Town of NewSalem Selectboard

Meeting Minutes

November 18, 2019

Stowell Building, New Salem, MA 01355

Convened: 7:01 pm

Present: Wayne Hachey, Jean Derderian, Selectboard; Nancy Aldrich, Town Coordinator; Andy Ohlson, Scouts of America; Ollie Ohlson, Constable; Ken Bright

Selectboard Reviewed & Signed the Following:

Ø Payroll & Vendor Warrants

Discussion Items

Eagle Scout Project

Andy started off by explaining his Eagle Scout Project which involves proposing notice boards for 4 places in town. This would facilitate the placement of notices by the Town Constable. The first location would be the Transfer Station. The second would be at the North New Salem church. The third location would be on Freeman Road and the fourth would be the Hagerville Fire Station. This would allow for various notices not just strictly for the purposes of the Constable. Jean noted that the Historical Commission has been interested in seeing some kind of notice board in the town center. She then asked Ollie about where he does his postings now. He responded by outlining the various places in town he places the postings. Nancy noted that none of these would count towards the Open Meeting Law 48 notice requirement as such a board would need to be designated with the Commonwealth and under the purview of the Town Clerk. Nancy inquired about the placement of the board intended for the Transfer Station. Andy responded by explaining where he would seek to place it in relation to the station. Jean suggested he speak with the Board of Health as to that board. There was then an inquiry about how Andy would get the materials and fund the costs. He responded by outlining his fundraising plans and how he would solicit donations. Wayne inquired about the total cost. Andy responded it would cost $621 for all materials. That number is a little high just in case they need extra. Ollie noted that he might be able to get donations of the lumber. Wayne asked if there would be Plexiglas. Andy responded that he would not use that material, but noted that they would be all wood materials, pressure treated wood, with the posts secured by concrete and a small overhang to protect the postings from most of the weather. Jean submitted that they should be placed far enough off the roads so that those who approach them to read the materials are safe from traffic. Jean asked for a timeline. Andy responded by outlining his timeline which would start in April 2020. Wayne inquired as to how many Scouts would ultimately work on this project. Andy elaborated by explaining how he would recruit other Scouts to assist with various parts of it and divvy up responsibilities. The Selectboard saw no reason not to approve of the project proceeding and thanked Andy for coming forward with it.

Green Communities Grant Annual Report

Nancy reported that the deadline is coming up on this and asked for authorization for Randy or Wayne to sign the paperwork. It was determined to have Wayne sign the paperwork as Acting Chair in Randy’s absence. Nancy then briefly went over some of the future projects they have planned including a solar project being worked on with Wendell for Swift River Elementary and a potential one for placement of solar project near or on the new Highway Garage.

MOA with FRCOG Regarding Emergency Communications Equipment

Nancy noted this has been tabled a few times. It was determined that a decision should be made at this meeting. Jean expressed the feeling that this topic really deserves a full conversation, but asked what the deadline is. Nancy responded it is December 1. Wayne noted that this is one of those situations where the town doesn’t have a lot of choice given the expense of going alone. Jean expressed some concern about the loss of town control. Wayne again stressed that if the town doesn’t participate the costs would not be inconsiderable. Jean felt that this is a concept and it is unclear at this moment what the town is agreeing to accept that there may be some equipment that the town would receive at low cost. Wayne expressed concern about not approving this as this has been in the works for a long time. Jean was not prepared to sign in Randy’s absence so it was determined to proceed with discussing, approving, and signing the agreement at the next meeting, assuming Randy is comfortable doing so.

Proposed Driveway Application

Nancy reported that there doesn’t appear to be any former process for Driveway Permits. The new Highway Chief has procured a copy of Wendell’s Driveway Permit. This seems like a good idea considering the situation that occurred recently with three removals and stonewall disturbance around the building of a new house. Nancy agreed to continue working on this as well as other fronts.

Cooleyville Road Culvert / Possible Road Closure

Nancy provided a map to the Selectboard depicting the work that needs to be done. Various culverts are in critical shape. Not all of those need replacing, some just need serious maintenance. The culvert on Cooleyville Road in particular is failing badly and the Highway Chief wishes to see it replaced. Wayne noted that there are no houses beyond this culvert, so the town could potentially just see the road closed. Nancy recalled that the Commonwealth has a few programs to help fund these kinds of maintenance projects, specifically for things like small bridges and culverts, but New Salem’s are likely too small to qualify. In the meantime, she reported that she will seek assistance from FRCOG as she has heard that they may know of other programs that could help. Ken noted at least one culvert that he didn’t think was depicted on the map. Nancy noted that it is present, but is considered in fair condition and not up for being repaired at this time. There are a few on private roads as well, but Nancy submitted that those are the responsibility of the property owners on those private roads to maintain. Wayne recalled that due to climate change and structural vulnerability it is being recommended by various authorities to upgrade culverts to larger sizes when they are replaced. Nancy concurred stating that hundred year floods are happening more frequently then every hundred years. A spreadsheet has also been compiled with the culvert information and it will be updated by the Highway Chief as work is done. The Highway Chief intends to have a firm understanding of what will need to be replaced versus just light maintenance in time for budget discussions with the Finance Committee for FY21.

Capital Planning Proposal Regarding Complete Assessment of All Town Buildings

Nancy reported that the Capital Planning Committee recently met and agreed to ask the Building Inspector to do a comprehensive study of the towns buildings to determine what if any work such buildings need. The estimate for the work would be around $3,000. It is not yet clear where the funds would be found, and could be something to be put off until FY21. Jean inquired as to the membership of the committee. Wayne noted he is on the committee as the Selectboard representative and the committee has 3 members currently. It was suggested it could be increased to 5 members. This committee is appointed by the Town Moderator. Wayne noted there are a lot of needs, but to date a lack of funds. It was agreed to pursue the possible expansion of the committee as well as look for funding sources.


The Selectboard considered the minutes from October 21, 2019 which the Selectboard determined to approve. The Selectboard also considered and approved the minutes for the All Boards Meeting. The minutes from November 4, 2019 were tabled until the next meeting.

A motion to adjourn at 7:45 pm was made by Jean. The motion was seconded by Wayne and passed by majority vote.

Respectfully Submitted

Jakob K. Hamm, Selectboard Clerk