06/13/2022 SB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
June 13, 2022
In person – Chairman 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.
Public Input –
Chris McGrath – came year ago to ask town to look for senior town dog rate – puppy rate currently – 11 years or older – Chairman Caplain – will investigate it and look at current costs.
Bruce Caplain – as public member – Tri Town Bike initiative – grant to place posters from the Tillotson grant – will be adding them in the tri town area – Philip Renton from Reklis designed them
HEB Engineering – Benefit analysis of culvert/road work covered by mitigation funds
Selectman Jensen – Chris Fournier from HEB Engineers– lot more money available for hazard mitigation than in years past – Federal funds – HEB submitted letters of interest on town’s behalf – July 15th deadline – River Road culvert over Black Brook and South Road culvert over Baker Brook –application for $5500 each – HEB cost analysis and grant writing – Chris Fournier – 90% reimbursement with $11million dollars available – Chairman Caplain – how many projects are being funded and areas of interest? 1000’s of submissions? – Chris Fournier – lots of submission with 90% reimbursement – 70 letters of intent total, 4 from Bethlehem – experience 20-30 submit actual application – Selectman Queiroga – timeline for funds being spent? – Fed declared disaster fund for COVID – statewide – obligation is expected this fall and 3 years to spend money – Chairman Caplain – town puts money up first and then gets reimbursed? – Chris Fournier – yes, reimbursed and can be monthly reimbursement, not total – Selectman Queiroga – $900,000 rough guess, two projects mentioned? – Chris Fournier – River Road – $900,000, South Road – $500,000 – Chairman Caplain – when were the estimates done? Chris Fournier – couple weeks ago – Chairman Caplain – get Brett Jackson’s input – Brett Jackson – Black Brook floods every spring and a couple times a year – South Road – undermining, box culvert – damage from last major FEMA incident – items are on the book from hazard mitigation plan – Chairman Caplain – urgent? needed? – Brett Jackson – needed – Black Brook will be a bridge after – Selectman Queiroga – if had to do one over other? – Brett Jackson – Black Brook – South Road can be fixed easier – Chairman Caplain – if apply for grant and awarded, are we obligated? $90,000 plus HEB amount – Selectman Morris – not obligated to take money – Selectman Hibberd – estimating double Highway Block Grant coming this year – Brett Jackson – block grant usually around $100,000 – Selectman Queiroga – key that we don’t have to accept money – can we apply for $900,000 but if we only spend half? Only reimburse what is spent – Chairman Caplain – odds of awarded grant? – Chris Fournier – first phase is benefit cost analysis – if pass test, odds are high awarded grant – cost analysis is $3000, if it doesn’t work out, grant writing phase is not needed – Chairman Caplain – enough time between now and July 15th to do cost analysis and grant writing? – Chris Fournier – yes – town hired HEB to do hydraulic analysis on sites after last major FEMA event – Selectman Morris – lots of information with recent storm event and documentation – helps to speak to need of Bethlehem projects – Chairman Caplain – if move forward where would the funds come from? – $5500 – Brett Jackson – block grant – Selectman Queiroga would cost analysis be done by original date of June 30th? – Chris Fournier – originally planned by June 22nd – will use a few more days to deliver by end of June – Bridge funding available as well with highway block grant info – $36m dollars – ½ distributed based on population and ½ share of bridge depth area – can get amount – Selectman Morris – if not elect to go forward with both applications, have meeting on 6/27 – if we move forward with just cost analysis will it give HEB time to go forward with grants? Chairman Caplain – we can decide to move forward, contingent CBA being over 1.0 – Chris McGrath – River Rd bridge – Fish habitat programs can add funding – Black Brook – wild brook trout habitat – can assist in funding for project – Wild Trout Initiative – trout assessments in state – current bridge isn’t good for wild brook trout – Selectman Queiroga – still need to look at funding – Frank Claffey – roughly $100,000 in block grant – truck and lease payments come out – Selectman Hibberd – can wait to take out of block grant until end of year.
