TOWN OF PELHAM

BOARD OF SELECTMEN

MINUTES

OCTOBER 24, 2000

APPROVED – November 14, 2000

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

PRESENT:           Mr. William McDevitt, Ms. Deb Casey, Mr. James Hardy, Mr. Gregory Farris,

Mr. Harold Lynde.

 

Also present:       Mr. James Pitts, Town Administrator, members of the press and general public.

 

Chairman McDevitt opened the meeting at approximately 6:10 p.m.

 

Mr. Lynde arrived at approximately 6:40 p.m.

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

October 10, 2000

 

MOTION:             (Casey/Hardy) To accept the minutes of the October 10,2000 Board meeting as amended.

 

VOTE:                  (4 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

October 17, 2000

 

MOTION:             (Casey/Farris) To accept the minutes of the October 10, 2000 Board meeting as they                                    are presented.

 

VOTE:                  (3 - 0 - 1) The motion carries.  Mr. Hardy abstained.

 

OPEN FORUM

 

There was no public input.

 

APPOINTMENTS  There were no appointments.

 

Mr. McDevitt made the following announcements:

 

A preliminary tax rate had been set, and would not be official for two weeks.  The preliminary rate was set at $22 per $1000.  The rate for 1999 was $20.89 per $1000.  He gave a breakdown as follows: Town - $3.96; School - $9.01; State - $6.89; County - $2.14.   He said the DRA would still audit the numbers.

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Pitts, Town Administrator (and abutters to the Gendron Junkyard) have received a letter by

NH Department of Health & Human Services regarding a public session to be held October 25, 2000 at 6pm-9pm at the Town Hall.  Questions should be directed to Kerran Vigroux at 603/271-4664 or 800/852-3345 ext. 4664.

 

Mr. Hardy would like the Board to consider requesting a public health assessment by the NH Department of Health & Human Services for the residents of Marsh Road.

 

Mr. McDevitt informed that the Selectmen (and residents whose wells were tested by the DES) have received letters from the NH Department of Environmental Services regarding the Gendron Junkyard site.  Contained in the letter are recommendations, as well as a determination that supplied bottled water is no longer necessary, and will be terminated after October 31, 2000.  Copies of the letters will be available in Mr. Pitt’s office.  Any further questions should be directed to Dave Gordon from the Department of Environmental Services. 

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

SPRING STREET EXTENTION PETITION:

 

Mr. McDevitt began a discussion regarding the verbal agreement of $80,000 to pave the street, versus the Town Engineer’s figure of $161,000.  Ms. Casey informed she discussed the two bids and how they differ. The bid from Clark Harris’ company, who’s company provided the $80,000 bid, doesn’t include interest, but does meet all the Town specifications.   CLD’s bid of $161,000 (plus approx. $24,000 for interest) contains a contingency factor as well as  consideration for possible ledge.  She informed that CLD remains comfortable with the bid they quoted even though it appears to be higher.

 

Ms. Casey then discussed the evaluation of the properties and two options for calculating assessments. 

She informed that the total evaluation of the property on Spring Street, Bethel, Wheaton and Little Island Park is $3,148,900 broken down as follows:  Spring Street-$1,550,300  ; Bethel- $595,200; Little Island Park-$1,002,700; Wheaton-$700.  She discussed the two options for evaluating property. One option would be to assign a full value to Spring Street and all the roads serviced by Spring Street, therefore, the numbers would remain the same as the last meeting, two weeks ago.   The second option would be to attribute a lower value to the properties on Bethel, Little Island Park and Wheaton due to the residents already maintaining the road they live on .  Ms. Casey went on to explain how she came up with the calculation for assessing the properties, which didn’t include any property with an assessed value lower than $200.   She said there were twenty-two property values listed on Spring Street Extension with the average value being a little over $70,000.   Bethel has seven properties, with the average being $85,000.  Little Island Park has twenty-two properties, with an average value of $45,000. 

