SELECTMEN’S WORKSHOP Monday, September 15, 2008 4:00 P.M. Meredith Community Center 1 Circle Drive Room C
AGENDA W 08-36
Certificate of Authorizing Resolution – Insurances (Tabled at 9/08/08 Selectmen’s Meeting)
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Emergency Watershed Program
New Hampshire Lakes Association – Project for Grant Funds - Lake Waukewan
The Town of Meredith complies with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with regard to access to meeting sites, programs and/or information. If you require accommodations for access and/or programs or information, please contact the Town Manager’s Office at least five (5) working days prior to the day of the hearing regarding your specific needs at our telephone number (603) 279-4538 or TTD (603) 279-4538.
Office of the Town Manager Experience the Magic of Meredith
Board of Selectmen
Carol M. Granfield, Town Manager
September 11, 2008
9/15/08 BOS Workshop - Agenda Items
W 08-36 There are no further materials on this matter. Please bring the materials provided in the 9/8/08 Selectmenâ€™s Meeting packet. Jonathan Steiner, Local Government Centerâ€™s Associate Executive Director for Member Services, will be present to answer questions from the Board. W 08-40 There are no written materials associated with this item as it will be a discussion with Bill Bayard, CIP Chair.
Article published Jan 17, 2008
Energy upgrades cut costs at Inter-Lakes schools Energy costs and usage at Inter-Lakes schools are down following the installation of a new heating system. The system was approved by voters at the 2006 school district meeting to replace the heating systems in the high school, elementary school and Sandwich Central School. The previous systems were aging and costing more in repairs while not being energy efficient. Voters approved entering into a 15-year lease agreement with Honeywell costing around $2.3 million. Honeywell installed a solar panel to supplement the hot water system, reducing oil consumption. Energy management systems were also installed to optimize energy consumption as well as new ventilation, carbon dioxide and temperature controls and high-efficiency lighting. The company also installed motors with variable frequency drives, occupancy light sensors, building exterior upgrades and fuel oil preheaters. All of these improvements have been meant to reduce energy consumption and make the system more efficient. Similar improvements were made in the Berlin School District by Honeywell to create more energy efficiency and minimize energy costs. "By using green technology and conservation measures, the infrastructure upgrades in both districts will dramatically reduce carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other toxic emissions that result from burning oil or producing electricity," read a statement from Honeywell dated Jan. 2007. "The projects are expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions, for example, by 2,700 tons per year. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing more than 520 cars from the road or conserving 5,600 barrels of oil." "The solar panels and other upgrades from Honeywell will help us enact a recently-adopted policy of increasing energy efficiency across all systems," Superintendent Philip McCormack said in the Honeywell statement. "In addition to boosting efficiency and lower operating costs, we're enhancing indoor air quality and providing students with better, healthier schools." Since the system's installation was completed last September, Inter-Lakes officials have noticed a significant drop in energy costs. According to the district's end-of-the-year budget summary report, kilowatt hour usage of electricity was down 57 percent and the district's average daily costs were down 39 percent. Building and grounds Supervisor Walter Smolnik told the School Board during its Jan. 8 meeting that there has been a drop in the amount of oil used at Inter-Lakes. "The new Honeywell system that's in, it's been a dream to work with," Smolnik said, remarking on how easy the system has been to run. Sandwich Central School principal John Hansen told the board during the same meeting that workers from Honeywell came into the building saying the computer sensors indicated the heat had stopped working in one of the storerooms. Upon further inspection, the room in question was a center for the sprinkler systems and had dropped to 45 degrees by the time workers came in. "If that had not been found that day, we would not have had school the next day," Hansen said.
