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

July 6, 2020 @ 4:00 p.m.



Selectman Wright read the following announcement into the record:  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


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; Carol Merullo, Town Clerk/Tax Collector; Lorri Himes, Bookkeeper/Assistant; Yvonne Howard, Deputy Town Clerk/Tax Collector and Library Trustee; Walter Baker, Jr., Conservation Commission Chair; and Elly Phillips, Town Administrator; attending through teleconference were Robert DeFelice, Budget Committee Chair; and Lynn Wittman, Lake Host.


The minutes from June 29, 2020 were approved with two corrections.  The Board reviewed and approved the following manifests:


PAYROLL MANIFEST:  $ 11,212.15

VENDOR MANIFEST:  $  34,155.14


The Board reviewed and approved a building permit for Gary Kinney, 01-992-579, Roby Road, for renovations.


Action on a building permit for Lance Carter, Map 04-221-356, Meeting House Road, was deferred pending wetlands delineation.



Feedback from Town Counsel was received regarding noticing requirements for the Stotler cleanup.  Written notice will be required.  Phillips will follow up with Counsel regarding the written notice.


Mr. DeFelice provided information regarding the status of the Wadleigh State Park Bathroom closure.  Mr. DeFelice informed the Board that the park is not manned, so the bathrooms will remain closed until there is staff available.   Mr. DeFelice added that there was a hiring freeze earlier in the year which has been lifted, but the State has been unable to fill vacant positions.  Selectman Curless advised that the State is seeking employees to man State parks and has raised the starting rate of pay as an incentive.  Mr. DeFelice said that The Friends of Wadleigh State Park have volunteered to walk the part and perform litter control duties.    Selectman Headley asked if the park is closed, whether the public had access to it.  Mr. DeFelice replied that there is an honor box.  The park is currently not manned.  The only amenities available are the picnic tables.  Mr. DeFelice will check to see if the State will install a sign stating that there are no bathroom facilities.


The Board discussed response to the NHMA Municipal Re-opening Survey.  Staff was proposing that the facility be opened to the public possibly beginning July 13, one citizen at a time.  Masks will be required.   Appointments and online transactions will be encouraged.  Selectman Curless observed that this would be a first step towards reopening.    The Board sought input from the staff.  Carol Merullo, Town Clerk/Tax Collector; Yvonne Howard, Deputy Town Clerk/Tax Collector and Lorri Himes, Bookkeeper/Assistant were present for the discussion.


The proposed reopening process was summarized.   Masks will be required for citizens and staff.  Ms. Howard asked about the process for the library and was advised that would be under the purview of the library trustees.  It was emphasized that the proposed policy was for the Pillsbury Memorial Hall only.  Appointments will to be encouraged and take precedence over walk-ins.  Walk-ins will need to wait until scheduled appointments are concluded.   Ms. Himes observed that there is less traffic for the Select Board’s office and suggested that citizens could be accommodated one-at-a-time in the meeting area.  Thus, there could be one citizen in the building for the Town Clerk/Tax Collectors office and one for the Select Board office.


As suggested by Mr. DeFelice, reopening plans will be reviewed and approved by David Burnham, Health Officer, prior to implementation.  Ms. Howard will report to the library trustees regarding plans to reopen the Pillsbury Memorial Hall and advise them to seek input from the Health Officer regarding library re-opening plans.   Ms. Howard will also check with the Trustees regarding using the library as a back up facility for the Pillsbury Memorial Hall in the event of an emergency which was a proposed measure by the committee updating the Town’s Emergency Operations Plan.


The Board discussed an email from Steven Enroth expressing concerns about the North Sutton Improvement Society parking area.  Mr. Enroth requested that gravel be added to reduce puddling and  dissipate water.  Mr. DeFelice noted that is the short-term solution that has been proposed for the parking area.  Drainage will be required to properly mitigate the water pooling problem in the parking lot.  DES permitting will be need for installation of the drainage.  The North Sutton Improvement Society has concerns regarding the costs associated with adding the gravel which is estimated at $1,500-$2,000 annually.   Mr. DeFelice noted that the parking lot is primarily used for people using the beach and conservation land.  Therefore, the Improvement Society feels that they should not be responsible for these costs.  There was a discussion regarding the genesis of the easement was so that the Town could assist with maintenance activities because there was a public purpose.  However, since it was private property funding for materials would come from that source.


