01/04/2021 SB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
January 4, 2021
Via Zoom – Chairman Boisseau, Selectman Moore, Selectman Moritz, Selectman Caplain, Selectman Jensen.
Chairman Boisseau opened the meeting at 6:00 and reminded people to leave their microphones on mute.
Chairman Boisseau would like to recognize the hard work and dedication the town has put in. There have been hard decisions made during tough circumstances, but the town has moved forward positively. Despite the issues, the town is moving in the right direction. There has been great meeting attendance with the remote option. He is proud to live in Bethlehem. He hopes the town continues to move forward in 2021 positively
Chris McGrath – few requests – board consider hybrid meetings during budget meeting – moving money around for rec maintenance ball fields – fields overgrown, snack shack need work, pool needs work. Thank you. Chairman Boisseau – thank you will be talking about meeting options and maintenance funds – possibly using country club revenue for facilities maintenance
Town meeting options –
Chairman Boisseau gave presented the options for town meetings – 3 options – 1. No change 2. Virtual deliberative session and live town election, 3. Postpone until before Sept and hold regular sessions
Mary Lou Krambeer – discussions of options but not all of the information is in yet – NH Municipal meeting Saturday – COVID 19 legislation from Jun/July that hasn’t passed yet–Hesitate to make decision tonight without all information.
Chairman Boisseau – initial thoughts – The meetings are coming up quick and with no change would be tough. People may not attend due to fear. Selectman Moore – A hybrid meeting will miss out a lot of community input – too much. Ms. Krambeer – The high school is reserved already for traditional meeting– easier to distance at high-school than town hall – She is uncomfortable with Feb deliberative session even at high school. Chairman Boisseau agrees. The board discussed options and came to the conclusion that they need more information to make a decision. They are in agreement that the traditional meeting dates in person will not work this year.
Chris McGrath – if seat on board expires does it continue until voting? Chairman Boisseau – Yes
Don Lavoie – BES meeting – meeting put off and did outdoor full meeting – exceeded expectations but took long time for a normally short meeting – outdoor meeting = full day Saturday meeting
Mary Lou Krambeer – vent system been updated? GB – unknown if updated but large air purge on a daily basis – distanced gym meeting preferred – will cancel with HS – will come back next week with update
Petition warrant article requirements –
Chairman Boisseau – Don Lavoie sent letter to board to discuss dropping the signature requirements for non-profit petition warrant articles for 2021.
The board discussed options for warrant articles for the 2021 budget. They took public input from Don Lavoie, Mike Bruno, Rita Farrell, Jack Anderson, Cheryl Jensen, and April Hibberd. The board discussed the legality of dropping signature requirement for petition articles, adding article amounts to budget directly, or the board supporting the warrant articles. After discussing the topic with all interested parties, they determined that warrants deserve public input and voting and will not add the amounts directly to the budget and will move the petition articles to board proposed articles. There was discussion on which articles will get supported by the board so as to not show favoritism. After much discussion it was determined that any non-profit petition warrants on the ballot in 2020 will be supported by the board.
Chairman Boisseau mad a motion to waive signatures for the non-profit organizations that were on warrant last year and add them as board supported articles. Selectman Jensen seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
Abatement – 3 abatements 419-029 = $18.25 lot merger overcharge, 406-022 = $2251.20 double payment, 205-183 $157.79 – closing agency paid estimated which was more than actual tax payment. Selectman Moore made a motion to approve all 3 abatements as presented – Selectman Moritz seconded – roll call– all – motion passes.
Heritage Roof – Chairman Boisseau roof leaking especially with larger rain events – Scott Himmer took look at it. Roof needs to be replaced, not able to be patched, $37k to $57k range. The board discussed various ways of funding the project using the money from the country club sale. The decision was made to add $50,000 to the GGB budget. Selectman Moritz made a motion to increase GGB budget $50K to cover visitor center roof. Selectman Moore seconded – roll call – all – motion passes
Town offices closure – Chairman Boisseau discussed moving the town offices to appoiointment only and locking the doors. Phone numbers will be posted outside so residents may call to make appointments or see if offices are available. Chairman Boisseau opened the floor to public input.
Rita Farrell asked if the upstairs was open for meetings if needed? Chairman Boisseau stated for contact tracing he would not be comfortable opening up space for conversations. Urging online transactions and appointments for only things that can be done in person. Ms.Farrell – tax reevaluations needed meetings, plan for that this year? Chairman Boisseau – case by case basis – offices open for business, just need an appointment to limit access.
Chairman Boisseau asked for board approval. Selectmen Caplain, Jensen, Moore and Moritz all agree.
Total Budget Review
Chairman Boisseau – add $50k to proposed budget to cover roof fix – $2,797,000 – board questions? Selectman Moore asked if the new general assistance supervisor has been added to the budget. It is. Chairman Boisseau look at GGB budget and come back next week with final numbers.
FOLLOW UP –
Selectman Moore – streetlights reported out. Selectman Jensen took care of it. Rita Farrell thanked Selectman Jensen for taking care of the issue.
Rita January 29th 2020 letter – Casella in Dalton – trucking routes avoid Littleton but go through Bethlehem – department of transportation report – 60 trucks possibly coming through town – discussion for future – Chairman Boisseau the board will look at traffic plans that are out there.
OTHER – IF ANY
At 7:45pm Chairman Boisseau moved to go into non-public session per RSA 91A:3 II for matters of personnel. Selectman Caplain seconded – roll call – all – motioned carried.
Direct assistance position: – April Hibberd – Selectman Moritz made a motion to make April Hibberd Direct Assistance Manager – Selectman Moore seconded – discussion, none – roll call – all – motion passes.
The board discussed town attorney’s response to buffer zones in district 5.
The board discussed possible trucking routes for proposed landfill in Dalton.
At 8:03 Chairman Boisseau made a motion to adjourn. Selectman Moritz seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.