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04/01/2024 SB Meeting

2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574

Bethlehem Board of Selectmen

Meeting Minutes

April 1st, 2024

In person –Chairman Bruno, Selectman Strand, Selectman Hibberd, Selectman Caplain, and Selectman Morris.

Public Input- Chris McGrath asked if the town had a policy regarding selling town property.  Selectman Morris stated the town complies with state law regarding selling or donating town property.  Chairman Bruno continued in addition to state law due diligence is always followed.

Community Power Cost Sharing Agreement- Mary Lou Krambeer, Energy Commission, updated the board on the Community Power implementation which includes signing the Cost Sharing Agreement and public information material before launching.

Selectman Morris motioned the Bethlehem Board of Selectmen hereby authorizes the Town Administrator, Mary Moritz, to enter into the Cost Sharing Agreement and Member Services Contract for the Complete Service Bundle with the Community Power Coalition of New Hampshire (CPCNH) and as the Authorized Officer and with elections in Exhibit C Article VIII Section 2 of the Agreement being a) “No”, b) “No”, and c) “No”; and  be it be further moved, that the Bethlehem Board of Selectmen hereby approves CPCNH’s Data Security and Privacy, Energy Portfolio Risk Management, Rates, and Financial Reserves Policies.  Selectman Caplain seconded and all were in favor.

Bike Rack- Chairman Bruno motioned to request blue bike racks from Bike the North Country.  Selectman Hibberd seconded and all were in favor. 

Letter of Support Rambling Woods- Selectman Strand motioned to send the letter of support on behalf of Rambling Woods as read by Chairman Bruno.  Selectman Caplain seconded and all were in favor. 

Special Election- Chairman Bruno stated an opportunity became available after town meeting to purchase what had been identified as a prefect location for the new Public Safety facility.  To move forward with the land purchase a special election would be required.  Chairman Bruno continued the board did not have a finalized purchase and sale agreement however the board could vote to petition the Court and finalize the agreement during the 10-day period before submitting the petition.  Selectman Strand noted voting to petition the court would not obligate the town however if an agreement was met, we would be able to move forward without losing two weeks before the next select board meeting.  Selectman Morris noted the timing of the purchase is difficult given the recent budget increases and taxes .  Selectman Caplain stated the town has to plan for a new facility.  Selectman Hibberd agreed that the timing is not good, however the location would be ideal.  Chairman Bruno agreed with the timing but noted if the town was able to purchase the land it would save the town money in road construction and utilities compared to the other location that had been previously identified.  Chris McGrath stated he did not support the purchase.  Chairman Bruno explained that a group visited the Carroll and Franconia new public safety facility and has started the initial work to plan for a new facility.  Rich Southwell stated the town is in a difficult situation and asked if we had representation.  Chairman Bruno replied we have been working with town counsel.

Chairman Bruno motion to petition Grafton County Superior Court to hold a special election for the purpose of purchasing Map 206 Lot 008 and Map 206 Lot 009 to be the future site of the Public Safety Facility.   Selectman Caplain seconded and all were in favor. 

Minutes 3/18-Selectman Strand motioned to approve the minutes from 3/18.  Selectman Hibberd seconded and all were in favor. 

PILOT- Rocks Estate, NFI North, Bethlehem Senior Housing- Chairman Bruno opened discussion on the current PILOT agreements and given the reevaluation that took place recommended reconsidering the current agreements.

Selectman Morris motioned to negotiate a new PILOT with NFI based on the rates circulated.  Selectman Hibberd seconded and all were in favor.

Chairman Bruno motioned to review the Rocks Estate and begin the negotiations for a new PILOT.  Selectman Strand seconded and all were in favor. 

Updates and other business- Selectman Strand updated the board that the Code Officer had sent 7 letters to junk yard violators.  Selectman Strand also updated the board that the pool will have 5 sponsors this summer at $250 a banner and the board should consider selling the ice-skating rink.

Non-public Session per RSA 91A-3 II (personnel, reputation, and legal) Chairman Bruno made a motion to go into non-public for reasons of legal. Selectman Strand seconded and roll call followed.

The board discussed legal.

Chairman Bruno made a motioned to adjourn at 7:30. Selectman Strand seconded, and all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Moritz

Town Administrator