Selectmen’s Minutes 04.13.15

April 14, 2015

Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes

April 13, 2015

 

Pledge of Allegiance

Meeting called to order at 5:35pm

Roll Call- John Pfeifle, Chairman; Sonny Harris, Selectman; Harry Wright, Selectman

Appearances

  1. David Eckman of Eckman Engineering, LLC present regarding bridge work. Stated he has done work on hundreds of bridges (with both State Bridge Aid Program & FEMA). Explained that footings should be replaced to below scour depth and precast footings work with good soil, however it is typically less costly if poured in place. Discussed complexities of Bridge Aid Program and high cost in detail. Advised that it may be most cost effective to hire a part-time engineer onto town staff. State required QBS (Qualified Based Selection) can get expensive quickly and is not always a great option for small bridges. Suggested putting bridges up to bid in Dec/Jan to save up to 100K. Agreed to pull calculations on what state ratings are based on in an effort to better understand the state’s red list criteria and to speak with the state to inquire about assessment fees.

-Selectmen thanked Mr. Eckman for his time and asked that he take a look at Water St Bridge and give input on what he thinks needs to be done.

Regular Business

  1. Selectmen advised that the Historical group has given the handicapped ramp to the Town Hall. Asked Road Agent if he could take a look and let them know when he can access it.
  2. MS272 (budget appropriations as voted by the town) signed by Selectmen
  3. Selectmen advised that no changes would be made to CAP lease agreement as the group is doing a great service for the town
  4. Town Admin advised that the legal budget is quickly dwindling- having spent $4900 this month alone.
  5. Chair reminded that last week they asked for public input and open ideas and they received it- feel they now have direction on which way they want to go. Hopeful to have volunteers for a reconstructed oversight committee by Selectmen’s Meeting 4/20/15.
  6. The point was raised that the THRC reconstruction and Town Hall move is putting a lot of added pressure on Town Administrator. Selectmen agreed, particularly as the Town office is one employee down at the moment, stated that they are trying to use her expertise- not time.
  7. Jim Bibbo advised CNHRPC is awaiting a letter that the CNHRPC has had its CEDS application approved (the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy) is waiting to receive a letter that Bradford has been approved as an economic development district, which allows Bradford to apply for Federal funds we don’t qualify for as an individual town. Jim Bibbo will file an application for a project within the regional CEDS when the regional app is approved. Will then apply for an economic development Grant to fix the 2nd floor theatre of the Town Hall that would service the greater community. (Grant plans will likely include handicapped access to 2nd floor.)

Accounts Payable and Payroll Manifest reviewed and signed.

Minutes of April 6, 2015 meeting were reviewed and accepted without changes.

Meeting adjourned at 6:15pm.

-Amended 4/14/15

Selectmen’s Agenda 04.13.15

April 13, 2015

Selectmen’s Meeting

Agenda

April 13, 2015

 

Pledge of Allegiance

Roll Call –

 

MEETING LOCATION CHANGED – MEETING WILL BE HELD AT THE BACC, REGULAR TIME

 

Non Public Meeting – Non Public Session per RSA 91:A:3-IIa Personnel – to begin at 5:00pm

 

 

Appearances:

  1. Eckman regarding bridge work

 

Regular Business

  1. Sign MS-232 Appropriations voted
  2. Budget review

 

Pending issues:

 

 

Accounts Payable and Payroll Manifest for review and signature

Review minutes of last meeting

 

Meeting location change – still at BACC

April 13, 2015

Selectmen will hold their April 13th meeting in the Youth Room of the BACC.

Selectmen’s Minutes 04.06.15

April 9, 2015

Board of Selectmen Meeting

April 6, 2015

Minutes

Pledge of Allegiance

Meeting called to order at 5:30pm

Roll Call- John Pfeifle, Chairman; Sonny Harris, Selectman; Harry Wright, Selectman

Appearances

  1. Fire Chief, Mark Goldberg, presented contract for chassis- contract signed by Selectmen.
  2. Jim Bibbo present re: Rail Trail- Did not get grant but did get some $ put aside. Looking for permission and support to start work on Tilly Wheeler Trail (remove sediment- get down to smooth surface and later put hard pack down). Would like to make a parking space at end of trail (Gillingham Dr & Tilly Wheeler Trail) for handicapped access to trail- have volunteers willing to cut back shrubs/weeds. Trail will be for Horseback riding, cross country skiing, walking, snowmobiles (does not include 4wheelers/dirt bikes and other motorized wheel vehicles). This trail will eventually connect Warner, Bradford and Newbury.

