Town of Greenfield
7 Sawmill Road, Greenfield, NH 03047
Thursday, June 11, 2020 – 5:30 PM
Selectboard: Chairwoman Margaret Charig Bliss, Selectwoman Karen Day, Selectman Robert Marshall
Staff: Aaron Patt, Town Administrator; David Martin, EMD; Doug Batty, Rescue Captain; Diane Boilard, Library Trustee Chair
Public: Clifford Thornberry, President ASF, LLC
Documents for Review/Approval:
- A/P Check Register - 6/10/2020
- A/P Check Register - 6/08/2020
- Payroll Manifest - 6/12/2020
- Selectboard Minutes - 6/04
Other letters/ items for Discussion/Signature (updated 5pm):
1. Tax Exempt Leasing Quote – DPW Truck Lease
2. Broadband Committee – Creation and future appointments
3. Town Park Committee – Poison ivy control
4. Interim Service Policy – Covid-19
5. Library Lot Line Adjustment Application – Approved/Planning Board
6. Library LCHIP Application
5:30 PM: Virtual Meeting Open – Dial In 1+717-275-8940
The meeting was called to order at 5:30pm. 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.”
5:30 PM: Cliff Thornberry, Owner American Steel Fabricators
At 5:35pm, the Selectboard met with Cliff Thornberry, the owner of American Steel Fabricators. Mr. Thornberry explained that American Steel Fabricators has purchased a solar panel installation to be installed on the roof of their building on Sawmill Road. American Steel Fabricators met with the Greenfield Building Inspector and applied for a building permit to install the panels. Mr. Thornberry stated that they were surprised by the fee for the permit and noted that it appeared that the fee structure was more in-line with residential installations but where the ASF installation is of considerable size, the permit was much more expensive than the company had budgeted. Mr. Thornberry stated that they did not research this cost in advance, and he is more familiar with building permits associated with his residence. Mr. Thornberry stated he would like to know if the Board could provide any relief from the fee, which is in excess of $5,000. The Chair thanked Mr. Thornberry for bringing the request to the Board and stated that they would take the request under advisement and get back to him at a later date. The meeting with Mr. Thornberry ended at 5:40pm.
6:00 PM: David Martin, Emergency Management Director
The Chair asked if there was any reason to wait for 6pm in order to hear the report from the Emergency Management Director. A brief discussion was held and it was noted that the EMD report has been a weekly report, with no public attending in the past. After a brief deliberation, it was decided to move the meeting with the EMD forward. Mr. Martin began his report at 5:41pm. He provided an update on the local foodbank, which has requested food items from the Firefighters’ Association. Mr. Martin noted that Eversource has sent out a communication regarding the delivery of electricity stating that the electric company is willing to work with customers to ensure that service is not cut-off due to non-payment.
Next, Mr. Martin provided an update on the Ozone Generator that the EMRT has suggested the town purchase. Mr. Martin stated that on review of the materials, and feedback from Selectman Marshall, the EMRT is interested in the town purchasing one of the devices to treat the police cruisers and the emergency vehicles at the Fire Dept. Mr. Martin asked the Board to vote to purchase one of the units. A discussion followed. Selectwoman Day provided her view, which is that she supports the purchase (Selectwoman Day is a Deputy Emergency Management Director). Selectman Marshall outlined material that he had reviewed on the website of the manufacturer, Gelantis. At 6:08, Doug Batty, Rescue Captain for the Greenfield Fire Department joined the call. A discussion with Mr. Batty followed, regarding the ability of the ozone generator to provide sanitization of office space vs. the interior of vehicles, and whether the funds could be reimbursed through the FEMA grant. Mr. Batty explained that the FEMA grant has more to do with PPE supplies than a device such as the ozone generator, which may be covered by the CARES Act funding. At the conclusion of the discussion, Selectman Marshall outlined his willingness to make a motion to purchase one of the generators for use with first responder vehicles. He cautioned against the idea of using the device in the building due to the need to seal the space. Mr. Martin thought that it could definitely be used with the vehicles and could be tested in the office space.
Selectman Marshall moved to purchase an ozone generator by Gelantis in support of the emergency responders and the vehicles they use, in conjunction with the Emergency Management RSA 21-P:39. Selectwoman Day seconded the motion. On a roll-call vote, the Board voted 3-0 in favor of the purchase, in the amount of $8,055.00.
