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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Bethlehem Selectmen Office
August 25, 2014
Present: Chairperson Laleme, Selectman Blanchard, Selectman Culver, Selectman Glavac.
At 6:30 pm Chairperson Laleme opened the meeting.
Carmen Menard and Mary Cote from Passumpsic Bank came before the Board to discuss a proposal and passed out copies to the Board members. Ms. Cote said we are currently being charged more in fees than what we are earning in interest every month. She explained that with Passumpsic Bank we would make money. There was discussion about the longevity of the proposal. Ms. Cote said what they are offering the Town is their normal fee structure and no exception was made for this proposal. Treasurer, Frank Claffey said he would need to review the proposal. Chairperson Laleme said Mr. Claffey would review it and get back to the Board in two weeks with his recommendation.
Recreation Director, Rhienna Miscio, came before the Board. Ms. Miscio discussed some policy changes she would like to make to the behavior policy and incident report to allow more flexibility for individualism. Ms. Miscio explained that behaviors for all recreation programs (after school, sports etc.) would be accumulative. It was noted that school discipline issues would not count. Chairperson Laleme moved to approve the revised behavior policy and incident form. Selectman Culver seconded. Carried 4-0.
Ms. Miscio also discussed a change to the Bethlehem Recreation After School Program Handbook that she would like changed. The wording she would like changed is “The Bethlehem After School Recreation Program is for children in Grades K-6 attending Bethlehem Elementary School” to “The Bethlehem After School Recreation Program is for children who are a Bethlehem Resident grades K-6”. Chairperson Laleme moved to approve the wording change. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 4-0.
Ms. Miscio gave an update on the pool and said she is looking to purchase a 300 gallon chlorine tank to put downstairs in the pump room. Chairperson Laleme and Selectman Culver both said they didn’t think the chlorine was allowed to be stored underground and told Ms. Miscio to contact Tim Wilson to ask him. Ms. Miscio said the pool was open for 44 days with an average of 34 participants per day. She said the first week was free and had the highest participants. Ms. Miscio also mentioned needing to replace the lever on the pump. It was noted that they will need to look at the budget and escrow account to purchase the lever and chlorinator.
Ms. Miscio said Old Home Day was very successful but would be looking at forming a planning committee for next year. She announced that Chris McGrath won the chili cook-off. The Board discussed a request from a parent for his children to participate in the after school recreation program. His children do not live in Bethlehem but attend the Woodland School which is located in Bethlehem. The Board noted some concerns including the possibility of having to turn away Bethlehem children if the program is full. The Board agreed to follow the policy of only allowing Bethlehem residents.
Ruth Heintz came before the Board to discuss her concern with signing the following section of the liability waiver: I release the Town of Bethlehem, it’s officers and the Bethlehem Recreation Department from liability as a result of personal and/or property damage incurred while participating in the Bethlehem Recreation Department After School Program and documented Field Trips or transportation to and from activities. I understand my child is participating at my own risk.
Chairperson Laleme said the Town’s attorney did review the liability waiver form and gave her ok with it. Ms. Heintz was told if parents do not sign it their child cannot participate. Ms. Heintz asked the Board to have the Town’s attorney review it again to make it consistent with state statue. The Board said they would send it to our new insurance company to get their opinion before sending it to our attorney. Chairperson Laleme will let Ms. Heintz know the outcome of that.
Rita Farrell came before the Board and asked if there is a noise ordinance. She was told there was not. Ms. Farrell followed up on some information that she gave to the Board in an earlier meeting (write-up is attached).
Ms. Farrell also discussed the bear ordinance and how it isn’t being enforced. She also said that containers are needed that are bear proof. Selectman Culver said before we had the current garbage cans people had garbage up and down the road. He also said we have always had bears and it shouldn’t matter about the containers. Chairperson Laleme said people need to take responsibility for their garbage so the bears cannot get to it.
Ms. Farrell told the Board that a postcard from NCES that was sent to the residents of Bethlehem referred to the landfill as the Bethlehem landfill. She said she called DES and there is no official Bethlehem landfill. Chairperson Laleme said she spoke with Mr. Roy and he apologized that he didn’t notice that on the postcard and said he would be more aware in the future.
Chairperson Laleme said the 50/50 grant for bulletproof vests was approved and also announced that the Hazard Mitigation Plan meets all the requirements and was approved.
Chairperson Laleme read a letter from Above the Notch Humane Society saying because of needing to reduce expenses that may not be able to continue to take care of stray dogs for Bethlehem.
Chairperson Laleme read a letter from Habitat with the signed agreement enclosed. The letter was informing the Board that they will be removing the asbestos in the building.
Chairperson Laleme read a letter from Will Hammond of Theatre Under The Stars thanking the Town for the use of the Gazebo Park and the Town Hall for the 7 weeks of the productions.
The Board discussed a request from a taxpayer to waive the interest on her tax bill because she didn’t receive the bill. Chairperson Laleme said we have been receiving a lot of these lately but we haven’t waived interest in the past. Selectman Culver moved to not refund the interest. Chairperson Laleme seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board discussed the medical cards for the highway dept. They discussed how we cannot find any record that the Town requires them and municipal employees are exempt per the Dept. of Safety. Chairperson Laleme moved to not require medical cards for Highway employees unless mandated by law. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 4-0.
Carole Hammarberg told the Board there is a nesting problem with pigeons under the eaves of the Visitor Center. The Board will look into having someone take care of it.
Alan Jackson said the Old Home Day festivities were during Church and asked that in the future there not be anything noisy from 11 to 1 on Sundays. Chairperson Laleme said it has already been discussed that it will be on a Saturday next year.
Jeanne Robillard suggested to the Board to contact the Municipal Association about the Recreation Waivers.
Rita Farrell mentioned how nice the week long cultivate event was and said how the new mural at WREN was a beautiful sign.
At 7:47 Chairperson Laleme moved to go into non-public session per RSA 91-A:3, II (b) & (e). Selectman Culver seconded. Chairperson Laleme did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session.
The Board discussed personnel. Chairperson Laleme moved to approve the hiring of a new police officer, Parker Wilson. Selectman Culver seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board discussed having our attorney send a letter to former employee.
At 8:30 pm Chairperson Laleme moved to come out of non-public session. Selectman Culver seconded. Carried 4-0.
At 8:30 pm Chairperson Laleme moved to adjourn. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.