Town of Greenfield
7 Sawmill Road, Greenfield, NH 03047
Thursday, June 04, 2020 – 4:30 PM
Selectboard: Chairwoman Margaret Charig Bliss, Selectwoman Karen Day, Selectman Robert Marshall
Staff: Aaron Patt, Town Administrator; David Martin, EMD;
Documents for Review/Approval:
- A/P Check Register dated 6/03/2020
- NHRS “ACH” Payment dated 6/03/2020
- MS232 Report of Appropriations by Town Meeting – Dept. of Revenue
- Selectboard Minutes – 5/28
Other letters/ items for Discussion/Signature:
1. Greenfield Spirit June/July issue
2. Tax Exempt Leasing Quote – DPW Truck Lease
3. Oak Park and Beach signs – DPW
4:30 PM: Virtual Meeting Open – Dial In 1+717-275-8940
The meeting was called to order at 4:30pm. Chairwoman Charig Bliss welcomed everyone to the virtual Selectboard meeting. Chairwoman Charig Bliss opened the meeting and read a statement provided by the Attorney General’s office regarding virtual meetings. “As Chair of the Selectboard, I find that due to the State of Emergency declared by the Governor as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with the Governor’s Emergency Order #12 pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04, this public body is authorized to meet electronically.
Please note that there is no physical location to observe and listen contemporaneously to this meeting, which was authorized pursuant to the Governor’s Emergency Order. However, in accordance with the Emergency Order, I am confirming that we are providing public access to the meeting by telephone. We are currently working on providing additional access possibilities by video or other electronic means, however, we are a small town and that is not feasible for tonight’s call.
We are utilizing Freeconference.com for this electronic meeting. All members of the Board have the ability to communicate contemporaneously during this meeting through this platform, and the public has access to contemporaneously listen and, if necessary, participate in this meeting through dialing the access number posted online or by following the directions on the Meeting Instructions link from the Selectboard’s page on the website. The Website address is greenfield-nh.gov.
We previously gave notice to the public of the necessary information for accessing the meeting, including how to access the meeting telephonically. If there are problems with access, please email the Town Administrator and he will attempt to help you in real time. In the event the public is unable to access the meeting, the meeting will be adjourned and rescheduled.
Please note that all votes that are taken during this meeting shall be done by roll-call vote.
Let’s start the meeting by taking a roll-call attendance. When each member states their presence, please also state whether there is anyone in the room with you during this meeting, which is required under the Right-to-Know law. “
Each selectperson noted that they were alone. EMD David Martin is home alone.
The Chair stated: “at this point I would ask that everyone mute their phones by pressing * (star) 6 (six). If there isn’t time for your questions tonight, you can email the Town Administrator and request to be on the agenda during the next meeting. If you have technical difficulties on your end with your computer, laptop, or other electronic device email the Town Administrator if you having trouble connecting in real-time and we’ll try to be of help.
Gov. Sununu’s Emergency Order #16 prohibits gatherings greater than 10 people. We'll ask that - to the extent possible - you submit your questions/concerns/comments to the Town Administrator via email in advance so we can have answers ready. Remember to charge whatever device you are using in advance of the meeting. I can assure you everyone in your town government is doing everything in their capacity to ensure your safety, their safety and Greenfield's future. With that said, I would invite participants to bring issues before the Board.”
4:30 PM: Selectboard Business Meeting
At 4:37pm, the Selectboard took up a discussion and review of materials from a recent NHMA/Primex webinar on guidelines for re-opening for municipalities. The guidelines are provided to provide a background of the legal obligation for the employer and the responsibilities of the Selectboard to develop a policy and protocol for the workplace in light of the pandemic. The Selectboard held a robust discussion of best practices as provided by Primex, the town’s insurance provider. The material provided by Primex and NHMA draws from guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), OSHA, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and from the State of New Hampshire Department of Health as outlined in the Governor’s Stay-at-Home 2.0 guidance. The Selectboard discussed the need for a policy for the town government, which includes maintaining the current best practices of tele-working, staggered shifts, communication using on-line tools and other current practices in place since Town Meeting in March The Chair outlined her interest to provide a safe place for employees and the public. Selectman Marshall outlined his interest in ensuring that the protocols used by town employees be inclusive of the guidelines from the EMRT, CDC, Primex. He stated that he would like to see a comprehensive policy in which the development pays particular attention to the well being of the employees. He stated that he felt that the Selectboard should start with the preparation of a package of policy and protocol as the current situation is going to be in place for a long time. Selectwoman Day stated that her priority is to protect our employees and she questioned if we were at a point where the employees could begin coming back and spending more time in the office. She stated that the Town Office should remain closed to the public until further notice. Selectman Marshall agreed but asked what the benefit would be of bringing back employees who were safer when teleworking from home. A discussion followed. Selectman Marshall stated that the Board’s highest priority is to ensure the well being of the employees. He envisions a cover letter to that effect to go with the policy document and would like to suggest that the employees provide input into the next steps that the town has to undertake with respect to its workplace and municipal buildings (and any changes).
