Saturday March 9, 2013

WALPOLE, N.H. -- A petition recommended for defeat by the town's Planning Board will be up for a public vote Tuesday.

Adoption of Article 2 will require businesses dealing with hazardous materials and waste to include plans for soil and water monitoring and spill response in their site plans. Its passage would force the Walpole Planning Board to hire an independent engineer to review all plans from any such business and compare the information with best practices in the field and advise the board about the plans' quality.

Bennett Daviss, a former Walpole Planning Board member, proposed the ordinance in early January and said it could be an additional provision in the town's existing zoning ordinance.

He previously told the Reformer his motivation behind this effort was fueled by Jiffy Mart's decision to move its location a mile south along Main Street. Daviss said the business is "moving closer to the center of the town's commercial district and it's doubling in size." He said the Jiffy Mart, which handles gasoline, will be very close to an aquifer, which is near one of Walpole's two water wells.

Daviss said he was on the Planning Board when Champlain Oil (which owns the Jiffy Mart) proposed the move last year. He said he and several other members of the community were surprised and disappointed the board did not insist the company go to extraordinary measures to monitor and protect soil and water from contamination.


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The current Planning Board, however, voted 4-3 to not recommend the ordinance. Chairman Jeff Miller said the board does not recommend the article because it feels it already has the authority to do what it would require businesses to do.

Article 3 will determine if Walpole voters approve to raise and appropriate $3,080,393 for the town's general operating budget. The article is recommended by the Board of Selectmen, 3-0.

Adopting of Article 4 would mean voters agree to raise and appropriate $90,000 for a new one-ton truck with a side dump body, including hydraulics with controls. The $90,000 would also cover any miscellaneous expenses to be used by the Walpole Highway Department.

If Article 7 is passed, $32,000 would be used to purchase a police patrol vehicle with cage, console and other necessary equipment and its installation. This sum would be taken out of the Police Vehicle Capital Reserve Fund.

Article 8 seeks $4,700 for a voting machine tabulator with a maintenance agreement while Article 9 is a petition article to determine if voters support changing the term of elected town treasurer from one year to three years starting with the treasurer's term at next year's town meeting.

A group of voters requested the petition article for the learning purposes and effective job performance of whomever serves as treasurer.

Polls at Walpole Town Hall and North Walpole St. Peter's Church will open at 8 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.