-Audrey Sylvester asked if Rail Trail committee has contacted abutting property owners. She is an abutter and has not been contacted in any formal way about this project which can have an impact on property.

-Jim Bibbo advised what is planned is within the State ROW along 103 and the Tilly Wheeler Trail is town property. Additionally, all that is being done at this stage is preliminary cleaning and prep work.

Motion made to approve RHC’s request to begin work on Tilly Wheeler Trail. Voted 3-0.

Regular Business

  1. Town Administrator presented MS272 for signature (budget appropriations as voted by the town)- Not signed as it needs to be signed by the Budget Committee
  2. Engagement letter with Grzelak CPA firm signed by Selectmen
  3. Applications for current use signed by Selectmen
  4. Intent to Excavate for Hill & Dale signed by Selectmen
  5. NFI Easement (for Breeze Hill Rd Bridge) signed by Selectmen
  6. TAN note withdrawal signed by Selectmen
  7. Letter to the Trustees of the Trust Funds requesting advancement of 30K from Highway Dept Heavy Equipment Capital Reserve Fund to reimburse the General Fund for payment of Sand/Gravel Screen. (Approved by vote of March 2015 meeting- Warrant Article 18.)
  8. Chair reminded the public in attendance- Warrant Article 22- the Town voted to establish a Highway Expendable Trust Fund (per RSA 31:19-a) of 40K with Selectmen named as agents to expend from the fund. Selectmen’s meeting 3/23/15 Selectmen voted to spend 25K from this fund to purchase military surplus grader.
  9. Appointments of Beth Downs to Budget Committee and Bob Toppi to Library Trustees signed by Selectmen.
  10. Letter read to record from Ona Tropiano (W main St & Sunset Ln) praising Road Agent Barry Wheeler for excellent work keeping area free of snow piles.
  11. Received notice from Community Action Program (Senior Center) that they wish to renew their lease for another year
  1. Received questions regarding tax abatement for a resident who has always made timely tax payments. Will be reviewed in Non-Public Session at a later time.
  2. Town Admin advised one of the furnaces at the Town Hall was not running. Replaced some oil lines, thermostat wires, burner motor with used blower wheel and put thermostats back in. Total cost came to $1983.00.

THRC Public Discussion

Chair addressed the public saying that the Board is happy to listen to any comments people have- tonight’s meeting on town hall is to reorganize THRC committee and discuss how to begin getting ready for next town meeting. In regards to moving into town hall: comments are okay- but board has voted to make the move. Assuming all fire/heating regulations are abided by. Happy to talk about it, but it’s no longer a question of if it’s when. THRC has looked internally to come up with ideas on how to address future needs of town hall. What do we need to do different this year to get the Town Hall restoration appropriately addressed?

Town Admin advised the heat in Town Hall has been turned on, water turned on, made arrangements to meet tomorrow with people who wire for phones and computers and the phone company believes they can meet deadlines.

Chair recommended having disconnects installed now to make future temporary removal for renovations easier (1 time expense versus 3 time expense)

Chair advised they asked people at prior THRC to think about how we should organize and please come forward and advise Selectmen on ideas people might have on approach for how to take care of this for next year’s town warrant item. Chair opened discussion to the board and the public about the THRC function.

Jane Johnsen believes function of the THRC has gone as far as it can go. There was no plan- just pretty pictures. People would like to hear what the Selectmen’s plans are.

– Chair advised that the first step is for the committee to be informally “disbanded”.

– Jim Bibbo stated he thinks the Selectmen need to take a more active role as a board regarding how to recruit members and delegate tasks accordingly. Close contact with what’s going on rather than wait until there is trouble and people start complaining.

Chair reminded the public that the idea is to move back into Town Hall and use it until next year at Town Meeting- should the bond pass Town Administrator & Town Clerk Offices would be moved into trailers on Town Hall property while restoration is underway- with goal to move back into Town Hall before cold weather hits. Why? The Town Hall should be used, seen and open to the public. Brings town into conformance with stipulations on the deed in the BACC property and Town Hall property, makes town offices and records safer. Not trying to address this tonight- tonight is about the restoration committee. How do we want to organize our committee (THRC)?

