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

June 29, 2020 @ 4:00 p.m.




The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. by Robert Wright, Jr., Chair.  Chairman Wright read into the record the following announcement:  Due to the COVID 19/Coronavirus Pandemic and in accordance with Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order #12, pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04, this Board is authorized to meet electronically. The public has access to contemporaneously listen and participate in this meeting by telephone by calling 978-990-5000 and entering access code 112820.


Present at the meeting were:  Robert Wright, Jr., Chair; William I. Curless, Selectman; Dane Headley, Selectman; Jonathan Korbet, Police Chief; Walter Baker, Jr., Conservation Commission, Co-Chair; Yvonne Howard, Library Trustee; and Elly Phillips, Town Administrator.  Attending through teleconference were:  Derek Lick, Moderator; Carol Merullo, Town Clerk/Tax Collector;  Robert DeFelice, Budget Chair; and Diane Lander, Library Trustee.


The minutes from June 22, 2020 were approved as written.  The Board reviewed and approved the following manifests:


PAYROLL MANIFEST:  $ 13,797.58


VENDOR MANIFEST:  $ 821,351.24

(Selectman Wright noted for the record July school payment of $800,000) .


The Board reviewed and approved the following building permit:  Samuel Quimby, 04-147-406, Meeting House Hill Road, Replacement Windows


The Board reviewed and approved the following intent to cut:  Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, 04-742-037-02-798-448, Wrights Hill Road.  It was noted that the road agent may recommend a bond for this cut on Wright’s Hill Road, a Class VI road.



Derek Lick, Moderator met with the Board through teleconference to discuss the possibility for a change in the election venue due to social distancing constraints at the Pillsbury Memorial Hall.  Mr. Lick advised that the KRSD School Board has declined the Town’s request to use the middle or high school for town elections due to various concerns.  Mr. Lick asked for the Board’s approval to explore additional locations for the elections.    Mr. Lick noted that currently there can be no change of venue without approval at Town Meeting.  However, a group of moderators are working with the State to request that the Governor issue an emergency order which would allow for a change of venue without a town meeting vote.    Mr. Lick asked the Select Board if it would be appropriate to explore use of the Fire Department as an alternative location.


Selectman Curless discussed precautionary measures that could be taken at the Pillsbury Memorial Hall such as having the greeter outdoors with a clicker to monitor the number of people in the building and installing a plastic separation wall for ingress and egress.  Selectman Curless expressed concern about using the highway facility for the elections.  There was a discussion about entrances and exits at the Facility, the use of the garage bay and whether WIFI was available  Mr. Lick noted that there were a couple of options to explore.  Mr. Lick was seeking a big enough space and considered the use of the Trinity Baptist use.   Selectman Wright did not feel that the Trinity Baptist Church afforded any more space than the Pillsbury Memorial Hall.  Mr. Lick expressed his grave concerns regarding social distancing for the voters and election workers.  Selectman Headley noted that he was also concerned due to the recent increase in cases in other States.  Selectman Headley said that he would prefer the Highway Facility to the Fire Department.  Mr. DeFelice advised that at a Safety Committee meeting it was expressed that the Fire Department should not be opened to the public in order to mitigate potential exposure to first responders.  Selectman Curless observed that highway workers also performed an essential service and wondered about road maintenance logistics  if a storm event occurred on election day.


Selectman Wright expressed concerns regarding the absentee ballot process due to an increase in absentee ballots and a potential for voter fraud.  Selectman Wright felt that the Select Board and Moderator should have a united front regarding the election location.    Selectman Wright also had concerns about new election workers due to transition of Supervisors of the Checklist.


Selectman Headley asked about the absentee ballot process and when you can you request an absentee ballot.  Ms. Merullo stated that she was accepting applications for absentee ballots now.  The ballots will be sent when they are available from the Secretary of State’s Office.


Selectman Curless and Mr. Lick will meet on  7/8/2020 at 3:00 to look at the Town Hall and Highway Facility as options for election day should a change of venue be authorized.  The Select Board supported a request by Mr. Lick to place advertisements regarding absentee voting in conjunction with area moderators.


Police Chief Jonathan Korbet met with the Board to discuss the Board’s request to provide or coordinate a civil standby for the Stotler cleanup.  Selectman Wright advised that the Board was requesting police department support in enforcing the local ordinances.  If the town is denied access, the town will need to go back to the court for a resolution.  Selectman Curless discussed the logistics of the effort noting the cost for police support would be billed to the property owner, and therefore would fall under special duty.    Phillips advised that the Stotlers will be given written notice of the date of the clean-up.  In addition to the written notice, Chief Korbet requested that the Town call to discuss the matter with the Stotlers in order to determine whether or not they are going to cooperate with the clean up effort.   Selectman Wright emphasized that the police role was solely to keep the peace.   The timeframe for the cleanup was also discussed.   Phillips will check with Town Counsel regarding noticing requirements.