6:30 PM: Selectboard Business Meeting
At 6:30pm, the Chair reviewed the Consent Agenda and the A/P Manifests of 6/08 and 6/10. On a motion by the Chair and a second by Selectwoman Day, the Board voted by roll-call vote to approve the A/P Manifests, 3-0 in favor.
Next the Selectboard reviewed the Payroll Manifest for 6/12. The 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 Selectwoman Day moved that the Minutes of June 4th 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 as presented.
Diane Boilard asked the Chair for a few minutes to speak as Library Trustee Chair. She stated that the Planning Board has approved the lot line adjustment application between the Library and the Greenfield Inn. Ms. Boilard wants to move forward and asked the Board to look at next steps in the process. It was noted that the town’s cashflow is low at this time of year and it would be best to wait until later in the year before the town considers making payment of its portion of the property purchase. It was also noted that the Trustees are required to put funds in escrow according to the purchase and sale agreement. Ms. Boilard asked if the town would need to hold a public hearing to accept the funds. The Town Administrator will review with the DRA and respond back with their guidance.
Next the Selectboard discussed the purchase of a 2020 Mack dump truck for the DPW. The warrant article that had been approved at Town Meeting called for a $50,000 down payment. In light of the pandemic the Board discussed whether they should reduce the amount of the down payment in order to reduce the impact of the payment on cashflow. A discussion followed and the Board reviewed four different quotes with a down payment in the first year of fifty thousand, forty thousand, thirty-five thousand, and twenty-five thousand dollars. At the conclusion of the discussion Selectwoman Day made a motion to pay $40,000 down in 2020 for the Mack Truck. The motion was seconded by Selectman Marshall. On a roll-call vote the Board voted 3-0 in favor of the reduced down-payment.
Next the Selectboard reviewed the request from Cliff Thornberry. There was a brief discussion regarding the request. It was noted by the Chair that the owner of American Steel Fabricators had stated that they did not research the fee prior to beginning the installation. The Chair also noted that the town has voted to exempt solar installations from assessment (a proper form is required to be on file at the Town Office). The Chair motioned to deny the request from American Steel Fabricators for relief from the commercial solar installation fee. The motioned was seconded by Selectman Marshall. On a roll-call vote the Board voted 3-0 in favor of denying the request.
Next the Chair brought up that she had received a file from the Library in which the Trustees were looking to apply for an LCHIP grant to fund a project at the Library. The Chair stated that the application to LCHIP had been delivered to her home with a request for a signature by the Chair of the Selectboard. She noted that the Trustees have not notified the Selectboard or come to a meeting to explain the purpose of the grant. She stated that her concern was that an LCHIP application by the Library would prevent funds from being used to refurbish the Meeting House. After a discussion between the Board members, it was agreed that the Selectboard would table discussion on the application and that the Chair would reach out to the Trustees and suggest a meeting between the two governing bodies.
Next the Selectboard discussed an interim service model for services provided by the Town Office, and the municipality in general, in light of the pandemic. A discussion about cleaning of facilities was held. The Board discussed the possibility of making modifications to the town office building, which could be reimbursed by the GOFERR grant (CARES Act). The Interim Service model presented is dated July 15th to coincide with the Governor’s guidance on Stay-at-home 2.0. The Selectboard discussed and agreed to move the date out to July 6th in order to continue the discussion of building modifications and to see about making the building ready. The Town Office will continue to be closed to the public. The requirements in the policy are based on mitigating COVID-19 and include the need to wear masks in the common areas by employees and officials, and other mandates in the policy directed at controlling the spread of the pandemic. The Selectboard does not have a date when the public may be able to access the building at this time. Guidance will continue to be reviewed. The Board requested to meet with DPW Buildings & Grounds Manager McQuade next week. At the conclusion of the discussion, Selectwoman Day moved to adopt the interim-service policy. The motion was seconded by Selectman Marshall. On a roll-call vote, the Board voted 3-0 in favor of adopting the interim service policy with an effective date of July 6th. The Board requested that the policy be circulated with employees and town officials.
The Selectboard discussed forming a broadband committee to perform the legwork needed to be ready for the 2021 Town Meeting in case there is a chance to bond for town-wide broadband installation.
The Selectboard discussed the September primary and requested to speak with the Moderator at their next meeting.
At 8:21pm, 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.