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Suncook Valley Regional Town Assn. MInutes 07/23/2009
Suncook Valley Regional Town Association
Meeting Minutes

Meeting Date:  July 23, 2009
Minutes Prepared By:  Bruce Dyke
In Attendance:
Jim Barnard - Town of Barnstead - Selectman
Bob Blodgett - Town of Epsom - Selectman
Bruce Dyke - Chichester Town Organization Committee
Stephanie Gray - Town of Strafford - Selectwoman
David Jodoin - Town of Pembroke - Town Administrator
Jeff Jordan - Town of Chichester - Selectman
David Kerr - Town of Barnstead - Selectman
Roger LaFleur - Town of Allenstown - Selectman
Gordon Preston - Town of Barnstead - Selectman
Ed Vien - Town of Pittsfield - Selectman
Location:  Pittsfield Town Office
Minutes Approved: September 17, 2009

  • The meeting was called to order at 7:00 by Bruce Dyke
  • The draft minutes of the May 7, 2009 meeting were reviewed and comments/changes were solicited.  A motion was made by Ed Vien to accept the minutes as presented and seconded by Gordon Preston.  The minutes were approved unanimously.
  • Bruce Dyke informed the group that he had another discussion with Northwood's Town Administrator after the last meeting who indicated that Northwood was still interested in joining the SVRTA.  However, he had received no recent confirmation from Northwood regarding the issue and since the have not attended the last few meetings, the group decided to drop this issue until such time as Northwood contacts us.
  • On a related topic, Gordon Preston indicated that New Durham had expressed interest in joining the SVRTA, but their main interest at this time was to take advantage of our health insurance agreement.  The group discussed whether such ìselectiveî involvement is something we'd want to exist and agreed it was not of interest.
  • Stephanie Gray posed the question to the group as to how big we'd want the SVRTA to become.  Bob Blodgett mentioned that the group may want to keep itself focused on towns actually (geographically) within the Suncook Valley.  Bruce suggested that towns expressing interest in joining be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for the time being, but indicated that keeping the SVRTA focused on towns with similar demographics and close proximity to one another was important.
  • Gordon Preston indicated that he had received info. from all towns regarding their plow blade edge requirements and was waiting for pricing information, which should be coming soon.  Once received, he'll forward to Bruce for distribution to the group.
  • Bruce distributed a document summarizing the annual, estimated road salt usage for SVRTA towns, which was a follow-up to the May meeting's discussion about potential bulk purchase discounts.  Total salt usage for all towns is approx. 6,000 tons per year, with approx. 3,000 tons still not ordered for the upcoming winter.  Roger LaFleur was going to ask the Allenstown Road Agent to pursue any potential group discount and provide any such info. to Bruce for distribution to the group.
  • As a follow-up to a potential group purchase discount specific to copier paper, which was discussed during May's meeting, Bruce distributed a summary of paper usage for all SRVTA towns.  Since the total annual usage is estimated at 272 cases (2,720 reams), the group felt there was probably little, if any potential for additional/meaningful savings and decided to abandon any further pursuit of this for the time being.  However, David Jodoin did indicate that SAU 15 was part of a group purchase arrangement for paper that many other schools use.  It's possible that other SAU's (and possibly towns) may be able to join this or similar groups.
  • David Jodoin mentioned that he came across a company that sells refurbished printer ink cartridges, which may be of interest to towns.  He will provide info. to Bruce for distribution to the group.
  • The group discussed the anticipated impact of the recently passed NH State budget on town revenues for the upcoming two years.  It was noted that the cuts will impact Revenue Sharing and Rooms/Means tax funds.  It will also pass more burden regarding NH Retirement system contributions on to the towns.  The group discussed any ways in which the SVRTA could help influence the votes of local Legislators through increased dialogue and educating them with regard to the impact of such budget changes.  However, no immediate actions were suggested by the group at this time.
  • The group spent the remainder of the meeting jointly developing questions to be included in a detailed questionnaire to be given to the Police Departments within the SVRTA towns.  Since PD related collaboration opportunities have come-up in almost every meeting, it was suggested that a more focused effort be made to understand the similarities & differences of the area PDs and gather more specific info. regarding operational practices and available resources in order to more clearly determine which collaborative opportunities should be pursued by the group.  Bruce provided the group with the results matrix from a similar effort undertaken by the Chichester Committee on Town Organization in 2006.  The group agreed that was a good baseline for the new questionnaire and several other items were suggested.  Bruce will draft a new questionnaire and distribute for review.  The hope is to finalize and distribute the new questionnaires to each Police Department prior to the next SVRTA meeting.
  • The next meeting will be Thursday, September 17th at 7pm.  The location will be at the Allenstown Town Hall.
A motion was made to adjourn the meeting by Roger LaFleur and seconded by Stephanie Gray. The meeting adjourned at 8:50pm

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