01/10/2018 – PB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
January 10, 2018
BETHLEHEM TOWN HALL MEETING ROOM
Mike Bruno, Dave Wiley David Rodrigues, Marie Stevenson, Johnathan Stevenson, Neil Brody and Linda Moore
Mike Bruno opened the meeting at 6:00. He then explained that this hearing was the continuation from January 3, 2018 regarding the landfill. He explained that the board was meeting only to discuss whether to recommend or not recommend the warrant article for the March 2018 election.
Petitioner James Payette read from a statement he had written on Believe in Bethlehem. (BIB)This will be attached to the minutes.
Mike Bruno wanted to address the public as to the request to get legal counsel for the petitioned warrant article from last week’s hearing. Our attorney Jae Whitlaw was asked about the legality of the warrant article. The article as written is only in effect if the Host agreement is approved. Yes, it is legal to have a petition on a warrant article. Planning Board asked the attorney regarding Don Lavoie’s question from last week. Is this a lawful warrant? The Validity of any warrant is always a possibility. Anyone can bring any litigation of an article this does not prohibit it being on the warrant in March. Maybe unusual but not unlawful read from Jae Whitlaw email. Julie Seely: did you get written document that can be released to the public? He summarized the email. Open floor for public. Peter Roy since you now have the legal he would like to move ahead and ask for a vote. Vote to recommend. Mike Bruno said last week I was asked by Richard Ubaldo if I will allow public input; he will honor that. Mr. Crosby, wrote an email that he read to the public. This will also be attached to the minutes. Mr. Crosby would like the board to recommend the article. Cheryl Jensen must dispute the Master Plan, this is not called for. You voted to not recommend last year, nothing is different. Vote not to recommend. Andrea Bryant would like everyone to realize the similarities to the landfill as Northern Pass. The community should lookout for all land. Lynda Payett (BIB) talked about the surveys that BIB put out where 83% of the returns believed that the town is financial trouble. Please recommend the article. Alan Jackson has seen a lot of things, Northern Pass will pay little to no taxes to Bethlehem. He is opposed to NP. He recommends the landfill. His family has no future here with the high taxes, and high electrical. There is no pollution at the landfill. Vote to recommend. Christina can we bring up taxes? We don’t talk about financial impact of a project Mike Bruno answered. Taxes are important. How does each member of the Planning Board decide on recommending or not? 674:17. Purposes of Zoning Ordinances. So the guideline is what you look at? Yes, make a decision and we check the box. That is our guild line as a planning board 674:17. It would be our duty to go by the RSA 674:17. He chooses to be on the Planning Board. He read all the rules just to be sure. Last week he brought the master plan to the hearing. The Master Plan is to be the best interest of our community. David Rodrigues speaks through personal experience prior being a resident of Trudeau Road for 20 years, he would not have even known the landfill existed. Linda Moore, I don’t believe that we should recommend doubling the size of the landfill. Dave Wiley enlisted his background in planning and listened to the recording from last week’s meeting. Comments from the meeting based his opinion. There were 3 sites picked for the landfill as Don Lavoie explained last week. Bethlehem was deemed as the best location. With Don’s Lavoie’s 25 years of experience and sitting on the recommendation board for Coos and Grafton County he made his decision. With the Neo gas plan, I see the Industrial aspect. Easy trucking access to major roads. Point of Order Rita Ferrell, is the board willing to consider? Mike Bruno said: this is a continuation of a public hearing where I was asked by Richard Ubaldo if public comment would be allowed in which I said yes. I would like to have voices heard. No magic words are going to change someone’s opinion. There are 7 people on the board and only 3 spoke. Chris McGrath as the only person in the audience that has served on the Planning Board, please use the laws and listen to the public and recommend this warrant article. This week and last week the audience is made up of members who are for the warrant article. The board was not made aware of the study that Don Lavoie presented at the last meeting until the last meeting. Bethlehem was chosen to be the best site for landfill for Coos and Grafton County. Meeting the criteria for RSA 674:17. Herb Lloyd has been here 20 years and has a long history in this town. This beautiful facility has had many residents at their open house. He is so impressed with Casella’s ethics and he supports them. He wants everyone to recommend this warrant article. Anthony Rodrigues lives on Trudeau road. He believes that we should maximize our resources. Casella is a resource, move the process along. He sees the flares as a waste of energy. These are untapped resources. The dump is not going away. Max your resources. Mr. Robie over cutting taxes. Not shocked with people who want to partner at the landfill. They are not going to be able to afford services, profile school will have to make cuts, the town will not be able to give them everything they ask for. There is a 10-million-dollar water project coming soon. If we say no to this, we will not be able to afford the lifestyle that we are now living.
