Skip to content

03/28/2022 SB Minutes

2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574

Bethlehem Board of Selectmen

Meeting Minutes

March 28, 2022


In person – Selectman Caplain, Selectman Jensen, Selectman Morris, Selectman Hibberd, and Selectman Queiroga

Chairman Caplain opened the meeting at 6:00pm and reminded zoom participants to keep their microphones on mute and in-person public members to use podium to speak.

Chairman Caplain – quick thank you for main street property cleanup to Selectman Morris and Selectman Jensen – privately cleaning up property.


Public Input:

Allegra Wright – thank Selectman Morris and Selectman Jensen for taking care of trash issue in town – good to see board members fillings needs in town


Greenhouse discussion at community garden:

Chairman Caplain – school approached board to install greenhouse on ballfields – walkthrough with Chairman Caplain and David van Houten – fantastic idea  

Kristin Bruno – representing garden club and Carole Bays – 21ft by 32ft greenhouse between baseball field and existing garden with grant money – permission from board paves way for grant – Carole Bays – summary – garden club started with 8 students – summer only, students want to do it year round – tying in academics and gardening – twice weekly meetings – 41 students currently participating in garden club – all classrooms starting seeds until planting by garden club – great academic opportunity – donating food to community supper and SWAN program – Chairman Caplain – exciting after first meeting at ballfields – Carole Bays – plenty of room in area to expand community involvement at fields – Selectman Morris – town land? – would it be change of use for planning board approval? – Mike Bruno – not needed for approval, just informing – municipalities have leeway – Selectman Queiroga – already garden on property, expanding use – Mike Bruno – write a letter to planning board as a first step – Selectman Jensen – not near solar array or in path of equipment? – Chairman Caplain – in front of, not in way of solar – no impact to trails or other areas –

Selectman Morris made a motion to approve the use of the expansion of the garden to include a greenhouse pending planning board approval – Selectman Jensen second – roll call – all – motion passed

Selectman Jensen – will draft letter of support



Stella’s Dogs – hot dog cart permission – Chairman Caplain seeking permission to operate in same spot as last year

Stas Swirzewski – paperwork still up to date until renewal time – will pass along when new paperwork comes in – slow start last summer due to weather – Selectman Hibberd – good thing to add to website –

Selectman Hibberd made a motion to approve location of hot dog cart – Selectman Jensen second – roll call – all – motion passed

Stas and Lynn Swirzewski – community has been great and very receptive – thanks board and community


Raffle approval – Northern Grafton County Republican Committee

Chairman Caplain – Selectman Hibberd – should have form online for this in the future – Selectman Morris – looked it up and very specific RSA’s required to do raffle – held in Bethlehem at Elk’s club – Selectman Jensen – request comes from NGCRC, not Elks – Selectman Morris – RSAs allow political parties – Selectman Jensen – vague in what they are using raffle for – Selectman Queiroga – not board’s decision to decide what raffle is for – Selectman Jensen – more information in letter would have helped – Selectman Morris – when is raffle? – Chairman Caplain – July 11th at Elks – does Elks need permit or does the NGCRC? – Selectman Queiroga – who is holding the raffle, gets permit – Selectman Morris – could extend to next meeting – Chairman Caplain – no reason to hold up

Selectman Morris – motion to approve Northern Grafton County Republican Committee raffle to be held on July 11th, 2022 – Selectman Queiroga second – roll call – all less Selectman Jensen – nay – motion passed


Follow Up – review shared list of items

Chairman Caplain – looking at monthly follow up – Selectman Morris Conservation Commission wants to add to website – more information for events/activities – permit needed list – Chairman Caplain – have Selectman Morris work with Tim Fleury and Sullivan Creative to add to website – Selectman Hibberd – storage issues added to list –


OAKS, Bethlehem Cares, Small Acts update

Chairman Caplain – talked about a while back – Selectman Jensen and Chairman Caplain met with Kay Kerr – in need of volunteers to id vulnerable people in town and reach out on regular basis to follow up with OAKS – Selectman Jensen – Bethlehem Cares – part of initial idea behind Beth Cares – small volunteer force – Chairman Caplain – looking for volunteers to connect individuals with providers – checking in with residents – 4 volunteers already.



Chairman Caplain – last meeting set record straight – next step is making the SB available to people to help prevent misinformation – office hours for board on a weekly basis – would like to see board available – Selectman Jensen – share emails and liaison list better – Selectman Queiroga – good to get information out on how to reach select board – Selectman Morris – suggest flyer for people in town for those that don’t travel in “downtown” are much – possible ARPA funds to do mailer to connect to people in town – Selectman Queiroga – good idea for people not on social media and reach broader audience – Selectman Morris – magnets possible – Selectman Queiroga – will price out various offerings – Chairman Caplain – office hours – board discussed options for office hours – Zoom option discussed – hours and availability discussed – Chairman Caplain – follow up at next meeting after discussing over next 2 weeks –


