Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes & Agendas

Mar 9, 2015

Approved Minutes Mar 9, 2015

5:00 PM

Present: Town Manager Fred Moody, Chairman Milton T. Bratz, Selectman G. Michael Gilman, V. Chairman Marghie Seymour attending by phone conference from New Mexico on personal business, Executive Secretary Ceil Stubbings

Others Present: Robert Blechl (The Caledonian), Rudy Gelsi, Dann, Rachael Doriski (Channel 2), Katherine Doriski, Eddy Moore, Chief Paul Smith (Littleton PD), David Schwanke and Deborah Murphy (Golden Eagle Railway Corporation), Karen Noyes (Town Finance Director)

Bratz opened the meeting at 5:00 PM.

Pledge of Allegiance

Golden Eagle Railway Corporation – David Schwanke President, Deborah Murphy
Bratz introduced David Schwanke. Schwanke said the corporation has been in existence for about two years. They came to NH two years ago and spoke to Ray Burton and explained their plans. They are hoping to put passenger rail transportation between Maine and Montreal. They are also looking at moving freight. They have two ways of getting in and out of NH right now. Both the passenger and freight trains would come through the Littleton community. Schwanke said the project would result in 250 to 350 good paying jobs. The board asked if they had developed a marketing plan and a financial plan. Seymour asked how this would impact the recreational side that the Town has implemented. Schwanke told the board to look at Fryeburg, Maine to see how the two elements can combine. Bratz thanked them for the presentation and asked them to return in four to six weeks. This would allow the board to have time to review the materials they were provided with.

Citizen’s Concerns:
Dann asked who paid for the advertisement for the River District and the Highway Garage. Moody said there was no Town money involved.

Town Manager’s Report:
Main Street Paving
Moody said last summer we became aware of a paving problem on Main Street. Heavy truck traffic and warm weather resulted in a bump or ridge developing along the tire troths on the east bound and west bound lanes. Moody said they brought this to the states attention last year. We advised them that it was dangerous in the areas of the crosswalks. This year they did have some time to plan. They are proposing to cut two inches out and to repave along the center of Main Street from Union Street to Church Street. Moody asked the DPW Supervisor to go out and measure that. McNamara said it is the width of the two travelled lanes. He recommended they cut thirty two feet wide and that would bring it to the edge of the bump outs. Moody said they conveyed that to the DOT and they said they would look into it but that their paving contracts have already been awarded. Moody said he would keep the board advised.

National Autism Awareness Day
Moody said that April 2nd is National Autism Awareness Day. He had been approached by the chamber and advised that worldwide buildings are being lit with blue lights on that day. Moody said he authorized the Opera House Clock Tower lights to be changed from white to blue for one day.

Staff Change – Sargent Hebert
Moody announced that Sargent Hebert has accepted the Police Chief’s position in Piermont and that he has agreed to stay on as a part time officer. Moody said he is working with the chief on replacing the vacant position.

Moody then announced that the Town Reports are out. They are available at the Town Office and will also be available at Town Meeting Tomorrow.
Moody said they received the notice of the closing of Hitchiner’s Manufacturing on Thursday afternoon. By Friday afternoon a group of business leaders assembled a press conference to take action on that. The Town will work with a number of government agencies along with other organizations that a creating a rapid reaction task force. They will work with the displaced individuals. There will be more coming out on that later. Moody said he had a comment on how quickly things like this spread. He received a call from PCCC Structural from Tilton today. They said they are in the same industry as Hitchiner’s. They will be placing job ads in the local newspapers to recruit some or most of the displaced workers.

Moody said he attended the Basner Foreclosure and made a bid for $30,000 there were two other bidders and Jere Eames was the high bidder at $35,000. Moody said he has contacted Eames about the Town’s interest in the property. We are not interested in the building just the land.

Moody said he has been working with some businesses and with the County Attorney on panhandling. They are looking for ways to control it. There have been a number of complaints about aggressive panhandling. We are looking at perhaps no trespassing signs in front of the businesses and an educational program to encourage people to not give money out. It is an ongoing discussion that they will bring back to this group. Bratz said that in Savanah, Georgia there was a sign stating no panhandling in Georgia. It was a one sentence long sign and according to the citizens it is enforced. They have to sell something and they have to get a permit. Bratz said it has not been tested by the ACLU. Seymour said she does not see how you can stop people from doing that. Gilman said an ordinance would also not work. Moody said that Attorney Saffo said the Federal Supreme Court said that it is ok for the police to go through private trash once it is out on the street. The state of New Hampshire Supreme Court said no, people have a right to privacy even after they put the trash out on the curb.

