APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING

MINUTES

September 23, 2003

APPROVED – September 30, 2003

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

PRESENT:

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

Mr. Victor Danevich

 

Also present:

 

ABSENT:

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

 

None.

              

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

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

September 16, 2003

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) To approve the September 16, 2003 meeting minutes as written.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carried.

 

OPEN FORUM

 

Mr. Leo Doherty and Mr. John Scalia met with the Selectmen to discuss the status of the proposed work to be done on Honey Lane and Robin Road.  Mr. Doherty said the residents of the area were concerned what would happen if the Planning Board did not accept the list of proposed changes as outlined by Herbert Associates and the Town’s engineer.  Mr. Scalia said the main concern last year was plowing, but now felt let down because nothing has been done in quite some time.  He didn’t understand why there was no law protecting residents from developers who didn’t complete specified work.  Mr. Lynde said that the Town had worked out a plan which would address some of the issues; the remaining issues would need to be addressed by the homeowners on certain lots.  He said the next step was to bring the plan to the Planning Board.  He believed that both the developer’s engineer and the Town engineer had reviewed the plan.  He said the overall intent was to complete the final step and include the roads on the coming year’s ballot.  Mr. Gaydos said that the plan was scheduled for Planning Board review on October 6, 2003.  He said the idea was that the Town’s Engineer and Herbert Associates had come up with a definitive plan for Planning Board review that would address the original concerns and those that had come up along the way.  He went on to discuss the issue of plowing and said if the developer signed off, then the Town could plow the street, as was done last year.  Mr. Scalia wanted to know if the developer would be present at the Planning Board meeting.  Mr. Gaydos said that Herbert Associates was ‘carrying the ball’ and the next step would be to have the Planning Board approve the final list of improvements.  Mr. Doherty was concerned with the timeframe in which to have an approved plan.  Mr. Lynde felt confident that the Planning Board understood the need to complete the plans.     

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

Conservation Commission, Presentations:

 

Mr. Paul Gagnon noted that there were representatives from the Conservation Commission, Forestry Committee and the Open Space Committee present.  He said they were seeking the Selectmen’s support for a Warrant Article to be placed on the ballot which would request $3,000,000 bond to purchase open space in Town.

 

Ms. Digit Taylor of Center for Land Conservation Assistance presented a slide show that outlined research results of open space in communities.  She gave examples from towns that had studied their income and expense for different land uses.  In summary, Ms. Taylor said that the studies showed that growth and development general increased taxes, commercial and industrial development had high hidden costs, residential growth increased taxes, whereas open space stabilized taxes.  She explained what communities could do to preserve land and the funding available through various sources. 

 

Ms. Angela Rapp of Nashua Regional Planning Commission (‘NRPC’) handed out a draft of the build-out analysis of Pelham.  She went on to review the document and discuss the findings, which were based upon the numbers contained within the 2000 census.  She said the report identified the areas that were constrained for development (from DOT, GIS, US Fish & Wildlife, Pelham Assessing and Pelham Zoning).  She said based upon 1.5 acres per unit, there were 5370 acres of land in Town that were undeveloped, of which, 1499 acres were constrained.  She discussed rate of growth in the residential, commercial and industrial areas and what the potential year of build-out would be based upon the current growth rates.  Ms. Rapp also provided information of the fiscal impact of school age children (the numbers need to be checked with the School Board).  

 

Ms. Deborah Waters, Harley Road explained information contained in the New Hampshire Everlasting Program.  She noted that Pelham was comprised of 17,439 acres, of which 392 was water bodies and 3222 acres were wetlands, which left 3825 acres of high and dry land that were left undeveloped.  She said to achieve the desired 25% of protected land Pelham must keep the RCA zone, designate all Town owned forest as open space, protect the Girl Scout camp, and add an add ional 1000 acres of farm, forest, or conservation land.  She said the most conservative build-out date for Pelham was 2014, but using the slow-growth scenario could extend the build-out date to 2025.  Ms. Waters said the next ten years were crucial to open space planning.  She asked the Selectmen to consider the proposed municipal bond for $3,000,000. 

