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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Bethlehem Town Building Meeting Room
June 17, 2013
Present: Chairman Blanchard, Selectman Laleme, Selectman Culver, Selectman Fiorentino, Selectman Glavac.
Chairman Blanchard opened the meeting at 6:39.
Nancy Comeau came before the Board to update the Board on her meeting with Kevin Roy. She explained that she and Kevin believe the residents need to be reminded and educated about the bears and our ordinance. Casella wrote a draft letter to send to residents along with the ordinance and a helpful hints brochure from NH Fish and Game. Kevin said he thinks that the letter should come from the Town instead of Casella. Kevin said garbage is meant to go out the morning of pick-up day and if that isn’t an option the transfer station is available to bring trash to several days a week and all day Saturday. Kevin asked if the Ordinance is being enforced. Chief Ho-Sing-Loy said they haven’t received a lot of callsthis year about bears. Nancy said bears typically come out around April 1st. Chairman Blanchard said a lot of people leave the totes accessible to the bears and they need to take personal responsibility. He also agrees that the mailer should be from the Town. Kevin said Casella will pay for the mailer.
Rita Farrell said the buckets are big and difficult to maneuver and some people need to put theirs out the night before because they go to work early. She asked what Casella can do to make things easier for those people.
Kevin said people have requested smaller totes and he has given them the smaller ones. He also said some people do not use the totes but just use the Transfer Station. There was discussion about adding that smaller totes are available in the letter that will be going out. Kevin also pointed out that if you get missed on your pick up day you can call and get your garbage picked up. Rita asked to have that included in the letter also. Chairman Blanchard will work on the draft letter and send it to Kevin. Kevin said he would also send a follow up postcard in a couple of weeks. Julian Czarny suggested that in the letter it should say how you should periodically sanitize your container. Julian also said the ordinance has been in effect for over a year now and it might be time to issue warnings.
Chairman Blanchard reviewed two abatements. Selectman Culver moved to approve the 2 abatement requests. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Rita said she was told to wait until summer after the reval to ask for
abatement. There was discussion about what the cutoff date is to apply for an abatement. Selectman Culver said he believes it is the end of March or possibly the beginning. It was explained that the abatement request is given to the assessor and he reviews it and makes a recommendation to the Board. Selectman Laleme said she wanted to discuss one of the requests in non-public so wants to vote on them separately. Selectman Fiorentino withdrew his second. Selectman Culver withdrew his motion. Chairman Blanchard moved to approve the elderly exemption abatement. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried 5-0.
Selectman Laleme moved to table the 2nd abatement request to see if it can be discussed in public. Chairman Blanchard seconded. Carried 5-0.
The Board reviewed a letter from Ammonoosuc River Local Advisory Committee requesting $50.00 to help with their administrative expenses. Selectman Laleme said their reports are very thorough and interesting. Selectman Laleme moved to approve the $50.00 request. Chairman Blanchard seconded. Selectman Fiorentino said he doesn’t have a problem with giving them the money but said we should follow the process we have for all requests. He said it is the middle of the year and they should have sent in their request so it could have been on the warrant. Selectman Laleme said this report gives the Town valuable information on the water in Bethlehem. She also said she feels this is different from the other requests because we are
getting something in return. Chairman Blanchard suggested sending them the $50.00 and a letter explaining the process to request funds from the Town for 2014. Selectman Laleme moved to amend her motion to include sending the letter with the check. Chairman Blanchard seconded. Carried 5-0.
The Board reviewed bills for the pool and an electrical bill for the park. Selectman Culver asked if the pool bills can be made out to the Town and not the Village District. Dick Robie said the request has been made but he will contact them again. Chairman Blanchard told him to let the Board know if he needs someone from the Town to call.
Dick Robie gave an update on the pool. He said they poured ½ of the skimmers (7) and will do the rest next. He said the skimmer piping is done except for the pump room. Dick said it probably won’t be open this year but they are making considerable progress.
The Board reviewed a letter from a resident complaining about a neighbor’s property being noxious, offensive and having dangerous issues. It was noted that the building inspector has been sent to the property but the Board is not happy with his response and will be following up on that. Dick Robie spoke of a problem with a neighbor of his and will also be sending in a letter asking for reduction in taxes because value is affected. There was discussion about how properties with garbage contribute to bears being in populated neighborhoods. The Board will ask the building inspector and the Police Chief to go to the property to evaluate the situation.
Julian Czarny said he would like to speak on the issue of the invoices not being addressed to the Town of Bethlehem and said there are plenty of other people to get goods and services from. Julian also asked if the lot line issue with the pool has been resolved. He was told yes.
Chairman Blanchard reviewed some literature from a collection agency that the Town may utilize to collect back taxes. Selectman Culver explained that there are some properties that are delinquent but would be disadvantageous for the Town to deed. The collectionagency would be utilized for properties that are not
The Board reviewed the minutes from 06/03/13. Chairman Blanchard moved to approve the minutes as written. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried 4-0 (Selectman Culver abstained).
Selectman Laleme said she spoke with the electrician who is working on the Country Club electrical work. She said he is a Master Electrician and is putting in the lighting that the 300 club is paying for. Selectman Laleme said she asked him for a list of priorities of electrical work that needs to be done at the Country Club with a time line and estimate of cost. She said she will bring that to the Board when she receives it.
Rita Farrell asked what the understanding is of when Casella will charge for waste removal. Selectman Culver said in the agreement it states that as long as landfill is in operation the Town gets free trash pick-up.
Rita informed the Board of Casella’s plans of increased capacity and said she found this information on Casella’s website. She asked the Board to look into Casella landfilling 153 feet in all four stages of the landfill. Chairman Blanchard said the Board would look into that. Rita said DES controls everything about the landfill.
Rita told the Board that there are 90 homes for sale in Bethlehem and why deed more if there are so many for sale. Chairman Blanchard said the Board had no choice to do what they did per RSA’s. Rita said the Town does have discretion and should use that discretion because of all the people going through hard economic times. Selectman Culver said that if properties were deeded and sold for only $1.00 then they would at least be taxpaying properties again. He also said it is not fair to taxpayers to let 1.4 million in taxes not be paid. Selectman Glavac said everyone who came to the Board about their property being deeded was able to work out arrangements with the Board and repurchase their property.
Julian asked about the electrician’s bill that was signed if it was for the flag pole, park across the street, skate park area or where. He said it was costly venture to renew lighting for skate park for minimal amount of use. Chairman Blanchard explained it was to repair the conduit that was open and exposed. He said it was done to make it safe.
At 7:55 Chairman Blanchard moved to go into non-public session per 91a for matters of personnel and reputation. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Chairman Blanchard did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session.
The Board discussed personnel.
The Board discussed an abatement request and determined it was public.
At 8:30 Selectman Culver moved to come out of non-public session. Chairman Blanchard seconded. Carried 5-0.
Selectman Culver moved to approve the 2nd abatement request after clarification. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried 5-0.
At 8:33 Chairman Blanchard moved to adjourn. Selectman Culver seconded. Carried 5-0.