NOT APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

BOARD OF SELECTMEN

MINUTES

April 10, 2001

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

PLEDGE OF ALLEGAINCE

 

PRESENT:†††††††††† Ms. Deb Casey, Mr. William McDevitt, Mr. Harold Lynde (who arrived at approximately †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 6:45 pm), Mr. Jean-Guy Bergeron

 

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

 

ABSENT:†††††††††††† Mr. Greg Farris

 

Chairperson Casey opened the meeting at approximately 6:30 pm.

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

March 27, 2001††††

 

MOTION:†††††††††† (McDevitt/Bergeron) To accept the minutes of the March 27, 2001Board meeting as †††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† amended.

 

VOTE:†††††††††††††††† (3 - 0 - 0 The motion carries.

 

OPEN FORUM

 

No persons stepped forward.

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

Jim Greenwood, Cable TV Coordinator, Adelphia Cable update

 

Mr. Jim Greenwood appeared before the Selectmen and explained that the Town was still negotiating with Adelphia as to the renewal of the current franchise contract, which would be expiring October 29, 2001.He said that a letter had been submitted to the Selectmen regarding the exploration of other options.He informed that there had been a couple core negotiation sessions with Adelphia, and at this point there were still a couple of issues to work out.He said they were trying to get a date as to when the rebuild would be complete.Mr. Greenwood was confident that Adelphia would rebuild/upgrade Pelham to a fiber optics 860mz system.He said they would try to stick to what is offered with the current franchise (and then some).

 

Ms. Casey asked when CTAC anticipated obtaining a date for upgrading the system.She felt the longer the wait, the more difficult it would be to go outside of Adelphia.Mr. Greenwood said at this point, Adelphia owned the cable plant in Pelham and if another company were to come into Pelham, they would have to build their own infrastructure.Ms. Casey was concerned that there would be no options left, if negotiations continued and ended up being unacceptable.Mr. Greenwood said when the transfer agreement was made it was bilateral and they were to provide two-way cable within five years (ending August, 2004).Ms. Casey asked if there would be a penalty if Adelphia failed to meet the date.Mr. Greenwood said if needed they would extend the date, but would add a penalty.Ms. Casey had heard that Pelham was paying a higher rate than Hudson, but receiving fewer services.Mr. Greenwood explained that Hudsonís system was different at the time they did their contract.He said Hudson had bi-directional capability, whereas Pelham only had that capability in the center of Town.

 

Mr. Lynde arrived.

 

Mr. McDevitt asked if there were alternatives to Adelphia.Mr. Greenwood said that they would explore other providers, but if competition were to come to Town, they would need their own plant.

 

Mr. Pitts explained there were two ways for other providers 1) over wire the Town and 2) void franchise contract based on poor performance, but that action would need legal cause.

 

Ms. Charlene Takesian explained that CTAC had the same frustrations with the negotiation as the residents, but they were making an attempt to have additional cable companies come into Town.

 

Mr. Greenwood pointed out that if subscribers were having any problems, they should call Adelphia, so they would be aware of the problem and correct it.Mr. McDevitt asked what people could do if Adelphia was unable to correct the problem.Mr. Greenwood said they should call the Cable Department at 635-8645.Mr. McDevitt asked if there was a way of tracking the number of people ordering cable.Mr. Greenwood said currently the number was flat lining.Ms. Takesian said a report was received each month with provided the service record.Mr. Greenwood said copies of the report would be provided to the Selectmen each month.

 

Mr. Lynde asked if the Town had been approached by other companies.Mr. Greenwood said not to his knowledge.Ms. Casey asked if there were any companies out of Massachusetts.Mr. Greenwood said at one point there was a company coming out of Boston, but there were enough clients to have them continue North.He said CTAC was making every effort.He went on to explain the upcoming digital services which would be offered.

 

Ms. Casey asked when the Selectmen would be appraised of the points of the contract, so possible recommendations could be made.Mr. Greenwood said hopefully within the next month and would provide a memo.