From the New Hampshire Handbook on Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Pages 9-12
Energy Committee Guide Form and Structure a Town Energy Committee 1. Assemble a great committee The first step is to identify citizens representing various constituencies who are interested in working on energy and climate change issues. Secure support and establish a coalition of partners who will lend capacity, diversity, and expertise to the efforts. Identify an individual willing to chair the committee. This job includes calling meetings, drafting agendas, and keeping the process moving. This person could be the same as the project champion A town energy committee is an excellent way to encourage community volunteerism from individuals who may not have been involved in town activities or citizen action in the past. Look to fresh faces for some of the committee members - existing town committee members are often tapped out! 2. Select the best structure for your committee There are numerous ways to approach this process. Identify the most appropriate group structure to advance the town's energy or climate action project. The structure of the group may depend on such factors as buy-in from the local government, the municipality's capacity to "staff" the committee, volunteer capacity, the complexity of the project, or the most strategic way to advance short- and long-term goals. Here are four examples of the type of committee structure you could employ. Pick the one that works best for your community: Administrative Committee Typically, this type of committee would form under the local governing body or ranking administrative official in the town. Some elements of this committee worth attention during formation are: These committees may have more legitimacy in the public's eye, more direct access to the town and the Board of Selectmen, and municipal funding for initiatives. These committees would likely include municipal department heads and other officials, and may function more effectively at start-up because of their greater access to information and town records. If comprised of municipal officials or employees, such a committee may appear to be less responsive to the citizens. With less room for other members, such committees may have difficulty in bringing new citizens into the effort and public outreach. As with any government-related committee structure, such groups must be cognizant of attempts to influence their outcomes and limit their autonomy. The committee must be ready to deal with such influences by focusing on their goals, objectives, and mission statements. The following are examples of Ordinances and Administrative Directives to form this type of committee. Keene Ordinance Nashua Ordinance Model By-law Conservation Commission Subcommittee If the governing body has signaled reluctance in supporting these efforts or is not ready or willing to advance a proposed project initiative, it might be more beneficial to form a subcommittee of the Conservation Commission. Such a committee may have less buy-in from government officials and have an uphill battle for municipal projects.
These committees may find more support from the Conservation Commission in terms of educational efforts. Such committees may benefit from the established reputation and educational channels of the Conservation Commission. Committees in this form would likely focus on education and influence rather than actual projects for their accomplishments. Planning Board Subcommittee The Planning Board may represent a balanced approach for some communities. Given its experience with fiscal realities (through its own examination of municipal expenses gathered mostly though CIP planning and impact fee development) and its foundation in the development process, planning boards are exposed to a wide range of development issues, costs, and should have been exposed to a number of issues relating to environmental impacts, economic development, and utility planning. The Planning Board provides a unique model within which to operate for New Hampshire. The State has declared (RSA 672:1) that one of the central purposes of planning and zoning is to achieve the following through legislative action: III-a. Proper regulations encourage energy efficient patterns of development, the use of solar energy, including adequate access to direct sunlight for solar energy uses, and the use of other renewable forms of energy, and energy conservation... Further specific authority has been granted for planning and suggesting projects and municipal improvements that relate to the future needs of a community with respect to energy and utilities. RSA 674:1. The Planning Board is also charged with community and fiscal planning for energy and other municipal facilities in its master plan and the capital improvements program. RSA 674:2 and 674:3. Finally, the planning board is the primary author and administrator of development ordinances and regulations. This role includes specific authority to adopt codes that are more strict than state building codes. RSA 155A:2(VI). Additional specific authority is granted to encourage the installation of renewable energy facilities through zoning (RSA 674:17), and development regulations (RSA 674:36). Such a committee would benefit from the information already available to the planning board in the master plan and, if present, a capital improvements program. With support and input from the board, these committees would have greater ability to assess and influence the regulatory process for the town if such a project is desired. These committees may not be as closely connected to the day-to-day fiscal decisions as an administrative committee but may benefit from long-range planning. The planning board support could include funding, expertise, and consistency as these committees form. Ad-hoc Energy Committee The most "grassroots" form for an energy committee is the ad-hoc version. Potentially existing completely outside the municipal process, such a committee still has its own benefits and concerns and may be the only effective format in certain cases. Such committees could rise out of communities that have not passed the Climate Change Resolution, or where there is simply a lack of will or support to follow through with the resolution's recommendation for a town-authorized committee. These committees would be challenged to prove their worth and must make important initial decisions about their goals and objectives. Committees may initially decide to try to influence the town administration to recognize it or may chose to forego this challenge and dive right into some real grassroots projects. Committees may find themselves leaning toward this form if they are inclined to be free of any influence or control from the government structure. One great opportunity in such committees is the ability to look beyond the town's boundaries for members, projects, and influence.