Mr. DeFelice noted that finances were not discussed at Town Meeting.   Mr. DeFelice felt that the voters thought the Town was going to pick up the tab.  It was noted that the purpose of the agreement was so that the Town could assist with maintenance activities and continue plowing the parking area.   Absent of an agreement, the Town could not go forward.    Mr. DeFelice noted that the North Sutton Improvement Society will need to raise their appropriation request to $3,000  in order to cover these funds and the Society’s insurance costs.  The Select Board will seek guidance from Town Counsel.  Mr. DeFelice noted that the drainage costs would be the responsibility of the Town because it is on Conservation Land.  Mr. DeFelice stated that perhaps the Lake Association could pay for the gravel for one year and that the costs could be budgeted for in subsequent years.   Mr. DeFelice advised that the North Sutton Improvement Society has limited funding available.


Ms. Wittman asked whether the Town could do it one time since it really is a mess and was advised not without funding.  Ms. Wittman asked if funding could be raised could it be done one time noting that a lot of Sutton residents enjoyed using the boat area.  The Board will see if they can negotiate a one year agreement.


Walter Baker, Jr., Conservation Commission Chair, presented to follow up on the Conservation Commissions efforts to mitigate the Japanese Knotweed problem in the area and was provided with contact materials.  In addition, Mr. Baker requested that the Conservation Commission be included in conversations and decisions pertaining to the North Sutton Improvement parking area.



Selectman Headley followed up on the sound system for the Pillsbury Memorial Hall.  Estimates will need to be revisited due to the delay in acquisition.  The Board needs to approve a secure storage cabinet.  Selectman Headley will follow up.


Selectman Headley provided clarification on Zoom meetings.  A central location is not required in order to conduct a zoom meeting.


Selectman Wright discussed a taxpayer’s report from Carol Merullo regarding 1st issue tax receipts.  54% was received as of 7/1/19 and 62% as of 7/1/2020.  Selectman Curless wondered at what rate taxpayers were escrowing and if that had an impact on the collections rate.


Selectman Curless asked for an update on the streetlight progress.  Selectman Headley requested an update on progress in replacing of worn out wooden street signs.  This will be followed up on at the next regularly scheduled meeting.



Mr. DeFelice discussed $850,000 in KRSD funding that was appropriated for tuition for Crocket Mountain School for specialized education.  Mr. DeFelice advised that Crocket Mountain School is closing down.    Mr. DeFelice is checking with the KRSD School Board to see if any of the tuition will be refunded in view of the fact that the school is closing.  Mr. DeFelice will check to see what Mr. Elliott’s plan is and update the Select Board when he receives this information.     Selectman Wright asked whether or not Mr. LeBouef, KRSD Finance Director had provided any information regarding the Crocket Mountain appropriation?


Mr. DeFelice asked whether Old Home Day was being observed this year in Sutton.  Selectman Wright confirmed that the event was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.


Selectman Headley asked for follow up on relocating the hearse to Muster Field Farm.  Mr. DeFelice advised that plans for relocation have been delayed due to COVID-19.


At  4:55 p.m. Selectman Curless made a motion to enter into  Non-public session under RSA 91-A:3, II(c) Matters which, if discussed in public, would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person, other than a member of this board, unless such person requests an open meeting. This exemption shall extend to include any application for assistance or tax abatement or waiver of a fee, fine or other levy, if based on inability to pay or poverty of the applicant.  Selectman Headley seconded the motion.  The Board was polled with Selectmen Wright, Curless and Headley voting in the affirmative.  Public session reconvened at 5:21.  Selectman Wright made a motion to seal the minutes, because it was determined that divulgence of this information likely would affect adversely the reputation of any person other than a member of this Board.  Selectman Curless seconded the motion.  The motion passed by a unanimous affirmative vote.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 5:21 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Elly Phillips

Town Administrator