Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Jun 1, 2015

Approved Minutes Jun 1, 2015


TOWN OF LITTLETON
BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S MEETING
MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2015
4:30 PM
COMMUNITY CENTER, HEALD ROOM

Present: Town Manager Fred Moody, Chairman Marghie Seymour, V. Chairman G. Michael Gilman, Selectman Milton T. Bratz, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings

Others Present: Chris Fournier (HEB), Chad Stearns, Dann, Rudi Gelsi, Channel 2, The Courier, The Caledonian, George McNamara (Public Works Director), Mary Boulanger, Jere Eames, Ron Bolt, Ray Cloutier, Dave Ernsberger, John Hennessey, Bruce Hadlock, Chief Paul Smith (Littleton PD),
Casey Hadlock, Rachel Doriski (Channel 2), Katherine Doriski

Seymour called the meeting to order at 4:30 PM

Pledge of Allegiance

Appointments:
River District Redevelopment Commission/BOS Joint Meeting
Chris Fournier – HEB Engineers
Moody explained the board invited the River District Redevelopment Commission and Chris Fournier of HEB to provide a presentation on the Bridge Street bridge project. Fournier introduced himself and his company that are Civil Engineers and Land Surveyors. Fournier said they have worked in Littleton on previous projects with one of them being the covered bridge. Fournier provided some information on pedestrian bridges. He also provided a history of the Bridge Street Bridge that was built back in 1928. The abutments were assessed and they also looked at pre-engineered bridges. There is an old abandoned sewer line there and several tall rock retaining walls that act as extensions of the bridge walls. There are several overhead utility poles in this area and power lines that will get in the way of construction. The old infrastructure has not been maintained. They took a look at the abutments to see if they would support a new bridge. There was quite a lot of deterioration. They did find some information from the DOT that the amount of reinforcing steel was of a low grade. Fournier then provided a quick review of their site plan. We started looking at our permitting needs at the beginning of the project but now we need special wetland permits. Bratz asked if the recommendation is to repair the current abutments instead of installing new. Fournier said they would repair the existing abutments.

The new multi-model bridge will have about a ten foot wide width. They studied the various bridge alternatives and looked at wood, aluminum and steel which is the most common. Fournier provided pictures of the designs and the costs. The costs ranged from $275,000 up to $350,000. John Hennessey asked if there was any difference for maintenance costs between the wood and the steel structures. Fournier said yes the life span of the wood bridge is less than that of a steel bridge. There is a downside to the timber bridges.
A wood bridge would have a life span is about 50 years and a steel bridge is about 100 years. Fournier said his recommendation would be to go for the steel structure. As far as the schedule is concerned there is an interesting approach to be taken to complete this project by the end of the year. The Town would contact with a general contractor and there is about a five month process from the date the bridge is ordered. Work needs to be done in the river to protect the abutments.

Bruce Hadlock asked how much does the Town owe on the covered bridge. He thinks it is around $180,000. Hadlock said he can’t see them going into something new when you have another bridge that needs repairs. Hadlock said they could not use pressure treated wood. Hadlock said he was a little bit critical in putting something in new when we are not doing anything about it the Ken Curran Bridge. The Town is not maintaining and fixing what they have. Dave Ernsberger asked if there would be any lighting on the bridge. Fournier said no. Right now the construction schedule looks feasible. Moody said the preliminary expense is $500,000 and they have $600,000 set aside for the project. Moody went on to say that it does appear these costs are within reason. We are hoping that if there are any excess funds that they can be used for additional river walk improvements. Moody said the question he would ask of the River District Commission is if they agree that from what he got the steel bowstring truss bridge with a wooden deck with attached lighting is the preferred design at this time, John Hennessey the commission have talked about this but have not taken a vote on it. Seymour said they should take a vote tonight. John Hennessey made the motion to approve the steel bowstring truss bridge with a wooden deck with attached lighting and to have the Town Manager to direct the consulting engineer to complete the design the bridge of 140 feet long by 10 feet wide including appropriate abutment upgrades. The motion was seconded and passed by the commissioners present by a vote of 5-0. Bratz made the motion to support the River District vote. Gilman seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.

