12/19/2022 SB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
December 19, 2022
In person –Chairman Caplain, Select person Hibberd, Select person Jensen, Select person Queiroga and Select person Morris
Public Input – Barry Zitser thanked the Select Board for keeping the budget reasonable. Mr. Zitser continued it is difficult to reduce property tax in a state that does not have sales tax or income tax.
Total Budget Overview and Encumbering 2022 Budget items-
Select person Hibberd made a motion to encumber $30,000 for the Police department floor and $7189 for the remaining Police department work. Chairman Caplain seconded, and all were in favor.
Chairman Caplain introduced the total 2023 budget. There was discussion by the select board regarding the town office personnel changes: moving from an Administrative Assistant to Town Administrator, combining the Welfare and Planning Zoning Clerk to create one full time position, and adding Police Administrative Assistant to the Clerical Assistant’s role. Chairman Caplain continued noting the highest increase to the budget is insurance which made up nearly 40% of the total increase and something the town has no control over.
Bike Friendly Community- Chairman Caplain informed the select board that Bethlehem along with Franconia and Littleton has been approved to become a certified Bike Friendly Community and there are only three new communities’ nationwide to be added. Chairman Caplain added it’s a great marketing opportunity for our town to included as a certified Bike Friendly Community.
Transfer Station Committee RFP process- Select person Jensen informed the board that the Transfer Station Committee, with help from the Administrative Assistant, will be notifying three engineering firms (HEB Engineering, Aries Engineering, and Sanborn Engineering) about the request for proposal for the work that needs to be completed by the April deadline to submit for the USDA grant.
STR-Chairman Caplain asked Mary Moritz, Administrative Assistant, to update the select board on Tara Bamford, Planning and Zoning Consultant recommendation to wait on a short-term rental ordinance. Ms. Moritz explained to the select board that Ms. Bamford facilitated submitting a NHHOP grant that was just awarded to Bethlehem looking into the housing shortage which included short term rentals and would provide the town the information to create a thorough short-term rental ordinance. The select board agreed with Ms. Bamford’s recommendation and it was agreed to wait until 2024 to put forth a short-term rental ordinance. Nancy Strand asked Chairman Caplain if there was a group of people still considering a tiny home community and he said there is.
Employee Paid Time Off Policy- Select person Morris introduced the PTO policy and explained we are adding part time employees who have been employed continuously will receive time equivalent to what they would work in a week. The new policy would allow employees to first carryover five days of vacation time to the following year in addition up to one additional week that could be paid out at fifty percent of pay. Employees receiving a payout for unused PTO will receive a check by January 31ts.
Minutes – 12/5/2022 and 12/12/2022 Chairman Caplain made a motion to accept the minutes from 12/5/2022 and 12/12/2022. Select person Queiroga seconded all were in favor.
Other- Select person Morris proposed using 12/27/2022 in case a meeting was necessary. Chairman Caplain stated he was contacted by DOT regarding the crosswalk and sidewalk for Presidential Mountain Resort and continued the property owner would fund the work.
Non-public Session per RSA 91A-3 II (personnel, reputation, and legal) Chairman Caplain made a motion to go into non-public per RSA-91A-3 for reasons of personnel, reputation and legal. Select person Queiroga seconded and roll call followed.
Select person Hibberd made a motion to adjourn 8:30 pm Select person Queiroga seconded, and all were in favor.