10/24/2023 TSC Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Transfer Station Committee Minutes
October 24, 2023
Present: Nancy Strand, Barry Zitser, Andrea Bryant, Paul Karpawich and Chris Jensen (Minutes)
The committee accepted, with regret, the resignation of Margaret Gale and thanked her for her work. Ms. Strand said she would inform the select board of the resignation.
The thrust of the meeting was how to obtain funds to help pay for the transfer station.
Barry Zitser reviewed a conversation with an official from The Mascoma Bank Foundation about the possibility of a grant. The committee agreed it seems like a great, community program and a grant should be pursued.
That discussion was linked to a discussion about how much the committee should recommend for a capital-reserve-fund warrant article next year.
The committee settled on asking the select board to approve $40,000 for the warrant article in March. That is $5,000 more than the previous year and the committee agreed that the time the town will need funds is getting close.
The committee also decided to ask Mascoma to match what the voters are expected to approve. Ms. Bryant noted that the warrants have all passed with a comfortable margin.
A motion to recommend a $40,000 warrant and apply for a Mascoma grant in the same amount was made by Ms. Bryant, seconded by Mr. Karpawich and unanimously approved. Both actions are subject to approval by the select board.
The committee reviewed a Google Doc list of possible grants compiled by Mr. Karpawich, with tweaks or updates by committee members.
One of those was the Northern Border Regional Commission. However, Ms. Strand noted that the NBRC typically approved grants with a broader focus than a small town. Nevertheless, the committee felt the town should apply.
The committee also agreed to again seek the U.S.D.A. Rural Facilities grant, which has a December 15th deadline.
Mr. Karpawich also suggested some help might be available from corporations seeking carbon offsets. “Certain companies are looking for projects like this,” he said. The committee agreed that it was worth exploring.
Several other grant possibilities were reviewed and were either not appropriate for a transfer station or the funds could not be sought until after the transfer station was operating.
Mr. Jensen suggested the town seek “congressionally directed” funds from Sen. Hassan, Sen. Shaheen and Rep. Kuster. The committee agreed to ask the approval of the select board to seek meetings with staffers from those three offices to see how such “earmarks” might sought. Mr. Jensen offered to draft a letter that could be sent to the Congressional delegates asking for meetings.
The committee also suggested individuals review the emergency plan, should the New Hampshire Supreme Court decide that NCES most recent expansion was not warranted and operations must cease before 2026.
There was a discussion about the “Just Be Greener” newsletter. Given how much work there will be seeking grants – and the busy time of year – it was decided to pause the newsletter until next year.
The meeting adjourned at 7:50.
The next meeting will be November 28th at 6 p.m. at the library.