Staff Report ENERGY COMMITTEE September 15, 2008 Background: At the 2007 Town Meeting, a warrant article was passed asking the Board of Selectmen to consider the appointment of a voluntary energy committee. Issue: To consider the appointment of a Town of Meredith Energy Committee. Discussion: The warrant article and vote from the 2007 Town Meeting are attached (see Article 8). There have been some regional energy meetings that Town staff has attended since that time as well as reviewing information on various websites. The Town has been working with various resources regarding energy improvements, which include NH Electric Cooperativeâ€™s evaluation of our Town facilities. Additionally, energy efficiencies are being explored at the water plant. At the Meredith Ideas session this year, an idea was also brought forth to establish a green/energy committee. The Selectmen may want to visit the website: http://www.cleanair-coolplanet.org/for_communities/energyguide.php. Recently, Bill Bayard requested that the Selectmen schedule a Workshop to discuss the establishment of an energy committee. He will present his suggestions in discussion with the Board. Bill has provided the attached article on energy upgrades at Inter-Lakes schools, along with an excerpt from a handbook pertaining to the structure of a committee. Fiscal Impact: Unknown; dependent upon the type of committee created. Town Manager Recommendation: Consideration of the establishment of a committee is recommended as it may generate some cost-effective measures.
_________________________ Carol M. Granfield Town Manager
New Hampshire Lakes Association
Lake Conservation CorpsSM “Adolescents Getting Hands Dirty and Feet Wet” The Lake Conservation CorpsSM (“LCC”) is a summer lake stewardship learning program that will engage 8th through 12th grade students. Paid students (Tier 1 includes 8th graders; Tier 2 includes 9th and 10th graders; Tier 3 includes 11th and 12th graders) will perform hands-on water quality testing and shoreline and watershed land restoration projects to improve water quality, wildlife habitat and resource protection. These projects will be accomplished with guidance from local science teachers in partnership with state agencies, local towns, conservation commissions, schools, and lake associations. The program is coordinated by the New Hampshire Lakes Association (NH LAKES). The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension will provide water quality testing, erosion control methods and project design expertise to Lake Conservation CorpsSM students and local coordinators. Professional development and technical training in watershed management and land restoration techniques for local coordinators will be provided. Plymouth State University will be involved in teacher certification for teachers participating as local coordinators. In addition to the local goal of protecting the natural resources of New Hampshire, the overarching long-term objective of the program is to foster an awareness among adolescents of environmental issues and a lifelong interest in stewardship and the New Hampshire quality of life. During 2007, the program's first pilot year, NH LAKES, in partnership with the Newfound Lake Region Association, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, and the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance, paid students to construct a rain garden that reduces the amount of polluted water running off of the developed landscape and into a river. NH LAKES is currently planning two additional pilot projects to be completed in 2008. After the pilot program in 2007-08, contingent upon funding, NH LAKES anticipates that the program will become statewide, seeking local coordinators and natural resource specialists to recruit and oversee teams of students to do land restoration service projects around area lakes and rivers. NH LAKES envisions that the Lake Conservation CorpsSM program will attract students using incentives that may include a combination of wages, course credits or tuition waivers from the University System of New Hampshire. NH LAKES will encourage a statewide bank to create high yield accounts for students to deposit future tuition money that might be matched by the bank or local businesses. For more information, contact NH LAKES at (603) 226-0299 or email@example.com.
Staff Report NEW HAMPSHIRE LAKES ASSOCIATION PROJECT FOR GRANT FUNDS - LAKE WAUKEWAN September 15, 2008 Background: In 2005, Lake Waukewan Watershed was one of two watersheds selected for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Serviceâ€™s (DES) Watershed Approach Pilot Program. A grant was awarded to the Town in the amount of $50,000. Work under this program focused on collecting biological and chemical water quality data through Plymouth State University (PSU). Additionally, the PSU graduate program conducted supplemental research in the Waukewan Watershed regarding the correlation between impervious surface and water quality. The work has been completed and reports will be presented at the Community Center on October 17.
Issue: Determine, at a conceptual level, if the Board of Selectmen support moving forward with NH Lakes Association and partners to implement a demonstration project for the purpose of public education on the importance of Lake Waukewanâ€™s water quality.
