Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Oct 26, 2015

Approved Minutes Oct 26, 2015


TOWN OF LITTLETON
PUBLIC HEARING – UNANTICIPATED FUNDS
PUBLIC HEARING – SALE OF TOWN OWNED PROPERTY
BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S MEETING
MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2015
5:00 PM
COMMUNITY CENTER, HEALD ROOM
120 MAIN STREET, LITTLETON, NH

Present: Town Manager Andrew Dorsett, V. Chairman Milton T. Bratz, Selectman Schuyler Sweet, Selectman Edward A. Hennessey, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings

Others Present: Karen Noyes (Finance Director), George McNamara (Public Works Director), Rachael Dorisky (Channel 2), Darin Wipperman (The Courier), Robert Blechl (The White Mountain Record), Dann, Rudy Gelsi, George Sansoucy (Remote attendance regarding the Utility Values), Chief Paul Smith (Littleton PD), Eddy Moore, Barry Lunderville (WLTN Radio), Frank Lombardi (Daisy Bronson Middle School)

Pledge of Allegiance

Bratz called the meeting at 4:59 PM.

Appoint Select Board Member – Position will be expire on Town Meeting Day, March 8, 2016
Bratz stated he and Selectman Sweet met this afternoon and made the decision to appoint Edward Hennessey as the appointed selectman until the next Town Meeting Day. Hennessey was then sworn into office. Bratz and Sweet thanked the individuals who applied for the position. Hennessey then joined the board meeting as a full voting member.

Board Organization
Dorsett asked for a motion to appoint a chairman. Sweet made the motion to appoint Bratz as the chairman. Hennessey seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.

Bratz then opened the hearing regarding unanticipated fund at 5:01 PM.
Public Hearing: - Acceptance of Unanticipated Funds
Donation from Ammonoosuc Community Health Services
The source of income is from funds donated from the Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, Inc. in the amount of $8,100. This donation to the Town of Littleton is intended for investment into community health and wellness and to support the Town’s public agencies, including but not limited to: police, fire, highway department, and public safety agencies. Noyes asked the board to consider using the funds to purchase AED’s for the police and highway departments. Chief Smith said the external defibrillators are to assist people going into cardiac arrest. Smith said the units save lives. They currently do not have any units in the police cruisers and none in the highway vehicles. Noyes said the purchase of the units matches the donations description of use. Ron Bolt said he did not understand why they ask for money from the Town each year and then turn around and give it back. Dorsett said they are a charitable organization and are not required to pay taxes. We reached out to all of the exempt agencies and asked for PILOT payments. Ammonoosuc elected to not make PILOT payments and asked to make a donation instead. Bratz asked for any other comments. There being no further comments or questions he closed the public hearing at 5:03 PM

Bratz opened the second public hearing at 5:04 PM.
Public Hearing: Sale of Town Property
Washing Street Lot (Map 79, Lot 201)
2015 Town Meeting approved Article 6 in accordance with RSA 41:14-4a to sell the above Town owned property without further Town Meeting action, to adjust the lot line and sell the property including development rights after consultation with the Town Planning Board and the Town Conservation Commission. (Not impacting the school’s storage building). Bratz explained the purpose of this public hearing is to sell a small piece of land to an abutter who will not be impacting the school’s storage building in any way. The Planning Board will be meeting soon to approve the lot line adjustment. Once the lot line adjustment has been approved a second hearing will be held regarding the sale of the property. Bratz asked if there were any comments or questions. Bratz left the hearing open for a few minutes just in case someone had concerns.

There being no questions, concerns or comments, Bratz closed the public hearing at 5:08 PM. Bratz announced he would be passing over the Board of Assessors items on the agenda until later in the meeting. Bratz then moved onto citizen concerns/comments.

Citizen Concerns/Comments:
Rudy Gelsi wanted the board to understand the US of America is eighteen trillion dollars in debt. They are going to stop an increase on social security and they are going to increase the Medicare. His suggestion is that the selectmen to think really hard before they come up with a 2.5 percent increase to all of the Town employees. He thinks it is uncalled for. He thinks that 27% of the people are on social security. Bratz asked if this was in relation to the 2016 budget. Bratz said they appreciate his comments and this will come up again as work progresses on the budget. Gelsi then congratulated Ed Hennessey on his appointment to the board. He then asked the Chairman if he thought Mr. Hennessey had a conflict of interest because of his son being the chairman of the River District. Gelsi went on to say that anybody that is in charge of the Town should have no interest in any other committee like the River District. Bratz said the incompatibility comes up when your put into a position is when you are on another elected position. Mr. Hennessey resigned from the Trustee of the Trust Funds. Bratz said there is no incompatibility there.

