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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Bethlehem Town Building Meeting Room
October 28, 2013
Present: Selectman Fiorentino, Selectman Culver, Selectman Glavac.
Excused: Selectman Blanchard, Selectman Laleme.
Acting Chairman Culver opened the meeting at 6:30.
Maryanne Rennell asked the Board the feasibility of purchasing the Cedarcroft Property for Rennell’s new location. Chairman Culver explained that the Board can only sell Town owned property by auction or sealed bid. Chairman Culver told Maryanne that the Board will be discussing later in the meeting sending the owner of Cedarcroft a letter notifying him that the Town intends to sell the property. He explained that it is a 90 day process and said the last time the Town sold property the minimum bid was 20% of assessed value. He said he didn’t know if the Board would do the same or not. Chairman Culver said the other option she has is to do a petitioned warrant article changing the way the Board can sell property. He said he wasn’t sure though the legality of selling to a private party. He said he thinks it would still need to be offered to the public if the purpose was not to benefit the Town as a whole.
Conservation Commission budget: Cheryl Jensen explained they are requesting $1235.00 which is the same as last year. Selectman Glavac said he wasn’t sure if it’s appropriate for town money to be used to reduce field trip expenses for the school. Cheryl said it is a small amount to pay for Conservation awareness
and also said it offset what the families have to pay. She also pointed out that they used to contribute $1000.00 but cut it back to $500.00. Cheryl said they spent all but $6.44 of this year’s budget and put that into their savings acct.
Library budget: Doug Harman, Len Grub, and Laura Clerkin discussed the proposed library budget with the Board. Len explained the accounting expense was free until June and they now are paying $25.00 an hour. They also said the salary line has an increase and this was because they did a survey in the summer about what patrons wanted in the new library. The survey revealed that the patrons wanted more hours. They factored an additional 8.5 hours a week into the proposed budget. They also factored in a 3% wage increase for the 3 library employees. Selectman Glavac pointed out that last year’s projection was $105,000.00 and asked if there was some room to cut some from the plowing/lawn care. Doug said there may
be some room there. They budgeted for dry payment but will be checking with insurance company to see if that is necessary. Selectman Glavac asked about the highway department doing this work. Selectman Fiorentino agreed and said he feels it should fall under the highway department because it is a Town building. There was discussion about the default budget. Chairman Culver said they are trying to keep the increases down..
Emergency Management budget: It was discussed to keep it at $1000.00.
Fire Dept. Budget: Jack talked with the Board about the Fire budget. He told the Board he has just a few increases including retirement, training, and services and supplies. Jack also said he would like a $400.00 increase in mileage. He said in 9 months he has put 5500 miles on his truck for Town use.
Ambulance budget: Jack said he dropped the attendant’s line down a bit. He reminded the Board that a new ambulance will be needed in 2 to 3 years.
The Board discussed with Jack the process of the Omni Billing Company and if they do collections. Selectman Fiorentino said he believes the Town should be doing their own billing. Jack did not agree. It was noted that the year to date revenue for the ambulance is approximately $24,000.00
Jack asked the Board if he could have or use temporarily the cement blocks from the old transfer station. He explained they need some at the academy. Chairman Culver moved to check with Brett and if ok to let the academy borrow for 11/09/13 training. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 3-0.
The Board discussed the letter to Jim Chamberlain about the intent to sell Cedarcroft (2323 Main Street). Chairman Culver moved to send the letter and move forward with the sale. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried 3-0. The Board discussed other properties to also sell at the same time. They will get a list together of the properties that can be sold.
The Board discussed the website maintenance agreement for a year for $650.00. The Board discussed that the contract runs from Nov. through Oct. and would like to get a cost for the rest of this year and have the contract run from Jan. through Dec. This was tabled.
The Board reviewed the 90 day probationary period that the Town has for new employees before they can receive benefits. Because of the affordable care act the maximum time the Town can have a probationary period for before offering Insurance is 60 days. Chairman Culver moved that due to the Affordable Care Act to change the probationary period for new employees to receive benefits from 90 days to 60 days. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 3-0.
The Board reviewed the Omni Billing Companies Privacy agreement that needs to be signed. The Board tabled
this to allow them more time to read it.
The Board reviewed the equalization ratio survey that the assessor prepared. Chairman Culver moved to sign the equalization survey. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried 3-0.
The Board reviewed the fire roof bids. There was only 1 bid for the replacement and no bids to repair the roof. The bid to replace the roof was from Bob Ailes roofing and was for $29,500.00. The Board couldn’t read how many years the warranty was for and would like clarification on that. The Board tabled this.
The Board discussed the agency requests and agreed that April should follow up and call the agencies to confirm they know they need to do a petitioned warrant article for all requests this year.
The Board discussed contacting Profile to ask about a student volunteer to condense and make electronic all past year warrant articles. The Board discussed different ways to do this…indexing, pdf etc. The Board said April can look into this.
Chairman Culver moved to make legal advice public. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried 3-0. Chairman Culver read the legal advice received about Oxbow Drive property owner request. The Board tabled this until there is a full board.
The Board reviewed a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) that the Town’s assessor reviewed because the agreement is very outdated. The Board discussed the need to review all PILOT agreements. Selectman Fiorentino moved to reevaluate all PILOTS. Chairman Culver seconded. Carried 3-0. Selectman Glavac asked that a copy be put in the Purvis file.
The Board reviewed the minutes from 10/21/13. Chairman Culver moved to approve the minutes as written. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried 3-0.
The Board discussed looking in Microsoft licensing for the assessing computer. They will research this.
Chairman Culver said at the last Planning Board meeting there was discussion about the difference between the ordinance and the state building codes and how they should match. There was a question if the Ordinance supersedes the state codes. The Board decided it would be beneficial to have a joint meeting with the Planning Board.
At 8:25 Chairman Culver moved to go into non-public session per 91a for matters of personnel and reputation. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Chairman Culver did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session.
The Board discussed personnel issues.
At 9:10 Chairman Culver moved to come out of non-public session. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 3-0.
At 9:10 Chairman Culver moved to adjourn. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried 3-0.