APPROVED

 

TOWN OF PELHAM

BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING

MINUTES

October 28, 2003

APPROVED – November 4, 2003

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

 

PRESENT:

Mr. Harold Lynde, Mr. William McDevitt, Mr. Jean-Guy Bergeron, Mr. Richard Derby, Mr. Victor Danevich, Town Administrator Tom Gaydos

 

Also present:

 

ABSENT:

Members of the press and general public.

 

None.

              

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

 

MINUTES REVIEW

 

October 7, 2003

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) To approve the October 7, 2003 meeting minutes as written.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carried.

 

OPEN FORUM

 

None.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT

 

Pelham Tax Rate

 

Mr. Lynde informed that the Pelham tax rate for 2004 would be $27.95 (an increase of $2.10); Town - $5.32, County - $2.09, School - $13.06, State School Tax - $7.48.

 

APPOINTMENTS

 

Raymond Park Contracts

 

Mr. William Hayes, said progress was being made regarding the junkyard encroachment to Raymond Park.  He said Park and Recreation was able to find funds to fence the area once the problem was solved; if the ground was frozen, operating budget money could be carried over to next year per RSA 32.7 (if a legally enforceable obligation was in place).  Mr. Gaydos said he had spoken with Mr. Hayes and noted that funds had already been set aside for the project.  Mr. Hayes said the project would probably cost $5396.

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Danevich) To approve the signing of the contract in the amount of $5396 to Lakeview Fence Company for the installation of a fence on Town owned property (a portion of Raymond Park). 

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Hayes then discussed two fields and a parking area that were currently under construction at Raymond Park.  He said during construction ledge was found, so the proposed layout had been altered (a copy of the layout was provided to the Selectmen).  He said test pits had been done in the proposed parking area and it was found that the material was good (and had value).  Mr. Hayes negotiated an agreement with JSI, which specified the changes that would occur, such as regarding the existing entrance, adding twenty-four parking spaces, combining two of areas to create parking and complete an entirely new field (40,000SF).  The work done by JSI will be in return for the material to be removed for the parking area.  The money saved will allow electricity to be brought to the area.  Mr. Hayes said the value to the Town would be approximately $36,000.  The work done would be at no cost to the taxpayers.  There was a brief discussion regarding where the Town’s property line was located.  It was noted that there was no value to the timber being removed from the area. 

 

Mr. Lynde questioned stumps being buried due to possible leaching.  Mr. Hayes didn’t believed there would be a problem with burying the stumps in the parking area side slopes.  He noted the same process stump burial process was done when field five was created.

 

Mr. Bergeron asked if removing excess materials was allowed.  Mr. Hayes cited RSA 165e, which enabled the Town to adopt earth excavation regulations; the Town would be exempt from its own ordinances.  He didn’t believe that the state would be involved, but said there may be a tax (in essence, the Town could bill itself and send itself a check).  Mr. Gaydos explained that a tax may be applicable if the Town was creating a parking lot for rental, but in this case, for Raymond Park, the Town would be exempt from paying a tax.    Mr. Bergeron wanted to ensure the Town didn’t overlook any requirements. 

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Danevich) To authorize the Chairman to sign the Capital Improvement Agreement #3 for Elmer G. Raymond Memorial Park.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Hayes ended by explaining that the loam could be screened at Raymond Park and placed in the area of the field, and would be spread in the spring.  The cost of the loam divided out to be $4.50 per cubic yard.     

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Danevich) To approve the Twin Field loam/screening agreement.  

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

The three agreements were signed and returned to Mr. Hayes. 

 

PUBLIC HEARING, Spring Street Extension

 

Mr. Lynde explained the situation.  He said that some residents of Spring Street Extension petitioned the Selectmen approximately two (2) years ago, requesting that the road be laid out as a Town road.  Public hearings were held, a Warrant Article for construction in the amount of $200,000 was approved at Town Meeting.  The engineering work was done; a bid request was sent out, however the lowest bid came in at $215,929.  Mr. Lynde said because of the time constraints, the bids were higher than anticipated.  The suggestion was to: 1) resubmit the bid request for the work to be done in the spring; 2) submit a Warrant Article to raise the additional money to ensure there would be adequate funds to complete the project.  He apologized to the residents.  Mr. Gaydos handed out a list of the affected residences and the cost determination/assessment share for each.  Mr. Lynde said a method had been decided upon in the past, where the residents on Spring Street Extension would be assessed at 100% of their assessed value, and those located on abutting properties that would access Spring Street Extension would be assessed at 70% of their assessed value.  (SEE ATTACHMENT “A” for breakdown of assessment cost for each parcel)

 

Mr. Gaydos explained the amounts listed on Attachment “A” and the calculations used to determine interest costs paid out over ten (10) years. 

