The Select Board will be presenting at Town Caucus on Wednesday, February 15, at 7 pm in the Town Hall. As always, our goal for Caucus will be to provide you with as much information as we can so that you will be an informed voter at Town Meeting. We’ll organize this report in the […]
I’d like to announce that with the Select Board’s approval, I have hired Karen Castelli as my new Deputy Clerk. Karen comes to this position with an excellent job history and references. She has a pleasant outgoing personality and a positive attitude that will fit in nicely with this office. I am looking forward to working with her. We are also very fortunate to have Teri Upton, the current Deputy, staying on until Karen has fully completed her training with the state. Please extend a hearty welcome to Karen the next time you are in the Town Office.
Town Clerk/Tax Collector
I have a couple of topics for my report today, Town Building Projects and Property Taxes
Our Town Buildings Committee and Grant Writers have been making good progress in developing designs for our Town Hall restoration work and in acquiring grants to help with its funding. As you may recall the Select Board was charged, by the 2013 Town Meeting, to hire an architect to develop construction drawings and specifications for Town Hall renovations and for the remodeling of the Library basement. These drawings and specifications are to be used to acquire bids for the completion of these two projects. Final designs and costs for completion of these projects will be brought to Town Meeting 2014 for the approval of the Town.
We have received a “Moose Plate Grant” in the amount of $10,000 to be used for the restoration of the windows in the Town Hall. This money must be spent before the end of 2014. However this work should be done only after all necessary jacking or squaring of the building has been completed. No matching funds are required for the use of this grant. In addition, we have applied once again for a New Hampshire LCHIP, (Land and Community Heritage Investment Program), grant for the renovations needed for the Town Hall. This year we have applied for $100,000 from LCHIP. The award of the LCHIP grant does require the local contribution of matching funds. Our thanks go to our Grant Writers, Susan Hansel, Lisa Sieverts, and Bert Wingerson for their great work. Continue Reading »
A Message from the Nelson Town Cemetery Board
Dear Burial Lot Deedholders,
This letter is to remind you that our cemetery Rules and Regulations limit what may be placed on and planted at graves.These rules apply to both the Nelson and Munsonville cemeteries. All holders of cemetery deeds agree to these requirements when they acquire burial lots. These regulations are posted below, and also Nelson Cemetery Rules and Regulations.
Please note the “Monuments and Grave Markers” and “Plantings and Decorations” sections. Wooden, glass, concrete, metal, plaster of Paris and plastic articles, as well as glass containers and artificial flowers and plants, are not allowed on graves. To simplify maintenance, there are also limitations on where shrubs, flowers, vases, urns and potted plants may be placed.
The Cemetery Board “may remove anything placed on any lot in violation of these rules and regulations.” Also, “any object . . . which the Cemetery Board considers offensive, improper or detrimental to the general appearance of the cemetery shall be removed after notification to the lot owner or the heirs.” Continue Reading »
As I reported on 4/20, your Select Board has been working with Rick Lothrop to develop job descriptions for three leadership positions for our Fire Department; Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief for Operations and Deputy Fire Chief for Administration. During this process we have also consulted with Chief Dennis Rosolen of the NH Bureau of Firefighter Training and Certification and Mr. Ron O’Keefe our Safety Advisor for our liability insurance carrier at the Local Government Center and former Fire Chief for the Town of Durham, NH. All three of these gentlemen concur with the duties and required qualifications described in these job descriptions [download]. The Select Board approved these job descriptions on June 5th and has reopened the application period for these positions for those members of the Nelson Fire Department who wish to apply. The application period will remain open until the positions are filled, or until the Select Board becomes convinced that all members of the Nelson Fire Department who wish to apply have done so. Continue Reading »
Well, it’s been about a month since my last report, and your Select Board hasn’t been short of things to do during that time. Our major activities have been related to collaborating with our Fire Chief to develop job descriptions for the Fire Chief and for two new positions that we call Deputy Chief of Operations and Deputy Chief of Administration. Also, we’ve been working with the Old Home Day Committee to define how the Select Board can sponsor the Old Home Day events that make use of Town property. And lastly, I’m writing to announce a one-time special program to help landowners, those with mowed lawns that merge directly with our dirt roads, with Spring clean-up of rocks and gravel left there by our snow plowing operations this past Winter.
