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

November 25, 2019 @ 4:00 p.m.

The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. by Dane Headley, Chair.  Present at the meeting were Dane Headley, Chair; Robert Wright, Jr., Selectman; William I. Curless, Selectman; Cory Cochran, Fire Chief; Robert DeFelice, Budget Chair and Elly Phillips, Town Administrator.


The minutes from November 18, 2019 were approved as written.  The Board reviewed and approved the following manifests:

PAYROLL MANIFEST:      $  11,949.10

VENDOR MANIFEST:       $786,610.52

The Board approved an intent to cut for Albert Hansen, 09-277-017, Baker Road for 2 acres out of 4.

The Board approved a current use application for Robert Wright, Jr., 02-456-278  for 1.3 contiguous acres.  Selectman Wright recused himself from signing the form as a party of interest.


Selectman Curless reported on the Library Ramp RFP Pre-Construction Conference.  There were two interested bidders at the pre-construction conference.  The bidders will bid on both the ramp and the bathroom but will bid separately.  Proposals are due on 12-16-2019.    Selectman Curless stated that he will respond to any questions by email via the Town Administrator.

Selectman Headley reported on the public hearing for the 26 Grist Mill Committee.  The Committee received a petition requesting that the option to save the house not be placed on the 2020 warrant.   The Committee will present their findings to the Select Board on December 2, 2019 at to 5:30 p.m.  The 26 Grist Mill Street Committee will meet with the Budget Committee after their meeting with the Select Board. 

The Board followed up on a request from Richard Dwyer, Map 01-247-514, to purchase a piece of tax deeded property located at 01-204-544 for back taxes owed, interest and penalties. The property in question is backland that was part of Mr. Dwyer’s parcel at one time and was described in his deed.  The property was orphaned through omission in a deed reference and  later purchased at a tax sale by Floyd Colby.  The property was once again taken for tax deed in 2016.  

Phillips reviewed the matter with Counsel at the Board’s request.  Counsel advised that conveying the property to Mr. Dwyer as an abutter was within the Board’s authority “as justice may require.”   The Board determined that it was in the public interest to convey this piece of backland to Mr. Dwyer for back taxes, penalties and interest provided the parcel is consolidated with Mr. Dwyer’s lot located at 01-247-514. 

Selectman Wright made a motion pursuant to RSA 80:80,VI to convey the property located at 01-204-544 to Mr. Dwyer for back taxes, penalties and interest in the amount of $1,000, (Final sale amount subject to verification based on date of conveyance) provided the property is voluntarily merged with Lot 01-247-514.  Selectman Curless seconded the motion.  The vote passed by a unanimous affirmative vote.




At 4:43 p.m. Cory Cochran, Fire Chief met with the Board to present the Fire Department’s 2020 proposed budget.  Chief Cochran advised that there were no proposed changes to the operating budget for 2020.  For capital planning purposes Chief Cochran requested that $75,000 be appropriated to the Capital Reserve for Truck Replace (same as last year).  Chief Cochran advised that the next truck to be replace is a tanker which is overdue for replacement.  The recommended replacement schedule for a pumper is 20 years.  The tanker is a 1994 model.    Mr. DeFelice advised that the tanker is scheduled for replacement in 2023 at a cost of $400,000.  There is currently $260,000 in the fund.  The Fire Department is researching pumper replacement options and costs.

The rescue truck was discussed.  The cab and chassis were replaced this year.  The Town has been putting $10,000 a year aside for replacement of the rescue truck.  The town received $8,200 revenue through the sale of the old rescue truck cab and chassis.  The Truck was sold on Municibid with a minimum bid set at $6,000.   The Fire Department, therefore, requested that $8,200 be placed in the rescue truck capital reserve in 2020.    Bob DeFelice, Budget Chair, advised that the CIP scheduled amount is $5,000.     

The Fire Department has purchased used SCBA’s as an interim solution for the outdated equipment.  The Fire Department is requesting the establishment of a 2020 capital reserve for safety equipment including SCBA’s, jaws-of-life, thermal cameras etc.  in the amount of $33,000 (per year) with the Select Board as agents to expend. 

A lengthy discussion regarding capital planning for the Fire Department ensued.  It was noted that the “Public Safety Facility” capital reserve funding amount was at $180,000.  The Fire Department is recommending that $100,000 be placed in that fund as the department as planning is still in process.   The Budget Committee recommended that the amount be $70,000 be appropriated in 2020 in view of the establishment of the Safety Equipment Capital Reserve Fund.  This would allow for $80,000 to go to blacktop roads.  The Select Board and Budget Committee feel that capital planning for roads needs to be more aggressive based on infrastructure needs and recommended planning protocols for roads which is based on the number of miles of road in a community and town’s valuation.   Selectman Wright emphasized the need to identify wants vs. needs and plan accordingly.    Selectman Headley cautioned that the Town also needs to focus on ongoing maintenance items, such as roof maintenance, and safety issues for budgetary and common sense reasons.  Mr. DeFelice stated that capital budgeting can be fine-tuned in conjunction with the planning process.


Upon recommendation of Selectman Curless, Phillips will provide an estimate to convert the well pit to a pit-less well to include replacement of the pump and associated equipment if necessary due to equipment life/obsolescence.  Funding to come from building and grounds.

The Board noted that the clerk’s office will be closed on November 28, 2019.  Selectman Wright moved to approve early closure of the Town Office at noon on Wednesday, November 28, 2019 provided administrative staff used vacation time.  Selectman Curless seconded the motion which passed by a unanimous affirmative vote. 

Selectman Headley discussed a request to have police coverage at a recent 26 Grist Mill Street Public Hearing.  Selectman Headley sought input from the Board to develop a policy for requesting coverage, i.e., on a case-by-case basis, notice to the police department etc.  Selectman Wright suggested incorporating the policy into the Select Board’s Rules of Procedure.  Selectman Curless opined that sufficient notice to the police department should be included in the policy.    Selectman Headley felt that notice should be given in conjunction with publicity for the meeting.  Selectman Curless felt input from the Police Chief would be useful in developing the policy.  It was noted that Chief Korbet was scheduled to attend the December 16, 2019 meeting to present the Police Department’s proposed 2020 operating budget and that the matter could be reviewed with the chief at that time.

Phillips reported that the Rescue Squad will be replacing their defibrillator unit.  Currently, the rescue truck is equipped with a backup provided by the Fire Department.  Wendy Grimes, Rescue Chief, is following up.

Selectman Headley asked about the salary study being conducted by the Budget Committee.  Mr. DeFelice advised that the study is ongoing and will be completed in 2020 for 2021.  Selectman Curless discussed Highway Department wages emphasizing the need to remain competitive with other municipalities.  Benefits were also discussed.

The Board signed a request to the Trustees of the Trust Funds for reimbursement from the Blacktop Upgrade Expendable Capital Reserve Fund in the amount of $5,996.76.



Selectman Wright discussed cleaning of Town Facilities and disparity in wages paid for different departments.  Phillips was instructed to explore the cost associated with outsourcing the duties to a cleaning service.  Phillips advised that the departments were trying to consolidate services for snow removal as well.  COLA’s were also discussed.  Phillips will follow up with DeFelice.

Selectman Wright instructed Phillips to follow up with Counsel on the next steps with Stotler.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:31 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Elly Phillips

Town Administrator