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

Mr. Ergendino Perrone, Little Island Park, asked if the factor Mr. Gaydos used was the same as originally presented during the meeting in October, 2000.  Mr. Gaydos said some of the assessed values had changed, but believed the factor would be essentially the same. 

 

Mr. Bob Gleason, Little Island Park, asked where the bids were advertised because two of the abutters owned a construction company in Dracut, MA, who had been waiting for the bid request and didn’t see it.  Mr. Gaydos said the bids were advertised in The Construction Summary and three newspapers (but was unsure of which ones).  He went on to read the list of bidders and the amounts submitted.

 

Mr. Lynde asked when the bid package would be resubmitted for advertisement.  Mr. Gaydos said he would like to have the bids back by early December. 

 

Mr. Gleason asked if the money would be bonded, and if so what the interest rate would be.  Mr. Lynde said the money would be bonded and was hopeful that the interest rate would be 5% or lower.  The amount would be adjusted once the actual construction costs were determined. 

 

Mr. Perrone wanted to know, in the event a property was sold if the current owner would be liable for paying the full assessment at the time of the sale, or if the new owner would take over the assessment.  Mr. Gaydos said the new owner would take over the assessment.  Mr. Perrone asked if the residents would have the option of paying the costs ‘up front’ at the time of construction rather than paying over ten years.  Mr. Gaydos said the Selectmen would determine the payment.  Mr. Lynde believed the payment would be determined on the type of bond secured.  Mr. Perrone asked how the Town would bill the residents.  Mr. Gaydos believed that the payment would be a separate attachment to the owner’s tax bill, but would clarify with the Tax Collector. 

 

Mr. McDevitt suggested making a place-holder Warrant Article for Budget Committee review, which could be revised during reconsideration. 

 

Mr. Perrone asked if the residents would pay the actual construction costs, and if contingencies would be include.  Mr. Gaydos said the bid package addressed contingencies.  He went on to discuss the other associated costs (construction oversight, testing) which would also be included in the resident’s costs. 

 

Mr. Lynde said the Selectmen had committed to doing the project.  He said a warrant article would be drafted (and voted upon by the Selectmen) based upon the bids received for construction, which would cover the additional amount needed above the already approved $200,000.  There was a general agreement of the Selectmen to support the warrant article for the additional money.  It was noted that the bids may come in lower, and therefore eliminate the need for a warrant article.   

 

Pelham Community Theater, use of Sherburne Hall, Janet Daigle

 

Postponed.

 

(*for additional Appointment see below)

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Budgets

 

Transfer Station

MOTION:

(Derby/Danevich) To reconsider the Transfer Station budget.   

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Lynde said that Transfer Station Superintendent Bruce Mason indicated that his estimates for 2004 were lower than the projected growth and therefore requested reconsideration of the Transfer Station budget.  Mr. McDevitt said that the numbers had been underestimated for 2002 and 2003 and was running over-budget (based solely on tonnage).  He said there was an extenuating factor of an increase in hauls.  He said based upon projections, Mr. Mason felt that 3164 tons (172 hauls- $275 each; tipping fee of $65 per ton) would be adequate.  The bottom line would be increased by $37,310 (for tipping and hauling based upon additional tonnage). 

 

Mr. Bergeron suggested an annual review of costs to keep competition for lower rates.  Mr. Gaydos said that Mr. Mason was progressive in his approach to maintaining low rates, which had helped the Town in the past. 

 

Mr. McDevitt asked that the Selectmen move forward with the additional $37,310 for the Budget Committee to vote on Thursday (October 30th).  He suggested that Mr. Mason meet with the Selectmen in the future to discuss the issue.  He reviewed the proposed revisions.  

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Derby) To approve the amount of $523,002 as the revised budget for the Transfer Station. 