Discussion: According to DES, there is $21,920 of funding that still remains from the pilot program that must be spent by September 30, 2009. The Waukewan Watershed Advisory Committee (WWAC) and DES have met to discuss ways in which the balance of the funds can be utilized to help advance aspects of the Waukewan Watershed Management Plan. This discussion was expanded to include NH Lakes Association. The concept of a project to educate the public on the importance of water quality through a demonstration project was developed. The outcome of these discussions is a conceptual proposal to (1) promote local awareness regarding shoreline protection and (2) protect water quality of Lake Waukewan through the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for water quality.
NH Lakes expressed interest in managing this project through the Lake Conservation Corps, a lake stewardship learning program with students (see attached program description). More specifically, our discussions have centered around two possible locations; a private shoreline property and the park located at the Waukewan boat launch. At both locations, the project would include implementing techniques and practices to protect prevent erosion and water quality through landscape and infiltration of storm water runoff. This project will be a partnership between the Town of Meredith, NH Lakes Association, Inter-Lakes School District, DES, and possibly Plymouth State University. NH Lakes Association is developing a proposal for DES and the project partners to review. A revised grant must be developed, with specifics that have yet to be worked out, such as the grant match requirement. NH Lakes Association will be assuming the responsibility of administering the grant funds as well as coordinating the project. The WWAC have recommended proceeding with this proposal and Mike Faller is supportive of the project at the park. Final approval of the proposal is necessary from the Town.
Fiscal Impact: Unknown at this time; may require some Town assistance from Public Works personnel and equipment.
Angela LaBrecque, Town Planner
Town Manager Recommendation: This is for informational purposes. At this time, it is recommended to proceed with the partnership, and revised grant, and support this project on a conceptual basis.
_________________________ Carol M. Granfield Town Manager 2
Town of Meredith OFFICE OF THE SELECTMEN PETER F. BROTHERS Chairman
September 15, 2008
Mike Watson Acting State Conservationist Natural Resources Conservation Services United States Department of Agriculture 11 Industrial Park Drive Walpole, NH 03608
Dear Mr. Watson: Due to the August 7, 2008 flood, we would like to request USDA and NRCS technical and financial assistance through the Emergency Watershed Protection program. We understand there is a 75/25 match and 25% would come from the Town or landowner through the Town. Also, the Town would be responsible for obtaining property access rights to the areas receiving assistance. We are looking forward to learning more about how this program works and we thank you in advance for any assistance you may offer with this endeavor. Sincerely,
Peter F. Brothers Chairman, Board of Selectmen
41 Main Street
Meredith, New Hampshire 03253 Tel (603) 677-4205 Fax (603) 279-1153 Website: www.meredithnh.org
Staff Report USDA NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION SERVICE (NRCS) EMERGENCY WATERSHED PROTECTION PROGRAM (EWP) September 15, 2008 Background: On Thursday, August 7, 2008, we experienced a significant flash flood event. This event caused considerable damage to our roads and to private property. On September 5, 2008, three counties were designated for public assistance due to severe storms and flooding (Belknap, Coos and Grafton). Individual assistance was not included. DPW is pursuing FEMA reimbursement for impacts to our roads. As part of our effort to see if any financial assistance may be available to private properties damaged by the recent flash flood, we inquired about the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP), administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Subsequently, we received a letter dated 8/14/08 from Mike Lynch, District Conservationist, NRCS Concord Field Office, which was sent to towns in Belknap County (see attached). In this letter, NRCS encourages towns to seek an initial consultation to learn more about the program and to review eligibility requirements. On 9/10/08, I met with Jeff Tenley, a Civil Engineer with NRCS, for the purpose of an initial consultation. We visited nine sites. Three of the sites were tributaries entering Meredith Bay and the other six impacted Lake Waukewan. Of the six sites impacting Lake Waukewan, four were in Meredith, one in New Hampton, and one in Center Harbor.
Issue: Private properties have been damaged in ways as to represent on-going threats to water quality absent some form of remediation. Such threats may not be covered by insurance or under other programs such as FEMA.
