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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Bethlehem Selectmen Office
April 25, 2016
Present: Selectman Staples, Selectman Laleme, Selectman Blanchard, Selectman Ubaldo.
Acting Chairman Staples opened the meeting at 6:00
Acting Chairman Staples thanked Seth Goldstein for bringing the question/concern to the Boards attention about the testing wells and gas probes that NCES is proposing to put on their newly acquired adjacent lot. Acting Chairman Staples said the Board sent it to the Town’s attorney, Brenda Keith. Acting Chairman Staples moved to read attorney Keith’s letter and other supporting documents. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0. Acting Chairman Staples read the letter and read number five of the referenced stipulation.
Seth Goldstein came before the Board and said he needed to digest the info he just heard and thanked the Board for their efforts. He said the agreement laid everything to rest so he stepped away from the issue and trusted the Board to uphold the agreement. Mr. Goldstein said the agreement means the landfill has an end date. Selectman Laleme said the agreement says they (NCES) are confined to District 5 and that it would need a town vote to expand. She said they can’t expand outside of that. Mr. Goldstein said the signs created by Cliff Crosby indicate the landfill will expand and said people are naive to think they do not want to expand. There was discussion about the stipulation referring to existing wells and not future ones. Mr.
Goldstein passed out documents to the Board that includes information about Cliff Crosby. Selectman Laleme said Mr. Crosby is not a member of this Board and has a 1st amendment right to say and do what he wants. She also said this Board has said they didn’t support Mr. Crosby but supported the agreement. Mr. Goldstein said he believes mechanisms are at work to create an article to expand the landfill. Selectman Laleme said they would need another town vote and said the Board cannot restrict anyone from submitting a petitioned warrant article. Selectman Blanchard said this Board has been proactive in trying to prepare the town for when
the landfill closes and there has been no mention of expansion. Mr. Goldstein said the actions of Mr. Crosby and the people who supported the signs are a threat to the agreement and said he was troubled by Selectman Ubaldo having a sign on his property. Mr. Goldstein asked Selectman Ubaldo his position on the landfill expanding. Acting Chairman Staples told Selectman Ubaldo that he could answer if he wanted but said he didn’t have to and told Mr. Goldstein she was encouraged by the conversation and working as a team but said she doesn’t want it to get personal. She said the Board is united to uphold the settlement agreement and that they may all have personal views but they take it very seriously. Selectman Laleme said the Board has not brought up any discussion of expansion and said the Board can’t suppress anyone from saying anything or having a sign. Mr. Goldstein said he wants to hear the logic of why Selectman Ubaldo had a sign. He said he wants to keep the landfill from expanding and said the amount the landfill is importing from out of state has gone from 15% to 37% and said they are cutting on the Tucker property. Mr. Goldstein also said there is now no tree barrier between the landfill and the national forest. He said Casella paid 2.5 million for the Tucker property but another gravel pit down the road sold for almost $300,000. He said it is a combination of Mr. Crosby’s propaganda, purchase of Tucker property, and wells on the Tucker property that is making him concerned. He said that with the placement of the wells across the street and upstream they will not detect contaminants to the environment. He said he spoke with Mr. Wimsatt at DES and Mr. Wimsatt did say it was good to have them upstream to compare to downstream wells but Mr. Goldstein asked to not
eliminate the ones that are there now. He asked the Board to look into health and environmental issues with it. Mr. Goldstein asked the Board to unite against Casella and said he wants to live in peace and that will happen after the landfill closes. Acting Chairman Staples agrees it is important to be vigilant and thanked Mr. Goldstein for bringing the concern to the Boards attention. Cheryl Jensen said the Conservation Commission will be discussing this on Thursday so she asked some follow-up and clarifying questions. She asked if the agreement was only in regards to the wells and Acting Chairman Staples said it does only say the wells in the stipulation that attorney Keith references. Selectman Laleme asked if they are considered infrastructure. Mrs. Jensen asked how it is allowed that they (wells and probes) will be outside of the 61 acres and Acting Chairman Staples said the attorney said monitoring infrastructure can be outside the 61
acres because it is in the Town’s best interest. Mr. Goldstein said it is not in best interest if moved 250 feet away. Mrs. Jensen asked if moving the wells would interfere with consistency of monitoring and asked if they would not be able to compare for a time period. Acting Chairman Staples said it was worth asking about the gas probes. Selectman Laleme said DES has to approve this and to see if they have permitted it. Mrs. Jensen said there is not an application at this point. Mr. Goldstein said Mr. Wimsatt said it is not an application just a statement saying where they are putting them. He also said DES won’t prevent the water testing management application and said the new wells are ok but not to give up old data. He asked the Board to advocate against eliminating the current wells. Selectman Laleme said the Board should clarify if an application is required, if gas probes are qualified under stipulation, and to verify that it is not in violation of the agreement by moving them. The Board agreed to verify this information. Jackie Katzman suggested getting an engineering study done. Mrs. Jensen said the Conservation Commission will be talking about possibly hiring Aries to look at it. Chris McGrath asked if Casella was asked to come to answer
questions and was told no and also said to ask DES if it is an active application before spending money on this.