As you may know, our Fire Chief, Rick Lothrop, will be retiring from his position as Chief on the 30th of this month. Before we could proceed with electing Rick’s successor, we agreed that we needed to have a job description, for the Fire Chief, that would allow both the Select Board and the candidates for the position to understand our performance expectations. Continue Reading »
The topic of my report today is Town Services and Projects for 2013.
Thanks to the actions taken at Town Meeting, we are well positioned to provide the services that we need in 2013. Our Administrative Office will be properly staffed so that we can effectively and efficiently continue to serve the people and to manage the work of our Town government. Our Town Clerk/Tax Collector’s Office will have the resources, time and materials, that it needs in order to accomplish all of its objectives and responsibilities, as will our Library, our Highway Department, our Fire Department and our Police Department.
The position of Administrative Assistant will continue as one that is full-time. By doing so, we can fairly compensate our present Administrative Assistant for her efforts and contributions to the success of our Town Office, while at the same time we will be able to establish a job description with pay and benefits that will allow the Town to continue to employ a capable and knowledgeable individual in this position. Having a full-time Administrative Assistant who is responsible for the operations of our Town Office not only makes good sense from a management standpoint but also provides the administrative continuity that Select Boards need as their memberships change. Continue Reading »
Please welcome the following individuals who have stepped up (or renewed) to serve our community.
Selectman – Susan Hansel, term expires 2016
Town Clerk/Tax collector – Julia Lennon, term expires 2016
Trustee of the Library – Linda Cates, term expires 2016
Susan Kingsbury, term expires 2016
Cemetery Board – D. Judi Lang, term expires 2016
Emergency Management Officer – Dennis Dellagreca, term expire 2014
Planning Board Member – Donna Kidd, term expires 2016
Planning Board Member – David Bower, term expires 2014
Road Equipment committee – Jason P. Walter, term expires 2016
Zoning Board of Adjustment – Jason P. Walter, term expires 2016
Treasurer – John Shea, term expires 2014
I’m writing today to share with you the Warrant that we will be presenting at Town Caucus this coming Wednesday evening, February 13, beginning at 7 pm in the Town Hall. Our final draft of this document is provided (click to download pdf) . I’m also providing the answers to many of the questions that were asked at our Select Board meeting on Jan. 23 (click to download pdf). As a result of some of the questions that we heard on Jan. 23, we have made changes in the draft Warrant that we presented at that time. These changes relate specifically to the Town Building Projects and the changes that we are recommending for the Elderly Property Tax Exemption.
In consideration of the accumulating uncertainty in both the costs of and the funding options for our building projects, as well as the tragic death of our architect, Rick Monahon, we believe that it is best that we proceed this year by hiring an architect, developing detail drawings and bid packages, and acquiring bids from contractors that we can bring to the Town for action in 2014. In this way we can all be more confident in our knowledge of the work that is to be done and the impact of the costs of that work on our Town Budget.
The second change that we have made is an adjustment to our proposed improvements in the benefits provided by the Elderly Property Tax Exemption in Nelson. State law allows the Town to establish the amounts of reduction in the assessed value of property owned by residents who are at least 65 years of age. To qualify, taxpayers must have incomes and assets within limits that can also be established by the Town. This year we are recommending changes in the amounts of reduction in assessed value and the income and asset limits that have been in place in the towns surrounding Nelson during 2012. As a result of our discussions on Jan. 23, we have reduced the asset limit that we had originally proposed at $100,000 to $60,000 for single folks and $75,000 for married couples. Those wondering if they qualify for the Elderly Tax Exemption can either contact me via phone or email or Edie in the Town Office.
That’s all for now. I hope to see you at Town Caucus next Wednesday evening.
A couple of themes come to mind for inclusion in my report today. One is roads and the other is our activities related to our preparations for Town Meeting 2013.
