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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Bethlehem Selectmen Office
May 11, 2015
Present: Chairman Culver, Selectman Glavac, Selectman Laleme, Selectman Blanchard, Selectman Staples.
At 6:00pm Chairman Culver opened the meeting.
Fallon O’Brien came before the Board to discuss her proposed idea of creating a skate park in Bethlehem. Ms. O’Brien said White Mountain School donated a barely used half pipe to the Bethlehem Skate Park and said she has raised $2,500.00. She said Lincoln and Lancaster are both getting skate parks and said volunteers (White Mtn. School students) could staff and maintain the park. Ms. O’Brien said she would be back in June with a plan and a check. Selectman Laleme suggested she get a letter from White Mountain School saying it will be part of their curriculum and what they will be doing. Chairman Culver asked what happens when the $2,500.00 is gone because it will have to be moved every winter because of the skate rink and said we would need the cost of ongoing maintenance and what happens if White Mountain School no longer wants to man it. Selectman Glavac said she would have to talk with Rec Director, Rhienna Miscio, to discuss this. Chairman Culver said he would like to quantify how many Bethlehem skateboarders would utilize it because as a taxpayer he wants to know is it a need for the Bethlehem taxpayer. Ms. O’Brien said it would bring people outside of Bethlehem
into the community. Chairman Culver said the last time we had a skate park there was vandalism and said there would need to be a plan on hours, how to monitor, etc. Ms. O’Brien said all of that will be included in the presentation in June. Selectman Blanchard said he would like her to factor in the parks in Lincoln and Lancaster in the presentation; what kinds of projects are they and how elaborate. Selectman Staples told Ms. O’Brien to contact the Board if she needs any clarification on what the Board is looking for in the presentation so it is what the Board is looking for.
Dawn Ferringo came before the Board to discuss the new proposed building permit applications and fees. She explained there will now be 3 different applications versus one to separate commercial and residential and multifamily. Mrs. Ferringo said all the fees will now be based on square footage and they will have a minimum amount; commercial .12 square foot with minimum of $150.00, single family .10 square foot with $200.00 minimum, multifamily .08 square foot with $200.00 minimum, addition, alterations with foundation $75.00, addition, alterations without foundation $50.00, mobile home replacement $75.00. She said there will be a renewal fee for lapsed permits and a fine for beginning work before getting a permit. Chairman Culver asked if they were comparable to other towns. Mrs. Ferringo said they are comparable to Franconia and they also looked at Jackson, Gorham, and Littleton. Selectman Blanchard moved to accept the revised applications and fees. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 4-0 (Selectman Laleme abstained). Mrs. Ferringo said they are still working on the frequently asked questions and asked if the Board needed to see those when they were finished and she was told no.
The Board reviewed the handbook again. Jack Anderson said he hasn’t seen in writing what changes will be made and said it is nice to know what is coming. He also said the Department Heads spent quite a bit of time on it. Selectman Laleme said the biggest change was calling time off PTO (paid time off) and said no one lost time. She explained that there will not be any sick time anymore. There was discussion about the changes to the time worked scale on when you get the time; 0 to 1 -5 PTO days, 1 to 7 – 15 PTO days, 8+ – 20 PTO days. There was also discussion about how it is a use it or lose it policy with no rollovers or buyouts. Mr. Anderson pointed out that sick time could be carried over before. Selectman Glavac said the Board was not looking to take away benefits and said the new insurance split (80/20) was not taking away benefits. The Board discussed allowing the sick rollover days to stay on the books for 1 year to be used for sick time only during the transition time. Brett Jackson asked if his two employees who get that extra week already will lose it because of not being here 8+ years. The Board then discussed changing that back to 6+ years. Chief Ho-Sing-Loy said PTO is great for employees that don’t have shift coverage. He explained the concerns he has with this because his dept. needs to cover 24 hours/7 days a week. Selectman Staples said it will require more managing from the department heads. Chief Ho-Sing-Loy asked what the savings is by doing this and said he wants sick time back. Selectman Staples moved to change PTO scale to 0 to 1 years – 5 PTO days, 1 to 5 years – 15 PTO days, 6+ years – 20 PTO days. Selectman Blanchard seconded. The Board discussed the 0 to 1 year and discussed prorating it. Selectmen Staples and Blanchard withdrew their motion and second. Selectman Laleme suggested thinking about this before making a decision because they just keep going back and forth. The Board discussed different options for 0 to 1 year including prorating and not offering any until the employee has worked a full year. Selectman Blanchard moved to approve the 0 to1 – 5, 1 to5 – 15, and 6+ -20. Selectman Staples seconded. Carried 4-1 (Chairman Culver opposed). Chairman Culver moved to use calendar year of their anniversary date happening (during the year the anniversary fall on). Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 3-2 (Selectmen Blanchard and Laleme opposed). Brett Jackson asked about frontloading and the liability of it and said it should be based on anniversary date. Mr. Jackson also said all employees who work for the Town should punch a time clock. Selectman Laleme said department heads don’t have to and it is different for all departments. Chairman Culver said if we have a Department Head that doesn’t trust their employees then we have a bigger issue. Rita Farrell asked if the volunteer firemen get paid and if they punch a time clock. Chairman Culver said there is no time for that when responding to a
call. It was noted that the firemen hours are documented and Chief Anderson documents it. Mr. Jackson asked about when the highway guys start getting paid when being called in, if it is when the call is made or when the employee gets to the shop. It was discussed that currently it is when they get to the shop and that they get an extra call in hour of pay every time they get called in. The Board will do some research on this. Mr. Jackson also brought up the idea of floating holidays because 6 are in the winter. It was noted the employees get double time and a half when working on a holiday.