 

Mr. Pitts said the most critical points would be 1) the number of people which attended the public hearing, 2) what type of complaints they voiced,and 3) if the complaints supported the contingent that the franchise agreement was not lived up to.He stressed the most important thing was to have people with complaints voice their opinions.It was discussed what type of correspondence would be considered ascertainment (i.e. e-mail).

 

Bruce Mason, Solid Waste Facility Superintendent, Transfer Station signs

 

Mr. Bruce Mason, Solid Waste Facility Superintendent appeared before the Selectmen to discuss the proposed signs for the Solid Waste Facility.He handed out drawn examples of the proposed signs and read through the types of information that would be contained on them.

 

Ms. Casey asked if there would be new signs for plastics, cans and newspapers.Mr. Masonsaid the signs they had were relatively new and took in all the pertinent information.Ms. Casey confirmed that Mr. Mason was aware that the money was in the Warrant Article which passed.He answered yes.

 

Mr. McDevitt said he liked the layouts, but suggested to delete the reference to the RSA and replace with Ďper state lawí.He also suggested the addition of construction debris onto the signs which state what is prohibited.

 

There was a brief discussion regarding whom to purchase the signs from and it was decided to have Hammar & Sons create the signs.

 

Mr. Mason discussed propane tanks.He said NRRA would be removing the existing tanks at the site shortly, but once they were removed, the Town would be charged between $3 - $5 for removal.He had a discussion with Pelham Fuel who said they would remove the valves from tanks (for a fee) for people who brought them in.At which point either the person, or Pelham Fuel would bring the empty, valve less tank to the Solid Waste Facility for steel recycling.He said the facility would receive the revenue for the steel.

 

Ms. Casey asked if the recommendation was to either 1) charge people the additional money to remove the valve, 2) have people remove the valve before bringing to the Facility, 3) not charge and the Town would pick up the charge for valve removal.Mr. Mason suggested having a straight $5 fee for whichever size tank was brought in.He also discussed the issue of propane being left in the tanks, and would rather not have the liability.

 

Mr. McDevitt felt that propane tanks were a community waste problem and felt that the employees of the Facility should be trained in removing the valves.He was concerned if the tanks werenít accepted at the Facility that they would be discarded in other areas (such as bulky furniture).Ms. Casey said that the new mandated valve for grill style propane tanks would take effect April, 2002.She believed that more and more tanks would be left off, therefore, she agreed that accepting tanks at the Facility should be considered.Mr. Mason discussed the dangers of removing the valves from the tanks.He felt either the gas company or a vendor through NRRA should handle the disposal of the tanks.Mr. McDevitt discussed the possibility of training the employees of the Facility.He felt there should be more thought before a decision was made.He also wanted to review the training requirements.Mr. Mason said there were no standards, but would call NRRA for additional information.Ms. Casey also wanted to know how many tanks were currently being brought in.Mr. Mason said they were coming in randomly.Mr. Bergeron believed that in April, 2002 would be the critical time for having a disposal plan.Ms. Casey said after the group of tanks that were currently at the Facility was removed that NRRA would then charge if they came to remove another group.Mr. Bergeron was concerned with the liability issues.

 

Mr. McDevitt asked if there was a service to remove the gas.Mr. Mason said that NRRA would be providing that type of service for a fee.

 

Fire Chief David Fisher said that propane was a dangerous product that needed to be handled properly.He believed that if the rules were too stringent, there would be some roadside debris, which in itself would be a danger and a haz mat team would need to be called in to remove it.

 

Mr. Lynde inquired how the gas would be handled if the valves were to be removed at the Facility.He felt that paying NRRA might be the best alternative.Mr. Mason also felt the best way to handle would be to have NRRA (or an alternate company) be responsible to remove and have the Facility set up a fee structure.He said he would not recommend that the employees handle the tanks.

 

Ms. Casey reiterated that more information would be needed on training, tools and number of units per week.She asked if belonging to NRRA was beneficial.Mr. Mason said it was currently in his budget and felt that staying with them during this situation would be a good idea.