– Harry Wright stated the one thing that is relevant regarding the move is funding. Believes left over funds from last year’s pre-construction work should be dedicated to architect and getting plans finished. Not used to move town offices.

– Chair disagreed, but would like to have a fundraising group for THRC to make the move, use the facility and not have it impact tax rate.

Beth Downs said THRC needs to have a more open minded approach to be more inclusive of people and appreciate there will be differences. Players have to be amenable to working with different people on diff causes- small to large. Can’t wait until the day before to get people revved up about it, this past year they waited until the 11th hour. It needs to be in everyone’s face all the time so no one can forget.

– Chair agreed.

Marlene Freyler pointed out that of the 18K that’s left is from non-lapsing fund, any $ used from that is supposed to be for preconstruction. Before anything begins the public needs to know how much will be spent and where it’s coming from.

– Chair gave example that the wall where the old police dept. used to be does not have insulation. Should we insulate that wall, it would come from that money. If we rip down walls internally it would not come from that fund at all. It would come from volunteers.

– Marlene asked if there will be a tally of that?

– Chair said yes, it will not be a mystery.

– Harry Wright stated he feels using money from the remaining 18K is inappropriate, believes it should be totally spent on getting plans done.

– Chair agreed that everyone wants a detailed architectural  drawings for people to see.

– Felicia Starr asked what the tax payers want that 18K to be spent on? She heard people asking for plans at Town Meeting.

– Susan Reynolds advised last year’s article was for preconstruction costs. Plans are preconstruction. Putting in insulation is actual construction. Plans are more important than insulation. Anything done beyond plans last year (i.e. new roof) was specifically included in bond article.

Felicia Starr asked what the Selectmen are looking for in reforming this committee.

-Chair proposed example committee: Oversight Committee of 5 people

  • Selectmen/Administrator (with 1 vote for office)
  • Committee chair (proposed Eileen Kelly)
  • Physical planner
  • Capital planner (where is $ coming from: short term, long term, grants from state, etc)
  • Construction manager (would work closely w/ architect and project manager). Someone familiar with the building, description, scope, budget, schedule to work week-to-week with project manager.

Then ask people to volunteer under which bucket they would like to be involved with.

-Susan Reynolds made an observation that perhaps the committee needs to start completely over. The current leadership system is not working. There are groups that have been trying to help that are getting pushed back and pushed around. Everyone needs to work together to make this work, you can’t stiff-arm anyone.

– Kathy Rodgers suggested a Volunteer Organizer on Oversight Committee.

– Where would publicity/public relations fit into the scheme?

– Town Administrator suggested separate group for communications.

– Chair agreed PR/Marketing should have its own subcategory. Do people want to do something that is not in the defined four areas?

Jim Bibbo pointed out that many people who fit into these categories are not here. Need to do recruiting based on people who have expertise outside of this room. There are people who don’t attend Selectmen Meetings but would be interested in volunteering.

Jane Johnsen asked if building is structurally sound? Says she heard from Gale that there are beams in the bldg that are not sound. Additionally expressed concern of the additional pressures this will put on Town Administrator.

-Advised that building was deemed structurally sound by Turner engineering 5 or 6 yrs ago. Has been reviewed by others in the interim.

-Jim Bibbo reminded that the building hasn’t settled in over 150yrs

-Sonny Harris said that the sills & floor joists look fine

Beth Downs suggested the Selectmen act as chair to Oversight Committee (in lieu of one committee chair) and have everyone report to them.

Jim Bibbo suggested Selectmen select the leaders don’t just ask for volunteers. Meet with them, layout what you want from each group. Let these people have a general meeting to encourage volunteers interested in working on these committees with these leadership teams. Then volunteers know who they are volunteering to work with.

Marlene Freyler expressed concerned that once Town Offices are in Town Hall the town will not vote to pass a Warrant Article for restoring Town Hall.

– Sonny Harris stated he believes people who are for restoration will continue to be for it.

– Chair reminded that the Warrant Articles went from 1.8M to 1.4M to 800K and the warrant still didn’t pass.

