Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
August 7, 2017
Present: Chairman Moritz, Selectman Moore, Selectman Glavac, Selectman Ubaldo, Selectman Boisseau.
Chairman Moritz opened the meeting at 6:00.
Chris McGrath asked why he would be taxed on bottled soda that he purchased at the Country Club. He said it wasn’t prepared so it shouldn’t have been taxed. He also said there are town owned properties with the access being blocked and said 21 River Road is one of them. Mr. McGrath said the parking tickets are an issue still.
Leslie Dreier came before the Board to discuss an idea he has of re-routing Maplewood Hill Road so it is not so steep and hopefully alleviate the issues it has had during the storms. He explained he owns over 100 acres adjacent to that and thinks the Road could go through his property. Road Agent, Brett Jackson, said DOT would have to give permission and Fire Chief, Jack Anderson, said he is looking into getting a traffic count for that road. Selectman Moore asked if it could fall under the mitigation fund and was told possibly. Chief Anderson said the mitigation funds are in the future and the town would have to come up with a specific project. He also said 10 projects have been identified in the hazard mitigation plan. Mr. Jackson said this is the third time FEMA was involved with Maplewood Hill Road. Chairman Moritz said they will gather some information and will follow up with Mr. Dreier.
Paul and Meredith Bussiere came before the Board to discuss parking issues at the concerts at the Gazebo on Sunday nights. Mrs. Bussiere passed out ADA information on planning for accessible parking spaces for temporary events. She told the Board they are from Twin Mountain but come to Bethlehem often to go to the Colonial, Maia Papaya, Cold Mountain, etc. She said there is only one accessible handicap spot on Main Street and that is in front of the Colonial. There was discussion about the inconsistent parking enforcement on the Main Street stretch by Strawberry Hill Road. Mrs. Bussiere said over the years people have been able to park there and it has not been enforced. She asked the Board if they agreed with that and Chairman Moritz agreed. There was discussion about the 1 handicap spot on Main Street is 900 feet away and the one at the Town Hall is 2100 feet away. She suggested the Board instruct the police to allow temporary accessible parking there on Sunday Nights. Chairman Moritz said the Board had announced at previous meetings about the no parking being enforced and said cones were put up for a couple of weeks and explained the parking issue came up during the Master Plan goals discussion. She agreed the Board needed to look at the parking and the need for accessible parking. Selectman Glavac said there should be permanent accessible parking spots and not just temporary. Selectman Ubaldo said the Police Chief is working on a parking plan for the Board to review. He also said he looked at the signs and one says you can’t park from here to corner and the other says no parking on this side of the street. He said one needs to be removed because they contradict each other. Rita Farrell said with the AHEAD project it was said the state controls Route 302 and said if you pay to maintain the road you control it. She suggested the Board look into that. Mr. McGrath said in the Master Plan the concern about parking at the concerts was because of coming out of Prospect Street is a problem. He said people park on Lob Cabin Lane and by Wren and they don’t get tickets. He also said the Town posted the signs without permit from the state. Mr. McGrath said the town doesn’t get revenue from the tickets and also said Littleton charges $5.00 for a parking ticket. Dave Lefevre said we should have a shuttle bus system. Dick Robie said the parking spots are painted spots and said we can’t reinvent the wheel for concerts. He also said there have been issues in the past with funding the concerts and it would be too expensive for shuttling. Mr. Robie said with the number of police there are they should be present at the concerts. He also said he thinks handicap parking in that area on Main Street is the answer. Andrea Bryant asked if cars were ticketed on Main Street and Prospect Street and was told yes. Selectman Ubaldo said to create a parking spot you need 8 feet from the shoulder to the white line. Chairman Moritz said there is an issue with emergency vehicles getting through there. Paul Bussiere said the concerts have been outstanding and a fun thing to do. He said he understands the town’s challenge. Selectman Boisseau asked if the shoulders would be paved with the new paving and said if so that would be a good time to determine the accessible parking spots. Rita Farrell said people shouldn’t be flogging the police and town because the town is paying for and putting on these concerts that everyone can enjoy. Mrs. Bussiere said they are grateful for the concerts and would just like to see temporary Sunday night handicap parking. Mr. Bussiere said they come to Bethlehem all the time and suggested the Board go with temporary parking for now and look for a permanent solution for next year. Mr. McGrath asked the Board to tell the Chief not to enforce the no parking until next year when a solution could be made and he was told they couldn’t tell the police not to enforce the laws.
The Board reviewed a sign permit for James Sullivan for Bread of Life UPC on Profile Road. Chairman Moritz moved to approve the sign permit. Selectman Moore seconded. Carried 5-0.
Chairman Moritz said they received 13 letters of interest to be on the Transfer Station committee and asked the rest of the Board if they wanted to share their thoughts. Selectman Moore said the Board had talked about 7 people on the committee and said she thinks that is a good number for a committee. She also said this committee won’t be implementing change or making decisions and will be just information gathering so thinks all 13 should be included. Rita Farrell said the Transfer Station Committee was not listed on the agenda on the website so the discussion should be postponed. Chairman Moritz said it was posted in the Town Office and the Post Office but agreed they should postpone the discussion. Dann said there was an issue with the town calendar also and it didn’t show that there was a Selectman’s meeting. Mr. McGrath said when there was no website we still had meetings. Selectman Glavac said they can’t discuss the sidebar items either then. Chairman Moritz felt they could still talk about the sidebar items but not something that was contentious because it draws a lot of attention. Selectman Glavac said they should follow the agenda as is written with minutes and non-public being next on the agenda. There was discussion about how the Board has always had sidebar items and Selectman Glavac was asked how they were able to discuss them before. He said they always had “other” on the agenda but that isn’t there anymore. Selectman Glavac also said he wouldn’t call the Transfer Station Committee contentious. Selectman Boisseau said he appreciates the people that came tonight who wrote a letter of interest and asked if they should at least listen to the people that came tonight. Selectman Ubaldo said without everyone here other people may say others have unfair advantage. Selectman Glavac said they already told the person who brought it up about not discussing it that they were not going to discuss it so they shouldn’t. Dann asked where he should be looking for the agenda and asked what website it is on. Chairman Moritz said she would look into getting the calendar updated sooner.
The Board reviewed the minutes from 07/24/17. Chairman Moritz moved to approve the minutes. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 5-0.
At 6:58 Chairman Moritz moved to adjourn. Selectman Boisseau seconded. Carried 5-0.