 

Mr. Farris discussed the number used for determining the evaluation of the properties and what possible benefits the residents would have.  There was a brief discussion regarding the assessment calculations and what percent to use for the calculation, which led into a discussion of whether to have a preliminary vote.

 

Mr. Hardy made a motion to calculate the betterment fee at 100% for each property.  Mr. Farris seconded for discussion and spoke of his concerns if the calculation were based on 100% of assessed value.  He ended by saying he would prefer a formula which were calculated at a more proportionate rate.  Ms. Casey agreed with Mr. Farris. 

 

Mr. Hardy withdrew his motion.  Mr. Farris withdrew his second.

 

Mr. Lynde arrived.

 

 

 

Mr. Pitts discussed the factors from the initial proposal and the issue of fairness.  He said there were no examples in the State for the type of betterment fee proposed.  The only examples found were for water and sewer lines, which tend to be clear-cut if a resident is served.  He said the reason for the percent being set at 100% was due to the difficulty of determine exactly who would be serviced by the road and in what capacity.

 

There was a general discussion regarding the alternatives if the Board didn’t support the proposed.

 

Mr. Lynde wanted to know the average cost a resident would pay to maintain the road.  Mr. Ergendino Perrone, 1 Little Island Park, stepped forward and informed that in twenty-seven years, he has averaged $18 per year.  He wanted it known that residents of Spring Street Extension to get to the pond, who would not be paying for it, would use Little Island Park. 

 

Mr. Bob Gleason, 7 Little Island Park stepped forward to inform he has been the person responsible for the expenditures of Little Island Park and so far the cost has been $9,000 for excavation, some fill and pave.  The cost for the finish coat is approximately 3,000 which brings the total to approximately $12,000 to bring Little Island Park basically up to a new road.

 

Mr. Perrone spoke up to say he misunderstood the question and when he spoke he didn’t take into consideration the work recently performed.

 

Mr. Farris asked the cost of the maintenance work done on Spring Street Extension in the last couple years.   Mr. Clark Harris, 14 Spring Street Extension, said approximately $1,000.

 

Ms. Casey provided the assessment calculations for Mr. Farris at 60% for non-residents of Spring Street Extension.  Ms. Casey said she feels for the safety of the residents, the road should be done.

 

Mr. Lynde made a motion to approve the reconstruction of Spring Street Extension with an assessed value at 70%/100%.  Ms. Casey seconded for discussion.

 

Mr. Pitts spoke of possible legalities with lots being based on value and suggested not including properties, which generate a tax bill of less than $1.

 

Ms. Casey informed that based on 70% of assessed value, Spring Street Extension, Bethel, Wheaton and Little Island Park total $2,669,320. 

 

Mr. Farris, to clarify, asked if the residence would have a chance to withdraw the petition or protest if this proposal passes.  Mr. Pitts answered to say that RSA 231:28 had been followed.  He read a segment of the RSA aloud. 

 

There was a brief discussion of the cost of the road and fair assessment methods.  Mr. Lynde believes that the spirit and intent of the law have been met.  It was then discussed what steps would need to be taken if a higher bid was received. 

 

Mr. Farris asked if at the completion of the Spring Street Extension project, the road would automatically become a Town road, without going to a Town meeting.  Mr. Pitts said this is the one exception the Selectmen have the authority to decide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOTION:           (Lynde/Casey) To approve the reconstruction of Spring Street Extension to a sufficient standard, acceptable by the Town, with a ten-year payback, based on assessed value at 70% for non-Spring Street Extension residents and 100% for residents of Spring Street Extension.

 

VOTE:                 (5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

There was a five-minute recess.

 

WARRANT ARTICLE CARRYOVERS:

 

It was discussed and decided to turn back #34, the skid steer order from 1999.

 

Next, the Board discussed Hepatitis B vaccinations, and concluded to keep on the list for two years.