Julie Seely she would like to correct the statement that there is no pollution. It is coming from somewhere. DES tests 3 times a year. First liner is coming up on 30 years. Marsha Dickerman was at the last meeting. The bottom line., their here, their not going away, their a huge benefit to our town. We take advantage of them. They take our trash for free. They always pick up the trash. She has been to several open house’s, with the bus and horse drawn wagon touring the landfill. There is so many blessing’s going on with Casella. We need to be on board with them 150%. She’s not sure how much longer they can afford this town, living on SSI. We can’t afford to through this opportunity away. Dave Lafeuer has seen people dumping dog feces into the waterways that’s where you’re getting the pollution. Josh Casey lives on Munchmore Road and he works at the landfill. He is raising 2 children here. He is the closest to landfill. He would like to build a home here, but If this fails I cannot afford to live here. Casella follows DES and if they didn’t comply with the State they would not be able to move forward. The landfill is a totally different service now, than long ago. The State asks them to educate people and they are always open to questions. Joanna Boisseau the land is beautiful here, test your water, she tests hers a lot. She can’t understand why BIB wants to fill Bethlehem with trash. Mike Culver when talking about facts, the petitioned warrant got 250 signatures in little over 2 days without that much effort. We could have got 500 to 600. He toured the landfill all it is sand and equipment and a lot of rabbits. Dons Lavoie’s comments were to explain that this is a good spot for the landfill, it fits the criteria for RSA 674:17 Purposes of Zoning Ordinances. Recommend this warrant article. Martin Glavic said that this is the first time in 10 years he has heard Don Lavoie’s statements on the study. You can make a difference. Please support this article. Richard Ubaldo your looking at planning for the future. It is important that you vote in support of the landfill. There are renewable resources in the landfill. He has the view of the flare and it does not bother him. We will be making clean energy and cleaning up the environment with the Neo Gas plant. BIB will be here for other developments like wood pellets and green houses. Also, the dirt for the greenhouses is not landfill dirt. I recommend that you support this article.
Kim Johnson wants to raise her kids here. Her facts are that her taxes went up $700 plus. Her husband has to work 2nd shift in Laconia. He can’t get a good paying job up here to be able to afford the taxes in this town. Most people here made their money somewhere else. Please recommend this article.
Rita Farrell asked what are the guidelines that the Planning Board goes by to recommend or not. Mike Bruno bases his off people from the community, not from social media. What is going on with social media is called cyber bullying. People need to talk face to face. As a citizen I will vote to represent my community and my town with the best knowledge I have acquired.
Gerry Blanchard this is about opportunity. People are on a single income. If taxes go up, with no relief, and with no source of revenue residents will have to move. All boards should be looking for more revenues. We may have to move on if our community does not welcome Casella.
Closed public comments
Linda Moore disagrees with the email from the attorney. She doesn’t recommend something that may or may not be lawful.
Dave Wiley talked about Don Lavoie’s 25 year study with Grafton and Coos Country for Trudeau Road on being the best sight for the landfill. Also talking about Neo Gas, green energy, easy access to Route 3 and its remote location, make it the best fit. The town is looking for expansion for the industrial park. Current abutters to the landfill is the landfill, and the national forest.
Dave Wiley motioned to have the Planning Board recommend this zoning ordinance on the landfill district 2 to 5 comprising 22 & 24. 674:17 meets the objective.
Johnathan Stevenson seconded. “Point of order” from Rita Farrel have any of you had dealings with Casella? Mike Bruno said as a board this must be made prior to the hearing. He is not going to entertain the request. All in favor of recommending the zoning ordinance on the landfill district 2 to 5, comprising 22 & 24 tax map 4-9 5-2 motion passes recommended by planning board. 2 opposed Linda Moore and Neil Brody.
Dave Wiley all in favor to postpone minutes till next week David Rodrigues seconded 7-0
Next meeting February 14th, 2018. Master plan checklist. Marie Stevenson and Neil Brody terms are up on the planning board.
Dave Wiley motion to adjourn Dave Rodrigues seconded 7-0 8:00pm