Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes

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

Board of Selectman

January 8, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.


The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m.  Present at the meeting was Robert Wright, Jr., Chair; William I. Curless, Selectman; Dane Headley, Selectman; Dan Sundquist, Conservation Commission Chair; Stephen Bagley, Road Agent; Robert DeFelice, Budget Committee Chair; Gail Guertin, Stephen Hamilton and Andy Palmer, Budget Committee Members; and Elly Phillips, Town Administrator.




At 4:30 Dan Sundquist, Conservation Commission Chair to discuss a Class VI section of Kings Hill Road and a recommendation from the Conservation Commission for a Warrant Article to reclassify a section as a Class A Trail.   The problem with the road is that it has been torn up by four-wheel drive trucks and ATV’s.  There are deep holes that have been created and rivulets, waterfalls and boulders are other obstacles that have been created.  The recreational vehicles are detouring off the road onto Town property.  Mr. Sundquist identified the abutters to the Class VI portion of the road.  Reclassify to a Class A trail would allow the Town to install a gate at one end and set block off the other end with boulders.  Abutters to the road would retain access with a key to the gate.


Mr. Sundquist advised that the section in question was a critical link to the SRK trail system.  The concern of the Conservation Commission is the condition of the road and that it will get worse.


The process for the reclassification involves notification to the road’s abutters.  It does not require a public hearing.  The Conservation Commission will discuss whether a public informational meeting should be conducted.  However, the reclassification process and rationale for the proposed Kings Hill Reclassification will be included the Commission 2017 Town Report.


Selectman Curless asked whether a Class A trail could be reclassified to Class V should a future need arise and was advised that this was permissible.  Questions regarding municipal liability and potential costs associated were raised.  Selectman Sundquist advised that the Commission has funds available for the gate.  However, the Commission is not interested in maintenance that would result in a cost to the taxpayers.


Stephen Bagley, Road Agent, met with the Board to discuss the condition of Kearsarge Valley Road near the big culvert by the new snowmobile ridge.  There are beaver on both sides of the culvert creating a wet area.  The road is sinking.  There is a great deal of truck traffic moving the tar.  Mr. Bagley proposed grinding, installing fabric, building up the road surface, widen the road and repave.  The work area is about 1600 feet.   Mr. Bagley recommended that the project be implemented in 2018 and requested that a portion of the SB 38 Highway Aid Funding ($95,299) be used to finance the project.   The Board asked for an estimated cost for the project.  Mr. Bagley advised that it would be best to wait until Spring to do an estimate in order to do testing and shoot grades etc.   As a very preliminary estimate, he speculated that the project should come in at around $50,000.  The costs associated for the Roby Road project were also discussed.  Mr. Bagley asked that SB 38 funds unspent from the Kearsarge Valley Road project be used for the Roby Road project.


Selectman Curless moved that the SB 38 unanticipated funds be used for both Kearsarge Valley Road and Roby Road.  Selectman Headley seconded the motion.


Robert DeFelice asked as a point of order how the public hearing conducted (8/21/2017) would impact the use of the funds.  It was noted that the public hearing was to accept the funds and the non-lapsing funding was for unanticipated projects but could not be used as revenue or to offset the tax rate.


As there was no further discussion, the motion carried by a vote of 3-0.


At 5:30 p.m. Robert DeFelice, Budget Committee Chair; Gail Guertin, Budget Committee Member, Steve Hamilton, Budget Committee Member and Andy Palmer, Budget Committee Member met with the Board to review items concerning the 2018 budget.


Robert DeFelice, Budget Committee Chair, advised that the budget committee  would be meeting with several department heads to follow up on some information and the committee would be voting on their proposed budgets later in the evening.


Mr. DeFelice brought forth some questions that the budget committee had for the Board of Selectmen.  Mr. DeFelice asked whether the Board of Selectmen had looked into the possibility of a safety service building, and indicated that it might make sense for the Selectmen to look into it. The police department expressed concerning regarding the size of the current facility.   If an additional officer were added the facility space would be even more constrained.  There was a discussion regarding the possibility/feasibility, and Mr. DeFelice encouraged the Board to research the matter and to think into the long term.  Ms. Guertin indicated that with both police and fire requiring additional space it was a matter to consider.