Discussion: Program Purpose The Emergency Watershed Program (EWP) was set up by Congress to: ď‚ˇ
Respond to emergencies created by natural disasters
Relieve imminent hazards to life and property
Help address common problems (such as the necessity of protecting the lake from further stream erosion)
Program Specifics 1. The EWP provides both technical and financial assistance. 2. NRCS may provide up to 75% of total funds needed, the remaining 25% can come from local sources and can be in the form of cash or in-kind services. 3. Typical projects include: clearing debris from clogged stream channels, restoring vegetation, stabilizing eroded stream banks. 4. Work under the EWP must yield benefits to more than one person, be economically and environmentally sound, and be stable from an engineering standpoint. 5. Repairs to private or public transportation facilities are not eligible. 6. Public and private landowners are eligible for assistance but must be represented by a project sponsor. 7. The sponsor must be a legal unit of government, such as a town. 8. The sponsor is responsible for furnishing the local cost share (25%), however, the local share can come from the governmental sponsor, the private property owner, or a combination of both. 9. Sponsors are responsible for providing land rights to do the repair work and are responsible for securing the necessary permits. 10. Sponsors are responsible for installing the work thru locally led contracts. 11. The Town may be reimbursed for contract administration for up to 3%. 12. NRCS would conduct the necessary inspections to ensure compliance with the plans and specifications. Process According to the NRCS, the general process is as follows: 1. The town needs to send a written request to Mike Watson, Acting State Conservationist, to seek assistance under the Emergency Watershed Protection Program. (NRCS has provided a copy of a letter from their files that has been placed on Town of Meredith letterhead as a draft for your consideration. It is attached for reference). 2. After receiving the request, the State Conservationist then directs a Damage Survey Team to inspect each eligible site and to make a Damage Survey Report (DSR). The DSR will include engineering, economic, environmental, and sociological components. This inspection occurs usually within a week or so of receiving a request for assistance.
3. The completed DSR, including cost estimates, is submitted to the town within a week or two of the team inspection. The town is asked to sign off on the report, thereby agreeing to fulfill responsibilities as a sponsor, including an agreement to furnish the 25% match. 4. NRCS NH submits their requests to Washington, DC for project funding. There is no certainty as to funding availability for this program. Potentially Eligible Properties I have requested input from all departments affected by the flood or having contact with the public regarding flood damage. Additionally, I sought input from the Waukewan Watershed Advisory Committee, through Chairman Bruce Bond, and from Angela LaBrecque, Town Planner. As a result, I have been made aware of a total of nine (9) possible candidates, seven in Meredith, one in New Hampton, and one in Center Harbor. On September 10, 2008, I met with Jeff Tenley of NRCS to inspect the (9) damaged properties brought to my attention. Based on his inspection, seven of the nine sites were determined to be ineligible. Two sites in Meredith were determined to be potentially eligible. Site No. 1 Damage: It appears that Neal Brook jumped its banks at its intersection with Westbury Road. As the flood waters made its way back to the brook, it eroded an embankment. This bank sloughing could potentially undermine the road and be a source of sedimentation downstream (see attached photos # 1-3 for reference). Site No. 2 Damage: An intermittent stream beyond the terminus of Wall Street was overwhelmed during the flood event, creating a significant scoured area and significant channel erosion and lake siltation (see attached photos # 4-6 for reference).
Fiscal Impact: The fiscal impact to the Town of Meredith is undeterminable at present. As the process develops, the Town would need to determine whether to participate financially or not. Using public money on private property raises a flag. There would need to be a demonstrable public benefit in order to do so. This issue should be examined further. The sponsoring community would need to secure land rights to do the repair work, however, I assume that if we donâ€™t have a willing property owner we would not advance the project.
The sponsoring community may incur costs to administer the contract, some of which may be reimbursable. Additionally, there would be some incidental costs associated with permitting. Recommendations 1. Authorize the letter to NRCS requesting assistance including cost estimates. 2. Obtain a legal read-out on the issue of in-kind services and/or direct town financial participation with improvements to private property. 3. Begin a dialogue with the private property owners regarding the possible projects to determine their willingness to participate financially, levels of cooperation, etc. 4. When the DSRâ€™s come through, revisit the situation and, based on what is known at that time, determine whether to be a project sponsor.
John C. Edgar, Community Development Director
Town Manager Recommendation: Concur with the four recommendations listed.
_________________________ Carol M. Granfield Town Manager