Board of Selectmen Minutes

Meeting began at 5:55 pm.  Present were Selectman Stohl and Campbell.  Selectman Cloutier arrived at 6:10 pm.  Members of the public present:  Craig Washburn, Ted Burns, Conrad Chapple, Sr., Bob Baker, Vernon Smith, Garry Parkhurst, Scott DeBlois and Road Agent Buddy Boudle.

Scott DeBlois came to the meeting to ask the Board’s permission to plant willow trees on the Town’s property.  Mr. DeBlois said he had been approached by the Coos County Conservation District regarding this matter.  He explained that the willows would be permanent and that only “seedlings” would be taken for transplanting.  The willows are used for river bank stabilization and would be planted over a one-half acre area.  After discussion, the Board gave their approval for this project.  Mr. DeBlois left the meeting.

Craig Washburn came to the meeting at the invitation of the Board to discuss the ATV trails.  Mr. Washburn explained that the Kelsea Notch Trail opened last weekend.  He also told the Board that Fish & Game had been patrolling in Columbia over the weekend and that they had reported no major problems.  Mr. Washburn stated that the Club is interested in coming out on Sims Stream and using the road as part of the trail, crossing by the former Bennett property and going down to the railroad track.  The Club has not filed a permit asking the State for permission to cross Route 3 until they know that the Town will let them go across its land.  Selectman Stohl stated that he had a couple of issues:

This past weekend he had encountered several ATVs and had been impressed at how courteous they were.
When permission was given for the Club to use the upper portion of Sims Stream Road, it was noted that they wanted to use it to connect with the North Stratford trails.  Selectman Stohl stated that he felt we should have a public hearing and let the people know what is going on.

Asked the people present, as well as the other two Board members, if they knew who bush-hogged the sides of Sims Stream Road.  (No one knew for certain.  It was speculated that perhaps it was Daniel Ouimette.)  It was noted that permission from the Town should have been granted first.

If we are going to have a public hearing, then we should get input from the voters on using the Town’s property as part of the trail.
The new Town parking lot should not be used as an “ATV parking lot”.  The other two Board members concurred.  Mr. Washburn said the Club could put up signs saying “no ATV parking”.

After discussion, the Board and Mr. Washburn agreed to meet on Monday, July 14th, at 6:00 to decide if and where the ATV trail could be located.

Bob Baker asked if there were any restrictions on people walking, biking, etc. on the ATV Trails and Mr. Washburn stated that there wasn’t.

Ted Burns (representing the North Stratford ATV Club) came to the meeting to ask for the Town’s permission to use a portion of Meridan Hill Road as the ATV trail.  Mr. Burns explained that in the last two or three days they had received permission from the Bunting Family Forestry to put the trail on their property.  Mr. Burns explained that the trail would only go approximately ½ mile on the Town’s road.  He stated that he had marked it with ribbons so the Board could see exactly where it was going. 

Vernon Smith expressed concern about the safety factor of entering Meridan Hill Road.  He explained that he had met with State Trooper Shortt who expressed concern also.  Trooper Shortt told Mr. Smith that there is only 100 feet or less visibility going up the hill.  Mr. Burns said that the Club would be willing to cut as much brush, etc. as the Town and the Bunting Family will let them to ensure safety.  Mr. Smith also expressed concern over water coming into the Town’s road.  Mr. Burns declared that he didn’t believe that would be an issue.  There was also some discussion regarding the North Stratford trails being open 12 months a year while the Colebrook trails are only open from May to October.

The Board decided to hold a public hearing on Wednesday, July 23rd, beginning at 7:00 pm to hear comments from the public regarding the following:

Use of Sims Stream Road as part of the ATV trail
Use of Meridan Hill Road as part of the ATV trail
Use of the Town’s property as part of the ATV trail
Marcia will put a notice in the newspaper.

Mr. Burns, Mr. Smith, Mr. Washburn and Mr. Chapple left the meeting.

Selectman Campbell explained to the Board that Mr. Baker was here on behalf of the Planning Board.

Mr. Baker explained that he had recently had a discussion with Steve Buckley (attorney with the NH Municipal Association) regarding who has “enforcement authority.”  Mr. Buckley stated that generally speaking the ordinance should specify who the person to take it to counsel is.  In the absence of direct authority in ordinance or statute, it is clear to him that you would need to get the Board of Selectmen’s consent to take it to counsel.  If the Planning Board wants to take it to the next level, then it is important that the Board of Selectmen be aware of what action you are taking.  If we had a police force, then they could enforce the ordinances. It was noted that in the future when drafting ordinances, it should state who enforces them.

Mr. Baker and Selectman Campbell also informed the Board that two Colebrook residents (Jim & Maryellen Hasselbacker) had come to the Board inquiring about a tower that they could see from their house.  The Board is going to investigate exactly where it is and who put it up. 

The Hasselbackers believe that it is either on the south slope of Blue Mountain or in Cree Notch.

Mr. Baker left the meeting.

Mail was reviewed.

Checks and manifests were reviewed and signed.

An Intent to Cut form was approved for Jason Hodgman.

Road Agent Buddy Boudle came into the meeting to discuss the following:

He will be back working on the new Town parking lot tomorrow.

Has met with the well company.  The well has been drilled.

Town has $1,376.00 left from the original $5,000.  He will donate $2,000 worth of work himself.

Selectman Campbell will stop by tomorrow and view the site with Buddy.

Mr. Boudle left the meeting.

On a motion made by Selectman Campbell and seconded by Selectman Cloutier, the Board approved the minutes of the June 25th meeting.

A phone call was received from Stewartstown Selectman Hazen Burns.  Selectman Stohl spoke with him.  The Stewartstown Board will get back to us regarding possible dates for a meeting to discuss Transfer Station issues.

Marcia informed the Board that the last time we “weighed” municipal waste was in August, 2008.

Marcia explained to the Board that the Tax Anticipation Note was paid off on Monday, June 30 and that it cost the Town $410.62 in interest.  This note was actually a “line of credit” which the Town could keep open.  If we wish to close it, we need to put it in writing to the bank.  After discussion, the Board decided to keep it open in case we needed it in the future.

A Road Liability Waiver was signed for Paul Latour.

A letter was received from Heather Callum who owns property on South Jordan Hill Road regarding the condition of that road.  Marcia was instructed to write to Mrs. Callum and explain to her that we are waiting (based on FEMA’s recommendation) until a decision is made on our federal disaster appeal. 

A e-mail was received from Daniel Lesperance regarding trash he found at the Lyman Falls site.

The contract with CAI Technologies for tax year 2015 map updates was signed.

It was noted that the next Dispatch Meeting is tomorrow night (7/10) at 5:30 in Pittsburg.  The Board reviewed call numbers from 2013 which were sent to us from Allen Coats (Stewartstown Selectmen).  Also a letter regarding repairs to the door of the Dispatch Center was reviewed along with a letter explaining that the Back-up Dispatch Center training had been completed.
An e-mail from Councilor Kenney was reviewed along with a letter from Governor Hassan’s office appealing the disaster declaration decision.  Selectman Stohl gave the other members a brief description of his meeting with Mike Scala from Senator Ayotte’s office. 

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,


Marcia Parkhurst, Secretary
Board of Selectmen

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