 

Mr. Lynde asked when the transfer station would be open.Mr. Mason said there were a few details to be taken care of, but believed that it should be on-line approximately April 17, 2001.

 

Ron Bourque, Interview for Conservation Commission position

 

Mr. Ron Bourque, 7 Radcliffe Drive appeared before the Selectmen for consideration to hold a position on the Conservation Commission.

 

Mr. McDevitt asked why he was interested.Mr. Bourque said he had always been interested in the concept of Conservation and would like to be a part of how it was approached in Town.

 

Mr. Lynde said there were a number of tough properties being reviewed and wanted to know how he would react ifa developer decided to not listen to the recommendations of Conservation.Mr. Bourque said since Conservation was advisory, they should listen to what the developer had to say and believed that procedures were in place if a developer didnít want to listen to recommendations.Mr. Lynde said the only time there would be a yea or neigh was when a wetlands crossing or dredge and fill were needed.Mr. Lynde asked how he felt regarding preserving open space versus wetlands.Mr. Bourque believed in preservation and felt that the crucial point was how it was done.He felt that whichever could be preserved first should be done first.

 

Mr. Bergeron reviewed Mr. Bourques application and asked him to discuss his reasons for being a member of Conservation.Mr. Bourque said he would like to be an active part of discussions and be able to hear opinions as well as provide one of his own.

 

Ms. Casey asked what changes he might be looking to make if appointed.She also asked if the Wetlands Ordinance was what prompted him to seek appointment.Mr. Bourque answered yes.He was shocked at the failure.He felt people understood the proposal, but didnít agree with the method being offered in the ordinance for preservation.He said alternatives to preservation should be reviewed.Mr. McDevitt felt that people voted in response to the mailing.†† Mr. Bourque added that the vote showed that people were concerned with preservation, and believed that the issue would be to find out how people would like to preserve.Mr. Lynde said that he hadnít seen a clear example for the ordinance until a recent site walk for the Planning Board in which a cul-de-sac would come within 50í from prime wetland.

 

MOTION:†††††††††† (McDevitt/Bergeron) To appoint Ron Bourque to the Conservation Commission for a ††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† three-year term.

 

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

 

Mr. Pitts, being a Justice of the Peace, swore Mr. Bourque in as a member of the Conservation Commission.

 

Fire Chief David Fisher, Burning Permit update

 

Fire Chief Fisher read aloud a posting regarding outside burning which appeared in the Salem Observer, the Stateline paper and PTV Bulletin Board.He then discussed what type of items could be burned and informed that permits and an information sheet could be obtained at the Fire Department.He said the permits were issued through the state and are not governed by the Town.Chief Fisher informed that people caught burning without permits the first time usually received warnings, if caught a second time, they would be fined and if caught a third time they would be prosecuted in court.He explained that weather was also factor the department reviewed.

 

Mr. Lynde confirmed that outdoor burning of trash was not allowed.Chief Fisher answered yes.Mr. Lynde said a bill had passed which bans outdoor burning of trash due to the dioxide emissions.Chief Fisher said Pelham had passed that ordinance a few years ago.

 

Mr. Pitts suggested that the Town review the possibility of a compost pile at the Transfer Station as other towns have implemented.

 

Ms. Casey reminded the public that off-road vehicles were not permitted in the Town Parks.She said it was illegal and people would be issued a summons.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Consideration of proposed Town investment policy

 

Mr. Pitts said the discussion had been postponed until the RSAís were reviewed.He summarized by informing that the Town Treasurer was the custodian of the money belonging to the Town and pays out by order of the Selectmen.He said that at least yearly, the Selectmen were to review an adopt an investment policy for the investment of public funds.He said with regard to Capital Reserve Funds, at least yearly the Governing Body of the Town (the Selectmen) shall review and adopt an investment fund.He also included information regarding the Trustees of the Trust Funds which stated that the Trustees shall formally adopt an investment policy for all investments made by them or their agents and shall be reviewed at least annually.

