Pillsbury Memorial Town Hall
93 Main Street Sutton Mills, NH
Sutton Mills, NH 03221
Select Board

November 7, 2022 @ 4:00 p.m.


Selectman Headley, Chair,  opened the meeting at 4:00  p.m. with the Pledge of Allegiance.  Present at the meeting were: Dane Headley, Chair;  Michael McManus, Selectman; Walter Baker, Jr. Selectman; Robert DeFelice, Budget Committee Chair; Gail Guertin, Budget Committee Vice Chair; Glenn Pogust, Planning Board Chair; Peter Stanley, Planning And Zoning Administrator; Elizabeth Geraghty, Library Director; Nancy Glynn, Sutton Free Library Trustee Chair; Ira Thomas and Elly Phillips, Town Administrator.


At 4:00 p.m., Selectman Headley  made a motion to continue the Nonpublic session from November 3, 2022,  under RSA 91-A: 3II(a) – The dismissal, promotion or compensation of any public employee or the disciplining of such employee or the investigation of any charges against him unless the employee affected (1) has a right to a meeting, and (2) requests that the meeting be open, in which case the request shall be granted.  Selectman Baker seconded the motion.  The Board was polled with Selectmen Headley, Baker and McManus voting in the affirmative.  Public session reconvened at 4:27 p.m.  Selectman McManus made a motion to seal the minutes as it is determined that divulgence of this information would affect adversely the reputation of any person other than a member of this board.  Selectman Baker seconded the motion.  The motion passed by a unanimous affirmative vote.

At 4:45 p.m., the Board met with Glenn Pogust, Planning Board Chair, and Peter Stanley, Planning and Zoning Board Administrator, regarding Peacock Hill and to review the amended consulting Agreement from Nobis Engineering.  Mr. Pogust explained that the Planning Board has added some items for engineering review such as drainage which will be escrowed and paid for by the contractor.  Selectman Headley executed the amended agreement.


Mr. Pogust updated the Board on some ongoing violations on the Peacock Hill subdivisions.  Mr. Pogust and Mr. Stanley have been onsite several times to respond to complaints and work with the contractor.  It was observed that the contractor had cut into the 25’ buffer.  Access was difficult to view the site.  Mr. Pogust was able to gain access from an abutter’s property with the abutter’s consent.  Mr. Pogust reported that there appeared to be some confusion by the logger on the location of the buffer due to the flagging which appears to be on the boundary only.  The site was not clear cut right to the boundary, but there was evidence of some trees (approximately ten) that had been cut within the boundary buffer zone.  Mr. Pogust reported that the logger has been cooperative.  In addition, while the developer had authority to cut trees within the driveway and house lots which were flagged, he wasn’t supposed to be cutting in between the lots.  The idea was to have a buffer.  Stumping and grubbing was not permitted yet pending appropriate permitting.  The developer was told that he was not to be stumping by Mr. Stanley.  The developer has done five of the seven lots.  The engineer is following up on the status of the alteration of terrain permit. The EPA will be following up with the developer regarding a stormwater permit.  Mr. Pogust and Stanley observed stumps piled all over the place and no erosion control measures being utilized.  It was noted that the developer is not working with a schedule which was one of the conditions of the subdivision.  Mr. Pogust said that he was working with Town Counsel and the engineer on a notice of violations/cease and desist.  Mr. Stanley offered to start drafting the notice with a goal toward having it available for signatures for the November 14, 2022, meeting.   The Select Board agreed to come in during the week to sign the notice if it becomes available sooner.  The notice will be served either by the Sutton Police Department or sheriff’s department.  It was noted that compliance would be necessary for the developer to get a building permit.


At 5:15 p.m., Elizabeth Geraghty, Library Director, and Nancy Glynn met with the Board to discuss the 2023 proposed library budget.  Ms. Glynn presented the library’s proposed budget and advised that the trustees were recommending a $1 an hour merit increase for the Library Director and assistant librarian.  The proposed annual wages for the Library Director will be $39,104 and for the Assistant Librarian $27,852.  The Library Director is budgeted for 32 hours per week and the Library Assistant is budgeted for 22 hours per week.  If there is a COLA increase approved, the Trustees asked that COLAs be added for the Library Director, Assistant and Custodian.  The electricity and fuel line items were increased based on anticipated additional costs.


Ms. Geraghty explained the arrangement that occurs with unexpended funds at year end.  Ms. Glynn provided quarterly reports of the library’s expenditures to date.  The Trustees will supply the budget committee with monthly reports during the last quarter.  Selectman McManus asked if the book/periodical line item will have adequate funding noting that it is fairly close right now.


There was a general discussion regarding repairs to the library.  Ms. Geraghty reported that the library was in the process of obtaining quotations for services for either a warrant article or 2023 capital funding.  Ms. Geraghty advised that she was having difficulty obtaining plumbing quotations.  Selectman Baker agreed to send the library a reference for a plumbing contractor.


