2012 Meeting Minutes and Agendas
- Work Session Minutes Dec 27, 2012
- Work Session Minutes Dec 19, 2012
- Work Session Minutes Dec 17, 2012
- Approved Minutes Dec 10, 2012
- Work Session Minutes Dec 5, 2012
- Work Session Minutes Dec 3, 2012
- Approved Minutes Nov 26, 2012
- Approved Minutes Nov 7, 2012
- Approved Minutes Oct 22, 2012
- Work Session & Nonpublic Meeting Oct 18, 2012
- Approved Minutes Oct 1, 2012
- Approved Minutes Sep 10, 2012
- Approved Minutes Aug 13, 2012
- Approved Minutes Jul 11, 2012
- Approved Minutes Jul 9, 2012
- Approved Minutes Jun 11, 2012
- Approved Minutes Jun 4, 2012
- Approved Minutes May 14, 2012
- Approved Minutes Apr 23, 2012
- Approved Minutes Apr 9, 2012
- Work Session Minutes Apr 4, 2012
- Approved Minutes Mar 26, 2012
- Draft Minutes Feb 27, 2012
- Draft Minutes Feb 13, 2012
- Draft Minutes Jan 23, 2012
- Budget Hearing Jan 12, 2012
- Draft Minutes Jan 11, 2012
Board of Selectmen
Draft Minutes Feb 27, 2012
TOWN OF LITTLETON
PUBLIC HEARING &
BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S MEETING
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2012
COMMUNITY CENTER HEALD ROOM
Present: Interim Town Manager Fred Moody, Chairman Ron Bolt, Vice Chairman Marghie Seymour, Selectman Mike Gilman, Finance Manager Karen Noyes, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings
Others Present: Robert Blechl (The Caledonian), Khela McGann (The Courier), Alex Smith (Channel 2), Steve Kelley, Dann, Michelle Schaefer (WLTN), Chief Paul Smith (Littleton PD), Chief Joe Mercieri (Littleton FD), Ed Boynton, Eddy Moore, Patricia Garvin (NCC), Mary Edick, Jim Daly, Bill Sencabaugh (Littleton FD), Mell Brooks, Jerry LeSage, Rudy Gelsi, Dick Massimilla, Linda Massimilla, Bill Freeland, Barb Freeland
Bolt called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM. This is a regular meeting but also includes a Public Hearing.
Pledge of Allegiance
Public Hearing - CDBG – GCEDC/Rotobec Project
Bolt called the Public Hearing at 5:01 PM. Bolt then provided a brief overview of the rules for a public hearing. Patricia Garvin started by stating this is typically called the mid-grant public hearing but it is really the end of the project. Rotobec USA had two and a half years to complete the project. They completed the project in about ten and half months. They have documented that they have hired at least ten people at the end of December. They are continuing to advertise for more positions. Their loan payments have been made on time. The loan payments go back to the Grafton County Economic Development Council. The project will now be closed out. There is paperwork the Town will be required to submit along with a closeout report, which she would help the Town to prepare. The Town will then receive a closeout agreement and a closeout certificate. This releases the Town of any more responsibilities for this grant. Patricia then provided the following information on a handout to the board and those present at the hearing:
CDBG Update for the GCEDC/Rotobec USA Project
CDBG Grant # 11-097CDED
This CDBG application was submitted in March, 2011, and approved by the Governor and Council in June, 2011. The total CDBG grant was $200,000, with $178,000 sub granted to the Grafton County Economic Development Council (GCEDC) in order to make a loan to Rotobec USA for the purchase of 2 additional CNC machines. GCEDC retained $3,000 for processing and servicing the $175,000 loan. Littleton retained $22,000 for administrative costs associated with the grant, including $19,000 in fees paid to North Country Council to write and administer the grant.