Mr. Pitts informed that references to the Governing Body were the Selectmen, and Legislative Body was Town meeting.

 

Mr. Lynde, after reviewing the RSA, believed that the investment policy for the Trust Funds would have to be consistent with the investment policy in accordance with RSA 35:9.Mr. Pitts said legal may have to review, but believed that the Trustees would have to follow the investment policy for Capital Reserve Funds.†† Mr. Lynde said his point was that a similar policy to the Treasurer should be implemented for the Trustees.

 

Ms. Casey believed that the Trustees needed to form their own investment policy.Mr. Lynde agreed but also felt that the policy should be run by the Selectmen.Ms. Casey disagreed and said the policies should be consistent, not exact.Mr. Lynde felt that under 35:9 (Capital Reserve Funds) as a minimum the Capital Reserve Funds policy should be reviewed by the Selectmen.Ms. Casey said there was no question with RSA 35:9, but believed there was still a question regarding trust funds.Mr. Lynde agreed there was a question regarding trust funds.

 

Mr. McDevitt believed that the RSAís were clear that the Selectmen review and adopt a policy for Capital Reserve Funds, but for Trust Funds, the Trustees of the Trust Fund were required to adopt a policy on their own.Ms. Casey said a copy of 35:9 should be sent to the Trustees and ask that when the Trustees have adopted a policy the Selectmen could review and ensure that it was consistent with the Treasurerís policy.

 

MOTION:†††††††††† (McDevitt/Lynde) To adopt the 01-02 investment policy.

 

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

 

Mr. Lynde suggested that the Selectmen arrange an appointment with the Town Treasurer before June 30, 2001 to review the policy.

 

Ms. Casey asked if anyone objected to sending a letter to the Trustees of the Trust Funds indicated copies of RSA 31:25 and 35:9.No one objected.Mr. Pitts said he would show the Selectmen a draft at the next meeting to be presented as an amendment.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Discussion of House Bill 429, Binding Arbitration

 

Mr. Lynde informed that the Bill passed the House Thursday with a vote of 192 - 111 and would now go to the Senate.He suggested drafting a letter to be given to Senator Klemm.

 

Mr. Pitts gave a brief explanation of the Bill.He said that if the Town was in negotiation with a union and an impasse was reached, and mediation didnít produce an agreement, it would then go to Fact Finding.He said from that point, once the negotiating teams reviewed the recommendations given by the Fact Finder and if either of the parties rejected the recommendations, the findings and recommendations would go before the full membership of the union then to the Selectmen.He said the Selectmen and the union would vote to accept or reject, and if rejected by the Selectmen, the findings and recommendations would then go before Town Meeting.He wasnít clear of the next step if the union rejected the recommendations.†† Mr. Pitts said the House had voted to have the parties accept the findings and recommendations of the Fact Finder, period.He said there would no longer be any issues submitted to the Selectmen, all issues, after the Fact Finder,would go before Town Meeting.

 

Mr. Lynde recommended that Mr. Pitts draft a letter to be given to Senator Klemm.The Selectmen agreed.Mr. Pitts wanted to make it clear that locally the relationship with the union was harmonious.

 

Consideration of resignation

 

Ms. Casey informed that Police Officer James Messinus handed in his resignation effective April 19, 2001.She said he had accepted the position of Chief of Police for the town of Madison.She said he had served in Pelham for ten years and wished him the best with his new Police Department and community.

 

MOTION:†††††††††† (McDevitt/Lynde) To accept Officer James Messinusí resignation.

 

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

 

Salary review

 

Ms. Casey read a list of final salaries of the non-union Town employees which would be retroactive April 1, 2001.

 

Unsealing of Minutes from March 26, 1996

 

Mr. Pitts said that Town Counsel requested that the section pertaining to the Pennelli tax abatement from the March 26, 1996 non-public session minutes be unsealed.

