Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
July 10, 2017
Present: Selectman Moore, Selectman Ubaldo, Selectman Boisseau.
Acting Chairman Moore opened the meeting at 6:01.
Chris McGrath said he put cones up for two weeks at the Gazebo concerts in the no parking areas and he won’t do it again. He said people should now know where they can’t park and said announcements have also been made. Mr. McGrath commented on the damage from the storm and gave a shout out to the fire and highway departments and also said the Heritage was affected by it and working hard on getting it cleaned up.
Rita Farrell asked what the Town’s policy is on accepting gifts to the town and if the town can solicit gifts. There was discussion on the policy of the Board accepting gifts of under $10,000.00 and that a public hearing was required if it was over $10,000.00. Frank Claffey said the town doesn’t have a 501c3 and said there are separate ones that are not the Town’s (Bethlehem Emergency Services, Friends of the Library). He said money can’t be donated to the town and held by the Treasurer that it needs to be given to the Trustee’s of the Funds. Mr. Czarny said any department that has regulatory powers shouldn’t accept gifts because of appearance sake. He indicated there may be organizations that may be taking money from other organizations and giving it to other organizations.
Fire Chief, Jack Anderson, and Road Agent, Brett Jackson, came before the Board to discuss the storm damage. They started getting numbers together and there is significant damage to the roads in Bethlehem. Mr. Jackson said they met with FEMA on Thursday and gave them preliminary numbers. He said they already have 127 labor hours in so far and anticipates a month of work to make the repairs. He said a major rebuild is needed for the Noyes Street area that will cost millions. Mr. Jackson said the FEMA representative didn’t like the idea of curbing because it would speed up the flow of water.
Chief Anderson said FEMA has done the initial storm damage assessment and will finish the county by the end of the week. He said the reimbursement would be 75% of actual cost. Chief Anderson said they spoke with the mitigation specialist to come up with a plan to stop it from happening again. He said they have mitigation funds but a plan needs to be in place first. There was discussion about the roads that were damaged and how the smaller issues can be rolled in too after the disaster aid is approved. There was discussion about hiring an engineer to help come up with the mitigation plan and Chief Anderson said the state might be able to help with that.
Cheryl Jensen asked if anyone let AHEAD know because their property is right in that area. Chief Anderson said all the water issue concerns were discussed at the Planning Board meetings. Mrs. Jensen said they should be made aware of it. Chris McGrath said they were well aware of the wetlands up there and multiple water mitigation proposals were seen during their application and said they shouldn’t be discussed without them there.
Chief Anderson said if people have personal damages they should check with their insurance agent to see if they have coverage and call 211. He said there is only a slight possibility there will be funds through FEMA for personal damages.
Rita Farrell said people were concerned about the AHEAD project because of water concerns.
Selectman Ubaldo said they would only be able to do some mitigation not 100%. Mr. Jackson said there will always be times when debris will block the storm drains.
The Board reviewed and discussed a Waiver for Inaccessible Properties form that Chief Anderson presented to them. The Chief said his purpose was to make people aware that emergency responders may not be able to get to certain properties. The Board would like the form sent to Primex and NHMA for their input.
The Board discussed the Old Home Day and ArtWalk event and the option of making the Artwalk a town sponsored event. Chief Anderson explained this would mean it would be covered under the town’s insurance and if it wasn’t they would purchase insurance separately.
Chris McGrath said he doesn’t think it should be a town event because it is a source of income and thinks they should be separate events and not combined. Selectman Boisseau moved to include the Artwalk in the Old Home Day event. Frank Claffey said they will be taking in revenues and he doesn’t think that can happen under our insurance. Sonya Clark said in Littleton the Chamber which is a non-profit sponsored it. Rita Farrell said the Town used to have Coaching Days back in the big hotel days and it was a town event because the town benefitted from it because of all the people it brought to town. Selectman Boisseau withdrew his motion. The Board would like to check with insurance company to see if it is legal if there are vendors for profit. Selectman Boisseau moved to include Artwalk as town sponsored event pending insurance company approving the inclusion. Acting Chairman Moore seconded. Carried 3-0.
Sonya Clark came before the Board to discuss her property damage from the storm. She said she is a 17 year property owner in Bethlehem and lives on Cottage Street. She said she would like to voice support for Brett Jackson and Jack Anderson to repair and replace Noyes Street issue. She explained she experienced erosion a few years ago because of a broken culvert on Noyes and has increased runoff each spring. She said she has added stone and ledgepack to the driveway and developed their own drain system. She is asking the Board to support getting the problem fixed.
