9/27/2021 SB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
2155 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Bethlehem Board of Selectmen
September 27, 2021
In person – Chairman Boisseau, Selectman Hibberd, Selectman Jensen, Selectman Morris – absent: Selectman Caplain.
Chairman Boisseau opened the meeting at 6:05 pm 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
–Please note: technical issues were occurring during Zoom call. Addressed in meeting and minutes below.
- Public Input:
Chairman Boisseau – point of order – keep public input to 5 minutes. If it is longer, it should be added to the next meeting.
Rita Farrell: truck accident on Rt. 3 – questions on accident – Selectman Morris – under investigation with Troop G, they handle commercial accidents. Selectman Jensen – not a NCES vehicle involved.
Rita Farrell – What is Sansoucy on the agenda? – Chairman Boisseau – assessors with special properties in Bethlehem.
- Police Range follow up:
Chairman Boisseau – follow up from Norman Pelletier concern – gave quick background and thanked Mr. Pelletier for coming to the board. Chairman Boisseau stated the board has used the past 4 weeks since Mr. Pelletier’s initial complaint to do research and due diligence. Selectman Morris stated there is a policy in place with the Bethlehem PD for handling citizen complaints and it was not used for this issue. She apologized to the PD for not using that policy and allowing the PD to do their research on the complaint. Selectman Hibberd clarified that the initial complaint was a noise issue and not a land use issue. Selectman Caplain is not able to attend tonight, and he passed along a statement through Selectman Hibberd. Selectman Caplain stated the board members are not experts qualified to make decisions on firing range safety and he trusts in the chief and supports his decision. Chairman Boisseau reiterated that it is a noise issue tonight, not land use issue. Selectman Jensen stated he is not comfortable with safety of range in current situation.
Norman Pelletier – looked up criteria for gun ranges – 100 yards and out 24 ft berm – 50 yards – 16 feet high – not safe area and need to be addressed.
Chairman Boisseau – technical issues – lost internet connection – working to fix connection and get this agenda item covered while connection is active.
Zoom meeting dropped.
Zoom meeting back up.
Chairman Boisseau – gave a quick overview – safety concern with current set up of range – issue from 4 weeks ago – officers at training could stop training if deemed unsafe at any time.
Selectman Hibberd – called NHMA and town insurance company – called police chiefs in other towns – berm not a requirement.
Norman Pelletier – legal guidelines for federal range available online.
Chairman Boisseau – guidelines for private ranges or commercial ranges? Norman Pelletier – both spots – Selectman Hibberd – RSA 159-B addresses noise issue with gun ranges.
Steve Newman – should be 300 ft from road – believe range is but didn’t measure it.
Eugene Grunza – lives a mile from site Mr. Grunza asked the board if the range was approved in a board meeting prior to operating. He suggested the hours of operation should be posted publicly. He does not accept that gun ranges are exempt from noise ordinances. Selectman Hibberd – rang use was approved by board in 2013 and the range was improved in 2014.
Chairman Boisseau – point of order – technical issue continuing – board discussing postponing meeting until connection improves – Selectman Morris discussed putting together talking points for public prior to next meeting – PD policy available on town website.
Selectman Morris – motion to table issue until public input can be improved – Selectman Jensen – seconded – roll call all less Selectman Caplain – motion passed.
- Appointment to Transfer Station Committee:
Selectman Jensen – Margaret Gale – interested in joining committee.
Chairman Boisseau made a motion to appoint Margaret Gale to the Transfer Station Committee – Selectman Morris – seconded – roll call – all less Selectman Caplain – motion passed.
- Revisit Covid guidelines:
Chairman Boisseau – covid numbers increasing. As of Friday, 5 cases in Bethlehem, 12 Littleton, 12 Whitefield – Mask use in building? – The board discussed mask use in the town building and what was done in the past. The board determined that they are going to add signage in the building that follows CDC guidance and strongly recommends individuals wear masks inside the building.