 

MOTION:†††††††††† (McDevitt/Lynde) To unseal only the section of the non-public session minutes of

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† March 26, 1996 which pertain to the Pennelli tax abatement case.

 

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

 

TOWN ADMINISTRATORíS REPORT/SELECTMENíS REPORT

 

Mr. Pitts informed that Pelham Terrace has requested a letter of support to expand the elderly housing units to 48.He said it would require a variance when it appeared before the Planning Board.Mr. McDevitt would like to review a copy of the request.Ms. Casey also requested additional information.

 

Mr. Lynde said at the time the original housing units were approved, he believed there were commitments made to the abutters whom had a lot of concerns.

 

Mr. Pitts recommended that if they wanted a letter of support, they should meet with the Selectmen.

 

Mr. Pitts said that General Code Publishing had been in to obtain copies of Town Reports from 1986 to the present so they could create a new book.He said they had all the information they needed for a firm proposal for update of a new code book including web access.

 

Mr. Lynde asked if it had gone out to bid.Mr. Pitts informed that their cost would be most effective because they had all the information from the last time they did the Town book.

 

Mr. Bergeron said there would be a Cemetery meeting at 7pm April 11, 2001.He also informed that the compactor and conveyor were being delivered April 9 & 10, 2001 to the Solid Waste Facility.He said the two 75-yard containers would be delivered April 16, 2001.He said that prior to the last Board of Adjustment meeting he met with the members and informed that he would not be attending, but would watch the meetings and tape them. He gave a brief description of what occurred at the meeting which included a discussion with the Planning Director, Mr. Clay Mitchell.He said the Simplex case was discussed and Mr. Mitchell would be revising the five criteria for hardship in accordance with the Simplex decision.He said Mr. Mitchell would also be revising the voting slips so that each criteria would be voted upon then an overall vote would be listed on the slip to either approve or disapprove the case.He went on to explain the other topics discussed by Mr. Mitchell.†† Mr. Bergeron ended by saying the Board requested the continuation of the advertisement for alternates, since currently they only had one.

 

Mr. Lynde informed that the Planning Board went on a site walk Saturday to a recently submitted proposed subdivision on Benoit Avenue.He felt it would be difficult and went on to explain the difficulty with the land.

 

Mr. McDevitt said he had attended the Seniors meeting which they discussed the possible creation of a replica of the Boston Post Cane so the original would not accidentally disappear.He said they also discussed the handicap ramp, which was unusable for a period of time this year due to ice.He informed that they now own the bus.He said that Tennessee Gas had sent a letter relative to Route 128 and felt the Selectmen should have a brief discussion regarding traffic at the next meeting.He then discussed the Route 38 resurfacing project and asked to make it an agenda item so there could be a discussion regarding resurfacing Route 38 north of Main Street.He ended by saying he attended the League of Women Voters follow up meeting which they discussed the community profile.

 

Ms. Casey said she would be attending the April 12, 2001 Master Plan meeting.She also reminded residents to get rid of areas of stagnant water (such as pails, tires) to help alleviate breeding grounds for insects possibly carrying West Nile Virus.She ended by saying that she informed DES that the alpha scans were now on the water test.She asked that the Planning Department track the water tests results so if there were a problem area, DES would have complete water information.

 

REQUEST FOR NON-PUBLIC SESSION

 

MOTION:†††††††††† (McDevitt/Lynde) Request for a non-public session per RSA 91-A:3,II,a (personnel).

 

ROLL CALL:†††† Ms. Casey-Yes; Mr. McDevitt-Yes; Mr. Bergeron-Yes; Mr. Lynde-Yes

 

Ms. Casey noted that when the Board returned, after the non-public session, the Board would not take any other action publicly, except to seal the minutes of the non-public session and to adjourn the meeting.The Board entered into a non-public session at approximately 9:00 pm.Also present was Mr. Pitts.

 

The Board returned to public session.

 

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 approximately†††††††† pm.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Respectfully submitted,

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Charity A. L. Willis

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Recording Secretary