Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Bethlehem Selectmen’s Office
October 2, 2017
Present: Chairman Moritz, Selectman Glavac, Selectman Ubaldo, Selectman Moore.
Chairman Moritz opened the meeting at 6:15 pm. Chairman Moritz moved to go into non-public session per RSA 91A:3 II for matters of legal. Selectman Moore seconded. Chairman Moritz did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session.
The Board discussed legal advice.
Chairman Moritz moved to allow Cheryl Jensen to use her own words about Select Board’s dissatisfaction with concern for our community when presented with Memorandum of Understanding that Board will not sign. Selectman Moore seconded. Carried 4-0.
At 6:47 Chairman Moritz moved to come out of non-public session. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Chairman Moritz did roll call with all members agreeing to come out of non-public session.
Chris McGrath asked who the Town attorney is and was told we have a few including Brenda Keith, Boutin Altieri. He said he was wondering if we have changed attorneys. Mr. McGrath said he also has concerns about town owned properties that are in disrepair and have a blocked access. He said the property is 21 River Road and asked if any tax sales are coming up and was told they are working on getting a list together. He also asked what time the meetings will start going forward and was told 6:30 for the interim.
Building Inspection: The budget was decreased by 5%. There was discussion about reducing the salary line more but was left so the building inspector could go to trainings. Dann asked why the reduction and was told the departments were asked to reduce by 5% if they could.
Visitor Center: The budget was decreased from $10,900 to $10,355 which was a decrease of 5%. The decrease is in services which that line item is used for advertising and brochures. Chairman Moritz asked if they should put painting expense in this budget. There was discussion about whether to put it in the Visitor Center budget or the GGB (General Governmental Buildings) budget and agreed it would be wise to put it in the Visitor Center budget. Frank Claffey said it would be prudent to know how many visitors they have and asked if expense should be a warrant article or part of the operating budget. Chairman Moritz said if they prolong it, it will cost us more in the long run but said it is a big amount and agrees big amounts should be a warrant article. Mr. Claffey also asked if they should wait until after the road work on Route 302 is completed. Selectman Moore said the quote she received for the painting was $8,600.00. Selectman Glavac said they should put it in the budget. Dann said to do away with the building if just for handing out brochures and suggested putting brochures in the town building and check with businesses to see if they want brochures in their businesses. Peter Roy said it is a very important asset to the town and a big history of town and would not advise to get rid of the building. Selectman Glavac asked if it has to be financed with public money. Mr. Claffey said if they put it (painting expense) in the budget they may end up with the default budget. Selectman Ubaldo said we don’t have the amount yet to put in the budget for it.
Selectman Glavac left at 7:15.
Joshua Casey asked if there are grants for historical centers. Selectman Moore said she would talk with Clare Brown about that. Dann said if you want to find out if people are really interested in Visitor Center get all voters input.
Chief Ho-Sing-Loy came before the Board to discuss purchasing body cameras. He explained they are based on a 5 year plan and will also store the data on a cloud. He said video data takes up a lot of room and the new server is already getting filled up. The Chief explained they will replace all 6 cameras, chargers, and equipment needed. He said the price which includes storage and software is $5000.00 the first year and $3500.00 the following 4 years. He explained the cameras will get replaced after 2.5 years and again at the end of the 5 years. The Chief said cameras have a 2.5 life span and said their current ones are almost 3 years old and are having issues. Chairman Moritz asked how often they use the footage and was told every time they go to court. He explained a recent situation where someone complained about an officer and complaint was proven untrue because of the video. He also said it is good for training. He said the contract for the new cameras states they can be returned if the money is not appropriated. Selectman Moore asked if he received other quotes and was told yes but this is the best one and the courts accept it and evidence is not thrown out due to tampering. Selectman Moore asked if it is in his budget and the Chief said in other lines he has the money and said the company is willing to deliver the equipment but charge for them next year. Chairman Moritz said not hiring the other officer does not mean spending money on something different and asked why 6 cameras. The Chief said they are set up for each individual officer and saved under each officer. The Chief told the Board that he wants to fill the officer position for next year. He said they haven’t had 24 hour coverage all year. He said some days have it but not every day. He said the position would enable that and would cover vacation, sick and training time and would like to bring someone on in December to start academy in January. Chairman Moritz asked if we need 24 hour coverage. Selectman Ubaldo said they would get 18 cameras for a reasonable price and everything is on camera now and a lawsuit would cost more. Mr. Claffey said the cameras would not be able to be paid for until March when the budget passes. Chairman Moritz asked the Chief if it would be a hardship to wait until March. The Chief said it can wait but if the current ones break they will be without while they are sent out for repair. He explained there is not a warranty on the current ones but the new ones are covered under warranty. The Chief said without 24 hour coverage there have been calls that they haven’t been able to respond to and said troopers sometimes show up for emergencies. He said the calls for service go up every year and said there are OD’s, lots of drug activity in town and also a lot of mental health issues. Selectman Ubaldo moved to purchase the cameras this year. The motion was not seconded. The Chief said the budget is cut every year and items are not being budgeted for and said Bethlehem is lower spending police in the state. Chairman Moritz said she want a Capital Improvement Plan Committee so there will be better planning for big expenditures. Chief Ho-Sing-Loy said the Impala is 2007 and the other 3 cruisers are getting expensive to maintain due to age. He said they put on 100 miles per shift. Peter Roy said not allowing him to get cameras now because of not spending money on officer could put the town in a litigation situation if the cameras don’t work. Chairman Moritz said the cameras are functional now. Mr. Roy said something could happen in those 6 months and put the town in jeopardy.
The Board reviewed CAP agreements with Primex for Property & Liability and Workers Comp. The CAP for Property and Liability is 7% and 8% for Workers Comp. Chairman Moritz said it is wise to sign these after the claims this year. Selectman Ubaldo said it was a good idea. Chairman Moritz moved to accept the CAP agreements. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Carried 3-0.
Chairman Moritz said we received the updated costs to upgrade the email accounts that will provide the necessary security. It was explained GoDaddy will credit us $1446.00 to put towards the expense. The Board reviewed and discussed the costs for a 1 year, 2 year, and 3 year agreement. Chairman Moritz moved to go with the 3 year plan to upgrade the email accounts. Selectman Moore seconded. Carried 3-0.
The Board discussed Chris Fournier submitting letters of intent for the Hazard Mitigation funds on our behalf free of charge. They discussed this is just a place holder and would not bind us to do the projects. Selectman Ubaldo moved to approve Mr. Fournier to do that on our behalf. Chairman Moritz seconded. Carried 3-0.
The Board reviewed the minutes from 09/25/17. Chairman Moritz moved to approve the minutes. Selectman Moore seconded. Carried 2-0 (Selectman Ubaldo abstained).
At 8:09 Chairman Moritz moved to go into non-public session per RSA 91A:3 II for matter of personnel. Selectman Moore seconded. Chairman Moritz did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session. Dann objected to the non-public session.
The Board discussed personnel.
At 8:23 Chairman Moritz moved to come out of non-public session. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Chairman Moritz did roll call with all members agreeing to come out of non-public session.
At 8:23 Chairman Moritz moved to adjourn. Selectman Moore seconded. Carried 3-0.