Selectmen's Update - May 26, 2022

The Selectmen began the work session acknowledging the many contributions of Dan Peaslee to the Sandwich community with the presentation of a proclamation acknowledging his many acts of service to the Town; we are grateful to see Mr. Peaslee’s legacy carried on in so many ways!

The Selectmen continued planning discussions for an upcoming Committee Member “summit” which will include topics such as committee member best practices, RSA 91-A information and the Town’s mission, vision and core values as it relates to committee business. The summit has been rescheduled to Monday, June 13th at 4 PM.

In other business, the Board discussed several upcoming dates of importance – notably, the Board has transitioned to only bi-weekly meetings until August 8th. Please utilize our town calendar or reach out with any questions for more details regarding Town schedules.

The Board reviewed year-to-date financials for each department and discussed new grant opportunities that may help offset future expenses associated with highway projects. Multiple grant programs have been established or enhanced with the passage of federal ARPA legislation; the Town is working to take advantage of any applicable opportunity to offset future expenses to taxpayers. Furthermore, the Town is currently pursuing replacement of the Fire Chief’s vehicle with a 90% cost offset via ARPA funds.

The Board continued discussions about next steps in changing the Town’s employee health insurance plans. The Board has opted to switch providers effective July 1st which will save taxpayers and employees with little anticipated disruption to employees’ services – the switch will save the Town approximately $25,000 over the next year as compared to renewing our existing plan. In a state that experiences some of the highest premium costs in the country and a national average increase of 10% in premiums this year, we are enthusiastic about such options!

The Fire Chief shared a summary of Fire Department activity which can be found here on our website.

The Selectmen will be moving forward with sale of town-owned property at 827 Whittier Highway. More information will be coming in the near future regarding the bidding process and timeline.

In the regular meeting, the Board approved meeting minutes and signed several items including timber tax warrants, the AP and payroll manifests, a tax abatement response and an engagement letter associated with securing a tax anticipation note.

As promised, the Board held a lengthy discussion to consider reopening of the Transfer Station Swap Shop; the Selectmen brainstormed multiple ways the Transfer Station could be adapted to accommodate reopening, however due to liability, traffic, and capacity concerns, it was unanimously decided to forego reopening the Swap Shop.

The Board is well aware of the community desire for opportunities to recycle items that still have useful life and is similarly aware of multiple avenues for exchanging goods via community forums, social media pages, and other methods. We are excited to hear of creative ideas such as community yard sales that could satisfy this demand and acknowledge the inconvenience caused by the Swap Shop’s closure. We encourage folks interested in further pursuing alternatives to independently further brainstorm and wish to be helpful in anyway feasible.

Lastly, the Board discussed the most recent iteration of the Town’s Employee COVID policy. In addition to references to the State and CDC guidelines for quarantine/isolation, the Board discussed policy as it relates to testing upon return to work and employee sick leave for time spent in quarantine. The Board will continue to review COVID policies on an as needed basis, balancing priorities including employee and resident safety/health, uninterrupted Town services and adaptations to accommodate our new normal.  

Town offices will be closed on Monday, May 31 in observance of Memorial Day. The Selectmen will not be hosting a work session next week and will reconvene on June 6th at 4 PM.


Board of Selectmen

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Mailing: PO Box 194, Center Sandwich, NH 03227
Phone:  603-284-7701

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