Ron Bolt said a couple of weeks ago he started walking in the Dells and he noticed quite a bit of debris there. Each day he went there seemed to be a bit more. Saturday he went with one of the blue bags for roadside pickup and almost filled the bags. Behind a boulder there were four sealed black bags that were put there on purpose. It was clearly household trash. He just wanted to bring that up. If people are intentionally dropping their garbage there that should not be happening. Bratz said we have had instances where people were coming onto Main Street dropping off their garbage in the receptacles. Chief Smith said if it continues the people who own the property can open the bags. The police can’t search through a trash bag but other people can do it. Smith said that if there is a repeat offender they will prosecute that person.

Town Manager’s Report:
Dorsett said first up is the primary vote. With the new highway garage the Town Clerk would like to know where to hold the primary vote at either the fire station or the new highway department. Bratz said in thinking the primary will occur at a time when there will be a mud factor. Bratz said it would be nice to use the new building. Bratz asked if there would be a problem with parking. McNamara said they would still be using the same parking area so there would not be a problem. We would be honored to have it at the new highway garage. Hennessey asked if they have talked to the fire chief. Dorsett said he talked to the fire chief and he was in favor of it being held at the highway garage. Mary Edick said she was in favor the new highway department as a former supervisor of the checklist. Sweet said if there is going to be a mud issue he would also worry about Town Meeting Day. Sweet made the motion to hold the primary at the new highway garage. Hennessey seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0. George McNamara said he was hoping to have a ribbon cutting ceremony at the beginning of December to make the new highway garage available for viewing to the public. Dorsett moved onto the Winter Weather Policy.

2015-2016 Winter Weather Policy
The weather policy there had some minor changes from last year. McNamara said they had a couple of new hires they had to assign to trucks. There is also an agreement to work with other towns. McNamara said they are coming to the season when there will be no parking on the streets. Chief Smith said the overnight parking ban goes into effect on November 1st. Smith said abandoned vehicles will be towed and the last known owner will be billed the towing fee. McNamara provided the board with the items in the policy which had changed. After a brief discussion Hennessey moved to adopt the policy. Sweet seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0.

Dorsett said there is an unnamed road behind Mill Street. They did some historical research to see if they could find a name that would match the area. There were two businesses that used to operate there. Dorsett said they are required by E911 to name a road where a business has relocated. This is also the area where the Pollyanna story was situated. Because of the Porter Street was suggested as the name for that section of road. According to RSA 231 board of selectmen have the authority to name a street at any time. We are looking to name the street and assign the E911 address to this business. Sweet made the motion to name the street Porter Street. Hennessey seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0.

Leave Time Liability Reduction:
Dorsett asked Noyes to address the leave time reduction. Noyes advised that she comes to the board every year with the request to reduce the leave time. Once a year she asks the board to consider approving the ability for the employees to turn in their unused vacation time at 100% reimbursement for a one month only period of time. The employees can buy back their leave time any time of the year at 80%. We have to set the funds aside every year and right now we are at about $200,000 set aside for leave time. Noyes asked the board to consider doing this and to waive the eighty hour limit. Noyes said the more leave time we get off the records the less our liability. Hennessey asked if there is a policy on how much vacation they take. Noyes said there is no policy. Hennessey made the motion to approve the leave time buyout as presented by Karen Noyes’s recommendation. Sweet seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.

TAN Request (Tax Anticipation Note)
Noyes said she has come to the board regarding the request to take a TAN. The TAN will be for a short period of time from November through January 31, 2016. Sweet made the motion to authorize a TAN for up to $1.5 million to expire no later than January 31, 2016. Noyes asked the board to also add the Town Manager as the signatory for the TAN. Sweet amended his motion to authorize a TAN for up to $1.5 million to expire no later than January 31, 2016 add the Town Manager as the signatory for the TAN. Hennessey seconded the motion. Motion passed 3.0.

