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01/07/2013 – Minutes

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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
Bethlehem Town Building Meeting Room
January 7, 2013

Present: Chairman Jerry Blanchard, Selectman Sandy Laleme, Selectman Mike Culver

At 6:30 Chairman Blanchard opened the meeting.

Elaine Bussey from North Country Home Health & Hospice Agency came before the Board to request the Board put on a warrant article for them in the amount of $6,792.00. Ms. Bussey went over the services they provide.

Lynn Goldstein from Northern Human Services came before the Board to ask the Board to put on a warrant article for them for $3,121.00. Ms. Goldstein explained the services they provide and stressed the importance of it because of state cutbacks.

Doug Harman and Joyce Tucker came before the Board to discuss the new proposed library. Doug asked the Board if he needs to do the warrant article to have the Town accept the new Library or will the Board be doing it. Doug said the building committee will be meeting tonight to go over the projected costs of maintaining and running the new library. Doug said they will be breaking ground in the spring and will be in the building December of 2013. Selectman Laleme asked Doug what the article needed to say. Doug said it needs to be for the town’s people to take the building back as a town building once it is built. Chairman Blanchard said the projected operating costs need to be determined along with the size of the building. Joyce Tucker said the building will be 6000 square feet but might have to be scaled back. Joyce said they were looking for a simple warrant article to approve the building, costs for operational and maintenance. Selectman Laleme said the warrant article should be written to say the town is taking the building and either include or disclose the cost for the building maintenance/operation. The Board said they will write the warrant article.

Carol Boucher was in for the Bethlehem Revolving Loan Fund (BRLF) to ask the Board to sign documents for a loan for Melissa Sheehan to buy the building that her business (Maia Papaya) is in. Chairman Blanchard moved to accept the proposal from BRLF for the loan for Melissa Sheehan for $45,000.00 pending an appraisal. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried 3-0.

Chairman Blanchard read a letter from Grafton County Senior Council expressing their disappointment that their request was omitted last year. Chairman Blanchard said a letter will be sent to them.

Chairman Blanchard reviewed the letter sent to a Franconia resident who requested garbage pick-up from Casella as part of Bethlehem’s free garbage pick-up. A letter will be sent to the resident explaining that he has to be a Bethlehem tax payer to get the garbage pick-up.

Chairman Blanchard announced that the budget hearing will be on January 14that 6:00pm.

Chairman Blanchard said the Board received a request for a street name change and a letter will be sent to the resident to explain the RSA about the process for changing a street name.

The Board signed the Wren Grant close out paperwork.

The Board reviewed a request from Rec Director, Rhienna Miscio, to write-off old rec accounts for people who have moved out of town. Multiple attempts to collect payment were made with no success. The amount being requested to write off is $1,275.24. Selectman Laleme moved to write off $1,275.24 of uncollectable debt. Selectman Culver seconded. It was noted that Rhienna has done an excellent job collecting old balances. Carried 3-0.

Selectman Culver said quotes were done for demolishing the Cedarcroft building and the abandoned burned building on Pleasant Street. He said it would be approx. $50,000.00 for Cedarcroft and approx. $35,000.00 for the Pleasant Street building; these estimates were pending asbestos abatement. Selectman Culver said he would like to start a Capital Reserve Fund to take care of these buildings and buildings like these.

Selectman Laleme gave an update on the skating rink and said an engineer came to look at it to offer advice and suggested getting an engineering study done in the spring of 2013. An electrician will be submitting a quote for the electrical work at the rink but has said he will not be able to get to it this year.

The Board discussed the highway uniforms and terminating the contract with Unifirst. Selectman Laleme moved to refer the contracts to the Town attorney to advise on the legality of the contract (Unifirst) automatically renewing if you do not cancel within 90 days of your contract expiration. Chairman Blanchard seconded. Carried 3-0.

The Board discussed the brown fold up chairs from the meeting room. It was noted that the room has capacity for 120 people and between the benches and metal chairs we currently have we would need 50 more chairs. Chairman Blanchard said we should set up 50 of the wooden chairs and put stuff on the bottom to protect the floor and keep the chairs set up at all times except for elections. Chairman Blanchard said the broken chairs should be thrown out.

Dick Robie said instead of hiring an engineer to flood a skating rink we should look to neighboring towns because they manage to do it. He volunteered to help flood it.

The Board reviewed the budget.

Rita Farrell said the Board sent Select Board members to the Planning Board meeting about the petitioned warrant article. Selectman Culver said the Board didn’t send them, they went personally and that he spoke of his own opinion and that the opinion of the Board is what Brenda (Town attorney) recommended. Selectman Culver said the Planning Board requested legal advice and received it from Brenda. Selectman Culver said it will go on the ballot still exactly as submitted and it will say that the Planning Board does not recommend it. He said if the voters pass it then it will be part of our ordinance. Selectman Culver said
the way to do it is not to discriminate but to create ordinance about the look of the business and not who the business is. He said the petitioned warrant article was not presented that way. Selectman
Laleme said a committee should come up with something to make everyone happy.

At 8:00pm Chairman Blanchard moved to go into non-public session per 91A for matters of personnel. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried by roll call with each member polled and agreeing to go into non-public session.

At 9:05 Chairman Blanchard moved to adjourn. Selectman Laleme 2nd. Carried 3-0.

Respectfully submitted,

April Hibberd

Administrative Assistant