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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Bethlehem Town Building Meeting Room
February 18, 2013
Present: Chairman Jerry Blanchard, Selectman Sandy Laleme, Selectman Mike Culver
At 6:30 Chairman Blanchard opened the meeting.
Chairman Blanchard announced that it was brought to the Board’s attention that on August 30, 2012 LGC sent the Town a safety report about the Town playground. The report expresses numerous concerns. The playground was closed the day it was brought to the Board’s attention. Chairman Blanchard said the Board is taking this very seriously and said the playground will remain closed until it can be fixed. Chairman Blanchard asked Frank Claffey and Brett Jackson as safety committee members if they had received a copy of the safety report. They both said they were unaware of this report until just recently. Selectman Laleme said an additional report from 2007 which basically gives the same recommendations as this one was just recently found also. Selectman Laleme said the Board will review Rhienna’s recommendations on what to do with the playground. Selectman Laleme moved to close the playground and meet with the safety committee at the next Board meeting on 02/25/13. Chairman Blanchard seconded. Cheryl Jensen asked why LGC inspected it. Chairman Blanchard said it is something they do regularly. Rhienna said she had a conversation with Tim Parsons from LGC who did the inspection and he said the Town would be open to a big liability if they
didn’t make the changes to the playground. Mr. Parsons will be coming up in March to meet with Rhienna to offer suggestions and to discuss grants. Julian asked where the reports surfaced from. Rhienna said the one from 2007 was found in her office. Carried 3-0.
Selectman Laleme discussed the vacation rec program which has been cancelled twice now (Christmas vacation and Feb. vacation) due to lack of sign-ups. Selectman Laleme said it is not cost effective to run the program without a minimum amount of signups.
Selectman Laleme also discussed Rhienna’s request to follow the SAU for cancellations. Selectman Laleme moved to approve the rec closing policy. Chairman Blanchard seconded. Carried 3-0.
The Board discussed a request letter to hold a raffle that will benefit the Batey Foundation. The letter is requesting permission from the Board of Selectmen to hold the raffle. The Board tabled this until they can acquire proof that it is for a 501c3 non-profit organization.
The Board discussed the employee memo that would require all salaried employees to fill out a weekly time sheet. This came about because of a retirement audit. Selectman Laleme moved to approve the policy of having all salaried employees fill out a weekly time sheet. Chairman Blanchard seconded. Carried 2-1(Selectman Culver opposed).
Chairman Blanchard read a letter from Northwoods thanking the Town for the appropriation to their organization.
The Board discussed having a picture of the Maplehurst on this year’s Town Report. Jerry moved to approve that the pictureof Maplehurst be on the cover. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried 3-0.
Chairman Blanchard read a request from Katherine Ferrier to have the Cultivate Dance event in the meeting room again this August (15th–18th). Frank Claffey said someone will need to be available to come lock the building up. Chairman Blanchard moved to allow the use of the building and would ensure the building gets locked up. Selectman Laleme seconded. Selectman Culver said they will need to move the furniture and also said it would be nice to have a calendar of events for the Town building on our website. Carried 3
-0. Rita Farrell said the elevators were not running for this event last year. Chairman Blanchard said they will make sure someone has the elevator key.
Selectman Laleme brought up an email from Don Lavoie about the Zoning Ordinance not matching state building codes. Selectman Laleme said she will discuss this further with Don.
Chairman Blanchard read a letter from a citizen about an elderly exemption.
The Board discussed minutes from 01/21/13 and 01/28/13. Chairman Blanchard moved to approve the minutes from 01/21/13. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried 3-0.
The minutes from 01/28/13 were tabled until next week.
The Board reviewed items that need Board signatures. The Board signed a bill from KRT Appraisal and Grant paperwork for WREN grants.
The Board discussed buying new chairs for the Select Board in the meeting room. Selectman Laleme moved to buy 5 chairs at $50.00 each. Chairman Blanchard seconded. Carried 3-0.
Selectman Culver brought up his concern that the flag pole does not have a light for it, he said it is supposed to be lit after dark or someone needs to take the flag down every night. The Board will have Nicole research options.
Chairman Blanchard said that he was approached by the Bethlehem Elementary School Board about the Cedarcroft but he said he felt it was premature so he didn’t meet with them. He said it is not an asset of the Town’s and would like the Board to talk with Mary to determine what they need to do to clean it up. Selectman Laleme said she would like to get sample to test for Asbestos before deeding it. Mary Jackson said the Town can enter the property for inspection with a 30 day notice to the owner. Selectman Laleme said send notice to inspect and test. There was discussion about whether the bank owned it or had responsibility for it. Mary said the deed is in the owner’s name not the banks. Rita suggested looking at registry of deeds and to call LGC. Selectman Laleme moved to write letter of intent to inspect and test to owner of Cedarcroft and contact LGC about recourse with owner/bank. Selectman Culver seconded.
Cheryl Jensen asked if the Town can clean it up. Selectman Culver said not until it is deeded. Selectman Culver also explained the owner will have the right to repurchase within 3 years of deeding but the owner will need to pay all the expenses the Town incurred. John Starr suggested the town buy it for $1.00 to avoid the deeding process. Selectman Culver said the Board is not authorized to purchase it without a town vote. Carried 3-0.
Julian Cznary asked if there is a limit or cap to discounts and exemptions for elderly, veteran and energy exemptions for taxes. Mary said there are caps on them.
Rita Farrell brought up concerns about the Cruft building and asked if there are any plans if it should fall down. She also asked if it is bank owned. Chairman Blanchard said it is not bank owned and there are no plans in place.
At 7:30pm Chairman Blanchard moved to go into non-public session per 91a for personnel. Selectman Culver seconded. Carried 3-0. All members were polled with all agreeing to go into non-public session.
The Board discussed personnel issues.
At 8:50 Selectman Laleme moved to come out of non-public session. Chairman Blanchard seconded. Carried 3-0.
Selectman Culver moved to purchase 6 chairs (instead of 5) for the Selectmen’s table. Chairman Blanchard seconded. Carried 3-0.
At 8:51 Chairman Blanchard moved to adjourn. Selectmen Culver seconded. Carried 3-0.