Perhaps everyone has noticed by now that the paint stripes, both the center lines and the fog lines, are in place on the State highway between the Tolman Pond Road and Route 9. This project was completed thanks to the initiative of Police Chief Pratt. He communicated his intentions to have the road painted to the State Highway Department and contracted the services of MARKINGS Inc., of Pembroke, Mass, a contractor used by the State of NH, when it chooses to paint its highways. Both the Select Board and the Nelson Police Department had previously complained to the State Highway Dept., on three separate occasions, that we were extremely disappointed that it could not, or would not, meet its obligations to make our State highways as safe as possible.
The total cost of this painting work is $2745. To date, Chief Pratt and others have raised a total of $2350 in pledges and donations to privately pay for this work. The Select Board has voted to cover any deficiencies, in the amount raised privately, with funds from the Town budget. With only $395 remaining to be raised this is not a great deal to ask of the Town. However, I personally oppose using Town funds to pay for a State obligation. I would be much more comfortable if we could raise the remaining $395 through additional private contributions. If you believe, as I do, that we should not use Town funds for this project and would like to contribute so that we can fund all of the cost privately, please contact me by phone at 847-3449, or by email. Thanks. Continue Reading »
Well, there goes September. As the cooler weather descends upon us, we begin to think of wood piles and weather stripping and leaf raking. Your Select Board’s thinking about Town Budget Development and Warrant Articles for 2013, and preparing our Town Report for 2012. We hope to have as much of this work as possible completed by the end of this year. We are scheduling our activities accordingly.
Projects that we have initiated that may have an impact on our proposed budget include a study of the safety of our Granite Lake Boat Launch Ramp, continuation of our traffic volume and speed studies, and increased support for our Nelson Fire and Rescue Department.
A subject of study that has the potential for saving us money is the possibility of having our Town employees, those who participate in our Health Insurance Program, become members of the SAU 29 Health Insurance Pool. The rates for purchasing health insurance from the SAU 29 member pool are presently lower than those for the municipal employees pool of which we are now members. The health insurance coverage that we offer to our employees would not change. Continue Reading »
It’s been an all too short summer but a lovely one nonetheless. We’ve been invited to and did attend the Roxbury Bicentennial celebration, continued to make steady progress in our remodeling project for our Town Offices and to support the good work of our Town Buildings Committee, begun to conduct traffic studies to try to improve the safety of our town roads, hired a new Deputy Town Clerk/Tax Collector, and begun thinking about budget development for the upcoming year.
Back in July, the Select Boards of Nelson and Marlborough, and a representative of the Keene City government were invited to attend the Roxbury Bicentennial Celebration. We were advised that we would be given a commemorative piece of Roxbury granite. I was pleased to be able to attend this gathering on the 18th of August and to participate in the event. It turns out that back in the mid to late 18th century when the Townships of Packersfield, Marlboro, and Keene were incorporated, that there was no Roxbury. The folks living in Southwestern Packersfield, Northwestern Marlboro and Eastern Keene complained to the State Legislature that they needed to become an independent township so that they could worship and conduct town business without having to travel the great distances to the meeting houses located in Packersfield, Marlboro, or Keene. In 1812 their petition was granted by the Legislature and the new Town of Roxbury was incorporated on December 9th of that year. Land from Packersfield, Marlboro, and Keene was taken for that purpose. So, on August 18th of this year, the Town of Roxbury thanked Nelson, Marlborough, and Keene for their land and returned to each of us a piece of their town, an inscribed piece of granite. A photo of the gift to Nelson and the booklet produced for the bicentennial is attached. Both of these reside in our Town Archives if anyone would like to take a closer look. Continue Reading »
Finally, thanks to the diligent work of our contractor, Keene Commercial Interiors, and to the dedication and tolerance of Edie, Teri, and Edith, we are beginning to put the finishing touches on our Town Offices’ Remodeling Project while continuing to provide Town services out of the Old Brick Schoolhouse. Walls and finish work are in place and we are expecting that the interior painting will begin this week. Completion of the work, by our State imposed 9/30 deadline, appears to be well on its way.
That’s all for now. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of a pleasant summer in our great Town.
Our Nelson Fire and Rescue Department is no longer able to provide emergency medical rescue services. The two reasons for our present inability to provide these services are (1) we no longer have trained, licensed, and certified emergency medical service providers on the staff of our Fire Department and (2) because we do not have people with the required training and credentials, the State of NH has not renewed our Fire and Rescue Department’s license to operate an emergency medical rescue service.
