APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING

MINUTES

August 12, 2003

APPROVED – August 26, 2003

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

PRESENT:

Mr. Harold Lynde, Mr. William McDevitt, Mr. Richard Derby, Mr. Jean-Guy Bergeron, Mr. Victor Danevich

 

Also present:

 

ABSENT:

Mr. Tom Gaydos, Town Administrator, members of the press and general public.

 

None.

              

The Chairman, Hal Lynde opened the meeting at approximately 6:30 pm. 

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

July 8, 2003

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) To approve the July 8, 2003 minutes as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 0 - 1) The motion carries.  Mr. Danevich abstained.

 

The amendments to the minutes were as follows: page 1 - the word would was added to “..Mr. Lamarre would use for container trucks”; page 4 - the word of was added to “...issue regarding the sale of parts”; page 5 - the word researching was amended to researched “application was still being researched”; page 5 - the duplicated words “and the next meeting was” shall be deleted from Mr. Bergeron’s report.

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July 15, 2003

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) To approve the July 15, 2003 minutes as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

The amendments to the minutes were as follows: page 2 - The motion to hire James M. Johnson was made by Mr. Lynde and seconded by Mr. Danevich; page 2 - the word that was removed “suggested a double-wide gate”.

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July 29, 2003

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) To approve the July 29, 2003 minutes as amended.

 

VOTE:

 

(3 - 0 - 2) The motion carries.  Mr. Lynde and Mr. McDevitt abstained.

 

The amendment to the minutes was as follows: page 2 - the following sentence was changed from “She said she owned three businesses on the street” to now read “She said there were three businesses on the street”.

 

OPEN FORUM

 

None.

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

Alice Cloutier - Restricting width of Plower Road

 

Alice and Lee Cloutier met with the Board to discuss the width of Plower Road.  They had attended the August 5th Selectmen meeting to voice their concern regarding their street being widened.  An agenda item was placed so that residents, the Fire Chief, the Police Chief and the Highway Road Agent would have the opportunity to voice their opinion.  Mr. Lynde said that the road was due to be widened from 16ft. to 22ft., which was a concern of Mr. & Mrs. Cloutier.

 

Ms. Cloutier expressed her concern, and the concern of her neighbors regarding the widening of Plower Road.  She said the residents liked the current atmosphere of the road and were excited to have the road condition upgraded.  She said one concern was if the road was widened, vehicles would travel faster than they currently did.  She said Plower Road was not a throughway to any other area.  Ms. Cloutier was hopeful that 22ft was not necessary for the width.  She wanted to know if narrowing the paved road and adding wide shoulders would alleviate the safety concerns of the Fire Chief, Police and Highway Road Agent. 

 

Highway Road Agent, Don Foss, said when a road was reconstructed it was preferred to have a 24ft width.  He said work was performed within the Town right-of-way.  He also said in certain circumstances, such as going through wetlands, road width has been reduced to 22ft.  He said whatever width was decided upon, he would do and noted that the Safety Committee had recommended 22ft.  There was a brief discussion regarding the width of other roads in Town.  Mr. Derby felt if the road width were reduced to 16ft it would open ‘a can of worms’. 

 

Fire Chief David Fisher noted that Dracut, MA had recently widened their road widths to 30ft. due to a recently purchased ladder truck.  He said the Fire Department could adapt, but noted that the trucks were 9ft. in width and would need room to pass each other.  He discussed the addition of soft shoulders, and said they would not suffice due to the weight (18 tons) of the emergency vehicles.  He said the main reason the Fire Department wanted a 22ft. wide road was so that two fire trucks could pass each other. 

 

Police Chief Evan Haglund, said that the Safety Committee had already compromised by reducing some of the road widths to 22ft.  He didn’t believe that this road would have a high volume of traffic, but would like to see a minimum standard maintained.  There was a discussion regarding the current road condition of Plower Road and if traffic would speed were the road to be paved as it currently was.  Police Chief Haglund said that some of the dips and valleys would need to be ‘knocked out’ to make the road safer.  He felt there would be more of a safety concern if the road were paved as it currently was.  He supported a road width of 22ft, with some work done on the roadway. 

 

Mr. Cloutier pointed out that Plower Road was an established road, not a new development.  He was concerned if established roads continued to be widened that traffic speed would increase throughout the Town.  He discussed what some residents were doing to calm traffic on roads that were 22ft. wide.  He said the proposed additional pavement would not help his community.