 

The Board discussed the 2000 issues, particularly:

               1) #29 Long Pond weed control to be carried over, which needs to be matched by Dracut;

               2) Library electrical system, which a check may not have been cut for the final bill;

               3) Recreation on the ball fields, for a sprinkler system, which will be further, researched;

               4) Traffic islands at Muldoon Park, which are still a pending issue;

               5) Police cruiser reserve will be turned back;

               6) Transfer station will be carried over;

               7) State Highway grants will be carried over.

 

Mr. Pitts informed they wouldn’t be zeroed out until the warrant articles expired.

 

Mr. Farris asked if the monies from 1998, which originally was used to engage CMA, would be used now.  Mr. McDevitt answered no; there is a warrant article, which covers both the landfill and the transfer station.  He said it would be added to the agenda.

 

EMERGENCY WAY FUND WARRANT ARTICLE RECONSIDERATION:

 

Mr. McDevitt said Mr. Foss corrected the information and recommended the Board submit a warrant article for $3000.  He informed there is no current article passed by the Board or sent to the Budget Committee.

 

MOTION:           (Casey/Hardy) To re-submit the Warrant Article for the Emergency Way Fund in the                                     amount of $3000.

 

VOTE:                 (5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE VOTE OF HOME RULE AMENDMENT:

 

Mr. McDevitt felt it was important for the Board to take a position.  The Board members individually discussed their opinions.  Mr. Pitts informed that NHMA is looking to make a list of the communities, which support the Amendment, basically, they are looking for endorsement.

 

Mr. Hardy made a motion that the Selectmen endorse the proposal.  Ms. Casey seconded for discussion.

 

There was a brief discussion regarding the safe guard of the Amendment where the voter can still have say.

 

MOTION:           (Hardy/Casey) To endorse a proposal for the Home Rule Amendment and have the Town Administrator contact NHMA of the Selectmen’s decision.

 

VOTE:                 (5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

DISCUSSION OF OIL BULK PURCHASE PRICE:

 

Mr. Pitts started the discussion by informing he is still researching gasoline prices, however, they have a lock-in price on #2 fuel oil for $.99/gallon, which may be lower, but would not exceed.  This would be applied to all the fuel oil supplies for the schools as well as the Town’s facilities. 

 

Mr. Farris asked if the School Board would need to accept the proposal and modify their budget.  Mr. Pitts answered yes.  He explained that each would be independent of the other, but by combining the two, they were able to receive a better price buying in bulk.

 

Mr. McDevitt asked if the gasoline purchase would be handled the same way.  Mr. Pitts said that was automatically done due to the school gas being at the Town’s pump.  Mr. Pitts said he is in current negotiations for gasoline and diesel to receive a better price than currently received.

 

MUNICIPAL BUILDING WARRANT ARTICLES:

 

Mr. McDevitt handed out information regarding Warrant Articles for Municipal building work.  He said it was discussed to possibly hire someone from an engineering perspective to look at Sherburne School and other existing Town buildings for the suitability of Municipal offices.  He then discussed the Municipal Building Capital Reserve Fund and the possibility of creating a new fund.

 

Mr. McDevitt said if there are any questions, there would be a meeting on November 1, 2000.

 

MARSH ROAD PUBLIC HEALTH SURVEY:

 

Mr. Hardy informed there would be a public availability from the State Department of Health & Human Services from 6pm-9pm at the Town Hall on October 25, 2000.  Anyone that wishes to be heard regarding a public health survey being conducted for the operation of the Gendron junkyard. 

 

Mr. Hardy asked the Board to consider taking a position to formally request that an additional public survey be performed on Marsh Road (between Noella Avenue & Irene Drive).  He said there is a used car parts business in that area.  Several residents have been notified by Environmental Services that some fuel additives have shown up in their wells.  The source of the additives remains unknown. 

 

Mr. Hardy made a motion that the Board asks the Department of Health & Human Services to conduct a public health survey in that area of Town.  Ms. Casey seconded for discussion.

