03/01/2021 SB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
March 1, 2021
Via Zoom – Chairman Boisseau, Selectman Moritz, Selectman Caplain, Selectman Jensen, Selectman Moore
Chairman Boisseau opened the meeting at 6:03pm and reminded people to leave their microphones on mute.
Pam Sullivan – Ms. Sullivan provided an update to the Sullivan Creative marketing program.
Jon Swan – asked about Dalton Landfill and use of Douglas Road – Selectman Moritz – explained all legal items are discussed in non-public.
Peter Roy – Mr. Roy asked if a decision was made to reschedule elections. – Selectman Jensen gave information
Rita Farrell – Ms. Farrell asked when does the board discuss results of legal decisions? Chairman Boisseau stated the board will give statement from legal when appropriate. Ms. Farrell asked who was responsible for snow removal from the street after the plows have been through. Selectman Caplain explained the highway dept has cleared plowed snow a number of times this winter.
Chairman Boisseau – explained the issues of driving from Agassiz Rd onto Main St. – The board discussed the options available to improve safety at the intersection. Michelle Morin-Grey offered to forward a traffic study from the North County Council to the board to assist. The board concluded signage and increased enforcement is important. Chairman Boisseau opened the floor to public input.
Rita Farrell – old chief used to park on main street to slow people down.
Ian Dowling – difficult to pull on 302 from Agassiz and from Rek-Lis – signage is needed between Village Store and Rek-Lis – better direction to public parking.
Veronica Morris – Ms. Morris explained her opinion that enforcement will help as well as temporary crosswalk signage.
Nancy Strand – Ms. Strand expressed her opinion that better signage will help with parking issue.
Cheryl Jensen – Ms. Jensen expressed her support for increased enforcement.
Andrea Bryant – permanent sign would work well.
Peter Roy – extra cruiser – can park on Main St to slow drivers down.
Diane Johnson – 2 spots too far downhill – motorcycle parking there would help.
Harry Newell – Park Ave is just as bad during the summer.
Chairman Boisseau – signage and increased enforcement seem to be the 2 main issues – will touch bases with Chief DeMoranville.
Bethlehem Cares: –
Chairman Boisseau explained the scope of the Bethlehem Cares committee.
April Hibberd – Ms. Hibberd explained the scope of the committee. There are currently 8 people involved. The committee would establish a trust fund that would be funded by donations and would be used to help residents that don’t qualify for general assistance but still need help. The funds in the food pantry account can only be used for the food pantry. A trust fund would alleviate the restrictions. The board expressed their support of the program.
Cheryl Jensen – expressed her support of the program.
Andrea Bryant –expressed her support and don’t forget about kid’s need too.
Chairman Boisseau – The board received a letter from Bethlehem Elementary School requesting use of the town community gardens over the summer. There are 16 plots available, and the school would like to use 6 plots. The board unanimously agreed to allow the school to use the garden. No vote was called for or needed.
Appointments to Conservation Committee:
Selectman Moore – Cheryl Jensen and Linda Moore are up for 3-year term on conservation commission.
Selectman Moritz made a motion to reappoint Linda Moore and Cheryl Jensen to the Conservation Commission – Selectman Caplain seconded – roll call – Selectmen Boisseau, Moritz, and Caplain – Selectmen Jensen and Moore abstained – motion passed.
North Country Council – CDBG grant sponsorship:
Michelle Moren-Grey – Amatus Recovery Centers signed a lease with AHEAD to use the facility at the Friendship House. Larry Berg – Amatus would like to expand the current capacity of the Friendship House from 36 to 50 patients by renovating interior spaces. The CDBG funds would go towards that and a septic upgrade. The board inquired about job creation as the space isn’t currently being used, would the awarding of this grant effect the town’s ability to be awarded a grant in the future, and would it effect the town’s current USDA grant. Ms. Moren-Grey answered the board’s questions. There is no impact to any grants the town has applied for and the current grant would be based on job creation. Chairman Boisseau asked the next steps for the grant project. Ms. Moren-Grey explained that there need to be 2 public hearings and that the NCC would handle all of the posting of notices required by law. Selectman Moritz explained that it was straight forward the last time the town partnered with NCC on a grant and there would be limited impact to town staff.
Cheryl Jensen – Ms. Jensen inquired about the organization leasing the facility. – Ms. Moren-Grey explained that the owner is AHEAD and the operator is from Maryland, Amatus – 15 facilities with 2 in NH – 10 years as an operator. Selectman Moritz explained the town is only the facilitator and the CBGD does due diligence to decide if entity is qualified to operate and there is no liability to town.
Veronica Morris – formal federal grant officer – board will have opportunities to stop process during next steps if needed.
Selectman Moritz noted the town gets reimbursed for any administrative costs.
Select Moritz mad motion to move forward with sponsoring AHEAD project – Selectman Moore seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
Chairman Boisseau – Public hearings – March 29th is the last select board meeting in March – April 12th, April 26th – Michelle Moren-Grey – shooting for 29th.
Electronic Signatures –
Tim Fleury – Mr. Fleury explained the difference between the 4 programs evaluated for electronic signatures. The board discussed and determined that Adobe, contingent on force complete option, is worth the extra cost for the extra features included.
Selectman Moritz made a motion to move forward with Adobe with contingent on forced completion – Selectman Jensen seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
Chairman Boisseau – streetlights in town. 2018 – cost town $600 dollars. Chairman Boisseau explained it is hard to set precedent with light requests. There need to be a discussion to determine streetlight criteria and needs involving the PD and highway department.
Selectman Caplain – Energy Commission – Josiah Chamberlain – works with clean energy and wind power – Commission would like to add him to team – Selectman Moritz approves of choice.
Chairman Boisseau – made motion to accept Josiah Chamberlain’s appointment to Energy Commission – Selectman Moritz seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
Selectman Caplain – Solar array warrant article – The energy commission spoke with the NH DRA and asked if taxation can be spread over 3 years – DRA says no to spread over 3 years – amount for this year and additional warrant next year or second tax year or financing option – Capital approvement next year or bond or loan – savings on electricity could pay for loan issues – Selectman Moritz – bond is harder, needs 2/3’s approval – can’t change to bond or loan this year but can change funding options this year –
Chairman Boisseau – BTA reached out to drop fill at ball fields to use at skills park in development in spring – board discussed and has no issues with that.
Selectman Caplain made motion to approve minutes from 2/15/2021, Selectman Moritz seconded – roll call – Selectmen Boisseau, Moritz, Caplain, and Jensen – Selectman Moore abstained – motion passed.
Chairman Boisseau made a motion to go to Non-public Session per RSA 91A-3 II (c,l) – Selectman Moritz seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
Board discussed legal advice regarding Douglas road use for proposed Dalton Landfill.
Board discussed eviction process with town resident.
At 8:15 pm Selectman Boisseau made a motion to adjourn. Chairman Moritz seconded – roll call – Chairman Boisseau, Selectman Moritz, Selectman Caplain, Selectman Jensen – motion passed.