 

Mr. Jim Bergeron, Plower Road, provided a history of Plower Road and the surrounding streets.  He informed that it was a prescriptive right-of-way.  He recognized that Plower Road needed some work done due to ledge outcroppings and site problems.  He understood the road needed to be widened, but said possibly it did not need to be widened to 22ft.  Mr. Bergeron discussed the current safety conditions at the hairpin corner on the end of the road where vehicles were constantly crashing into the rocks.  He informed the Selectmen that he had measured some of the roads in the area, most of which were 19ft. or 20ft. wide, none of which were 22ft. wide.  He didn’t know what the width of the Town’s right-of-way, but said it was basically the space between the stone walls.  Mr. Bergeron ended by asking for a compromise that would satisfy the residents, the Fire Chief and the Police Chief and asked that the Selectmen. 

 

Mr. Danevich informed that the Town’s current regulations called for 24ft. pavement with a 50ft. right-of-way.  He noted that the Fire Chief and Police Chief requested a 22ft. of roadway.  He said there were only four roads that the Planning Board had  reduced the road width to 20ft and 22ft (through a vote of 4 - 0 – 1 with him as the descending vote since he didn’t feel there were justifiable reasons to reduce below the regulations).  He discussed the circumstances in which the road widths had been reduced.  It was noted that there was a legal issue regarding a road width that may create a problem if Plower Road were narrower. 

 

Mr. Bergeron asked Mr. Foss if the old road would be removed.  Mr. Foss said that the old road would be ground up and used as the base coat.  Mr. Bergeron asked if the width of the ledge/stone went beyond the 22ft.  Mr. Foss did not know. 

 

The Selectmen discussed the situation and how to proceed.  Mr. McDevitt made a motion to direct the Highway Department to complete the road to a width of 20ft.  Mr. Bergeron seconded the motion. 

 

Mr. Danevich noted that the Safety Committee had recommended a paved road width 22ft. 

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Bergeron) To direct the Highway Department to complete a road to a width of 20ft.

 

VOTE:

 

(4 - 1 - 0) The motion carries.  Mr. Danevich voted no. 

 

Mr. Lynde discussed the difficulty the Selectmen had making the decision. 

 

Shirley Wakefield - Interview for Conservation Commissioner

 

Ms. Shirley Wakefield met with the Selectmen to discuss her possible appointment as a Conservation Commissioner.  She said that her recent involvement with the land problems at South Shore Drive made her become personally involved and want to protect the environment.  She believed the best way would be to become involved with the Conservation Commission.  She felt that the Conservation Commission Chairperson needed help.  Ms. Wakefield felt communication and outreach to the residents would help them understand the environment issues of the Town.  She also felt that holding children’s workshops could better educate young people. 

 

Mr. Danevich said that he had come to know Ms. Wakefield through Planning Board meetings and felt that she would be a valuable member of the Conservation Commission.  He supported her appointment. 

 

Mr. McDevitt asked Ms. Wakefield if she had any personal matter that would be brought before the Conservation Commission.  Ms. Wakefield answered no, with the exception of the on-going matter already known. 

 

* see motion below for appointment to commission.

 

Deborah Scott - Interview for Conservation Commissioner

 

Ms. Deborah Scott met with the Selectmen to discuss her possible appointment as a Conservation Commissioner.  She said she always had an interest in the environment, natural resources and wildlife and therefore wanted to have an active role in the community.  She felt that growth control would better protect the natural resources.  She said because she had a technical (mechanical engineering) background she was able to review issues and come to appropriate solutions.  Ms. Scott said her goals would be to work with the new development in Town conserving natural resources.  She also would like to help promote activities to help educate adults and children in ways to practice conservation.

 

Mr. McDevitt asked Ms. Scott if she had any personal matter that would be brought before the Conservation Commission.  Ms. Scott answered no. 

 

*see motion below for appointment to commission. 

 

Paul R. Gagnon - Interview for Conservation Commissioner

 

Mr. Paul R. Gagnon met with the Selectmen to discuss his possible appointment as a Conservation Commissioner.  He said that since his retirement he had more time to contribute and become active in the community.  He discussed his involvement in recent land preservation activities.  He said he would like to contribute more of his time to the Conservation Commission.  Mr. Gagnon said the goal was to have the Selectmen support a warrant article for a bond that would protect property in the Town, like many New Hampshire towns had done.  He ended by saying that he owned one acre of land, which would not be a conflict of his appointment now, or in the future. 

 

Mr. Danevich said that he was familiar with Mr. Gagnon through Planning Board meetings as well as because of his work putting together a warrant article in the previous year for the protection of land.   

 

*see motion below for appointment to commission.

 

Eleanor Burton - Interview for Sherburne Hall Committee Member

Ms. Eleanor Burton met with the Selectmen to discuss her possible appointment onto the Sherburne Hall Committee.  She felt she would be an asset due to her knowledge of the building and the Town’s history.

