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

April 27, 2020 @ 4:00 p.m.


The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. by Robert Wright, Jr., Chair.  Present at the meeting were Robert Wright, Jr., Chair; William I. Curless, Selectman; Dane Headley, Selectman; Robert DeFelice, Budget Chair; Carol Merullo, Town Clerk/Tax Collector; and Elly Phillips, Town Administrator.


The minutes from April 20, 2020, were approved as corrected.



Robert DeFelice, Budget Chair, provided a four year analysis of revenues collected between January and April.  Mr. DeFelice expressed concern regarding 2020  revenues in view of the COVID-19 economic climate.  Mr. DeFelice agreed to  an updated comparison including the entire month of April 2020.   Mr. DeFelice noted that the revenues appear to be trending downward.    A lengthy discussion ensued regarding the impact unemployment will have on revenues.  Mr. DeFelice has requested that Carol Merullo, Town Clerk/Tax Collector, track expenditures such as postage that will likely be affected by the shutdown.  Mr. DeFelice acknowledged that there are many unknown factors at this time.


Timing of first issue taxes was discussed and whether or not the state was going to allow towns an extension for tax issues.  Fund Balance could be used to facilitate cash flow.  The town will pursue a Tax Anticipation Note (TAN) as soon as audit paperwork is finalized.  The July 2020 school payment may pose a cashflow challenge.  Mr. DeFelice discussed available support for schools and whether or not there are possible measures the school can take in the coming budget year to lessen the tax rate impact on property owners.


It was noted that support from the State from Rooms and Meals was unlikely this year.  The Town will have to be aggressive in its use of fund balance in order to offset loss of revenue from the State.   All Departments will need to take measures to reduce operating expenses to help increase the fund balance.    Mr. DeFelice recommended that all Departments make an effort to reduce their operating budget by 10%.  Mr. DeFelice also felt that next year capital reserves will need to be looked at.   Next year the town should consider deferring funding of as many capital reserves as possible for one year.


Selectman Curless recommended that each of the Department Heads and a representative of each committee/board meet with the Select Board to identify potential areas to reduce spending by 10%.   Mr. DeFelice recommended that the School Board representative also meet with the Board to discuss this.  Selectman Headley observed that operating costs for the school district should be down, and perhaps, the district could help offset the tax rate.


Phillips will notify the department heads/boards/committee and schedule 15-minute slots to discuss 2020 budgets.


Mr. DeFelice noted that this was a very fluid situation, and the length of the “Stay at Home Order” would be determine what measures would be appropriate.




The Board reviewed and approved the following manifests:

PAYROLL MANIFEST:      $  11,360.63

VENDOR MANIFEST:       $377,735.00



The Board reviewed and approved a building permit for Lindsay & Mike Stickney, 07-600-593, Cotton Road, for a deck and garage bay subject to wetlands setback verification.



                The Board reviewed and approved the following intent to cuts:

Sharon Kenrick, Map 02-755-410, High Mowing Road, for 5 acres out of 8

Leonard Caron, Map 09-040-226 for 35 acres out of 150



                The Board reviewed and approved the following exemptions and credits:

                Vickie Anderson/Amy Highstrom, Map 08-884-433, Solar, $15,000

Aaron Flewelling, 07-831-509, Solar, $15,000

Neil Chadwick, 06-640-265, Solar, $8,000

Rob O’Neil, 02-466-487, Solar, $12,000

Alice Findlay, Veterans, $500 and Elderly Exemption, 80+, $100,000



A Board issued a letter to Christopher Stotler regarding a scheduled clean  up on Map 01-407-067.  The cleanup has been postponed indefinitely due to logistical problems encountered related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


An advertisement has been placed in the Intertown Record and Concord Monitor, seeking proposals to purchase and relocate the structures at 26 Grist Mill Street.  The electricity to the structure has been turned off and the propane tank removed.   A building check will be performed to check the mechanicals.



The Board reviewed the 2019 Preliminary Audit Report.


Selectman Wright signed the Audit Management Representation Letter on behalf of the Board.


The Board reviewed the Independent Auditor’s Communication with those charged with Governance.


The Board received a request to perambulate the town boundaries.  Selectman Wright agreed to perambulate on behalf of Sutton, noting that it was best to do when the leaves are down.


The Board received a request for abatement of Interest,  from Loch Lyndon Development Inc.   The Board noted that the property owners were taxpayers in good standing, and their payments were apparently lost in the mail.  Selectman Curless made a motion to deny the request as good cause was not shown.  The delayed payment was not due to an error on the part of the town.  Selectman Headley seconded the motion.  The motion passed by a unanimous affirmative vote.


The Board reviewed an email from Derek Lick, Moderator, asking the Board to consider relocating the election venue to the one of the schools.  Carol Merullo, Town Clerk/Tax Collector, was present for the discussion.  Ms. Merullo had some concerns regarding the logistics involved in relocating the venue and suggested that the fire station was another venue to be considered.  Ms. Merullo felt that drive-through absentee voting could be accomplished at the fire balloting.    Ms. Merullo predicted that there will be a substantial increase in absentee ballots due to COVID-19.  Selectman Wright discussed transitions in Supervisors of the Checklist and felt changes might add stress to the process.  Selectman Curless discussed use of the Pillsbury Memorial Hall and a process for queueing the voters in order to maintain social distancing.  A lot will depend on the number of people who are allowed to gather in the Fall.  Selectman Headley expressed concerns for voters being disenfranchised due to a change in location.  The Board felt it would be best to discuss this in further detail with Moderator Derek Lick.  The sense of the Board was that they would prefer voting to occur in the present location.



The Board received FAQ’s regarding COVID-19 from Homeland Security.



Selectman Wright reported on the legislative bulletin noting that any voter can request an absentee ballot due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Selectman Wright discussed the administrative process involved with absentee ballots.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:48 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Elly Phillips

Town Administrator