Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Apr 13, 2015

Approved Minutes Apr 13, 2015


TOWN OF LITTLETON
BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S MEETING
MONDAY, APRIL 13, 2015
5:00 PM
COMMUNITY CENTER, HEALD ROOM

Present: Town Manager Fred Moody, V. Chairman G. Michael Gilman, Chairman Marghie Seymour absent, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings

Others Present: Eddy Moore, Dann, Rudy Gelsi, Rob Bolt (Energy Conservation Committee), Lauren Anderson, Darin Wipperman (The Courier), Chief Paul Smith (Littleton PD), Mary Edick, Rudy Gelsi, Lauren Anderson (Littleton Chamber of Commerce), Mary Boulanger, Arwen Mitton (Energy Conservation Committee),

Fred Moody noted that Seymour was travelling back east and will not participate in tonight’s meeting. Channel 2 will not be recording this evening.

Pledge of Allegiance

Appointments:
Lauren Anderson – Littleton Chamber of Commerce - Capital Adventure Challenge
Lauren Anderson explained one of the chamber’s biggest events this year is the Capital Adventure Challenge. It is a small business challenge and the hope is to be able to move small business to the next level and to invigorate the local economy. On May 8th at the Opera House we will have a live demonstration of the pitches. Anderson it is a version of Shark Tank and they have some great judges. Moody said it seems like a Littleton version of the Shark Tank. Anderson said that they hope the public will attend. The public will choose the business that they would like most to succeed. One of the prizes is $500.00. Moody asked if the event would be televised. Anderson said they have invited Channel 2 and KATV.

Energy Conservation Committee – Proposed Energy Conservation Tax Exemptions NH RSA 72:27-a:
Ron Bolt said it has been six months since the committee visited the board. Moody put a document on the Over the last six months the main thing they have been involved in is creating an energy data base to track all usage in each department. They published our first annual energy report that is available on our section of the Town’s webpage. We will be meeting every six months with the departments to see if there is further possibilities of energy reduction. Another event was that they had received a grant from the NH Wood Energy Council. We used it on the existing wood pellet system. The good news is the existing system will work in the new Public Works building. They do have some lingering concerns with the internal heat at the fire house. Bolt said they have also been working on the lighting upgrade for the Town. The committee thanked the board for supporting their efforts and for Town Meeting providing them with the $25,000. They worked with the Senior Center and they are going forward with their lighting upgrade. They will also be eligible for the 50/50 rebate. The police department has had a non-idling policy for their vehicles. When the state heard about it they were interested in finding out more about the policy. Gilman asked if there were significant savings. Bolt said that when the chief did this in 2011 the Town was under a budget crisis. There was no protocol setup to track savings. Before you want to track success you need to set up protocol. Bolt said they worked internally within the committee and they had some help from various people from the state. They had about 24 action items. They have reduced the list of action items further down based on priority. There are two items in particular that we would like to talk about today. The reason we want to talk about these two particular things is that we want to get a sense of what the board thinks about these initiatives. The high priority is a property tax exemption. This is a program that many towns have implemented through a warrant article. If you upgrade your house with green upgrades. Say it was $200,000 worth of upgrades, those upgrades would not be added to your assessment. That is the concept. Bolt said that nothing is lost and there are not thousands of people waiting for legislation to put up solar panels so they won’t be penalized. Arwen said that some Towns put a cap on it for instance $50,000 and the minimum upgrade limit would be $25,000. Moody pointed out that this would be approved by the town meeting.

Bolt said the second item they had was repurposing the retired landfill. What other Towns have done is install Solar Panel equipment on the retired landfill. The committee feels that this is something that would reduce taxes. The power produced by the panel would go against our municipality bills. Bolt said there are two basic scenarios. One is the Town can own it and with that comes all kinds of responsibility. The other thing that you can do is a power purchase agreement. There are companies that would come in and either get a lease or an easement on the land. They will put up the site and take on all the responsibility of operating it and maintaining it. The power purchase agreement assures the Town would get a share of whatever power is generated there. Bolt said it would be guaranteed income and you could charge property tax if you wanted to. The White Mountain School is a local example of this. They are putting in a solar system up there. Bolt said they wanted to get the board’s thumbs up or down on this. They did not want to go further without the board’s support. They have not yet talked to the Littleton Water & Light Department. Bolt said to him this has a little more urgency then they had originally thought because that the success of solar is going up and the cost is getting cheaper. The board said they would be interested in the purchase agreement option. The committee then covered some of the other ongoing projects they have been working on. Bolt said that Earth Day is coming up and they wanted to do something for it. Moody said that we have that topic on the agenda but now was a good time to bring it up. Selectman Seymour has agreed to spear head the 2015 Green-Up Day. We have set May 9th as the date. The event will meet and organize at the transfer station from 8:00 AM to Noon. Moody said they also know that a number of businesses and individuals cannot make that date. We are willing to work with them to get them some bags and gloves prior or after the scheduled date. Bolt said in closing they have asked for an appointment with the planning board to update the energy chapter for the master plan.

