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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Bethlehem Selectmen Office
February 20, 2017
Present: Chairman Glavac, Selectman Blanchard, Selectman Ubaldo.
Chairman Glavac opened the meeting at 6:02
Business owners from Maia Papaya, White Mountain Transmission and Lonesome Woods came into to meet with the Select Board regarding the two options for culvert replacement on Main Street. Both the business owners and the Board felt that option 2 would be the most beneficial. There was discussion on when the project will take place. Initially scheduled for 2018, DOT had suggested possible holding off until 2019. It is agree that the project should be done sooner rather than later. The time of year will matter more than what year. There was discussion on when the busy season takes place. Melissa Sheenan, owner of Maia Papaya, said the busy season starts Memorial Day weekend, business really picks up in mid June, early July and then stays busy until after fall foliage. They would recommend that the construction take place from March to May as that would be the least disruptive to their businesses.
Melissa said that she has spoken with Brain Thompson from the post office. The post office was unaware of the upcoming culvert replacement project. Parking will need to be addressed during the replacement and steps will need to be taken to ensure that handicap access remains during the construction. It is anticipated that the trucks and equipment being used for the project will park in the dirt area behind the pool. They would like the project to start as early as they can. March through May is ideal but if most of the work is complete with removal of jersey barrier and crane gone by June that would also be okay. There was talk of the construction crew working 6 day work weeks and possibility of working at night. It was agreed that night time work on the culvert was unlikely. Chairman Glavac motioned we ask DOT for option 2, to start as early as possible, March through May, and have a 6 day work week if possible, Selectmen Ubaldo seconded, motion carried 3-0.
Chris McGrath came before the Board to request permission to have a fire on election day. He would like to have the fire from 7:00 am to 7:15 pm. He will provide a fire ring, will have the fire on a platform and rope it off for safety. He will do all the clean up at the end of the day and will not leave behind any debris. He has already spoken with Jack Anderson, Fire Chief, and sent an email regarding his request to Mary Lou Krambeer, Town Moderator. Ms. Krambeer has responded that she would check with the Select Board regarding any liability concerns. The Select Board does not have any liability concerns and directs Mr. McGrath to obtain a permit from Fire Chief, Jack Anderson. Mr. Claffey asks if a fire extinguisher will be available. Chairman Glavac motioned to allow open fire on election day, Selectmen Ubaldo seconded, motion carried 3-0.
Mr. McGrath also told the Board that there is a town owned property on River Road that has blocked access. He feels this is a concern because there is a structure on the property and if it caught fire it would be difficult to access. It is the former Benoit Property and the access is being blocked by the business that is located next door. Chairman Glavac said they will have someone look into it.
There was discussion on the format for candidates night. Under the current format all questions are directed to the Moderator. This is the format that has been used in the past and it has worked well. The Board agrees to leave the format as is.
Richard Ledoux, Recreation Director, came before the Board to talk about possible write-offs, an updated handbook, and a request for a pool pass donation from the BES Nest 6th year calendar fundraiser. The Board told Mr. Ledoux that the write-offs can be discussed in non-public. They asked him to email or provide copies of the handbook for them to review and they can discuss at a future date. Chairman Glavac motioned we donate a family pool pass for the raffle, Selectman Blanchard seconded, motion carried 3-0. Mr. Ledoux said that Copper Cannon has also requested a pool pass donation for their fundraiser. Chairman Glavac motioned we donate one to Copper Cannon, Selectman Blanchard seconded, motion carried 3-0.
Chairman Glavac said the Board has been contacted by attorney Christine Fillmore who wants to have a legal consultation with the Select Board, Planning Board, and Conservation Commission regarding Northern Pass. All the Board members agree they would like to have a legal consultation. Chairman Glavac asked Cheryl Jensen, Co-Chair of the Conservation Commission who was in attendance at the meeting to notify Ms. Fillmore that the Selectboard would like to meet.
There is discussion on photographs of the new Arlington Hotel for the Town Report. The Board would like the new Arlington Photo on the front cover and the old Arlington Hotel photo on the inside cover. Chairman Glavac asked Cheryl Jensen to thank Christopher Jensen for taking the photos.
Mr. Claffey asked if there is a policy on writing-off rec balances. Chairman Glavac said they will look into it.
Tim Vaughn asked what other towns the Select Board looked at during the negotiations. He said he knows that Brenda, Town Attorney, named them off during the meeting but he didnt catch what she said. Chairman Glavac said that April Hibberd, Administrative Assistant, can provide that information.
Julie Seely had questions about the mailing that the town has been sending out. How many more are there? Who is paying for the mailings? Questions on who the negotiators were? and how the numbers for the mailer were generated? She is concerned with the accuracy of the numbers that were provided in the mailers.
Chairman Glavac said there are two additional mailings planned. That the Town is paying for the mailings. The negotiation team was Boutin & Altieri and as such any correspondence between the Town and Boutin & Altieri is attorney client privileged.
Mrs. Seely questions the $783,000 loss of revenue from NCES during the 2017 tax year. She said this number is higher even than the number NCES provided and questions it accuracy and how it was determined. Chairman Glavac explains that it is a projected loss and that the projection included an anticipated increase in the tax rate. Mrs. Seely continues to question the accuracy of the projected loss of revenue. Chairman Glavac said the Board worked together to calculate the loss in revenue and the numbers used to calculate the loss in revenue are in the Selectmen’s Office.
Chairman Glavac said the Select Board looked at 6 Host Community Agreements during the neogogations. Mrs. Seely asked the Board of Selectmen if they could not negotiate in public or if they choose not to negotiate in public. Chairman Glavac said legally they could have negotiated in public but the Board of Selectmen choose not to. There was discussion on if the Board took public comment before they signed the new Community Host Agreement. Chairman Glavac said the Board deliberated the after the first proposal, at that time there was no public comment. The Board of Selectmen held a public hearing and did take public comment before they signed the agreement.
There was continued discussion on if public comment was taken on the Host Community Agreement before it was signed. Chairman Glavac said it was not. The new Host Community Agreement was signed and then opened to public comment
Mrs. Seely asked why the Select Board put a recommendation on the proposed zoning changes and if the Town checked with the attorney first to see if a recommendation from the Select Board is legal. Chairman Glavac said the warrant articles are legal.
Chairman Glavac announced that the Board of Selectmen was going to enter into non-public session per RSA 91-3:11 to discuss possible write-offs and personnel. Chairman Glavac motioned to go into non-public session. Selectmen Blanchard seconded, Chairman Glavac did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public.
During the motion Rita Farrell started to ask a question. The non-public session was delayed to allow Mrs. Farrell to speak. Mrs. Farrell asked the Board if they knew about 72:12 and arbitration. Chairman Glavac says he did not know what 72:12 is but the Board will look into it.
Mr. Vaughn said that he is concerned by the fast development of the amended contract. He feels the need for more background information to be able to more accurately determine if this is in the Town’s best interest.
At 6:42pm the Select Board enters into non-public session to discuss write-offs and matters of personnel.
The Board discussed recreation write offs. No write-offs when made. The Board discussed personnel.
7:27 pm Selectman Ubaldo motioned to come out of non-public session. Chairman Glavac seconded, Roll call vote with all members agreeing to come of out non-public sessions.
Chairman Glavac motioned to adjourn, Selectman Blanchard seconded, motion carried 3-0.
Meeting adjourned 7:28pm
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