Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Apr 27, 2015

Approved Minutes Apr 27, 2015


TOWN OF LITTLETON
BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S MEETING
MONDAY, APRIL 27, 2015
5:00 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, Finance Manager Karen Noyes

Others Present: Rachel Doriski (Channel 2), Darin Wipperman (The Courier), Eddy Moore, Dann, Rudy Gelsi, Katherine Doriski, Chief Paul Smith (Littleton PD), Robert Blechl (The Caledonian)

Chairman Seymour called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM

Pledge of Allegiance

Appointments: None

Citizen’s Concerns:
Dann on the town website it says the Town will not discriminate against sex, race, gender. Dann said that he read in the paper that Littleton settled a gender discrimination case for $100,000. The Town forced Kelly Butler to settle the case and to not discuss it and the Town would not discuss it. He thinks that transparency is a very good thing. Now we won’t know what happened. So far this year we have paid out $118,000 in court settlements. Dann said he just wanted to voice his contempt that this is not being transparent.

Rudy Gelsi said that he went to the building committee and he asked them if they formed a spending committee. They told him that any citizen had to ask questions from the Town Manager. When you go to a committee they should be able to answer your questions. It seems like there is no communication at all. Seymour asked him what the question was. Gelsi said he asked what is going on with the building and how much money they have spent so far. Gelsi said the committee told him they could not answer that. They then told him he had to go to the Town Manager. Seymour said that it is better for the Town Manager to answer these kinds of questions because he has the big picture of what is going on.

Moody said he had an issue that he wanted to raise with Mr. Moore. Moody said that Moore had been to the office today and they had a brief discussion about the failed Comcast and Time Warner failed merger. We are a Time Warner cable community. We were watching that merger with interest because it would impact our cable subscribers. Now that it is not happening he just wanted to bring to the public’s attention is that one of the reasons the merger did not occur, is because we are seeing a shift in digital industry. The industry is going from cable to wireless and from standard television to internet content. There will be much less distinction between internet and cable tv. Moody said he thinks the Town’s contract with Time Warner expires in 2016. Moore said that the only thing he wanted to add is that it is his understanding is that some other party might be interested in Time Warner. Moore said that as of right now we collect 3% of their gross income. Bratz asked who gets the 3%. Moody said the Town gets about $50,000 each year for the franchise rights to the Town. Bratz asked if there was some reason we should look for another provider. Moore said no.

Town Manager’s Report:
Moody said at the last meeting he reported they were in negotiations with the contractor DHI Inc. out of Colebrook. Moody said that just as a very general overview of it is a design build guaranteed maximum price for a 12,000 ft. pre-engineered brand name Clear Span Building. The floor plans and the drawings are prepared by Michael Couture. The site drawings were prepared by Horizon Engineering. The contract is a standard Architect Institute of America contract. Back in 2014 we asked for 1.2 million. Since the cost has increased to 1.3 million. Moody then listed off some of the new buildings specifications and features. Moody said that after the building specs were completed they end up with approximately a $33,000 contingency. Once the site has been turned over to the contractor, it really becomes a building site and anyone who enters the site has to wear all of the safety equipment. Moody said he just wanted to remind people that just stopping by and walking around the construction site is not a good idea.
Moody stated the demolition is scheduled for May 25th with a 150 day construction schedule. The building should be finished by the end of October. They think they may be able to save a few weeks with the building erection. Seymour asked where all of the equipment is going to be during the construction period. Moody said the equipment will be outside with some at the fire station and some outside of the police department. They will also be renting a work trailer for the crew. The mechanic will use a bay at the fire station.

Moody said the first issue sewer bills are out and the billing was about $400,000. The bicycle pedestrian program grant for the police department has been approved. Moody said they have worked out a proposal with Light Tech for the $25,000 that was approved at Town Meeting. They went through every single building and refined the contract. The $25,000 is going to be leveraged with another $25,000 from EverSource. The proposal comes in at 48,000 so there will be about $1,000 left over after the designated buildings have been done.

Moody said they closed on the Basner property a week ago and he worked out an agreement with the tenant to stay for the month of May to take care of the property. Moody hopes to arrange for a sale on or about June 1st. Moody said there have been two new hires at the PD.

Old Business:
Green-Up Day
Seymour said she was the point person for cleanup day which will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 8:00 AM to noon. All of the trash picked up in the blue bags will be taken by the transfer station. We always ask people to be cautious about what they pick up and ask that they not open up any bottles with fluids in them. Wear bright colored clothes so people can see you.