In addition to repaying the loan, Rotobec USA agreed to create a minimum of 10 new jobs, with 6 of them being filled by persons of low-to-moderate income. Rotobec has fulfilled their commitment by Dec., 2011 and the documentation of the job creation has been accepted by CDFA, the granting agency. The job creation commitment was filled 18 months ahead of schedule. Rotobec is current in their loan repayment to GCEDC. Rotobec continues to hire, as evidenced by their recent want ad in the Littleton Courier.
In order to closeout this project, the final payment request for town expenses will be submitted to CDFA, along with a Closeout Report. CDFA will prepare a Closeout Agreement and Certificate for Littleton. Littleton will have no other responsibilities related to this grant.
Steve Kelley asked if the logging industry was supporting the products supplied. Patricia said they make the giant orange wrappers. They are in strong demand resulting in the purchase of two giant CNC machines so they can build the product right on site. Bolt asked if there were any further comments. Seymour said this has been one of the most efficiently administered grant projects she has ever seen and thanked Patricia for her work. Bolt then closed the public hearing at 5:06 PM.
Approval of Previous Meeting Minutes:
November 14, 2011
November 28, 2011
December 12, 2011
December 20, 2011
January 23, 2012
Seymour moved to accept the minutes as presented for November 14, 28 and December 12. Gilman seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
Bolt said the board had asked the town manager to look into the situation of the fading crosswalks. Moody advised that when they put the crosswalks in they cut a small amount of the pavement and filled the cut pavement in with a plastic polymer that was supposed to last longer than it has. In his research he found that while the literature says they last at least six years other communities have reported they only last two years. Moody said there is no recourse to take with the contractors. Moody said the crosswalks need to be repainted as an inexpensive solution to correct the problem. Seymour said that one of the questions to ask is if we are going to be able to paint over the polymer. Ed Boynton asked if there were any recourse the town could take regarding the sidewalks that have separated. Moody said the warranty on the sidewalks has expired. His guess is that when the frost is gone the sidewalks will then settle back down. Seymour said that it was her understanding that they were supposed to come back and seal the cracks to prevent water from getting down underneath the sidewalks. Seymour asked Moody to double check to see if this work had extended the warranty.
Bolt said that since their last meeting there was a Littleton Community Project Steering Group meeting last Friday. He went in Fred’s place. The highlights were that the steering group reminded everyone that they are a clearing house and that they were not designed to compete with the work that various organizations were doing. Bolt reported to the group some of the things the town has done, one was the 24/7 survey, the voter’s guide, and that they have elevated work force retention issue to a higher priority. The board agreed to let Fred take a Leadership for Management Seminar course with Dale Carnegie. The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors had prioritized the initiatives assigned to them. Number one was to collaborate with other community groups on initiatives. Another initiative was to impact long term economic prosperity and to develop a new major annual event. They are actually planning on three events of which one would be a Harvest Festival. They are also planning an expanded piano project this year to include guitars.
The voter’s guide has been published and is available on line. Hard copies are available at other locations.
Bolt then addressed some house bills that were discussed at the last board meeting. Bolt said that HB1674 which would reduce the interest rate on delinquent taxes was voted inexpedient to legislate. That does not mean the death of the bill yet, in fact last year the house overturned the committee’s vote. The house also voted inexpedient to legislate on HB1305 which would reinstate the tax exemption for telephone poles and conduits. There are two senate bills that relate to the pension spiking provision. The information the board received from the LGC is encouraging us to get ahold of our Senator and encourage the passage of Senate Bill 228 and the rejection of Senate Bill 246. Bolt said that Bill 246 would make it more complicated and not really solve anything. Bolt asked the rest of the board if they had kept up on this information. Seymour said she would like to read the information first. Gilman said there is also the retirement system issue but he did not know what has happened with it. Bolt said their next meeting would be March 12th, the day before Town Meeting and asked the board to consider agenda items. The board would also have to meet shortly after Town Meeting for an organizational meeting
Appointments: Maximum time per appointment is 15 minutes:
Dann – Property Tax Late Payment Penalties: Dann declined making his presentation.