Dave Ernsberger provided an update on the Harmony Park. Ernsberger said they have the funds available to do the project. Ernsberger said that it was Ron Bolt who brought the idea to him. It is pretty incredible what this can do for people with special needs or for any person of age or size. We needed about $20,000 which we now have. Ernsberger said he ordered the equipment on Friday. John Starr is helping him organize the installation. Someone from Boston is coming up to help with the site. They hope to have it up and running by June 12th. Dann asked if the funds were private or from grants. Ernsberger said the funds were from private sources. Seymour asked one of the board to make a motion to show support for this initiative. Dave Ernsberger said that all of the businesses were in favor of this project. Bratz made the motion to support the Harmony Park Project and to accept the park installation once it is installed. Gilman seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0. Moody said he met with Dave Ernsberger last week to have him contact George McNamara to make sure the snow plows could get through there. Ernsberger said they would take the instruments down during the winter months.

Chairman Seymour announced the board would take a brief recess from the meeting to hold a nonpublic session. Selectman Bratz recused himself from the nonpublic session. Seymour made the motion to go into a nonpublic session per:

RSA 91-A:3, II(e) Consideration or negotiation of pending claims or litigation which has been threatened in writing or filed against this board or any subdivision thereof, or against any member thereof because of his or her membership therein, until the claim or litigation has been fully adjudicated or otherwise settled Gilman seconded the motion. After a unanimous roll call vote the board entered the nonpublic session at 5:47 PM.

Gilman made the motion to adjourn the nonpublic session. Seymour seconded the motion. The motion passed with a unanimous roll call vote. Seymour noted the minutes were sealed. The nonpublic session closed at 5:56 PM. The board then returned from the brief recess to the regularly scheduled meeting.

Accept Resignation of Selectman G. Michael Gilman- effective the end of this meeting
Gilman made the motion for the board to accept his resignation effective at the end of the meeting. Bratz seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.

Appointment of Vacant Board Position
Seymour said they had several qualified people who got in touch with us who were interested in the position. Bratz made the motion to fill the vacancy at the end of this meeting by appointing Schuyler Sweet. Seymour seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0.

Board Organization Gilman made the motion for Bratz to be vice chairman Seymour seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0.

Appointment of Ex-Officio to the Planning Board
Seymour said we need an appointment for the ex-officio to the planning board. Seymour said she would be willing to take the position back. Bratz made the motion to appoint Seymour as the ex-officio to the planning board. Gilman seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0.

Appointment to the Trustees of the Trust Fund – Appointment Expires Town Meeting Day
Bratz moved to appoint Stan Fillion to replace Schuyler Sweet to the Trustees of the Trust Funds. Gilman seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0. Seymour thanked the people who showed an interest in the vacant selectman’s position.

Citizen’s Concerns:
Dann said his concern was in regards to the selectmen’s position. Dann said that Linda Massimilla put down some information regarding the person who would be appointed. The person should attend all of the meetings, be a member of the budget committee and be up to date on all of the issues. The person the board appointed never attends the meetings. Rudy Gelsi fills all of the qualifications. Dann said he is disappointed on the way the board chose. Ron asked about getting the representatives in here in regards to the reval. Bratz said he was in charge of that. We are looking at having the representatives attend the July 13th meeting. Seymour said that she would like our delegation come in and provide an overview of proposed laws on a number of issues.

Rudy Gelsi thanked the board for their consideration on the appointment of the vacant selectmen’s position. Gelsi said it appears that the board was very prejudicial on the way they chose. The person you appointed is not even here to accept. This man has not attended any of the meetings in four or five years. Gelsi said he has never seen him around. Gelsi said this man also belongs to the budget committee. To be a member you cannot be a selectman. This is a law that comes from Concord. This guy has never been around and this is unacceptable. Gelsi then addressed Chairman Seymour to send him a letter of reply to his letter of intent. He would like to know why he was not considered for the position or why they do not think he is qualified. When he ran for selectmen he had 250 votes. You guys do what you got to do. He personally feels they are prejudiced against him. Because he is not born here or stuff like that. We can go to court. We will see what a judge has to say. Seymour asked him what he meant by that. He said that every time he tries to do something for the Town the board always come up with something. Gelsi said he was requesting again the Chairman write to him a reply to his letter of intent. Gelsi went on to say that the guy they chose nobody knows him. Moody noted that the budget committee is not an official budget committee but an advisory committee. Gelsi said it is a conflict of interest. Seymour said they would look into if it is against the law for Mr. Sweet to stay on the budget committee. If it is not legal he would have to resign from the committee. Seymour also stated that she intended to reply to everyone who expressed an interest.