Mr. DeFelice explained that the Budget Committee was asking each Department to look at their Capital Reserve recommendations, and if possible, reduce them by half based on current economic indicators.  Ms. Geraghty recollected that the library reduced their capital reserve request by half last year.  Mr. DeFelice recalled that the line item for books was increased by $5,000 which offset the previous years reduction.  Ms. Geraghty indicated that the book line item was increased based on inflation.  Mr. DeFelice reiterated the request being made of all the Departments.  Ms. Glynn expressed concern about the reduction and was reassured that this was a one-time request based on current economic factors.  Mr. DeFelice felt that the Budget Committee needed a set of plans to justify the capital reserve requests for ADA compliance renovations and to determine the soft cap amount.  Ms. Glynn replied  that the library was working on quotes for that purpose at the request of the Select Board.  Mr. DeFelice clarified that he was addressing the ADA reserve.  Selectman McManus said that the Town needs details on the scope and timetable for the reserves in order to support them.


Ms. Geraghty discussed the dehumidifier system that the library was looking into noting that it cannot be just for the basement.  It needs to service the entire building.  Most of the valuable assets/inventory is on the first floor.   Selectman Headley noted that fixing solutions in the basement can resolve problems within the entire structure.  Selectman Headley offered to aid with locating a vendor for quotations.  Ms. Geraghty will review the electrical quotes to ensure that they are comparable in scope of services.  There was a general discussion regarding the possibility of funding some of the repairs in the current budget year or doing a warrant article combining the dehumidifier and plumbing.


The Select Board requested that the library include a column for cumulative expenditures in their quarterly reports.    Budget Committee Chair DeFelice requested that the library also have a column which shows what was actually budgeted for the year.  The Select Board thanked Ms. Glynn and Ms. Geraghty for the good job on the budget and with the reports.


There was a general discussion regarding COLA’s.  The Budget Committee indicated that they the required to support the Social Security COLA that was recently set at 8.7%.


Selectman McManus made a motion to approve the minutes from October 31, 2022, and the November 1 nonpublic session as corrected.  Selectman Baker seconded the motion.  The motion passed by a unanimous affirmative vote.   The November  3, 2022, nonpublic session was continued to this date.


The Board reviewed and approved the following manifests:

Vendor Manifest:  $46,399.96

Payroll Manifest:   $14,965.81



The Board approved the following building permits:

Ann Wallace, 02-133-405, Barker Road, roof over deck.

Jami & Sarah Gray, 05-483-312, North Road, roof mounted solar.

Jonathan & Jacquelyn Bennett, 07-833-269, for a farmer’s porch only.


The Board discussed 2023 COLA’s and the Social Security COLA of 8.7%.  On the one hand, and from a budgetary standpoint, the Board noted a reluctance to approve the full 8.7% increase to town salaries in view of the fact that the Budget Committee is asking all Departments to reduce their Capital Reserve appropriation by 50% for a period of one year due to the current economic climate.  On the other hand, the Board is acutely aware of the negative effect that inflation is having on current salaries and the unequivocal need to increase COLA for town employees to boost their purchasing power.  In the end, the Board decided that a 4.5 to 5% increase in Cola was necessary, and a rate of 5% was selected as reasonable.   Phillips was instructed to base the 5% projection on the 2022 salary levels.  The Board asked for updated projections to be available at their next regularly scheduled meeting.  Selectman Baker made a motion to grant the COLA increase for 2023 at 5%.  Selectman McManus seconded the motion.  The motion passed by a unanimous affirmative vote.



The Board issued a Yield Tax for Telonian Property Management Trust, Map 08-874-095, in the amount of $780.48.


The Board discussed recruiting for a Town Administrator and reviewed a draft advertisement.


Selectman Baker made a motion to delegate Selectman McManus as the Select Board representative at the Budget Committee’s Meeting scheduled for later in the evening.  Selectman Headley seconded the motion.  The motion passed by a unanimous affirmative vote.


Selectman Headley made a motion to authorize Phillips to execute a proposal for accounting services from the Mercier Group.  Selectman McManus seconded the motion.   The motion passed with a unanimous affirmative vote.  Mr. Mercier previously served as the Town’s auditor for many years and will provide technical support, training, and assistance for accounting personnel at an hourly rate of $125.00 per hour.  It was noted that these services will be particularly helpful in navigating administrative staffing transitions.


The Select Board reviewed their schedule for the 2022 mid-term elections.


The Board issued a letter to Benjamin France, Benny’s Auto Hauling, thanking him for the excellent job that his company performed doing the Stotler cleanup.



The Board received correspondence from Benjamin St. Pierre and Brittany Chartier regarding tree removal on their property which abuts the Old Store Museum.  The Board will issue correspondence thanking Mr. St. Pierre and Ms. Chartier for keeping the Town informed.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:04 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Elly Phillips

Town Administrator