 

Mr. Gagnon handed out copies of the proposed warrant article.  He said that one hundred signatures had been collected in support of the warrant article.  There were still steps to be followed for a petition to be officially submitted. 

 

The Selectmen discussed the information submitted.  Mr. Bergeron said he had a hard time accepting the information that said business and industry would cost the Town and said he would be interested in reviewing additional information.  Mr. Lynde said that he had compiled information regarding land use that he would provide to Mr. Bergeron.  Mr. Danevich reviewed the information provided questioned how a lot could be designated as buildable, and also conservation.  Ms. Rapp explained that the increments could be between 1 and 25 lots, and on the particular lots Mr. Danevich questioned had no current protection.  Mr. Gagnon pointed out that the bond for $3,000,000 did not grant license for land to be purchased.  The Selectmen would still have to approve every piece of property. 

 

Mr. Danevich asked if there were any guidelines or criteria set for how the money would be spent.  Mr. Gagnon said RSA 36a outlined that the money could only be taken from the current use tax.  Mr. Bob Yarmo, Chairman Conservation Commission said that as part of the Natural Resources Inventory they were developing how land was prioritized.  He said the policy would be in place before coming to the Selectmen.  Mr. Danevich suggested having a draft before ballot season.  Mr. Lynde noted that the Selectmen had the final authority in how the money would be spent.  Mr. McDevitt agreed that at minimum, criteria should be drafted for the warrant article.  He suggested as part of public awareness/education, the focus should be on developable space, not just open space.  Mr. Derby agreed that information should be included to help voters base their decision.  There was a brief discussion regarding the need for guidelines so that continuity would be maintained when land is purchased.  Mr. Gagnon discussed the process taken for the purchase of the Picard property.  Mr. Lynde noted that warrant articles would be reviewed by the Budget Committee on December 4, 2003.   

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Spring Street Ext., Bids and Total Costs

 

Mr. Lynde provided a brief history of the issue with Spring Street Extension.  He said the Town, through a warrant article, had appropriated $200,000 for the reconstruction of Spring Street; the lowest bid that came in was $212,000 (not including engineering).  Mr. Gaydos said the Highway Road Agent felt that all the improvements needed for the Town portion of the road were directly related to the construction of Spring Street Extension and should be included in the project.  Mr. Lynde said the options were to: 1) not do the work and go back to Town meeting, or 2) do the work this year and somehow come up with the balance.  Mr. Gaydos said the bidders felt the time period to complete the work was small and if the bid went out during a different part of the year it could be scheduled better and possibly bid lower.  The window for completing the work was quickly closing since most of the contractors had other work.  Mr. Lynde asked if a different bid would be received if the work was scheduled for the spring.  Mr. Gaydos said that was the assumption based on his conversations with bidders. 

 

The Selectmen discussed what should be done at this point.  Mr. McDevitt read a portion of RSA 231:28, that referenced betterment assessments.  The Selectmen continued their discussion and it was agreed that the course of action to be taken would be to re-bid the work with a construction start in the spring (bidders could submit a reasonable completion schedule); draft a warrant article to request the maximum additional cost, and holding a public hearing with the abutter before the warrant article was voted at Town Meeting.   

 

Mr. Ergendino Perrone, Little Island Pond, said on October 24, 2000 the work could have been performed for $80,000; the cost then rose to $161,200 to cover additional costs; now the cost was at $200,000 and the public hearing has not yet been held.  He said the road was at a point that the Highway Road Agent had been out four times this year to patch it.  Mr. Perrone discussed the history of the road and his frustration that the work was taking so long to complete and the continual rising cost.  Mr. Lynde explained that the first time the bid package went out was this year.  He said the amounts discussed prior were bids.  Mr. Gaydos explained that the original estimate of $80,000 had been reviewed by the Town’s Engineer (CLD)  and rose higher when possible impacts were discussed.  He said everyone thought the estimate would come in less than $200,000, but unfortunately the bid came in over the amount. 