Steve Kelley – Voters Guide:
Steve Kelley said the idea of the voters guide is a very good idea and there are many ways to present it. There was a discussion on who should be involved with the process. Kelley said that the best thing that ever happened for the Town of Littleton was when the budget committee became the same committee for the school and the town. Up until that time the two budgets involved were independent of each other. Basically the point he is trying to make that is if everything passed that was proposed it comes out to $2.36 tax increase. The thing that continues to concern him is the large number. The way the billing cycle goes the tax bill that is presented in the spring is the same as what we would have in the fall. Seymour said she thought this was going to be about the voter’s guide. Kelley said he would like his handout to be included with the voter’s guide. Gilman said it should be included with the voter’s guide but it is too late to change the voter’s guide now. Bolt noted that it would be confusing to the public to include it with the voter’s guide because the taxpayer’s guide has the school component and the town voter’s guide does not. Kelley said that when people get the bill tax in November it will be the result of the voting and it could end up being a much larger number. Gilman said if we included it into the voter’s guide they could become overwhelmed. Kelley said that in defense of the budget the bigger picture is somewhat daunting. Dann said it called to mind something he saw on an absentee voter’s ballot. There was a no cost warrant associated with the nonbinding referendum. Gilman said it is something the board put together to find out what people want. Seymour said it is not that outrageous to ask people what they want for the level of service. Gilman said it is no different than going around and talking to people in town.
Town Manager’s Report:
Moody said the town report was now available. Absentee ballots are also now available and advised anyone needing one to please see the town clerk. Moody said that the North Country Council had some contractual assistance to do an energy audit. Moody said they looked at the library and the interesting findings were that based on the 1,000 square foot of the library the BTU usage is about average. They also found that more efficient lighting could lower the costs as well as some minor heating upgrades. The reconstituted energy committee will be reviewing the audit. The Town will be filling out a Highway Safety Form this year looking at traffic data and needs of the Town for next year. Moody said they were informed from the DOT that they intend to resurface Cottage Street this summer including the north and south bound lanes of I93 to exit 42 including the exit ramps. The Town also received a Post Closure Report for the landfill. There were not a lot of surprises there but they did find the landfill condition was in the best classification. Moody said there is some remediation work that could be done to one ground water well that was destroyed in the heavy spring floods. We have asked the state if they are going to require the Town to replace the well. One warning sign on the site was damaged. They also need to do some vegetative control out there because some of the swales and culverts are starting to fill in with some vegetation. Moody said he had a visit by the Glenwood Cemetery Sexton last week informing us the trustees had raised the price of a grave plot effective April 15th. The cost to residents and taxpayers will go up about 20% from $700 to $840. The cost for non-residents would be going up from $850 to $1,230 which is a 32% increase. Moody said this is something he would be discussing with the board at future meetings as to whether the Town would want to follow suit on our increasing the cost for Town owned lots. Moody said that for the second time in two months the Town has received a letter regarding Fire Department response times. At the January 11th BOS meeting, Mr. Gelsi from North Littleton Road came to the meeting to express his concern on a 911 call he had. On February 20th the Town received a letter from the Mount Sacred Heart Convent expressing concern in the response time on a 911 call placed on February 20th. Moody said he felt the best response was for the Fire Chief and the call company members to describe firsthand what had transpired. Moody noted the firehouse is unmanned for a day and a half on the weekends due to budget cuts and staffing. Chief Joe Mercieri stated that he had drafted a letter of response to the convent. A copy of the draft letter was sent to Moody and the board. Mercieri said he was waiting for a response from the board. The department was not staffed when the call came in at around 6:00 PM and it took time for the members of the department who were available to get to the station. Captain Sencabaugh said he was one of the first firefighters to get to the station. The next person to arrive at the station was firefighter Nate Landry. Sencabaugh said he made the decision to wait for more firefighters and then a second call went sent out as a first alarm requesting assistance from mutual aid. Chief Mercieri stated that Sencabaugh did the right thing by following the set procedures and