We will continue to have emergency medical rescue services provided by our surrounding towns and Keene. We will be encouraging folks, who have interest in becoming trained and certified as emergency medical service providers, to do so. Fire Chief, Rick Lothrop, has developed the details describing the present status of the Nelson Rescue Department and the services that outside agencies will continue to provide to Nelson residents. (click here).
It’s very likely that it will require a considerable investment of both time and money for us to restore the medical services component to our Rescue Department. We will do our best to try to achieve that goal.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Thanks.
Dave Upton, Selectmen
Under the category of progress made, we have appointed Susan Hansel as a member of our Select Board and have awarded the contract for the security renovations of our Town Offices to Keene Commercial Interiors.
Susan has taken Warren Hammock’s seat on the Board after Warren’s resignation. Susan’s honesty, enthusiasm and love for our Town has made her a respected member of our community. She has served on the Nelson Planning Board, The Nelson Municipal Records Committee, the Friends of the Olivia Rodham Memorial Library, and the Nelson Grant Writing Group. Her knowledge and experience will serve her well as a member of the Nelson Select Board.
We opened the bids and awarded the contract for our Town Office security remodeling project on 7/12/12. We awarded the contract for this work to Keene Commercial Interiors. A spreadsheet showing the bids of the three firms that bid on our project is available [click to download]. David Drasba, our architect, has expressed his confidence in the capabilities of Keene Commercial Interiors and the company appears to be very willing to cooperate with us and the office staff to make sure we can do the necessary work with the least possible disruption. We will be closing the Town Offices for the week of August 12. During that week we expect that a majority of the rough-in work will be completed. We expect all of the work to be completed by mid September. If needs be, we can again close the Town Offices for a short period in September. We’re confident that the work will be completed by the State imposed deadline of September 30.
Under the category of not there yet, we still haven’t come to terms with our Farmers’ Market Committee relative to the insurances that they must have in order to conduct their market on Town property. I hope that we are making progress, but we still need to have our Town liability insurance carrier review and comment on the latest proposal from the Farmers’ Market Committee.
As always, your comments and suggestions will be appreciated.
On Tuesday June 26, 2012, with regret, the Nelson Board of Selectmen accepted the resignation of Warren Hammack.
The Board joins the community in extending thanks for the hard work, dedication, and countless hours spent on behalf of the Town of Nelson.
The town of Nelson has recently received the digitized copies of 5 books containing town records from 1802 to 1885. The contents include tax records and receipts, agreements and expense records for maintaining the town poor and a list of articles furnished by the committee for the poor farm. There is a list of jurors (1845-1875) and records of School District No. 5 (1820-1856), data that can be found nowhere else.
The Selectmen’s records from 1869-1884 list town expenditures and dog licenses issued 1884-1885. In the Selectmen’s book from 1802-1817 tax records are listed giving a clear picture of life in Nelson, naming the town officials at the time. Thaddeus Barker, John Breed, Josiah Robbins and George Tolman are but a few of the names mentioned in the records that span the whole of the 19th century. These volumes reveal how the schools, poor farm and roads were part of the social fabric of the community. They list who lived in the town and who were the tax collectors, selectmen and just ordinary citizens who paid taxes.
There will be a detailed index available for anyone wishing to do research. It will be
based on the index that exists in the Archives Office created by Bert Wingerson, Town
This project was made possible by a State of New Hampshire Conservation License Plant Grant, which allocates money raised from the extra cost of Moose plates to such worthy purposes. The original intent was to post these files on the web, however due to the size of the files, this is not practical. Copies are available on CD from the library, and it is permissible to copy the files from the CD onto your personal computer.
Through the work of the Town Buildings Renovation Committee, the Nelson Selectmen were made aware of safety, security, access, and confidentiality issues for two of the town buildings: issues that have potential litigation and liability consequences which would result in considerable expense to the town. The Selectmen, therefore, thought it prudent to get further expert opinion and contacted the Local Government Center. An inspection was conducted and the results are contained in the following letter to the Nelson Board of Selectmen and are hereby posted for your information. (click to see this document)
The Nelson Board of Selectmen