 

It was noted that a public hearing would be scheduled.  Mr. Lynde asked that a public hearing be set for Andover, Gaston, Campbell and Methuen Roads. 

 

* Additional New Business item discussed below.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Budgets

 

Police - Mr. Gaydos said clarification was needed to ensure that the police cruisers were included in the budget as the Selectmen had previously discussed.  Police Chief Evan Haglund provided backup for the additional amount shown under the line item for New Equipment; the new bottom line amount was amended to read $1,712,929.

 

MOTION:

(Derby/McDevitt) To reconsider the Police Department budget.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

MOTION:

(Derby/McDevitt) To include the police cruisers in the budget so that the New Equipment line shall read $77,069 which amends the bottom line figure to $1,712,929.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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Treasurer - As of January 1, 2004 Sovereign Bank will take over First Essex Bank.  There was an agreement with First Essex Bank to waive certain fees that will not carry over to Sovereign Bank, which will therefore need to be appropriated.  In the event an agreement is made, the budget could be reconsidered. 

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To reconsider the Treasurer’s budget.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To amend the Treasurer’s budget and increase the Expense Line Item so that the bottom line would now read $16,900. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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Elections - Mr. Gaydos said that considerable discussion had taken place regarding purchasing new election booths.  He said with the requested $6500 a minimum of forty booths could be replaced.  He went on to discuss the need for the new booths since some of them were of considerable age.

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Danevich) To reconsider the Election budget.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Danevich) To increase the Expense Line Item so that the bottom line would now read $22,750

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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Health Services - Mr. Gaydos said requests/information had not yet been received from all those listed; he asked the accounting office to list those who the Town had made contributions to in the past.  He asked that the Salvation Army be added (in the amount of $500) since they provided assistance to residents in Town.    

 

MOTION:

(Derby/McDevitt) To add $500 for the Salvation Army.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/Bergeron) To approve $43,420 as the Health Services budget

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

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Planning Department - Mr. Gaydos said that the Planning Director’s salary was inaccurate and should be actually be $60,000. 

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To reconsider the Planning Department budget.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/McDevitt) To increase the Salary Line Item so that the bottom line would now read $184,145.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

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REQUEST FOR NON-PUBLIC SESSION

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Danevich) Request for a non-public session per RSA 91-A:3,II, a (Personnel)

 

ROLL CALL:

 

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

 

Mr. Lynde noted that when the Board returned, after the non-public session, the Board would take further action by acting on the results of the interview.  The Board entered into a non-public session at approximately 9:15 pm.  Also present was Mr. Gaydos and Police Chief Evan Haglund and Police Lieutenant Joseph Roark.

 

The Board returned to public session at approximately 9:25 pm.

 

Mr. Lynde asked Mr. McDevitt to take over as Chairman so he could make the following motion:

 

MOTION:

(Lynde/Bergeron) To hire Ms. Adrienne Grace Davenport as a full-time dispatcher for the Town, effective September 24, 2003, at the designated step in the union contract for the position. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Lynde resumed his position as Chairman.

 

Police Chief Haglund said the Police Department was having difficulty attracting part-time dispatchers based on the hours of work and the present rate of $9.82 per hour.  He asked that the rate approved for next year be implemented now since they were presently accepting applications for part-time dispatchers.  Mr. Lynde noted that the rate had already been approved for next year’s budget and if the position was not filled, Police Officers would have to fill in at their rate of pay, which was considerably higher than $12.82. 