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Danevich) To appoint Ms. Deborah Scott to a two-year term as a Conservation Commissioner effective as of April 1, 2003; To appoint Mr. Paul R. Gagnon to a three-year term as a Conservation Commissioner effective as of April 1, 2003; To appoint Ms. Deborah Wakefield to a three-year alternate position on the Conservation Commission effective as of April 1, 2003.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Bergeron) To appoint Ms. Eleanor Burton as a member of the Sherburne Hall Committee.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

CIP Committee, William Scanzani  - postponed.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Municipal Building:

 

Dedication of the 16th - Mr. McDevitt informed that the Municipal Building dedication would be held August 16, 2003 at 10:00am.  He said there would be food after the ceremony and tours until 1pm. 

 

Foundation Fence - Mr. McDevitt said that the Highway Department did a bulk of the work and thanked them for their hard work. 

 

Furniture - Mr. Gaydos said he was in the process of purchasing furniture.  He said stacking furniture was being reviewed for Sherburne Hall; two sample stacking chairs were available for the Selectmen to view.  Mr. Gaydos said that he had reserved two hundred of each style so that a decision could be made.  Mr. McDevitt discussed the fact that risers had been discussed for Sherburne Hall and questioned if stackable chairs would work with them.  Mr. Gaydos discussed the challenges with finding adequate quantity of chairs.  Mr. Bergeron asked how the price of used chairs compared to new.  Mr. Gaydos said two hundred new chairs could cost approximately $21,000 - $22,000 versus $14,000 for two hundred used chairs.  The Selectmen discussed the chairs and Mr. Gaydos pointed out that if the chairs were purchased they could later be used in other areas if desired.  The Selectmen preferred the chair without arm rails.  It was decided to leave the decision regarding the chairs up to the Sherburne Hall Committee. 

 

Adelphia Franchise Agreement

 

Mr. Gaydos informed that the Adelphia franchise agreement had been returned with Adelphia’s signature.   

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Acceptance of Property

 

Mr. Gaydos said a letter had been included in the Selectmen’s package regarding Gaudet Lane.  He said Mr. Gaudet had asked what the process was for property being deeded to the Town.  Mr. Gaydos said that the Planning Department had researched the application and informed that the Planning Board had approved the subdivision on January 14, 2002.  The parcel of land to be deeded to the Town was ML 8-22-9 (13.24 acres).  Mr. Gaydos said once the parcel of land was accepted, he would prepare a deed for Mr. Gaudet. 

 

Mr. Bergeron asked if a public hearing was necessary to accept the land.  Mr. Lynde said the land was not considered a gift, but was considered part of a Planning Board approval. 

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Bergeron) To accept the deed to the Town of Pelham of Map 8 Lot 22-9, as approved by the Planning Board. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Agenda for Budget Review

 

Mr. Gaydos suggested that the Selectmen meet on Tuesday and Wednesday for the next four weeks to focus on budgetary matters.  Mr. Lynde asked what would be presented to the Selectmen.  Mr. Gaydos said complete packages would be presented.  Mr. McDevitt said he wanted to see any proposed warrant articles with the budget.  Mr. Lynde asked that Mr. Gaydos compile a budget schedule for the Selectmen to review.

 

Town Hall building use

 

Mr. Bergeron suggested when the Town Hall was vacated, that the building be cleaned and place a sign for rent, or lease to see who would apply.  He said it would be one way to find out the building’s potential uses.   Mr. Lynde said that no guidelines had been set yet for a lease situation.  He said the building was not zoned for business and a decision still hasn’t been made.  The Selectmen discussed the fate of Town Hall.  It was noted that the septic system was not located on the property and parking may be a constraint.  It was noted that guidelines should be set, and Town approval would be needed to enter into a lease agreement for over one year.  Mr. Gaydos suggested that the Planning Director review the planning regulations to find out what use would fit the building.  He noted that he had researched septic systems and found one and made arrangements to have it pumped.  It was suggested that the Municipal Building Committee review alternative uses for the Town Hall building.  Mr. McDevitt said he would ask the committee if they would consider reviewing uses, but asked that it wait until September.  Mr. Lynde said that the Selectmen were soliciting comments and suggestions regarding uses for the Town Hall building.  Mr. McDevitt suggested asking three, or four people to step forward and review alternatives and potential uses.  The Selectmen agreed with Mr. McDevitt’s suggestion. 

 

Skateboarding at Municipal Building

 

Mr. McDevitt said that the regulations should be reviewed with regard to skateboarding because currently the regulations have no ‘teeth’.  Mr. Gaydos said he had spoken with Lieutenant Roark regarding amending the regulation wording.  He said a public hearing would need to be posted.