Fund Balance Policy:
Noyes presented the fund balance policy to the board. Noyes advised the board that once the DRA provides us with the 2015 tax rate the board will have to decide what to do with the fund balance. Right now we are trying to stay at the five percent. When it is the time to set the tax rate we will be asked if any of the fund balance should be used to reduce the tax rate. This current policy was approved in 2011. Bratz asked if they needed to make a decision tonight. Noyes said no decision needs to be made she wanted to remind the board of the policy and to review it before the tax rate is set.

Dorsett said he needed to know what direction the board would like the Town departments to take for the budget. Dorsett said it seems like there are some areas where the department heads will struggle to run their departments correctly without asking for additional resources. Sweet said we have to deliver to the citizens the services they expect and require. We ask the department heads to use their best sense at a cost that can be afforded. Ultimately the tax payers will decide if they want to pay for those services. Sweet went on to say to be as reasonable as we can, pie in the sky expectations won’t work. Bratz said the board’s responsibility is rendering the services that are expected in a cost effective manner.

Daisy Bronson Middle School – Permission to place Geocaches on Town Property:
Frank Lombardi from the middle school was present to explain the school’s request for permission. Lombardi had brought with him an example of an official geocache. The students will be trained on how to use compasses, GIS and GPS. Sweet moved to allow permission to put the geocaches on Town property. Noyes asked if we are liable for any damages to the units. Lombardi said no. Bratz asked him to come back and let us know how many were placed and how it went and what goals were accomplished by it. Hennessey seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0.

Parking Lot Concern behind the Jax Junior Movie Theatre
Bratz said they received a letter from a resident from Lisbon who works in Littleton. The letter addressed concerns regarding a minor accident he had when exiting the parking lot. The letter also requested the Town to consider reducing the speed limit there and putting up signs. Dorsett said the Highway Safety Committee would look into the matter. Sweet said the letter was written to the board so he should receive a response.

Bratz asked for a motion to adjourn the board meeting. Sweet made the motion to adjourn. Hennessey seconded the motion. Motion to adjourn passed 3-0. Bratz said they would be taking a break and when they come back they would be going into a board of assessors meeting. They will then go into a nonpublic session after that. The meeting adjourned at 6:10 PM.

 

Bratz called the Board of Assessors meeting to order at 6:17 PM.

Moore Dam Committee – Recommendation on the 2015 Utility Values
Dorsett advised the Moore Dam Committee and voted to accept the utility values as presented by Sansoucy.

George Sansoucy (Phone Conference Call) – Accept the 2015 Utility Values
George Sansoucy joined the meeting via conference call at 6:18 PM. Sansoucy explained the formula used to determine the utility assessments and advised the board he felt very confident in the overall assessment values. Chairman Bratz asked for a motion to approve the utility values as presented. Sweet made the motion. Hennessey seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0.

Abatements:
Littleton Building Association, 1262 St. Johnsbury Rd., Map/Lot 74-3, 2014 Tax Year
Per the review of the exemption application it is recommended an abatement in the amount of $8,543.09 plus any applicable costs be granted. Sweet made the motion to approve. Hennessey seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.

Mark T. Gardner Jr., 178 Pleasant St., Map/Lot 79-49, 2015 2nd Issue Sewer Bill
Requesting an administrative abatement in the amount of $140.52 to clear the account be granted. The water at this location was turned off and should not have been billed. Sweet made the motion to approve. Hennessey seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. The board came out of the Board of Assessors at 6:44 PM.

Sweet made the motion to go into a nonpublic session per the following RSA:
RSA 91-A:3, II (a)
The dismissal, promotion, or compensation of any public employee or the disciplining of such employee, or
the investigation of any charges against him or her, unless the employee affected (1) has a right to a public meeting, and (2) requests that the meeting be open, in which case the request shall be granted.
Hennessey seconded the motion. The board entered the nonpublic session at 6:45 PM. The board came out of the nonpublic session at 6:52 PM. Bratz announced the minutes of the meeting were sealed by a unanimous roll call vote.

Approve the following minutes:
September 14, 2015
September 28, 2015
October 13, 2015

Bratz made the motion to approve the September 14 minutes. Sweet seconded the motion. Motion passed 2-0.

Sweet made the motion to approve the September 28 minutes. Bratz seconded the motion. Motion passed 2-0.

Sweet made the motion to approve the October 13 minutes. Bratz seconded the motion. Motion passed 2-0.

Sweet made the motion to adjourn. Hennessey seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. Meeting adjourned at 6:58 PM.