Casey Hadlock still has concerns about the Old County Road and that he was unable to attend the last planning board meeting. Hadlock said that he has found out they have the driveway permit. From what he understands it is now up to the board of selectmen. Moody said the bond has been posted and that then affords the applicant to move forward with the final design and permitting. He does not believe the driveway permit has been issued because it would come to the Town. The reason it has not been issued is because they have not signed with a contractor. Once the easements are complete they will come to the selectmen for their approval. Moody said he met with DOT District 1 last week and they did agreed to work together. Moody said they also have had three or four conversations with McDonald’s attorney. Seymour said they have to their easement done by the 22nd of June. Bruce Hadlock said the bond is not in writing. The Town Manager and the selectmen are not making decisions on getting the job done. You are not correct in what you are doing you need to have some kind of a date.

Ron Bolt asked if there was any news about Eddy Moore. Dann asked what was wrong with him. Seymour said that Moore had a stroke and a car accident as a result of that.

Richard Woosley said he lives right above the lot where the school has deposited building parts that the students built and the customers have not taken receipt of yet. He does not mind the parking lot but having materials, vehicles and tools having been there for several months is unacceptable. Woosley said the school is not very responsive to hearing about this. Seymour said the parking lot belongs to the school. Woosley said as far as he is concerned everything belongs to the Town. He does not pay taxes to the school, he pays them to the Town. His other concern is cleaning up the lot including mowing the grass on both sides and removing the leaves. There are a few people who park on the steep streets. He does not believe this kind of parking should be allowed. Woosley said there are also a couple of retaining walls that are no longer retaining anymore. Woosely mentioned Duncan Donuts and around Church Street. Seymour said the board has a pretty good idea about which ones he is referring to. Moody said money has been appropriated for that and a design is being completed. Woosley said they may have to take some remedial action before they fix it. George McNamara said the Church Street design will be completed the end of this week and it will be put out to bid next week. The owners of the Duncan Donut parking lot have been contacted. They have been sent photos and letters. They are currently working to secure a contractor to repair it. George McNamara said he looked at all of the options and decided to keep the sidewalk open rather than have kids walk in the street. Woosley said he would have closed the sidewalk.

Rudy Gelsi said that everybody is talking about all the Town law suits. In the last five months, we got a law suit from a guy from Bethlehem. We had a law suit from Kelly Butler. We now have a law suit because of the cell tower. Pretty soon another one with the Littleton Hospital. Seymour said we have one with them right now. Seymour told Gelsi that this is what happens in Towns all of the time.

Bruce Hadlock asked who they have hired to supervise the Town Garage. Moody said it is the existing Public Works Director George McNamara. Hadlock said that he was told at Town Meeting that the heating units were going to be taken out and reused in the building. Hadlock said he drove down the other day and it was not done. McNamara said the units were assessed and it was determined the units were unfit to be used. Hadlock said that is not what was said at Town Meeting. McNamara said he did not know it at the time. Hadlock said that McNamara had said there would be savings. McNamara said he did not say anything about savings. Seymour shut citizen concerns down at this time. Dann requested she not close the session and allow him to bring up his second question. He had requested an appointment through Ceil. Seymour said she did not see it on the agenda. Dann said the nonpublic session at their last meeting was for an hour. Dann said the board had everyone leave and they then opened the meeting at 6:39 PM. The minutes indicated that a motion was made to allow the police department up to $12,000 for the purchase of surveillance equipment. Bratz seconded the motion and the motion passed. The meeting then closed at 6:39 PM. No one else was in attendance for this open session. Seymour said they held the nonpublic session the same way they always do. They had to make a decision and the decision had to be made in a public session. Dann said the public never knew about it. Bratz explained that the board cannot make a decision in a nonpublic session. Bratz said that tonight’s closed session was a good example. They went into a closed session and we waited for them to come back. Dann asked if every meeting returns to public session. Bratz said no, not if they don’t have to make a decision. Dann said the taxpayers are the ones who pay for the surveillance equipment and we pay for the public employees. We are not privy to what happens to our money. That is totally wrong. Seymour said that if they had made a decision in a nonpublic session and we had closed the meeting and we had not said anything about it then you would have had no knowledge about it and then you would have no say in it. We went into a nonpublic session came out of it and made a decision on it. It was not something we were going to ask your permission for. We made a decision as a select board to spend the money after our discussion with the police department. You now know about it and if you don’t like it you are welcome to object to it. The board made a policy decision. Dann said the minutes are supposed to be available to the public within 72 hours. You sealed these minutes. Government is supposed to be open. Seymour said there are reasons why we seal the minutes. Dann said that if we don’t pay you are going to send the mercenaries to come and take our property. We are going to be manacled or murdered. We pay for these things and you are using our money. Bratz said the minutes were sealed and we are protected under the law to make that decision. Dann said he knows they are protected under the law unfortunately the law is not always moral. Richard Woosley asked if they could know what was going to be under surveillance. Gilman said no, that is the reason the minutes were sealed. Woosely said it is not fine to not know what and where the equipment is being used when we paid for it. Seymour said that surveillance is used to catch people doing something they are not supposed to be doing. Seymour closed citizens’ concerns and moved onto the rest of the agenda.

