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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes
Bethlehem Selectmen Office August 8, 2016
Present: Chairman Glavac, Selectman Laleme, Selectman Ubaldo, Selectman Blanchard.
Chairman Glavac opened the meeting at 6:33 pm.
Joel Strulovic came before the Board to discuss a sign permit for the Arlington Hotel. He explained the sign will be on Route 302 to show where the hotel is and where the main entrance is. He said it will be on the corner of 302 and Lewis Hill Road and will say Arlington next right. Selectman Laleme said she thinks it seems big. Mr. Strulovic said he is willing to make changes if the Board wishes. Selectman Laleme said Mr. Strulovic has been very cooperative with working with what people want. Selectman Blanchard suggested reducing it to 5×8. Selectman Ubaldo said he thinks it needs to be big enough to be seen. Mr. Strulovic offered to reduce it to 8.6 feet tall and 6 feet wide (in between the pillars). Chairman Glavac moved to approve the sign permit for 8.6 tall and 6 feet inside the pillars wide and that it say Arlington next right. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Cheryl Jensen asked about the lighting and how it will affect the neighbors. Chairman Glavac said the lights will point at the sign. Rita Farrell asked how things are different from the old hotel and Mr. Strulovic said everyone is welcome. He said the restaurant will be Kosher and will not serve outsiders because of parking. Selectman Laleme said the lights will meet the dark sky ordinance. Dann said he is in favor of a larger sign because of safety. He said people will slam on their brakes when they see the sign. He also said the town is trying to attract businesses and that not helping out businesses is detrimental. Chris McGrath said the sign ordinance does not have any limit son size and said the new country club restaurant sign is longer than 8 feet. Selectman Laleme said the new dimensions are a good compromise. Carried 4-0.
Chairman Glavac said the Arlington is also looking for approval to serve liquor. Chairman Glavac moved to approve the request to serve liquor. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Carried 4-0.
Cheryl Jensen came before the Board to give updates on Northern Pass. She said a response was received from DES on our request to have a meeting with them to discuss the borings. DES said they can’t meet with us. Mrs. Jensen said Easton sent a cease and desist order because of chemicals being used. Selectman Ubaldo asked if we knew if it was a toxic substance. Mrs. Jensen said we don’t know but we want to know. Selectman Laleme said we received a response from the governor and it states the SEC has the authority and said she wasn’t taking a position. Mrs. Jensen said the Conservation Commission is not meeting until 08/18/16 so asked if the Board would send a letter to Darlene Forst, DES, and Dennis B. from DOT saying we are concerned about issues with boring and environmental
issues. Selectman Laleme moved to send a letter. Chairman Glavac seconded. Carried 4-0. Selectman Laleme said she went to a meeting in Littleton about aesthetic and cultural concerns. She said economically this is the entrance to our town and said there will be huge staging areas around the wetlands. She said the testimony will be coming up in September to question their (Northern Pass’s) experts. She said our attorney will be there. Selectman Laleme also said we can provide information on how our emergency services will be impacted so she will talk with Chief Anderson, Chief Ho-Sing-Loy, and Road Agent, Brett Jackson about that. There was discussion about a report being done on visual impacts and an analysis of property values that was done in Sugar Hill. Selectman Laleme said in VT it is all buried and Mrs. Jensen said it affects their profits if they bury it all. Selectman Ubaldo said if they buried it all they wouldn’t have the expense of fighting it for all these years. Selectman Laleme said they can use the highway right of ways but would need to pay the fee to use it. Mrs. Jensen said Franconia has started to draft a warrant article for legal costs for Northern Pass. She said our next step is the pre-filed testimony and Selectman Laleme said we may need a conference call with Attorney Christine Fillmore. Mrs. Farrell said we need to give them (Northern Pass) evidence of our opposition but they don’t have to tell us everything. Selectman Laleme said the state takes away local land use authority.
Chairman Glavac read an email from Johnny Miller stating an antique fire helmet was stolen and asking about surveillance in the parking lot. Chairman Glavac said there hasn’t been a need that they know of so far for that. Selectman Laleme said all the doors were open and a lot of people were around during the yard sale when the helmet was stolen.
The Board discussed the purchase of a video doorbell for the food pantry. Chairman Glavac moved to approve the purchase. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board reviewed the minutes from 07/25/16. Selectman Blanchard moved to approve the minutes as amended (change 30-40 years to 1930’s). Chairman Glavac seconded. Carried 4-0. Chairman Glavac moved to approve the non-public sealed minutes from 07/25/16. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
Mrs. Farrell said the population is approx. 2500 and people don’t come to meetings or deliberative and that people should come. She asked the Board what they can do to get more people to come to the meetings. She said the municipal tax is only $5.75 and asked what % that is. Chairman Glavac said the Board had talked about putting out a quarterly newsletter to inform people of town business. Chairman Glavac said the Board will be meeting with each school board in the fall and said to lower the elementary school budget by $300,000 5 teachers would have to be cut. Selectman Laleme said meetings used to be videotaped and there has been a warrant article to continue the videotaping but it doesn’t pass. Chairman Glavac said it is the responsibility of people to be informed.
At 8:07 Chairman Glavac moved to go into non-public session per RSA 91A:3 for matters of personnel and reputation. Selectman Laleme seconded. Chairman Glavac did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session.
Selectman Ubaldo moved to allow the hire of Shannon Leslie. Chairman Glavac seconded. Carried 4-0.
Selectman Laleme moved to move Jonathan Wright into full-time highway position at $16.00/hour and approve a pay increase for Tom H. to $16.25. Chairman Glavac seconded. Carried 4-0.
Selectman Laleme moved to allow a flexible schedule and allow working from home or hospital for April Hibberd when she will be out due to family medical situation. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board discussed the stipend for the Sexton and determined it would be paid twice a year.
Selectman Ubaldo moved to not issue a written warning to an employee who the Board previously voted to give a written warning to. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
At 10:00 Selectman Laleme moved to come out of non-public session. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Chairman Glavac did roll call with all members agreeing to come out of non-public session.
At 10:00 Chairman Glavac moved to adjourn. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Carried 4-0.
Respectfully submitted, April Hibberd