Citizen’s Concerns:
Rudy Gelsi said there has been a lot of stuff in the paper about the town and Littleton Regional Hospital. The hospital is accusing the town not providing public records. A lot of people are talking about it to him. They don’t come here because of whatever. A lot of people want to know where the town stands on this particular subject. Gelsi asked if they are going to go to court because you guys have been withholding public records. What’s the scoop? Moody said that what you read in the paper is generally accurate. We are in communication with the hospital and are trying to work out a mutual date to sit down and discuss options. Moody said they will have a court ordered mediation date in May. Gelsi asked if the public would know what happened by the town putting something in the paper or on TV. Moody said that if they reach an agreement on the settlement then that would become public. Gelsi said the other thing being discussed in town is the tower re-hearing. Moody said they are having a hearing tomorrow night to resolve the issue. Gelsi said it was not on the computer but it had been in the paper last week. Moody said the town was still having some computer problems. Gelsi asked if the town gets involved or do they just let it go. Gilman told Gelsi that it is up to the Zoning Board. Gelsi said that if they sue they bring the Town to court. Eddy Moore explained what would happen at tomorrow night’s meeting and the general process of the zoning board. Gelsi asked if the zoning board had a lawyer. Moore said yes. Gelsi then asked who pays for it. Moore said the town has to pay for the attorney.

Dann said there have been meetings that have to do with the new DPW Garage and the River District that have not been noticed on the city’s website. Dann asked if we can correct this and if there are meetings can we be notified about them. Moody said the River District was a fault with the computer. The DPW Garage Committee was because a few of the committee members were meeting to finalize the design. We are not seeking public input at this time. Dann asked if the meetings were closed to the taxpayers. Moody said they are not advertised. Dann said that was his complaint and are the meetings closed to the taxpayers who are paying the bills. Dann said he would like to attend those meetings. Moody said they are most likely done because they are getting ready to sign a contract. He just needed some assistance and contacted some of the committee members that had some knowledge of construction. Moody said that after the contract has been signed and construction has begun he does not know if the committee will play a role. Rudy Gelsi asked if the new Highway Garage Building was going to inform the public about what is going on step by step. Gilman said no, that is not going to happen, they are not going to micro-manage the project. Gilman said that if people have questions they can direct them to the Town Manager or the Director of the DPW. Gelsi asked if somebody asked a question you’re going to give them an answer. Or are you going to say it’s none of your business. Gilman said that there is not anyone that works for the Town that says it is none of your business. That is a perception that you have and continue to perceive. Gelsi said it is not his perception it is what he sees is going on. Gelsi said he is not over reacting it is a lot of money and he wants to know where the money goes.

Town Manager’s Report:
Moody said he had received four proposals for the Multi-Model Bridge. They have evaluated them and awarded the bridge design to HEB Engineers. Their bid was for $20,000 for design services and about $8,000 for construction management services. That will get us a design for the abutments and a review for the types of bridges that are out there. One they do the evaluation they will be invited to the selectmen’s meeting or a joint selectmen and River District meeting to view the types of bridge design that we are considering. And then make an award to a third party. They have an aggressive schedule and hope to have the bridge installed by this fall. They have been delayed by the weather and the remaining snow. We submitted an economic development grant on March 12th. We submitted with the caveat that the recount would yield a different result. As you all know the recount failed again. He has several discussion with the EDA and they all agreed the best procedure was to withdraw the grant application at this point. They will go back and look at the budget issue and look at resubmitting in the June round. Moody said he was planning on signing a contract for the new DPW Garage in the next week. The goal is to get the steel ordered. The mechanical budget has been subbed out to Wayne Fillian. The design will be circulated to the Energy Conservation Committee. The Basner property on Bridge Street which was critical for the relocation of Saranac Street, has been moving forward by working with the private party on the bid. We have set the closing on the property for April 21st. A number of meetings ago Dr. Mitz submitted a request for parking in front of his office and Joe and Phillipa Evans also submitted a request for parking. No decisions have been made to date.

Old Business: None

New Business:
Board, Committee and Commission Appointments:
The board made the following appointments:
Budget Committee: Diane Cummings, Steve Kelley, Irene Copenhaver were reappointed for a three year term by a 2-0 vote.
Opera House Management Commission: George Mitchell for a three term, Jeffrey Rennell as an alternate for a three year term by a 2-0 vote.
Conservation Commission:
Tom Alt and Mary Boulanger were reappointed for a three year term by a 2-0 vote.
Planning Board: Linda MacNeil and Tony J. Ilacqua were reappointed to a three year term by a 2-0 vote.
Zoning Board: Eddy Moore and Guy Harriman were reappointed for a three year term by a 2-0 vote.
Energy Conservation Committee: Ron Bolt and Greg Cook were reappointed for a three year term by a
2-0 vote. Gilman stated the board had received an email requesting the board to not reappoint Dann to the committee. The email indicated that Dann’s philosophy and opposition to government action in general is not helpful and downright obstructive to the committee’s mission and projects. Members of the committee including Dann and the board discussed the email at some length. After careful consideration Dann was reappointed to a three year term by a 2-0 vote.
Water & Light Commissioner: Perry Goodell was reappointed for a three year term by a vote of 2-0.
Pemi-Baker Solid Waste District. Brian Patnoe was reappointed for a two year term by a vote of 2-0.

Green-Up Day – Discussed earlier in the meeting.

Other Business:
Purchase Policy
The board reviewed the additions made to the purchase policy that was reviewed at the last meeting. Gilman made the motion to approve the purchase policy. Bratz seconded the motion. Motion passed 2-0.

Gilman made the motion to adjourn. Bratz seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned at 6:13 PM.