The Board discussed the 80/20 insurance split vote made at a previous meeting. Selectman Laleme moved to rescind the 80/20% vote. Selectman Staples seconded. Chairman Culver said he thinks it should be tabled until budget time when seeing the numbers. Selectman Glavac said he brought it up a couple of years ago and said the ratio is generous. He also said healthcare costs go up every year. Selectman Staples said she agrees with getting to 80/20 but the impact based on this year’s costs would affect employees between .40 to .50 an hour. She said she believes there should be a schedule to get to the 80/20. Selectman Blanchard agrees it was premature but did say in the private sector it was always 80/20 for him but he would like to see the rates and doesn’t want to change until seeing the numbers. Carried 4 to1 (Selectman Glavac opposed).
The Board discussed a letter from SPNHF (Society for the Protection of NH Forests) regarding the PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) they pay to the Town each year. This was tabled.
The Board reviewed quotes to resurface the tennis courts. There were two quotes one for $4791.00 and one for $6714.00. Rhienna Miscio said there was a big difference in price on the quotes but said the more expensive one has a 4 year guarantee on the cracks and feels the more expensive quote is the way to go. Selectman Laleme moved to accept the bid for $6,714.00. Chairman Culver seconded. Mrs. Miscio said she will wait until Profile is done with their season to have the work completed. Carried 4-0 (Selectman Glavac abstained).
The Board reviewed a cap agreement with Primex for property and liability insurance. The agreement guarantees the % increase will be no higher than 9% until 2018. The Board discussed putting this out to bid and tabled the discussion.
The Board discussed a quote to complete the handicap ramp for the pool for $1,821.00. It was noted this quote was obtained last year and was supposed to be completed last year but wasn’t due to unforeseen circumstances. The quote increased over $300.00 from last year. Mrs. Miscio said the quote increased because of labor and supply costs and said it was the subcontractor that increased the price. Mrs. Miscio said the company can guarantee ADA compliance. Chairman Culver moved to approve the quote. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Selectman Glavac asked if there was time to obtain another quote and was told no. Carried 4-1
(Selectman Laleme opposed).
The Board reviewed a letter from the state about Culvert work that will be done on 302 in July of 2016. They discussed forwarding the information to the Village District, Brett Jackson, Conservation Commission, and the Heritage. Brett Jackson said the fire trucks could be kept at the highway garage during this.
The Board reviewed the minutes from 04/27/15. Selectman Blanchard moved to approve as written. Selectman Staples seconded. Carried 5-0.
The Board reviewed the minutes from 05/04/15. Chairman Culver moved to approve the minutes as written. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 5-0.
The Board discussed the request by admin office to pay the monthly retirement bill online by ACH. Chairman Culver moved to pay the retirement bill electronically. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried 5-0.
The Board discussed the flags at the cemeteries being tattered and it was stated the new flags are here and need to be put up.
Selectman Glavac handed out a proposed stimulus tax plan for the Board to review to give new businesses incentive to come to Bethlehem. This will be sent to Primex and LGC for their input/advice on it.
The Board discussed the next sale and discussed having the auction on August 15th. Selectman Glavac said the buyer should pay the premium. Chairman Culver moved to have the auction on August 15th 2015. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 5-0.
Rita Farrell asked if the pool is leaking and Selectman Laleme told her not that we are aware of and said there are cracks that need to be addressed. She also said the leak from last year will not be fixed. Mrs. Farrell asked what the Board found out about the Costello’s property and the deed restriction on it. Chairman Culver moved to waive legal advice and then rescinded his motion. Chairman Culver said the Town has no responsibility on restrictions on deeds and said it is a civil matter. Selectman Laleme said they can’t involve the Town in private disputes unless it involves the Town.
Mrs. Farrell said on the website when she is reading the minutes she can’t back out of the page without backing totally out of the website. She also asked about the draft minutes being put on the website after the 5 days instead of waiting until they are approved. Chairman Culver said he doesn’t want permanent info on World Wide Web until they are permanent record.
Mrs. Farrell discussed the DES report on odor issues and said that DES said NCES was not complying not what was said prior that they were complying but were being held to a higher standard.
Frank Claffey said if Fallon O’Brien is giving money to the Town, it needs to be handed correctly so he will need certain information to ensure that.
At 9:00pm Chairman Culver moved to go into non-public session per 91 A to discuss matters of personnel and impending legal. Selectman Laleme seconded. Chairman Culver did roll all with all members agreeing to go into non-public session.
The Board discussed recreation personnel. Selectman Glavac moved to approve .15 raise for GJ. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 5-0.
Chairman Culver moved to approve .15 raise for RL. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 5- 0. Selectman Blanchard moved to approve 1.00 raise for KS. Chairman Culver seconded. Carried 5-0.
Selectman Blanchard moved to approve .15 raise for SK. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 5-0.
Selectman Blanchard moved to approve .15 raise for JR. Chairman Culver seconded. Carried 5-0
The Board discussed the Fairpoint lawsuit. Selectman Laleme moved to accept the settlement. Selectman Staples seconded. Carried 5-0.
The Board discussed an employee addendum. Chairman Culver moved to approve the drafted addendum contingent on Primex ok. Selectman Staples seconded. Carried 4-0 (Selectman Laleme abstained).
At 9:21 Selectman Laleme moved to come out of non-public session. Selectman Staples seconded. Carried 5-0.
At 9:25 Selectman Laleme moved to adjourn. Chairman Culver seconded. Carried 5-0.