– Beth Downs said that the long and short of it after spelling out cost (average of $33/year), the people who are against it are clearly going to be against it regardless of the cost.

– Sonny Harris asked how do you put a value on a life and losing town hall to heirs? What about the responsibility we have to the townspeople, as Selectmen, for safety and accessibility of records? We shouldn’t sacrifice for those [architectural] plans the safety. We are violating state statutes at that point- violating 3 conditions of legal instruments- To me that trumps plans being done right now.

One resident stated they have voted against town hall and it does come down to money. They live very tightly on their budget and have a hard time paying taxes. Try their best to keep tax base the same- and not have to have a lien against house or property. Fully understand that this means so much to so many people- wants the Town Hall to come back to life. So many people work so hard for the money they have and it’s very little. Applauded Marlene Freyler for having the courage to say what so many don’t have the courage to say.

-Chair stated he appreciates her opinion and the fact that it’s difficult to pay taxes. They are trying to get good results for best cost. Cited Ambulance Squad as a way town has saved $. Would like to do the same with Police Dept in an effort to save money.

-Sonny Harris pointed out how important it is to pay attention to what people are saying. Additionally pointed out how much of the town is devalued based on the condition of Town Hall (particularly W Main).

-Jane Johnsen asked if 75% of town is in current use?

-Harry Wright advised 75% of the acreage in the town are in current use- not necessarily 75% of the value.

-Sonny Harris said that statistics from both sides prove that the greater amount of current use a town has the less the tax rate and the higher quality of life they have.

-Jim Bibbo reminded if there were no current use there would be more construction and houses being build- because people would have to sell out to developers because they couldn’t afford their taxes.

Beth Downs stated she is a disenfranchised voter in that she was unable to vote at Town Meeting. “As a tax payer in Bradford, I’m not getting my bang for the buck because can’t vote on the issues that are important to me.” Need to go back to Wed meetings and curb it from 7-10pm. If you don’t accomplish everything do it the next Wed 7-10 until you get it all accomplished.  Finds it hard to believe that other towns can get all business done in 2hrs.

-Chair agreed it was a good point. A vote was taken at Town Meeting regarding meeting time and it was split down the middle.

-Harry Wright said a number of people submitted a petition requesting a Saturday meeting. Working at the polls he takes an informal poll of what day is preferred for meeting- this year it was very split, slightly favoring Sat. To satisfy the folks who are concerned about wed night because of driving in the snow he suggested Wed night meeting w/ volunteer driver program to bring people to the polls who would otherwise be restricted from getting there.

Chair said he has heard that the people want to add one Communications/PR Organizer and one Volunteer Organizer to Oversight Committee. Would like to put together Oversight Committee immediately to begin moving forward and recruiting volunteers. Would like potential names for the Oversight Committee by next week.

Eileen Kelley provided document with current THRC recommendations for Selectmen review. (See attached- THRC Proposal to Selectmen 4.6.15)

Letter received from resident Peter M. Fenton with thoughts and questions regarding Town Hall. (See attached- Letter to Selectmen from P. Fenton)

Specific questions and answers include:

Q: What is the status of mold abatement? Has recent testing been done to ensure there is no mold?

A: Mold abatement is completed

Q: At our most recent town meeting, the townspeople were presented with a plan to renovate town hall, so that it would be usable for town offices again. Why were we presented with this as a must do, and now it is okay for the town administrator to use without any of the modifications?

A: the plan was to completely re-do town hall, which included offices, while entire restoration project did not pass, the town would still like to use the building for the town offices

Q: I believe bldg is not ADA compliant- handicapped access ramp was removed, is there a plan to replace this?

A: ADA compliant it will be.

Q: Has anything been done to rectify furnace room flooding?

A: Have had the repair man in to fix the furnace problem

Q: As bldg has not been used in 3+ yrs does it change the status of any grandfather clauses?

A: Not that the Selectmen are aware of

Q: Does building meet fire code?

A: It will

Q: Where are the funds for improvements coming from? Do we have a specific line item for this?

A: Hopeful of raising all of the funds

Q: Is this in best interest of town employees and tax payers?

A: 2 of 3 board members think that it is

THRC will be revisited April 20, 2015 at the Selectmen’s Meeting regarding how we will organize and go forth.

Accounts Payable and Payroll Manifest reviewed and signed.