Eddie Qi – If the town requires employees to wear masks, is there a law to back it up? – Board – no.
- Proposed Budget Hearing dates:
Selectman Jensen makes motion to accept proposed budget hearing dates, January 17th Budget hearing and February 7th Deliberative session. – Selectman Morris seconded – roll call – all less Selectman Caplain – motion passed.
- Façade Grant: tabled
- Assessment appeal contract with Sansoucy: tabled
- Profile Technology Contract:
Selectman Hibberd made a motion to sign “Silver” contract with Profile Technologies, Selectman Morris seconded – roll call, all less Selectman Caplain – motion passed
- Short Term rental housing discussion: tabled.
Selectman Morris – motion to move items 2 5 6 7 to next meeting – Selectman Hibberd seconded – roll call – all – less Selectman Caplain – motion passed.
- Other/Follow up from board:
Selectman Jensen – Selectman Caplain wanted to let people now NH Chronicle is coming to Bethlehem due to the efforts of Sullivan Creative.
Selectman Hibbered – paranormal company contacted board about donating fireworks to town if wanted for event in town, roughly $350. – Selectman Morris – X-Mass in Bethlehem is the next event with fireworks. Comfortable only if fire chief approves fireworks. Chairman Boisseau agreed, the town should accept only at fire chief’s discretion.
Selectman Morris made a motion to allow the Fire Chief to accept fireworks donation from John Spruce if the chief feels they are appropriate and can be used at Christmas in Bethlehem – Chairman Boisseau seconded – roll call – all – less Selectman Caplain – motion passed
Selectman Morris – The planning board met last week. They are engaged in a project to fix glitches in the current codes. They are working on getting a quote from a company to fix the codes. The project can save the town money on appeals to the current codes.
Board discussed building maintenance at town building – proposed getting someone to building to make list of what needs to be addressed.
Selectman Hibberd – possibly creating a committee – 2 board members and Tim Fleury to look at existing town policies and compare to other towns to see if more are needed or if existing policies are clear. The board discussed.
- Minutes – 9/13/2021
Chairman Boisseau made a motion to approve minutes from 9/13/2021, Selectman Hibberd seconded – roll call – less Selectman Caplain – motion passed.
- Non-public Session per RSA 91A-3 II @ 7:46 – Chairman Boisseau made a motion to go into non-public – Selectman Morris seconded – roll call – all less Selectman Caplain– motion passed.
Board discussed with Chief DeMoranville 2 merit raises and 2 new hires for the PD
The board discussed adding to the chief’s salary as well – $1000 bonus to all full time officers and chief.
Selectman Jensen made a motion to raise Chief DeMoranville’s salary $2/hr ($4,160) and include him in the $1000 bonus – Selectman Hibberd seconded – roll call – all less Selectman Caplain – motion passed
Selectman Boisseau made a motion to approve the merit increase for officers Donahue and Dube – Selectman Hibberd seconded – roll call – all less Selectman Caplain – motion passed
Selectman Hibberd made a motion to approve new hires Andrew Eastman and Robert Martin for the PD – Selectman Morris seconded – roll call – all less Selectman Caplain – motion passed
Selectman Morris made a motion to give existing full-time officers a $1000 bonus – Selectman Hibberd seconded – roll call – all less Selectman Caplain – motion passed.
Selectman Hibberd – made a motion to give $1000 bonus to town office staff: T. Fleury, N. McGrath, D. Bayley, M. Jackson, L. Thompson, A. Sawyer, L. Jacobs, and J. Anderson. – Chairman Boisseau – seconded – roll call – all – less Selectman Caplain – motion passed.
Selectman Hibberd made motion to include D. Wiley in $1000 bonus – no second.
Board discussed current personnel and performance.
Update to legal issues involving town property.
At 9:25 Chairman Boisseau made a motion to adjourn – Selectman Morris seconded – roll call – all – motion passed.