News & Views
Photo of Sandwich Village by Joe Janis
September 29: Fall colors have arrived early and remind us of the seasonal shift in town priorities. During our regular meeting, we completed our sealed bid process for abandoned boats from Little’s Pond and if you might be interested in a canoe or kayak at a great price please examine our remaining inventory at the Transfer Station. We plan to liquidate all inventory later in October – stay tuned!
Julie Dolan provided a Broadband Advisory Committee update and reviewed ongoing work to secure new sources of federal funding while also voicing continued support of the NH Electric Co-op’s ballot initiative that will enable it to act nimbly upon opportunities to support broadband efforts within member towns. The Co-op owns most of the power poles in town. The Selectmen enthusiastically support this initiative and the creative and dogged dedication of the Broadband Committee.
Three community members have graciously offered to participate in the 2021 budget season that is scheduled to kick-off Tuesday October 13th at 5 pm; we are excited to work with Griff O’Brien, Julie Dolan, and Roger Plimmer as we look ahead to what is shaping up to be a financially uncertain year. As the Selectmen consider weighing capital and operating expenses, we have also begun building tours to better familiarize ourselves with the needs of town buildings. As always, our goal is to strike the delicate balance between keeping our tax rate low while providing quality municipal services. As a reminder (approximately): 43% of your property tax goes to support our local schools, 34% to support the town, 15% to state education, and 8% to Carroll County.
Combining resident input and their own deep understanding of traffic issues, Road Agent Jon Peaslee and Police Chief Varney provided recommendations on intersections in town, such as the intersection of Quaker Whiteface and Stevenson Hill roads, that would benefit from Stop Signs. Balancing public safety with a reluctance to put up too many signs, the Board agreed it be prudent to proactively place signs at selected intersections, particularly given the increase in traffic that we experienced this year.
Selectman Horn updated the Board on a much needed paving project at the Central Fire House. The Highway Department will be working to support the Fire Department’s paving project and we look forward to the project’s completion before plowing season is upon us. As a reminder, this is a good time to think about preparing your car for winter. We live in a rural mountainous town and depend on residents to understand the tricky challenge of winter road conditions and support our road crew that works day and night to serve our community.
As the weather gets cooler and tax season approaches, the Town administration is devising a Town Hall re-opening plan, mindful of safety precautions and subject to modification; under current conditions, Town Hall is scheduled to open for Tuesdays and Thursdays only starting Tuesday October 13th. As a reminder, all town business is still conducted by phone, mail, or outside.
Our Town Clerk/Tax Collector and elections team received much positive feedback regarding residents’ experiences casting Absentee Ballots last Saturday. Staff have been working diligently to ensure an efficient and smooth voting process in the safest manner possible this season and we greatly appreciate the Sandwich Fair Association’s willingness to support this major lift.
In an effort to support our town employees, we are reviewing HR processes and procedures to enhance productivity, support resilient problem-solving, and encourage a heart of service to our town, our residents, and fellow town employees. Our workforce is deeply proud of our town and genuinely appreciates your support and understanding. We accomplish everything that a larger town is expected to do, only with fewer staff.
Lastly, the Board engaged in ongoing discussion to address a property which was improved without advanced approval from the Town. The owner is working to bring the property in compliance; as a reminder, town staff are happy to answer any questions regarding permitting, current use and other related property improvement questions. There is much information also available on the town website: www.sandwichnh.org.
Board of Selectmen
News & Views
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