Town of Sutton Selectmen Meeting Minutes

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

February 2, 2019

The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. by William Curless.  Present at the meeting were William I. Curless, Chair; Dane Headley, Selectman; Robert Wright, Jr., Selectman; Robert DeFelice, Budget Committee Chair; Cory Cochran, Fire Chief; Wendy Grimes, Rescue Chief; Gail Guertin, Budget Committee Member.  Residents:  Bruce Kozikowski, Stephen King, Al Donati, Wally Baker, Larry and Peggy Ford and Elly Phillips, Recording Secretary.



Cory Cochran, Fire Chief and Wendy Grimes, Rescue Chief, met with the Board to discuss the proposed Fire Department addition cost estimates.  Selectman Curless announced to the audience that this is a public meeting not a public hearing.


Chief Cochran and Chairman DeFelice reported that the total cost estimate for the proposed addition was $2,304,121.00.  Selectman Wright asked if the members of the fire department were aware of the cost estimates.  Chief Cochran replied that the figures were just received on 1/31/2019 and that the plans and estimates will be presented at the next fire meeting scheduled for 2/5/2019.   Copies of the estimates were presented and distributed.  It was acknowledged that the cost for the project far exceeded last year’s total,  and fire department members were having mixed reactions about the project.    The cost breakdown was reviewed as itemized.


Chief Cochran asked whether the Board of Selectmen was planning on going forward with the bond issue.   The Select Board responded that they would like feedback from the Fire Department members prior to making a final decision.    Selectman Wright suggested that it might be prudent to continue capital planning.


Chief Grimes agreed that it might be wise to put the project on hold in order to reflect on project goals, given the cost estimates.  Chief Cochran pondered whether it would possibly be more cost effective to build a whole new building; rather than bearing the expense of renovating, modifying and adding on to the existing building to meet current code.    There was a discussion as to whether or not a safety complex might suit future needs more effectively.   Robert DeFelice, Budget Chair, observed that if the project was put on hold, there really was no money wasted.  A well thought-out set of plans has been developed.    The project could go forward based on these plans, or the Town could go forward with a different plan armed with a comprehensive knowledge of current required safety building codes.


Selectman Curless discussed a walk through he had done at Warner’s new facility noting that that project cost was close to $3,000,000 and had less square footage.  The Board discussed the fact that costs will increase during a good economy, but during an economic downturn, it might be possible to build a structure for less.  In the meantime, the town could continue to fund a capital reserve.  The funds that would have used toward the loan could be placed in capital reserve.


Chief Grimes asked whether the 2017 appropriation was still available.  Phillips advised that he has not yet lapsed and that the only funds that have been used to-date were for engineering, architecture and testing.  Those funds have come from capital reserves.  Approximately $50,000 was expended in 2018 and additional funds for planning for were also expended in 2019.


Chief Cochran stated that he would run it by the membership and get back to the Select Board on Wednesday.  Phillips noted that a bond hearing was scheduled for February 11, 2019.  The final decision could be made and announced at the budget hearing on February 7, 2019.    Selectman Wright observed that sometimes the goal is good, but the timing is not right.


Bruce Kozikowski asked to be recognized.  Selectman Curless advised that this was a public meeting and not a public hearing but allowed input from Mr. Kozikowski.  Mr. Kozikowski expressed serious concern that Town Meeting was going to be in a month and that the cost per square foot was too high.  Mr. Kozikowski was advised of the meeting schedule for the budget hearing and the bond hearing.   Stephen King asked what the contingency line was for and was advised by Selectman Curless that was for unforeseen circumstances such as ledge.


Mr. DeFelice noted that the Town had just recently received the final estimates which presented challenges to getting public information disseminated.   Feasibility of additional sites such as the ash landfill was discussed.  Mr. Kozikowski emphasized that the primary issue was that it was so close to the wire.  Mr. Donati asked about the number of bathrooms for the proposed new fire house.


Walter Baker vehemently stated that it lacked foresight to be providing cost estimates at this late date, and the public needed to have more of an opportunity to discuss the project.  He further stated that plans and cost estimates should have been developed much earlier.  The timing of the project was discussed noting that the plans presented to the Selectmen in March 2018 were conceptual and that a great deal of engineering and architectural work needed to meet current codes and allow for accurate estimates.  The process for voting on the bond issue was discussed.  It was noted that a 60% majority would be required as well as a ballot vote with the polls open for one hour.


The minutes from January 28, 2019 were approved as written.  The Board reviewed and approved the following manifests:


VENDOR MANIFEST:  $50,284.66

VENDOR MANIFEST:  $  5,000.00 (01/29/19)



The Board approved an intent to cut for Nathaniel Byfield, 06-308-154, 06-191-244, Corporation Hill – Supplemental to 18-439-14.



The Board noted a citizen concern regarding line striping on North Road near the high school.  The citizen had previously been advised of the process to petition a warrant article.


Selectman Wright made a motion to enter into a three-year agreement with Cintas for highway uniforms.  Selectman Headley seconded the motion.  The motion passed by a vote of 3-0.


The Board approved pole license for Eversource.


The Board approved the following Veterans Tax Credits:

Nathan Paddock, 04-207-230, $500.00

David Grinsell, 07-114-367, $500.00


The board issued a Yield Tax for Thomas Friel/Country Club of NH, Map 05-548-577+, in the amount of $30,615.93.



The Board discussed a salary increase recently granted in the Solid Waste Department.  Phillips advised that she wasn’t clear on whether or not the check was to be retroactive.  Phillips stated that she instructed payroll to issue the check retroactively to when the employee assumed new duties and additional hours.  Selectman Wright asserted that the salary increase was not supposed to be retroactive until after Town Meeting.  Phillips offered to pull the retroactive pay check from the weekly payroll disbursements.  Selectman Wright opined that issuing this check was outside the bounds.  Phillips replied that it was in keeping with town practices.  Selectman Wright agreed to the employee receiving the pay increase as issued, adding that he would draft a disciplinary note for her personnel file.  Phillips acknowledged her misunderstanding of the payroll instruction, but also noted that there was, in her opinion, no difference in the amount the employee was ultimately to receive.


The Board discussed winter maintenance on a Summer-Maintained portion of Kings Hill Road.  The Town Attorney had been consulted regarding whether or not to continue plowing.  The Town plowed on January 30 in order to give the owners of Map/Lot 08-278-486 and 08-288-529 time to make other arrangements.  Per the attorney, the recorded agreement specified that the owners of the aforementioned lots were responsible for winter maintenance and that the town should not perform further plowing and other winter maintenance functions.  The lot owners will be submitting a petition seeking Town Meeting approval for winter maintenance of the Class V summer maintained portion of Kings Hill Road.


The Board reviewed the expenditure budget that will be presented at the Budget Hearing on February 7, 2019.  The Budget Committee will be meeting later to review the final budget as well as projected revenues.



Selectman Wright asked about the status of the junkyard issue on the Stotler property, Map/Lot 01-407-067.  Phillips advised the Town Counsel needs to prepare a petition to the court and will be doing so but is addressing other priorities at this time.


Selectman Wright asked about the status of employee, town official and board workshop to be conducted.  Phillips advised the workshop details were being finalized with PRIMEX for a day and evening session after town meeting as was previously discussed.


There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Elly Phillips