5:30 PM: David Martin, Emergency Management Director
At 5:30pm, Mr. Martin provided an update to the Selectboard on recent developments with the EOC. Mr. Martin has ordered 1000 masks and another 1000 disposable gloves, as well as 24 face shields. He reported on his meeting with Supervisor Hall of the Recycling Center and outlined the discussions that were held on-site at the recycling center. He reported that the meeting was non-stressful and that he felt that the risk was low given the practices in place. He provided CJ with disposable gloves and some masks to wear while on duty.
Next Mr. Martin outlined a building air purification system that the Emergency Management Response Team is advocating for a review of, however, he acknowledged that the Ozone Generator devices that they are discussing are quite expensive at approximately $8,000 each. The EMRT is suggesting that the town purchase four of the devices for different town buildings. This would potentially allow for the disinfection of municipal buildings, on a timer at night between shifts. The total of $24,000 he hopes would be reimbursable from grant money; either FEMA or the Cares Grant. At 6:12pm the Selectboard thanked Mr. Martin for his update.
6:00 PM: Selectboard Business Meeting Contd.
Next the Chair reviewed the Department of Revenue Report of Revenues, MS-232. The Selectboard voted on a roll-call vote to accept the MS-232 and to sign the document electronically for posting to the DRA portal. The motion was moved By the Chair and received a second from Selectwoman Day. The motion passed 3-0 in favor.
The Chair reviewed the Consent Agenda and the A/P Manifest. On a motion by the Chair and a second by Selectwoman Day, the Board voted by roll-call vote to approve the Payroll Manifest 3-0 in favor.
Next the Selectboard reviewed the manifest for electronic payment to the NH Retirement System. The NHRS manifest was approved on a motion by Selectman Marshall and a second by the Chair in a roll-call vote 3-0 in favor.
Next the Chair moved that the Minutes of May 28th be accepted as presented. The motion was seconded by Selectman Marshall On a roll-call vote the Board voted 3-0 in favor of accepting the minutes.
Next, the Selectboard discussed the Spirit and finding that the newsletter was ready to print and distribute, voted on a motion by Selectman Marshall, and a second by the Chair, in a roll-call vote 3-0 in favor of printing and mailing out the Greenfield Spirit.
Next, the Selectboard discussed a request from the Building & Grounds Manager relative to signs for Oak Park and the Beaches outlining the need for pet owners to keep control of pet dogs and to clean up after their pets. A discussion followed regarding the language of the sign in light of the current ordinance at Oak Park. The Selectboard asked for a review of State Law. The Selectboard reached a consensus to request that the signs be customized so as to better reflect and coordinate with the current ordinance.
At 6:30pm, Treasurer Katherine Heck joined the Selectboard and provided a cashflow projection based on the current revenues to date and the possibility and concern by municipalities across the State that there has been little guidance provided by the Governor relative to State revenue to the towns. As such the cashflow projections, which are subject to further revision pending any additional information from the State, were provided. The projections included concern that there could be substantial loss of revenue. The current cash on hand was lower than in previous years because it has taken longer to send out the tax bills this year. Treasurer Heck reported that the spending freeze that is in place was not providing the savings that she had hoped to see and tempered this with an understanding that there are certain projects that the municipality has to attend to every year. She noted that the Town Clerk income is down about 7.5% this year over last year and this suggests that working with the budget voted at Town Meeting could be difficult. A discussion followed on the possibility of an emergency order from the Governor providing the Selectboard the opportunity to reduce the budget without a Special Town Meeting. The Treasurer acknowledged that even if the Selectboard does not spend the money on certain projects, the town still has to raise the taxes voted at Town Meeting. Without the revenue to balance against the budget, there will be a tax increase to residents.
At 7:03 pm, the Selectboard held a discussion on the DPW 6-wheel dump truck that is on order. The warrant article for this truck contemplates $50,000 down payment and a five year contract with annual payments. The Board discussed the effect of lowering the down-payment to accommodate cashflow. It was acknowledged by the town’s representative at the DRA that the Selectboard could use less down-payment for the truck purchase, which would result in higher payments in the out years, but the town would still have to raise the $50,000 outlined in the warrant article as part of the second tax bill. Any difference from the warrant article would lapse to fund balance at the end of the year.
At 7:35, Michael Borden, Building Inspector discussed a recent building inspection issue with a local company. The Board discussed the cost of solar installation permits and compared the town’s rate with posted rates in surrounding towns. The Selectboard heard from Mr. Borden with respect to the size of commercial arrays, the amount of savings that are generated by such arrays, and the fact that the legislative body of Greenfield has voted to exempt property tax values on solar installations. The Selectboard took the conversation under advisement and thanked Mr. Borden for his expertise and help.
The Selectboard discussed the need to provide support to the Town Clerk’s office for upcoming elections. The Board followed that discussion with a discussion on an EDDM to provide some good news to residents to help offset the news of the pandemic.
The Selectboard held a brief discussion on recent broadband initiatives in surrounding towns, and Selectman Marshall outlined a recent conversation with a resident interested in promoting a committee to begin the process of bonding for a town-wide internet access installation with one of a number of potential partners, including the possibility of working with Consolidated Communications. Following this discussion the Selectboard voted to adjourn.
At 8:24pm, Selectman Marshall made a motion to adjourn the meeting; the motion was seconded by the Chair. The motion carried 3-0 in a roll-call vote.