Minutes of March 23, 2015 meeting were reviewed and accepted with the following edit.

Page 2, line 28: “In violation of law conditions of legal instrument”

Meeting adjourned at 6:55pm.

Selectmen’s Agenda 04.06.15

April 3, 2015

Selectmen’s Meeting

Agenda

April 6, 2015

 

Pledge of Allegiance

Roll Call –

 

Non Public Meeting – 5:00 pm Non Public Session per RSA 91:A:3-IIa Personnel

 

 

Appearances:

  1. Town Hall Restoration Committee reorganization
  2. Fire Dept – chassis contract for signature
  3. Jane Johnsen

Regular Business

  1. Progress on the town hall move. –
  2. Letter to be read to record from Peter Fenton
  3. Engagement letter with Grzelak CPA firm
  4. Abatements for signature
  5. Current Use Application for signature
  6. Intent to excavate for signature
  7. Easement for signature
  8. Status of Reval – beginning in JunePending issues: Review minutes of last meeting
  9. Accounts Payable and Payroll Manifest for review and signature

Selectmen’s Meeting 03.30.15 CANCELLED

March 30, 2015

The March 30th, 2015 Selectmen’s meeting will be cancelled – no quorum.

Selectmen’s office closed 9-11 am 03.26.15

March 26, 2015

Selectmen’s Minutes 03.23.15

March 25, 2015

Board of Selectmen Meeting

March 23, 2015

 

Pledge of Allegiance

Meeting called to order at 5:30pm

Roll Call- John Pfeifle, Chairman; Sonny Harris, Selectman; Harry Wright, Selectman

Appearances

1. Fire Chief, Mark Goldberg requested Selectmen accept contract for tanker and make a decision regarding prepayment. Advised current tanker has low trade-in value.

– Chair moved to retain current fire truck tanker, when the new equipment comes online the old tanker will be exchanged to the highway dept. Motion seconded. Vote passed 3-0.

– Chair moved to take 3% prepay discount of $4,671.00. Motion seconded. Vote passed 3-0.

2. Mike Bean of M.A. Bean Associates- a site contractor who predominantly works on bridges. Advised that 63% of Municipal owned bridges are currently red listed and bridge repair through the state run Bridge Aid Program typically goes as follows: State performs biannual inspection of bridges, town spends 150-200K for plans from engineer, submit plans to state, they provide feedback, then you are waitlisted (speculated current waitlist believed to be for 2026), finally state reimburses 80% and town pays 20% of final cost. Process: take off current deck, most cases pin and pour a pad onto and behind abutment (20ft span- 30ft bridge), precast deck slab (5000psi  concrete, meet HL93 loading capacities required by state), provides stamped engineered drawings, provides Form 4 bridge calculations. Most bridges take about 1 week. Provides day by day timeline for progress of bridge. Offers temporary bridge for instances where uninterrupted traffic flow is required. Temp bridge certified for passenger vehicles and UPS/FedEx trucks- not for 10-wheelers and cherry pickers. Provided Selectmen with references. Advised is schedule is flexible, upon being hired he will submit drawings within a week and begin work within about 3 weeks.

Rough estimates for bridges in need of repair in town are as follows: S. Breezy Hill Rd- 40-50K, W. Meadow Rd- 80-100K, Center Rd- 80-100K, Water St- 100K, Johnson Hill Rd- 80K.

3. Barry Wheeler, Road Agent- Advised today, while looking for generators, he came across a  1985 CAT Grader with 49hrs on it for 25K from White Farm State Surplus. Arrived Friday from Germany. Road Agent advised this could save the town 300K. This purchasing method learned from Washington.

– Town Administrator determined between now and May the town will be short 100K due to cash flow problem. Advised instituting fiscal responsibility until tax bills go out. Noted the town currently has 450K of uncollected tax bills.

– Fire Chief urged caution as this is a military spec CAT from Germany and it may be difficult to get parts.

Barry stated Washington Road Agent has informed him that obtaining parts for these machines is not difficult.

– Motion made to move forward if everything checks out after model/serial # retrieved and necessary checks are made. Motion seconded. Vote passed 3-0. Selectmen signed form to establish eligibility for federal surplus property.

