08/09/2021 SB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
August 9, 2021
In person – Chairman Boisseau, Selectman Hibberd, Selectman Caplain, Selectman Moore, Absent – Selectman Jensen
Chairman Boisseau opened the meeting at 6:00pm and reminded people to leave their microphones on mute. He continued to remind in person participants to use the microphone so Zoom participants can hear
Bruce Caplain – commenting as a public member – Maplewood Train Station – location to move building when it is available – looking at location behind heritage building – town owned land – Selectman Moore – warrant article needed to utilize town land.
Chairman Boisseau – announced Selectman Moore is stepping down from select board. It was a hard decision to make but was the best decision for her. The board will be discussing appointments to fill the vacancy. The select board has the power to fill open position on the select board. Selectman Hibberd – suggesting going with the only other person that ran for select board this past election. The board will reach out to person in mind to gauge their interest.
Selectman Caplain – Thank you for everything you have done Selectman Moore, going to miss her on the board.
Mary Jackson – deeding/lien issue – Thank you Selectman Moore for being liaison for the past 4.5 years. Liens process – 2021 started process – sent to company that does mortgage research – executed lien in May, email in July from company that owner was in hospital and unable to complete lien process. Liens are imperfect. Bethlehem is one of 75 towns in NH in this situation. Options: 1. Undo executing liens – costs associated with process – restart liens after that is completed, liens must be executed by Sept. 30th or miss 2021 entirely. 2. Leave liens as they are and send notices as normal. The town can’t deed for this lien year and will have to skip year if town needs to deed it. Selectman Hibberd – how many properties are affected and how many possible deeds issued this year? Mary Jackson – 24 properties affected with a possibly of 5 deeds being issued. The town can sell property after normal deeding process after an extra year. Ms. Jackson talked with the tax collector’s association, and it is on the agenda to talk about it this year as so many towns are involved. Board discussion – waive deeding this year.
Chairman Boisseau makes motion to mail lien notices as normal and if properties come up for deeding in 2 years, must overlook that year. – Selectman Caplain seconded – roll call – all less Selectman Jensen – motion approved
Selectman Moore – auctions for town property this year? – Mary Jackson – property deeded, for 3 years the previous owner has the right to repurchase property, 90 days prior to auction the homeowner gets notice of the auction and can give notice to repurchase within those 90 days. September notices would lead to winter auction – For a summer sale the process needs to start in early spring. Selectman Hibberd – older town properties need to be fixed to sell. The attorney working on it left our law firm. Some were unfixable for sale. Lots of work needed to sell some properties on the town’s books.
Pam Sullivan – dashboard sent out to board – on screen share – Google analytics – can be shared to public if anyone would like it. Ms. Sullivan gave update to marketing information – Itinerary based approach for new method – things to do, places to go.
Selectman Moore – how does it compare with other towns? Ms. Sullivan – started from zero and seeing good growth rate – social media is easier to get likes than followers, the website traffic is good, and happy with the numbers.
Pam Sullivan – needs events happening before Labor Day to get as much as possible on website – outdoor activities needed.
Chairman Boisseau – where’s the best place to send info? Ms. Sullivan – send to me email@example.com – looking for photos and any information – Chairman Boisseau checked with Ms. Sullivan to see what is needed from the board. She stated the town is in good shape with the initial investment made. She would like to see Just Be banners on the posts on Main St. and the front façade of the town building freshened up. Selectman Caplain – the town was recently awarded a grant for marketing for $30,000. Ms. Sullivan will come up with some ideas for the grant.
Rita Farrell – Ms. Farrell asked what the benefits the marketing plan and spending has for the current residents of the town and not just potential future residents. The board explained the various ways the marketing plan has benefited the town.
Profile Technologies – new IT agreement decision
Chairman Boisseau – looking at plans from Profile Technologies – Stay with Profile Tech? Selectman Hibberd – not many options out there, other option initially was substantially higher. Selectman Caplain, Selectman Jensen asked Selectman Caplain to discuss putting contract out to bid. – Board discussed options and the option to put it out to bid – Selectman Hibberd – current relationship is a good one and they know the process. Chairman Boisseau suggests putting it out to bid and unless the bids come in way less that Profile it makes sense to stay with current provider.
Selectman Caplain makes motion to put IT contract out to bid – Selectman Moore second – roll call – all less Selectman Jensen – motion passed
Bethlehem Trails Association
Chairman Boisseau – BTA approached board to add trails behind pool and town building on maps to alleviate congestion on Main Street and keep bikes out of traffic – BTA will put out signage on land.
Chairman Boisseau makes motion to grant permissions for BTA add trails to map and add signage – Selectman Caplain seconded – roll call all, less Selectman Jensen – motion passed
Overpayment Refund – 404-035
Chairman Boisseau – property in current use and billed not in current use – $1300.89 refund
Selectman Moore makes a motion to refund map 404-035, $1300.89 – Selectman Hibberd seconded – roll call – all less Selectman Jensen – motion passed.
Selectman Hibberd – littering on Lewis Hill just past synagogue – signage needed? – Selectman Caplain – similar issue next to Irving -Chief DeMoranville went over and spoke with business, and it was taken care of.
Selectman Moore – Historical Plaques – walked downtown to flag new plaques – Brett Jackson (road agent) and Derek Brown (Village District) looking at to make sure in good spot – would like board to look at town hall plaque location. – Selectman Hibberd– talking to homeowners? Selectman Moore – great, no need to spend legal monies and hoping in 2 weeks to install 17 new plaques total – 4 on town property.
Selectman Moore – traffic down Agassiz Road – left 2 messaged with DOT – Jim McMahon (DOT) suggested permanent driver feedback sign (electronic sign), DOT installed, town paid for.
Rita Farrell – walk down every day on Agassiz – 30mph sign at top of Agassiz and farther down – signage needed to help remind people to slow down – Selectman Moore – permanent feedback sign would slow drivers down.
Selectman Moore – across street from town hall – memory tree – currently dead. Selectman Moore offered to donate new tree if the town would get rid of old one.
Selectman Caplain – CDC recommended Grafton County goes back to masks indoors, doesn’t think Bethlehem needs to do but needs to be addressed – Jack Anderson – hard to find correct numbers in area for vaccinations, the state stopped issuing numbers of cases in town to emergency services.
Selectman Caplain – someone would like to donate bike repair/stand/pump in town if town willing to install.
Margaret Gale – can’t hear public if they don’t use microphone. Chairman Boisseau reminded public, in-person attendees to use microphone
Selectman Moore made a motion to accept minutes from 7/26/2021 – Selectman Hibberd seconded – roll call all less Selectman Jensen – motion passed.
At 7:17pm pm Chairman Boisseau made a motion to go to Non-public Session per RSA 91A-3 II (personnel, legal) Selectman Moore seconded – roll call – all less Selectman Jensen.
Chief Jack Anderson presented new hire for FD – board discussed
Selectman Caplain made a motion to hire Bernard McComiskey @ $10/hr for fire dept. – Selectman Moore seconded – roll call – all less Selectman Jensen
Board discussed personnel
Board discussed welfare position
Board discussed legal issues.
GB motion to adjourn at 8:20 BC second roll call all