01/24/2022 SB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
January 24, 2022
In person – Chairman Caplain, Selectman Boisseau, Selectman Hibberd, Selectman Jensen, Selectman Morris.
Chairman Caplain opened the meeting at 6:00 pm and reminded people to leave their microphones on mute. He continued to remind in person participants to use the microphone so Zoom participants can hear
Cathy Qi – initiative for short term rental – couple cases of complaints at rentals – why aren’t hosts allowed to address issues to prevent future issue instead of all hosts required to register? Why can’t police department address individual host issues? – Selectman Boisseau – STR ordinance on hold right now – registration issue is to allow PD to contact hosts/rental owners – Ms. Qi – all owners should be responsible for their properties – simple letter to individual hosts better than making all hosts register – encourage STR’s in town as they are benefit to town.
Barry Zitser – congrats to energy commission – Mr. Zitser would like to see the new greenest town designation brought to the attention to the town advertising agency. Community Action Works and the Conservation Law Foundation won settlement with Casella on remediation of water channel along the Ammonoosuc River. Selectman Boisseau’s retirement is a tremendous loss to the town.
John Shea – new part time resident in Bethlehem – rent out home when not there – limit annoyances at property by screening guests that stay at home, age restrictions and number restrictions. Mr. Shea – use technology to monitor who is coming to and from property and use noise registering tech that monitor decibel level – no issues due to screening process – consider when making rules that a few bad apples don’t ruin the batch.
Jeff Davis/Sue Welsh – Own a home in Bethlehem for purpose of renting it – STR right now with possibility of long-term rental – provide a list of rules to follow and the review systems on rental sites weed out problem renters before staying at home – 2 people per rental, no pets etc. – no cameras but stop by home and communicate with neighbors – happy to provide contact information to anyone that needs it – responsibility falls on hosts.
Selectman Caplain – any public input not about STR? Not an agenda item and it deserves to be for further discussion.
Warrant Articles – board vote on support
Chairman Caplain – 20 Warrant articles – capital reserves and non-profits.
Article 1 – skipped
Article 2 – default and operating budget – skipped
Article 3 – 11 – capital reserve funds proposed by town.
Selectman Morris made a motion to recommend articles 3-11, capital reserve funds – Selectman Boisseau seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
Article 12 Gazebo concerts, Article 13 Library fund
Selectman Morris made a motion to recommend articles 12 and 13 gazebo concerts and library – Selectman Boisseau seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
Article 14-19 – petitioned warrant article –
Selectman Morris made a motion to take no position on articles 14-19, board does not recommend, petition warrant articles – Selectman Boisseau seconded – discussion – Selectman Boisseau clarified that a neutral position means “does not recommend” is added to warrants – roll call – all – motion passed.
Article 20 – Dissolve BCC revolving fund
Chairman Boisseau made a motion to recommend, contingent on DRA approval – Selectman Morris seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
The board discussed adding a new capital reserve fund for heating system or building maintenance – Chairman Caplain heating system is a big issue – Selectman Morris – building maintenance critical now – Selectman Boisseau – general building maintenance capital reserve fund? – Selectman Jensen – “building reserve fund” – gives flexibility – Selectman Hibberd – fund for town building repairs/maintenance items exists – Chairman Caplain – add money each year? Selectman Hibberd – unknown – in annual report – Selectman Boisseau – pg 49 in town report – $11,764 in fund currently – Selectman Boisseau – “town building maintenance CRF” – Selectman Morris add warrant to request funds – amount? – Selectman Boisseau – doing building audits would come up with issues and would have fund to repair findings – Selectman Morris – money for tech needs at $8k, fire truck at $20k, building giant expense for town – suggest $20k.
Selectman Boisseau made a motion to create warrant article to raise $20,000 to building capital reserve fund – Chairman Caplain seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
Selectman Morris made a motion to recommend above warrant – Selectman Boisseau seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
Tri-Town Bike Friendly Community Initiative
Chairman Caplain – Tri Town is applying for grant – attach minutes from each town that support would help with the grant – Selectman Morris – catch? Chairman Caplain – no catch.
Selectman Jensen made a motion to support the Tri Town Bike Friendly Community Initiative – Selectman Morris seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
Board Meeting schedule
Chairman Caplain – every other week, set dates – Selectman Morris – Conservation Commission asked to meet with board next week before legislation goes into effect requesting support letters – Chairman Caplain – meet next week then go bi-weekly – after – set dates through week after election – 1/31, 2/14, 2/28, 3/14, 3/28.
Minutes – 01/17/2022
Selectman Boisseau made a motion to approve minutes from 1/17 – Selectman Jensen seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
Other/Follow up from the board
Selectman Morris – Conservation Commission would like to meet with board next week – The commission would like board to take position on upcoming legislation – meeting this week and can pass along questions prior to BOS meeting.
At 6:40pm Chairman Caplain made a motion to go into non-public session per RSA 91A-3 II (legal, reputation, legal) – Selectman Morris seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
Board discussed unpaid taxes on a property and offer on property – contact Walter to make it work – Selectman Morris – let offer maker know board is on board with it but going to legal to make sure it is correct.
Board discussed candidates for building inspector position. The board decided to set up interviews with 3 candidates prior to the meeting next Monday.
Chairman Caplain made a motion to adjourn at 7:03pm – Selectman Morris seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.