4. Mary French present representing the Kingsbury owned property of the late Fred French. Stated current owners owe 3 years of back taxes. Town can take property for taxes on March 31, 2015 at 5pm. Once town takes the property it has a duty to sell for taxes and penalties (with excess income returned to owners). Due to a large build-up of snow the property does not allow access close to house, which has rendered a prospective disabled buyer unable to view the house. Requests a 60 day extension before the town takes the property for taxes, in an effort to sell the property for a higher cost than what the town would sell for. If the owners are able to pay 1yrs taxes and interest the property will be put on a hold from taking.

– Motion made that if not sold by the owners on or before July 1, 2015 then the town takes the property plus back taxes and 15% of assessed value. Upon remittance of back taxes and penalty the property goes back to current owners. Motion seconded. Vote passed 3-0.

5. Fritz Von Behren of Bradford Fish & Game requested the property be deemed tax exempt (property taxes are about $31/year).

– Selectmen advised they support BFG’s venture and community contributions but will not make tax exempt so as not to set precedence.

Requested information on when the town cemeteries will be put up for bid. Selectmen advised the Cemetery Commission has committed to present supplier through summer 2015.

Regular Business

  1. 100% of wage structure is annual review, not automatic. Reviews will be conducted prior to wage increases that are scheduled to be effective April 1st. Motion made to move forward and approve supervisors to proceed with reviews- understanding the disciplines that have been established through town meetings approvals. Motion seconded. Vote passed 3-0. Chair advised a certain salary will be discussed in private at a later time.
  2. Town Hall Restoration discussion:

Sonny Harris-

  1. Safety issues- particularly concerned now that safety issues have been made public.
  2. Town is in violation of statutes requiring reasonably accessible records.
  3. In violation of law ²conditions of legal instrument  because town should be turning building over to heirs if not occupied immediately. Anyone who does not take it seriously should read nationally recognized case law N. Hampton Congregational Society V. N Hampton School District (NH Supreme Court- 1951). Advised we satisfy safety issues and move back into Town Hall as soon as possible.

John Pfeifle, Chairman-

-Need new, rebuilt approach to Town Hall renovation. Would like to wait two weeks to allow the board to think about how to reorganize the TH committees, including potential reappointments

-Would like to use the remaining money allocated for Town Hall Restoration (18K left from 2014 95K Town Hall bond)

-Suggested that the April 13, 2015 Selectmen’s Meetings be held at Town Hall.

-Take action to solicit a volunteer crew to remediate the building to allow Town Administrator/Assist./Tax Collector/Deputy to move back into offices at town hall by May 1, 2015.

-Suggested basixrenovations to space including reinforced doors- as the current town office location is unsafe.

-Would like to see a volunteer list put up immediately.

Harry Wright-

-Thinks that the proposal is outrageously optimistic.

-Would like to see the focus on Restoration Committees and bond issue for next year. Cited the article on Loudon (Concord Monitor- 3/8/15) where a Reserve Fund has been created with deposits from a yearly warrant for 100K in an effort to pay cash for renovations.

Public Input on discussion:

– Town Clerk advised that the office requires a Static IP address (price for Town Hall wiring has been quoted at $3000.00). Expressed extreme concern about moving the computer systems around in the event of future renovation work at Town Hall. Reminded Selectmen that the heating system is not adequate in the Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall.

– Town Administrator answered concerns of conditions stating that all hazardous materials have been removed.

– Town Treasurer expressed concern over funding.

– George Angelli expressed that the cost is all that is talked about ¹the bond # has been too high- cited comparable series of attempted Highway Garage warrants. Suggested town get a bond for simply the cost to get the Town Offices back into the Town Hall– over time appropriate remaining $ to complete project.

– Jim Bibbo suggested they put together a presentation and approach each individual group in town prior to Town Meeting- get input from groups.

– Marlene Freyler stated that there are many restrictions when using the LCHIP grant which need to be explored.

– Fire Chief said there would be state regulated fire codes to adhere to.

Chair formally moved to make the effort to move the offices as soon as possible with an optimistic date of May 1, 2015 back into the old Town Hall. Town offices to be there as reconstruction of the building hopefully moves forward in the years to come. Pending funding availability, meeting all local/state fire regulations and ensuring no statutes are being violated. Motion seconded. Vote passed 2-1.

 

Harry Wright, Selectman- Thoughts on Town Hall going forward- March 23, 2015

Next year Town Meeting:

– Promote issuance of same bond.

