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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Bethlehem Selectmen Office
June 23, 2014
Present: Chairperson Laleme, Selectman Blanchard, Selectman Fiorentino, Selectman Glavac.
Chairperson Laleme opened the meeting at 6:30pm.
The Board discussed the bids for the demolition of the Cruft building and Selectman Blanchard suggested the bid not get awarded until next week so they can compare the bids and make sure they meet the specs. Chairperson Laleme said she discussed this with Jack Anderson who put in a lot of time on this and did the bid scope of work. She said Jack had also suggested holding off a week to award the bid. Selectman Blanchard moved to open the bids tonight and then compare the bids and see if they meet the specifications and award the bid next week. Chairperson Laleme seconded. Carried 4-0. The Board opened the bids for the Cruft Building. The bids are as follows:
All-ways Recycling $29,680.00
The Nelson Companies $19,650.00
All Demolition & Asbestos $38,400.00
A.B. Logging & Excavating Ins. $43,476.50
Spears Bros. $23,600.00
Dodge Contracting $49,800.00
Gary Ward & Son Excavation $30,500.00
Selectman Blanchard will review the bids with Jack Anderson and give a recommendation to the Board next week.
Tricia Fryman and Wendy Haslett from Woodsville Bank came before the Board and presented some information that will replace our repurchase agreement. Frank Claffey came to join them in the discussion. They reviewed the current repurchase agreement we have and the fee associated with it. They explained the new program would put the money in a money market and it would earn .20% with no monthly fees. There was discussion that only 6 withdrawals a month are allowed. Frank said he would need to look into this before advising the Board. There was also discussion that the Money Market account is FDIC insured. Our current account is not FDIC insured.
Nigel Manley and Will Abbott came before the Board to discuss the PILOT agreement for the Rocks Estate and Bretzfelder Park. There was discussion that the PILOT agreement was agreed to15 years ago and was an agreement for 5 years. The bill for the last 10 years has been for the original PILOT amount of $8,000.00. Mr. Manley and Mr. Abbott said they are looking to formalize a new agreement and merge all the Rocks Estate lots. Chairperson Laleme moved to bill them the $8,000.00 for this year and reevaluate before next year. Selectman Blanchard seconded. It was decided after having the assessor review the PILOT
Mr. Manley and Mr. Abbott would be invited back in to discuss it again. Selectman Fiorentino said it will be easier after the merger. Carried 4-0.
Commissioner Linda Lauer came before the Board. She said she is here to introduce herself and explained that she took over the county commissioner spot formerly filled by Ray Burton. Commissioner Lauer said the county budget will increase 2.51%, 1.75% is for COLA for employees and there is an increase for an additional county attorney to ease the burden of the heavy caseloads on the current county attorneys.
Commissioner Lauer said the impact for Bethlehem is minimal. Chairperson Laleme said all the taxes add up and pointed out that the North Country earns less, has an increase in gas tax but already pay more for gas and said every year the county has an increase.
John Starr came in to discuss the Habitat for Humanity house title issue. He explained there is a mortgage from 1998 that was never discharged and it appears that it was a fraudulent mortgage. Mr. Starr said the attorney working on this for Habitat said they would like to petition the court to discharge the mortgage but that needs to be done in the name of the owner of the property, which is the Town. Mr. Starr said Habitat will incur the cost involved with this. Chairperson Laleme moved to allow Habitat to have the mortgage discharged by petitioning the court in the Town name. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0. A copy of the minutes will be given to John Starr for documentation of this vote.
The Board discussed the drag strip access road issue that was referred to the Select Board by the Planning Board. Chairperson Laleme gave some background information and explained the Planning Board referred it to the Board of Selectmen to decide if Mr. Ingerson is out of compliance for not doing Site Plan Review.
