DERRY — Town councilors faced a hefty agenda at its Dec. 15 meeting, approving several measures including a single polling location for the March town/school local elections, and updating town rules when it comes to potentially hazardous situations in the community.
Fire Chief Michael Gagnon presented the information on the 2020 updated Hazardous Mitigation Plan, a requirement of the town's emergency operations plan that is in place so federal disaster-related funding can be received.
Gagnon said the town collaborates with the Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission on these efforts, to help identify hazards in the community and put plans in place to help reduce the impact
Those hazards could be severe weather conditions, wind, snow, flooding or fires.
Gagnon said all groups involved work hard to put the plans in place.
"The plan is very comprehensive," the chief said, "and I feel it meets the requirements for us as a community."
In other business, councilors approved Chapter 28 of the town's General Code to make sure those appointed to boards and commissions don't take part in electioneering while doing official town duties, if running for political office.
The Council had directed the administration to draft the rules that include anyone serving on the Planning Board, Zoning Board, or other appointed commission, to make sure no political signs, logos, or other political information is displayed or mentioned while serving on these boards. What anyone does outside the town's official business is allowed, including holding campaign signs in the town, or appearing on local cable television programs.
Elected officials are not included in these rules, according to Town Administrator David Caron, as the town's charter has regulations in place to cover these offices in town.
Anyone not following the rules could be given warnings or even issued citations, Caron said.
Councilors also approved a chapter to the town's Health Ordinance to clarify information and rules governing mobile food units.
Those units, typically known as food trucks, can also include a more popular uprising of mobile business ventures, including dog grooming, hair care, or even mobile cupcake businesses, according to Derry Economic Development Director Beverly Donovan.
"We don't have a way to manage that," Donovan said, "while trying to encourage the entrepreneurship."
Donovan said the rules will help govern licensing for this type of business and also make sure proper inspections are done.
Councilors also officially approved West Running Brook Middle School as the single polling location for the March 9 local school/town elections.
In the past, Derry has often used three polling locations for its four voting districts. At the most recent elections, one location was used — Calvary Bible Church was used for the September primary election and Pinkerton Academy accommodated Derry's voters for the Nov. 3 general election.
West Running Brook was chosen for its location, and ability to have traffic and voting lines controlled well, Caron said. He added that school would be done remotely that day to help support parking and keep traffic manageable.
Caron added a typical local election in Derry might draw 2,000 voters; the general election in November brought out about 18,000 to cast ballots.