– Have separate warrant article for 100K for Town Hall Capital Reserve Fund, selectmen as agents to expend. To be passed over if the bond passes.

– Promise that the 100K Capital Reserve article will be on the warrant every year that the bond doesn’t pass until the project is complete.

Today:

Call THRC- together have them create a plan with measurable actions:

-Have Kelly Gale estimate the $ of her time required for complete plans.

Authorize her to complete the plans using leftover $ from the 2014 95K and funds from RHC cornerstone acct and THRC fund account as necessary.

-Actively recruit skilled townsfolk into the project.

Have the committee research relative cost & benefits for subsets of the project to help define components of the final plan (ie: hot water baseboards vs radaiant heat; boiler fuel type: wood pellets, oil, LP; air conditioning for office area)

This year:

– Actively promote the plans, request feedback from the populace (pro & con)

– Perhaps a forum or two to show progress, request feedback

-Visit various groups in town with this info, get buy in, request feedback

-Raise $

Comments on Points:

– Baseboard vs. radiant heat:  with the full cellar as planned, radiant heat for the 1st floor may be practical.  Cost differential between the two is totally unknown (by me at least), should be researched.

– Fuel type:

  • I was totally pro-wood pellets at the start of the project. At that time, we could “buy BTUs” (commit to pellets) and the capital expense of boiler purchase would be underwritten by the supplier(s).  This program no longer exists.
  • Today I would favor LP. Better turn down ratio than oil, but mostly because (looking to the future) natural gas will be available.  It will be the most desirable fuel and a simple changeover.

 

Sonny Harris, Selectman- Thoughts on Town Hall based on Town Meeting Results of 3/21/15

It is a true, though very sad, fact that only after an irreversible and careless loss of a historic structure, do people generally unify in preservation of special buildings. This proposal has failed three times, each by a very narrow margin. Nevertheless, every failure is an opportunity, and through these past failures, we have collectively focused and strengthened our safety, governing, environmental, utilitarian, economic, cultural and social goals in this current proposal including:

-improved safety of people

-improved safety of records

-improved cost-effectiveness

-improved accessibility of records

-improved governmental efficiency

-historic preservation

-reduced environmental footprint

-creation of local jobs

-enhanced social/cultural connectivity

-satisfaction of current legal obligations

-enhanced tax base

-elevated community pride

The Town Hall is the classic symbol of the foundation and cornerstone of northern New England democracy in its purest form. I find it disturbing that many choose to ignore/risk gross liability of human and document safety issues, deplorable document accessibility, encourage present obligations to lose one of our Town’s greatest assets (culturally & economically) and risk losing a wonderful grant that many fine people work tirelessly to achieve. The bond method appears to be failing, so let us attempt other methods that do not require a 2/3 majority.

Environmental Thoughts relative to Town Hall- see attached page

Regular Business Continued…

3. Storage units rented for removed records from town hall will be cancelled.

4. Appointments signed by Selectmen

5. Sand purchase opportunity briefly presented. Will discuss further after further research on legality and property access.

6. A couple would like to speak with Selectmen in Non-Public Session later this week regarding property problems on West & Oakdale Rd.

7. Town Administrator advised of difficulty getting through to Mr. Chivers regarding easements. DOT does not require proof of easements before bidding it, however proof is required prior to construction otherwise legal penalties could become an issue.

8. Town Administrator pointed out that the town has expended all of the money in the legal budget.

  • Harry Wright advised that the law passed re: pole tax created has been inflicted on utilities. Utility companies given 5 yr buy, said buy has been re-upped several times and no money has been paid.

Pending Issues

  1. Autocraft- forwarded to town attorney for action
  2. Failed septic system on Route 114
  3. Shed unlawfully built on Center Rd
  4. Questionable effluent N side of Old Warner Rd

Accounts Payable and Payroll Manifest reviewed and signed.

Minutes of March 16, 2015 meeting were reviewed and accepted as presented. Meeting adjourned at 7:25pm.