policies. Seymour asked if there was a policy that required five people on the truck. Mercieri said the policy has been in place since 1990. They would like to see at least four firefighters on the truck. If they can’t make four people then they have to make a judgment call. Mell Brooks asked if the fire on the weekend had been during a weekday would the response time have been different. Mercieri said if the fire had been during the week the response time could have been different. Usually the response time to the convent is seven or eight minutes. Moody said the level of incidents is relatively flat no matter what the time or the day of the week. Mercieri said the only time the full time staff is called in is for a first alarm. Barb Freeland wanted to comment on something the Chief said regarding having a good backup system. Barb said she always considered the help of surrounding towns for something that would be an extreme emergency. It worries her as a citizen to know that we have to rely on our emergency backup system in an ordinary case when there is one call coming into the fire department. She also wanted to clarify when the Captain said that he was the only one there on Saturday as to what would have happened if he had not been in Town. Sencabaugh said he did not have an answer. Seymour said it was her understanding that the fire alarm was set off by something burning in a microwave oven. Sencabaugh said she was correct. Seymour then asked him when he knew the reason the fire alarm went off. He said he knew that at the station after listening to the radio. Sencabaugh said he had a slight heads up that there was a police officer in the building ahead of him. It is not recommended for the police to be going into a burning building. The situation was that he was there and made the quick determination that there was a fire in the building and that it was in a microwave. This turned out to not be true. The fire department has to follow through on it as though it did happen. Bolt thanked Mercieri and Sencabaugh for the comprehensive report. Bolt also wanted to add that the letter they received from the sister was full of many compliments to the fire and police departments based on past experiences.
Eddy Moore said first of all he would like to support Steve Kelley and the budget committee to support the default budget. Moore would like to recommend voting no on Article 2 and voting for the default budget saving us $194,538. Moore said the second item is to watch out for the ballot articles that say they have no impact on the tax rate. That money is coming from the reserve fund. If you say no to these warrant articles the BOS can use this same money to reduce your taxes. Moore then said to not be fooled by Selectman Bolt. These articles have a tax impact. Bolt told Moore the use of the undesignated fund balance is a traditional long standing procedure. There is nothing new here and nothing to even suggest deception. Bolt said he takes strong issue with Moore’s statements. Bolt said that every year in the past Moore wanted to keep the unrestricted fund balance down. Seymour said it is true that if we turn the money over to the voters it would reduce the taxes but we would not get the things we need to have done. Seymour said that nobody came to the budget hearing or the deliberative session. Mary Edick asked if she could make a comment to Mr. Moore. Edick told Moore that if we were to give back that money to the taxpayers 66% of each dollar would be given back to the top six taxpayers such as Moore Dam and the other utilities. We would just be giving this money back. Moore responded by stating that on $200,000 home the taxpayer would be paying $500 more on their December tax bill. Moore then said voters should think before voting and if they are renters their rents would probably go up. Mell Brooks said this sounds like a deliberative session. Moore said he was entitled to his position. Bolt then moved onto the next agenda item.
LRH Grant Application: Moody asked to table this because they are still waiting for more information.
Two Non-Binding Referendums – This item was discussed at length earlier in the meeting.
2012 Board & Commission Vacancies:
Bolt announced the vacancies that would be open on the various boards and commissions. The list of openings will be posted to the webpage and at the Town Office.
Other Business: None
Gilman made the motion to adjourn. Seymour seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. The meeting adjourned at 6:13 PM.
Littleton has functioned as a Board of Selectmen/Town Manager form of government since 1976.
The Littleton Board of Selectmen meets the 2nd Monday and the 4th Monday of each month at 5:00 PM at the Littleton Community House - Heald Room.
If you would like to be put on the agenda for an upcoming Selectmen's meeting, please contact Ceil Stubbings. Please be prepared with all information needed for the Selectmen to make a decision no later than the Friday before the Selectmen's meeting
G. Michael Gilman, Chairman
Milton T. Bratz, Vice Chairman
Marghie M. Seymour, Selectman
Selectmen's Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Secretary for the Board of Selectmen
125 Main Street
Littleton, NH 03561
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