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12/12/2022 SB Minutes

2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574

Bethlehem Board of Selectmen

Meeting Minutes

December 12, 2022

In person –Chairman Caplain, Select person Hibberd, Select person Jensen, and Select person Morris.  Select person Queiroga participating via zoom. 

Chairman Caplain opened the meeting at 6:00. Chairman Caplain updated the board that Vin Sorrentino, the donut vendor, was referred to WREN to park his food truck and Vin had been in touch with Pam and it’s hopeful that Mr. Sorrentino will park at the WREN lot.

Public Input – There was no public input

Budget Overview (Highway, cemetery, Library, Conservation Commission, Welfare, Recreation, Street Lights, Executive)

Chairman Caplain updated the board regarding his research for the Police Department bike stating a fully outfitted bike was going to cost $1820.  It was agreed to add a Police Bike line item and add $1820 to the Police Budget.

Highway- Chairman Caplain introduced Brett Jackson, Bethlehem Road Agent.  Mr. Jackson stated his budget is up 8% to last year and the contributing factors were the cost of asphalt and overall maintenance.  Mr. Jackson explained that salaries remained funded for 5 employees even though there are only currently 4 because if the right candidate were to apply, he wanted to be able to hire them immediately.

Library- Chairman Caplain introduced Doug Harman and Len Grubbs to go over the library budget.  Mr. Grubbs explained the increase to the budget was a result of payroll and additional benefits being offered.  Mr. Grubbs pointed out that the electricity line item has been reduced as a result of the new solar array.

Recreation- Chairman Caplain introduced Abbie Swayer, the Rec Director.  Ms. Sawyer explained the 5% increase to the rec budget is a result of adding a counselor position, purchasing needed pool supplies, and semi-annual employee training for most of the pool staff.  Ms. Sawyer noted she was working with a pool company trying to get information on repairing or replacing, if necessary, the pool and she is hoping to have an idea of the cost as soon as possible.  Ms. Sawyer is seeking support from the select board to purchase a 15-passenger van to help transport the summer rec participants on field trips.  Select person Jensen voiced serious concern of having counselors transporting children and recommended the town seek driving training for any employee using the van if purchased.  Select person Hibberd agreed with Select person Jensen and suggested Ms. Sawyer contact Profile School to see if they would be interested in a cooperative purchase.  Chairman Caplain asked why $10,000 was budgeted for Maintenance and remained unused and Ms. Sawyer explained that the Elm Street Ball Park fence was planned to be repaired however it did not get completed.  Select person Hibberd recommended moving maintenance to the 10-fund and using rec department revenues for the $10,000 maintenance line item.

Welfare- Chairman Caplain introduced Dawn Ferringo, the Welfare Director.  Ms. Ferringo introduced her budget and explained there has been a steep increase in general assistance clients and she expects that to continue in 2023.  Chairman Caplain asked Ms. Ferringo is she felt the proposed budget would support the projected increase and after discussion by the board agreed to increase Lighting and Fuel line items to $5000 and Misc. Assistance to $3000.

Conservation Commission- Chairman Caplain introduced the Conservation Commission budget and Lindsay Webb, Chairperson of the Conservation Commission.  Chairperson Webb noted the Conservation Commission reduced their budget from $1270 to $1120 for a -12% decrease.

Culture and Recreation- Chairman Caplain stated the Culture and Rec or Gazebo Summer Concerts were staying the same.  There was discussion on whether the $9000 is funded through a separate warrant article and was concluded that it is.

Health- Chairman Caplain introduced the Health Officer Budget as down -2% to last year.  There was discussion regarding the Health Officer pay line item because it was budgeted for $15,000 for 2022 and only $4411 has been used.  It was agreed to reduce the Health Officer pay line from $15,000 to $8000.

Cemetery- Chairman Caplain introduced the Cemetery budget which was flat to last year.  There was discussion on the cemetery survey, and it was agreed encumber the $9000 allocated to the cemetery survey and remove that from the budget.

Select person Hibberd made a motion to encumber $9000 for the cemetery survey.  Select person Morris seconded and all were in favor. 

Streetlights- Chairman Caplain stated Street Lights budget had been reduced from $20,000 to $15,000 for 2023.

Executive- Chairman Caplain introduced the Executive Budget and stated it was up 5% to last year based on pay increases.  Chairman Caplain asked why the printing line item was so high and to investigate reducing it if possible.

Transfer Station Committee- grant opportunities- Chairman Caplain in traduced Barry Zitser.  Mr. Zitser explained that the Transfer Station Committee is seeking approval for an RFP for the necessary engineering work that needs to be conducted before the town can apply for a USDA grant to construct the transfer station.  Payment for the work outlined in the RFP will be funded from the capitol reserve that was created for the transfer station.

Chairman Caplain made a motion to move forward with the proposed RFP brought forth by the Transfer Station Committee subject to approval of the transfer station committee at their meeting.  Select person Hibberd seconded and all were in favor.  

Fema BRIC grant opportunity- Chairman Caplain identified there was a grant opportunity funded by FEMA for an engineering study of Maplewood Hill Road.  The grant has to be submitted by 12/16/2022 but can be withdrawn or edited by 1/27/2023.  The board agreed to proceed.

Chairman Caplain made a motion to move forward and apply for the grant.  Select person Jensen seconded and all were in favor.

Minutes – 12/5/2022 deferred to 12/19/2022

Other no other

Chairman Caplain made a motion to go in non-public per RSA-91A-3 for reasons of personnel, reputation and legal.  Select person Hibberd seconded and roll call followed.


Select person Morris made a motion to add a new full time position combining Welfare Director and Planning and Zoning Clerk and hiring Dawn Ferringo for the job.  Select person Jensen seconded, and all were in favor. 

Select person Hibberd made a motion to change the Administrative Assistant job title to Town Administrator and increase the pay to $65,000 effective January 1, 2023.  Chairman Caplain seconded, and all were in favor. 

Chairman Caplain made a motion to hire Maci Mackillop for rec.  Select person Morris seconded, all were in favor.

Select person Hibberd made a motion to adjourn 8:30 pm Select person Queiroga seconded, and all were in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Moritz

Administrative assistant