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12/10/2012 – Minutes

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Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
Meeting Minutes
Bethlehem Town Building Meeting Room
December 10, 2012

Present: Chairman Jerry Blanchard, Selectman Sandy Laleme, Selectman Martin Glavac, Selectman Mike Culver, Selectman Mark Fiorentino.

At 6:30 Chairman Blanchard opened the meeting.

Chairman Blanchard opened the public hearing for WREN CDBG grant. Pat Garvin updated the Board on the grant and explained this hearing is to close the grant out. Selectman Culver moved to close the public hearing. Chairman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.

Chairman Blanchard opened the GCEDC/Sovereign Journey CDBG grant hearing. Pat Garvin said Sovereign Journey has more than fulfilled their hiring goals. 82% of their employees are low to moderate income. Ms. Garvin also said Sovereign Journey is completely current on their loan. Selectman Culver moved to close the public hearing. Chairman Blanchard seconded. Carried 4-0.

Karen Hoyt from Tri-County Cap came before the Board to do a presentation for a budget allocation request of $7200.00. Karen explained all the programs that “Cap” offers. Residents of Bethlehem received $238,645.00 in services (fuel assistance, weatherization, etc) between July 2011 and June 2012. Selectman Culver explained that it would be put on as a warrant article and told Karen that someone might want to be at the Deliberative to represent the agency and answer any questions. Julian Czarny asked if the program pays for green energy expenses like pellets and wood. Karen said it does, they pay for whatever heat source the client uses and the money goes directly to the vendor.

Karen Fitzhugh from Sovereign Journey thanked the “Town of Bethlehem” for being so wonderful to her program. She said she has 29 people on the payroll currently and is in the process of adding 4 more. She said 30 % (8) of the employees are from Bethlehem.

Pat Doughty, Chairman of the Planning Board, came before the Board to discuss the Planning Board budget. Pat explained the Master Plan needs to be updated per RSA 674:1 which states it needs to be updated every 5 to 10 years. The last time it was updated was in 2004. The Planning Board received a quote from North Country Council for $15,000.00 to do the update and would do it over a 2 year time frame. Chairman Blanchard said he was concerned with asking for this amount from the voters this year because of having to do the reval which will cost over 100,000.00. He asked if it could be put off for another year. Pat said it could probably be put off for 1 year. Selectman Glavac asked if there are any concerns with the current Master Plan and if we are following it. Pat said there are no problems with it and it is being followed. Pat asked the Board about the possibility for a Capital Reserve for the updating of the Master Plan. Selectman Culver said LGC or DRA could answer that. Alan Jackson asked if there would be a public hearing to get public input. Pat said a survey would be sent via mail. Mr. Jackson said he would like to there to be a public hearing. Pat said that in addition to the survey there would be a public hearing.

Penny from the American Red Cross came before the Board to do a presentation for a budget allocation request for $1000.00. Selectman Culver explained that it would be put on as a warrant article and that she was welcome to come and speak about it at the deliberative.

The Board discussed assessing and explained KRT was hired to do the reval but not to do the assessing. KRT will do the assessing at $75.00/hour and add it as an addendum to the contract. Selectman Laleme said the equalization rates have already been done.

Julian Czarny said quality of work with new firm versus old firm needs to be looked at and is the new firm working up to state standards. Julian asked about the legal situation with Purvis. Chairman Blanchard said he cannot speak to the legal situation but said Gorham and DRA spoke very highly of KRT. Chairman Blanchard moved to have KRT pick up driveways for the reval. Selectman Glavac seconded. Selectman
Fiorentino said people are now being taxed for things that they never had been before. Chairman Blanchard said all taxpayers need to be treated the same way and will be with this reval. Carried 5-0.

Chairman Blanchard read a letter about a street 911 name issue. Chief Ho-Sing-Loy will be asked about this.

Chairman Blanchard said there was a letter from an assessing firm wanting to do business with the Town of Bethlehem.

The Board reviewed the minutes from 12/03/12. Chairman Blanchard moved to approve the minutes from 12/03/12. Selectman Glavac seconded. Carried 4-0 (Selectman Fiorentino abstained).

The Board discussed a request to waive interest for delinquent taxes. Selectman Culver said everyone should be treated fairly and interest has not been waived for anyone else. Chairman Blanchard said he is not in favor of waiving interest. It was noted that penalty fees have been waived but not interest and also that a TAN was just taken out to pay the school and county bills. Selectman Glavac said other homeowners have paid back taxes plus interest. Chairman Blanchard moved to make it policy not to waive interest on back taxes. Selectman Culver seconded. Carried 5-0.

Selectman Laleme brought up the floor job and mentioned there are a couple of areas on the main part of the floor that are raised due to moisture getting under the wood because of lack of sealant. Selectman Laleme moved to have the floor done by Reliable Tile & Wood Flooring for $3,997.29. Selectman Culver seconded. Carried 5-0.

At 7:25 Chairman Blanchard moved to go into non-public per 91A for matters of personnel. Selectman Culver seconded. Carried 5-0. Chairman Blanchard did roll call with all members agreeing to go into non-public session.

The Board discussed new hires for the Recreation dept. Selectman Culver moved to sign the new hire forms. Selectman Fiorentino seconded. Carried 5-0.

At 7:50 Chairman Blanchard moved to come out of non-public session. Selectman Laleme seconded. Carried 5-0. Chairman Blanchard did roll call with all members agreeing to come out of non-public session.

At 7:55 Chairman Blanchard moved to adjourn. Selectman Culver seconded. Carried 5-0.

Respectfully submitted,

April Hibberd

Administrative Assistant