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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes
Bethlehem Selectmen Office October 24, 2016
Present: Selectman Laleme, Selectman Blanchard, Selectman Ubaldo.
Selectman Blanchard opened the meeting at 6:09.
Selectman Blanchard invited Lutz Wallem to approach the Board with the electricity quotes. Mr. Wallem explained that he was on an energy committee and saved the town of Lincoln $15,000.00 in one year. He said since then he has been working with towns and schools with electricity contracts. Mr. Wallem said our current contract expires on October 31, 2016. He gave the Board the 3 proposals for 12/24/36 month options. He told the Board our current rate is 8.7 and went over the proposed options of 12 months – 6.924, 24 months – 7.253, 36 months – 7.322 and said the supplier is Nextera. Selectman Laleme moved to continue with Nextera for 3 year contract at 7.3. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 3-0.
Assessing – stayed the same. Executive – salary increases. Do not have the insurance numbers yet. Wood Assessor – Reduced that a little but hard to determine the need. Selectman Ubaldo asked about computer/software expense being lumped together instead of breaking it out by department. It was stated that the IT company expense all goes to Executive but software and hardware goes to the applicable department.
The Board reviewed a liquor license renewal request from Bretton Woods. Selectman Blanchard moved to approve the request and extend the license. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried 3-0.
Selectman Blanchard read a letter of resignation from Supervisor of the Checklist, Ellen Roy. Selectman Blanchard read a letter from Leslie Dreir about his concerns with discussing the landfill expansion. Mr. Dreir requested the subject be put on the agenda for the next meeting and Selectman Blanchard said it is not a full Board tonight and Chairman Glavac will determine what goes on the agenda. Selectman Blanchard summarized a letter from John Schneider & Ellen McCann, abutters to the Ahead project, about their concern for the project. Selectman Laleme said it is a continued Public Hearing in front of the Planning Board.
The Board reviewed the minutes from 09/26/16. Selectman Blanchard moved to approve the minutes. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried 3-0. The Board reviewed the minutes from 10/20/16. Selectman Blanchard moved to approve the minutes. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried 3-0. The Board reviewed the minutes from 10/17/16. Selectman Blanchard moved to approve the minutes. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Carried 2-0 (Selectman Laleme abstained). The Board reviewed the minutes from 10/03/16. Selectman Blanchard moved to approve the minutes. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried 2-0 (Selectman Ubaldo abstained).
Mary Moritz asked the Board if there was any other correspondence because she said other letters were submitted. She was told if they go to April they get placed in the folder and also told they don’t typically read the correspondence letters at the meeting but are available for the Board and the public to read. Ms. Moritz also asked the Board why if there is already a settlement agreement we are entering into this. Selectman Blanchard said we are being transparent and that we were approached and need to acquire information to give to the town. He said they need to investigate anything that has to do with financial stability of the town and the meeting on 11/07/16 is for people to ask questions. Ms. Moritz asked what the point was to have the agreement then and said the Board should say we settled it and it ended. Selectman Laleme said things change and there is language that says we can re-negotiate. She also said we legally can but we are not in negotiations now just getting facts at this point. Selectman Laleme said income will be affected by 900,000 to 1 million and it will start decreasing next year. She said we need to make that amount up. She also said she believes that we should go for the town vote first before negotiating. Ms. Moritz asked if the Board could enter into negotiations legally and was told yes they can. She also said she appreciates the position the Board is in but that she doesn’t want the property values impacted from having the landfill expand. Selectman Laleme encouraged Ms. Moritz to go to the meeting on 11/07/16 to express her concerns. Ms. Moritz said she sees that there are 2 sides and understands the taxes will go up but said property values are also important to look at. Selectman Laleme said everyone on the Board understands both sides and they are tasked with looking at fiduciary issues of the town. Selectman Blanchard said this Board is not racing into it but acquiring as much information as possible. He said the townspeople will be voting. He said the Board has questions still. Selectman Blanchard said he feels we should at least talk with them because they came to us and said we didn’t go to them. He said he has been told by businesses that they won’t come to Bethlehem because of the high tax rate. Ms. Moritz said we have to figure out a way to make ends meet and doesn’t believe expanding the landfill is the answer. She said we need to make sacrifices, that she is trying to protect her retirement and won’t be able to sell her inn if the landfill expands and said we need to look at other ways to save money.
At 7:00pm Selectman Laleme moved to go into non-public session per RSA 91A:3 to discuss matters of personnel. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Selectman Blanchard did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session. The Board discussed personnel. At 7:20 Selectman Blanchard moved to come out of non-public session. Selectman Laleme seconded. Selectman Blanchard did roll call with all members agreeing to come out of nonpublic session. At 7:20 Selectman Blanchard moved to adjourn. Selectman Ubaldo seconded. Carried 3-0.
Respectfully submitted, April Hibberd