Chairperson Laleme said the Planning Board sent a letter to Mr. Ingerson asking him to come in for Site Plan Review because it is a change of use. Selectman Glavac said you can’t enforce until there is a violation and there isn’t one because the project hasn’t started yet. Selectman Blanchard said he agrees that until something has happened the Board can’t enforce. There was discussion about the impact the additional traffic will have on people in that area. Chairperson Laleme said the Planning Board received different legal opinions on whether we can make Mr. Ingerson come in for Site Plan Review or not. Cheryl Jensen said the Planning Board asked him to come in for Site Plan Review and he didn’t so the Board of Selectmen would be going against the Planning Board if they vote against that. Chairperson Laleme said that the Board is forming an opinion if it is enforceable or not and said the Planning Board was divided on that as well. Chairperson Laleme said if another access road is used this would be moot. Selectman Glavac said until a violation has happened there is nothing to enforce. Chairperson Laleme read legal advice from LGC attorney that said you couldn’t ask someone to come in before the Board without an application before them. Chairperson Laleme said the Planning Board attorney advised the Planning Board to ask him to come in for Site Plan Review. Chairperson Laleme said the law says we need an application first. She also said the Planning Board believes we need Site Plan Review for that piece of the road and if we have the right to look at this we can only look at that piece of the road. It was stated that Mr. Ingerson has received a DOT permit. There was discussion about whether this was a regional impact or not but the Board said that would be determined by Dalton where the project is and because they do not have any zoning they do not determine if it is regional impact or not. Chairperson Laleme moved the Board of Selectmen sees no enforcement issue at this time. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried 4-0.
Frank Claffey asked for approval from the Board to pay the TAN as soon as we have the money before the Board signs the manifest to save on the daily interest expense. Selectman Fiorentino moved to repay the loan for the TAN before the Board signs the manifest. Chairperson Laleme seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board reviewed abatements. Chairperson Laleme moved to approve the abatement for Map 401-007 for $2,101.28.Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 4-0. Chairperson Laleme moved to approve the abatement for Map 205/140 for $250.00 because of a missed veteran’s credit. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried 4-0. Chairperson Laleme moved to approve the abatement for Map 205/140 for $26.17 for incorrect
precinct. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
Chairperson Laleme read a letter from Davidson Ridge Association about a Town owned lot in the Association. Selectman Blanchard moved to notify the Davidson Ridge Association that we will not be paying dues. Chairperson Laleme seconded and said the Board can’t obligate the Town to pay dues. Carried
3-1 (Selectman Glavac opposed).
The Board reviewed a request for a refund on their registration fee that they did in error by registering an old car they no longer have. The state refunded the state portion and they are requesting the Town refund the Town’s portion. Chairperson Laleme moved to refund the registration amount. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board received a letter from the State of NH Liquor Commission looking for Board input on a liquor
license for Sage of Bethlehem LLC. Selectman Blanchard moved to approve the liquor license request. Chairperson Laleme seconded. 4-0
The Board reviewed another abatement. Chairperson Laleme moved to approve the abatement for Map 401/01/001 for $30.28 for incorrect precinct. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board reviewed the minutes from 06/09/14. Selectman Fiorentino moved to approve the minutes. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 3-0 (Chairperson Laleme abstained).
The Board reviewed a letter from Mr. Ricci about taxes and Selectman Fiorentino said he never followed
through on abatement process so he owes the money and a letter was written to him notifying him of this. The Board reviewed the letter written to Mr. Ricci. Selectman Fiorentino moved to send the letter
to Mr. Ricci. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board discussed an enforcement issue about a trailer/camper on a property that needed to be removed from the property by spring of 2014. Chairperson Laleme moved to refer this to legal. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
Selectman Glavac gave an update on the pool and said the pool committee, Rhienna Miscio, and himself met last week. Selectman Glavac said there is water in the pool and they need to stabilize the chemicals in the pool which could take 1 to 2 weeks. He said the pool would be ready to open in 4 to 6 weeks.
Chairperson Laleme said there is a problem with the backwash filter and the pool leaked. She said it
went down 2 ½ inches. The Board discussed that information is out that the pool was opening on June 28th
but that is not going to happen.
