Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
July 13, 2020
Via Zoom – Chairman Boisseau, Selectman Moore, Selectman Moritz, Selectman Caplain, Selectman Jensen.
Meeting opened at 6:03. Chairman Boisseau reminded people to mute their microphones when not talking.
Opening the town building and food pantry – Chairman Boisseau said in talking with April the best hours to open are Monday – Thursday 9 – 3 and Friday 9 – 12. There are also sanitation schedules that need to be followed. The employees are ready for it to be open and the plexiglass is in place. Selectman Caplain is in favor of it and wants to make sure mask use and sanitation is being done. Chairman Boisseau reviewed the rules with masks and said employees need to wear one if coming within 6 feet of people. There was also discussion about requiring people coming into the building to wear a mask and having some available and also having hand sanitizer available. Chairman Boisseau asked the Board what they felt about closing the bathrooms to the public. Selectman Moore said that is a tough one because of the sanitization. She wondered if Irving’s bathroom is still closed. Selectman Moritz said she feels strongly that the bathrooms be closed to the public. She also said the building needs to be quickly sanitized and can be done by office staff 4 times a day. Selectman Jensen asked about the meeting room and Chairman Boisseau said it would be up to other Board’s if they want to meet in the meeting room or not. Selectman Moritz said it would be their responsibility with sanitizing if they do use it. The Board agreed. Board all agreed to the schedule of office being open and hours and food pantry hours. They also agreed that masks are mandatory. Selectman Moritz moved to open SB office from 9-3 M-Th and 9-12 on Friday effective immediately with masks mandatory. Selectman Caplain seconded. Roll call – all – motion carried. The Board all agree to the food panty being open Monday and Wednesday from 10 – 11.
Complex properties assessment – Mr. Sansoucy took off the Wayside from the list and will have a separate agreement for landfill for gas to energy plant and for when the landfill closes. Selectman Caplain said he is in favor of it but wished we could do a 1-year contract, so we have an out. Selectman Moritz said she is in favor and comfortable based on references from all the towns he works with and from our attorney. She also said the fees would probably go up if we changed it to a 1 year. Selectman Moritz said she feels it is unfair to change it now and feels comfortable with the 3-year contract. Selectman Moore said she agrees. Chairman Boisseau asked the Board how they feel about the $1000.00 decrease. Selectman Caplain said he feels more strongly about going back to them about that. Peter Roy thanked the Board for what they do and asked why the newspaper article indicated fighting the pollution exemption from Rudarpa. Selectman Moritz said they would seek legal counsel and Sansoucy’s input because they are the experts. Mr. Roy said he believes this project is good for the town and the environment and the state allowed for an exemption and asked why we want to fight something the law allows them to take advantage of. Chairman Boisseau said they would be seeking legal counsel to make sure the town is receiving what the town should receive. He said if it is determined they get the exemption then they do but they need to look at all aspects and see if all aspects would be exempt. Mr. Roy said he took offense to Mr. Sansoucy’s approach about Rudarpa. Chairman Boisseau said he was explaining options to the Board and what he does. Selectman Caplain moved to hire Sansoucy for the properties in his proposal. Selectman Moritz seconded. Roll call – 4 – 1 (Selectman Jensen opposed) motion carried.
Community Garden – Chairman Boisseau said the Conservation Commission decided they did not want to use it, so the Board needs to discuss what to do with that property. He said there is rebar there which is a safety issue. Selectman Moore said they should mow it over and seed it for grass. Chairman Boisseau said he would reach out to Brett to discuss with him and said he knows they are behind on work due to staff shortages and it is not urgent so they can do it when they can. Mr. Roy said there is a shack there that used to be the friends of the library so should check with them. Selectman Moore moved to ask Brett to destroy the old town garden and plant grass seed. Selectman Caplain seconded. Roll call – all – motion carried.
Selectman Moore moved to accept a $100.00 donation to the general fund in honor of Jack. Selectman Moritz seconded. Roll call – all – motion carried.
Health officer appointment – Chairman Boisseau said any discussion about personnel would need to be in non-public if the Board wanted to discuss performance. Rita Farrell asked what the health officer does and was told they check that housing is in sanitary condition. Selectman Moritz said she is ok with not going in non-public. Selectman Moritz said our current health officer is interested in continuing with the position. Selectman Moritz moved to move forward with Dave Wiley as the health officer. Selectman Moore seconded. Roll call – all – motion carried.
Amend loan for ADA renovations of town building – Treasurer, Frank Claffey said there is 8 years left of the 20-year loan with principal of $309,000 +. The interest rate will go from 3.75% to 2% and the term will stay the same. Selectman Moritz moved to approve the new terms of the ADA loan. Selectman Caplain seconded. Frank said over the term of the loan it will save the town approximately $18,000.00. Roll call – all – motion carried.
Public Input – Mike Bruno thanked Selectman Moore and Paul Greenlaw for the historic markers and congratulated them on reaching their goal on raising money. Selectman Moore said they along with Clare have been working very hard on that. She mentioned she received another check today for $300.00. Mrs. Farrell asked who the health officer and building inspector are and was told both positions are held by Dave Wiley.
56 boxes of legal files – Our attorney does not want them and does not think we need them. The Board needs to decide if we want them or if we want them destroyed. Mrs. Farrell said she believes one of the key factors in those records is associated with the landfill. She said we should check to see if a university or someone else may be interested in them. There will be costs incurred if we want to attain them or if we had them continue to store them. Selectman Jensen said he would like to know the cost to continue to store them. Selectman Moritz said she would like the cost to attain them as well. She thinks it would be worth getting the costs. Selectman Jensen said it could be an important part of the history of the town. April will get the cost. Mrs. Farrell said we could be destroying relevant information that is needed for the future. Chairman Boisseau asked if we have space to store them and also how to transport them and said we don’t need paper files if we have digital copies.
Chris Jensen has been interested in grants. He wrote one for the Conservation Commission that they received and applied for ones for the town and wasn’t successful. He said he would like to explore a grants committee with people who may have the expertise to do it. Chairman Boisseau said he thinks it is a good idea. Selectman Jensen said he would explore that. The Board all agreed. There was discussion on if we need to post for committee members and was told yes. Selectman Jensen will draft up the notice looking for committee members seeking Bethlehem residents who have experience with grant writing to explore outside funding opportunities with up to 6 members. Deadline to submit interest is August 3rd to email@example.com. Committee will be formed at the meeting on August 3rd.
Selectman Moore wants to write a letter to Paul Ugo thanking him for getting the burned building down. The Board agreed. Selectman Moore and April will draft the letter.
Minutes from 06/29/2020 – Selectman Caplain moved to approve the minutes. Chairman Boisseau seconded. Roll call – all – motion carried.
At 7:16 Chairman Boisseau moved to go into non-public session per RSA 91A:3 II for matters of reputation, real estate, personnel. Selectman Caplain seconded. Roll call – all – motion carried.
The Board discussed a tax issue and agreed with legal advice.
The Board discussed a tax issue with a behind balance.
The Board discussed the sale of the country club.
The Board discussed personnel, and all agreed to accept the verbal resignation from Susan McClain.
At 8:04 Chairman Boisseau moved to come out of non-public. Selectman Moritz seconded. Roll call – all – motion carried.
Abatement – Selectman Moritz moved to approve the abatement and refund $2913.35 for map/lot 416/051. Selectman Moore seconded. Roll call – all – motion carried.
At 8:07 Chairman Boisseau moved to adjourn. Selectman Moore seconded. Roll call – all – motion carried.