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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Bethlehem Town Building Meeting Room
October 15, 2012
Present: Chairman Jerry Blanchard, Selectman Mike Culver, Selectman Sandy Laleme, Selectman Mark Fiorentino, Selectman Martin Glavac.
At 6:30 Chairman Blanchard opened the meeting.
Josephine Belville and Steve Hamilton from Department of Revenue came before the Board to present a draft copy of the “Petition for Reassessment” and the “Joint Motion for Approval of Reassessment Plan”. It was recommended that Town Counsel review it and address any changes to Steve Hamilton before it is mailed to the Board of Tax and Land Appeals. Steve commended the town for taking the appropriate steps to rectify this.
Doug Harman, John Starr, Russ Bonnevie, and Joyce Tucker from the Library Building Committee came before the Board to discuss their plans. They went to the Planning Board meeting and were asked to come to the Selectboard with their plans. Doug Harman said their plans are still changing every day and that it is too early to present the final plans. John Starr said he had talked to Jack Anderson to get input on where the building could be placed on the lot and Jack told them to put it where they want and the access to the back part of the lot could be figured out after. Mr. Starr said they need to know what restrictions there are for the lot and also who owns the building in the end. He said these things need to be cleared up now.
Selectman Laleme said the lot is 3 acres and she asked how much the library needed. Mr. Starr said they planned on putting the building near the road with access beside and behind it.
There was discussion about the town paying the operating cost as it goes forward and also discussion about who expends the money for the building. Mr. Harman said he wants it to be transparent. He explained that 2 people are signing off on everything now.
There was discussion about the access to the back of the lot and whether the access had to be a town road. Chairman Blanchard said he didn’t think the Board was able to determine the answer to that at this point.
There was discussion about the possibility of the school using the library parking lot. Joyce Tucker said they wouldn’t want the library lot to be used by school staff and have the lot full during library hours. Mr. Harman pointed out that the school is the school and the library is the library and that they want to give the best value to the town right now. He said the school needs to address their own parking issue. Selectman Fiorentino said the library plan takes up 60% of the lot not 20% that Mr. Harman had said. Mr. Harman said the building is 20%. Selectman Fiorentino also said the library takes up the whole frontage except 20 feet.
Don Lavoie said it is a capital reserve fund and the Selectboard expend it. Mr. Lavoie said the voters are in charge and that the warrant article was vague. He asked the Selectboard to slow the process down. Mr. Lavoie pointed out that another business that came before the Planning Board for a Site Plan Review met with public opposition because of parking concerns. He said parking is a big concern in town and needs to be addressed. Mr. Lavoie said Dollar General is back also which will affect parking in town if that goes through. Mr. Lavoie suggested that the library be put where Cedarcroft is. Joyce Tucker asked who would pay to have Cedarcroft demolished. Mr. Lavoie said we are going to end up with the building anyways. Selectman Laleme suggested the Library Building Committee meet with the Selectboard in a work session.
John Starr said Don Lavoie raised some good questions and if the Maplehurst lot will not be used for the library the building committee needs to know this now. Selectman Fiorentino said the Warrant Article says the library will be built on the Maplehurst lot. Chairman Blanchard said the Board needs to get input from Jack and Brett. Mr. Starr said he would like the input from Jack and Brett as well.
Brad Bailey came before the Board. Mr. Bailey said he is a candidate for State Rep for a floater seat. He is going to Selectboard meetings to introduce himself.
Chairman Blanchard announced that the town is in the process of tax deeding properties. Selectman Laleme said the values of the properties that have the taxesunpaid are 2.4 million. The amount of unpaid taxes is approx. $600,000.00 and with interest is $977,049. Mr. Lavoie asked how that is financed, if it is financed with TAN’s. Selectman Culver said it is built into the tax rate. Chairman Blanchard said the Board is working with Mary on identifying properties and getting them back on the tax rolls. Chairman Blanchard applauded Mary for her hard work and diligence in getting this done and up to date.
Chairman Blanchard went through the correspondence:
NOPE vigil at the Bethlehem Gazebo Oct. 25.
Benefactors committee letter about lean to and shed. Shed was already promised to the pool committee. Chairman Blanchard will contact the pool committee to see if they still want it.
Brett submitted a quote for a leaf attachment that he would like to purchase for $1688.00. Don Lavoie said that brand is junk. Selectman Culver will talk with Brett about getting another quote.
Cartographic annual renewal and maintenance contract – the Board will review this in more detail.
Chairman Blanchard announced the winter parking ban.
Chairman Blanchard read the letter about the veterans warrant article request. They will be called to be put on the agenda for a presentation.
The Board reviewed the minutes from 10/8/12. Chairman Blanchard moved to accept the minutes from 10/08/12. Selectman Culver seconded. Carried 4-0. Selectman Fiorentino abstained.
Don Lavoie asked the Board to consider selling some town owned properties to Habitat for Humanity. Chairman Blanchard said he thinks that is a good program and would like to look into this further. It was stated that Habitat recently built a house on Thorn Hill Road.
Rita Farrell asked if Main Street businesses were polled about the parking ban and what their hours are. She asked that the businesses that might be affected by the ban be asked. Selectman Culver pointed out that Main Street is a state road and the parking ban is only for town roads.
At 7:45 Chairman Blanchard moved to go into non-public per 91A for reasons of personnel and reputation. Selectman Culver seconded. Chairman Blanchard did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session.
At 9:10 Chairman Blanchard moved to adjourn. Selectman Culver seconded. Carried 5-0.