 

There was a general discussion regarding the resident’s concerns and the type of survey the Department of Health & Human Services would perform.  The roles of the DES and EPA were also discussed and what type of surveys would be performed.  It was brought out that certain residents of the Marsh Road area are currently receiving bottled water as well as having their wells monitored.  Mr. Farris asked that a greater radius be covered for investigation. 

 

 

 

 

 

MOTION:           (Hardy/Casey) The Board shall formally request that the Department of Health & Human                Services conduct a public health survey in the Marsh Road area (between Noella Avenue & Irene Drive).

 

VOTE:                 (5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

Mr. McDevitt asked that Mr. Pitts send the request for the survey.

 

CONSERVATION COMMISSION:

 

Mr. McDevitt informed that the Conservation Commission either now, or very soon, would need an additional person for a quorum. 

 

There was a discussion regarding the type of position, if any, that Mr. Lynde would hold on the Board of the Conservation Commission.  Mr. Pitts informed that there is an RSA, that states which positions conflict with one another.  He said that the Selectmen and the Conservation Commission do not conflict.

 

MOTION:           (Casey/Farris) To appoint Mr. Lynde as an alternate for the Conservation Commission,                                 until April 1, 2001.

 

VOTE:                 (3 - 2 - 0) The motion carries.  Mr. Hardy and Mr. Farris voted no. 

 

SENIOR CENTER GRANT:

 

Mr. Pitts informed that the Senior Center has received a grant for $1000 to provide heat for the store.  He asked that the Board accept the grant.

 

The method of heating was discussed.  They will be using a direct vent furnace.   

 

MOTION:           (Casey/Farris) To accept the grant of $1000 for the Senior Center.

 

VOTE:                 (5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

 

TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT

 

Mr. Pitts announced that the transfer station would be closed Saturday, November 11, 2000 in recognition of Veteran’s Day.

 

SELECTMEN’S REPORTS

 

Mr. Hardy commended Evan Hagland and David Fisher as well as the members in their departments for the festivities for the children during the Horrible’s Parade as well a the party which followed.

 

Ms. Casey informed she would be meeting with Waste Management to discuss the short-term situation at the incinerator.  She reminded that there would be a walkathon on October 28, 2000 at Chunky’s Cinema with registration beginning at 12:30 p.m.  It is a benefit for the food pantry and Pelham Track 2001.  Bring a non-perishable food item.  She informed that October 29, 2000 would be the State semi-finals for Pop Warner and the State finals would be held on November 5, 2000.

 

Mr. Lynde said he received a copy of the equalization survey and comparison tax rate chart.  He reported that in 1999 Pelham was 49th lowest in nearly 300 towns for taxation.  Pelham is the 3rd lowest taxed Town in Hillsborough County. 

 

 Mr. Farris informed there would be Police and volunteer coverage for the Pop Warner games for safety reasons.  He asked that people respect the volunteers.  He said the party at Sherburne School after the Horrible's Parade was a success.

 

Mr. McDevitt said he has been meeting with the Budget Committee and they will be discussing the Town budget this week and will cast their vote next week.  He also informed there would be a Halloween Dance on Friday evening at the Fish & Game club beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Costumes are optional, but recommended.  The tickets are $5.  BYOB.

 

Mr. Pitts thanked Granite State Electric for their prompt service when an emergency arose during the installation of lights for Muldoon Park.  Mr. Farris noted that Granite State Electric has always had community spirit.

 

MOTION:           Request for a non-public session per RSA 91-A:3, II,a & e.

 

ROLL CALL:     Mr. Hardy-yes; Ms. Casey-Yes; Mr. McDevitt-Yes; Mr. Lynde-Yes; Mr. Farris-yes

 

The Board entered into a non-public session at approximately 8:05 p.m.   Also present was Mr. Pitts.

 

MOTION:           (      ) To seal the minutes of the non-public session indefinitely.

 

VOTE:                 (      ) The motion carries.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:           (      ) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:                 (      ) The motion carries.

 

The meeting was adjourned at    p.m.

 

                                                                                          Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                          Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                          Recording Secretary