Town Manager’s Report:
11 Bridge Street Manufactured Home Bid Results
Moody said he had advertised for the sale of the mobile home and held a walk thru last Tuesday. They did not receive any bids. Moody said he has been approached by an individual who made an off however he needs to see if the offer is in the Town’s best interest. The offer would remove the building from the lot and put some money in the coffer. Moody then provided a brief update on the progress being made on the Town Garage building.
Moody said they had the structural status of the Dells Dam. The valve opened but the pond did not drain. They believe dells dam to see the structural status of it. The valve opened but the pond did not drain. They believe it may be blocked. The first issue tax bills will go out June 4th with a due date of July 7th.

Old Business:
Authorization for Restricted Parking Signage on 220 Cottage Street
Moody reported they have submitted the request to the DOT for the use of restricted parking signs in front of Dr. Mitz’s medical office.

New Business:
Mortgage Deed on Senior Center
Moody stated that is not fully ripe for discussion tonight. Grafton County Senior Citizens Organization received $46,000 in improvements for a number of centers around the county with around $8,800 for the Littleton Center. They require some kind of assurance that the money will be used for a period of ten years. The question was asked of him if the Town would accept a mortgage from the CDFA. Moody said he is looking into it. They are having the lighting upgraded.

Pollyanna Day Proclamation the board signed the proclamation.
Seymour read a portion of the proclamation and had the board sign the document.

Other Business:
LRH Ongoing Litigation
Moody said the only thing he had to say on this subject is that we are on schedule to go on trial on Monday June 8th. Our staff has been in touch with LRH in the hopes of coming to an agreeable settlement. Rudy Gelsi asked if the chairman was trying to make a deal with the hospital. Seymour said yes they are in negotiations with them. Gelsi who asked who makes the deal. The board or the attorney who represents the Town. Seymour said the board of selectmen make the ultimate decision but the negotiations are being done between the attorneys. Gelsi then asked if the board really believed that the attorney for the Town has done a good job.

Approve the following minutes:
January 12, 2015 - Bratz made the motion to approve the minutes. Gilman seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
January 19, 2015 - Bond/Budget Hearing Bratz made the motion to approve the minutes. Gilman seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
January 26, 2015 - Bratz made the motion to approve the minutes. Gilman seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
February 2, 2015 - Bratz made the motion to approve the minutes. Gilman seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
March 9, 2015 - Bratz made the motion to approve the minutes. Gilman seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
March 23, 2015 - Bratz made the motion to approve the minutes. Gilman seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
April 13, 2015 - Bratz made the motion to approve the minutes. Gilman seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
April 27, 2015 - Bratz made the motion to approve the minutes. Gilman seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.
May 11, 2015 - Bratz made the motion to approve the minutes with a typo that needs to be corrected. Gilman seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.

Gilman wanted to say that it has been an honor and privilege to work on the board. He also wanted to acknowledge the work that is done in the different departments. Bratz and Seymour wished him well.
Conduct any other business that may come before the Board
Farewell to Selectman G. Michael Gilman
Bratz made the motion to adjourn. Seymour seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. The meeting adjourned at 7:23 PM.