Selectman Wright observed that the Fire Department has been in the planning process for an addition and speculated on the long term financial ramifications of the addition in comparison to a public safety facility.  Concerns were also expressed regarding an appropriate site for such a facility.  It was noted that the special warrant article for the bond issue would include the recommendations from the Selectmen and the Budget Committee and require a 2/3 majority.  In addition, it would be a ballot vote so that there would be a lot of room for discussion at Town Meeting.


The Budget Committee recommended establishing a capital reserve for renovations/repairs for the Pillsbury Memorial Hall, and to initiate the fund at $1,000.  Mr. DeFelice also suggested using funds from fund balance to fund the capital reserve.


The Budget Committee also recommended an expendable capital reserve funded at $5,000 for the Welfare Department so the funds would be available when required.  The Welfare budget could then be reduced accordingly.


Mr. DeFelice conveyed that the Budget Committee had concerns regarding the heavy equipment capital reserve as it pertained to transparency, noting that in the past there has been a separate capital reserve for each type of equipment item.  The rational for creating the heavy equipment fund was explained.  Prior to establishing the individual equipment funds there was just one fund, and in order to acquire specific equipment the highway department requested individual funds.    Long range plans did not always meet the needs of the town as some pieces of equipment had a longer than expected life and others shorter.    Currently, there is a capital reserve for heavy trucks and heavy equipment, the idea is to meet the needs of the community not to interfere with transparency.   Capital items require identification and recommendation from both the budget committee and the board of selectmen and approval at Town Meeting.   Mr. Palmer asked why $16,500 was being put into the grader capital reserve?  Mr. Palmer was advised that the grader was to be replaced and then the individual equipment funds:  backhoe, loader, grader will be discontinued.  The equipment will be up-to-date.  Mr. DeFelice requested that the equipment/vehicle replacement schedule be put on the website.  Mr. DeFelice was advised that the Planning Board would be working on the CIP in the near term.  The CIP is currently out of date, but department heads have been maintaining the capital plan.


Mr. DeFelice asked for detail on expenditure line items for uniforms or special development.


The minutes from December 11, 2017 and January 3, 2018 were approved as written.  The Board reviewed and approved the following manifests:

PAYROLL MANIFEST:   $ 10,160.55

VENDOR MANIFEST:     $44,097.26



The Board agreed to meet at 3:30 on January 15, 2018 to discuss their 2018 budget recommendations.

The Board discussed the Krajewski Timber Tax Appeal and will deliberate on the matter further at their next regularly scheduled meeting.

The Board approved a Veteran’s tax credit for Kent Weakly, Map/Lot 01-132-113.

The Board approved payment for the forest fire permit phone

The Board issued a Yield Tax for Woodlot and Grange 01-338-510 $3,565.95

The Board issued the following items of correspondence:

Deborah Lang regarding prepayment of taxes

Senator Kevin Avard, regarding the Warner River designation to the State Rivers Management and Protection Program.

The Board approved the purchase of toner and paper for the Executive Office.



Erin Reardon, Right Angle Engineering, agreed to meet with the Board on January 15, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. to discuss the library ramp project.


At 4:15 p.m., Selectman Curless moved to enter into nonpublic 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 roll was called with Selectman Wright, Selectman Curless and Selectman Headley voting yes to enter into nonpublic session.


Selectman Headley made a motion to seal the minutes as it was determined that divulgence of this information likely would adversely affect the reputation of any person other than a member of this board.  Selectman Curless seconded the motion.  The roll was called.  The motion passed with a unanimous affirmative vote.



Selectman Wright reported on the KRSD Deliberative session.  Mr. Wright said that the budget went up by 1.28%.  Wages comprised two thirds of the increase.  Both the Budget Committee and the School Board agreed on the budget amount.  There was a discussion as two whether this was constitutional. It was noted that it was deemed constitutional as a part of the SB2 process by the Attorney General.  The budgets arrived at by the School Board and Budget Committee were achieved through the consensus/compromise process resulting in the same budget for both.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:00 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Elly Phillips, Town Administrator