Chief Korbet asked if the Town was still asking departments for budget cuts.  Selectman Wright verified that the Board was still requesting departments to closely monitor budgets due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Walter Baker, Jr., Conservation Chair, met with the Board to discuss various matters.  Mr. Baker asked for a status report on the Horse Beach parking area.  Mr. Baker was advised that Mr. DeFelice, representing the North Sutton Improvement Society, Adam Hurst, Road Agent and Peter Stanely, Planning and Zoning Administrator had met to assess the situation.  In the short-term, gravel and grading could be performed but installation of drainage will be necessary which will require DES permitting.  The Board was in negotiations with the North Sutton Improvement Society who have requested a licensing agreement rather than an easement in order to provide an “out-clause” for either party as discussed at Annual Meeting.   The Town is waiting for a response from the North Sutton Improvement Society.  The Society needed the minutes from Town Meeting in order to determine that the Town had agreed to enter into an agreement rather than an easement.  Mr. Hurst will be shooting grades to determine the scope of the project.  It was observed that people were parking on Conservation property and North Sutton Improvement Society property.  Mr. DeFelice said that the Improvement Society was waiting for the parking area to be graded before putting up no parking signs.


Mr. Baker discussed the Commission’s efforts to mitigate invasive species such as the water celery and knotweed.  The Commission would like to try installing mesh screening over the area which discourages knotweed growth.  This remedy can take two to three years in order to be effective.  Mr. Baker requested that the Town partner up with the Commission to have the town trucks remove it and have it burned at the Solid Waste Facility.  The Board will discuss the matter with Adam Hurst, Road Agent and Diego Solimine, Solid Waste Facility.  Selectman Wright discussed the Commission get advice from the DES.


Mr. Baker asked about the status of the Grist Mill property and the establishment of a parks and recreation committee and offered his assistance.  Mr. DeFelice said the Town was waiting on bids for demolition of the structure.  The bid is scheduled for July 13, 2020.  The establishment of the Parks and Recreation Committee has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mr. DeFelice noted that the warrant article was reduced by $15,000 so work on the parking area would be delayed.    Mr. Baker said that he had spoke with an engineer about the project and that various steps such as shooting grades and establishing a lighting plan.  Mr. Baker felt that work on this should be started as soon as possible.    Mr. DeFelice discussed the challenges of putting an ad hoc committee together when you can’t even meet face-to-face for the first time.  Mr. DeFelice felt that work could begin in September/early October.


Mr. Baker asked whether or not the Conservation Commission could resume meeting at the Town Hall.   Mr. Baker was advised that they could provided they complied with Governor’s orders regarding social distancing and number of attendees.



Selectman Headley reviewed the Labsphere Report to the DES and noted that he did not see any outstanding violations.  Selectman Headley will contact the DES to discuss the report in further detail.



The Board reviewed a request from the census bureau to use Town Hall for training on July 14 and August 4 – August 8 for 6 attendees.  Mr. DeFelice suggested the school might allow this request which would provide a better site.


The Board issued the following abatement of Lien Costs in the amount of $19.25 for unpaid taxes less than $1.00 which were subsequently paid.  William & Teresa Rottkamp, 07-793-102; Jeffrey Evans Revocable Trust, 05-960-028; and Sam and Christine Dube, Map 05-837-329.


Upon recommendation of the Assessors, the Board Granted the following Tax Appeals and abatements:

Richard and Jennifer Wright, 02-702-493 –  Abatement:  $475.72

Deborah Lang, Map 02-200-659 – Abatement $2,514.62

Ronald and Bethany Boucier, Map 02-732-432 – Abatement $586.76


A Tax Appeal filed by Diane Lander and Susan Knight was denied.  Corrections were made to the property record card as requested by the property owners.  These changes did not result in a change in assessment.


The Board issued an appointment for Jennifer Alford-Teaster as Supervisor of the Checklist for a term until March 2021.



The Board reviewed the Governor’s Emergency Order #56 which pertained to budgets and abatements.




Selectman Headley stated that he has received complaints regarding the lack of bathroom facilities at Wadleigh State Park.  Mr. DeFelice said that he has not received notification, but that he would follow up with the State in his capacity of President of The Friends of Wadleigh.



Mr. DeFelice asked about the status of the Pillsbury Memorial Hall sound system.  Selectman Headley will follow up.   Mr. DeFelice discussed some dead spruce trees at the monument in Smiley Grove and requested permission to have them removed.  Selectman Headley made a motion to authorize removal of the dead trees at Smiley Grove.  Selectman Curless seconded the motion.  Selectman Curless suggested that in addition an appropriate replacement plan for plantings should be developed.  The motion was amended to grant permission to remove the dead trees around the monument at Smiley Grove and develop a replacement plan for plantings.  The motion as amended passed by a unanimous affirmative vote.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:42 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Elly Phillips

Town Administrator