The Board reviewed a request from VFW about having a representative from Bethlehem participate in the Memorial Day parade and Selectman Blanchard agreed to be the representative.
The Board reviewed the elevator contract and discussed that the response time for repairs is two hours on weekdays. Selectman Blanchard moved to accept the agreement. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board reviewed Bretzfelder Committee appointments. Selectman Laleme moved to approve the appointments of Tanya Tellman – 3 year term, Ann Gruczka – 3 year term, Liz Carter – 1 year term, Julie Yates – 1 year term. Acting Chairman Staples seconded. Carried 4-0. Chris McGrath said he is the Planning Board liaison to the Bretzfelder committee. The Board reviewed and signed the UNH economic development memorandum of understanding for $2500.00.
The Board reviewed an abatement for Map/lot 411-032 for $482.82. Acting Chairman Staples moved to approve the abatement. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried 4-0. Acting Chairman Staples said the website project is a big project and suggested that her, Selectman Glavac and April meet with Angel Larcom to come up with a plan. The Board agreed to that. Cheryl Jensen asked if the Conservation Commission could have their own page and Chris Jensen offered to help with the website.
Acting Chairman Staples moved to make LGC legal advice about requiring liens to be satisfied on Arlington project before issuing a certificate of occupancy permit public. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Acting Chairman Staples read the advice which was for the Board to follow normal procedure and not get involved in a private dispute.
Fire Chief Anderson came before the Board to ask the Board to authorize him to purchase 4 sets of gear with funds coming from his capital reserve fund. He said the gear cost $7157.96 and he has approximately $40,000.00 in the capital reserve fund. Selectman Laleme moved to allow the purchase. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
Chief Anderson told the Board the grant for the ambulance is coming along. The Board discussed a request that a letter be sent to the liquor commission giving permission for the country club to have live entertainment and agreed to send the letter.
The Board reviewed minutes. Acting Chairman Staples moved to approve the minutes from 04/21/16. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 3-0 (Selectman Laleme abstained). Selectman Laleme moved to write a letter to SEC about Colebrook changing their position to neutral so Bethlehem wants them moved from our group. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
Selectman Laleme said they accepted money at the last meeting and it was questioned that a public hearing needs to be held for money accepted that is over $5,000.00 but the amount is now $10,000.00 so a public hearing is not needed.
Cheryl Jensen said she spoke with Pam Monroe from the SEC about scheduling a meeting in Bethlehem. She said it will be combining the meeting with business that didn’t get done at the Loon meeting so it will now start during the day so it can’t be at Profile. She said it will be on May 19th in Whitefield at 11:00.
Chris McGrath said the town wide cleanup date is May 7th. Cheryl Jensen said 9:30 to 10:00 at the gazebo; 10 to 12 is the cleanup and 12:00 at Bretzfelder for hot dogs and ice cream. At 7:15 Acting Chairman Staples moved to go into non-public session per RSA 91 A for matters of reputation and personnel. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Acting Chairman Staples did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session.
The Board discussed personnel. Acting Chairman Staples moved to hire Joanna Roberts at 9.00/hour. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board discussed the Country Club Committee. Selectman Blanchard moved to have Pete Rivers, Ned Johnson, Patsie Bonardi, Victor Hoffman, Katelyn White, Clare Brown and Jane Storella be on the committee. Acting Chairman Staples seconded. Carried 4-0.
At 8:00 Acting Chairman Staples moved to come out of non-public session. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Acting Chairman Staples did roll call with all members agreeing to come out of non-public session.
At 8:00 Acting Chairman Staples moved to adjourn. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.