Congressional Earmarks

Chairman Caplain – congressional earmarks available for a lot of funds – asking select board to give permission to move forward – tiny home project – for people that otherwise can’t afford home in Bethlehem – permanent houses – 400-700 sq feet, sustainable and not overly expensive as far as housing goes – go to agriculture department to fund infrastructure for project – not a profit seeking project, will only recoup expenses for landowner  – Selectman Hibberd – not only specific for affordable housing – desirable for people that can’t afford home ownership in Bethlehem – needs to go before planning board – basically condo association – not for AirBnb or short term rentals – Selectman Queiroga -what does town need to approve? – Chairman Caplain – permission for town to apply for earmark – similar to Tri Town bike – Selectman Queiroga – town housing money and distributing money – Selectman Morris – USDA rural development or HUD chapter 7 other options – Chairman Caplain – just looking for quick turnaround with these specific earmarks – Selectman Jensen – town is for earmark or tiny home business? – Chairman Caplain – town involved just for earmark – Selectman Morris – who is building project? Landowner? – Chairman Caplain – landowner – Selectman Queiroga – holding money – town has no obligation to oversee project – Selectman Morris – town does that with known entity like with Friendship House – happy to support earmarks but builder is unknown – requesting money for unknown entity – asking for earmark for unknown developer – Chairman Caplain – earmarks not awarded for over a year – cannot accept if wanted – Selectman Morris – Northern Border funds? – another option – can we tie it in to support workforce housing – can it be kept vague? – Chairman Caplain – needs to be specific for this – Selectman Queiroga – 2 separate things – town apply for grant and giving money out versus town fiscal sponsorship – Selectman Morris – uncomfortable with town being fiscal sponsor for unknown entity – Selectman Jensen – town not on hook for initial ask – take a chance, more to gain and no loss for town – Selectman Queiroga – if money gets earmark does town have to accept? – Chairman Caplain – no – can say no – Selectman Hibberd – extensive vetting process with landowner and work involved – Selectman Morris – project goes to fundamental issue in town – housing people in town.

Selectman Jensen – motion to allow Chairman Caplain to seek earmark for affordable housing project – Selectman Hibberd – roll call – all less Selectman Morris – nay – motion passed


Appointment of Treasurer and Deputy Treasurer

Chairman Caplain – appointment for treasurer and deputy treasure

Selectman Hibberd motion to appoint Frank Claffey and Libby Staples as treasurer and deputy treasurer – Selectman Morris second – roll call – all – motion passed

Selectman Hibberd – had board as treasurer liaison for years – now with Selectman Queiroga on board – good fit for financial information – Selectman Queiroga for first and board as second liaison – Selectman Queiroga – happy to be in that position


Overpayment Refund – 205-238

Chairman Caplain – motion to repay overpayment of Map 205, Lot 238 – Selectman Hibberd second – roll call – all – motion passed


Minutes – 03/14/2022, and 3/22/2022

Selectman Hibberd – motion to nominate Chairman Caplain as chair – corrected second – NHMA policy added to minutes –

Selectman Morris – motion to accept minutes as amended 3/4/2022 and 3/22/2022 as submitted – Selectman Queiroga seconded – roll call – all –

Selectman Morris – 3/22 meeting minutes sealed under 91:A3 chapter 3



Selectman Hibberd – last time set dates for future board meeting – confirming meeting on 4/25 – discussed May meeting dates – Selectman Morris – ARPA meeting date – 5/9 – Selectman Hibberd can’t make 5/23 – agricultural committee meeting 5/6 too

Selectman Morris – Conservation Commission – roadside cleanup – supplies are in – Saturday May 14th at 10:00am – Gazebo on Main street – road assignments – no registration needed

Selectman Jensen – brief panning update – PMR resort plan to rebuild restaurant on Miller Pond – framing in next 3 months – no site plan, DOT driveway permit, DES with being close to pond – Selectman Morris – setback from road? – Selectman Hibberd – 60ft from center of road – Selectman Jensen – 50ft from shoreline – parking an issue in small area – will probably approach board for traffic issues – Selectman Morris – does there need to be a plan for too much signage on 302 for visual clutter?

Chairman Caplain – bid for cabinets on stage – custom cabinets on stage – locking secure storage area – Selectman Morris – storage downstairs can be freed up.

Selectman Jensen made a motion to accept bid for cabinets with inclusion of shelving – Selectman Queiroga second – roll call all – motion passed.



At 7:18pm Chairman Caplain made a motion to go into non-public session per RSA 91A-3 II (personnel, legal, reputation) – Selectman Hibberd seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.  

Board discussed employee issues with department head

Selectman Morris motion to approve tool allowance of $20 a week to be paid as employee chooses – Chairman Caplain second – roll call – all – motion passed –

Chairman Caplain motion to approve SC at $17.00/hr – Selectman Morris – seconded – roll call – all – motion passed

Board discussed deed waivers with tax collector.

Selectman Morris made a motion to approve deed waiver list – Selectman Queiroga second – roll call – all – motion passed

Board discussed distressed property in town.

Board discussed employee support for committees.

Board discussed eviction process of town owned property.

Selectman Morris motion to rescind job offer to PD – Selectman Jensen seconded – roll call – all – motion passed

Board discussed posting code officer position again and job descriptions.

Board discussed management of trust funds – find trust company.


Selectman Morris made a motion to adjourn @ 8:24 Selectman Queiroga seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.


Respectfully submitted,

Tim Fleury

Administrative assistant