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07/31/2023 SB Minutes

2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574

Bethlehem Board of Selectmen

Meeting Minutes

July 31st, 2023

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

Public Input- Barry Zitzer recommended a commemorative coin for Bethlehem’s 250th celebration that will be occurring 2024.

Minutes 7/17- Selectman Bruno moved to accept the minutes form 7/17.  Selectman Strand seconded and the vote passed.  Selectman Caplain abstained.

Cemetery Committee nominating Dan Murphy as an Alternate- Selectman Caplain moved to accept Dan Murphy as an alternate on the Cemetery Committee.  Selectman Bruno seconded and all were in favor. 

HEB agreement for the sidewalk- Selectman Strand moved to accept the HEB Engineering proposal for the sidewalk from the elementary to the town building.  Selectman Caplain seconded the motion, and all were in favor. 

Selectman Bruno stated he was pleased to be looking into the possibility of the sidewalk.

Renewable Energy Credit sale- The board discussed selling the REC’s and agreed that contacting other brokerage companies for additional information was the next step.

Proposed Inclusivity Resolution- Selectman Strand read the draft of the proposed resolution.  The board discussed the draft resolution, and it was decided Selectman Strand and Selectman Bruno would redraft and it would be on the agenda for 8/14.  Chris Jensen stated he hoped the resolution wouldn’t get watered down.  Allegra Wright agreed with Chris Jensen.  Rich Southworth agreed it needs some wordsmithing and would have appreciated seeing the draft before the meeting.  Chuck Philips stated whether the resolution was actionable or not was irrelevant it was intended as a response to actions taken and recommended considering a warrant article for the 2024 town meeting.

Sustainability Working Group Grant- Selectman Caplain would board support to submit a grant for the sustainability working group.  The board was in support of pursuing a grant and once when had been identified they would vote to move forward.

Ash Tree Management- Selectman Caplain explained the Sustainability working group identified the Emerald Ash borers as potentially killing 3 out of 5 Ash trees in our region.  Selectman Caplain recommended the town proactively plan for how to handle the situation.  Selectman Bruno recommended contacting the state forester and taking into consideration future budget implications.   Chris Jensen recommended contacting Dave Falkenham, a Forrester who has helped the town in the past.

North Country Council-bike Lane update Chairman Morris introduced Nick Altonaga from North Country Counsil, to update the board on the work completed for the temporary reduction of speed and bike sharing the road study.  Mr. Altonaga explained in 2019 NCC worked with the town on a parking study and identified an opportunity to work again with the town on traffic calming study which included sharing the road with bikers.  The pop-up temporary traffic calming measure will include curb extensions, pavement and shared lane markings, and road delineators which would be conducted August 16th through August 22nd.  Mr. Altonaga explained there is a 10% match for the town and would cost roughly $1,400.

Selectman Caplain made a motion to use $1500 from ARPA funds to pay the 10%.  Chairman Morris seconded and all were in favor.

Selectman Bruno noted he would have appreciated knowing there would be money obligated prior to the meeting.

Liaison/Committee Update- Selectman Caplain updated the board that DOT does not allow signs for limiting truck break noise.

Selectman Caplain noted the Sustainability Working group is promoting eating local this month.

Other-Chairman Morris updated the board on the future Conservation Committee meeting on the grant application they are working on.  Selectman Bruno updated the board on the newly installed highway garage doors and that the highway department is currently paving Prospect Street.  Selectman Strand updated the board that the Tax Collector Office will be getting their floors redone and we would be seeking an estimate on the Selectman’s Office and the third floor.  Selectman Strand asked the board if there was interest in having the piano tuned as she has a family member that would be willing to do so at no cost.  Selectman Strand also revisited the Bravo award and asked the board if there was interest in meeting with Jennifer Brown from Trebel Energy regarding community power.  Selectman Caplain updated the board that he has sent several emails to DOT to try and facilitate pedestrian walkway by Presidential Mountain Resort.

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

Chairman Morris made a motion to promote Brian Charland to Deputy Chief.  Selectman Bruno seconded and all were In favor.

Chairman Morris made a motion to adjourn at 9:00.  Selectman Strand seconded and all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Moritz

Town Administrator