 

The Selectmen moved into a discussion regarding the code book that was not complete.  Mr. McDevitt and Mr. Lynde were continuing their review and had identified certain issues that should be addressed by Town meeting.   

 

TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT/SELECTMEN’S  REPORTS

 

Mr. Gaydos said with the Board’s permission he would advertise for the removal of the Police Department trailers.  He said in the specifications it would be noted what the property would look like when the trailers were removed.  He said he wanted to ensure that all the electrical was disconnected properly.  Mr. Gaydos said he would be meeting with the President of Breadloaf.  He said approximately $420,000 was still being held and as the punch list is narrowed down, funds will be released.

 

Mr. Danevich said that the Fire Department would be conducting a training burn on Sunday, August 17th on Willow Street, and at some time the traffic may be redirected.  He said that the Board of Adjustment met, there were no big issues.  He said the members of the Board of Adjustment would meet with Town Counsel next Tuesday for a legal update.  Mr. Danevich asked the Selectmen to sign-off on an invoice for the expenses (which had been approved for up to $1200) for the municipal network, which was installed and running.  He informed that there had been recent fence damage at the parade field at Raymond Park.  Mr. Gaydos said a Police Report had been filed and was under investigation.  He said repair estimates were being collected.  He said in the Highway Department had erected barriers.  There was a brief discussion regarding setting up interviews for the Planning Director.  Mr. Danevich asked for an explanation of why the Selectmen had authorized $500 to be spent for a conservation study (he was not in attendance when the request was approved).  Mr. Lynde understood that there was an application before the DES concerning the location of a maintenance facility of trash hauling vehicles which was proposed to be built within 13ft from the edge of the prime wetlands.  He said the Conservation Commission Chairman had requested the authority to expend up to $500 so that he could provide expert testimony at the DES hearing.  Mr. Danevich said the case had been before the Board of Adjustment and granted a variance.  He then reviewed some of the history with the parcel.  He said he was perplexed why $500 would be spent when the Planning Director’s testimony was granting the variance was the preferred solution, the Board of Adjustment granted the variance and the appeal dates had expired.  He questioned the purpose of the report and the outcome.  Mr. Lynde understood that the variance was granted with the condition that the applicant receive DES approval.  He said the Conservation Commission Chairman felt he had to make a case to protect the wetland.  Mr. Danevich objected to the study and felt it was a waste of money.  He requested that agenda items be added when there are discussions involving expending money.  Mr. Lynde said he was troubled by the fact that the item was not on the agenda and apologized.  Mr. Derby said he was also upset that the request came in six months after-the-fact.  Mr. Danevich said he was willing to make a motion to reconsider the Selectmen’s vote.  Mr. Gaydos said he still had yet to verify the specific amount with the company performing the study.  Mr. Lynde said he would not honor Mr. Danevich’s request.  Mr. Bergeron said his understanding was that the Conservation Commission Chairman wanted a knowledgeable person at the hearing to discuss the WCD buffer.  Mr. Danevich believed that the decision was made without all the information being presented.   

 

Mr. Derby said that the Highway Department was going to be working on Plower Road.  He then informed that the budgets were going to be reviewed. 

 

Mr. McDevitt thanked the Highway Department for their willingness to help with the fence at the Municipal Center. 

 

Mr. Bergeron informed that House Bill 361 (Regional Water Bill) would be signed publicly by Governor Benson.  He said the next Regional Water District Charter meeting would be held Thursday evening. 

 

Mr. Lynde reminded the public that Old Home Day would be September 6, 2003. 

 

Mr. Gaydos informed that all the work had been completed on Spring Street and an advertisement would be submitted for bids within the next week.  He said there would be one more public hearing to discuss how the costs would be divided.  Mr. Lynde asked the status of Andover Street, Gaston Road, Campbell Road and Methuen Street.  Mr. McDevitt said a public hearing would need to be held.  Mr. Lynde noted that a firm estimate of the costs would be needed.  Mr. Gaydos said one of the problems was that heavy vehicles had traveled the road and uncovered the problem with the road material. 

 

REQUEST FOR NON-PUBLIC SESSION

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) Request for a non-public session per RSA 91-A:3,II, b & c (Hiring of any person as an employee; Matters which, if discussed publicly, would affect adversely the reputation of any person

 

ROLL CALL:

 

Mr. Lynde-Yes; Mr. McDevitt-Yes; Mr. Bergeron-Yes; Mr. Derby-Yes; Mr. Danevich-Yes

 

Mr. Lynde 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 pm.  Also present was Mr. Gaydos.

 

The Board returned to public session at approximately 9:50 pm.

 

MOTION:

 

(Derby/Bergeron) To seal the minutes of the non-public session indefinitely.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:52 pm.

                                                                                          Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                          Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                          Recording Secretary