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Andover/Methuen/Gaston/Campbell Road discussion - engineering estimate

 

Mr. Lynde said the Selectmen received a petition last year to lay out Andover/Methuen/Gaston/Campbell Roads; a warrant article was submitted to the Budget Committee, but was not approved because there was no cost estimate.  He said a request was made for an engineering estimate, which came back as approximately $22,252.  Mr. Gaydos said he had asked for, and received an updated estimate from TFMoran of what the cost would be to do the work on the roads.  He said TFMoran had previously reviewed the parcel (without information from Methuen Road).  Mr. Gaydos said there was some question regarding the purpose for the improvements.  TFMoran reviewed the road and what would be attributable to the Town (26%), and what would be attributed to the residents (74%) - total cost of the project $631,550 (Town’s share $166,197 - private share $465,352) based upon what TFMoran felt needed to be done (cost averaged out by using similar projects such as Spring Street). 

 

Mr. Lynde asked if any construction was done when the Town accepted the 750ft. portion of Campbell Road.  Mr. McDevitt recalled that a number of residents contended that the portion of the road had always been Town owned.  Mr. Derby said that the Town brought the road up to Town specification in 1998.  Mr. McDevitt asked if work was required for the Town owned portion.  Mr. Gaydos said his understanding was the road had some damage, and would request clarification of what work needed to be done. 

 

Mr. Lynde said a public hearing should be scheduled and the petitioners should be sent a notification of such.  Mr. Gaydos will schedule a public hearing for November 18, 2003.   

 

APPOINTMENT

 

Open Space

 

Mr. Paul Gagnon, Alicia Hennessey, Ms. Debra Waters met with the Selectmen to provide additional information regarding the advantages to preserving open space in Town (a follow up to a presentation a month ago in connection with a $3,000,000 warrant article request). 

 

Ms. Waters provided a summary of the Town’s build-out analysis which included a map that highlighted the target parcels not yet developed.  There are approximately two thousand lots (excluding the Girl Scout lot) that could still be developed; build out will occur in approximately fifteen years.  Ms. Waters gave the Selectmen a portion of the Town’s Master Plan that summarized the goal for natural resources protection.  Mr. McDevitt said that some residents had questioned if the $3 million dollars would be spent to protect wetland areas, which under the current regulations could not be developed.  Ms. Waters said that the developable parcels within the protection areas were candidates for preservation, not specifically wetland areas. 

 

Ms. Hennessey handed out and reviewed a feasibility checklist of selection criteria (disqualification checklist for parcels) that could be used when determining if a parcel would qualify for protection.  She noted that The Eagle Tribune contained an article regarding Salem, NH requesting a $5 million dollar bond to preserve open space.  She said that Town’s were buying open space to keep their tax rate stabilized. 

 

Mr. Danevich thanked the group for their research and information.  He wanted clarification on how the expenditure of money would be controlled.  Mr. Gagnon said the final decision would be up to the Selectmen.  He said the disqualification list could be used to determine if a parcel could be preserved. 

 

Mr. Gagnon presented the Selectmen with a plan for protecting open space in Pelham.  The plan outlined how much land should be protected to maintain a functioning eco-system.  Mr. Gagnon reviewed what land was currently preserved and noted that 1823 acres of land would still need protection.  He explained what actions would be required for preserving land - maintaining recreational, conservation and agricultural land; issue a warrant article to designate Town owned open space as ‘Town Forests’; protect the Girl Scout Camp (request right of first refusal); issue a warrant article for a $3 million dollar bon to protect at least one thousand additional acres of farmland or forestland as conservation land.  Mr. Gagnon took the one thousand acres and outlined sources of possible funds, the cost to the Town, the average cost per acre.  He then reviewed a list of New Hampshire towns that had bonded a minimum of $1 million dollars in the past three years.  He ended by providing back-up data that showed where he got his figures for per acre costs. 

 

Mr. Lynde commended the group for the materials presented. 

 

Mr. McDevitt asked if the warrant article was focused on the parcels identified on the NRPC map (from October 1, 2003) as developable.  He said voters may question which parcels were being targeted for protection.  The warrant article wording was reviewed; additional wording such as ‘using the NRPC map as a guide’ and ‘parcels that would otherwise be developable’ was suggested to be included in information circulated to voters to help clarify the request. 

 

Mr. Bergeron thanked the group for their efforts and providing public awareness of open space to residents. 

