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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Bethlehem Selectmen Office
October 27, 2014
Present: Chairperson Laleme, Selectman Blanchard, Selectman Culver, Selectman Fiorentino.
At 6:31 pm Chairperson Laleme opened the meeting.
Moderator, Wayne Derby, came before the Board to discuss the responsibilities of the Selectmen for the upcoming election. Mr. Derby said 2 Selectmen need to be present at the election for the day and also need to have the voting area all set up and need to participate in counting. Mr. Derby said if there is a violation he is obligated to report it to the Attorney General’s office. Chairperson Laleme said the Selectmen will be here and also said they will be asking the Secretary of State for a waiver to have just one Selectman be here. Chairperson Laleme asked Mr. Derby for clarification on an RSA he referenced that we could not find any documentation. Mr. Derby said that was a mistake.
The Board reviewed the executive budget. Chairperson Laleme said there is a problem with past records and we need to sort those and organize them. She said we will need to pay to have that done. The Board then discussed the option of having a high school intern do that and also discussed looking into the cost of software for digital record keeping.
The Board reviewed the GGB budget and discussed the salary amounts for Cemetery and GGB and determined the GGB salary line could be reduced by $6,000.00.
It was noted that the fire department roof would not be replaced this year.
The Board discussed the insurance claim budget and agreed to keep it at $3,000.00 which would cover the deductible for 3 claims.
The Board reviewed the assessing budget and the only significant change was moving the appraisal
interface software expense from the Tax budget to the assessing budget. The Board also reviewed the
wood assessor budget lines which are reduced by $50.00.
The Board reviewed the new medical insurance rates and discussed the comparisons for some other options. Selectman Fiorentino moved to switch to the plan that is the same coverage we have now with the alternative RX plan which is $5.00 for a generic prescription versus $0.00. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Chairperson Laleme said she thinks that is the best option because the Town and employees will each be paying a little bit more. Carried 4-0.
The Board discussed the Library budget with Len Grubbs, Doug Harman, and Laura Clerkin. Mr. Grubbs said their proposed budget is going down $3,000.00 this year and he also said they will be giving money back to the Town for this year. Mr. Grubbs said they had estimated on propane and electricity and they overestimated for those. Mr. Grubbs also said he still needs the numbers for propane, property liability insurance and workers comp and was told they would be given to him as soon as we got them. Mr. Grubbs said the biggest increase in the proposed budget was for wages and payroll taxes and that is because they are open 8.5 hours longer. He did say they hired a 4th person that has a lower hourly wage so it minimized the increase in salary. Chairperson Laleme said on this year’s budget it doesn’t show the income from donations and book sales like it has in previous years. Mr. Grubbs said they changed the way it is accounted now and they just show the town funded expenses. Laura Clerkin said patron visits are up 64% and they had over 2000 patrons in the month of July.
The Board reviewed the fuel/oil prices and tabled the discussion until we get prices from CN Brown and AD&G.
Chairperson Laleme discussed a letter from the Bethlehem Village District about getting the water valve tested and gave us the name of a plumber in area that is licensed to do the inspection. The Board wants to review the list of all plumbers that are licensed to do it in the area.
The Board reviewed a request from Dawn Ferringo to purchase software for the Welfare Dept. The software costs $152.70 and the Board previously approved it a year ago. Chairperson Laleme moved to allow the purchase of the software. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Selectman Culver asked to cost to install it and said it needs to be networked. The Board decided they need more information from Ms. Ferringo. Chairperson Laleme and Selectman Blanchard withdrew their motions.
The Board reviewed a letter from Primex about an increase cap at 10% for the next 2 years. The Board will review this and discuss at next meeting.
The Board reviewed the minutes from 10/20/14. Selectman Blanchard moved to approve the minutes from 10/20/14 as written. Chairperson Laleme seconded. Carried 3-0 (Selectman Fiorentino abstained). Chairperson Laleme reviewed the Landfill compliance items and said the height is in a capacity report that it done every year by a 3rd party engineer. She also said DES confirmed the elevation is under the max height at the 08/15/14 hearing. Chairperson Laleme asked the Board if they are satisfied that NCES is meeting all the requirements from the agreement. She said they need to write a letter to the Planning Board indicating if they are or not. Selectman Blanchard moved to send letter to the Planning Board that the Select Board feels per agreement everything with NCES is as agreed. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried 4-0.
Chairperson Laleme said there has been discussion about recusal for the upcoming Site Plan Review application the Planning Board will be hearing on Nov. 5th. She said is 2008 she wrote a letter about the HB1429 bill but said she doesn’t feel it denotes bias. Selectman Blanchard said he read the letter and doesn’t find anything that appears of bias. He said it calls for creative solution instead of litigation. Selectman Culver said he didn’t see that it was biased at all. Selectman Fiorentino also said he doesn’t see that the letter has any bias to it. Chairperson Laleme said she doesn’t feel she should recuse herself. Chairperson Laleme said the Bethlehem Heritage Society will be hosting a “Forensic Follies” Farewell Party to send off one of the infamous Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death to the Welcome Museum in London, England. She said it will be in the Town Hall meeting room on Saturday night from 6:30 to 8:30, is family friendly, and free of charge.
Chairperson Laleme said she would like to start the meetings at 6pm again and announced there will not be a meeting next week.
Chris McGrath suggested to the Board to get a new sound system so people can hear at the meetings and also suggested getting a new sign for outside the Town Building.
Alan Jackson asked about the quote to add additional heating in the Selectmen’s office. He was told he would be given a copy of the quote.
Julian Czarny asked if Kevin Clark could change the light bulb in the meeting room.
At 8:00 Chairperson Laleme moved to go into non-public session per 91A for matters of personnel. Selectman Culver seconded. Chairperson Laleme did roll call with all members agreeing to go into nonpublic session.
The Board discussed personnel.
Chairperson Laleme moved to approve hiring Dave Wiley as a firefighter. Selectman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.
At 8:10 Selectman Fiorentino moved to come out of non-public session. Selectman Culver seconded. Carried 4-0.
The Board discussed the air compressor for the Fire Dept. is broken.
At 8:15 Selectman Blanchard moved to adjourn. Chairperson Laleme seconded. Carried 4-0.