New Business:
Approve TAN (Tax Anticipation Note)
Karen Noyes (Town Finance Director) presented the following information to the board:
At this time we are anticipating the need for a Tax Anticipation Note (TAN) for a short period of up to 3 months for May or June of 2015. The Town has approximately $452,000 in the general fund bank account. I will be asking the School Business Administrator if we can hold off on the School payment that is due May 8th in order to avoid taking the TAN. With approximately $700,000 coming out for the school payment, payroll and accounts payable run on May 7th we have to consider the possibility of taking a TAN. We have also started receiving sewer payments which will also help in prolonging the need for the TAN. The total sewer billing was approximately $350,000 in which we cannot assume all payments due by the sewer users will be made immediately.
Every other week the accounts payable/payroll run is about $700,000 +1- which includes a school payment of about $450,000, payroll is approximately $70,000-80,000, the difference is made up of various other payments for invoices, projects and appropriation request. This TAN is to be used for normal operations.
The Finance department is asking the Selectmen to authorize the taking of a TAN for no more than $1,000,000 without additional approval. The TAN will be financed at the lowest rate possible and for no more than a three month period without additional approval. This authorization for approval for the TAN will expire on July 31, 2015.
The Finance department will work with vendors and other town groups to avoid taking a TAN if possible. Currently the interest rates we are being given range from .69 to .75%.
Bratz asked what the time frame was. Noyes said it was for the months of May and June. Seymour asked Noyes how much money they were talking about in interest. Noyes said it is about $1,500. Bratz made the motion to approve the taking of a tan as typed up by Noyes. Gilman seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. 

Bond/Loans: Noyes then presented the following information on Bonds/Loans

Moody explained the two loans were for the new excavator and the new truck. Moody said Gilman made the motion for the finance director and the town manager to borrow for the plow truck and the excavator. Bratz seconded. Motion passed 3-0.

Noyes said she checked with five different banks for the new highway garage. We want to borrow $1.3 million and we would like to draw down on it. She asked for fifteen and twenty years. We have interest to be paid in 2016 and payments beginning in 2017. The best rate was 2.24% for fifteen years and 3.5% for 20 years. They had a variable of 2.89% with a drawdown of up to two years. They did not offer a fixed rate. There was a 2% cap that it could go up. Bank number five never responded. Noyes said they need authorization for the town manager to go with the best rate for the loans. Bratz moved that we accept the 2.2 % loan. Gilman seconded the motion. Motion passed 3.0.

Accept Opera House Donation - $900.00 from the Booster Club:
Moody said the town was presented with a check from the Booster Club for Opera House improvements. Gilman motioned to accept the donation. Bratz seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0.

Upcoming Vacancy on the Board of Selectmen:
Gilman announced he would be resigning as of June 1st. Seymour said that she knew about this before Gilman made his announcement. She has been working on a list of possible nominees but wanted to let the public know that they should put their name in if they are interested in filling the vacancy. The person replacing Gilman will only serve until the next election. Bratz asked if they are going to run an ad. Seymour said they would advertise but that it is her opinion that it is the selectmen’s decision as to who they appoint.

Bratz said he had made a request to the board in an email regarding Bruce Hadlock’s request that we challenge the five year reval requirement to ten years. Two of the three local representatives, Linda Massimilla and Erin Hennessey have shown interest in coming here to talk about it. Bratz said he would take the responsibility of contacting them to set up a meeting in June. Bratz said that given what we know about the law and why it went from ten years to five years, we should have someone here from the NHMA or the Attorney General’s Office. Bratz then said the meeting could be scheduled for the July 13th meeting if they can’t make it in June. Moody asked Bratz to also ask the representatives to provide an update on any bills recently passed or about to be passed that would have an effect on Littleton.

Other Business:
Summer Board Meeting Schedule:
Seymour said the schedule looked good to her and then we would be back to the regular schedule in September. The board agreed by consensus to have only one meeting each month from June through August.

Reappoint Christopher Hodge as Zoning Officer:
Gilman made the motion to reappoint Chris Hodge as the Zoning Officer for a 3 year term. Bratz seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0.

Conduct any other business that may come before the Board: None

Rudy Gelsi asked questions about the TAN borrowing. Gelsi wanted to know what they are going to do with the million dollars. Noyes said the money is spent on the bills until the first tax bills are paid. Gelsi then asked about the bond for the highway garage. Noyes advised they would be drawing the money down as construction is in place.

Eddy Moore said that on the sewer bills they amount to almost $400,000. Moore said there was no substantial increase this year on the sewer bills. Moore said that he agrees with Bratz on taking the TAN and he sees no problem paying the interest.

Note: The board will go into a nonpublic session per the below RSA:
RSA 91-A:3, II(c) Matters which, if discussed in public, would likely affect adversely the reputation of any person, other than a member of this board, unless such person requests an open meeting. This exemption shall extend to include any application for assistance or tax abatement or waiver of a fee, fine or other levy, if based on inability to pay or poverty of the applicant.

Gilman made the motion to go into nonpublic session. Bratz seconded the motion. The board entered nonpublic session at 6:08 PM by a unanimous roll call vote. The board came out of nonpublic session at 7:20 PM. The minutes were permanently sealed. Gilman made the motion to adjourn. Bratz seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. The meeting adjourned at 7:20 PM.