Moody presented the board with a draft example for the Ken Curran Suspension Bridge Dedication. Moody said there was one recommendation that he include the date the Saranac Glove Company closed.

Moody then reminded the public of the list of vacancies on Boards, Committees and Commissions. Copies of the list of vacancies will be available at Town Meeting tomorrow.

Old Business:
Safe Routes to School Update
Moody said he mentioned at the last meeting there was an incident at the Lakeway School. There was a low sun situation and a child was struck by a vehicle but fortunately the child is ok. This incident points out that the crossing needs to be fixed. Moody said he has contacted the DOT to see if they can push this forward to 2015 instead of 2016. They said they don’t believe the money will be available in 2015. The state did come up with the Americans with Disabilities expert and made a minor change to the design. They wanted a flat platform area where a wheel chair could take a rest. They estimate that would cost $50,000. In trying to make it appealing there would be a platform with a bench. Moody said area would be approximately twelve by twenty feet.

Highway Safety Grant – Accept $2,199.60 NH Highway Safety Agency Grant Seatbelt Enforcement Grant
Moody advised that each year the police department has put in an application for this grant. Smith said this grant is given to the departments and not applied for. This year the funds are available. The funds are for overtime for officers and benefits. The program begins on May 18th and ends on May 31st. Gilman made the notion to accept the grant and authorize the Town Manager to sign the agreement. Seymour seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0. Chief Smith reminded the public that hand held devices will be illegal beginning July 1st.

New Business:
Town Meeting Preparation
Moody said he contacted the NHMA Legal Department concerning Town Meeting Day and the selectmen’s participation. Moody said that Seymour was still out in New Mexico and Gilman had to be gone for medical reasons. Attorney Buckley said the entire board is not required to be in attendance at the Town Meeting. Moody said the second question he had was that Bratz was concerned about being inside the voting area and the fact that he is running as a candidate. They were advised that as long as he did not present himself as a candidate and only represented himself as the board of selectmen, there would be no conflict. Moody then mentioned that there was a slight change to the parking and polling locations. There were problems with handicapped and disabled parking last year. The polling area will be closer to the storage area.

HB547 - Telephone Pole Taxation Bill
Moody said there is a vote coming up at the legislature on HB547 on Wednesday, March 11th. Corbell Johnson sent an email asking for our support to contact our reps to not support this bill. The bill talks about how the telecommunication poles were never subject to taxation until 2011. Seymour said they should take the position to not support this bill. Gilman made the motion for staff to contact our representatives to not support this bill. Seymour seconded the motion. The motion passed 3-0.

Bratz advised the board would take a small break and then go into the nonpublic sessions. The break occurred at 6:00 PM.

Other Business:

Conduct any other business that may come before the Board

Note: The board will go into a nonpublic sessions per:
Gilman made the motion to go into a nonpublic session per:
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. Seymour Seconded
the motion. After a unanimous roll call vote the board entered the nonpublic session at 6:08 PM.
Gilman made the motion to come out of nonpublic session. Seymour seconded the motion.
The motion passed by a unanimous roll call vote. The board came out of the nonpublic session
at 6:48 PM. Gilman noted that the minutes were sealed by a unanimous roll call vote.

Gilman made the motion to go into nonpublic session per:
RSA 91-A:3, II(d) Consideration of the acquisition, sale or lease of real or personal property which, if discussed in public, would likely benefit a party or parties whose interests are adverse to those of the general community. Seymour seconded the motion. The board entered the nonpublic session after a unanimous roll call vote of 3-0 at 6:38 PM. Gilman made the motion to come out of nonpublic session. Seymour seconded the motion. Motion passed 3-0. The minutes of the session were sealed. The board came out of the nonpublic session at 6:49 PM. Gilman made the motion to approve the lease as Town counsel drafted, recognizing Tender Corporation reviewed the lease. The board will reauthorize a new lease with Tender Corporations comments upon Town counsel’s return from vacation and recognizing that they are non-substantial changes. Seymour seconded the motion. The motion passed by a 3-0 roll call vote.

Chairman Bratz recused himself from this nonpublic session. Gilman made the motion to go into 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 . Seymour seconded the motion. The motion passed 2-0. The board entered the nonpublic session at 6:49 PM. Gilman made the motion to come out of the nonpublic session. Seymour seconded the motion. The motion passed 2-0. Gilman noted that the minutes were sealed by a unanimous vote of 2-0. Gilman made the motion to adjourn at 7:12 PM. Seymour seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned by a unanimous vote of 2-0 at 7:12 PM.