Selectman Morris – motion to sign 2 agreements for CBA coved by hazard mitigation funds and grant applications if CBA meets HEB threshold – Selectman Hibberd second – roll call – all – motion passed
Board Follow Up items
Chairman Caplain – list to keep track of items – see attached follow up list at end of minutes.
Zoning – Selectman Hibberd – housing part of hazard mitigation bill – zoning ordinance in part of funding – Chairman Caplain – haven’t come out with info yet – Selectman Morris – already moving forward with new information out there – Chris McGrath – change zoning and give members info to bring more affordable housing – Selectman Morris – update codes to add items that don’t exist anymore
Selectman Jensen – planning board would like confirmation that receiving $10,000
STR – ordinance – Selectman Queiroga drafting an ordinance or looking into one? – Selectman Morris old one before you’re on select board.
Selectman Jensen – discussion on STR should be agenda item due to topic discussed.
Columbus Day renaming
Chairman Caplain – recommendation to rename to Indigenous People’s day – requested by residents in town – Selectman Morris – similar to Juneteenth – deemphasizing Columbus and moving towards Indigenous People’s day from federal government – not officially changed by congress – Erin Talcott – sent request in October from last year – following other towns in NH – call to action by indigenous people in NH – Chris McGrath – think town should not change name as it is still on state level Columbus Day – ask for town vote if asking for change – can be petition warrant article – Selectman Queiroga – Juneteenth – absent from that meeting – Selectman Morris – federal holiday and not fully state – Selectman Queiroga – worried putting own views in front of state recognized holiday – Selectman Hibberd – should move forward for what’s important for town, not always follow state – Selectman Queiroga want to make sure it’s consistent so doesn’t show favoritism – Selectman Morris – some states in area recognize Indigenous People’s Day but some haven’t – Columbus day is a recent holiday – Selectman Queiroga – have any indigenous people asked to rename day or just concerned residents? – Selectman Hibberd – people talked to, didn’t ask heritage – Chairman Caplain – conflicted – still Columbus Day – Indigenous People Day is movement – heard woman speak at Colonial Theatre, powerful message – don’t want to speak for indigenous community and make decisions for them – Selectman Hibberd – is there a population that can be represented here that the board is or isn’t making decisions for them? – Chairman Caplain – who would we ask to proceed? – Selectman Hibberd – fine line with overstepping needs – Selectman Morris – movement started in the 1970’s started replacing Columbus Day – have been discussion for a long time – mainly in states with large Indigenous population – small population in NH – Erin Talcott – see chat transcript for info:
9:06:01 From Erin Talcott (she/her) to Everyone : The Cowasuck Band of the Abenaki has suggested Indigenous People’s Day. They are part of Indigenous NH (which is part of a collaborative group) https://indigenousnh.com/2020/10/09/template-for-writing-your-city-council-and-or-rep-about-ipd/
19:06:12 From Erin Talcott (she/her) to Everyone : Sorry it’s hard for me to come off mute right now
19:09:13 From Erin Talcott (she/her) to Everyone : I meet monthly with the leaders of the Cowasuck Band (Paul and Denise Pouliot), so this is following their call to action for NH towns to rename to Indigenous People’s Day – they would definitely be open to talking to the town if there is interest in learning more
– lots of towns have not changed name but lots have – Clay Morris – though to consider, what is it going to cost town and taxes? – Chairman Caplain – touch bases with Erin this week – Chris McGrath – great that we’re making this longer than tonight – would like to reach out to both sides – Juneteenth costs town money with holiday pay
Bethlehem Gear Library
Chairman Caplain – grant to fill out library 2 striders, 2 training wheels, 3 regular kid’s bikes, helmets and backpacks – Selectman Hibberd – do they except used equipment? – Chairman Caplain – if not used, put on consignment to raise funds
Chairman Caplain – on record – page 3 in SB procedures discussion – Chris comment – chairman lobbying – Chairman Caplain – not case – reached out to counsel as well to gather information – not changing minutes, just adding information –