 

There was further discussion regarding the warrant article wording and the required steps to be followed for bonds in excess of $100,000 (per the New Hampshire Municipal Association).  It was suggested that the request be open-ended, rather than setting a time limit for the funds to be spent.  The Selectmen were in general agreement with the proposed warrant article.  Mr. Derby suggested including an information sheet in the Town Report.  The Selectmen asked that the warrant article be revised and submitted for review before the November 4, 2003 meeting. 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

Senate Bill 95

 

Mr. McDevitt said that the Senate had already passed the bill.  His concern was with the crafting of the language, which would interject the court’s decision into local land-use decisions much more visibly than today.  He felt if a development was turned down, it would immediately be submitted to the Superior Court rather than providing time for the Town to have further discussions.  Mr. McDevitt suggested that the Selectmen contact the Legislative delegation and express the concerns with the unintended consequences as a result of substituting the court’s judgments for that of the local land use boards.  He said there was a potential impact on the Town’s legal budget in connection with court fees. 

 

Mr. Bergeron said if a message was to be sent, it should be inexpedient to legislate.  He said if the bill were to pass local control would be taken away from the people of Pelham.  He said he would not vote to take the power away from the people of Pelham.  He said he did not want a group in Concord mandating how the Town performed zoning. 

 

Mr. McDevitt said he would provide the Selectmen with a draft and accept comment.  Mr. Lynde said an agenda item would be added for further discussion at the next scheduled meeting.   

 

Resignation - Call Firefighter/EMT

 

The Selectmen did not have the correspondence to be able to act upon the request.  

 

Firearms discharge on Town owned active recreation property

 

Mr. McDevitt said he received an e-mail from a person who regularly walked their dog at Elmer G. Raymond Park who expressed fear that firearms were being discharged.  He asked that the Selectmen consider prohibiting the discharge of firearms (including paintball paraphernalia) at the three Town parks.  There was a brief discussion regarding what actions could be taken.   

 

MOTION:

(McDevitt/Bergeron) To post signs prohibiting the discharge of firearms at Elmer G. Raymond Park, Muldoon Park, and Pelham Veterans Memorial Park specifically because they are active recreation areas with walkers and youth sports.  Also, to ask Town Counsel if there are any other requirements in connection with prohibiting the discharge of firearms.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

VFW request for contribution for flag maintenance

 

Mr. Lynde said the VFW had sent a memo in the past requesting the addition of flag poles along the streets accessing the center of Town.  He said the VFW and the American Legion have now requested an annual budget line item of $1000 for the repair, maintenance and replacement of the flags.  Further clarification was requested.  Mr. Gaydos said that members of the VFW would be at the next meeting and could be asked at that time for clarification of the request.       

 

SELECTMEN’S REPORTS

 

Mr. Gaydos said in mid-August Mr. Bergeron discussed that the Regional Water District had requested that $5000 be made available for legal purposes.  He said the Selectmen discussed the issue and had previously decided to authorize Mr. Bergeron to inform the Charter Committee that the Town would be willing to provide up to $5000 if, at the end of the budget season, such funds were available.  He said Mr. Bergeron had submitted a request for $5000, and wanted to ensure that the Selectmen were clear with the understanding of the request.  Mr. Lynde understood that the authorization was only if the funds were available this year.  He suggested that the Selectmen review the budgets next week and make projections.  Mr. Bergeron recalled that the amount for this year was on an as-needed basis.  He said all of the towns and cities had recently agreed to submit the charter to legal review.  He provided information to the Selectmen in connection with what legal counsel would be reviewing the charter agreement.  He said he would like to show the Town’s good faith by bringing a check.  Mr. Lynde said there were some recent problems with the Municipal building that would need to be addressed, but once the Selectmen had an opportunity to review the budget and then address the request. 

 

Mr. Gaydos discussed some of the issues that had recently been occurring at the Municipal Building, such as water in the fuel oil tanks, which had been resolved.  He said the circulators had been reviewed and bled.  He said the Town Hall furnace filters had been reviewed and cleaned.  Mr. McDevitt asked about the Senior Center furnace filters.  Mr. Gaydos said the Senior Center furnace had not been reviewed.  He said a list was being compiled of all the regular maintenance items and including the new items as well (which would enable additional grants).  Mr. Gaydos said there was a company that would come through the Town on a quarterly basis and review the machines (i.e. furnaces) contained in the Town buildings. 

