Just two selectmen were on hand for the March 4 meeting. Cathy Ryan was excused. The selectmen discussed how the town is getting ready for the FLAP grant. There is an item on the town’s warrant reflecting the town’s portion of this grant. Selectman Richard Hiland is dealing with the memo of agreement and other paperwork.
Town meeting on Tuesday began at 10 a.m. with voting for three different itemized lists. In the eight hours of voting, only 56 people came in to vote in person and two people sent in absentee ballots. The coronavirus scare seems to have caused this low turnout, though the town officials did all they could to prepare the area for safety.
The new deputy clerk, Megan Paraspolo, was there for her first function. She had started in her position on March 2.
The votes were counted before town meeting and were ready for the moderator who announced them later in the evening. They are as follows: school board moderator, Ed Alkalay; three-year board member, Joe Ferris; treasurer, Anne Merrow; clerk, Anne Merrow; town moderator, Ed Alkalay; selectman, Hiland; clerk/tax collector, DeAnn LeBlanc; treasurer, Charles Merrow; cemetery trustee, Joe Ferris; trustee of the trust fund, Anne Merrow; supervisor of the check list for six-year term, Dorothy Solomon; supervisor of the checklist for two-year term, a tie between Cindy Barnacoat, Stanley Solomon and Peter DonKonkus. The winner of the tie will be determined at a later date. The one item on the ballot pertaining to the planning board was decided in favor of the sign ordinance as proposed.
When the clock hit 7 p.m., the doors were again opened for the public to enter. Once seated, there were 39 Albany voters in attendance. Ed Alkalay called the meeting to order. Leah Valladares once again was good enough to manage the microphone so that people who spoke could be heard by the audience and those watching Valley Vision. Valley Vision was on hand taping the meeting.
The meeting began with those representing the school board: Kevin Richard, superintendent of schools, and Joe Ferris and Colleen Cormack, Albany school board members. All were seated at the front table ready to answer any and all questions presented by the Legislative Body (those in attendance).
Moderator Ed Alkalay started the meeting. He went through each of the school board’s warrant articles (see page 87 in this year’s Town Report). There was discussion regarding the number of Albany children in school.
The superintendent said the number had stayed pretty steady over the past five years. It was also decided that purchasing a bus for transportation to and from school would not save any money. A plan to look into forming a committee to look into a cooperative school was suggested.
Once the school board was finished, Alkalay then went on to the Albany town meeting. Hiland introduced Kelley Collins, the newly hired town clerk who was sitting in the audience. She will officially start work on March 30.
Several questions regarding the budget and warrant articles were asked and answered (see pages 6-8 in this year’s Town Report). All 27 articles were passed. An additional article to disallow the White Mountain National Forest from purchasing any more land was added into the warrant articles.
Article 8 was amended to reduce the $1,000 for the cemetery trust fund to zero dollars. As a final note to the Albany Town Meeting, Hiland speaking for the town gave special recognition to Mary and Arthur Leavitt for their years of devotion to the town of Albany.
On Wednesday, March 11, the selectmen met for their regular meeting. The first thing on the agenda was the reorganization of the select board. Hiland was reelected as chair and Ryan was chosen vice-chair. Hiland was chosen to be the planning board representative, Ryan retained her place on the Conservation Commission, and Selectman Ferris retained his on the School Board.
It was decided that Ryan will file the MS-232 (budget that was approved at the town meeting). The selectmen voted to appoint Jake McKenzie to the Chapel Committee. McKenzie requested to be on the committee while at Town Meeting.
Selectman Hiland reported that the entire March 9 meeting of the planning board dealt with finalizing the new street standards and driveway regulation which will be presented for a public hearing tentatively scheduled for April 13. There was a public hearing regarding broadband legislation held March 11 and it went well. Some positive amendments were presented. The next phase is the legislature’s vote.
Ryan noted that the March 3 Conservation Commission meeting was canceled and the next meeting will be April 7 at 6 p.m.
The selectmen have been monitoring the statewide situation regarding the COVID-19 virus by conference calls, webinars, and getting daily reports from NHHHS and N.H. Emergency Management. They will continue to take all necessary precautions to keep the town of Albany safe.
The meeting was adjourned until the next selectmen’s meeting on March 18.
Our deepest condolences to the Ryan family on the death of Cathy’s father, Edward Westervelt and to Steve Parker and family on the death of his wife, Isabel.
All regular happenings at the Waldorf School, Library and Gibson Center have been canceled due to the virus problem.
Keep safe, keep healthy and that may mean staying home if necessary.
Send your news to Mary Leavitt at (603) 367-9133 or Dorothy Solomon at (603) 447-1199.