company that the P & R had been working with had offered a 25-year free maintenance contract. She also said that Shea field could be flooded for a skating rink and that the lights would be advantageous.
Mr. Webber stated that the P & R should wait until there was enough money for the entire project. He also asked if the abutter s had been notified. He said it was necessary to know the impact of the lights and the traffic.
Ms. Gorga said that the P & R had researched the possibility for grant money.
Ms. McEwen said that the Memorial Park project should be updated quicker.
Ms. Gorga stated that the Town needed more playing fields.
Mr. Holmes stated (speaking as an umpire) that in his experience as a football official who has done games under portable lights, he has not found them to be a hazard.
The Board continued to discuss the P & R projects.
Ms. McEwen repeated that major essential infrastructure were very important.
Ms. Gorga repeated the need of the Recreation Dept.
Mr. Webber said that the gym floor had been an issue for some time. He considered the floor an asset that needs to be repaired. The priority should be to maintain what the Recreation Department already has. He said that he was not for the lighting project but that if the P & R could gain the support of the voters, possibly hold a Public Hearing, the he would go with the voters.
Ms. VanderWende said that the Town should take care of what we have rather than investing in what many may see as frivolous. It would be irresponsible to light Shea field when Memorial Park and the gym floor need to be maintained.
Conservation Commission – Continue to add money to the CRP.
Ms. VanderWende moved to accept the CIP report. Mr. Webber seconded the motion. By a voice vote, all approved the CIP report and that the CIP committee should recommend the report to the Board of Selectmen.
The CIP committee will recommend their report at the Selectmen meeting on December 8, 2014.
Approve November 20, 2014 Meeting Minutes table the minutes until the December 18 meeting.
The Board reviewed the Notice of Decision and revised plat for AWE/OTT subdivision (#2014- 05PB).
SWRPC –Monadnock Region Future: A Plan for SW NH – Tara Germond and draft CD available - FYI
Monadnock Paper Mill FERC #6597-013-ORDER ISSUING EXTENTION OF TIME. FYI
At 8:30, Ms. McEwen moved to adjourn. Mr. Webber seconded. All voted to adjourn.
Diane Chauncey and Megan Osgood