 

Mr. Danevich said the members of the Skateboard Park Committee would like to meet with the Selectmen and give a quick presentation of their progress and make requests for support.  Mr. Gaydos will add an agenda item for the next scheduled meeting.  Mr. Danevich asked that the Selectmen have Mr. Gaydos refer the request for a stop sign and no outlet sign on Tina and Rita Avenues to the Safety Committee.  Mr. Danevich then discussed a Selectmen approved request from Conservation Chairman Bob Yarmo in the amount of $500 for expert testimony in connection with the Oscar’s Removal case.  He informed that the actual cost was $705.06 and requested that clarification be made for what additional serviced were obtained for the additional fee.  After a brief discussion, Mr. Gaydos was instructed to pay $500 and include a note on the invoice requesting an explanation for the additional charge.  Mr. Danevich confirmed that the street naming hearing would be held on November 18, 2003.  Mr. Gaydos the Fire Chief had indicated there was a complete list of street names, with the exclusion of two.  Mr. Lynde confirmed that there was a procedure in place, and similar problems with street names would not occur in the future.  Mr. Danevich asked if the CTAC appointment was scheduled for next week.  Mr. Lynde said he had already asked Mr. Gaydos to add an agenda item for next week.  Mr. Danevich asked for an update regarding the CLD $130,000 expenditure.  Mr. Gaydos provided a brief history and said that the project of reviewing invoices had been worked on for a period of time.  He said one-on-one meetings with the developers was now needed, and should be done in a timely manner.  He said a person was needed who had the time to dedicate and who had knowledge of the escrow and construction process worked.  After interviewing several people, Mr. Gaydos recommended to the Selectmen that Ms. Susan Snide be hired to work with the developers and bring them together with CLD to determine if the invoices are valid.  He said if the approach worked, he didn’t feel any money would need to come out of the fund approved at Town Meeting last year.   

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Danevich) To hire Ms. Susan Snide to work with CLD and the developers in connection with unpaid invoices totaling $130,000.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 - 0 - 0) The motion carries. 

 

Mr. Bergeron said that the attorneys hired to review the charter would be attending the next scheduled meetings.  He said the Selectmen would be invited to attend a future meeting as well, in case there were any questions to be answered. 

 

Mr. Derby informed that the Town budget would be reviewed Thursday night by the Budget Committee.  He said there was ongoing construction on Plower Road.  Mr. Derby ended by informing that flu shots would be administered October 30, 2003 at the Senior Center. 

 

Mr. McDevitt said he discussed the suggestion of Mr. Nowe with the Police Chief regarding making Hayden Road a one-way street during certain times of the day to eliminate the speeding.  He said the Police Chief didn’t feel that the suggestion would be a solution, but informed he would increase patrols on Hayden Road.  He said Mr. Nowe also wanted to know if PTV could run recent Selectmen meetings, instead of being two weeks behind.  Mr. McDevitt said he spoke with Mr. Jim Greenwood who said PTV stayed as current as possible, and as general practice didn’t run the shows behind.  McDevitt said volunteers were still needed to form a naming committee.  He ended by informing that the Senior Center would host Fall Harvest Fair on November 1, 2003 from 9am - 2pm. 

 

Mr. Lynde said the Planning Board would be meeting November 3, 2003.  He also informed that Saturday would be the last hazardous waste collection day of the year at the Nashua Public Works Garage. 

 

Mr. McDevitt thanked the Fire Department for sponsoring the Horribles parade.

 

Mr. Derby said that the track dedication would take place at Memorial School, Sunday at noon.   

 

REQUEST FOR NON-PUBLIC SESSION

 

MOTION:

(Derby/Bergeron) Request for a non-public session per RSA 91-A:3,II, a (personnel)

 

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 9:50 pm.  Also present was Mr. Gaydos.

 

The Board returned to public session at approximately 10:10 pm.

 

MOTION:

 

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

 

VOTE:

 

(5 – 0 – 0) The motion carries.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

MOTION:

(Danevich/Bergeron) To adjourn the meeting.

 

VOTE:

 

(5 -0 – 0) The motion carries. 

 

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 10:10 pm.

                                                                                          Respectfully submitted,

 

                                                                                          Charity A. L. Willis

                                                                                          Recording Secretary