¹Amended 3/25/15

²Amended 4/6/15

Letter from Selectman Sonny Harris regarding Town Hall 03.25.15

March 25, 2015

3/24/2015

Revised 1:18 pm

Cheryl (please forward to John and Harry)-

I am writing in response to our selectmen’s meeting last night (Exhibit 1) that was rather enthusiastic/ polarized regarding Town Hall matters, to make clear and a matter of record my position and further, to offer some suggestions/alternatives which I believe are in the best interest of the Town:

First, I have made it clear repeatedly, far and above all other matters, I am concerned about the safety of the people occupying the lower level of the Community Center, particularly the section located in the southwest corner.

Second, I am concerned about the safety of our records (document evidence, tapes, etc.) located in that building.

Third, I am concerned about the accessibility of our records to the public in a timely fashion due to the limited space of the Community Center causing the absence of many of our Town records to be located in that one specific location.

Fourth, I am concerned about losing the Town Hall to the heirs of Tappan due to the Town’s negligence in adhering to conditions of a legal instrument. Refer to MCRD Book 173, Page 507, executed on 5/23/1863 and recorded on 2/12/1864 and MCRD Book 174, Page 42, executed 5/23/1863 and recorded on 3/15/1864 (Exhibits 2 and 3).

Fifth, I am concerned about our current and ongoing illegal occupation of the Community Center, again, violating conditions of a legal instrument. Refer to MCRD Book 553, Page 263, executed on 4/27/1937 and recorded on 5/4/1937 (Exhibit 4).

Should anyone choose to believe that we are “off the hook” regarding the fourth and fifth items above, I would welcome  previous detailed conversations in which I have engaged with Stanley M. Brown Esq. , portions of which can be verified in school district document evidence (Exhibit 5). Also for your edification, please refer to North Hampton School District vs. North Hampton Congregational Society, 97 N.H. 219, 84 A 2d 883 (N.H. 1951) (Exhibit 6).

The aforementioned facts are the reason I voted last night to return our Town offices to the Town Hall, assuming we have the funds to do so, assuming we can satisfy all legal requirements, conditions and agreements (i.e. fire codes, building codes, handicap access, historic register conditions, etc.) and assuming this act will not disrupt the LCHIP grant that many fine people have worked tirelessly to acquire.

That being stated and based on parol evidence presented last night at our Selectmen’s meeting, perhaps it would be wise, if we can move appropriately, to commence by moving only the Selectmen’s office and Administrator’s office into the Town Hall and leave the Tax collector/Town Clerk office (which has a second egress and hence, not as unsafe) in its present location for now. That would reduce moving costs and eliminate concerns of various internet and other important and costly necessary connections, etc.  Additionally, the Town Clerk/Tax Collector could have all of the available space in the current Administrator’s office which would allow all of the TC/TC records to be located there, in a safer (but not entirely safe) and more reasonably accessible  place temporarily,  until the Town Hall project is (hopefully) completed.

Meanwhile, our immediate occupation of the Town Hall by the Administrator and Selectmen will improve grave safety concerns, satisfy legal obligations and prevent our irresponsible loss of the Town Hall property. Now that these circumstances have been brought to our attention and discussed repeatedly and publically (particularly at our most recent Town Meeting of 3/21/2015) (Exhibit 7), I am concerned that the Town could be held negligent for not addressing these concerns swiftly. In my opinion,  our meeting last night, the decisions voted upon in the affirmative and this letter collectively have made our position sincere in an attempt to address these concerns head on and in a timely fashion and in doing so, represent the best interest of the Town as we move forward, regardless of dissenting  or contrary opinions.

I suggest we discuss all of these aforementioned serious legal issues with Bernie Waugh in a timely fashion as well as members of the RHC and THRC to ensure we continue to protect the Town’s best interest?

I look forward to additional suggestions regarding this matter.

I remain your humble servant,

Sonny Harris

Selectmen’s Agenda 03.23.15

March 23, 2015

Selectmen’s Meeting

Agenda

March 23, 2015

 

Pledge of Allegiance

Roll Call –

 

 

Appearances:

1.      -Mike Bean – Bridges

 

Regular Business

2.      Review of the decisions made at Town Meeting.

3.      Review of step increases to take effect on April 1, 2015

5.      Status of storage rental

6.      Easements-NFI rec’d and Gateway rec’d.  Still waiting on Chivers and still working on Stratton.

7.

 

Pending issues:

 

 

Accounts Payable and Payroll Manifest for review and signature

Review minutes of last meeting

 

 

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