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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Bethlehem Selectmen Office
January 22, 2016
Present: Chairman Culver, Selectman Blanchard, Selectman Laleme, Selectman Glavac.
Chairman Culver opened the meeting at 5:30.
The Board reviewed the budget and discussed adding $590.00 for the Cemetery software. The Board discussed the Library budget and went over the details of the proposed increase with Doug Harman, Len Grubbs, and Laura Clerkin. The Board asked where they could make some cuts after hearing from the public at the budget hearing concerns with the increase. Mrs. Clerkin said programming would be affected if they reduced the proposed budget amount. Mr. Harman said the proposed budget is their bare bones budget and said they would have to reduce hours if the amount was reduced. Chairman Culver moved to change the budget to
$110,000.00. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Selectman Laleme suggested reducing the proposed amount by $5,000.00 (112,200). Cheryl Jensen suggested cutting the programs a bit instead of having 191 programs maybe have 175. Mrs. Clerkin said they are trying to play catch up and correct the under budget from last year. Chairman Culver asked if the programs were free to everyone and asked how many people outside of Town are using the programs and how many residents. He also asked how many out of towners are members. Mr. Harman said they just raised the rates for out of towners (to be a member) and are trying to determine the number to charge for them. Selectman Laleme moved to amend the motion to $112,200.00 Selectman Blanchard seconded. 2-2, amendment failed. 2-2 motion failed. Selectman Glavac moved to change the proposed budget to $110,100.00. Chairman Culver seconded. 2-2 motion failed. Mr. Harman suggested making the amount $112,000.00. Selectman Laleme moved to amend the proposed library budget to $112,000.00. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 3-1 (Chairman Culver opposed).
The Board discussed the Country Club budget. Selectman Glavac said incentives were mentioned and wants to add growth lines on both the revenue and expenditure sides. Selectman Laleme said she is against bonus/incentives for governmental employees. Frank Claffey said the Country Club has never made $340,000.00 and asked how the Board expects to get a $70,000.00 increase in one year. Selectman Glavac said the job of the Board is to hire a manager to run the club and not for the Board to run it. He also said the revenues have been over $300,000 multiple times in the last 5 years. Mr. Claffey said the highest it was in the last 10 years in $335,000.00 and said the average for the last 10 years is $305,000.00. Selectman Glavac said if you do not put it in the budget then it can’t be spent. Chairman Culver said it will not be spent if the revenues are not coming in. Mr. Claffey asked if they would be able to stop the expenditures if need be and was told yes. Selectman Blanchard agrees with having the goals and incentives. Chairman Culver said it would require a lot of Board oversight to make sure the expenditures do not exceed the revenues. Selectman Glavac said there was good oversight this year and that is why there wasn’t an overage. Selectman Blanchard said goals are what generate profit and constantly work towards it. Chairman Culver said he likes the goal
idea but is worried the numbers are too aggressive and that it will be hard to sell to the public. There was discussion about the budget not affecting the tax rate because of it being a Special Revenue Fund. Selectman Laleme said the benefactors have bought covers for the greens, paid for flower beds and other things. Selectman Glavac moved to accept the new proposed budget of $340,715 for revenues and expenditures. Chairman Culver seconded and said he thinks it is too high but something needs to happen. Carried 3-1 (Selectman Laleme opposed).
Selectman Blanchard moved to approve article 6 as amended. Chairman Culver seconded. Carried 4-0. 2,776,517 proposed, 2,778,881 default. Chairman Culver moved to recommend the article. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board discussed a request from Mr. Healey about his land purchase and he will be referred to his attorney.
Cheryl Jensen gave a summary of new information on Northern Pass and told what the measurements of the towers will be.
The Board discussed the cleaning service and needing more hours/days and more detailed cleaning. The cleaning company will be contacted to discuss this.
At 7:25 Selectman Laleme moved to adjourn. Chairman Culver seconded. Carried 4-0.