Selectman Blanchard brought up the former Chamber of Commerce website that the Town is taking over and said we obtained legal advice on whether businesses could advertise on the site or not for a fee. He said legal advised us to allow business name, logo, and contact info only. Selectman Blanchard said we should also establish a contact person for the businesses to submit their information to and suggested that person be Carole Hammarberg. Selectman Blanchard moved to keep the same fees for businesses to have name, logo, and contact info on the website and make Carole Hammarberg the contact person. Chairman Laleme seconded. Carried 4-0.
Selectman Fiorentino told the Board that he could volunteer his time to fix the fence at the Visitor’s
Center and would just need to buy the supplies (paint, lattice, 2x6x10) for a cost of approx. $70.00. He
said he would be able to do it next week. Selectman Blanchard moved to accept Selectman Fiorentino’s
offer. Chairperson Laleme seconded. Carried 4-0.
Selectman Blanchard gave an update on the Prospect Street Bridge and explained some washers broke because the wood expanded. He said there were not any structural concerns and it shouldn’t expand any more. Selectman Blanchard said Brett Jackson will replace the washers.
Cheryl Jensen asked if what the Rocks Estate is paying in the PILOT is less than what the taxes would be.
She was told yes. There was some discussion on why Town’s enter into PILOT agreements.
Rita Farrell asked the Board to consider having the minutes put on the website before they were approved.
Kevin Roy from North Country Environmental Services said June 7th was the household hazardous waste day and it had a great turnout. He said the attendance was 3 times more than last year. Mr. Roy said
someone approached him about some tires on Town owned property that they will be bidding on and told Kevin a Selectman told him that he would be able to bring all the tires (hundreds to thousands of them) to the transfer station. Mr. Roy said there may be a need at some point to limit what residents can bring to the transfer station. He said they are taking a lot of electronics and appliances and worries some Bethlehem residents may be bringing items for their friends/family that live in other towns.
Rita Farrell said there is a settlement agreement and nothing says the Town is responsible for making sure people are using it honestly.
Carole Hammarberg asked Selectman Blanchard if she should draft the letter to the Chamber members. Selectman Blanchard told her we would draft the letter.
Chris McGrath told the Board that Stoney’s garage is cleaned up.
The Board discussed a car in the former Stoney’s garage building that the owner would like to get. Chairperson Laleme moved to start the eviction process for that property and send a letter to the former owner asking if he has liens to the vehicle and to respond within 72 hours and if no response the Board will release car to the owner of the car. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried 4-0.
Frank asked about putting on the website that there is not an opening day yet for the pool. Selectman
Fiorentino said he would call WLTN in the morning asking that they make a retraction. Rita Farrell asked if the bear ordinance requires that garbage containers have locks on them and asked who is responsible to clean up the trash if a bear gets in it when it is at curbside to be picked up. There was discussion about how people tend to pick up their trash when a bear gets into it.
At 8:45 Chairperson Laleme moved to go into non-public session per 91-A:3, II (a)& (c). Selectman
Fiorentino seconded. Chairperson Laleme did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session.
The Board discussed personnel.
Chairperson Laleme moved to hire Mark Taylor as a Part-time police officer. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 4-0.
Selectman Blanchard moved to increase Ian Baker’s pay to $7.75 and approve his change in position to clubhouse employee. Chairperson Laleme seconded. Carried 4-0.
Chairperson Laleme moved to approve the 2 new Country Club Rest. employees. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
Chairperson Laleme moved to approve the Rec Counselor new hire. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board discussed a letter from a tax customer. Chairperson Laleme moved to send a letter to the
customer telling her to close on her property before July 10th. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried
The Board discussed an issue with NH retirement and an employee who needs to be removed from NH retirement.
At 9:45 Selectman Fiorentino moved to come out of non-public session. Chairperson Laleme seconded. Carried 4-0.
At 9:45 Chairperson Laleme moved to adjourn. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.