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Bergeron) To implement the new wage figure of $12.82 for part-time dispatchers to be effective September 24, 2003. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Derby said he had received calls regarding cars being sold.  He noted that a vehicle for sale had been placed in the travel lane on Flagstone Circle and wanted to bring it to the Police Department’s attention.  After a brief discussion, Mr. Lynde said if a vehicle was parked illegally, it would be a code enforcement issue. 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Adelphia Contract

 

Mr. Lynde informed that Mr. Jim Greenwood had met with the attorneys for the Town and Adelphia and hammered out an agreement.  The final agreement would be reviewed by CTAC and then submitted to the Selectmen for signature.  Comments are to be forwarded as soon as possible.  Mr. Lynde said that the Selectmen needed to decide whether a seven (7) year, or ten (10) year contract was preferred.  The Selectmen discussed the contract length and agreed that the term should be seven (7) years. 

 

Municipal Building sign

 

Mr. Bergeron asked if there were any plans to add a sign at the Municipal Center listing what was located on the property.  After a brief discussion, Mr. Bergeron volunteered to research possibilities and bring the information back to the Selectmen. 

 

TOWN ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT/SELECTMEN’S REPORTS

 

Mr. Gaydos said that there had been certain groups who had approached him and asked if they could take residence in the unfinished section of the Municipal Building.  He said he had indicated that due to code issues, people would not be able to use the area as workable office space.  However, he had received a request from the Conservation Commission to use the space for sorting their files.  He said when they were finished, they would vacate the area.  The Selectmen had no problem with the Conservation Commission using the area for sorting their files as long as it was clear that there would be no data lines, telephones, furniture, expenses, carpeting etc.  There was a discussion regarding the current condition of the unfinished section of the Municipal Building and the possibility of allowing the vacant space to be used.  The Selectmen decided to entertain requests to use the vacant space.

 

Mr. Danevich said that Fire Chief Fisher had submitted a list of roads that would need to have a public hearing scheduled.  An agenda item would be set for the October 7, 2003 meeting.  Mr. McDevitt pointed out that several roads were designated as ‘new’ that had not been approved by the Selectmen.  A few of the road names listed appeared to conflict with the guidelines set by the Selectmen.  The Selectmen were upset that the street names were not being submitted for approval; it was apparent that the system set up for street naming was not working.  It was decided to have the Fire Chief meet with the Selectmen to clarify the street naming process. 

 

Mr. Bergeron provided a brief summary of what was discussed at the round table meeting he attended.  He said Commissioner Carol Murray of the Department of Transportation provided information regarding the state’s ten (10) year plan.  After the meeting Mr. Bergeron and Mr. Leo Thiebault set a meeting for September 19, 2003 to discuss projects in the Town related to the ten (10) year plan.  He said the meeting went well and the Town center was discussed.  Ms. Murray said she would come to Pelham October 3, 2003 to review the Town center, but wanted to review what studies had been done.  The Selectmen did not object to Mr. Bergeron forwarding the reports done in connection to the Town center.  Mr. Bergeron invited the Selectmen to attend the meeting on October 3rd, he noted who else would be invited to attend.  He then reviewed what was discussed between a meeting of the Commissioners in which the ten (10) year plan was discussed. 

 

Mr. McDevitt said that the Garden Club would be doing preliminary work on the common for Christmas lights and wanted to make sure that it would be alright.  The Selectmen didn’t have a problem with Mr. McDevitt’s request.  Mr. McDevitt asked if the Fire Chief had submitted a report with the statistics for the number of fire and ambulance calls.  Mr. Gaydos said a report had not yet been received.  Mr. McDevitt asked what the total number of employees was that had insurance and the amount that each had contributed to insurance.  Mr. Gaydos said he had the figures and would e-mail to the Board members. 

 

Mr. Derby informed that the Budget Committee had begun their budget review process.

 

Mr. Lynde said that the Planning Board had made a tentative choice for an engineering company and was in the process of following up.  He asked that an estimate for the work to be done on Gaston, Andover, Campbell and Methuen be provided so a public hearing could be scheduled. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/Bergeron) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:20pm.

                                                                                          Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                          Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                          Recording Secretary