Derry board taps Forbes as new member; punch cards possible at Transfer Station

By Bruce Frauman
©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Board members, from left, Ameden, Mora and Cavanagh. All photos by Bruce Frauman.

Robert Forbes will return as a member of the Londonderry Select Board after his appointment by the board on Monday, April 3.

After considering several candidates who the board did not name, chair Paul Gordon said that Forbes had the experience the board could use since it has two new members. Forbes, who owns a construction company, had been chair for several years including when it began considering building a salt and sand shed on the Prouty Land. Gordon also said Forbes’ experience in the construction business would be helpful as it moves forward with the shed. “He would be the ideal candidate to assist us in that manner,” Gordon concluded. The vote to appoint Forbes to the board was unanimous.

Forbes replaces Will Reed, who resigned after Town Meeting due to a personal conflict with a newly elected member.

Transfer Station payments

Esther Fishman explains the switch to punch cards at the Transfer Station.

Recycling coordinator Esther Fishman recommended the use of punch cards to replace cash at the Transfer Station rather than the stickers she had been suggesting. Fishman said she decided that stickers “could be a problem” after talking with the Landgrove Select Board. “What happens when somebody comes in with a trash can full of trash that is not in bags? Or what happens when somebody comes in with a trash can full of bags?” she asked. She added that the stickers were also rather small.

These punch cards could be used for residential trash bags and larger and bulkier items, Fishman said, adding that she is forming a committee to continue to develop the idea. So far it consists of a caretaker, town Treasurer Tina Labeau and Keith Barton from the Transfer Station.

In response to a question on Facebook asking if this is a “solution in search of a problem,” Gordon said, no, that for two years, the town’s auditors have been recommending a “better accounting system for the cash that is difficult to account for at the Transfer Station.”

Board member Tom Cavanagh added that three holes had been cut in the Daley building so cans and bottles will be covered to keep them dry and clean. And volunteer Candy Bliss has been sorting the cans and bottles and delivering them to the redemption center.

Filling road foreman, DRB, other posts

The board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday, April 10 to interview three candidates for the road foreman position. Gordon said he hoped the board would be ready to make a recommendation afterward.

Mathew Rawson gets kudos for filling in as interim roads foreman.

Board member Jim Ameden said that Mathew Rawson has done an “excellent job” filling in as interim road foreman. Rawson said that all equipment is now in operating condition except for the plow truck being repaired after a dashboard fire.

Gordon also thanked the road crew for its efforts during the “nasty” storm last Friday and Saturday, as well as Matthew Coleman who has been working “all hours” to help keep the trucks on the road in spite of two breakdowns.

The board also plans to appoint a new member to the Development Review Board in May. The DRB will meet on April 17 to consider a recommendation to replace George Mora, who resigned from the DRB after her election to the Select Board. She will continue to serve until a replacement is appointed.

A search for a new zoning administrator is under way, with the illness of current ZA Jim Mullen. Letters of interest are due May 1. And the town will advertise for a new health officer.

And, after two letters of resignation were received from the nine-member Policing Committee, the Select Board agreed with the committee to downsize to seven members to make it easier to reach a quorum.

Paving, salt shed work and Genser property

Ameden said he and Rawson have been going over paving bids. “Fuller Sand and Gravel appears to be the best deal and also seems to be very willing to work with us for what we want to do,” Ameden said. The board voted to accept Fuller’s bid to pave Hell’s Peak Road from Barker Road up to the town line, Mansfield Lane, Scott Pet Road and the Lowell Lake apron.

Town Treasurer Tina Labeau picks up new duties as human resources coordinator.

Gordon said the board has received DRB approval to build the salt and sand shed and an access permit from the state is “in process.” Bill Wylie will act as a volunteer general contractor for the project. A check has been sent to Green Mountain Power begin the process of electrifying the building.  A pre-bid meeting for any prospective engineers for the structural engineering Request for Proposal will be held at 10 a.m. on April 10 at the Town Office Building.

Town Administrator Stephanie Thompson said a conference call is scheduled for Tuesday (today) with attorneys involved with the Genser property as well as the Two Rivers Planning Commission, which is the funding agency for the Community Development Block Grant programs. The purpose is to “make sure everybody is on the same page as well as what our next steps are.” The CDBG will pay the Gensers for the former Outlet Barn destroyed during Tropical Storm Irene. A plan for FEMA buyout funding was derailed by a dispute between FEMA and the State Agency of Transportation over a flood wall on the property. Gordon added that the deed is in the process of being transferred to the town.  A cheer went up when he added, “Once we own it, there will be an RFP for demolition.”

The current inhabitant of the Frog’s Leap Inn has not responded to requests to give a date when he would move out. Gordon told the board that a sheriff will serve the paperwork on the resident him “the appropriate legal warnings to vacate said property.” Since no offers have yet been received from prospective buyers through the Realtor who handled the property for the former owners, the town attorney, Bob Fisher, has recommended “getting the paperwork ready to auction that.”

Cindy Gubb explains problems with a corner at Route 11 and Middletown Road.

Gordon has added the title of human resources coordinator to Treasurer Tina Labeau’s duties since Labeau “has done an incredible job keeping track of the paperwork for our employees.”

The outdoor dining permit for the New American Grill has been put on hold while Sharon Crossman, the interim zoning administrator, reviews a stack of documents regarding the history of the plaza.

And Cindy Grubb Gubb, a Middletown Road resident, told the board that the corner of Route 11, Edge Hill Road and Middletown Road “is still a challenge” with many near misses two years after her husband Larry Grubb Gubb asked the board to “consider reconfiguring the corner.” Grubb Gubb said she was almost hit by a snowplow while she backed her car into her driveway. Snow also builds up in front of their driveway.

Ameden replied that “any work would have to be approved by the state” since it is in their right of way and that “we’d be willing to go back to the state and present your thoughts to them.”


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