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

May 11, 2020 @ 4:00 p.m.


The meeting was called to order by Robert Wright, Jr., Chair.  Present at the meeting were:  Robert Wright, Jr., Chair; William I. Curless, Selectman; Dane Headley, Selectman; Jonathan Korbet, Police Chief; Adam Hurst, Road Agent; Robert DeFelice, Budget Chair; and Elly Phillips, Town Administrator.


The minutes from May 4, 2020 were approved as written.  The Board reviewed and approved the following manifests:

PAYROLL MANIFEST:      $10,604.34

VENDOR MANIFEST:       $12,823.59



The Board reviewed and approved a building permit for Diane Lander and Susan Knight, 02-183-483, Barker Road, to replace deck access



At 4:15 p.m., Jonathan Korbet, Police Chief, met with the Board to review the 2020 expenditure budget.  Selectman Wright opened the discussion with an inquiry regarding whether there had been an increase in the number of domestic violence reports in Sutton during the COVID-19 quarantine period.  Chief Korbet responded that there were not as many as might have been anticipated.  However, there were some situations being handled by DCYF.


Selectman Wright introduced the budget discussion.  Selectman Wright advised that all departments were asked to look at their 2020 operating budget to identify areas for potential expenditure reductions.  Chief Korbet stated that his budget was developed on an operational basis.  However, due to staffing limitations during the first few months of the year, there are funds available in the full-time budget.  Chief Korbet noted that there has been some additional overtime as a result of staffing constraints.  Chief Korbet indicated that by deferring the hiring  of part-time officers additional savings could be achieved.  Selectman Wright asked how the cars were doing.  Chief Korbet responded that all the cruisers are being run, but a little less, due to an officer being out.


Selectman Wright explained that the Board was just reaching out to departments and asking for input on expenditures.  Mr. DeFelice added that the request to trim the expenditure budget is for this year’s budget and is not intended to affect planning for next year.  Chief Korbet ask for clarification of the Town’s COVID Sick Leave Policy effective dates.  The sense of the Board was that the policy would be in affect unless the State comes up with a directive.  Selectman Wright discussed payment of the frontline stipend.


The Board revisited the problem of walkers not social distancing around Kezar Lake.  Chief Korbet advised that this was an ongoing issue and that the police were using an educational approach to the problem.


Adam Hurst, Road Agent, met with the Board to provide input on the Highway Department 2020 expenditure budget.  Mr. Hurst felt that the Department could go without part-time labor.  Mr. Hurst also looked at equipment rental and calcium chloride.   Mr. Hurst advised that the line item for equipment rental was primarily for mowing machines.  Mr. Hurst said that the Town could defer mowing until next year, adding that mowing has always been performed on an annual basis.    Mr. Hurst expressed concern that if mowing is not done and there are wet conditions over the next year or two, it likely would result in an additional cost to the town to maintain the right-of-ways due to overgrowth.  Selectman Headley expressed concerns regarding visibility due to overgrowth.   The Calcium chloride application program was discussed. Due to equipment issues and weather conditions, calcium application was not completed last year.  Sand and salt costs were also discussed.  Currently, there is a full shed which might help with costs depending on the weather in November and December.  Selectman Wright pontificated on potential economic impact on citizens due to the pandemic.  Selectman Wright stated that “we’ve never been in a situation like this.”  The Board was looking at the fund balance and using it to offset the tax rate.


Mr. Hurst observed that he had sharpened his pencil to get the budget where it is, and there was not a lot of trimming that he could do.  Depending on circumstances, Mr. Hurst felt that there may be funds remaining.    Mr. Hurst noted that he was a taxpayer and that he does everything he can to save the town money.



The Board was advised by Phillips that the North Sutton Improvement Society is reviewing the Maintenance Agreement for revisions and would like a copy of the minutes from Town Meeting, as well as a term for the agreement and an out clause.  The North Sutton Improvement Society has concerns regarding entering into an easement as this would be in perpetuity.  A licensing agreement might be a better option.


Phillips provided feedback from Jennifer Call, Treasurer, regarding acquiring a debit card to use for online software subscriptions.  Ms. Call expressed concerns regarding internal controls.  Based on that feedback, the Board is deferring action on the matter.



The Board discussed the First Responder Hazard Pay Stipend available under the CARES Act.  This stipend is for police, fire, and rescue provided they are available for response.  If the Board votes to accept the funding.  Payroll information will be required for those volunteer firefighters who wish to receive the stipend.  The Town has this information for police and rescue.  Phillips recommended having the Chiefs’ submitting their spreadsheets and paying out the stipend at the end of the 8 weeks.



Selectman Curless made a motion to accept the CARES Act assistance to accept the hazard pay stipend and other qualifying grants through COVID-19 MRF under RSA 21-P:43.  Selectman Headley seconded the motion which passed by a unanimous affirmative vote.  Phillips was instructed to check and see if any Cadets are eligible for the stipend.


The Board discussed acquiring a Laptop out of the CARES fund to use for Zoom Meetings and for Emergency Management.  Selectman Curless made a motion to acquire a laptop that would meet the specifications for remote meetings.  Selectman Headley seconded the motion.  The motion passed by a unanimous vote.  Selectman Headley asked whether the sound system could be funded through CARES.  Mr. DeFelice responded no, because the sound system was budgeted for, it does not meet the criteria.


In preparation for reopening, Phillips suggested that plastic barriers be installed in the Clerk and Select Board offices.  Selectman Curless and Selectman Headley will explore alternatives and report back to the board.  Acquiring masks for the office was also suggested.  Ideas for social distancing  at the town hall was reviewed.   Concerns regarding the library reopening and pandemic protective measures there were also discussed.  Selectman Curless recommended pursuing options as soon as possible to make ready for reopening.


The Board discussed attendance of school board meetings via Zoom.  Mr. DeFelice encouraged the Board to attend the meetings by call in or zoom.  The agendas are online.



The Board received correspondence from the Kearsarge Regional School District regarding End of School Year.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,


Elly Phillips

Town Administrator