Selectman Morris made a motion to approve minutes from 6/6/2022 as written – Selectman Queiroga second – roll call – all – motion passed
Selectman Morris – spread word for Library – lots of masks and tests available for public if needed – can go through tests quickly if COVID in household – partnership with ACHS to make these available
Chairman Caplain – office hours signup sheet – please update
Chairman Caplain – bears – conservations with fish and game and Bethlehem PD – spoke with Whitings to fix dumpster on 56 Church Street, agreed to and have not fixed container currently – issue ordinance violation to Whiting’s and property owner – Selectman Hibberd/Selectman Morris – can only be property owner – Chairman Caplain – ask SB to issue violation regarding trash ordinance and bear ordinance – Selectman Morris – is trash leaving property – would like to see PD, Health officer, Building officer issue ordinance, not board singling out property – have form to issue violations – Selectman Morris – don’t want to vote on individual police matter – Tim with reach out to Chief DeMoranville to issue ticket – Selectman Jensen – how is this different from board asking PD to attend to matter? Have shied away in past – Selectman Queiroga – PD has mentioned can’t write ticket for violations and now that is fixed – Selectman Hibberd – select board not telling PD where to go, just giving them tools to issue fines
Nancy Strand – no mention – young people organize Bethlehem Community market at Gazebo next week 10-2 on Saturdays – staring this weekend.
Chairman Caplain made a motion to go to Non-public Session per RSA 91A-3 II (personnel) @ 7:24 – Selectman Queiroga seconded – roll call – all – motion passed
Chairman Caplain made a motion to hire CB @ $15.00/hr– Selectman Hibberd seconded roll call – all
Chairman Caplain made a motion to adjourn @ 7:27 Selectman Hibberd seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.
|Rocks: Bethlehem economic development||Bruce||next couple weeks|
|ARPA fund discussion||All||next meeting – 5/24|
|Speed feedback signs||Bruce/All||ARPA monies|
|Zoning ordinance||Veronica||being revised currently paying from ARPA money – being done by the Planning Board|
|EV Chargers||Bruce||ARPA? – looking at grants currently|
|Bridge lighting for Safe Routes to School underpass on Profile Road||Bruce||looking at grant monies|
|Employee paid time off policy||Veronica and April||met and updated quotes for early June presentation|
|Employee short term/long term disability||Veronica and April|
|Get forms onto the Town website||April/Tim/Veronica||working with Pam Sullivan to get it onto site|
|Agricultural Commission||April||tough getting in touch with representatives in agriculture; April has a second farmer to come talk at a meeting|
|Conservation Commission page on the Town website||Veronica/Tim/Sullivan Creative||working with Pam Sullivan to get it onto site|
|Storage||All||July cabinets go in|
|Town Mailer re: how to contact board/get things done in town (magnet?)||Ayla pricing||Mailer ~ $1000, Magnets ~ $3000 small magnet, Ayla to work on wording|
|Fire/Police station committee||Ayla/Veronica||Progress – long endeavor – community volunteers came forward; agreed on objectives, working to get first meeting schedule|
|Food truck/vendor forms/process/Hawker & peddler’s license||Veronica||Working on it|
|Short Term Rental ordinance|
|Tickets so Police can enforce ordinances||Tim/Veronica||Can use current tickets per counsel – perhaps have Chief DeMo talk to counsel to walk through the process; Tim to coordinate and be part of the call|
|Heritage roof bids||Tim||could be structural issue with the building – need an engineer to assess|
|Brett – hours estimate to do water lines to community gardens||Tim||$400 for supplies and man hours – how many hours? Tim to check if they need it year-round?|
|Reach out to new owners of Agassiz – trails, bike trails, touch base||Bruce||Reached out to the owners on 6/7|
|Database to have primary resident/contact information||All||Put on agenda for future discussion|
|56 Church Street – Animal and Trash Ordinance||Tim||Tim to follow up with Chief DeMoranville to see if he feels we can fine under the ordinances|
|Senior Dog Licenses||Tim||Tim to gather information on cost to get a dog license, and cost to the Town to issue them|