The Board discussed Northern Pass and the need for a Town Spokesperson. It was noted that Sandy Laleme was asked and declined. Cheryl Jensen agreed to be the spokesperson and will keep the Select Board and April notified on all pertinent information. Acting Chairman Moore moved to appoint Cheryl Jensen as Northern Pass Spokesperson. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Carried 3-0.
The Board discussed the Health Officer appointment. It was noted this is a requirement by the state and is a three year appointment. Selectman Ubaldo asked about qualifications and was told Dave Wiley went to trainings. Acting Chairman Moore moved to reappoint Dave Wiley as Health Officer. Selectman Boisseau seconded. Carried 3-0.
The Board reviewed a request for liquor license approval for Levy Hospitality. Acting Chairman moved to approve the support for the liquor license. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Carried 3-0.
The Board discussed Dormant Escrow account information that Treasurer Frank Claffey gave to them. Mr. Claffey explained they are old accounts either directed by Planning Board, securities, Bonds, payments for cutting trees in National Forest, etc. He said there has been no activity on them since 2004 and they are savings accounts that just sit there until someone requests it. He explained the Board needs to make a decision on what to do with the money. He said one is for $24,000.00 which could be a timber tax payment and said the money could be applied to taxes or it could be turned over to the state as abandoned money. The Board decided to ask NHMA for advice.
The Board discussed an abatement for a piece of town owned property to get the amount off the books. Acting Chairman Moore moved to approve the abatement for map/lot 207/020. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Carried 3-0.
The Board discussed a $75.00 fee to renew April’s notary license. Mr. Claffey said we take in revenue for charging non-residents so that covers that fee. Selectman Ubaldo moved to approve the expense. Selectman Boisseau seconded. Carried 3-0.
The Board reviewed the minutes from 06/19/17 and 06/27/17. Selectman Ubaldo moved to approve the minutes from 06/19/17. Acting Chairman Moore seconded. Carried 2-0. (Selectman Boisseau abstained). Acting Chairman Moore moved to approve the minutes from 06/27/17. Selectman Boisseau seconded. Carried 3-0.
Acting Chairman Moore announced the Transfer Station Committee deadline to accept letters of interest is 07/28/17 and to submit them to April.
Acting Chairman Moore announced the Select Board meeting will be at the Country Club on 07/24/17 at 6:00 and they will serve food until 5:45.
Acting Chairman Moore said at the next Conservation Commission meeting there will be a culvert assessment and explanation of data. She said it will be at the library on 07/27/17 at 6:00.
Mr. Czarny said Chief Anderson brought up a waiver form for private roads and said he has no written agreement on his private road and has managed to put in a culvert and put gravel/sand in. He said a private road is not an evil thing. Acting Chairman Moore said she didn’t get the impression that was what was said. Mr. Czarny said someone said private roads should be inspected and waivers are a big tangled mess. He was told inspections were part of a discussion and not something that the Board said they were going to do. Acting Chairman Moore said she feels the waiver is not getting in business of private road owners but took it as a heads up to private road owners. Mr. Czarny said he wouldn’t be told what to do as a private road owner and has allowed access on his road but indicated that he would possibly stop allowing that access. Selectman Ubaldo told Mr. Czarny dictatorship is not what he believes it is and reminded him he agreed with him at the previous meeting about private roads. Mr. Czarny was told he couldn’t stop access because he doesn’t own the road. There was discussion about that because Mr. Czarny didn’t agree with that.
At 8:03 Acting Chairman Moore moved to go into non-public session per RSA 91A:3 II for matters of personnel. Chairman Moore did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session. Dann objected to the non-public session.
Selectman Ubaldo moved to hire Ernie Tetrault at $13.00/hour. Acting Chairman Moore seconded. Carried 3-0.
Acting Chairman Moore moved to refund Scott L’Ecuyer for $40.00 for swim lessons for his child. Selectman Boisseau seconded. Carried 3-0.
At 8:50 Acting Chairman Moore moved to come out of non-public session and did roll call. All members agreed to come out of non-public session.
At 8:50 Acting Chairman Moore moved to adjourn. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Carried 3-0.